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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Everard Meade to Richard Caswell
Meade, Everard, 1748-1802
March 16, 1779
Volume 14, Pages 38-39

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Wilmington, March 16th, 1779.


At the request of Gov. Rutledge I should have waited upon your Excellency to have given you a state of matters to the Southward, but on my hearing you were not at home—add to that the orders I received from Genl. Lincoln, which were to make all the dispatch I could to Congress—I took the liberty to give you a short account in writing. On the 3rd Inst. Genl. Ashe, who was posted at Bryer Creek with about twelve or fifteen hundred men, was attacked by the Enemy, consisting of upwards of two thousand. Most of his men gave way the first fire, and his attempts to rally them was to no purpose. They made a disorderly retreat, and many were drowned in attempting to swim the river. I suppose our loss on the whole to be about fifty men. Two-thirds of the arms are lost, which is a distressing affair in our present situation. The men are in good spirits, and I think will behave well on the next occasion. Gov. Rutledge and the General beg

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you will send them a reinforcement as speedily as possible, as the hot Season advances, which will render all military operations extremely difficult. For further particulars I beg leave to refer you to Mr. Craig, the bearer of this.

I am, with great respect, your
Mo. ob. humb. Serv't,

N. B. Our whole force consist of about 2,500, the Enemy about 4,000.