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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from William Richardson Davie to Jethro Sumner
Davie, William Richardson, 1756-1820
October 01, 1780
Volume 14, Pages 659-660


Flying Camp Phyfer,
Sunday, October 1st, 1780.

Dear General:

Yesterday morning I detached Colo. Taylor with a party to reconnoitre the Enemy; he returned late last night, informing me that a detachment of 800 of the British marched that morning from Charlotte, partly fott, partly Horse, with two pieces of Artillery, & that they took a rout between McKnits road & the River. In consequence of this I sent a Captain's command into that quarter, from whence I have had my intelligence. The Enemy are cajoling & flattering the People to take Paroles, & pursuing the same steps they did in South Carolina. This with the Panic of the People, is an alarming circumstance. They forage largely & carelessly below, & a few rifle light infantry companies might perhaps be of singular service, if you think it requisite & safe. if you detach them, I will endeavour to support them, the best of Guides may be had, & if the parties are small, may lie secure among the thickets & Morasses, & annoy the Enemy very considerably.

Their paroling the People, bringing large quantities of liquor

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with them & provision, convinces me of their serious intention to subjugate this State, but their halting & marching so slowly is unaccountable, but of a piece with their conduct in other places.

I am happy to hear Capt. Dickinson was so fortunate; enterprizes of this kind keep the Enemy in continual alarm.

I am &c. &c.
Hnble. Brigr. Genl Sumner.