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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Richard Caswell to Cornelius Harnett [Extracts]
Caswell, Richard, 1729-1789
February 29, 1776
Volume 10, Page 482

[Reprinted from Jones' Defence of North Carolina. P. 341.]
Letter from Colonel Richard Caswell to President Harnett about the battle of Moore's Creek.

February 29th, 1776.


“I have the pleasure to acquaint you that we had an engagement with the Tories at Widow Moore's Creek Bridge on the 27th current. Our army was about one thousand strong; consisting of the New Berne battalion of Minute-men, the Militia from Craven, Johnston, Dobbs, and Wake, and a detachment of the Wilmington battalion Minute-men, which we found encamped at Moore's Creek the night before the battle, under the command of Colonel Lillington. The Tories by common report, were three thousand; but General McDonald, whom we have prisoner, says there were about fifteen or sixteen hundred; he was unwell that day and not in the battle. Captain McLeod, who seemed to be principal commander, and Captain John Campbell, are among the slain.”

In the same letter he says:—“Colonel Moore arrived at our camp a few hours after the engagement was over; his troops came up that evening, and are now encamped on the ground where the battle was fought, and Colonel Martin is at or near Cross Creek with a large body of men; those, I presume, will be sufficient to put a stop to any attempt to embody them again.”