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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Stephen Drayton to Jethro Sumner
Drayton, Stephen, 1736-1810
June 29, 1781
Volume 15, Pages 496-497


Hillsborough, 29th June, 1781.


I was in hopes of having the pleasure of delivering the inclosed to you in person; but from your being at Harrisburg and the Governor at the Assembly, I have sent this Express to you, that I might proceed with all expedition to the Governor.

The danger of the Roads from the Camp to this State, for a single person travelling, obliged the General to trust more to me, than to letter, the chief however of what I should have had to say to you, would be to relate General Greene's critical situation, and the absolute

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necessity of being instantly and strongly supported. This proceeds from the Enemy having marched up in very strong force from Charles Town from Ninety Six, & as they were within forty miles of that place on Monday, it became necessary to raise the seige, & prepare for defence. This was not done on Monday the 18th when I left Camp; but every necessary preparation previous thereto was making; On this day we made an attack on the Starr redoubt & attempted to pull their Rampart down, after two attacks the troops were called off. A third attack on the Evening of that day I believe was determined on, whether it took place or how it ended I know not as I have not heard from Camp since my departure from thence.

Our troops from fatigue, sickness & frequent skirmishes are greatly reduced, indeed comparatively speaking to the Enemy's power they were at first but a handful of men. In short Sir I leave you to judge the situation of our General after considering what his numbers were what they must be now, and that the enemy have had a reinforcement (who were nearly strong enough without) of upwards of two hundred men under the command of the Earl of Lincoln & Major General Gould. I shall remain at Wake Court House two days, I shall not be there before tomorrow, tuesday I may leave it, if you come there I should be happy to see you; if you do not, pray let me hear from you by this Express, who can take Wake in his return.

I am Sir
your most Obt. Hble. Servt