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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Richard Caswell to John Williams
Caswell, Richard, 1729-1789
July 10, 1777
Volume 11, Pages 518-519

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Kingston, 10th July, 1777.


I had required the attendance of the Council here on the 8th current, some matters of consequence to the Southward required my consulting them previous to my going to Halifax, which I intended: but as the members of the Board, for reasons best known to themselves, have not met me here, or at least not a sufficient number to proceed in busiuess, I am under the disagreeable necessity of declining my journey to Halifax; therefore you will be pleased to observe the following instructions, viz.

You are to make me a return as well of the Commissioned officers, and Non Commissioned officers, as privates of each Battalion

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now assembled at Halifax, with the numbers of absentees and invalids belonging to each, who are in this State, with a list of such as you now discharge, and for the purpose of discharging such as are entitled to discharges, you are to hold a Court of Enqury in the usual manner, and I hope and expect that a particular attention will be paid to the testimony which may be introduced before such Court, so as to discharge such as have actually served out the time they engaged for. At the same time I have no doubt but a strict enquiry will be made, whether the person who applies for a discharge has not been reinlisted, which I know has been the case with many; but by this I would not be understood to wish you to withhold a discharge from any man who is entitled to it, as I am convinced the State is honor bound to discharge those people who have formed their contracts, as well as from the principles of justice. You will render me an account as near as you can, of the arrearages due to each company, and if any paymaster is left in this State, and who he is, and where he may be found.

You will, from the returns of recruits made you, be able to judge who will be the proper officers to leave in the State to recruit: a list of those Gentlemen you will return to me with the utmost expedition. You will hold all other your officers and men in readiness to march at the shortest notice.

You will (inform) Col. Long, the Quarter Master General, of your number, that he may provide waggons to proceed with the Troops. You are to inform me if you have one or more Commissaries with you who will supply the Troops under your command. You are also to inform me, the number of firelocks you are deficient, if any; and whether you think it is practicable to prevail on your people to march before their arrears are paid up. These returns you are to send me by express so soon as you possibly can, that I may take the necessary orders thereon. I am Sir,

Your most ob'd. Serv't.,
To Col. John Williams,
in his absence the Commanding Officer.