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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Nathanael Greene to Jethro Sumner
Greene, Nathanael, 1742-1786
May 23, 1781
Volume 15, Page 465

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Camp before Ninety Six, May 23rd, 1781.

Dear Sir:

Your Letters of the 23d of April, and the 7th and 11th of May have been received. I am sorry the Drafts are so tedious in collecting, and that the Article of Arms was not earlier attended to. In my former Letters I desired that all the Drafts except those in Salisbury district might be collected at Hillsborough or where else you might think more convenient to equip them. Those in Salisbury District I directed to join this Army, and have taken measures to have them armed accordingly.

As soon as I get certin intelligence of Lord Cornwallis's moving Northwardly I desired you to join the Marquis or Baron Steuben, to prevent a junction if possible between his Lordship and Genl. Philips. These Letters I hope you have received and will join them accordingly.

We have had various reports of the Enemies movements in Virginia since you wrote, but nothing certain. In this quarter Camden, and the Fort at Nelson's ferry have been evacuated; and fort Watson, Motte, Orangeburg, and Granby taken. The Prisoners who fell into our hands at the several Posts amount to 7 or 800 regulars and irregulars, and fifty odd Officers. Ninety Six and Augusta are beseiged, and I am in hopes will fall into our hands.

I send you a Copy of my last Letter as I am told the Express was taken and the dispatches fell into the hands of the Tories.

I beg you to pay particular attention to the public Stores at Hillsborough, and if the Enemy should move towards Salisbury as is highly probable, at that place also; and keep me advised of their movements.

Use every means in your power to get the drafts equipped as soon as possible. In whatever direction the Enemy moves try to keep out of their way all good Horses, fit for the Dragoon or Waggon Service. This is a greater object, and greater in its consequences than is generally immagined. A general exchange of Prisoners is agreed on to take place in June or July. All Officers to be paroled that are not exchanged. With esteem & regard,

I am Sir your most obedient hble Servt.