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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Thomas Burke to John Alexander Lillington
Burke, Thomas, ca. 1747-1783
February 27, 1782
Volume 16, Pages 527-528


Halifax, Feb’y 27th, 1782.


Yours of the 12th Instant to Colo. Martin, Speaker of the Senate, came to my hands with the returns enclosed. I request you, Sir,

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to use every Endeavour to procure similar returns from every County in the District under your Command before the Assembly meets. They will be requisite to enable them to Judge of what numbers are to be drawn from them for recruiting the Continental Line. I also request you to procure returns of the receipts for draughts delivered to the regular Officers with the names of those Officers. You have, I hope, received a letter from me relative to orders to which yours refers.

I am extremely concern’d for the Injurious and disgraceful behaviour of the Militia. I wish you to give directions for an account of particulars supported by affidavits pointing out the offenders where practicable in order that some measures may be taken for relief of the injured and punishment of the oppressors. So soon as I can have returns and gain a proper Idea of the District under your Command, I will take some Measures for arming such a force as may be necessary to keep in readiness. In the mean time I wish you to inform me what force you deem proper to be employed and at what Posts.

A complaint dated 19th December last came to my hands the 21st of this month against Colo. Young for suffering some Militia posted at Wilmington to Act Irregularly and oppressively against the Inhabitants, particularly in making Arbitrary and Illegal Impressments. I request you to cause due inquiry to be made into the matter to put a stop to the evils and to put the Officers in a proper train for tryal. I need not suggest to you that Irregular troops are extremely distressing to a people where they serve—if their officers be not extremely attentive, and when the officers themselves Commit Acts of oppression they are unpardonable. I mean to visit your District before the Setting of the Assembly if in my power.

I am yr. obt. svt.,
Genl. Lillington.