Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Richard Caswell to Horatio Gates
Caswell, Richard, 1729-1789
July 30, 1780
Volume 14, Pages 515-516


Camp at Island Creek, five Miles below Anson Court House, 30th July, 1780.


I am Honored with your favor of Yesterday, and most sincerely wish it was in my power to give you such information respecting the Design of Lord Cornwallis as might be relied on. But, Sir, the information I have is derived from so many & so different hands, & their Accounts not agreeing, that I cannot form any Just Idea of his intentions. From putting all circumstances together I am inclined to think He will collect his utmost strength to Camden, where he either intends making a Stand or to retreat to Charles Town. I have prevailed on Brig. Gen. Harrington, a very intelligent Gentleman, who is well Acquainted with this part of the Country and with particular circumstances relating to the enemy & to us, to wait on you. The information he can give you of these matters & regarding provisions may be of essential Service. I avoided taking up any provisions in the Route I apprehend the Maryland line would pursue, and did not intend Genl. Rutherford should have fallen in their way, but previous to my getting to Colston's he had crossed the River there & was Advanced so far on that side that it would have been then imprudent to have recalled him, especially as I was not informed that the Maryland line would move on that route so soon.

-------------------- page 516 --------------------

I shall proceed this day down to Ancrum's plantation, five Miles above the Cherraws, & order General Rutherford to Join me there to Morrow, when I expect Genl. Harrington will also be there; by him you will be pleased to inform me anything you think proper to Communicate. It is my opinion that our whole force should be so nearly collected to Act together as circumstances may make it necessary or seperately. But of this, Sir, you will be best able to Judge when you know our Strength & the situation of the enemy. My Men & Teams are worn down with fatigue; they will require some days' rest.

I have the Honor to be, with the
Utmost respect & esteem, Sir,
Your Most Obedt. hum. Servt,
Hon. Gen. Gates.