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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Instructions to Charles McDowell concerning an expedition against the Cherokee Nation
Martin, Alexander, 1740-1807
July 23, 1782
Volume 16, Pages 697-698

[From Executive Letter Book.]


Having laid before the Council of State, the subject matter of an expedition against the Cherokees, or the hostile tribes of that nation called Chickammoggys, as referred to me and that board, by the General Assembly.

By and with their advice you will therefore have ready to be embodied by the 20th of August next, five hundred Volunteer Horsemen to march against the valley settlements of the Cherokees, so as to form a junction with Colonel Shelby and Brigadier General Pickens at a place called the Shumack, and there concert measures as will effectually chastise that nation and reduce them to obedience; and their continuance in service for three months shall be considered as a tour of duty. That if a sufficient number of volunteers by the time aforesaid are not enrolled, you will order a draft from the Counties of Burke, Wilkes, Lincoln and Rutherford, for the aforesaid number of Horsemen, or for as many as will be sufficient to serve for three months under your command, which shall be considered a tour of duty, who shall be ready to march on —— of September next: first having correspondence with General Pickens on this subject as to your joint or separate operations. That you fill up the Commission of Superintendant Commissary to some active person in the Counties therein mentioned, who will procure you Cattle for this expedition, by barter of the Specific Tax for that article of provision or otherwise. That in the mean while you will issue your orders to Colonel Shelby of Sullivan County to have ready to be embodied five hundred volunteer horsemen or footmen as he shall think proper by the 20th of August, and in case of failure by that time, you will order a draft from the Counties of Washington and Sullivan for a like number of men who by the —— of September will march under the Command of Colonel Isaac Shelby to the Chickammoggy Town, which Town he is to attack and destroy, with such Indian Males as he shall find therein

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and afterwards form a junction with you at Shumack, or such other place you shall think most conducive to the intent of the expedition. That a fortress, said to be erected in the upper Cherokee County by the British you will attempt to take separately or jointly with General Pickens or Colonel Shelby or both as the same will be judged most practicable. That you preserve all female prisoners and children which by you shall be taken, for whom you will negotiate exchanges for such of our prisoners in Captivity with their people. That you avoid in your marches and spare those Towns you are sensible are friendly disposed, demanding from them those Indians who are enemies. That you direct Colonel Shelby (or if necessary you jointly with him) to erect a convenient and sufficient fort or fortress at the Chickammoggy Town, and you will support the same by a part of the Militia under each of your commands or otherwise you shal think proper; and that occasional Draughts from Morgan District be made to maintain the said fort until the end of the War. That Mr. Amis Superintendant Commissary of the Counties Washington and Sullivan have the same instructions relative to Cattle for the support of the expedition under the command of Colonel Shelby, as the Superintendent who will act under your immediate command hath received.

That as few pack horses as possible be employed, least they retard the march but this is submitted to you. That you observe strict discipline among the men, suffering no marauding or plundering by individuals: but whatever property should be taken the same to be divided among the Troops in quality and quantity as equal as possible, otherwise to be sold and divided as aforesaid. That upon recovering property which may have been robbed from the Citizens of this State and the United States on proper proof the same be restored to the owners they paying salvage or one-third of the value thereof to the Army agreeable to the maritime Laws of War. That all arms, ammunition and other military Stores to be considered as public property and be accordingly reserved for the use of the State.

Given under my hand at Silver Creek,
the 23d July 1782.