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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Adam Boyd to Richard Caswell
Boyd, Adam, 1738-1803
May 20, 1778 - May 22, 1778
Volume 13, Pages 130-131

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Camp 20th May 1778.


I transmit you herewith some extracts from the proceedings of a Brigade Court Martial; which you will see I was ordered to transmit to you. My reasons for not obeying this order sooner are, that Capt. Granbury appealed to a Court Martial General of the line, the determination of which I waited for. He was there acquitted and General McIntosh, told me, I should not send in the proceedings, but Col. Clark has since told me, I ought, and I would have done it ere this, but I was sick in the Country. The Court finding those men on Captain Granbury's muster roll, as the extracts show, imagined, he had drawn bounty for them, and the premium for enlisting, and perhaps some pay not yet accounted for; these reasons, as well as that the truth might be known, also the nature of these discharges and the condition on which they were said to be given induced the Court to give you this trouble.

I am further directed to inform you that John Jones, Jacob Bagley and William Barlow appear to them to be Continental Soldiers, for Capt. Granbury had no authority to discharge them.

Reports from the enemy are various, but on the whole it has for some days been believed they meant to leave Philadelphia. Whilst I have been writing this, alarm Guns were fired, and the report is that they are on their way to our Camp. Should this prove true, we shall have some warm work of it, but I do not believe it, tho' 'tis not impossible, for large detachments have been sent off expecting to meet with them in the Jerseys, whither

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it was intended to go. They knowing of these detachments might perhaps think they would be able to carry our camp, before those parties could be called in. I should probably be able to give you some account of this before I send this letter off. I have the honor to be with due respect Sir,

Your most humble and very Ob. Servt.

P. S. I have been out since I wrote the within to inquire how matters were going, and I find that the Marquis de La Fayette, who had gone out two days ago with a detachment of about 3,000 men, found himself this morning between a party of the enemy (who had got into his rear) and Philadelphia and in order to escape two fires he marched across the Schuylkill, which he passed in sight of the enemy, without receiving a single shot from them. The enemy's appearing so near camp occasioned the alarm; but it is now said (and I believe it) that they are returning to Philadelphia, having missed their aim, which was to cut off the Marquis. Another thing they probably had in view, and that was to amuse us here, while their Troops passed the Delaware at Philadelphia, from which it is said they propose going to Brunswick. This they can effect by forced march of a night and day, this and the scarcity of transports to carry the troops to New York, are the chief reasons for my supposing they intend that Route, which some assert they intend to take. A few days will probably determine these things, and of course will produce something essential and perhaps decisive.

Yours &c.

22d May, '78.

The whole British Army except a Garrison, was out upon this occasion, but they managed very badly, otherwise our detachment would have fallen a sacrifice. The Marquis made a noble retreat, but a sergeant from Brigade was taken, and an Indian killed. This I believe is all the loss we have sustained, and five of their horsemen were killed and several wounded. This skirmish happened between a party left to recover the retreat, and an advanced one of the enemy. Genl. Lee and Col. Nathan Allen, who have at last. been exchanged, are now in Camp.