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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Jethro Sumner to Nathanael Greene
Sumner, Jethro, 1733?-1785
May 06, 1781 - May 08, 1781
Volume 15, Pages 456-457


Sunday, Halifax, May 6th, 4 o'clock, E'g., 1781.


The best accounts that we have had of the enemy's march towards this quarter, say that about 800 were at Peacock's Bridge on Cotentney? in the road leading to Tarborough that they had put to route a party of Militia of about 400, under Col. Gorum by a party of Tarleton's horse and fifty Tories. The people are moving before them; most of the public stores here, I flatter myself, will be moved off, and out of their way. I have not, Sir, been able to arm of the drafts, more than sixty. Gen. Jones is here with about eighty Militia. His Excellency has ordered him to move towards Warren County. 200 he informs me will join him from Nash County. What the other Counties of this district may collect I am not able to inform. I shall join the few drafts with the militia and march them. Major Hogg will take charge of them. This moment express arrived, informs of the enemys being in Tarborongh, I shall move off all the men for Warren County or Greenville, and send off express should any stores from . . . . . . . .? be near the Taylor's ferry. I have also received express from Edenton district; very few counties will be able to make their drafts for some time.

I shall myself set off for Harrisburgh this evening to see what number of drafts are in that neighborhood, or have arrived from Salisbury; I shall keep them together, with expectation of being supplyed with arms as soon as may be from Baron Steuben's Camp.

Harrisburgh, May 8th, 12 o'clock, Morning.

I have this moment arrived here from Halifax. Col. Malmady

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overtook me at Col. Hawkins in Granville County. Informs that he left Halifax 5 o'clock next morning upon information of the Enemy's being advancing near; that, on my arrival at Col. Hawkins in Warren County where his Excellency, the Governor was, express arrived informs of a party of the Enemy was seen at Duncan Lemon's Ferry on Tar River, on each side of the river Saturday about eleven o'clock; there is a small party of horse gone to reconnoitre their movements. I shall do what may be in my power in getting the drafts together as the officer who was to receive them, had orders to turn to the right or the left of the enemy, and meet me to Harrisburg or Hillsborough, and I hope they will be very active in facilitating this maneuver. Col. Malmady informs that the drafts joined the militia by crossing at Halifax Monday morning, I shall write you on receiving further intelligence of the enemy, immediately. Shall be very glad to hear from you.

I am Sir, yr. very hum. Servt.,

The stores at this station, I am doubtful cannot be moved off for want of waggons, Should the Enemy take this rout.