Capture & Trial of Rebels
Letters Written by Governor John Floyd
August 24th, 1831
I have this moment received of yesterday—And take great pleasure in saying to you that strong and decisive measures were taken yesterday to put down the unhappy Insurrection in Southampton.
I have ordered four of the finest companies into Southampton to receive orders from the General of that Brigade with orders to call out the Militia of Sussex and Southampton if necessary, and have sent them one thousand stand of arms and ammunition under the protection of the Light Artillery—Captain Harrison’s troops of Light Dragoons will be at Southampton by twelve o’clock this day, the other troops will be there by tomorrow morning.
I have ordered to Petersburg five hundred muskets and arms besides for Seventy Cavalry—four hundred muskets and the Pistols, Swords, etc. are on their way and will be in Petersburg in two hours from this time.
I have now ordered eight hundred stand of arms to be forwarded to your county and to Greensville with ammunition sufficient, say ten ball cartridges to each musket.
These arms will be on the road so soon as transportation can be procured, which will be in a few hours—They will move from this to the Town of Petersburg and thence by the most usual route to Brunswick C.H.—I wish the Colonel of one of the Brunswick Regiments to send to Petersburg a sufficient guard to protect the arms on their way, orders have been issues to them to this effect.
The Colonel of the 39th Regt. at Petersburg has received orders to detail a guard and to furnish transportation from that place for those arms—with instructions to deliver the muskets to the guard from Brunswick and return to Petersburg, unless necessity should require them to continue with the wagons,—five hundred stand, cartridges, & etc., are for the Regiments in Brunswick, and three hundred for the Regiment in Greensville, now the scene of war.
Should this insurrection prove more serious than the present force can subdue, perhaps more arms may be necessary—if so, they shall be forwarded to Petersburg when I am informed of the facts where transportation can be hand, when a guard will accompany them to the Regiments wanting them.
With great respect I am Yr Ob Svt.
s/ John Floyd/
James H. Gholson Esq.
August 25th, 1831
I have received your letter of this date by Captain Woolridge informing me of the condition of your Regiment and desiring one hundred stand of arms to be placed in the hands of the militia near the coal mines.
From the facts you set forth, and the present condition of the country, it seems to me the desire you express to have that number of muskets placed in the hands of a responsible person to be distributed as proposed is such as ought to be complied with.
You will therefore receive them as soon as transportation is furnished and a sufficient guard to secure and attend them.
I am sir
Yr Obt. Svt.
s/ John Floyd/
Col. John W. Cole
Comdt. 23d Regt. Chesterfield
August 25th, 1831
I have just received your letter by express informing me that you will be at Smithfield awaiting orders and that you think the military force now in the field wil not be wanting beyond tomorrow (this day). I am rejoiced to learn that there is a reasonable hope of restoring tranquility so soon.
In my letter desiring you to assume command of the troops called into service, I informed you that the Light Artillery would land at Smithfield and had under their protection one thousand stand of arms intended for the use of the Southampton militia.
In all these matters I rely with confidence upon your judgment and discretion. If the troops will not be longer necessary, perhaps you had better send them home, and if in your opinion the arms under the protection of the Light Artillery will not be wanted in Southampton they may be returned to the arsenal by the troops under whose protection they were sent.—However on all these matters I wish you to act and judge of the course to be pursued as you are acquainted with the country and its wants and being on the ground can determine most prudently and accurately.
A letter from R.J.H. Gholson relating to this Insurrection has me to send into Brunswick County five hundred stand of arms and three hundred into Greensville, with ammunition for both deemed sufficient for the present service—Also a troop of Cavalry under the command of Lieut. Wiesiger has orders to march to Bellfield and thence to Jerusalem & report to you but this troop will be instantly recalled, the order countermanded—yet the arms will proceed today to Petersburg and thence by the most usual route to Brunswick—as these arms are destined for that service you will please have them safely returned if they should not be wanted.
We experience much anxiety here, and though no fear is entertained by any portion of our citizens, yet great solicitude is expressed for the result—You will be pleased to keep me minutely and constantly advised of occurrences as they transpire.
With great respect, I am
Yr Ob Svt
s/ John Floyd/
Brig. Genl. Richard Eppes