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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from William Richardson Davie to Jethro Sumner [Extract]
Davie, William Richardson, 1756-1820
October 16, 1780
Volume 14, Pages 789-790


October 16th, 1780.

“The enemy's baggage arrived at Nation ford almost 3 o'clock in the afternoon. The evening turning in rainy and my dependence alone upon the dryness of my powder, I was under the necessity of retreating and marching all night thro' the heaviest rain ever poor fellow lived through. Not a gun will fire in the corps, and the ammunition, for want of cartridge boxes, is principally lost. It will be three or four days before I can move again. Col. Tarleton crossed the river, two days before his lordship marched with 200 dragoons and 400 of the infantry mounted. The Catawba was too high Saturday evening for Cornwallis to cross over or Tarleton to return. Gen. Sumter is somewhere near on the other side in quest of Tarleton, with 2,500 men. His

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lordship never was in such a pound—the river impassable in the West, and Sugar Creek in the same condition to the Southward of him, his lordship's reasons for retreating turning him on every quarter, without one mouthful of provisions or forage to be gotten within several miles. I am sure the convention of Saratoga has flew through his lordship's head five hundred times these two days. A few troops would make him very uneasy.”