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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Hardy Murfree to Jethro Sumner
Murfree, Hardy
July 22, 1781
Volume 15, Pages 560-561

Dr. General:

A party of the enemy came from Suffolk to South Key, 16th Instant destroyed the ware houses, Rum, tobacco, &c., at that place, the day next marched to Wineoak & Manny's ferry, which is within 12 miles of this place, Burnt Mr. Manney's dwelling house, with upwards 100 Blls. Sugar, a large quantity Rum, Rigging, Coffee, &c. They also destroyed a large quantity Rum, Sugar, Coffee, Wine, &c., at Wine-Oak, took all the horses, plundered the inhabitants in a most cruel manner. They were expected at the Pitch Landing, which is four miles above this & a place of considerable trade. I turned out and raised between 60 & 70 men & took post at Skinner's Bridge on Meherin River, an advantageous post, which is generally supposed prevented their coming this far. The 19th they retreated towards Suffolk. There has a number of Tories joined the Enemy in Nansemond County near South Key, and is embodied in that neighbourhood, which is only 18 or 20 miles from this

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place. I should be much oblige to you, if I am not greatly wanted in Camp, to let me stay in this part of the Country while the enemy continues so near. As we have no army near us and liable to be plundered, &c., by those Tories who has done more mischief than the British Army.

I have and can raise in a few hours, 70 or 80 men in this part of the Country. Please to favour me with a line as soon as convenient.

Col. Lamb is on his way to join you with a party of Troops from this district, who can inform you of the success of collecting the drafts, &c.

All the stores was not sent from this neighbourhood when we expected the enemy among us. I put a part of it on board of a vessel, and the remainder I secured as well as I could. Among the articles impressed, there was a few pss. of light canvass & 1 pss. Rushe Drill. If you want it, it is very good for Breeches and Overalls. I will keep two or three ps. and bring out with me, as I make no doubt but the Officers are in want. Lord Cornwallis is at Jericho, a few miles below Suffolk. He has burnt all the vessels in that part of the Country. I am informed by good authority that 2,000 men had embarked from his army for New York. I am told the Marquis is on the other side of James River, and that General Wayne has come over on this side, six days ago, with upwards of 1,000 men.

I saw Capt. Edwd. Webb, a gentleman that is to be depended on, yesterday, directly from Boston, Informs me that he overtook in Hertford town in Connecticut five Thousand French troops with a number of large cannons, some 42-pounders, on their way to join His Excellency, Genl. Washington, at the white plains.

I am with respect, your Mo. Hum. Servt.,

Hertford County, Murfree's Landing, 22 July, 1781.