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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Griffith Rutherford to Richard Caswell
Rutherford, Griffith, ca. 1721 - 1805
February 11, 1779
Volume 14, Pages 20-22

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Head Quarters, Purisburg, 11 February, 1779.

His Excellency Richard Caswell, Governor.


The 3rd January last I arrived here with the Troops under my Command. During our March we were exceedingly happy, being

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favoured by the Weather, and lived in perfect Union. I cannot make that particular return I could wish to do. The Officers at Home, not making proper Returns to the Officers commanding the different Regiments, has rendered it impracticable for them to make returns to me.

I anticipate the surprise you must feel upon examining the returns. You must consequently conclude we are very indigent. Having according to the Injunctions laid on us done our utmost in the Defence of our Country, and yet failed so far in making up our Quota of Men, Conceiving that the War would not be terminated during this Campaign, & thinking that a relief from North Carolina might be wanted I had prepared Letters for the General Assembly on that Subject. But the Express was delayed until I heard that they had adopted Measures (by order of Congress) contrary to my Expectation. Therefore I have omitted sending. By offering generous Bounties a Number of Soldiers from the North Carolina Brigades might be enlisted into the Continental Service. The Legislature of So. Carolina have proposed a Bounty of 500 dollars to any Soldier who will enlist for 16 Months. It may be a politic scheme; doubtless they will engage a Number of Men from our State when their Time is out. We manœuvre up and down the River, tho' Nothing particular as yet has been achieved, except a repulse the Enemy met with at Beaufort. In that action we lost 5 men; the Loss of the Enemy was much more.

The Enemy are past up the River above Augusta. They have not crossed the River as yet in force. Adventurers from each side have taken Plunder from their Opposites. Their Army is much augmented since the capture of Savannah, the most of the Georgians have taken Protection from them and many have taken an active part against us. The Georgians & Florida Scouts, which has joined them, form Companies of Light Horse & Light Cavalry. Were every Event to fall out agreeble to our most sanguine expectation we could not expect to capture or cause our Enemies to embark without considerable Loss and much time spent. In a short time I expect things will have another Aspect. Genl. Lincoln, with all the Continental Troops, are moved up the River. The North and South Carolina Militia, or rather my Brigade and General Richardson's, maintain this post. General Ashe has moved up to Augusta. I shall take the earliest opportunity

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of transmitting to your Excellency every matter of importance.

I am, with great Respect, Sir,
Your very Humble Servt,