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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Edward Carrington to Horatio Gates
Carrington, Edward, 1749-1810
September 23, 1780
Volume 14, Pages 643-644


Taylor's Ferry, Sepr. 23, 1780.

Dr. General:

I have at length been fortunate enough to engage a Man to Undertake the Building of the Battearey, and Sawyers enough to get the Timber for them. They are to go to work to morrow morning. It is a kind of Work none of the people hereabouts have been accustomed to, & it is difficult to persuade them to exert the genius for doing any thing out of the old way. However, one has ventured on it at last, & I am convinced he will find the work so simple that He will not repent of his Undertaking.

I have got from Major Anderson a Return of all the Flatts within a reasonable distance of this place, to the amount of about a dozen. The River affords no other kind of Boats whatever. Those Flatts belong to the different Ferries, so that to bring them here immediately would interrupt the passage of the River at every other place. I apprehend that under these circumstances a knowledge of them, & where they are, so as to be able to command them at a short warning, whenever an occasion may require them, will be more agreable to you than to have them brought together now. I have therefore let them rest till your future orders. They are in the hands of friendly people.

I have taken as good a view of the ground on the River hereabouts as I have been able, but the Country is so exceedingly thick Set with lofty Woods that a competent knowledge cannot be obtained without visiting every place. The Fording places, however, must at all events claim attention. Kings & Kemps I

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have taken a view of. The former, from its situation (being rather low down the River) & the Obstructions which may be occasioned in the way to it on the West side of the River, by cutting away Island Creek bridge, will not so probably be an Object of the Enemies' Attention as the latter. Kemps is more directly in their way, & liable to no natural Obstruction whatever. The grounds on the East side of the River at either place are low for a considerable breadth. The adjacent Hills are favourable enough for encampments, but have little advantages of Natural Strength more than merely as eminences. About half way between these two Fords there is an Unimproved Shallow, with a Height on the West side of the River commanding all the grounds on the East, & which I should consider as a dangerous place in case of any Operation Hereabouts. Col. Senf has taken a view of the grounds at Kemps, & will give you his opinion thereon.

I last night received a letter from our Friend Hodgdon. He has sent forward to Richmond a Commissary of Military Stores, with a Competent set of Hands for erecting a Compleat System for the preparation of Military Stores. I shall Write to The Commissary to morrow, & request him, if he can do it without deranging his business there, to send forward a Travelling Forge equipped for the Field.

I have the Honor to be,
With the Utmost Esteem & Respect,
Y. Mo. Obt.
Lt. Col. Art.