American Beacon (Norfolk, Virginia),
September 3, 1831
Aug. 27th, 1831
General—The entire dispersion, through the active exertions of the citizens and local militia, of the insurrectionists, the return of confidence and a sense of security among the population of the country generally, added to the consideration that a large force peculiarly equipped [illegible] to the service and possessing something of the magisterial character, is now assembled around the scene of the recent atrocity, together with the extraordinary call for provisions this rendered necessary prompts the [illegible] of putting my command of U.S. Troops in [illegible] march for their proper station. The expediency of which is, to my mind, the more apparent because of the belief, I am happy to entertain, that there no longer exists occasion for our services, —and the impression that a prolonged halt may render us a burthen to those we came to succour [sic]. With these views, I propose to march today, unless your better information should suggest the necessity or convenience of a longer stay. It is my purpose, in which I should be happy to be confirmed by your opinion, to return by a different route, say Smithfield, making thereby a display of force and facilities for prompt assemblage, that, it is hoped, will operate a moral influence and render my march hither, not altogether without its influence upon the misguided wretches who have been the cause of so much atrocity and ingratitude.
Lieut. and Adjutant Maynadier, who will have the honor to hand you this, will await your pleasure.
I have the honor to be, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W.J. Worth, Lt. Col.
Cmnd’g Batt’n 1st Arty.
To: Brig-General Eppes
P.S. Capt. Newton, U.S. Navy, commanding a detachment of marines and sailors, with whom I have had the pleasure to co-operate, concurs in these views.
General Eppes’ Reply
Your note of this morning, is presented by Capt. Maynadier, and whatever regret I may feel in parting with you and the [p. 66] Officers associated with you, I am not aware of any necessity for detaining the Troops under your command beyond the time you propose. It affords me pleasure to assure you of my entire concurrence in the view you express in reference to the line of march for your return. Any facilities or assistance will be detailed to supply the place of yours at the jail.
I have the honor to be, yours
(Signed) R. Eppes, B. Gen’l
August 26th, 1831
Accident has brought us together in public service of a disagreeable character, but which, I flatter myself, will be concluded speedily and to the public benefit. An acquaintance of very few days, as officers, and the proper consideration, as courteous gentlemen.
The enunciation of your readiness to return to your station, if the public service would permit, has devolved upon me the duty of acquiescing in that intimation, and of availing myself of the occasion, to tender to you on my own part and in behalf of our wives and children, and the readiness with which you have co-operated, in every practicable mode, to advance our common purpose, an assurance of our obligation and an affectionate farewell.
R. Eppes, B. Gen’l
Capt. Newton, and their officers.
Henry Irving Tragle, The Southampton Slave Revolt of 1831: A Compilation of Source Material (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1971), 65-66.