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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Jethro Sumner to Horatio Gates [Extract]
Sumner, Jethro, 1733?-1785
September 24, 1780
Volume 14, Pages 775-776


The Cappings Creek,
September 24th, 1780.

“I immediately marched from Salisbury, and arrived in this camp the 20th, in the evening. Gen. Davidson informed me his minute men were upon leaving the camp to go to Sherell's Ford.

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Col. Armstrong has gone to join the forces collecting to oppose Major Ferguson, who is in the neighborhood of Burke County Court House, with a large number of the disaffected and some British. The British force is near White's Mill, and is commanded by Col. Turnbull, others say by Lord Rodney (Rawdon). Gen. Sumter judges he could drive them from thence with as many more men as he has with him, which I have reason to believe is almost 300. Lord Cornwallis is yet at the Waxhaw Creek with 600 or 700 British troops and 300 or 400 tories, mostly on horse, with 70 or 80 dragoons. They lie close and expect reinforcements. On the road westward, almost 7 miles across, we have a party of horse; this road passes in four miles of the British Camp, and passes through the Catawba nation to Charlotte. I judge the enemy will make use of it should they move in force toward Charlotte. Col. Davie, on returning from reconnoitering on the 22d, fell in with a party of 130 tories, surprised them, killed 14 and took two prisoners. The others dispersed with the greatest precipitation. Forty horses and saddles fell into our hands. His party received no damage except in wounded. I am just sending a party of 140 infantry and 20 horse under Col. Seawell as far as the 12 mile creek, to view the road which passes near that creek.”