James Madison Papers

To James Madison from Thomas Griffin, 19 November 1804 (Abstract)

§ From Thomas Griffin1

19 November 1804, Chamber of the House of Representatives. “Thos. Griffin presents respects to Mr. Madison.

“Particular and pressing circumstances requiring it, an application was made to the department of war, for a copy of the return made by General Greene of the strength of his army, and of his loss on the 8th. of Septr. at the battle of Eutaw.2 The files of the War department not furnishing the desired return, and T. Griffin not knowing what division was made of the old papers, when the New Government was adopted and organised, requests of Mr. Madison, he will be pleased to order a copy of aforesaid return (should the papers in the Department of State furnish it) to be sent him as soon as Convenient. T. G. hopes no difficulty can arise in the grant of the request now made.”3

RC (DNA: RG 59, ML). 1 p.

1Representative Thomas Griffin (1773–1837) of Yorktown, Virginia, served one term in Congress and several terms in the Virginia House of Delegates, was a state judge for a number of years, and was an infantry major in the War of 1812.

2The 8 Sept. 1781 battle of Eutaw Springs, South Carolina, in which the American casualties were 138 killed and 375 wounded, was claimed as a victory by both the Americans and the British (Howard H. Peckham, ed., The Toll of Independence: Engagements and Battle Casualties of the American Revolution [Chicago, 1974], 90; Showman et al., Papers of General Nathanael Greene, 9:xiii–xiv). For a description of the battle, see ibid., 9:328–33.

3On 21 Nov. JM replied to Griffin, enclosing “a copy [not found] of the killed, wounded and missing of Genl. Green’s army in the action of Eutaw” and adding that Greene’s correspondence “does not furnish the force of his army, except by naming the different corps previously to the action; and though it is not certain that the papers lodged in the Department of State do not contain it, the shortness of the time has not enabled the Gentleman, who made the search, to find it even if it should be there” (1 p.; DNA: RG 59, DL, vol. 14).

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