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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from George Sackville Germain, Viscount Sackville to Charles Cornwallis, Marquis Cornwallis
Sackville, George Germain, Viscount, 1716-1785
November 09, 1780
Volume 15, Pages 295-297


Whitehall, 9th Novr., 1780.

Earl Cornwallis.
My Lord:

I had the very great pleasure to receive from Captain Ross, who arrived in London on the 9th of last Month, your Lordship's dispatches Ns. 1. and 2., which I immediately laid before the King, who read with the highest satisfaction the Account contained in the latter of the very glorious and complete Victory obtained by your Lordship over the rebels near Camden on the 16th of August.

The great Superiority of the Enemy in Numbers over the Forces under your Command, His Majesty observed, distinguished this Victory from all that have been achieved since the Commencement of the Rebellion; and though it might have been expected that the long continuance of the War would have increased the Military Skill and Discipline of the Enemy, your Lordship's complete Success is a brilliant Testimony that the Spirit and Intrepidity of the King's Troops will always triumph over them, and

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that however they may exceed in Numbers, the Vigor and Perseverance of the British Soldiers will overcome all Resistance, when led on by an able and determined Commander, seconded by gallant and judicious Officers. It is therefore particularly pleasing to me to obey His Majesty's Commands by signifying to your Lordship His Royal Pleasure, that you do acquaint the Officers and Soldiers of the brave Army under your Command that their Behaviour upon that glorious day is highly approved by their Sovereign, and you will particularly express to Lord Rawdon, Lieutenant Colonels Webster and Tarleton, His Majesty's Approbation of their judicious and spirited Conduct. The latter indeed has a double Claim to Praise for his great Alertness in overtaking General Sumpter's detachment before they were apprized of Gates' defeat and by their destruction rendering the Victory at Camden still more decisive. Captain Ross's Services have been rewarded, in consequence of your Lordship's Recommendation, with a Brevet of Major, but you will perceive by the inclosed Copy of Lord Amherst's Letter to me that it is not judged fit at present to give Lieutenant Colonel Tarleton the same Rank in the Army which he holds in the Provincials.

The steps your Lordship immediately took for improving your Victory were highly judicious, and must be attended with the most important Consequences; nor was your determination to inflict exemplary punishment on those Traitors who had repeated the Violation of their Oaths of Allegiance, or broken their Parole and taken Arms against the King, less wise or promotive of the great Object of the War, the Restoration of the Constitution; for the most disaffected will now be convinced that We are not afraid to punish, and will no longer venture to repeat their Crimes in the hope of Impunity should they be detected, and those who are more moderate will be led to withdraw from a Cause which is evidently declining before it becomes desperate, and they expose themselves to the Consequences they may reasonably apprehend will fall upon such as persist in Rebellion to the last.

The Civil Regulations you have made for South Carolina, as far as I am informed of them by your Lordship and Mr. Simpson, appear extremely prudent and proper, and I am glad to find they are satisfactory to the Merchants here who are deeply connected with that Province. Such of the Civil Officers as are in England

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have received Orders to return, and the greatest Part will sail with the first Convoy. As the Province is not yet restored to Peace, it is not judged proper to appoint a Governor, but as the Lieut. Govr. is going out he can exercise all the functions of a Governor in Chief in Consequence of His Majesty's Commission to Lord William Campbell, which devolves to him; and as it is the King's wish to convince the People of America that no Abridgement of their former Liberties is intended, but that they will be restored to all the Privileges of their former Constitution, the Exercise of such Powers as it may be fitting to allow the Civil Authority to possess, in the present Situation of Affairs, being in the Hands of the Constitutional Officers of the Province, must have a good effect. Your Lordship will, therefore, endeavor to throw the Conduct of Civil Matters into their former Channels, as far as you shall judge expedient to permit the Civil Officer to act. I impatiently expect to hear of your further Progress, and that Sir Henry Clinton and Vice-Admiral Arbuthnot have found Means of Sending a Force into the Chesapeak to co-operate with you; for if that de done I have not the least doubt, from your Lordship's vigorous and alert Movements, the whole Country South of the Delaware will be restored to the King's Obedience in the Course of the Campaign.

I understand the Congress evade an Exchange of the Convention Troops with the Garrison of Charles Town, under the Pretence that the Time of Service of the greatest Part of it will expire in a little Time, and the Men will then be no longer Soldiers, and not entitled to be considered as Prisoners of War; and as the Expense of maintaining these People is enormous, some Means must be found of relieving the Public from it, and counteracting the Chicane of that faithless Body.

What appears to me the most practical Measures for these Purposes are the inducing the Prisoners to enter on board the Ships of War or Privateers, or to go as Recruits to the Regiments in the West Indies, or as Volunteers to serve upon the Expedition against the Spanish Settlements from Jamaica; and Your Lordship will, therefore, take the proper Steps for disposing of as many of them as possible in these several Ways, or in such others as may occur to you as more practicable & effectual.

I am, &c.,