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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from François Lellorquis, Marquis de Malmady to the North Carolina General Assembly
Malmady, François Lellorquis, marquis de
September 1780
Volume 15, Pages 231-233

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To the Honourable Representatives of the State of North Carolina.

I think myself very much honored with the resolve that you were pleased to pass yesterday in my favour, and I entreat that the assurances of my first gratitude might be agreeable to the house. Permit me, gentlemen, to observe that that resolve has no support whatever with my petition. I beg leave to Explain it ultimately in its proper sense.

In the month of September last I had the honor of offering you a memorial upon the raising of a corps of horse, which the governor countenanced so far as to render me very anxious to return instantly from Philadelphia to camp.

In the month of December General Smallwood, after the resignation of General Harrington, petitioned to the board of war my Employment to the Cheraws as a partisan. Colonel Martin promised to use all of his power & influence in order that the appointment might take place instantly.

Flattering myself that the assembly would take a favourable notice of these different applications, & acceed to, I communicated it to General Greene, and in the mean time my opinion upon the essential services which a solid corps of horse would render in this critical moment.

The general approved perfectly of it; he wrote consequently to the assembly, and in order to accelerate the formation of a corps which might be armed expeditiously when an immediate reinforcement should be wanted. I had undergone the hardships & Extravagant Expences of a long journey, & I repaired to Halifax. I did myself the honour of transmitting to you the letter of General Greene upon that subject, and addressed a skeeme for raising a corps of 390 Light horse, that any volunteer who will serve in that corps for six or twelve months, & furnish himself with a good horse, shall be free of being drafted for the continental service, and after his time expires shall enjoy the privileges of a continental soldier.

As you intend to draft one of thirteen, these 390 volunteers would have diminished your continental Line only of 30 soldiers;

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and I thought that 390 volunteers raised instantly would render, in this moment, greater services than 30 soldiers whose raising will yet encounter many obstacles.

With regard to the accoutrements, I beg Leave to make myself provisions for, if there was not a sufficient quantity of in your public stores.

Instead of agreeing to that plan, you were pleased to appoint me to the command of 300 Light horse, to march instantly to the southward. I thought myself very happy in being in a situation of rendering some services; but in the next session you superceeded me, not by an officer of my rank, or next to, but by a captain who never discovered more activity than I did since the year 1776; and I am superceeded with the unfortunate objection that I am a foreign officer.

Be pleased, gentlemen, to indulge the expression of my sensibility; that way of superceeding is deeply impressed in my breast.

As the resolve you passed yesterday Evening has no support at all with the object of General Greene, & Urge, I beg, to be excused; and without departing from the respect I owe to the assembly & general Caswell, I shall not rely upon an unused provision, which might be rendered again unsettled by some intrigues or national prejudices.

If I do not quit instantly the southern department, even the American army, I shall return to the army where I came from.

From the candid mode of expressing my sentiments, it will be perhaps inferred that my attachment is Lessened. No, gentlemen, when the friendship which your soldiers and the well-affected people has showed me, in the field and at home, reccur to me, when I think that I am a Frenchman, I am begoed (?) upon any private resentment, and I as a patriot do wish with the utmost sincerity and warmness the success & prosperity of the State of North Carolina.

I had the honour to apply yesterday for a copy of the Letter of General Greene, of the report of your committee, & the three resolves covering my appointment, superceeded & directed to

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General Caswell. I beg that the honorable assembly would grant me that ultimate favour.

With due respect, I have the honour to be, gentlemen,
Your most obedt., Very humble servant,