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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Alexander Martin to Abner Nash
Martin, Alexander, 1740-1807
November 10, 1780
Volume 15, Pages 150-152


War Office, Hillsborough, Nov. 10th, 1780.


By the last accounts from the Western Army Lord Cornwallis is between the Wateree and Congaree Rivers, opposite to Rockey Mount, collecting the provisions in that Quarter. Others say he hath divided his Army into two Columns, and hath marched one to Ninety-Six, and the other towards Charles Town; However, from Genl. Harrington's Letter inclosed, they are fortifying at Camden, from whence you can draw your own conclusion.

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Genl. Smallwood is about 15 miles below Charlotte, waiting for a Reinforcement of the Regulars who marched from this place the 2nd of this Instant to the amount of 1,000 Men, consisting of the Maryland, Delaware and Buford's Virginia Corps. Genl. Gates set off with 130 Continental Horse last Monday after them. Genl. Stevens is here with about 500 naked Virginians, without arms and every other necessary, but we hear they have some arms at Roanoke, which, when they arrive, they will march as they are to the Westward.

We expect here every day the arrival of Genl. Greene, who is to supercede Genl. Gates, as by the last advice received from our Delegates in Congress.

Your Excellency will find by the Letters of Genls. Butler and Harrington, herewith sent you, the necessity of immediate Drafts to supply the place of those Militia whose Times will expire according to their Returns. Major O'Neal, the Bearer of this, will attend your Excellency for such orders you will please to send to Hillsborough & Salisbury Districts on this particular. We think Rowan and Mecklenburg ought to be spared as much as possible, as the whole of their Militia have been on constant Duty. We have no certain accounts of the movement of the British in Virginia. Should they continue there any Time we cannot expect much assistance from the Newbern and Edenton Districts, of which your Excellency will be the judge. We are well acquainted by this time with the Difficulties attending the collection of the specific Tax, which comes in very slow; by impressment and some purchases the army have hitherto been maintained. Gen. Gates hath expected that this State should wholly support the Army as to provisions, but this we have undeceived him in. His Contractors, however, on Continental Credit have been very busy in procuring Cattle in different parts. We wish to appoint a Commissary General to collect and forward to the different ports the provisions from different parts of the State, could we find a proper person, Persons are wanted in the meantime to superintend the Counties of the Districts of Newbern and Edenton in collecting to some Magazine their supplies.

Genl. Smallwood hath urged the Expediency of issuing a proclamation of pardon to the Tories at this juncture, who from their treatment from the British Daily distress him by surrendering

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themselves, and he believes would generally come in with any encouragement. As this concerns the civil Government of North and South Carolina, we wish your Excellency would consult your Council, as also Gov. Rutledge, as to the propriety of such a Measure, which we confess is somewhat Delicate at this time. Should you think it proper we beg leave to recommend that you preclude all persons in alliance with this state who have borne Commissions in the British Service.

The Commissioners of Trade are wrote to respecting the public Salt, part of which we wish to have conveyed up the Country, to Johnson Court House, to Halifax, &c., with the utmost Dispatch.

A number of Letters are here from different parts to Gov. Rutledge, particularly from Congress, but we know not where to direct them; one packet with money we have sent to Mr. Hooper in Wilmington, agreeable to his Directions and the Express received no Accounts of him there.

Pray is it your Excellency's pleasure to fill up the vacancies in the Board of War? We propose to rise and proceed to the westward shortly, if agreeable to you; our presence is absolutely necessary there. Col. Henderson we think will be a proper person to be added to us, should it be your Excellency's pleasure, and any other person you will please to appoint.

Doct. Burke is waiting to hear from the Commissioners of Trade before he can go to Congress.

You have a number of Letters from Congress and elsewhere inclosed.

I have the honour to be,
With the highest esteem and respect,
By Order,
Your Excellency's, most obedt. servt.,
His Excellency Governor Nash.