Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Thomas Bonner to Richard Caswell
Bonner, Thomas, ca. 1744-1804
July 02, 1779
Volume 14, Pages 138-139

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Beaufort County, 2d July, 1779.


I am very sorry to make so small a return to your Excellency of men raised to go into the service, but everything is done that can be invented to obstruct that business in this County. As the law is silent respecting the five months Militia, I Hope your Excellency will be pleased to inform me whether it was intended or not that those who did not go into the service should be exempted from duty, under that draft, or whether they are liable to a draft in the arrangment they formerly stood. Last Saturday was a week a small Tender chased a vessel belonging to Edenton over the Bar and followed her up several miles in this River. Night coming on too soon for them, they were obliged to quit the chase and make the best of their way back. I heard of this the next day, and likewise was informed by Col. Leech, from New Bern, that one or two more were expected over the Bar, which were lying off. I suppose that they meant to make a descent upon some of the Inhabitants, and in order to make a discovery of their intentions, and to send dispatches to the several Rivers, I raised a few of the Militia and run down in a boat to Matamuskeet, where some men from that place had the evening before returned from the Banks, where they had been sent for to

-------------------- page 139 --------------------
protect that place from the ravage of the Enemy. Five vessels, viz.: Two Brigs, one Schooner and one Sloop, with a small Boat, came to anchor a little to the Northward of Cape Hatteras; sent three Boats on shore with men (seeing a gang of cattle near the shore); the Bankers were concealed amongst the Hills, but had not the patience to wait their coming up, rushed down upon them, killed five and took their muskets and several other articles they left behind, which sold amongst themselves for eight or nine hundred Dollars. The shipping kept up a constant firing, otherwise the Bankers would have made prisoners of all that landed. I intended to have gone to the Bar, but seeing men from there informed me that they had no further account of the Enemy.

I have the honor to subscribe myself,
Your Excellency's Mo. ob. Serv't.,