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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Banister to Thomas Burke
Banister, John, 1734-1788
July 08, 1781
Volume 15, Pages 518-519


8th July, 1781.


I am going now to Camp to be informed fully respecting the particulars of which you make enquiry. On my return I will endeavor to find a Conveyance by which to give you full intelligence. By the last accounts from the Marquis he was at Wms. burg having to that Place pursued the Enemy after being joined by G. Wayne

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& some volunteer horse from Baltimore. The great neglect of the people possessing good horses on Lord Cornwallis's Route in both States hath rendered them Superior in Cavalry which in our Country is almost equal to a command of the water which they also possess.

The enemy are at Surry Court house, perhaps on their way to So. Quay, but this is so uncertain for you know how difficult it is to enter into the designs of an Enemy.

It is said that Genl. Morgan has joined the Marquis whose Army before was fully equal to that of the Enemy's. But if they move to ye So. our army for want of Boats must take a circuitous Route. Having been driven from home in all Circumstances of distress I have been engaged lately in collecting the remains of my Property which is indeed much reduced. If your State & this could make one good exertion I think we might be in a Situation to make a tolerable peace if France as I doubt not he will, should stand by us, but if on the Emperor's Plan of Pacification we are to be left in single contest with Great Britain I leave you to judge of the Consequences. G. Greene's reverse of fortune was to me unexpected, our intelligence is bad & our attention to the common good worse than Beotian. Yet I think an exertion may bring us into credit still.

Four French Men of war are arrived with 12 transports, recruits on board for their navy & army with much money. Berry of the Alliance? with Six rich prizes, cloathing & Munition &c. for the American Army. All at Boston. There is a reinforcement Sent to Portsmouth but it's amount I am not informed of with accuracy but added to the Enemy's present force is sufficient to continue & add to our present distresses which you may believe me are great as my own are not under £10,000 but yet if we can figure as a nation in peace & war I shall think my property well disposed of.

The Congress set on foot by the Emperor & the Czarina you no doubt have heard of, to settle a general peace in Europe & leave us to contend with Great Britain. But France without perfidy cannot suffer it. If any thing occur when I return from Camp you shall be informed if worth attention. Certain it is that Virginia is this Campaign destined for the Seen of War.

Yr. obd. Ser.,