LEE, HENRY “LIGHT HORSE HARRY.” (1756-1818). American soldier and statesman; father of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. ALS. (“Henry Lee”). 2pp. Small folio. Richmond, August 15, 1807. To wealthy landowner, Virginia Governor’s Council member and Colonel JOHN TAYLOE III, (1771-1828).
“Lt. Ball presented me with the dispatch entrusted to him this morning soon after I had a conference with the Governor & have the pleasure to transmit herewith commissions for yourself & officers. I have placed y[ou]r troops under the law of Congress requiring 30,000 volunteers for one year. It is very probable that the troops under y[ou]r command will be first from the State in that line. You ought to procure a beugle [sic] horn & beugler [sic] instead of a French horn. Both are to be met with in Philada. I am compelled to proceed to York town tomorrow in prosecution of my plan for giving volunteers only out of my division, where in case further instructions from me should be necessary y[ou]r letter will find me for a few more days. Thence I go to the lower county of the northern neck if requisite. Lt. Ball has my orders to call on Lt. Col. Smith to notify him of my acceptance of y[ou]r troops in part of the Calvary to be furnished by the 14th brigade. You must lose no time in sending a formal report of y[ou]r troops to the Lt. Col. Whether I shall be employed in the war is unknown to me I anxiously hope that the rupture may be closed by a mutual & just explanation of all difficulties. If however a resort to arms be unavoidable & myself called to the field I shall be happy in manifesting my respect to y[ou]r principles & Zeal. I thank you for y[ou]r offer of service & beg you to present me to Mrs. Tayloe…”