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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Henry Clinton to William Phillips
Clinton, Henry, Sir, 1738?-1795
April 30, 1781
Volume 17, Page 1026


New York, 30th April, 1781.

[Received by Lord Cornwallis at Petersburg.]

Dear Phillips:

I cannot judge from Lord Cornwallis's letter, whether he proposes any further operations in the Carolinas—what they may be, and how far you can operate in his favor. If I was to give a private opinion from reading his letter, I would say, I cannot conceive from it that he has any offensive object in view. He says, that North Carolina is a country in which it is impossible for an army to act or move without the assistance of friends, does not seem to think we have any there nor do you. I shall give no opinion respecting that at present, or until I receive his Lordship's account of the state of the province, and of his winter campaign.

His Lordship tells me that he wants reinforcements—with nine British Battalions, and detachments from seven more, (besides those from the Artillery and seventeenth Dragoons)—five Hessian Battalions, and a detachment of Yagers, and eleven Provincial Battalions exclusive of the cavalry and infantry of the Legion, and the Provincial Light Infantry. I would ask, how can that be possible, and if it is, what hopes can I have of a force sufficient to undertake any solid operation?