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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Richard Caswell to Horatio Gates
Caswell, Richard, 1729-1789
June 20, 1780
Volume 14, Pages 856-857

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Camp Near Cross Creek, 20 June, 1780.


Your favour of the 16th I had the Honour to receive this Morning. The militia are coming in pretty fast, but I fear the number directed to be raised will not be completed by at least one-third. Colonel Armand's Corps arrived at Cross Creek a few days past. I am unhappy in being obliged to acquaint you that Provisions and Forage cannot be supplied for your army at this place; indeed, I mean the Militia here can be supplied but a few days longer. I have made some enquiries respecting the Road from Hillsborough to P. D. and find that the Road by Woods', on Haw River; Coxe's, on Deep River; McArthur's, on Drowning Creek, to Haley's, on P. D., is the most direct, and where there is the greatest probabilities of subsisting the army. From Woods' to Conner Dowd's, on Deep River, thence by Seal's Road into the Road five miles from Coles' Bridge, on Drowning Creek, which is twenty-five miles Eastward of Haley's, on P. D., (leading from Cross Creek to Haley's,) is about ten miles farther than the Road last mentioned, and Provisions cannot be obtained after being Fifty miles on that Road from Hillsborough; but where Seal's Road comes into the Cross Creek Road, or at Coles', (25 miles from P. D.,) a junction may be formed by your Troops and the Militia under my command, though neither Provisions or Forage to be had at either of these places.

From every account I have been able to obtain, the Enemy have a Post at the Cheraw Hill, thirty miles from Coles' Bridge, on the west side of P. D., about fifteen miles below Haley's, where they have about 500 Regulars of the 71 Regiment, commanded by Major McArthur; that from three to six hundred Tories are enlisted under a Col. Harrison; that a Post is also established at a place called the Long Bluff, about 15 miles below the Cheraw, where they have a command of about forty men, & to that place they have collected all the boats between Haley's and that place on P. D., and a Considerable Quantity of Corn, some Salt and arms; that small detachments are made from those Posts, who have crossed the River and plundered the Inhabitants as far

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up the River as near to Haley's. I have several Persons out, from whom I hourly expect Information, & I intend sending a Person to-morrow Morning to you Express, not only with any Information I may receive, but to bring your answer to this Letter. If you shall think proper to proceed by one or the other of the routs I have mentioned, or by any other, & shall think proper to communicate the same to me, my movements will be governed thereby. If you will give me leave to join you at Coles' Bridge, wehre I presume you may arrive in ten or twelve Days, I will march from hence so as to arrive there a day or two before you; or if you go by the other Rout to Haley's, on your signifying the Time you Expect to be there I will endeavour to reach that before you, previous to which it is my intention at present to send on a Light Party, if I find it practicable to secure Provisions on P. D.; but this I think it will be imprudent for me to do untill I am favoured with your Determination as to the Route you will take, as I must support the Party I send on, & shall expect to be myself supported by you. It is possible that the accounts of the Roads I give you may be erronious, as I derive my Information from Persons in this part of the Country who may not be altogether so well acquainted with them as some you may meet with, & from whom you may be better enabled to judge.

I have the honour to be,
With very great Respect & Esteem, Sir,
Your most obedient and very humble Servant,
M. G. Militia.