Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from the North Carolina Council of Safety to William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, and John Penn
North Carolina. Council of Safety
August 14, 1776
Volume 11, Pages 343-345

[From MSS. Records in Office of Secretary of State]

Halifax 14th August 1776


Early in July last we received certain intelligence from Brig. Gen Rutherford that the Cherokee Indians had commenced Hostilities on the Inhabitants of So Carolina and this State. We immediately ordered Brig. Rutherford to march with a sufficient force from the Salisbury Brigade into the Cherokee Country and to carry the war into the lower Towns & middle and Valley Settlements. We at the same time Sent up a large quantity of Gun powder since which the Council have received Information that Brigd. Rutherford had marched with 2000 Men. The Council are in full expectation that by this time he is joined by Major Williamson who commands 1.100 of the South Carolina Forces and has orders from the President & Council of that State to act in Conjunction with the Commanding officer of this and the Troops under his command. We have further ordered 500 Men from the Hillsborough Brigade as a Reinforcement to Gen1 Rutherford under the Command of Col. Joseph Taylor who will be ready to march in a few days. On application from the Council of State of Virginia, The Council have ordered three hundred Men from the Surry Regiment of Militia to be embodied with all expedition and to march to Halnackers

-------------------- page 344 --------------------
on Holston River there to join 1200 of the Virginians; these 1.500 Men are to March into the Towns of the over Hill Cherokees and Matters are directed so to be managed by the Commanding officers that the attack may be made nearly at the same time against the over Hill, lower Towns, Middle, & Valley Settlements—The Creek Indians have joined the Cherokees and are out with them in every party. Many white men have been seen with the Indians on the Frontiers of So. Carolina. Cameron Stuart's deputy is in the over Hill Towns supplying the Indians with Goods, Ammunition & Arms and giving them every encouragement to destroy the Inhabitants of the Southern States. They have been but too successful in the beginning of this bloody business as many of the Inhabitants in So. Carolina and this State have been cruelly Murdered however the Council have the pleasure to tell you that since Genl. Rutherford and Major Williamson with the Troops have appeared on the Frontiers not a Man of them is to be seen and the Council hope in about six weeks to give you an account of a capital stroke being struck against those Merciless savages as our Troops are well Armed and in high health & spirits—one of the reasons which induced the Council to order out so formidable a force from this State was that the Frontiers of South Carolina are but thinly peopled & many of the Inhabitants called down to Charlestown to oppose Genl. Clinton and as there was a junction of the Cherokees & Creeks immediate force was absolutely necessary and that the war should be carried on with rigour into the very heart of the Cherokee country which will undoubtedly strike terror into the Southern Indian Nations. This war with the Savages will prove very expensive but we hope the above circumstances will justify their own conduct and induce the Congress to think with us that the expense should be a general charge.

By a young Man, one Linton, a Lieutenant in the 3rd Regiment commanded by Colo Jethro Sumner who arrived here last night from Charlestown we are informed that several Men of war, Transports being part of the Fleet, which sailed from Charlestown, had arrived at Beaufort 60 or 70 Miles to the Southward of Charlestown and landed about 1.500 Men who were intrenched near Port Royal and that Gen. Lee was to march the day he set off the 2nd of this Instant with 1.500 Men to join Colo. Bull who commands a large body of Militia near Port Royal and that from the deserters

-------------------- page 345 --------------------
who came over to our Army we learn the British Soldiers & Seamen were very sickly and that many of them have died—The rest of the Fleet it is said are sailed to New York and Antigua We have to request that you will send off with all possible dispatch the Materials for boiling & Manufacturing of Salt. and that any dispatches which you may send to this board by any South Carolina expresses you will direct to the care of Willie Jones Esquire on his absence to Mr. Willm. Martin in Halifax and they will be immediately sent to us at Wake Court House to which place we shall adjourn to Morrow & please to send on the paper

We are Gent. with
respect your Mo. obed Serv't
By order of the Council of Safety

P. S. There is not a single British Ship of war at Charlestown

To Willm. Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn Esqrs delegates in Congress, Philadelphia.