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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Charles Cornwallis, Marquis Cornwallis to George Sackville Germain, Viscount Sackville
Cornwallis, Charles Cornwallis, Marquis, 1738-1805
April 18, 1781
Volume 17, Pages 1014-1015


Wilmington, 18th April, 1781.

My Lord:

I marched from Guilford on the morning of the 18th of March, and next day arrived at Bell's Mill, where I gave the Troops two day's rest, and procured a small supply of provisions. From thence I proceeded slowly towards Cross Creek, attending to the convenience of subsistence, & the movement of our wounded. On, my way, I issued the inclosed Proclamation, & took every other means in my power to reconcile enemies, & to encourage our friends to join us.

From all my information I intended to have halted at Cross Creek, as a proper place to refit and refresh the Troops, and I was much disappointed on my arrival there, to find it totally impossible. Provisions were scarce, not four days forage within twenty miles, and to us the Navigation of the Cape Fear River to Wilmington, impracticable; for the distance by water is upwards of a hundred miles, the breadth seldom above a hundred yards, the banks high, and the Inhabitants on either side generally hostile. Under these circumstance, was obliged to continue my march to this place, in the neighborhood of which I arrived on the 7th inst.

I have been busy since my arrival in disposing of our sick & wounded, and in procuring the necessary Supplies, to put the troops in a proper state, to take the field. I am in daily expectation of seeing the reinforcement from Europe, and of receiving the Commander-in-Chief's directions for the further operations of the Campaign.

Captain Schutz died a few days after the action, as we expected, but I am sorry to inform your Lordship, that, notwithstanding the flattering appearances & the Assurances of the Surgeons, Colonel Webster

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(whose loss is severely felt by me & the whole Army) Captain Maynard of the Guards, Captain Wilmousky and Ensign De Trott of the Regiment of Bose are since dead.

Major Craig who took possession of this place in the latter end of January, has conducted himself with great Zeal & Capacity, having with a very small force, not only secured the Post from all insults, but made himself respectable in this part of the Country, by several successful excursions.

I shall not trouble your Lordship on the subject of South Carolina, having directed Lord Rawdon who commands on the Frontiers, and Lieut. Colonel Balfour Commandant of Charlestown, to take every opportunity of communicating to your Lordship, as well as to the Commander-in-Chief, the state of affairs in that Province; as they are both Officers of capacity & great merit, I trust that their conduct will have given satisfaction.

I have the honor to be with great respect, My Lord, Your Lordship's Most obedient & Most humble Servant.
Right Honorable Lord George Germain, &c., &c., &c.