LETTERS TO GOVERNOR ABNER NASH
Pertaining to American Revolutionary War Campaigns
In the southern piedmont of North Carolina
Salisbury 22th June 1780
Yesterday set out from this place to cross the country to our Continental army and near abots Creek had like to fell in with a body of Tory said to be about 800 in number; which had retreated from our army out of the forks of the Yadkin River; this day we expect ________ them as youl see we have a large body of them on the south fork of the
Yadkin Catawba River in Judge Spencers which I impose to contain the full acts Therefore say nothing about the particulars the general conduct of how riches and the expense & disadvantage of having so many of our men taken off their duties to guard the number of prisoners that daily fall and will of course fall in to our hands make it absolutely nessary that a commission on _____ to Judg Spencer to hold counts of O_____ undermind in everyone of the following county Anson Richmond Montgomery Rowan Surry Rutherford Burke and Lincoln and the sooner the better if your Excellency should think the Judge he assures us that he will Except the appointment and do his duty
Sir the delay of our troops I fear will be of bad Con________ as a fleet and army of our alis are now to the southward of Charlestown and combines the British shipping to the harbour, I stayed in Anson depending on the militia officers ____ the Enemy was within 26 miles of my place and then oblige to make my Excape with part of my property I have suffered at the last act 50 thousand pounds by them besides my crops which King will destroy I expect as they make my plantation their Rendezvous since last Thursday for a few hilanders and Tory Our Col went to them to So Carolina and took part of the country is dist____ of officers Should we to take it which I hope will be the case in a few days time, our Lieutenant Col. and one Major having Richmond to Virginia -----
I could have revised a small Independent Regiment of Refugees for thence nearly Equal to the best Continental ___ they having been in the Georgia Lines and South Carolina and other men ________ are in our state working for their B______ though delivered to your approbation should be known, Judge Spencer mentioned sometime of it in his letter I expect to you though any thing that is for the Interest of this Country all ways I shall Stedely be attended to you may depend by me
I am Sir your Humble Servt
I had the honor of writing you a long epistle the ___ from Deep River, I was then very much indisposed and a good deal distressed which might _______ some depression which I ought to apologize for but as they were plain facts I flatter myself your Exc’enct will excuse the manner
We marched the next day 17.& armed the 18th at the cross roads on Deep River where we lay until the 24 in this time we were able to procure four days provisions before hand by sending out parties to collect & Thresh wheat & leave some wheat in the mills[for the use of those militia who were] to follow us, I had also procured & sent upward of one hundred heads of beef Cattle to the Baron De Kalb’s and advised him of my intention to march the 24 for the Atkin & to proceed down on the west side at the same time recommending to him to move down on the East side of the P D I accordingly marched crossed the Yadkin at Moores Ferry twenty two miles below Salisbury & proceeded to the Colstons at the fork where Rocky River falls into P. D. there Expected to have met with General Rutherford but he had crossed P. D. & was proceeding down on the East side of the River. Immediately pushed over Rocky River for Anson Court House & from thence to this place which is five miles within the line of So. Carolina and about same distance above the Cheraws, Genl Rutherford is nearly opposite me and Genl Gates who commands now in the Southern Department & is at the head of the Maryland line is about twenty five miles above on the same side with Rutherford & in his rear are the Virginia Militia, I have ordered Genrl Rutherfod to join me today & in two or three_____ I expect we shall have a very formidable Army in the neighborhood of this place, the British & Tories have evacuated all their outposts on this river & have retreated towards George Town & Camden, our state is Free of them except to the westward of the Catawba there may yet remain a few there who will soon be Extricated,
On the arrival of General Gates I presume a council of war will be held when it will be determined what steps may yet be pursued and I flatter myself they will have such a Tendancy as to drive the British beyond Santee & even into Charles Town
I have some hopes that our dis________ in some measure will be relieved here especially if can remain so long as to recruit our men & horses who are much worn down with fatigue, many of the men are very ill but Dr __ Willamson is arrived & I flatter myself he will soon put them on thei legs again, We may get some material from Cross Creek if the agent has been so obliging as to send them forward.
We have about one hundred prisoners British and Tories, Many of them with General Rutherford, I have not been able yet to determine where to send them
There are very few of the Inhabitants of Anson County who have not taken the oath of Allegiance to the King of Great Britain, most of them are willing to Break it & take up arms against him saying they were compelled by the Brittish but come in voluntarily to us, such as were desirous of supporting the British Government are either fled with the British or lie out. I beg leave to recommend to your Excellency to enforces a proclamation proclaiming pardon to those who _____ to their allegiance to the state the principles expected but as those necessary to be expected cannot at present be discriminated it will, I presume, be necessary to send the proclamations with a Blank for their names, or if your Excellency by the advice of the Council thinks it will be proper for me to give such proclamation as Commander in Chief of the Militia in Service, you will be pleased to direct me and I shall do it with Cheerfulness
I have made most of the members of the General Assembly belonging to the Army acquainted with your Excellency’s proclamation for calling the assembly at Hillsborough the 20th of August and as many as can be spared from the army will attend, your Excellency did not, in your letter require my attendance, so I conclude y with me to remain with the Army which I shall do unless you direct otherwise or it shall appear to me absolutely necessary that I should attend when I was at Deep River I wrote to Mr. Mallet on the Subject of his department as Commissary agreeable to your Excellency’s request, He in answer informed me that by mistake he had made the second application to your Excellency for money without forwarding the bond which mistake he discovered by finding the Bond still among his papers and had immediately on such discovery sent down the bond.
As the Bearer will return to Camp immediately your Excellency will be pleased to forward, by him, any ____________________ you may have for me------
With Sentiments of the greatest regard and Esteem, I have the honor to be
Capt Ramsey will Deliver to you twenty one British prisoners which I have this day delivered to him to convey to Hillsborough, - Those prisoners were part of one hundred & three that was taken in flats on the River P. D. on these passage from the Cheraw Hill to George Town, part of which was sent to Hillsborough by Capt. Arnold, and part was so Sickly that they was not able to march, and now left at Long Bluff Goal in Cheraw District South Carolina, ( which I am afraid is released, those twenty one is part of thrity nine that was intended to be sent by Capt. Thomas, but on hearing the un____ Defeat of Genl Gates, his Guard left him and he gave them into the charge of Col Jarvis but they not being able to march so fast as his men retreated he was under the necessity of having them on the Road near Coles Bridge at which place I came up with them, and took them into my charge.
George Hicks, Col. of the Cheraws District S. Carolina.
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