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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Hardy Murfree to Abner Nash
Murfree, Hardy
November 05, 1780
Volume 15, Pages 143-144

-------------------- page 143 --------------------

Suffolk, November 5th, 1780.

To His Excellency Gov. Nash

The Enemy, supposed to be in number between seven and Eight hundred, Marched on the 27th of Last Mouth to Suffolk, & a Party likewise came to the western Branch, Collected all the stock they possibly cou'd, took & Destroyed a number of Vessels, & then they retreated towards Portsmouth on the 30th Inst., as far as Doct. Hall's, 16 miles from this, where their advanced Guard is. When I was down on the Enemy's Lines, the 28th & 29th of last month, the Enemy's whole force was 2,200 Men at Portsmouth, Suffolk & Milner's, & between 50 & 60 Sail of Shipping, but this Moment one Mr. John Giles came in & left Portsmouth this Morning; he reporteth that he saw One Thousand Men land at Portsmouth last Thursday; like wise there is more Troops on Board the Shipping. He says they intend going up some of the Rivers & March to Halifax, if possible, with some of the Troops. They intend Leaving some at Portsmouth. Some of them are now at the Great Bridge. They are now intending Portsmouth, & he believes there is 3,000 Troops in that Town, & 80 or 90 Sail of Shipping at Portsmouth & Hampton Road. Gen. Muhlenburg is at Mackey's Mills, 18 miles from this, 3 Miles from Smithfield, with 1,900 Men, which is all the Men that is now in the Field in this State. I rec'd your Excellency's Favour the 2nd Inst. & marched the 3rd from Winton, with 30 Gentlemen Volunteers from Hertford Co'nty, to join Genl. Benbury at Norfleet's Mill, 35 Miles from Edenton, on the road to Suffolk, but on my coming to that place yesterday found the Militia Discharged & the Genl. Gone. In the Evening I rec'd a Letter from Genl. Gregory, a Copy of which is inclosed. My party is on their way to Camden County. I rode down here to-Day to get the latest Intelligence from General Muhlenburg, but not finding him here shall follow my party To-morrow. There is a great number of the Negroes goes into them. This is all I know, from the best Intelligence, & believe it to be True; so conclude with saying,

I am, with all due respect,
Your Excellency's Humble Servt.,

-------------------- page 144 --------------------

N. B. Mr. Giles heard nothing of the Enemy's moving towards Currituck, in Carolina. He is a man generally thought to be an Honest, good Meaning Man, who unfortunately Lost 8 Negroes, & has been to Portsmouth after them, & has got only 5.

H. M.

N. B. Major General Darlie Commands the Whole. The Scotch Refugees who left this Country is now with him at Portsmouth, Goodrich, Parson Agera & sundry others.

H. M.