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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Richard Caswell to Thomas Burke
Caswell, Richard, 1729-1789
April 20, 1777
Volume 11, Pages 456-457

[From Executive Letter Book.]

New Bern, 20th April 1777.

Dr. Sir:—

I have been favored with your several letters by Mr. Hooper, Mr. Folgier, & the post, & have done myself the pleasure of writing you two letters by the post. One of them was intended to go by Col. Blount, the Paymaster, but he declined going to the Congress. His business was for money, but finding all the Troops in this State were ordered to proceed to join General Washington, he declined, on a supposition that he should be able to pay them off before their leaving the State. I am really sorry to inform you, that the Troops do not make that dispatch on their march, which I wish them to do: they are scarcely arrived at Halifax yet. I understand the 25th inst is appointed for their marching from thence.

General Moore is dead. The intelligence reached General Nash at this place, who was to have staid in this State to facilitate the recruiting service. He set out this day for Cape Fear, to prepare to follow the Troops. Mr. Maurice Moore is also dead. Every account from the westward induces a belief that we shall be involved in an Indian war. The States of Virginia and South Carolina have appointed Commissioners to treat with the Indians. Our Assembly has been sitting more than a fortnight, and done little more than settle the decorum to be observed between each House, and the method of doing business. There are some new members, but few. Mr. Sam'l Ashe is Speaker of the Senate, & Mr. Abner Nash Speaker of the House of Commons. They have appointed the Governor and Secretary, & have chosen Messrs.

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Harnett, Haywood, Leech, Starkey, Eaton, William Crery, and William Taylor members of the Council.

The subject matter of your letters has been communicated to the Assembly, but not taken under consideration. Delegates in the Continental Congress not yet appointed. Mr. Penn, who is a member of the Common's House, I am told is a candidate.: 'tis possible he may be elected in the room of Mr. Hewes. The recruiting service goes on slowly, owing in a great measure to the negligence, want of abilities, or want of influence in the officers. The General Assembly has been prevailed on to appoint Col. Abra. Shepperd, who is just returned from his command of the Volunteers in South Carolina, to the command of a Regiment to be under the Continental regulations: his officers to be recommended by himself, & neither they nor the privates to draw pay until 300 privates are recruited; which he has engaged to effect by the first of July; and in that case the officers are to be paid from their appointments, & the men from the time of their enlistments. Colo. Shepperd was my Lieut. Colo. at Alamance. He was with me at Moore's Creek, & there had the command of the militia, as he afterwards had at Cape Fear; and raised a Battalion of Volunteers to go to the assistance of South Carolina. On these occasions he behaved well: and I now think, tho', he begins thus late, he will be able to complete his Regiment; sooner than any other in this State will be full. I therefore beg you will endeavour to obtain a Resolution of Congress for putting Colo. Shepperd's Regiment on the Continental establishment. I presume it may be considered as one of the sixteen additional Battalions, if General Washington has not appointed the whole. Captn. Folgier sets out immediately, and as I hope to have an opportunity of writing in a few days, and that the Assembly will furnish me with matter, I shall now conclude with thanking you for your obliging information contained in your several letters. I flatter myself with a renewal of your favours, & am, dear Sir, with great respect & esteem

Your most obed't. serv't.