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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Richard Caswell to Thomas Burke
Caswell, Richard, 1729-1789
July 15, 1777
Volume 11, Pages 737-739

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New Bern 15th July 1777

Dear Sir

Your favour of the 24th Ulto. containing the very agreeable account of Genl. Howe's retreat from the Jerseys, I have just received, the particulars of that Interesting affair I shall anxiously expect from you together with the prevailing Opinion of Congress with respect to Howe's next attempt, whether to the Eastward or Southward. His late Conduct I flatter myself will be no advantage to Britain, on the Contrary I am at present inclined to think great Benefits may accrue to America, However of this no more till we see the Consequences.

I have since the rising of the Assembly the 9th of May last wrote you five or six letters. In yours, you do not mention the receipt of any one of them, the Assembly took no notice of your request to visit your Family in the Course of the Summer, but the opinion of the Council was that on the arrival of the other delegates at Congress, you might withdraw from that service for awhile so as not to be too long absent.

I wrote you respecting the money to be sent here, Colo. Sheppards Battallion & the Artillery Company. Mr. Penn undertook to have the money Voted by Congress to this State, or at least, such part of it as had not been drawn for by the Treasurers, sent immediately out, on his arrival at Philadelphia, where we had not a doubt but he would have been before the end of May. I have received a letter from him of the 24th June in which he takes not the least Notice of his undertaking. I informed you nothing could be done here in the recruiting Business without Money, and now I beg your attention to that subject—I have granted warrants to one or more of the officers of every Company who were left in this State to recruit, such of them as Applied to the Treasury obtained Bills on the Continental Treasury untill a Sum Limited by the Assembly was all drawn for, a few of them were able to get Money for their Bills, many others have them still by them and those who did not apply in Time have not the least prospect of getting a farthing 'till the Arrival of the Money from Congress. Under these circumstances, that Business must go on very slowly. I directed the

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officers with their recruits, apprehended Deserters, and late invalids to Assemble at Halifax the 10th Currt. when I had great expectations the Money would be here to pay them off & intended sending all on to the Grand Army, except a few officers to remain here to recruit. The Money not arriving I do not well know what can be done, indeed I have not yet received a return from the Commanding officer, but Hourly expect it.

Colo. Sheppard's Battallion was directed by the Assembly to be raised on the following plan, the Commanding officer to name all the officers, the Battallion to be on Continental establishment, 300 Men to be raised by the 1st of July, in which case, the Men to draw pay from the Time of enlistment & the officers from the date of their Comd.—These officers who have been very active and have made use of their own money, Borrowed or otherwise procured it on their own Credit, have been able to enlist the 300 men within the Time Limited and the Colo. has orders to Assemble them the 20th Instant when I hoped they would receive their pay & Clothing which would be an encouragement to others, in this I fear they as well as myself, with respect to the pay, will be disappointed.

The Artillery Company was by Assembly requested to be considered, by Congress, as a Continental Company, and the Council recommended to me to request it might be added to Colo. Sheppard's or some other Battallion, as they have neither paymaster nor Surgeon and many other inconveniences arise on account of their not belonging to any particular Regiment—Be pleased, Sir, to obtain the sense of Congress respecting Colo. Sheppard's Battallion and the Artillery Company, whether they are to be considered as Continental Troops, if so, if the Artillery Company is to be added to Colo. Sheppard's or any other Battallion, if Sheppard's Battallion is received as Continental whether it shall be ordered to the Northward or if they shall remain here to endeavor to Compleat, as I flatter myself might be nearly the case if such permission is Granted them two or three months longer—pardon me dear Sir when I once more entreat in the most earnest manner that you use your utmost endeavors to furnish us with money, without which you know as well as I do little can be expected from us. Mr. Harnett I hope will be arrived before this reaches you as he set out several weeks ago but I understand intended to inoculate for the small pox on the road, and I am sure will give you his utmost

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Assistance, Mr. Penn has engaged his to the Assembly, I am told. Very little conversation passed between him & myself on public matters, for reasons known to himself and which you may perhaps form some conjectures of. The Letter for my son, be pleased to forward, any Advice you are pleased to give him, I hope will be gratefully rec'd. and therein you will particularly oblige him who is with the greatest regard & esteem Dr. Sir

Your Obedient hum. Servt.