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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Francis Marion to Horatio Gates
Marion, Francis, 1732-1795
October 15, 1780
Volume 14, Pages 621-622



On Sunday the 8h Inst: I set off from Mr. Grime's Sixty five miles from George town, & made a sure march, & gott in the town by 12 OC. the next Day my Advance party meet Captn. Garney & his Lt. Evanes about two miles from the town. They persued them & killed the Latter & mortally wounded the Captn. They ware the most active persons against us, & the head of all the toreys on the Lower part of Peedee. I found Colo. Cassell In a redoubt which enclosed the Jail, a Brick Building. After reconnoitring it around, I found it too strong to Storm it with such men as I had & it was Defended by Seventy men of the Militia, which I attempt to Draw out after their refusing to Surrender, but hearing of a Large party Coming over Santee I retreated over Black river, after parrading through the town, a Galley Laying before it. We took Six horses & some Baggage which belonged to the men in the redoubt. All the Dsaffected had removed with their property over Santee, as all most all the Inhabitants had done which Lived on the North Side. They are in the greatest terror Emaginnable. I sand by this Oppertunity Captn. Brown of Georgtown District, who is the Principle of those who are Against us in that part, & have taken Captn. M. Corthy & Number of other persons which I have Given Poroles, to remain at their Dwelling till you please to call for them. Mr. Drake & Roberts, taken in the Black mingo affair, I now send. They coud not go on, on Account of their wounds. I hope these Last Gentlemen may be favored as much as possible, tho I wish they may be Detained as prisoners for a Check to the British, who have a number of our friends in Confinement.

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as soon as you move forwards I shall be Able to collect a body to prevent the Enemy from Driving off Stock from this side Santee.

I Believe it will be in my power to release the Officers that are Confined at Haddrels point, if they will be clear of their parole which they have Given to remain within Six miles of that place; if they will not, the attempt will not be worth Hazarding. I shall be glad to know your Oppinion on this head.

I have never yett had more than Seventy men to Act with me, & some times they Leave me to twenty or thirty &, it is with Great Difficulty I can again recruit. I wish I had some Authority to punish those who Leave me, for many who had fought with me I am Oblige to fight against. I have heard nothing from you since the 20 Sept; I am oblige to Act with the Greatest Caution Least I Shoud fall in their hands. I am Sorry to Inform You that Colo. Ervin has aDopted the Burning of houses & Captn. Murphy still pursues it. I think it will be the Greatest hurt to our Interest. The former was with me a Little While, but has separated as I would not permit him to Burn any houses; Colo. Giles has also Left me on Account of Sickness.

I am Informed that there is not more than five hundred men in Chs. town of the British, but they Expect a reinforcement Dayley, & the Inhabitants in General Believe that Lord Cornwallas is on the Lines of Virginia, & the most part of North Carolina have Laid down their Arms & Submited to the British tyrant.

Their is no British Either on Pe Dee or between Chs. Town & Camden, & the Toreys are all Disperst Since the attack on Black Mingo. I have from a flagg I sent to Santee the Account of Seventeen men was wounded in that affair some of which died of their wounds.

I wish to hear from you as soon as possible.
I have the Honour to be Yr. most bl Servt.,

N. B. Please Excuse the Scrawl, having no table to wright in this wild woods.