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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Cornelius Harnett to Richard Caswell
Harnett, Cornelius, 1723-1781
September 02, 1778
Volume 13, Pages 224-226

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Philadelphia, 2d Sept, 1778.


I take the liberty to enclose your Excellency the acct. as it stands in the Treasury Books against our State. Your Excellency will be pleased to observe that a warrant has been procured for 400,000 dollars, the balance of your draft for 500,000 for the use of the new raised Levies; as soon as the money is received it shall be sent forward with all convenient despatch. Congress did yesterday come to a resolution of sending 1000 men from Virginia, and 3000 from North Carolina, to march immediately to So. Carolina as the people of that State apprehend that Gen'l Clinton, (should he leave New York, which we have reason to believe) may take Charles Town in his way, to endeavor to retrieve his lost honor in that quarter. The movements of the enemy at New York and Rhode Island seems to indicate an evacuation of those places. Their destination is not known, but as we have every reason to believe there is a declaration of war, between France and England, and that the Spaniards will very soon take part in it. Congress are led to believe the British Troops in America must proceed to England, and perhaps a part of the West Indies. By the resolve of Congress, enclosed to your Excellency by the President, you will find, it is the desire of So. Carolina that you should take the command of the North Carolina Troops, with the rank and pay of a Major General in Continental service. I am informed the new Levies are left out on furlough, until March next; could those men be collected and sent forward to South Carolina it might save

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a good deal of expense in calling out the Militia. The President of Congress will mention to your Excellency, some other matters relative to this movement, which I am not at present at liberty to communicate, indeed they are not yet fully determined upon. You may be assured that a supply of money will be sent on immediately to defray the expenses of our Troops, now to be drawn out exclusive of the $400,000 mentioned above. I should be sorry to hear of any more Troops received or Militia embodied in our State unless provision is first made by Congress for their bounty, pay and subsistence &c, by sending money forward for that purpose. I am necessitated once more to remind your Excellency to endeavor by all means to send on the accounts and vonchers of our State against the Continent. Surely we must be largely in advance, not having since the beginning of the War a Military chest established in our State. Had such an establishment taken place in ours, as in other States, the charge against North Carolina would have been trifling indeed.

The South Carolina and Georgia delegates are so incensed against Gen'l Robt. Howe that he is directed immediately to join Gen'l Washington at Head Quarters, and Gen'l Lincoln is to command in the Southern department. This gentleman is a valuable and experienced Officer, he is ordered immediately to repair to Charlestown. I have not had the pleasure of a line from your Excellency since my return to Congress. I hope I have not given you offence, I am sure I have not intentionally. I mentioned in my last that it was the wish of myself and colleagues, that your Excellency would give us instructions on any matter to be brought before Congress relative to our State. We find it the practice of the Governors or Assemblies of the other States; requests thus made, are seldom if ever refused. The affair of the Virginia vessel secured from the enemy by our Militia at Currituck, has made a great noise in Congress as she was taken away by persons supposed, (by the Virginians) to be some of our people. I hope your Excellency has taken care to have this matter inquired into, and the parties brought to punishment if any proof appears against them. It has been with great difficulty that your Delegates could prevent a recommendation to the State to make restitution. The affair is postponed at present whether it will be

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again taken up I know not. I have the honor to be with great regard,

Your Excellency's,
Mo. Ob. hum. Servt.