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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Charles Cornwallis, Earl Cornwallis to Henry Clinton [Extract]
Cornwallis, Charles Cornwallis, Marquis, 1738-1805
July 14, 1780
Volume 14, Pages 867-868

[A. & W. I., 138.]


Charlestown, July 14, 1780.

Since my arrival at this place I have been employed in the internal Regulations of the Province and settling the Militia of the lower districts, both of which are in forwardness, and I have kept up a constant Correspondence with the Frontiers and the Interior parts of North Carolina, where the aspect of Affairs is not so peaceable as when I wrote last. Major General de Kalb is certainly at Hillsborough with 2,000 Continental troops, including some Cavalry, and said to be preparing to advance to Salisbury. Porterfield is in the neighborhood of Salisbury with 300 Virginians, and Rutherford with some Militia with him. Caswell with 1,500 Militia is marched from Cross Creek to the deep River between Hillsborough and Salisbury, and Sumpter, with about the same Number of Militia, is advanced as far as the Catawba Settlement.

The Government of North Carolina is likewise making great Exertions to raise Troops, and persecuting our friends in the most cruel manner, in consequence of which Col. Bryan, altho' he had promised to wait for my orders, lost all patience, and rose with about 800 Men on the Yadkin, and by a difficult and dangerous

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March joined Major M'Arthur on the borders of Anson County. About two thirds only of his people were armed, and those, I believe, but indifferently.

I have the satisfaction to assure your Excellency that the Numbers and disposition of our Militia equal my most Sanguine expectation. But still I must confess that their want of subordination & confidence in themselves will make a considerable regular force always necessary for the defence of the Province until North Carolina is perfectly reduced. It will be needless to attempt to take any considerable number of the South Carolina Militia with us when we advance. They can only be looked upon as light Troops, and we shall find friends enough in the next Province of the same quality, and we must not undertake to supply too many useless Mouths.