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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from William Caswell to Thomas Burke
Caswell, William, 1754-1785
September 04, 1781
Volume 15, Page 632

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Kingston, Sept. 4th, 1781.


I recd. your Excellency's favour of the 31st Aug. & one without date, late in the Day Yesterday at New River where I was waiting for the arrival of Genl. Wayne. I had made every preparation for hard Skirmishing with the Enemy should the Guard mov'd forward. Have since ordered Captn. Coleman & the other Militia to Assemble at New Bern to take post, and shall in every respect comply with your Excellcy's. orders. The River Neuse above Longfield Coxes is passable at every Three Miles distant, and I think it will be impossible for us to Guard the passes should He attempt to pass above, However shall endeavor to Harrass him in front, rear and flank Should He move this way. Shall this day send out parties to collect the Sheep & Cattle of the People who are in actual Service against us, the collection will be at this place. Should the Commissy. send orders He will find them in possession of Mr. Wm. Howard. The Militia ordered out on tour for one Month will be regularly reliev'd should there be a necessity. I find it would be very inconvenient to get those large numbers out for a longer time, and they go with much lighter Baggage, and with more cheerfulness.

The Horses and Waggons I think to order to Pollock's Mill on Trent River, which I think will be the safest place, if the Enemy should not move from the So.ward. Genl. Lillington will meet with much difficulty in collecting his Troops. Much confusion & contention in Comd. in Onslow and in Duplin & the whole District, they have not that Confidence in their Officers as men going into service ought to have, and when that happens Your Excellcy. well knows with what diffidence the men turn out.

I am with the Highest respect,
Your Excellency's most obed. Servt.