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Answer-Ask the printer. He got neither from the Executive. Objection. As to the calling out a few militia, and that late. Answer. It is denied that they were few or late. Four thousand and seven hundred men (the number required by Baron Steuben) were called out the moment an invasion was known to have taken place, that is on Tuesday, January 2d.
Objection. The abandonment of York and Portsmouth fortifications.
Answer. How can they be kept without regulars, on the large scale on which they were formed? Would it be approved of to harass the militia with garrisoning them?
To place me on equal ground for meeting the inquiry, one of the representatives of my county resigned his seat, and I was unanimously elected in his place. Mr. Nicholas, however, before the day, became better satisfied as to what had been done, and did not appear to bring forward the inquiry; and in a publication, several years after, he made honorable acknowledgment of the erroneous views he had entertained on those transactions. I therefore read in my place the inquiries he had proposed to make, and stated the justifications of the Executive. And nearly every member present having been a witness to their truth, and conscious all was done which could have been done, concurred at once in the following resolution :
"The following resolution was unanimously agreed to by both houses of the General Assembly of Virginia, December the 19th, 1781.
"Resolved, That the sincere thanks of the General Assembly be given to our former Governor, Thomas Jefferson, Esquire, for his impartial, upright, and attentive administration whilst in office. The Assembly wish in the strongest manner to declare the high opinion they entertain of Mr. Jefferson's ability, rectitude, and integrity as Chief Magistrate of this Commonwealth, and mean, by thus publicly avowing their opinion, to obviate and to remove all unmerited censure.
And here it is but proper to notice the parody of these transactions which General Lee has given as their history. He was in a distant State at the time, and seems to have made up a ran
dom account from the rumors which were afloat where he then was. It is a tissue of errors from beginning to end.
The nonsense which has been uttered on the coup de main of Tarleton on Charlottesville is really so ridiculous, that it is almost ridiculous seriously to notice it. I will briefly, however, notice facts and dates. It has been said before, that the legislature was driven from Charlottesville by an incursion of the enemy's cavalry. Since the adjournment from Richmond, their force in this country had been greatly augmented by reinforcements under Lord Cornwallis and General Phillips; and they had advanced up into the country as far as Elk Island, and the Fork of James river. Learning that the legislature was in session at Charlottesville, they detached Colonel Tarleton with his legion of horse to surprise them. As he was passing through Louisa on the evening of the 3d of June, he was observed by a Mr. Gouett, who, suspecting the object, set out immediately for Charlottesville, and knowing the byways of the neighborhood, passed the enemy's encampment, rode all night, and before sunrise of the 4th, called at Monticello with notice of what he had seen, and passed on to Charlottesville to notify the members of the legislature. The Speakers of the two houses, and some other members were lodging with us. I ordered a carriage to be ready to carry off my family; we breakfasted at leisure with our guests, and after breakfast they had gone to Charlottesville; when a neighbor rode up full speed to inform me that a troop of horse was then ascending the hill to the house. I instantly sent off my family, and after a short delay for some pressing arrangements, I mounted my horse; and knowing that in the public road I should be liable to fall in with the enemy, I went through the woods, and joined my family at the house of a friend, where we dined. Would it be believed, were it not known, that this flight from a troop of horse, whose whole legion, too, was within supporting distance, has been the subject, with party writers, of volumes of reproach on me, serious or sarcastic? That it has been sung in verse, and said in humble prose, that forgetting the noble example of the hero of La Mancha, and his wind-mills, I declined a combat singly against a
troop, in which victory would have been so glorious? Forgetting, themselves, at the same time, that I was not provided with the enchanted arms of the Knight, nor even with his helmet of Mambrino. These closet heroes, forsooth, would have disdained the shelter of a wood, even singly and unarmed, against a legion of armed enemies.
Here, too, I must note another instance of the want of that correctness in writing history, without which it becomes romance. General Lee says that Tarleton, in another enterprise some time after, penetrated up the south side of James river to New London, in Bedford county. To that neighborhood precisely, where I had a possession, I had carried my family, and was confined there several weeks by the effects of a fall from my horse; and I can assure the readers of General Lee's history, that no enemy ever came within forty miles of New London.
Memorandum relative to invasion of Virginia in 1780, 1781.
Among the manuscripts of Mr. Jefferson, and in his own hand writing, is the following paper in relation to the invasion of Virginia in 1780-1781. It is, therefore, inserted here, in connection with the foregoing extract from his diary.
