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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Richard Caswell to Horatio Gates
Caswell, Richard, 1729-1789
August 03, 1780
Volume 14, Pages 525-526


Camp Thomsons Creek, 12 Miles on the Road from Cheraws to Camden, Thursday Evening, 7 o'clock, 3d August, 1780.

Dear Sir:

I did myself the Honor of writing You Yesterday in an Hour or two after receiving your favor by Genl. Harrington, & delivered the same to that Gentleman immediately, who left Camp in a few Minutes after, & I make no doubt he has Arrived at your Camp before this. I am really much concerned at your Distresses for want of provisions, especially as it is not in my power to relieve you, your Observation, Sir, respecting Genl. Rutherford's Commands & mine having gleaned the Country on both sides the River P. D. of provisions, I must beg leave to offer an Objection to on my part. From Rocky River to Ancrum's plantation, about forty Miles, not a Grain of Corn or Wheat was procured by my people & I presume General Rutherford's Stay On the other side of the River, near the Rout of the Continental Army, was so short, & his Complaints for want of provisions so great, that Little was procured there by his people. That the whole Should Support the Whole I agree, with provision to this, in my humble Opinion, that the whole Should be nearer together, or provisions had in greater plenty than it has been with us, before any can be laid by for those who follow. It Seldom happens that a Man who has not Wherewithal to fill the Bellies of his Family Obliges them to leave off before they have eaten half Sufficient to Satiate their Appetities, in order to lay by the small remainder for the next Comer.

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this must have been our case However, if we had laid by any. If you had been pleased to have allowed me to remain on P. D. below the Cheraws, I could have procured almost any quantity of Corn; but, Sir, in Obedience to your Commands & in discharge of that duty I owe my Country, I set out this day, without one ounce of Meal or flour & not a Sufficiency of Bread for this day, for Anderson's in full expectation of having the pleasure of Seeing you to Morrow evening or the next day at Anderson's, that place I shall certainly reach Saturday Morning at farthest, without Accident. I have ordered what Waggons we could possibly Spare to bring on Meal as fast as the Mills will grind it, but until the freshets are down (which I hope will be in a day or two) little can be expected from them. If Waggons can be had, as soon as the Waters fall the Whole Army may be Supplied with Bread from Mills on both sides P. D., between the Cheraws & Long Bluff, distance about 15 Miles.

General Rutherford's Brigadier is with me. With great regard,

I am, Sir, your Most Obedient &,
Very humble Servt.
Hon. Gen. Gates.