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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Butler to Thomas Burke
Butler, John, d. 1786
August 10, 1781
Volume 22, Pages 557-558


Mount Pleasant, 10th Aug., 1781.


The Tories in the lower end of Orange have of late been very troublesome, in robbing people of their Arms and plundering houses so that I thought it absolutely necessary that some standing force should be raised to act against them. I have accordingly ordered Captain Allen, of New Hope, to raise Volunteers; 25 Foot and 25 Horse to Serve Three months. The Company stationed at Hillsboro brought to guard that post will be discharged on the 17th Inst., and the necessity of keepign a Guard there, as well as for the purpose of guarding the Gaol, as the public stores is suggested to me, I wish to be advised whether to raise another Guard by Draught or to discontinue it in Future. Last Sunday the Tory, Captain Fanning, attacked Col. Alston in his own house on Deep River, near the Iron works. Alston who had between 15 and 20 men and being surprised took refuge in the House, which was only of slabboards; after some firing was obliged to surrender prisoners of War. He had seven Men wounded and Fanning had one or two killed. On notice of this I ordered Major O’Neal of this County to reinforce Major Cage, of Chatham, which he did on the 8th inst. They joined in the upper end of Chatham. Their numbers when joined were 123 privates. Fanning had crossed Deep River the night before at the Buflow Ford, moving towards the Cross Road in Randolph County his numbers uncertain, but I suppose they are not 100. A party from Guilford County is out after Fanning and has no doubt, joined O’Neal before now; the whole will be sufficient, I hope, for the Tory Party. All these things I submit to your Excellency. Your orders for Draught in every thirtieth Man with other papers are come to hand; and the necessary orders thereon sent to the respective County. Last

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night four Copies of the last Acts of Assembly with a letter for the Sheriff of Randolph one for the Sheriff of Chatham came to hand but as there are four Copies of the Laws and there are six Counties in the District I concluded that one Copy has been left in Granville, and one given out at some one of the Counties, and I am at a loss to determine with certainty on this subject.

I have the Honor to be, Your Excellency’s most obedient servant,

(Militia) General Butler.
Aug. 10th, 1781. Rec’d and answered 12th.