Letter from Richard Caswell to Allen Jones
Caswell, Richard, 1729-1789
Volume 13, Pages 265-266
GOV. CASWELL TO GENL. ALLEN JONES.
[From Executive Letter Book.]
Kingston November 7th 1778.
I had your favor some time past, in answer to my letter requiring a Draft of the Militia from your Brigade. I thank you for your candid opinion respecting the requisition of Congress. But am induced to believe from your own words, that you had not thought much on the subject. You say there is no law empowering me to send the Militia out of the State. Beg leave to refer you to the aid Bill passed this time twelve months, which being considered I flatter myself you will think differently; that the Council do so, you will understand by an official letter from me of this date, which will be handed you with this, that being sent you in consequence of their advice founded on the Law above attended to, and the requisition of Congress, that we are not
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bound to perform every requisition made by Congress, that I agree with you in. But that the State is bound to perform the engagements she makes, by the solemn form of an act of Assembly, I should suppose no man would doubt. That the Act of Assembly I allude to is before Congress, and the propriety of their requisition founded thereon, I can scarcely think would be called in question by any Gentleman, who reads that Act. When did the Campaign next after passing that act, commence? Is it yet ended? I answer the Campaign began about the first of May, the Troops still keep the field, of course 'tis not ended, why did the Assembly confine, say the Volunteers and Drafts sent from this State, should serve in the next Campaign not exceeding twelve months, if it was not their intention to limit the time of their service, and that if it was not necessary they might not be kept so long in service. Suppose it was their intention this service should be performed in twelve months from the time the Campaign began. I answer this requisition is then consistent with such intention as the men will be discharged in twelve months after the opening of the Campaign. These Sir are my own thoughts on the subject. I wish you to consider them. As to money to defray the expense of this expedition, Congress will, I expect, forward it; in the mean time I must borrow, and if I should apply to the public Treasurer to borrow a part of the money sent to defray the expense of completing our Continental Battalions, and replace it on the arrival of the money, I hope it will not be considered as a breach of duty, either in the Treasurers or myself. Your favor of the 28th ulto. I have before me. I shall endeavour to furnish Mr. Amis with money to victual the Troops from your district, as well the former Draft, as those now required to this place.
Congress have made a second requisition to Virginia, 'tis possible they may alter their sentiments. If we are to pay any regard to our Act of Assembly, I think it leaves us no alternative; but of this I have said enough, perhaps more than may be agreeable to you, but believe me 'tis without design of offending, but merely treating you with that candor which I wish to do on all occasions.
I am with very great esteem and respect Dr Sir, your most Obedt. Servt.