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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Francis Marion to Horatio Gates
Marion, Francis, 1732-1795
September 15, 1780
Volume 14, Pages 616-618


White Marsh Bladen County, 15 Sept. 1780.


I wrought you by Mr. Simons the 29th Augt (pr Express,) who is not yet returned. I have not been able to learn any thing of your Situation, which has very much Disparited the friends to America.

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I have sent the Prisoners I took the 25th, Augt. with the Continentals to Wilmington. Many of the later has left me, & my Situation growing more Critical, I could not possible harm them any longer.

On the 3d Inst: I had Advice that upwards of two hundred Toreys intended to Attack me the next day, I immediately marched with 53 men, which is all I could get. On the 4th in the morning I surprised a party of 45 men, which I mistook for the main body. I kill'd and wounded all but 15 which Escaped. I then marched immediately to attack the main body, which I meet about 3 miles in full march towards me. I Directly Attackt them & put them to flight (though they had 200 men) & got in to an Impassible Swamp to all but Toreys. I had one man wounded in the the first action, & 3 in the Second, & two horses killed. finding it impossible to come at them, I returned to Camp. The next day I was informed they all Disperst. On the 5th I was Joined by about 60 men; I then throughed np a small redoubt, to secure my camp from being surprised by the toreys should they again collect; on the 7th I crossed P. D, & Lynches creek with one hundred men, & Left 50 to secure my camp & the river, to attack a party of regulars & militia sd to be 150, which was in Williamsbourgh township, a Burning all the houses of those men who had Joind me. When I had got to Indian town Capt. James, who I had sent to reconetre the Enemy meet me; he had taken a prisoner belonging to Colo. Ferguson riffle regt., by whom I learnt that they was 200 British & a number of Toreys, & that Majr. Whimes with 200 more was to Join them that night. They was seen after Dark on their march, & by an Orderly book taken with an Officer's baggage with the above prisoner I found their Intention was to remove me & proceed to the Cheraws. I also had Intelligence that 200 men post regulars, had arrived in Georgetown from Santee, which Oblige me to return to my camp, which I did that Day On the 8th I had Intelligence that they Majr. Whimes had Crossed Lynches Creek, Come on my front, & those In Georgtown had crossed Black river & Whaney to fall on my rear. The Toreys which I had Lately Disperst was collecting on my right, which woud Compleatly surround me & cut of my retreat, which Oblige me to retreat to this place with 60 men the rest Left me to see after their family, which had their houses

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burnt; they have Burnt a Number of houses on Black river, Lynches Creek & Wallaman (Waccamaw?) I shall remain here until I hear from you or I have an Oppertunity of Doing something.

I have the honour to be, with respect,
yr. most Obt. Serva.