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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from William Sharpe to Richard Caswell
Sharpe, William, 1742-1818
October 24, 1779
Volume 14, Pages 213-214

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Philadelphia, Oct. 24th, 1779.


I have the honor of informing your Excellency that by Gen'l Washington's letter, dated the 21st Inst., we learn that the Enemy have demolished and evacuated their posts at Stoney, and Verplank's, point and retreated to New York. By intelligence of the 15th from Gen'l Gates, we learn there was reason to believe that the Enemy were about to evacuate Rhode Island and repair to New York, where it appears the Enemy are centering all their force in order to make the greatest possible defence against Count de Estaing and Gen'l Washington. The enemy have sunk several hulks of Vessels in the channel at the Narrows & have made strong works on Long Island, Staten & Governor's Island. Inasmuch as the season is far advanced, we have no reason to be very sanguine about possessing ourselves of New York. If the Count comes to the Northward, I doubt not but vigorous attempts will be made. The Commander in Chief has called for 2,000 Militia

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from Massachusetts Bay, 3,000 from Connecticut, 2,000 from New York, 2,000 from New Jersey, 1,500 from Pennsylvania. Congress has received no authentic accounts from the combined Fleets in Europe. We have flattering hopes of good news from Georgia.

Congress has lately appointed the Hon. Wm. Laurens to negotiate a Loan in Holland.

I have the honor to be, with great esteem,
Your Excellency's Mo. ob. huml. Serv't,
Gov. Caswell.

P. S. Three days since Mr. Gerard & Mr. Jay sailed for France.