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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Nathanael Greene to Alexander Martin
Greene, Nathanael, 1742-1786
January 05, 1783
Volume 16, Page 725

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Head Quarters, Jany. 5th, 1783.


In consequence of an enclosed Copy of a Resolution of Congress and from the difficulty of Clothing and feeding the Troops in the Southern deparment, I have sent home all those belonging to your State, except one compleat Regiment. Should operations commence again in the Southern States our force is quite unequal to their protection. I have directed the Officers marching home the Troops to furlough the Men until your further orders. As the men are engaged for a certain time it may not be prudent to dismiss them altogether; but hold them subject to your future call on condition of their having no pay, rations or clothing from the public whilst they remain at home. This may secure a necessary force to the State, or for the United States upon an emergency without the expense of keeping the men constantly in the Field. I do not wish any more to be ordered to Camp unless they are engaged for three years or the War until you hear further from me or the Minister of War on the Subject. Should you disapprove the mode here suggested you will please to communicate your objections, and the alterations you propose. It appears to be the intention of Congress to have no Troops but for three years or the War in Service. This together with our peculiar situation and the hopes of some repose to the Southern States from the evacuation of Charles Town lead me to adopt the measure proposed; and I wish it may meet your approbation. The public good and general safety suggested the necessity, as well as the mode. We are starving more than a third of our time small as our force is and if we should not be able to form contracts for the subsistence of the Troops and your State don’t afford us considerable supplies we must disband the army altogether.

I am, with great respect, &c.,