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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from William Caswell to Thomas Burke
Caswell, William, 1754-1785
July 02, 1781
Volume 22, Pages 538-539


Kingston, July 2nd, 1781.


I returned last Night from New River, where it was said the British Troops had taken post. This account was confirmed by

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several and by a Capt. Powers, who had command of Hawkin’s Horse; but on my arrival at the No. Wt. of New River I found Col. Mitchell posted there and the Enemy at Rutherford’s Mill, reaping wheat and collecting Cattle. Their Number when they left Wilmington was about Two Hundred British and Twenty Five Tories, under the Command of Major Manson. Some Few Tories have joined them. Major Craike was in Wilmington with about 150 (suppose not above 100). When I found their situation and that the Party commanded by Manson had no cannon, had Determined to attack them or Wilmington instantly, and with that intent left New River to forward on the Troops, but on my return to this Place found your Excellency’s orders (thro’ Gen’l Butler) to move up towards Wake, which orders I am now Executing and the Troops on their Way. Have no expectation of the British moving nearer this Way, unless the movement of the Troops from this Place should occasion it. Hope to have the pleasure of seeing your Excellency in a few Days, as I intend to set out To-morrow for the Assembly.

I am, with the greatest Respect,
Your Excellency’s Most obed’t and Humble Servant,

Caswell, July 2nd (by mistake), should be July 1st, 1781. Rec’d July 2nd; answered same Day.