Lewis L. Taylor to Thomas Mann Randolph


I hope you will have the goodness to pardon an unfortunate stranger in presuming to indrude himself on your notice, without his having heretofore had the honour or pleasure of your acquaintance, but under existing circumstances I flatter myself with the belief the you will readily pardon this intrussion on your leisure, & permit me to assure you that I make this application with extream diffidence. The fate of war has placed me in the hands of the enemies of our Country, I see no prospect of an exchange, at present It is true the U.S. have an accredited agent here but from him I have nothing to hope or expect, My situation is extreamly unpleasant, not from any treatment I meet with from the enemy, but from the gloomy prospect that I have reletive to a speedy exchange, It is however a consolation & pleasing satisfaction to me, when I reflect that the colonel of the Regt. which I have the honour to belong to, probably can shorten my present state of inactivity, if he will have the goodness only to interfere, in my behalf, towards getting me exchanged, Since my misfortune I have discoverd that many unfortunate men languish in Captivity for the want of friends to intercede in their behalf, while the others are by the exertesions of their friends are gratified in returning to their Country, & commands, Unfortunately for me, I know of but few men to whom I Can apply to for assistance, who have influence or opportunities to befriend me on this occasion & I am under the necessity to apply to those in my behalf to whom I am unknown to, I deem it my duty as a Soldier, & as the Commandant of the 20t Regt, to you, I have taken the liberty to beg assistance off. If I am so fortunate as to obtain your exertesions in my behalf, your goodness, will ever Command my eternal gratitude, & it shall ever be my duty, & endevour to convince you that your influence, & exertions have been used in behalf of an unfortunate Soldier, who hopes in future to merit further your Confidence, in the discharge of his duty in the Regiment you command,

It was my misfortune to make one in the expedition under the command of Lt Colonel Beorstler, I command’d on that day two companies, made up of detachments from the Army—not a man of the 20th was with me, & I am the only one, in Captivity, & allmost the Only Virginian, In the Affair of the 20th of June I have nought to reproach myself with, Calumny has yet has not dar’d to level its arrows at me, truth will do me justice in the eyes of my Countrymen, & the time will arrive when those who done their duty will be know to the world, I have the honour to be with the highest esteem & respect Your Obt. Sert

Lewis L. Taylor
Major 20t U. S. Infantry
RC (MHi); addressed: “Colonel Thomas M. Randolph 20th Regiment U.S. Infantry”; endorsed by Randolph: “Lewis L. Taylor Aug. 31. 1813”; with Randolph’s note at foot of text, added at a later date: “exchanged upon first application in[. . .].”
Lewis L. Taylor
Date Range
August 31, 1813