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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Charles Cornwallis, Marquis Cornwallis to Henry Clinton
Cornwallis, Charles Cornwallis, Marquis, 1738-1805
April 23, 1781
Volume 17, Pages 1018-1019


Wilmington, April 23, 1781.


I have the honor to inclose to you a duplicate of my letter of the 10th sent by the Amphitrite, and copies of all my letters to the Secretary of State; as they contain the most exact account of every transaction of the campaign, of the present state of things in this district, of my great apprehensions from the movement of General Greene towards Camden and my resolutions in consequence of it. I have nothing to add to it for your Excellency's satisfaction.

Neither my cavalry or infantry are in readiness to move; the former are in want of everything, the latter of every necessary but shoes, of which we have received an ample supply; I must however, begin my march to-morrow. It is very disagreeable to me to decide upon measures so very important and of such consequence to the general conduct of the war, without an opportunity of procuring your Excellency's directions or approbation; but the delay and difficulty of conveying letters and the impossibility of waiting for answers render it indispensably necessary. My present undertaking sits heavy on my mind; I have experienced the distresses and dangers of marching some hundreds of miles, in a country chiefly hostile, without one active or useful friend; without intelligence and without communication with any part of the country. The situation in which I leave South Carolina adds much to my anxiety; yet I am under the necessity of adopting this hazardous enterprise hastily and with the appearance of precipitation; as I find there is no prospect of speedy reinforcement from Europe and that the

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return of General Greene to North Carolina, either with or without success, would put a junction with General Phillips out of my power.

I have the honor to be, &c.,