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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Francis Marion to Horatio Gates
Marion, Francis, 1732-1795
November 21, 1780
Volume 14, Pages 746-747

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Peedee Britton ferry, 21 Novr., 1780.


Since my last to you, Colo. Tarleton retreated to Camden, after Destroying most of the Houses & provisions on the high hills of Santee. I marched to Murreys & Welson's ferry, a Long Santee river, in hopes to Intercept some of the boats of the Enemy going too or from Camden; but finding that coud not be Effected, & being told that George town was Garisoned with but fifty British Invelides, I Marched there in hopes to have taken it. Unluckily the Evening before our arrival two hundred torys, under the Command of Captns. Benfield & James Lewis, got in; the torys came out & we Scrimaged with them, Killed three & took twelve prisoners, Drove part in the town & Disperst the other, as they were cut off from the town. The British proved to be so Effected & Drew up a quarter of a mile from their redoubt, but finding I made a movement to cut off their retreat they retired in their redoubt, which had some swivels & cohorns. As I had not more then four rounds of ammunition pr. man, I retreated to this place Our Lose was Lt. Gabriel Marion & one private Killed & three wounded. I have sent to Genl. Harrington for Ammunition, but believe he cannot supply me with any Quantity. Yesterday Major McInroth, with 200 Hessians & Militia from South of Santee, took post at the King's Tree, & by an Intercepted Letter from Lord Rodney, who commands in Camden, to him I find they are Mounting the N. York Vollunteers, to send to that post for the purpose of Driving off Stock & Destroying provision.

Many of my people has Left me & gone over to the Enemy, for they think that we have no Army coming on, & have been Deceived. As we hear nothing from you a Great while, I hope to have a line from you in what manner to Act, & some Assurance to the people of Support.

I have wrought to Genl. Harrington to spare me his horse to Indeavour to remove the post at King's tree or the Enemy will have the Intire Command of the Country on the North of Peedee; but from what I know of the Genl. I do not expect he will part

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with them. I beg leave to mention to you that Genl. Harrington has not done any service with the troops he commands, while I have been Oblige to act with so few as not to have it in my power to do any thing Effectual, for want of Amunition & men.

I am Greatly in want of a Surgeon; one of my wounded Bleed to Death for want of one, & many is Oblige to return for want of Medicines, for I have not any whatever.

From Chs. town I learn there is very few troops their, & Last week when I was on Santee they was much alarmed I woud Cross the river and go there.

I have the Honour, with respect,
Your Obdt. Servt.,

N. B. I shall be glad to know if Governor Rutledge is with you, for I don't know where to wright to him.