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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Hewes, Smith, & Allen to Richard Caswell
Hewes, Smith & Allen
November 24, 1778
Volume 13, Pages 300-301

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[From Executive Letter Book.]

Edenton, 24th Nov., 1778.


Some time ago a Continental vessel arrived here, from which we received Twelve Chests of Arms each containing Twenty five Muskets and Bayonets. We have also a quantity of Cartouch Boxes in our hands belonging to the United States. Our orders in respect to all Military Stores of every kind are, to hold them subject to the orders of the Board of War at Philadelphia. We have not received any orders from that Board respecting either those abovementioned or respecting a large quantity of powder now in our hands. We have been informed your Excellency intends to command the Troops from this State, that are ordered to South Carolina, and we earnestly wish to render all the service in our power to the public in general and to your Excellency in particular. We have therefore ventured to deliver to Col. Lamb about eighty Muskets and Bayonets, also a quantity of Cartouch Boxes, and a few Blankets, to equip such men of his Regiment as he had here. Col. Lamb informs us he wishes to receive all the remainder of the Muskets, Cartouch Boxes and Blankets, that are in our hands for the equipment of the other Troops, but when we consider that we have been already much censured by Congress for taking upon us at sometimes to act in like cases without orders, that we think ourselves aggrieved by Congress, that we have earnestly solicited to resign our office of Agents, and that what we have already delivered to Col. Lamb for his Regiment has been done without orders, we are at a loss to know how to act on this occasion, as we have not heard of any importation of Arms on account of this State. We have no doubt but that those in our hands are now wanted, but of this your Excellency is the best judge; therefore if your Excellency will be pleased to direct us to deliver them, or any other stores in our hands, to Col. Long or any other person we shall do it with great cheerfulness and rest satisfied that we do right. As but few of the Militia have yet appeared here, and Col. Lamb sends this

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letter by express, your answer will arrive in time to prevent any delay in the march of such Troops as may assemble here. We are, with great respect and esteem,

Your Excellency's mo. ob. & very huml. Servts.,