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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Richard Caswell to Horatio Gates
Caswell, Richard, 1729-1789
August 09, 1780
Volume 14, Pages 547-549


Camp Lynche's Creek, 9th August, 1780.


Previous to my accepting the Appointment my Country thought proper to Honor me with in the Militia now in Service, I mentioned to the General Assembly that frequent Complaints had been made by the Militia who had been in service out of their own State, on Account of their not being supplied by a Commissary of their own; that whilst they served in this State a partiality had been shewn in favor of the Continentals, & even the South Carolina Militia, in preference to them, whereby great uneasiness had

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been given to the former Commanding Officers, to remove which in the present service I requested the Liberty of appointing a Commissary General. This the General Assembly granted, & in consequence thereof I have appointed such an Officer. He has drawn very large Sums of Money; and I consider myself, in a great Measure, accountable for his Conduct to that Body who vested me with such power.

He has made large purchases for the use of the Militia, and altho' he has done so for other Troops, yet he has constantly kept separate Accounts, by which he will be enabled to shew clearly to the Assembly in what manner he has applied the Sums drawn for the particular support of the Militia. A very considerable number of Cattle and large Quantities of Grain are contracted for by him & will be daily coming into Camp. If the whole of these Articles are put into the hands of a person over whom I have no Controul, I beg leave to observe that I am apprehensive the same Causes of Complaint may thereafter arise and some perplexity be occasioned in the Commissary's Accounts.

I by no means wish the Militia to be better served than other Troops in the same service, but most certainly do expect them to share equally with others. Nor have I the least objection to a Report being made to such person as you have been pleased to direct of all provisions sent into Camp by my Commissary, or the whole being put into common use for the whole Troops, but in Justice to my Country I must require that an Account be kept of all the Supplies furnished by my Commissary to the Troops not immediately under my Command, to the end that the State of No. Carolina may have its proper Credit with the United States; and in justice to those I came out to Command, I hope that I may be allowed to direct an equal proportion of the provisions so purchased by my Commissary to be retained, or by my issuing Commissary drawn, for their use.

If this is not agreeable to you, Sir, I presume you will have no objection to my dismissing the Commissary, who can be of no particular service to the State under whose authority he was appointed.

I wish you not to believe, Sir, that I mean to occasion the least difference among the Troops. On the contrary, I would use every Means in my power to prevent it. But I wish to have it in my

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power to see that common Justice is done to those the State I live in have put under my Charge.

With the utmost regard & respect, I am, Sir,
Your most obed. & very humble Servant,
Hon'ble Major Gen. Gates.