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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from William Legge, Earl of Dartmouth to Josiah Martin
Dartmouth, William Legge, Earl of, 1731 - 1801
October 27, 1775
Volume 10, Pages 299-300

[B. P. R. O. Am. & W. Ind.: No. Carolina. No. 222.]
Letter from the Earl of Dartmouth to Governor Martin.

Whitehall, 27th October, 1775.


The advantages that may attend the sending immediately a Force to the assistance of the Friends of Legal Government in the Four Southern Provinces of Virginia North and South Carolina, and Georgia, are so apparent, and have been so fully stated, by yourself and the Governors of the other 3 Provinces, that the King has thought fit to order, that a Body of His Majesty's Forces, consisting of seven Regiments should prepare to embark at Cork about the 1st of December, in order to proceed with two companies of Artillery and a proper number of Battalion Guns, Howitzers, etc to Cape Fear River.

You will see by the enclosed copy of a Letter to Major General Howe, that this separate corps is to be commanded by one of the several officers with him, and it will also fully instruct you as to the whole plan and conduct of the expedition, and I have only to add, that any corps of Provincials that may be formed upon this occasion, must be raised by your authority, and commanded by you as Provincial Colonel, with the same pay as a Colonel upon the British Establishment, but without any Rank in the Army or claim to half pay, which for reasons I have already given cannot be allowed.

You will observe that in the Letter to Major General Howe, the propriety of sending Pilots with the Ship that carries the General officer to Cape Fear River is particularly pointed out, but as it may

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be uncertain whether Pilots well acquainted with the Coast of North Carolina can be procured at Boston or New York, it will be very necessary that you should, with as much secrecy as possible, engage a proper number to be put on board the Vessels that will be ordered (in conformity to the Instructions already given) to cruize upon the coast until the Fleet and Transports shall arrive. I am also commanded by the King to suggest to you the great advantage and utility that will attend the procuring, if practicable, a number of carriages and draft Horses, for the use of the Troops, in any operations they may find it necessary to carry on, and from what you have said of the Disposition of some of the Back Counties, I should hope it may not be impracticable, if managed with secrecy and caution.

The Parliament met yesterday, and inclosed I send you His Majesty's Speech to both Houses, together with their addresses in return thereto, which I trust will have the effect to convince the rebellious Inhabitants of the Colonies of the firm Resolution of every Branch of the Legislature to maintain the Dignity and Authority of Parliament, desirous at the same time to receive with all proper indulgence the submission of any Colony that shall be inclined to return to its Duty and Allegiance.

I am etc.,