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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Benjamin Lincoln to Richard Caswell
Lincoln, Benjamin, 1733-1810
January 08, 1780
Volume 15, Pages 316-317

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Charles Town, January 8th, 1780.

Dear Sir:

Since I did myself the honor of addressing your Excellency, under the 3d Inst., I have recd. from Col. Mebane, the commanding Officer of your Troops here, the enclosed list of Deserters.

It is very alarming to observe such want of principle and faith, that neither the one or the other is sufficient to restrain men from such wicked and dangerous practices, and unhappy when desertions become so frequent that, to correct the spirit of it, measures must be adopted which our feelings would prompt us, if possible, to avoid. I think if your Inhabitants could be induced to exert themselves in apprehending deserters, and none were suffered to remain in the Country with impunity, it would discourage many

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from the attempt, as they could not avail themselves by such conduct, while others might be deterred from fear of that punishment which such crimes justly deserve. Two Officers are now sent from this place, and orders are given to others to exert themselves in apprehending Deserters. But without the assistance of the civil authorities and the aid and countenance of the Citizens our endeavours will have little effect. I have directed our Officers to wait on your Excellency and request your interposition in these matters. We learn from Savannah by the last accounts that the 60th Regiment is ordered to St. Augustine. I think the movement of the Spaniards has alarmed the enemy and called their attention to that place. We have no certain accounts from Pensacola or Mobile, but Deserters say that they heard in Georgia these places were taken; but these are mere reports.

I have the honor to be, Dr. Sir,
With the greatest respect,
Your Excellency's Mo. ob. Servt.,
Gov. Caswell.