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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Richard Caswell to Benjamin Lincoln
Caswell, Richard, 1729-1789
January 13, 1779
Volume 14, Pages 13-14

[From Executive Letter Book.]

No. Carolina, Halifax, 13th Jany, 1779.

Dr. Sir:

I had the honor of receiving your favor of the 22d & 31st ulto. two days ago, with the enclosures of the first. The information derived from them is truly alarming, even the Gentlemen here

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who reprobated the measures of ordering Troops from this State, to the Southward, seem now to approve of the steps that have been taken, but unfortunately for us, altho' the General Assembly stood adjourned to this place, and was to have met 9 days ago, a sufficient number of the Members to constitute the two houses, have not yet appeared, and indeed I am fearful we shall not now have a session.

I am really concerned to find that the number of men under your command was so small at the time you wrote me last, and particularly that so small a proportion of our number had arrived. The lower Brigade under General Bryan, I am advised by Genl. Ashe, marched from Elizabeth Town the 23d ulto. and I flatter myself that they as well as the General have arrived in your Camp long before this.

I am also greatly chagrined at the conduct of our Militia officers in not sending out their men. I know they are shamefully deficient not only in numbers, but also in Arms, accoutrements and clothing, but the leaders of the people in different parts of the State, who disapproved of sending any Troops were the occasion of such a shameful conduct in the officers. I have however given express orders, that such of the drafts as are able to march shall be immediately sent on, I mean those who remain here and where any have been discharged or are unable to march, their places to be supplied by drafts from the Companies to which they belonged, and the whole to be furnished in the best manner they can be. These I hope will nearly complete the number required from us by Congress, and arrive in time to be of some service.

If the Assembly does meet and proceed to business I believe in their present humor or at least those I see here seem to be disposed to send a further aid to the Southward and give me leave to assure you, Sir, that nothing in my power shall be wanting to give that assistance that my duty and inclination lead to in the support of the glorious measures you are engaged in.

I am with great respect and esteem
Dear Sir, your mo. ob. Servnt.