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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Joseph Graham to Archibald D. Murphey
Graham, Joseph, 1759-1836
July 14, 1821
Volume 19, Pages 974-975


Vesuvius Furnace,
July 14, 1821.

Dear Sir:—About the time of the last Superior Court in Salisbury, I wrote to you and at the same time forwarded several sheets in a separate package containing the narrative of transactions in the Revolutionary war, from the time of the battle of Ramsour’s, (20th of June, 1780). until Gates’ defeat, 16th of Aug., which I am in hopes you have received. I have continued my narrative from the battle of Hanging Rock, 6th of August, 1780, to the battle of Guilford, 15th March, 1781—it contains 20 sheets, (omitting the battles well described by others,) chiefly relative to the militia in this section of the State, perhaps it goes too much into detail, though on reading it to some who were then in service they thought otherwise, and suggested several things omitted which they wished to be noticed.

If I had time to make another draft I would improve it, but my avocations will not admit; the facts stated may be relied on.

Shortly after the battle of Guilford, North Carolina ceased to be the seat of War, except in the south-west towards Fayetteville and Wilmington, where Major Craig commanded the British, and the tories ruled as high as Drowning Creek.

After Gov. Burke was captured, about the middle of September,

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1781, an expedition was fitted out from the west, under Gen. Rutherford. A sheet or two will contain all I have to communicate from March until September. From that period until the British evacuated Wilmington I can give the whole details, as it was the last campaign I served in that war. My object is to state nothing but what I have a personal knowledge of.

Before I was old enough to enter service there were three campaigns by the militia in the west, viz:

1. Against the Cherokee Indians under the command of General Rutherford in the fall of the year 1776.

2. Against the tories or Scovellites, usually called the snow campaign on account of a heavy snow which fell while they were out. This expedition was made in the month of December, 1775. Col. Martin had two companies of regulars, one from the first regiment under Capt. George Davidson; and the other under John Armstrong of the 2d regiment. Exclusive of these there was about 200 men from Rowan, under Col. Rutherford, 300 from Mecklenburg under Col. Polk, and 100 from Tryon under Col. Thos. Neel. This body joined Gen. Richardson of South Carolina, and Col. Thomson of the 3rd South Carolina regiment, at Saluda river, about the 16th or 17th December. When the tories broke up the siege of “Ninety-six,” and returned to Saluda river on the 22nd, they were surprised and 400 taken prisoners. They were commanded by Paris, Cunningham and Fletcher.

3. A large body of militia marched to Fayetteville about the time or just after the battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge, with Gen. Caswell, in 1776. Col. Polk served in the 2nd, and was wounded. Gen. Geo. Graham in the 1st and 3rd.

I am Sir, very respectfully,
A. D. Murphey, Esq.,
Attorney, &c.