<br /> Lee Letter: n71

Washington and Lee University

Sender: George Washington
Recipient: Richard Henry Lee

Sir:

I was duly honored with your letter of the 28th in behalf of the
Committee for Southern affairs, with the enclosed copy of one from the
Lt. Governor of S. Carolina. The situation of affairs in that quarter
has an aspect truly alarming and though our force here after the troops
intended for the Indian expedition are detached will be reduced so low
as to afford cause of uneasiness; yet as the interior strength of these
states is capable of great exertions on an emergency I cannot but
concur with the views of the Committee respecting the Virginia levies.
I wish they were in greater forwardness than they appear to be by a
letter of the 24th. instant from General Scot, a copy of which I
transmit, I believe it is one of the terms on which these men are
engaged, that they shall be furnished with cloathing, before they march
out of the State. This will be a difficulty which no pains should be
spared to accommodate. If the cloathing really is not ready, the state
should employ its influence to induce the men to proceed with
satisfactory assurances that it shall follow as speedily as possible. I
doubt not The Committee will take any measures they may think conducive
to this end. I shall without delay, send a proportion of officers to
take the command.

I think also it will be adviseable to send both Bland’s and Baylors
Regiments to the Southward. They should be enabled to engage as many
men as they have horses and accoutrements to equip.

We have only two regiments of the Quota of North Carolina in the field. I
have already recommended that she should be called upon to complete the
rest for the Southern service, in the most expeditious mode; which is
certainly that of drafting. I know not what may have been done; but it
seems essential this measure should be persued.

I am at a loss what additional measure to advise, troops from this army
cannot possibly be sent for the reasons repeatedly assigned. It seems
however necessary, that troops of a better consistence than militia,
whose time of service expires almost as soon as they arrive at their
destination should be provided. This can only be done by laws in the
neighbouring states, for drawing out a body for a longer term. I have
the honor, etc.

P.S. It will be necessary that arms be sent for the levies from this
quarter. The Board of War will take the charge of this
matter.1

[H.L.]

Notes:

1 In the writing of Alexander Hamilton.