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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Joseph Hewes to Samuel Johnston
Hewes, Joseph, 1730-1779
November 09, 1775
Volume 22, Pages 752-754


Dear Sir:

It is now I imagine near three weeks since your provincial Council broke up, and I take it for granted you have sent an express with the account of your deliberations to your delegates here. We expect it daily and are anxious for its arrival. I hope you have fallen on some method to furnish your soldiers with arms and ammunition. Those articles are very scarce throughout all the Colonies. I find on inquiry that neither can be got here. All the Gun Smiths in

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this Province are engaged and cannot make arms near as fast as they are wanted. Powder is also very scarce, notwithstanding every effort seems to have been exerted, both to make & imported.

The Congress exert every nerve to put the Colonies into a proper state of defense. Four Regiments are ordered to be raised on continental pay for the defense of South Carolina & Georgia, and it is expected the two Regiments with you will be continued and kept up the same as other parts of the Army. One Regiment is now raising in this Province and two in New Jersey on the same establishment. 20 M. men are to be kept up near Boston and five thousand on the Lakes, Canada, etc. The whole Army to be enlisted to 31st December, 1776, unless discharged sooner by Congress. The pay of the Captains, Lieutenants & Ensigns is increased. They are now allowed as follows:

A Captain 26 2-3 dollars, a Lieutenant 18 dollars, an Ensign 13 1-3 dollars per calendar month, the Rations allowed the Soldiers through the whole army you have as follows:

1 lb. beef, or 3-4 lb. pork, or 1 lb. salt fish pr. day for each man.
1 lb. bread or flour per do.
3 Pints of Peas or beans per week, or Vegetables equivalent, rating peas or beans at 6 shillings per bushel.
1 pint milk per man pr. day or at the rate of 1-72d of a dollar pr. pint.
1-2 pint of Rue or one pint of Indian meal pr. man pr. week.
One quart of Spruce Beer or Cider pr. man, or 9 gallons of molasses per Company of 100 men pr. week.
3 lbs Candles to 100 men per week for guards.
24 lb. soft soap or 8 lb. hard soap for 100 men per week.

I doubt not you will find it necessary to come into a new agreement with your Commissaries, for it will be but just & right to give your Soldiers the same allowance that is given to those in other places, it is also recommended that all the Soldiers be put into some uniform, that the public purchase cloth and have it made up and that it be discounted out of each man’s pay at the rate of 10 shillings per month. The soldiers near Boston, we are told, are well pleased with this regulation. Several other matters which together with some ships and vessels that are fitting out at the charge of the Continent will enhance our expenses amazingly, by which you may judge we have but little expectation of a reconciliation. I can assure you from all the accounts we have yet received from England,

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we have scarcely a dawn of hope that it will take place. Mr. Middleton & Mr. Rutledge, two of the delegates from South Carolina set off for that Province on Sunday last, they intended thro Halifax, & carried a letter for you from the President inclosing a resolution respecting Trade.

I inclose some newspapers to Mr. Smith, to them you must look for news. I hope all your family are in good health. My compliments to them, you and they have always the best wishes of Dr. Sir,

Your most obed’t Servt.,
Sam. Johnston, Esq.