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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Mathews to Horatio Gates
Mathews, John, 1744-1802
October 24, 1780
Volume 14, Pages 707-708


Philadelphia, Octr. 24th, 1780.


Congress having appointed us a committee to correspond with the commanding officer in the Southern department, You may be assured, sir, of our punctuality in giving you every information, either material to your command or relative to the general state of our affairs, as far as we are at liberty to do so.

You will no doubt have received intelligence before this reaches you of the sailing of the British fleet from New-york with a body

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of 2,500 infantry on board and some few horse, under the command of Genl. Leslie.

It is also said they carry a large quantity of spare arms with them. Their destination is not yet certainly known, but Virginia or North Carolina, we are are pretty well assured, must be their object.

It is highly probable a general exchange of prisoners will soon take place, which we apprehend must have some effect on our affairs to the southward, as it is most likely the prisoners received on the part of the enemy will be employed to the southward. Those we receive will be likewise employed there, but our numbers must be far inferior to theirs on account of the expiration of the time of many of our men now in captivity, which cannot be the case with those of the enemy. However, we shall regularly inform you of the progress of this business.

We most sincerely congratulate you on the late success of our arms under your command, and flatter ourselves it will open a passage to some still more important blow against the enemy's force in that quarter.

We are, Sir, with much Esteem and Regard,
Yr. most Obedt. Servants,
By order of the Committee,

We have inclosed you a copy of a letter from Mr. Richd. Harrison, at Cadiz, containing some interesting intelligence.

J. M.