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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Charles Porterfield to Horatio Gates
Porterfield, Charles, d. 1780
August 03, 1780
Volume 14, Pages 528-529


Bellows on Cedar Creek, August 3d, 1780.


On my arrival here I find the inhabitants of this place and Ashley's, ½ mile further down the road, entirely deserted their Farms

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& gone with the British, with all their baggage & Cattle. They have left behind them Large Fields of corn & three or four little stacks of wheat. The place is but indifferent for encampment, but the only place from the Ferry to May's Hill, which is eight miles from here.

Last evening I sent an ingenious sergeant in a countryman's habit, on an oald nag, with directions to go as far as Anderson's, under the character of a Tory. He fell in at the house of William Bennet, eight miles from this, & from him got the inclos'd writing direct'd to his Father, and there is a place appointed for their rendevou this evening, when Bennet is to give him further information. This Bennet's son left the enemy Yesterday morning at Lynch's creek and was at home. The Serg't is in good Trust & returned to bring his father. Bennet disclos'd all his sentiments, show'd him great kindness & lent him his Saddle & Bridle; he likewise informed him of his friends on the way.

I am informed by a Major Jackson of the Militia, that lives on Thompson's creek, eighteen miles dist't from this, that there is a great number of Cattle on that creek belonging to men now in the enemy's camp, & that he will engage to collect them for the use of the army as soon as any party may be sent to receive them. At present, he thinks it would be dangerous for him, our army so far distant. I expect a deserter along this morning. I shall wait here your orders.

I have the Honour to be,
With the greatest respect,
Your Hble. Serv't,
The right Honb'l Major Gen'l Gates.