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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Henry Clinton to Charles Cornwallis, Marquis Cornwallis
Clinton, Henry, Sir, 1738?-1795
June 01, 1780
Volume 15, Pages 246-249


Head Quarters, Charles Town, 1st June, 1780.

My Lord,

Upon my departure from hence you will be pleased to take the Command of the Troops mentioned in the inclosed Return, and of all other Troops now here, or that may arrive in my absence. Your Lordship will make such change in the Position of them as you may judge most conducive to His Majesty's Service for the defence of this important Post and its dependencies. At

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the same time it is by no means my Intention to prevent your acting offensively, in case an opportunity should offer consistent with the Security of this place, which is always to be regarded as a primary object.

All Provision and Military Stores of every Denomination now here, or which may hereafter arrive, are submitted to your Lordship's orders, together with every Power you may find necessary to enforce, in my absence, for the promotion of the King's Service. To this end the Principals in Departments, and the InspectorGeneral of the Provincial Forces, who has the charge of the Stores designed for their use, are directed to give in returns to you of the States of their several Departments, so far as respects their Stores in possession, and of every other particular relative to their Trusts which can tend to your fullest Information, Communicating to you at the same time their general Instructions from me. I am persuaded I need not recommend the utmost Economy in the Issue of Ordnance and other Stores, and particularly of the Arms, of which there are two thousand Stored in Boxes, and about Eight Hundred Serviceable, and as many more repairable, which were saved out of the Magazine that was blown up.

Your Situation in respect to the two Floridas and Georgia will naturally engage you in a correspondence with the Officers Commanding his Majesty's Troops in each of those Posts. Wherefore it is my desire that all Letters directed for me from thence should be opened by your Lordship, and that you may give such orders thereupon as the Exigencies of the Service may require, forwarding to me the Letters so received, and a report of your orders in consequence, to which, of course, those Officers will pay due obedience.

Mr. Newton, Assistant Deputy Paymaster General, has orders to receive your Lordship's Warrant for Pay or Subsistence in all cases as final, and to furnish Money upon your Warrants on the requisition of the Publick Departments, or on account of Contingencies, the Vouchers for the Disbursements of the first of which, after being submitted to your Lordship's Inspection, will, of course, remain with the Principals, as they are amenable to Government. And your Lordship will be pleased to transmit to me, at the close of every Quarter, a list of the Warrants you have issued for Extraordinaries within that Period.

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A number of Blank Warrants for Presidents, and Deputations for Judge Advocates, will be delivered to you for holding General Courts Martial. And I do hereby authorize and appoint you to approve of the Sentences of such Courts in all Cases not Capital, if in your Judgement the necessity of the case should require it, excepting only the reduction of Commissioned Officers, unless under very favorable Circumstances.

Major Moncrief, of the Corps of Enginers, will communicate to you the Orders he has received for the Services required for that Department, which are, however, Submitted to your Lordship's future Instructions.

It is my Intention that the Troopers belonging to the Detachment of the 17th Light Dragoons now here shall follow me as soon as the Service will admit of it, and proper vessels under a Convoy provided for Transporting them. I am therefore to desire that they may be held in readiness to Embark accordingly.

Having Judged it to be for the good of His Majesty's Service that some fit and qualified persons should be appointed to superintend the Militia in the Southern Provinces, I have made choice of Major Ferguson of the 71st Regiment and Captain Hanger of the Corps of Jagers for that Service. And I have accordingly given them Commissions appointing Major Ferguson Inspector of Militia and Major Commandant of the First Battalion of Militia to be raised, and Captain Hanger Deputy Inspector with the Brevet Rank of Major of Militia, with Orders to Major Ferguson to lay his Instructions before your Lordship, and pay all due obedience to such Regulations and Commands, in everything respecting his Department, as you may think proper to give Him.

Whenever any Packet or advice Boat may arrive here from Europe, your Lordship will be pleased to order them to proceed to the Army, having first taken from the Mails all Letters for the Troops under your Command. These Packets will return with my Dispatches, without touching at any Port after the receipt of them. But care will always be taken to give your Lordship the earliest account of the Time intended for their Sailing, that your Dispatches and all Letters from hence may arrive in time to go by them.

In order that I may be furnished with every Information necessary to be Communicated to the Secretary of State for His Majesty's

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Information, or to the other Departments of office, I am to request you will, from Time to Time, communicate to me such Intelligence as you may think Interesting to His Majesty's Service; that you will report the arrival of all Stores and Troops from Europe; and more particularly I beg to be informed of every thing relative to your own immediate Situation, with a full assurance of a like Communication on my part.

I understand that Captn. Henry is to remain here in the Command of the Naval Force. His zeal for the Service will, of course, lead him to Co-operate with your Lordship in every measure that can promote it. Your applications to him for the Conveyance of your Dispatches at any time will, I am persuaded, be readily Complied with.

I have the honor to be, &c.,
Lieutenant-General Earl Cornwallis.