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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Abner Nash to Thomas Burke, Whitmel Hill, and Willie Jones [Extract]
Nash, Abner, ca. 1740-1786
August 23, 1780
Volume 15, Page 60

[North Carolina State Papers, 1776-1788, Book No. 72, Page 97.]

Hillsborough, August the 23rd, 1780.
Letter from Gov. Abner Nash to the N. C. Delegates in the Continental Congress. Extract.


Since our late defeat near Camden, I delayed writing to you till I could give you some certain account of that unhappy affair, and of its effects. Genl. Gates, I presume, has acquainted Congress of the total loss of the Artillery & Baggage, and of most of the muskets that were in the hands of the Militia; these, except one North Carolina Militia Regiment, commanded on the occasion by Col. Dixon of the Regulars, behaved in the most shameful manner. They were drawn up in close order, two deep; the Enemy who opposed them, from a defect in numbers, were only a single file five feet apart, yet the Militia, tho' so much superior in numbers, gave way on the first fire, and fled with the utmost precipitation, notwithstanding every endeavour of their officers to keep them to the charge. I cannot as yet learn what particular Corps fled first; however, the field was soon cleared of all our Army, except the Regulars and the Wilitia Regiment I mentioned, who bravely stood and pushed bayonets to the last.

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With the highest respect and most sincere esteem, I am, Gentlemen,
Your Obedt. & very Hble. Serv't,