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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Thomas Burke to Richard Caswell
Burke, Thomas, ca. 1747-1783
August 05, 1777
Volume 11, Pages 558-560

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Philadelphia, August 5th, 1777.

Dr Sir:—

Yesterday your Favour of the 15th ultimo came to hand enclosing a letter from Capt. Caswell, which shall be immediately forwarded to him, and you may be assured that every possible attention will be paid to him by me, with the greatest pleasure. I have written to you on every subject which you suggest in your letter, by many appointments, and am much concerned to find they had not reached your hands before the date of your last. I hope however you have received them long before this, and you will perceive by them that I have paid the most early and diligent attention to your commands.—The business relative to Col. Sheppard's Battalion and the Artillery Company underwent no delay except what was absolutely necessary for the several references and reports incident to the War Department. The result on both was, the Battalion was taken into Continental pay as one of the 16, (the stipulations being observed), the Company also taken into pay, (but not annexed to any Battalion), and both are ordered to join the Grand Army without delay. The Resolutions relative to these were transmitted to you both by the Board of War and by

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me, and inclosed duplicates of that relative to the Battalion. I am much concerned that the money has met with such unexpected delay: but I assure that so soon as I heard of the determination of the Assembly, I took the only step then in my power to expedite the transmission of it; which was to give notice to the Treasury that I daily expected to demand of them the balance of the 500,000 dollars. But the constant and pressing demands render this precaution ineffectual, because the Military Service would admit of no delay, and the Treasury were obliged to pay out what was reserved for our State, and not having the Resolve of the Assembly, I could not interpose to prevent it. When Mr. Penn arrived, the Treasury here was exhausted, and we were obliged to apply for an order on the Treasurer at Baltimore; this occasioned every delay and difficulty: the ordinary mode of transmission by the Board of War could not take place, and we were obliged to apply to General Nash for an officer to take charge of the money when delivered by the Treasurer. The Officer received from us his instructions on the 11th July, and we have since heard nothing more of him, but presume he has before this arrived in your State with three hundred thousand dollars and some proc. which Mr. Penn charged him with. From Mr. Penn's having with him the Resolve, and from some other circumstances, I concluded he was chiefly expected to transact this business. This however did not prevent me from giving the most diligent attention to it, and I can assure you that no unnecessary delay happened after his arrival here. For, although he undertook to do that part of the business which respected the Treasury, and I what respected the Board of War, yet I gave the strictest attention to both, nor did I perceive him in the least remiss.

As the post is just going out I have not time to add any thing more to this letter, except that we have been for some days under expectations of an invasion of this State. The enemy's fleet sailed from New York, as you will see by my last, and they soon appeared off the capes of Delaware: after hovering there several days, they steered away, but it is not agreed what cause. Gen. Washington is here, and great part of the Army encamped in the neighborhood. The movements of the enemy have disappointed both Whigs and Tories. The latter wished for them in order to their subduing us, and the Whigs wish for them in full confidence, that

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we shall give them a warm reception, and an effectual check. It is now pretty generally thought that they have no design on this city, and that their principal object is to establish a communication by way of Hudson's river, between the sea and the Northern States. A gloom still hangs over our affairs in the Northern Department, and we are using our best endeavours to remove it. Nothing interesting has transpired there since my last. You shall have the earliest intelligence of anything that is worth your attention.

I have honor to be
your Excellency's very obd't. Serv't.,