Letter from Thomas Evans to Richard Caswell
Volume 20, Pages 703-705
MAJOR EVANS TO GOVERNOR CASWELL.
(From Executive Letter Book.)
Richmond, May 21st, 1787.
I have the honor of informing your Excellency of my being at this place some time, where I ordered all the Officers this side the Mountains with what men they had enlisted, and expected they would have been here before this; but much to my surprise have since that time Received Letters from three of them with their Commissions enclosed and one has never applyed for his, agreeable to my letter of instructions to him by Col. Richardson of Bladen. Inclosed I send your Excellency a Return of those Officers who have resigned and declined Serving, with a Copy of their Letters of resignation. Captain Hyland and Ensign O’Neal I have never heard from since I Transmitted them their Commissions from Fayetteville, which puts me to a stand, to judge whether they mean to act or not. A few days ago I had the pleasure of hearing from Captain Martin, who informs me he has got his quota of men; Captain Hadley’s Company is in this District & nearly Compleat. Your Excellency
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may depend that as soon as it is possible I can collect Returns from the different Officers, shall immediately without delay transmit them to you. The delay of the Compleating the Batalion Your Excellency, I flatter myself will conceive, is owing in a great measure to so many of the Officers declining to Serve. And as the Act of Assembly has not put it in my power without your assistance to appoint others in their stead, on these Considerations I hope your Excellency will do everything in your power to remedy that misfortune by appointing others in their Room or by Transmitting Blank Commissions to me to be filled up by such persons as I shall judge deserving & that does enlist such a certain Number of Men Previous to their receiving their Comis’n, which mode I flatter myself will be the most expeditious to Compleat the Batalion. As I would not wish to do any thing to cause reflextion on my Conduct to Judge the Law, where it appears ambiguous, I therefore wish your Excellency’s advice upon the 14th Section of the Act for raising Troops for the defence of Davidson County, so far as Respects the Officering the Cavalry & whether said Officers are to be taken from the Batalion Officers or to be Officered by any other persons not immediately belonging to the Batalion, which the Commissioned Officers Convened for that shall direct & appoint. One cause of delay that I labour under in the present expedition is the want of expresses which make me feel very unhappy as an Officer, by not having it in my power to Expedite any kind of Business nor to hold the least Correspondence with my Officers or other Gentlemen who are well wishers to Government. The Peace of Western Country and safety of its inhabitants is exposed without them, & am of opinion that the delays already, and that possibly may happen hereafter will cost Government more than the trifling sum which would serve that purpose; nor can I without paying them myself transmit any returns to your Excellency or the pay1master without some safe hand Employ’d by the State. I flatter myself I shall be able to leave this place by the time Mr. Markland can possibly get back, but what number of men I shall be able to collect by that time is uncertain, but you may depend I shall use every Exertion in my power for the good of the Service. From the Scarcity and high price of provision in this part of the Country, as well as other Articles which we stand in need of, Renders it necessary for Mr. Markland’s calling upon your Excellency for a further draft for that Purpose before the Troops can possibly go through the wilderness,
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which I make no doubt but your Excellency will take under your Serious Consideration & Grant such further Drafts as may enable Mr. Markland to procure the necessary supplies. I am with every sentiment of respect,
Your Excellency’s most Obedt. & very Humble Servt.,