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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Alexander Lillington to Thomas Burke
Lillington, John Alexander, 1720s-1786
July 24, 1781
Volume 15, Pages 569-570


July 24th, 1781.

Dr. Sir


I recd. yr. favr. of the 8th Instant, & have observed the Contents, & in Answer thereto, I am first to inform yr. Excellency that we have not Kept up a Standing Army, Any Ways Near the Enemies lines, Since the Troops that was under My Command mch. I Marched up to Kinston at the time that Cornwallis' were Marching Through the State. I at that time time had the Amunition & Other Stores Delivered to the Quartermaster in Kingston. I am sorry to inform you Sir that at this time when we Dayly Expect the Enemy to March up into the Country, that we have Not Three Rounds a man, & I know not where to apply, being Informed that none is to be had in Newbern. As to Armes that the Militia have in Genl. yr. Excellency is As good a Judge of as I am, in regard to the two rivers No. East & No. West the Navagation is good for small boats Many Miles above the Enemies lines. As to the Rout they May possibly take, in case they should penitrate into tho Country, is As yet Impossible to Say, they have been as far as the Rich lands of New River & plundered some few of the Inhabitants but their stay was but short. Owing to the Spirit of the People who they found were Colecting very fast, they retreated back to R. Mill at this time. I understand that Major Mansan has taken Post at the Great Bridge. I believe the whole of Major Craigg force do not Exceed four hundred. I am informed by Capt. Armstrong who I am happy to see that part of Genl. Caswell's Army is at last Come Down to Rockfish in Duplin, to Morrow I intend to go over, in order to inform myself what can be done. Kennin letters to me Complains of the Want of Amunition. Whenever yr. Excellency shall think proper to Issue Orders to me, you may assure yr. self that they shall

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be put into Execution as far as in my power. At present it is not in my power to send Expresses to you for the want of Light Horse, Otherwise you would have heard from me before this. Your Excellency will do well to order our Commissary Genl. to Attend the Troops & to Provide the Necessaries in his Department for the Army. July 24th, 1781.

I am sir with great Esteem yr. Excellency's
Most Obedient Hum. Ssrvant,