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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette to Allen Jones
Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier, marquis de, 1757-1834
July 10, 1781
Volume 15, Pages 521-522


Headquarters near Loan's Bridge, 10th July, 1781.


Having received advice of General Greene's situation, and seen a copy of your letter to Col. Parker I conceived it necessary to give

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you some account of things in this quarter, that we might the better co-operate for the relief of General Greene.

On the 6th instant I moved down toward James Town near which place Lord Cornwallis had retired, a reconnoitering party of about 800 men, which fell in with their main body near the green spring. Notwithstanding our inferiority a warm and close action commenced, and we retired about half a mile without having sustained any material loss. The total of killed and wounded not rising above 130. Two pieces of Cannon were lost owing to the horses being killed. According to accounts Cornwallis suffered about 250 in killed and wounded. The next night he crossed to Cobham leaving no post whatever on this side James river.

Lord Cornwallis is now advancing to Carolina. I shall either follow his Lordship in case he proceeds with his whole force or form a junction with General Greene as circumstances may direct. Should you not have received particular instruction how to act in such a juncture, I think it absolutely essential that all the force within your power be employed in embarrassing his march, by the destruction of bridges of boats and by obstructing fords. If it is possible to harrass him without committing yourself too much, this should not be left undone. Everything in short is to be essayed that we can attempt to prevent or delay his junction with the army now acting against Gen. Greene. I pray you to advise me of whatever you may think necessary to my movements.

I have the honor to be Sir Your Ob. Sert.,