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Jefferson to His Excellency Gen Washington

Richmond, July 2, 1780.


I have received from the Committee of Congress, at headquarters, three letters calling for aids of men and provisions. I beg leave to refer you to my letter to them, of this date, on those subjects. I thought it necessary, however, to suggest to you the preparing an arrangement of officers for the men; for, though they are to supply our battalions, yet, as our whole line officers, almost, are in captivity, I suppose some temporary provision must be made. We cheerfully transfer to you every power which the Executive might exercise on this occasion. As it is possible you may cast your eye on the unemployed officers now within the State, I write to General Muhlenburg, to send you a return of them. I think the men will be rendezvoused within the present month. The bill, indeed, for raising them is not actually passed, but it is in its last stage, and no opposition to any essential parts of it. I will take care to notify you of its passage.

I have, with great pain, perceived your situation; and, the more so, as being situated between two fires, a division of sentiment has arisen, both in Congress and here, as to which the resources of this country should be sent. The removal of General Clinton to the northward, must, of course, have great influence on the determination of this question; and I have no doubt but considerable aids may be drawn hence for your army, unless a larger one should be embodied in the South, than the force of the enemy there seems to call for. I have the honor to be, with every sentiment of respect and esteem,

your Excellency’s
most obedient, humble servant,
Th: Jefferson.