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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Nathanael Greene to Jethro Sumner
Greene, Nathanael, 1742-1786
March 30, 1782
Volume 16, Pages 574-575


Head Quarters near Dorchester, March 30th, 1782.

Dear Sir:

I have received your favours of the 14th of February and 5th Instant. I am very sorry you did not get forward the overalls seasonably. Our troops have suffered greatly for want of them. There must be something fundamentally wrong in the mode of managing business in your State that Stores are applied, so contrary to positive orders, and some steps in future must be taken to correct that abuse.

General Washington and Congress have both informed me that from the present complexion of European Intelligence there is the greatest reason to expect the enemy will prosecute an active campaign, and the General adds he hopes the States will use every possible exertion to fill up their Continental lines. You will wait on the Assembly at Halifax and urge the measure and take such steps to carry it into effect as the General Assembly may think proper to adopt for the purpose.

Major Armstrong is gone to Salisbury District to aid you in the business, and Major Blount is also gone home, whom you may employ if you think it necessary.

Col. Lyttle is exchanged. Please to order him to Camp.

Enclosed I send you a piece of Intelligence just come to hand, which I believe may be depended upon, and I fear the execution will take place before this can reach you. Should it not, you will take every possible step in your power to defeat the Enemy’s designs. If the merchants could remove their Stores the great

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object of the enemy would be defeated, for it is the destruction of them they have in view.

I am, Sir, Your Humble Servant,
General Sumner.

On a separate sheet enclosed in this letter was the following:

A Force consisting of four vessels, mounting in the whole to 40 guns and man’d with two hundred and fifty seamen are preparing in Charlestown & will sail in a few days. Their object is to plunder and destroy the town of Beaufort in North Carolina in which they are informed is a large quantity of public and private Stores; should they be repulsed there they will proceed to Ocracoke with the same view.