Fairfax County, Gunston-Hall Octor. 6th. 1780.
This will be deliver'd you by my Son William, who commands the Militia Company ordered from this county to Carolina: the men are mostly Voluntiers; who turned out from the Battalion at large, without any Regard to the Divisions to which they belonged; there are among them several Soldiers, & three or four Serjeants, who have served out their Time in the Virginia Line on continental Establishment; so that I look upon it to be equal to any Militia Company in the State. I entreat you Sir to order them to be furnished with good Musquets & Bayonets &c. It is a most discouraging Circumstance to a young-fellow to lead Men into Action, without proper Arms; and I fear the former Regiments of Militia, serving to the Southward, have thrown away & lost so many of their Arms, that they can have little Dependence in being properly supplyed, on their Arrival at Hill's borough.
The Militia I presume are to be paid in Tobo. which they can't receive until after their Return, & must in the mean time be distressed a good deal for many things they will want in the Service; I don't recollect whether any Money is advanced them on this Account; you will be pleased to give my Son the necessary information, & Orders respecting it.
The late Draught, for the regular Service, has been not only quietly, but chearfully executed in this, & the neighbouring Countys; and the subsequent Requisition from the Militia has in this County, been complied with, with the utmost Alacrity; I have not yet heard how it has been executed in the adjacent Countys; but I think there is little Danger of Resistance, where the leading Men are true Whigs, & possessed of common Discretion. I understand the Draft has been resisted, & prevented in some of the lower Countys, & some Lives lost; which I am not at all surprized at. If such dangerous Mutinies are not affectually quelled, & the Ring-leaders punished, our Government can't subsist. If the Civil Power of the Countys where they have happened is insufficient, I hope the military Force, lately raised, will afford Means of doing it. If the truth cou'd be discovered, I doubt not but some of their principal men are privately at the Bottom of it.
I am much concerned to hear you intend, at the End of the present Campaign, to resign the Office of supreme Magistrate; I wish you cou'd be prevailed on to hold it at least, 'til after the next general Election; for I really dread the Choice which the present Assembly may make.
As my very ill Health, at present, makes my attendance at the next Session of Assembly rather uncertain, I take this Opportunity, by my Son, of sending you a few of the Portugal, & best kind of rare-ripe Peach Stones. Almost all my Portugal peaches were stolen this Year, before they were ripe; but I saved the few Stones I send you myself, & know they are the true Sort. I have observed this kind of Peach requires more Care than most others, & if the Trees are not tended, & the Ground cultivated, the Fruit is apt to be coarse & harsh; with due Culture the Peaches are the finest I ever tasted.
I beg my Compliments to your Lady; and am, with the greatest esteem & respect, Dr. Sir, Yr. most obdt. Sert.
P. S. The sooner the Peach Stones are planted, the better; if it is deferred 'til late in the Winter, very few will come up next Spring; they shou'd be secured from the Moles by Slabs, or some such thing, let into the Ground.