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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Henry William Harrington to Horatio Gates
Harrington, Henry William, 1747-1809
November 23, 1780
Volume 14, Pages 748-749

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Camp near Kershaws Ferry, 23 of November, 1780.

Dear Sir:

I have this day received Intelligence from Colo. Marian that Major McLerath, with 200 British & Militia, with two Field pieces, crossed Santee, march to Kingstree & took Post there on the 20 Instant. The Enemy have also established another Post at Singletons Mills, on the High Hills of Santee, about 40 Miles below Cambden. The Colo. writes me that, by a Letter from Lord Rawdon, intercepted by our People, the Enemy are about to mount a number of the New York Volunteers, with a View to Strengthen the Post at Kingstree. Colo. Tarleton retreated to Cambden on the 10 or 11th after receiving an Express from Lord Cornwallis. He published a Manifesto before he left Santee, assuring Pardon to all who would return immediately to their Plantations, threatening instant Fire & sword to those who did not comply. This has had such an Effect that numbers have left Colo. Marian & gone Home.

I learn from Charles Town that 37 Sail of the Cork Fleet have certainly arrived there, and landed 36,000 Barrels of Beef, Butter & Flour, (a great deal of the last damaged,) the same number of the same Fleet arrived at Savannah & the remainder of that Fleet at New York. The Vessel captured off Charles Town was a Brig from Glascow of 18 Guns. She surrendered after a warm Engagement to a Privateer of 20 Guns from Newbern, commanded by Captain Stanley. This Fleet was by many in Town supposed to be the Combined Fleet of France & Spain, and made the Enemy look about them. The Weather was hazy and the Pilots did not care to trust to appearances. The Garrison of Chas. Town consists of the 64th Regiment, 200 Strong, 350 Hessians, being part of two Regiments, & 100 of the 63d Regiment. The Charles Town Militia are eleven Companies, about 400 dressed in Scarlet faced with blue; they are kept to strict duty. A Polaise arrived there on the 12th; she left Chesapeak bay on the 5th; she brought accounts that the British have burnt Hampton & had captured two Colonels & a Major of the Virginia Militia. The Scourge & two other Galleys, with the Sandwich of 28 Guns and 2 or three

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more Armed Ships, were to sail immediately from Chas. Town to Wilmington, but not the le st word of any Troops going with them. A Captain Bluker of the 7th Regiment commands about 100 Convalescents & some Militia in George Town; but the whole Force of the Enemy in Georgia did not amount, in August last, to more than 500, viz.: a Regt. of Hessians, part of the 2d Battn. of the 71st & a few New York Volunteers. The New York Prints say Sir Hugh Palisser is coming on with 6 ships of the Line & some Frigates; that Ireland, particularly Ulster, is now exceedingly active against America, and is to furnish 11 Regiments by next May. My informant assures me that the Irish have certainly erected a Statue to Lord North, in Dublin, and that not any Reinforcements had arrived in Charles Town on the 13th Instant.

A British Deserter who left Cambden on Sunday last informs me that Lord Rawdon's Corps and about 80 of the 7th Regt. were busily employed making Redoubts that One had lately been made on the East Bank of the River & another at the Old Mill on the Cheraw Road; that Hamiltons & Innis' Corps were encamped three Miles up the Waxaw Road.

I would, with pleasure, continue to serve my Country and think myself Honoured by Your Orders, but a Brigadier's commission, without either District or Brigade, when from His Excellency, the Governour's Appointment, I had, in my opinion, a right to both, cannot with honor be held. After what the Assembly have done in favour of another, it would appear like begging both Commission & Brigade; that in justice to myself I cannot think, even for a single Moment, of altering my Resolution.

I am, with the most respectful Regard, Dear Sir,
Your most humble and most obedt. serv.,