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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Richard Caswell to Thomas Burke
Caswell, Richard, 1729-1789
June 17, 1777
Volume 11, Pages 500-501

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[From Executive Letter Book.]

New Bern, 17th June, 1777.

Dear Sir:—

Your favor of the 23d ult. I received last evening, per post, and acknowledge my obligations to you for the intelligence you give me of public matters. The malicious report of an infectious disease prevailing in the army has not been propagated in this part of the country, at least it never reached me: among all the difficulties started that has never been mentioned to me: indeed the principal difficulty is want of money. Let me entreat you once more to remove that. Mr. Penn left this early in May, and I had flattered myself ere this the money from the Continental Treasury would have been sent in, but a few days ago I received information by Col. Wm. Taylor, who came here to attend the Council, that he left Granville scarcely a fortnight ago with an intention of going to Congress. Mr. Harnett, I hear, crossed Neuse about a week past, on his way, so that I presume North Carolina in a few days will be fully represented. And in that case, I am authorised by advice of the Council to inform you that you are at liberty in the course of the summer to visit your family: at the same time, we wish you to make as short a stay as circumstances will admit of. The recruiting business still goes on slowly, owing to the want of money, as above hinted. I have ordered the officers, with their recruits, deserters, and late invalids, to attend at Halifax the 10th day of July, in order to march, if required, to join the principal army: and at the same time promised pardon to all deserters who shall then join their respective corps, and directed a Court of Enquiry when all those who have left the army without discharges, who can make it appear they are entitled to discharges, shall have them. These things I hope will have some good effect. The General Assembly have resolved to recommend it to the Congress to put the Artillery Company on the Continental Establishment. They have about 40 or 50 men enlisted for three years, or during the war. If it is thought convenient to put that Company, as well as the Regiment now raising by Colonel Sheppard, on the Continental Establishment, I submit to Congress if it will not be prudent to join that company to Sheppard's Battalion, and order them

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on. I know it will be very agreeable to the officers to serve together. Col. Sheppard has till the 1st July to raise men. If he effects it, they are to draw pay—officers from the date of Commissions, and recruits from the time of enlistment. They have, by one means or other, been able to procure money. I have received returns from 5 of the Capts. who have already enlisted 183 men, and am told the other 3 go on pretty briskly, so that I have not the least doubt but that the 300 men will be made out by the 1st July: indeed I am inclined to think that if the Regiment is not ordered directly on, that by September they will be complete, if money is sent out sufficient to answer the good purposes of recruiting. I enclose a copy of the Resolve respecting the Artillery Company.

Under cover of this you will receive a letter for Capt. Caswell, my son, who left Port Royal just out of the small pox the 30th ult., and I presume by this time he is in the Jerseys. Shall I beg the favor to forward this and such other letter as I shall enclose to you for him, to the camp where he may serve: and also forward to me such letters as you may receive from him for me. I have advised him to send his letters for me under cover to you, to advise with you in any matters in which he may be at a loss, or is immediately concerned in himself.

Your good offices to him will be gratefully acknowledged by,

Dear Sir, Your most obed. serv't.,
Doctor Burke.