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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Edward Stevens
Jefferson, Thomas, 1742-1826
November 10, 1780
Volume 14, Pages 732-733


Richmond, November 10th, 1780.


Your two Letters of Octobr. 24 and Octo.—have been duly received. I have been informed that the beeves which had been collecting in Princess Anne & Norfolk to be sent Southwardly were the first things which fell into the hands of the enemy. We received notice of this invasion a few hours after you left this place, & dispatched a letter to recall you, which we expected would have found you in Petersburg; however, you had gone on, and as there Should be a Genl. officer with the men from this State in the Southern Service, and we have here three General Officers, we have not repeated our call for your assistance. The force called on to oppose the enemy is as yet in a most Chaotic State, consisting of fragments of 3 months' militia, 6 months' men, 18 months' men, Volunteers & New Militia. Were it possible to Arm men, we could send on Substantial reinforcements to you, not withstanding the presence of the enemy with us; but the prospect of Arms is very bad indeed. I have never received a Line from Mr. Lambe as to his Success in impressing waggons; none have yet come in from the westward. The executive were so far from allowing the 18 months' men to inlist into the Volunteer Corps, as

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you say they pretend that they were expressly excluded from it in the Several propositions we made for raising Volunteers. Nothing of Moment has happened here since the arrival of the enemy. Genl. Muhlenburg is at Stoners Mills, at the head of pagan Creek, with our main force. Genl. Nelson is on the Northside of James River with another body. General Weedon is gone to Join the One or the other. A British emissary was taken two or three days ago, with a Letter from General Leslie to Lord Cornwallis, informing him he was at Portsmouth, but cannot learn where his Lordship was; that he had sent one Letter to him to Charlestown by Water and another by land, and Waited his Orders. Cannot measures be taken to apprehend the Messenger who went by land?

I am, with the greatest esteem, Sir,
Your most obedt., humble Servt.,
Brigd. General Stevens.