Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Thomas Person to Thomas Burke
Person, Thomas, 1733-1800
June 21, 1780
Volume 14, Pages 857-859


Goshen, 21st June, 1780.

The Hon. Thos. Burke, Esq.

Dr. Sir:

I just put pen to paper to remind you I am yet in Existence. I presume you have heard before this the Business done at our last Session of Assembly.

-------------------- page 858 --------------------

I condole with you upon the loss of Charles Town, and almost the loss, I fear, of So. Carolina. Since the Surrender of that Metropolis the Enemy have penetrated as far as Camden, some time ago and 30 miles above that Defeated & put to Rout Col. Buford and his Regiment; 'tis Said killed at least 200 men in a most Cruel & Inhumane Manner, after piling their Arms; 'tis said they now are divided into Three Columns, One Party Marching up Broad river, another to the Waxhaws are now in Charlotte Town; the Third to march to Pedee, & from there 'tis supposed to X Creek. We are told they give paroles to the most of the people as they go; to some few protection who before, or at the time of obtaining of them, are obliged or Considered as Bound to take up arms with them; but we do not learn that is the case with many, or I expect they will pervade that State till next fall, for at present we Cannot Support an army in this State so as to March Men there to the assistance of S. C. till Harvest; for Bread (tho' meat may be had) cannot be got. Genl. De Kalb & the Troops under his Command, Consisting of 1 & 2 Maryland Regiments & the Virg. Artillery, have been greatly Distrest & Harrassed to obtain a Sufficency. The 1 Maryland Regiment & the Virg. Artillery have been Encamped at Goshen, in my Plantation, for abt. 12 or 15 days. The Second Regiment is now Expected here this night. The others Marched this morning Early; are making all the way they can to X Cr. to joyne with Genl. Caswell & his Son, who are now at X Creek.

I expect these Northern Troops, at this juncture, together with our Militia, will be the Salvation of our State. We want in this State now at least 5,000 stand of arms, tho' we have now provided arms for the 4,000 militia at this time ordered out, part of which, to the Amt. of 2,500 stand, we have lately obtained from the State of Virg. I do think, should the Enemy, as I expect they will, come Rapidly into this State, we cou'd raise any number of volunteers if we had but arms to put into their hands. Cou'd not some be sent from Congress or Genl. Washington? You would suppose, from the Army being here 10 to 15 days, must of course have done me much damage, but I can assure you the Officers have taken the utmost pains to prevent it, & I have not sustained any Considerable loss. I have a high opinion of the Commanding Officer & his officers in Genl., and am induced to think they will

-------------------- page 859 --------------------
Render Signal Service to the Country, and am truly sorry to think that ample provision cannot be made now for them, owing to, I believe, Mismanagement of persons in the Staff Department. I entreat you, Sir, to Interpose so far with the Board of War as to obtain Copys of the returns made by our Commissaries of Provisions & Q. Masters, for at least two years back, if not the whole. I am determined to Investigate their Accts. at our next Assembly, which is to sit at Hillsbr. 1 Monday in Oct. next. I once more Intreat you to make it a point to Transmit the state of the Acct. to me by them. Your Acquaintance in Carolina are all well, as far as I know. As for me and my household, we are so. Mrs. Person joynes me in our most Respectful Compts. to your Worthy Lady,

& believe me to be, with great Truth,
Yr. af. fd. & hble. Servt.,

P. S. Present my Compts. to Mr. Hill & Mr. Sharp or Mr. Jones, if at Congress, & write me some news the first opportunity. It is an age since I have heard from you almost.

T. P.