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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Ramsey to Thomas Burke
Ramsey, John
August 21, 1781
Volume 22, Pages 570-571


Deep River, 21st August, 1781.

To His Excellency Thomas Burke.


I have just been informed that on the 14th inst. Cross Creek fell a Prey to the Tories. Their Number was said to be between Six and Seven Hundred, and they took Fifty Prisoners, amongst which are Col. Emmett Rowan, Messrs. Cochran, Winslow, &c. I understand by different Accounts that they have left Cross Creek, and that Fanning crossed Cape Fear and is gone down to Wilmington on the North side to get his men armed, and that those under the Command of Mr. Neil and others, moved down the other side, but whether they are distanced for Wilmington or not is uncertain. About Fifty advanced up Cape Fear last Sunday within Twenty Miles of this Place, but when they heard of our Embodying here they thought proper to return. We should advanced against them, but was informed their Numbers was Two Hundred at first. I must lett Your

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Excellency Know that I Think our Maj. Cage acted with great Imprudence on this Occasion, on bare Report of the Enemy’s Advancing. Contrary to the Opinion of Every other Man, he determined to Evacuate this Post, when we were Fifty and upwards Strong, and when the Men absolutely refused to go with him ere his Retreat to Hillsboro. As he proposed, he sett off and left us, followed by about 6 or 7 men, and endeavored to dispirit the Rest so much to remain Embodied that it was with some difficulty Maj. Griffis and some others Could keep them together.

We are now upwards of Seventy Strong and are in high Spirits of keeping our Country from the Ravages of the Enemy until we can be supported from the other Counties or a Standing Army to act against the Enemy in this Part of the Country. It is not our Own County Tories we are afraid of; we could easily Manage them. I Must say that Maj. Cage has acted very Imprudent, and Maj. Griffis has behaved with much Propriety. We shall be glad to have some Instructions from you.

I am, sir, your most Obedient and Humble Servant,

John Ramsey, Deep River, Aug. 21st. Intelligence. Received at Edenton Aug. 28th. Answered Aug. 30th.