From Beesly Edgar Joel
[28 April 1781]
I have this instant received notice that the Enemy appears to be again in motion at Osburn’s. I have dispatch’t a Vidett to recoinoitre them, and am collecting some negroes to hew down Trees and be ready to take up the different Bridges in their rout. There is no Officer on this side but myself. I desire to know if you have any commands.
I am Sir &c.,
B Ed. Joel. B:N
RC (Vi); without place or date; addressed: “Governor Jefferson”; endorsed: “Lre. from Capt Joel April 28th. 1781,” which is probably the date both of writing and of receipt. The significance of the initials following Joel’s signature (which may be “B.M.”) is not known.
There is no officer on this side but myself: I.e., the south side of the James. Simcoe’s Military Journal, p. 201–2, gives the following account of the movements of the British force at this time: “The troops remained in this vicinity [Osborne’s, where the action against the Virginia naval force had occurred on the 27th] till the 29th, when they proceeded towards Manchester. The bridge at Robert’s mills, which had been destroyed, was repaired, and the army encamped near Cary’s house: next morning they marched to Manchester, from whence they had a view of M. Fayette’s army, encamped on the heights of Richmond: on the evening they returned to Cary’s. … The troops proceeded by Osborne’s to the Bermuda Hundreds: a quantity of cattle was collected for them, by a detachment of the Queen’s Rangers the next day; and the whole army embarked on the 2d of May.”