Richmond, 1780. Dec. 31st, at 8 A. M. The Governor received the first intelligence that twenty-seven sail of ships had entered Chesapeake Bay, and were in the morning of the 29th just below Willoughby's point, [the southern cape of James river,] their destination unknown.
Information received that advance being at Warras
1781. January 2, at 10 A. M. they had entered James river, their queak Bay. Orders were immediately given for calling in the militia, one-fourth from some, and half from other counties. The members of the legislature, which rises this day, are the bearers of the orders to their respective counties. The Governor directs the removal of the records into the country, and the transportation of the military stores from Richmond to Westham, [on the river seven miles above,] there to be carried across the river.
January 3d, 8 P. M. The enemy are said to be a little below Jamestown; convenient for landing, if Williamsburg is their object.
January 4th, at 5 A. M. Information is received that they had passed Kennon's and Hoods the evening before with a strong easterly wind, which determines their object to be either Petersburg or Richmond. The Governor now calls in the whole militia from the adjacent counties.
At 5 P. M. Information that at 2 P. M. they were landed and drawn up at Westover, [on the north side of the river, and twenty-five miles below Richmond,] and consequently Richmond was their destination. Orders are now given to discontinue wagoning the military stores from Richmond to Westham, and to throw them across directly at Richmond.
The Governor having attended to this till an hour and a half in the night, then rode up to the foundry, [one mile below Westham,] ordered Captains Brush and Irish, and Mr. Hylton to continue all night wagoning to Westham the arms and stores still at the foundry, to be thrown across the river at Westham, then proceeded to Westham to urge the pressing the transportation there across the river, and thence went to Tuckahoe [eight miles above, and on the same side of the river] to see after his family, which he had sent that far in the course of the day. He arrived there at 1 o'clock in the night.
Early in the morning he carried his family across the river there, and sending them to Teine creek, [eight miles higher up,] went himself to Breton's on the south side of the river, [opposite to Westham,] finding the arms, &c., in a heap near the shore, and exposed to be destroyed by cannon from the north bank. He had them removed under cover of a point of land near by. He proceeded to Manchester [opposite to Richmond]. The enemy had arrived at Richmond at 1 P. M. Having found that nearly the whole arms had been got there from Richmond, he set out for Chetwood's to meet with Baron Steuben, who had appointed that place as a rendezvous and head-quarters; but not finding him there, and understanding that he would be at Colonel Fleming's, [six miles above Breton's,] he proceeded thither. The
enemy had now a detachment at Westham, and sent a deputation from the city of Richmond to the Governor at Colonel Fleming's to propose terms for ransoming the safety of the city, which terms he rejected. The Governor returned to Breton's, had measures taken more effectually to secure the books and papers there. The enemy having burnt some houses and stores, left Richmond, after twenty-four hours stay there, and encamped at Four-Mile Creek, [eight or ten miles below,] and the Governor went to look to his family at Fine Creek.
He returned to Breton's to see further to the arms there, exposed on the ground to heavy rains which had fallen the night before, and then proceeded to Manchester, and lodged there. The enemy encamped at Westover.
At half-past 7 A. M. he crossed over to Richmond, and resumed his residence there. The enemy are still retained in their encampment at Westover by an easterly wind. Col. John Nicholas has now three hundred militia at the Forest, [six miles off from Westover,] General Nelson two hundred at Charles City Court House, [eight miles below Westover,] Gibson one thousand, and Baron Steuben eight hundred on the south side the river.
January 9th. The enemy are still encamped at Westover. January 10th. At 1 P. M. they embark; and the wind having shifted a little to the north of the west, and pretty fresh, they fall down the river. Baron Steuben marches for Hood's, where their passage may be checked. He reaches Bland's Mills in the evening, within nine miles of Hood's.
January 11th. At 8 A. M. the wind due west and strong, they may make good their retreat. During this period time and place have been minutely cited, in order that those who think there was any remissness in the movements of the Governor, may lay their finger on the point, and say when and where it was. Hereafter less detail will suffice.
Soon after this General Phillips having joined Arnold with a reinforcement of two thousand men, they advanced again up to Petersburg, and about the last of April to Manchester. The Governor had remained constantly in and about Richmond, exerting all his powers collecting militia, and providing such means