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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Henry William Harrington to Horatio Gates
Harrington, Henry William, 1747-1809
September 07, 1780
Volume 14, Pages 598-599


Camp near Cross Creek, 7 September, 10 P. M.


This evening about sun-set, I received information that a British Deserter was in Cross-Creek; I sent immediately for, and examined him. He says that he left Anson Court-house on Monday evening last, that he belonged to Captain Sunderland's Company of the 71 Regiment, that an Officer beat him with a sword, which caused him to leave them, in an hour after the Enemy came to the Court house: That Lord Rawdon had the Command & had with him his own Corps, the 23d. 33d. 71st. Delancy's, the Prince of Wales',

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Hamilton's North Carolinians & 4 Troops of Horse, draughted & mounted from the 16th & 71st Regiments, Eight Field pieces, Ammunition & Officers baggage Waggons the other Waggons were to follow: That they came in three days from Cambden, & that each man brought four days provisions: That a small party of Horse crossed at Blewets ferry on Tuesday & were as far as Cole's Mill on Falling Creek, 6 miles from Pedee on the North East side: That Brigadier Genl., late Colonel, Archibald Campble arrived lately in Charles Town, stayed three days there, marched for Cambden, and arrived at that Post the day after the Engagement at Rugeleys, with McKinzies Battalion of 2300 Cromatees of 1,000, both directly from Scotland and Hamiltons of 1,000 from New York, and that the common talk in the British Camp was that vessels had sailed with Rum to meet them at Wilmington. The fellow tells his tale with great seeming simplicity, & nothing but his acct. of the great strength of Gen. Cambles reinforcement makes me doubt his veracity. I sent a party of Horse this afternoon towards Colesbridge with orders to go to Pedee, to obtain intelligence. This Deserter, by keeping the woods missed them, but if his accounts are true, I think they must return in the morning. However, I shall send out another small party to reconnoiter tomorrow by day light, order the Militia, Stores, Waggons, &c, to the North East side the town and take every necessary precaution: Tho' I do not think to retreat, till I hear something more of this matter.

I am much in want of the Regular Horse, of which His Excellency the Govr. was pleased to mention, as coming this way in His favour of the 27th ulto. to me; without them or other regular Horse, it is almost impossible to obtain early intelligence.

I shall write again per Express, as soon as I know the certainty of what this fellow says, & in the mean time I shall secure him under a proper Guard.

I have the Honor to be, Sir,
Your most humble and most obedt. Sert.,

P. S. The Desterter says Gov. Martin is with Lord Rawdon.