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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from John Butler to Thomas Burke
Butler, John, d. 1786
August 24, 1781
Volume 22, Pages 575-576


August 24th, 1781.

His Excellency Thos. Burke, Esq., Governor of North Carolina.


In my last I informed you that Fanning, with a party of Tories, was at Deep River, and that I had ordered out Major Wm. O’Neal after him. O’Neal joined Major Cage, of Chatham, and was then 120 strong, and afterwards joined Major Ingram, of Randolph, with 90 men, but O‘Neal, being apprehensive that Fanning’s Number was 400, was afraid to engage him, and sent to me to be reinforced. In the meantime Fanning slipped off with himself, probably to Cross Creek. Last Night the inclosed Letter came to hand from Lieut.-Col. Saunders, of Wake County. I could not approve the mode of Raising Horsemen Two Months for a tower, because the law directs (if I mistake not) that no less than three Months shall be considered a Tower. But I think, with Col. Saunders, that it would be difficult to turn out a considerable Number of armed Men in a short time on worse terms. And have therefore ordered him to collect all the Force he can from his own and the adjoining Counties and act on the Defensive until he receives your orders, and that he shall send to Harrisburg for ammunition. I have not given any orders to the other Counties in this District on this occasion, because I fear that it might prevent turning out the Draughts at the time set, which I am pressing them to do, and because you will have it in your power to send your orders by the Bearer of this. Your Letter of the 15th inst. Came to hand on the 19th, with orders for me to repair to Salisbury, and it was out of my power to leave home, as it may happen for near three months, till this Day I shall set off and shall endeavour

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to consent (?) in all respects according to the true intent and meaning of your orders.

I have the honor to be Your Excellency’s most obedient Serv’t,

Gen’l Butler. Intelligence. Aug. 24th, 1781. Rec’d 29th; answered 30th.