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Thomas Jefferson to Gen Edward Stevens

Richmond, September 15, 1780.

Sir,

I beg leave to trouble you with a private letter, on a little matter of my own, having no acquaintance at camp, with whom I can take that liberty. Among the wagons impressed, for the use of your militia, were two of mine. One of these, I know is safe, having been on its way from hence to Hillsborough, at the time of the late engagement. The other, I have reason to believe, was on the field. A wagon-master, who says he was near it, informs me the brigade quarter-master cut out one of my best horses, and made his escape on him, and that he saw my wagoner loosening his own horse to come off, but the enemy’s horse were then coming up, and he knows nothing further. He was a negro man, named Phill, lame in one arm and leg. If you will do me the favor to inquire what is become of him, what horses are saved, and to send them to me, I shall be much obliged to you. The horses were not public property, as they were only impressed and not sold. Perhaps your certificate of what is lost, may be necessary for me. The wagon-master told me, that the public money was in my wagon, a circumstance, which, perhaps, may aid your inquiries. After apologizing for the trouble, I beg leave to assure you, that I am, with great sincerity,

your friend and servant,
Th: Jefferson.