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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Thomas Nelson to Thomas Burke
Nelson, Thomas, 1738-1789
September 11, 1781
Volume 15, Pages 641-642


Williamsburg, Sept. 11th, 1781.


I arrived here this Day. Part of our Troops are below within eight miles of York; the French and most of the Continental Troops lie still a mile or two above. Our Force is daily growing stronger, & I flatter myself we shall very soon circumscribe Cornwallis within narrower Limits than he has lately been accustomed

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to. We have had information of the Arrival of the Northern Troops under his Excellency, Genl. Washington, at the Head of Elk. They were to come down by Water, and may be every Moment expected.

Last Week a British Fleet appeared off our Capes, which drew out the Count De Grasse with the greater Part of his Fleet. It is said they engaged, and that after a smart Conflict the Britons fled & were pursued by the French. They have not yet returned, nor have we heard anything from them which can be depended on, but from their Superiority our Hopes are very high.

I shall continue here until the Fate of York is determined, unless the Meeting of our Assembly obliges me sooner to leave the Field; & I expect to have the Pleasure of communicating to you from Time to Time Events of the most agreeable Nature.

I am, Sir, with the greatest Esteem and Respect,
Your most obed. & very hum. Servt.,
His Excellency, Governor Burke.