The Papers of General Nathanael Greene

To General Edward Stevens

Stevens is to "take charge" of the prisoners of war and march them "by the shortest and best route to Charlotte[sville], Va., unless he is "otherwise directed" by the governor of that state. He is to inform the governor of his route, his destination, and the number of prisoners he is escorting.[1] "The privates should be well guarded; but the officers may have their paroles." As there are no "magizines being laid up on the route," he must apply to county commissioners along the way for provisions and forage, giving "proper receipts." His commissary and foragemaster are to stay "a day or two in front of the Troops" to provide for them. He is to "Take every precaution" to prevent prisoners from escaping and maintain "good order" among his men.[2]
Autograph draft signed (MiU-C) 3 pp.
    [1.] See NG to Jefferson, 24 January (PGNG, 7: 185) and NG to Hyrne, this date (PGNG, 7: 194).
    [2.] Stevens was in command of Virginia militiamen who were returning home, their tours of duty having expired. (See NG to Harrison, 20 January, at PGNG, 7: 162-163.) He left camp on 25 January. (See NG to Jefferson, 26 January, at PGNG, 7: 202.) He would meet NG again sooner than either expected, however. Near Salisbury on 2 February, he reached Morgan's detachment, crossing the Yadkin River with Lord Cornwallis's army in pursuit. NG, who was with Morgan, was supervising the removal of public stores from Salisbury. Stevens sent on the prisoners and stayed to help get troops and supplies safely across the swollen river. Later, at NG's request, he tried to persuade the militia under his command to remain with NG for several more days. "Scarce a man would agree to it," he told Jefferson in a letter of 8 February. His men resumed their march on the 4th, the militiamen "so exceeding anxceous to get home, it is allmost impossible to Keep Them together." (Boyd, Jefferson Papers, 4: 561-63)