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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from William Richardson Davie to Richard Caswell
Davie, William Richardson, 1756-1820
August 29, 1780
Volume 15, Pages 368-370

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Charlotte, August 29th, 1780.


The Enemy's falling immediately back to Camden and making no further advantage of their victory laid me under no necessity

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of retreating further than this. I kept out small parties of Horse to cover the Country and furnish us with regular Intelligence. The number of the Militia in Camp have been so fluctuating that nothing could be done. Last Saturday, with some difficulty, a command of one hundred horse was made up. I proceeded with them down the Country as far as three miles below the Hanging Rock.

The Tory Militia have returned to their Plantations, but none of them appeared; they have robbed a few houses, and take every opportunity of expressing their designs of plundering the Country and murdering the Whiggest Inhabitants.

The North Carolina Militia are now reduced to 300 in Camden, and those are detained by the Enemy's solemnly engaging to march into this State between the first and tenth of next month.

The arrangements the Enemy are making in Camden indicate a disposition of this kind. They are industriously mounting their Infantry on the captured horses, refreshing and showing the Cavalry of the Legion & Getting Barrels made to carry provisions. This looks like a Bush-Country Trip. Have sent off some of their Baggage to Charlestown, Convinced, I suppose, of the uncertainty of human affairs. Last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday marched off the Prisoners to Garrison.

It is said one party were released by the Militia near Sumpter. Two, who left Camden on Sunday, told me it was publicly spoken of there as a fact. Last Friday they called in their best post from Rugely's. Colo. Turnbull has also discharged his militia on the other side the Catawba and marched with the Regular Troops into Camden.

All the recruits raised in the District of Ninety-six and other parts of So. Carolina were furloughed till the 6th or 7th of the next month, when they are to rendezvous at Camden. Our old friend, Mr. B. B. Boot, is Commissary of Prisoners, and Mr. Kerr, who left Salisbury with his assistance.

They talk of reinforcements from Town, but God knows whether they are serious or not.

The Militia in camp are quite inconsiderable, frightened, too, and irresolute, one day in Camp, another day to secure their property, so that one-half will undoubtedly vanish upon the appearance of the Enemy. The Counties of Rowan and Mecklenburg are rich

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in provisions and strong in men, staunch, numerous and spirited, if they were only encouraged to take the field by timely assistance. These are the facts, as near as I can collect them, respecting the Enemy's conduct and the situation of this distressed Country. A small body of Regulars, with a few Militia, and these Counties would still keep the Enemy at Bay. Our poor wounded in Camden are in a most wretched situation. Colo. Wilcox told me Genl. Rutherford had no surgeon but himself, and that many of them had never been dressed. Something should be done for them; 'tis cruel. Capt. Macneal of Hamilton's Regiment, who came up with Colo. Quleyson, till he met with our party, mentioned the Legion's returning last Thursday from capturing some provision wagons on their way to Nelson's Ferry.

I am, Sir, with great respect,
Your humbl. Servt.,