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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Thomas Burke to Richard Caswell
Burke, Thomas, ca. 1747-1783
September 20, 1777
Volume 11, Pages 631-632

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Burlington, Sept. 20th, 1777.

Dr Sir:—

By the same opportunity which this goes, you will I hope receive a letter from me, in which I gave you a pretty circumstantial account of a very important action which happened on the eleventh instant, on the Heights near Brandywine Creek. Ever since we have been in constant expectation of another general engagement, and not free from the apprehensions from the consequence. I for my own part would be at ease could I confide in the abilities of our Superior General officers, for I had ample proof that our Troops are very good.

The question for adjournment from Philadelphia was daily agitated in Congress, but always overruled. On the night before last it received a complete decision—Intelligence was received from the General officer commanding on Schuylkill that the Enemy were then attempting to cross, and that they could not be prevented, and advising the Congress immediately to remove from the City. The movement was made not by a vote, but by universal consent, for every member consulted his own particular safety. I was wakened by a servant about two o'clock, and tho' I lost no time in preparing to depart, yet I did not choose to retreat with precipitation. I was not indeed fully persuaded of the necessity of the measure, and not very apprehensive for my personal safety.

About sunrise I crossed the Delaware, and made my retreat hither where I shall wait the issue of the Battle. It is now well

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known that the alarm was groundless. No Enemy has yet passed, nor does it appear that they will be able to pass.

I have the Honor to be Sir your very obedt Servt.,