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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Allen Jones to Richard Caswell
Jones, Allen, 1739-1807
August 07, 1779
Volume 14, Pages 187-188

[From Executive Letter Book.]

August 7th, 1779.


I am sorry to inform you that about the 10th of last month six British officers broke their parol and made their escape from Halifax. As soon as I had information of it I sent an Express to Edenton, and from thence Genl. Gregory sent to Currituck, if possible to take them about Roanoke Inlet, for which place they seemed to make; however, it was all in vain; they had got down and out at the Inlet, and, I make no doubt, are gone to New York, a British Cruizer appearing in sight about four hours after they put to Sea. The remainder of the Prisoners at Halifax and the Guard proving very sickly, (I believe with a Camp Dysentery,) induced me to direct the Commissary to allow the sick as much Spirits as the case required, and all the rest rations of Spirits twice in the week. I do not know what the Assembly will think of it, but it is absolutely necessary, two of the Prisoners and two

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of the Guard being dead already, and many more sick; the latter I send home 'till they may be able to do duty.

In obedience to your Excellency's order I directed a draft of the Militia and a General Rendezvous at Halifax the first day of this Month, at which time, I am sorry to inform you, but few appeared, for which reason I gave them a furlough, and appointed yesterday for the day of Marching. Your letter, requiring me to disband them, &c., came to hand the day before; accordingly I have disbanded them agreeably to your orders, and have given particular directions to the Colonel to have them ready to march on a day's notice, as also to be very particular in returning the names of their Drafts and Volunteers, that in case of delinquency I may know how to proceed. So many officers have resigned and bought men in the eighteen months' service that the duty of raising of men is exceedingly difficult, one-half of the Companies being without a commissioned Officer; for this reason I shall call a board of officers previous to the sitting of the Assembly that the Regiments may be supplied in this particular.

I am, with the most sincere respect & esteem, Sir,
Your Mo. ob. Serv't,
Gov. Caswell.