Documenting the American South Logo
Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Guilford Dudley to Thomas Burke
Dudley, Guilford
September 03, 1781
Volume 22, Pages 586-587


Broadwater, Sept. 3rd, 1781.

His Excellency Thomas Burke, Esquire, Governor, &c., &c., &c., Halifax.

Per Express.


I am just now informed by some Gentlemen on whom I may depend that the French have landed Four thousand Troops at James Town this Day, and that General Wayne crossed over about the same time with those under his command from Cobham. The Marquis is in Williamsburg. A part of the French Fleet is in York River, and it was expected something would have been done by them immediately, but no firing has been heard yet. A Fifty Gun French Ship is up at James Town and some Frigates below. Col. Wells, who commands Col. Parker’s detachment, is to cross at Swann’s Point to-morrow. The Militia on the No. side of James River are all called out, and a considerable number on this side are ready to march. Lord Cornwallis is still at York Town, where it is expected he will endeavour to defend himself to the last extremity. But it is scarcely possible he should escape falling into the hands of the American and French Armies. I have seen a Letter from Col. Wills to a gentleman now in my company, which mentions the French Fleet having captured Three British Frigates as they came into the Bay, on Board one of which a General Officer was taken. This is supposed to be General Leslie, as he left Portsmouth some time ago in a frigate for Charleston. It is reported that Gen’l Washington is daily expected

-------------------- page 587 --------------------
at the Marquis’s Camp, tho’ I do not know what ground there is for such a belief. I shall endeavour to cross James River to-morrow. Previous to my doing which I shall inform Your Excellency of every Circumstance that may come to my knowledge which is of consequence enough to communicate.

From his Lordship’s situation, your Excellency will find we have little reason to apprehend any thing from him in North Carolina at present. Indeed, I have very flattering hopes of having it in my power before many Days to inform you of his being compleatly Burgoyned. I have the honor to be, with much respect,

Your Excellency’s most obedient and Humble Servant,

Col. Guilford Dudley, Blackwater, Sept. 3rd. Received 5th.

Received Wednesday, 2 o’clock. Sent the same Hour by express N. L.