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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Joseph Graham to Archibald D. Murphey [Extract]
Graham, Joseph, 1759-1836
November 27, 1820
Volume 19, Pages 968-970

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Vesuvius Furnace,
Nov. 27, 1820.

Dear Sir:

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I will give you a kind of chronology according to my present views. From Ramsour’s in three days after the battle Gen. Rutherford marched against Col. Bryant in the forks of the Yadkin. Bryant heard of his coming, and on the 30th June crossed the Yadkin, marched rapidly and joined the British at Cheraw Hill. Rutherford pursued until below Abbot’s Creek and returned to Salisbury. From there in a few days marched with the men designated for a tour to join Gen. Gates, when in the pursuit of Bryant at Salisbury, he detached Col. Wm. L. Davidson with 250 men down the west side of the Yadkin; at Colson’s these troops attacked the tories, superior in numbers, and defeated them, Colonel Davidson and one other wounded.

The Biritsh advanced simultaneously on each side of the Catawba; Gen. Sumpter was invested with command of South Carolina refugees and North Carolina men; movements preceding battles at Rocky Mount and Hanging Rock, which took place the 1st and 6th of August, are well described by Lee, incidents only are admitted by him. On 16th of August, Gates’ defeat; all the historians describe it better perhaps than could be done again. After Gates’ defeat, Sumpter’s, 18th August.

Succeeding events about Charlotte, Camp at McAlpine’s Creek, Gen. Sumner arrives, Davie’s affair at Wahab’s, (Waxhaw), well described by Lee; British arrive at McAlpine’s Creek 24th Sept., Tarleton detached after Gen. Sumpter to Bigger’s Ferry, who has notice, crosses the river and escapes; 26th September British advance Tarleton joins two miles below Charlotte, recounter in Charlotte

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and at the cross roads very imperfectly described; form of British encampment and conduct while in Charlotte, on 3d of October, send a foraging party 450 infantry, 60 cavalry, 40 wagons on the road to Beattie’s Ford, divide at McIntyre’s farm, are attacked by Capt. Thompson, Geo. Graham, Robt. Robeson, Esq., 14 in the whole, whose names I have.

Killed a Captain and seven men, wounded 12; the party returned to Charlotte with less than two loads of forage. 7th Oct. Ferguson’s defeat; Dr. Wm. McLean and Capt. Saml. Caldwell who were there, say it is not well represented in any of the histories, (I was then in the hospital), they propose giving a description, &c. The British hearing of Ferguson’s disaster leave Charlotte 10th of October, incidents on their return march, by way of old Nation ford, arrive at Winnsboro’ about 1st Nov., Camp at six mile Creek, arrival at the Camp of Gens. Greene and Morgan, militia management until 17th Jan., ’81. Tarleton defeated, British advance in pursuit of Morgan by way of Ramsour’s. 30th Jan. Morgan passes Sherrill’s Ford, same day Greene, Davidson and Colonel Washington held council at Beattie’s Ford, next day. 1st February, battles at Cowan’s and Beatie’s Ford at Torrence’s, not well described. 3d February the British advance; attack the Militia in Morgan’s rear at night near Trading Ford on the Yadkin. On 7th February Graham’s troop of cavalry killed and took seven prisoners of the British on their march—between Shallow Ford and Salem. 11th Gen. And. Pickens of South Carolina, invested with command of all the forces, collected in rear of the British, marched by Guilford on to Stony Creek, 10 or 15 miles from Hillsboro’; detached twenty of Graham’s cavalry, some of Simmons’ riflemen, forty in the whole, who marched in the night; at light in the morning attacked a qicquet at Hart’s mill, 1 1-2 miles from Hillsboro’, killed and took the whole 25. Lost none, though closely pursued by Tarleton’s whole corps, brought prisoners all safe in, Monday was joined by Lee’s legion. Succeeding transactions of the affair of Piles’ at Holt’s, well described, but unaccountably, though Lee was present, he makes no mention of the affair at Clap’s Mill 5 or 600 a side; it was a pretty stiff business. The British had a Captain and 16 killed—we had nine. Out of my command two killed. Ford (of Charlotte,) and Johnson; Robert Harris, Esq., Samuel Martin and Jack Barnett, wounded; John

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Stinson (nigh Charlott) and Jo. Mitchell prisoners; seven in the whole.

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Yours, &c.,