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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from William Legge, Earl of Dartmouth to William Howe
Dartmouth, William Legge, Earl of, 1731 - 1801
November 08, 1775
Volume 10, Pages 313-314

[Reprinted from the American Archives. Vol. 3. P. 1400]
Letter from the Earl of Dartmouth to Major-General Howe.

Whitehall, November 8th 1775.


Since my letter to you of the 22nd of October, triplicate of which I enclose, the plan, the object, and the probable effect of the intended expedition to the Southern Provinces, have been maturely considered, and the King has thought fit that the force should be augmented by an addition of the Twenty-Eighth, and Forty-sixth Regiments; so that the whole will consist of seven Regiments.

It has been found, upon examination, that Cape Fear River will not admit ships of a large draught of water, on account of its bar; so large a body of troops, therefore cannot receive from the fleet that is to accompany them that protection and assistance which is necessary in their disembarkation, and consequently there is much doubt whether the object of sending a force there can be accomplished. As my letter to you, however, directs that the General Officer who is to have the command should repair to Cape Fear, the Regiments from hence will be directed to proceed thither, and the Commander-in-Chief will be instructed to confer with Governor Martin, and consider whether it will be practicable to effect any essential service in North Carolina, with such a part of the Army as can be conveniently landed.

Should that be the case, he will proceed with the rest of the troops, or otherwise with the whole of them, to South Carolina, and after advising with the Governour upon the best means of executing

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the service he is sent upon, according to the instructions he will receive from me, he will either land the troops at Charlestown or proceed to Port Royal harbour.

The enclosed Copies of my letters of yesterday's date to Governour Martin, and Lord William Campbell will not only point out to you the orders I have given to them, respecting this expedition, but will also explain to you our ideas of the possible advantage that is to be expected from it. I say of the possible advantage, because the effect of it is very precarious.

If however, it should succeed according to the assurances that have been given us in encouraging the friends of Government to stand forth in the defence of the Constitution, and in enabling them to wrest the sword out of the hands of the Rebels, it will be a great point gained. But even if it should fail of that consequence, it can have no effect to weaken the operation to the northward, as there are many situations in the Southern Provinces where the Army may be posted with great security, and with every advantage of a healthy climate, until the season arrives for their joining the body of forces under your Command—a junction that will be made with greater advantage, and at a much earlier period than it could be from England.

I am &c.