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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Richard Caswell to Abner Nash
Caswell, Richard, 1729-1789
July 31, 1780
Volume 15, Pages 10-12


Camp, Ancrum's Plantation, 31st July, 1780.

Dear Sir:

I had the Honour of writing you a Long Epistle the 16th from Deep River. I was then very much indisposed and a good deal Distressed, which might occasion some expressions which I ought to apologize for, but as they were plain facts, I flatter myself your Excellency will excuse the manner.

We marched the next day, 17th, & arrived the 18th at the Cross roads on Deep River, where we lay the 24. In this Time we were able to procure four Days' provisions before hand by sending out parties to collect and thresh Wheat, & leave some wheat in the Mills for the use of those Militia who were to follow us. I had also procured & sent upwards of one hundred head of Beef Cattle to the Baron de Kalb, and advised him of my intention to March the 24 for the Yadkin, & to proceed down on the West side, at the same time recommending to him to Move down on the East side of P. D. I accordingly Marched cross the Yadkin at Moore's Ferry, twenty two miles below Salisbury, & proceeded to Colston's at the fork where Rocky River falls into P. D.; there I expected to have met with Genl. Rutherford, but he had crossed P. D., & was proceeding down on the East side of the River. I immediately pushed over Rocky River for Anson Court house, & from thence to this place, which is five miles within the line of So. Carolina, and about the same distance above the Cheraws. Genl. Rutherford is nearly opposite me; And Genl. Gates, who Commands now in the Southern Department, & is at the head of the Maryland line, is about twenty five miles above on the same side with Rutherford, & in his rear are the Virginia Militia. I have ordered Genl. Rutherford to join me to day, & in two or three more I expect we shall have a very formidable army in the

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Neighbourhood of this place. The British and Tories have evacuated all their out posts on this River, & have retired towards Georgetown & Camden; our State is free of them, except to the westward of the Catawba; there may yet remain a few there who will soon be extirpated. On the arrival of Genl. Gates I presume a Council of war will be held, when it will be determined what steps may yet be pursued, and I flatter myself they will have such a Tendency as to drive the British beyond Santee, & even into Charlestown.

I have some hopes that our Distresses in some measure will be relieved here, especially if I can remain so long as to recruit our Men and Horses, who are much worn down with fatigue, many of the Men very Ill; but Doctor Williamson is arrived, and I flatter myself he will soon put them on their Legs again. We may get some Materials from Cross Creek, if the Agent has been so obliging as to forward them. We have about one hundred prisoners, British & Tories, many of them with Genl. Rutherford. I have not yet been able to determine where to send them. There are very few of the Inhabitants of Anson County who have not taken the Oath of Allegiance to the King of Great Britain; most of them are willing to break it & take up Arms against him, saying they were Compelled by the British, but come in voluntarily to us. Such as were desirous of supporting the British Government are either fled with the British or lye out. I beg leave to recommend to your Excellency to issue a proclamation promising pardon to those who return to their Allegiance to the State, (the Principal ones excepted,) but as those necessary to be excepted cannot at present be discriminated, it will, I presume, be necessary to send the proclamation with a Blank for their names, or if your Excellency, by the advice of the Council, thinks it will be proper for me to issue such-proclamation, as Commander in Chief of the Militia in the Service, you will be pleased to direct me, and I shall do it with Cheerfulness. I have made most of the Members of the General Assembly belonging to the Army acquainted with your Excellency's proclamation for Calling the Assembly at Hillsborough the 20th of August, and so many as can be spared from the Army, will attend. Your Excellency did not, in your letter, require my attendance, so I conclude you wish me to remain with the Army which I shall do unless you direct otherwise, or it

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shall appear to me absolutely necessary that I should attend. When I was at Deep River, I wrote to Mr. Mallet on the subject of his department as Commissary, agreeable to your Excellency's request. He in answer informed me that by mistake he had made the second Application to your Excellency for money without forwarding the Bond, which mistake he discovered by finding the Bond still among his papers, and had immediately on such discovery sent down the Bond.

As the Bearer will return to Camp immediately, your Excellency will be pleased to forward by him any dispatches you may have for me.

With Sentiments of the greatest regard and Esteem,
I have the Honour to be, Dr. Sir, Your Excellency's
Most obedient & very humble Servt.,