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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Willie Jones to Abner Nash
Jones, Willie, ca. 1741-1801
October 18, 1780
Volume 15, Pages 121-122

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Oct. 18th, 1780.

Dr. Sir:

I wrote to you of the 1st Oct. & 10th, to which I refer. The Resolution of Congress, directing Genl. Washington to appoint an officer to take the Command of the Southern Army instead of Genl. Gates, was immediately sent to Head Quarters, but the General has not informed Congress of his proceedings thereupon, nor can I advise you who will be appointed to that Command. Genl. Gates sent us dispatches three or four days ago, advising that Ld. Cornwallis had penetrated our State as far as Charlotte. These Dispatches were immediately forwarded to the Commander in Chief, and I have some small hopes that he will be thereby induced to detach some troops to the Southward, perhaps Lee's Corps—for every Idea of acting to the Northward is now laid aside. However, I am not sanguine in this Expectation. We have Reports every day of Reinforcements going from N. York either to No. Carolina or Virginia, but nothing which can be depended on. I hope both those States will consider it as a thing certain that Reinforcements will be sent from New York in the course of the ensuing winter.

The News papers will inform you of the Capture of the British Et. & Wt. India Fleets outward bound. A Letter to the Commercial Committee gives a more authentick account, thus: The British Fleet, consisting of 58 Sail, fell in with the combined Fleet in the Night. The Ramillies and Thetis escaped to Madeira, where the former remained eight days, and only four Merchantmen came in. The Southampton Frigate escaped and brought the first Intelligence to St. Kitts.

The Ramillies is since arrived at Jamaica. The Thetis was dispatched to give Adm. Geary Intelligence of the combined Fleet. From these Circumstances it is conjectured that about 50 of the British Ships were captured. I hope to leave this place in three weeks, but this depends on Remittances from Carolina, for I have long been out of Cash.

I am, with the greatest truth, Dr. Sir,
Your most obedt. & Humble Servt.,

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P. S. It is said that Genl. Washington, upon Arnold's appointment to the Command at West point, gave him the names of several Gentlemen of the first Rank in N. York, (thro' whom he obtained Intelligence of Sir Henry Clinton's Motions,) together with the Plan of Correspondence all which the execrable Villain Arnold disclosed on his arrival at N. York, and the aforesaid Gentlemen were consequently apprehended & confined in Irons, and, if this be the case, will probably lose their Lives.