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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from William Smallwood to Horatio Gates
Smallwood, William, 1732-1792
November 17, 1780
Volume 14, Pages 743-744


Camp, November 17th, 1780.

When I wrote yesterday by General Morgan I had not time to answer your Letter fully. I coincide with you in Opinion with respect to the British Detaching large reinforcements to the Southward as soon as the season of Campaigning is over to the Northward.

General Harrington's intelligence with respect to the Arrival of the French fleet on the Coast of South Carolina I apprehend is premature. We have heard, and I wish it may be otherwise, of the Arrival of a Reinforcement at Charles Town. Lord Cornwallis has taken a Judicious position at Wynsborough, tho' I don't think he intends it as a fixed one, but is rather waiting the Arrival of the Reinforcements and exhausting that part of the Country, which he must shortly quit if the troops do not Arrive, and should the French fleet arrive he must at all events Return to Charles Town.

I lately wrote Genl. Butler a Letter which might have satisfied him of the Cause of discharging the Militia he mentioned to you.

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It was not without great reluctance I dismissed them, nor did I consent to the measure upon their frequent remonstrances 'till I addressed them to the Board of War and had their direction. Their term of service perhaps had not fully expired under the Subsequent Law which the Assembly subjected them, but they complained their term of service commenced under a preceeding Act, agreeable to which they had compleated it; but the true reason that induced the Board to Consent to their Dismission perhaps was their discontent and obstinacy.

Your most obdt & very hble servt,
Gen. Gates.