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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Archibald Maclaine to Thomas Burke
Maclaine, Archibald, 1728-1790
February 09, 1781
Volume 22, Pages 534-535


Halifax, Feb. 9th, 1781.

Dear Sir:

The Bearer going express to Philadelphia, gives me an opportunity of informing you that the British forces to the number of Four or Five Hundred are in possession of Wilmington and Heron’s Bridge on the N. East. Mr. Hooper and myself are here at the Assembly, with our Fortunes upon our backs, endeavoring to raise what force we can to repel the Enemy. Arnold is at Portsmouth, Va., with about 1,000 or 1,500 men. It is feared he intends an Attack upon Edenton. Lord Cornwallis, by accounts this day received, though not authenticated, is at Salisbury with 2,500 men. He had destroyed his heavy baggage, intending to release the Prisoners taken by Morgan. The latter and Davidson are in the rear of the former, and Greene marching up in this side of the Yadkin to meet him. The British at Cape Fear are opposed by some Militia, who it is hoped will check them till reinforcements arrive. This is the present News. How we shall extricate ourselves God only knows. We have few arms that are in any order. Militia officers are not to be depended on. We have therefore called the Continentals into service and they obey with alacrity. Mr. Caswell has the Chief Command. Let me beg your attention to the Appeal of Croiter on a libel in the Admiralty against a Mr. Young, of Georgia. The latter, it is true, is a Tory, but he and his Property were carried off in the Night from his Plantation in a piratical manner, and every one whom these freebooters choose to call a

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Tory may be used in the same Manner if they are to be both judges and parties.

I am, with much respect, Dear Sir,
Your Obedient Servant,