The Papers of General Nathanael Greene


To John Mathews

Dear Sir

This will be handed you by Major [Edward] Giles who arrivd this evening from General Morgan and brings the agreeable news of his having gained a complete victory over Lt Colonel Tarlton. As the particulars goes to Congress you will excuse me for not enclosing them in this letter.[1]
This is a great affair was our situation such as to take a proper advantage of it; but for want of that, I fear little good will result from it, as to the final recovery of this Country.
The situation of these States is wretched, and the distress of the Inhabitants exceeds all description; nor is the condition of the Army more agreeable. We have but few Troops that are fit for duty, and all those are employed upon different detachments; the success of which depends upon time and chance. We are obligd to subsist ourselves by our own industry aided by the influence of Governor [John] Rutledge who is one of the first [i.e., finest] charactors I have met with. Our prospects are gloomy notwithstanding these flashes of success; and I hope Congress will not take it into their heads that Lord Cornwallis is ruined from this fortunate event.
There is wanting for the recovery of this Country a well appointed Army consisting of about 5000 Infantry and 6 or 800 horse, these with the auxiliary aid of the Militia would be superior to any force the enemy have or can maintain in this quarter.
You may depend my utmost exertions shall not be wanting to take every possible advantage that our situation will admit, to give a favorable turn to affairs in this quarter; but unless I am better supported than I have at present the most distant prospect of, I have little to hope and much to fear.
I refer you to Major Giles and to my public letters for further particulars. I am with esteem

Your Most Obedt humble Serv

N Greene

Autograph draft signed (MiU-C).
    [1.] See NG to Huntington, 24 January (PGNG, 7: 185). On Daniel Morgan's victory at Cowpens, S.C., over the British force commanded by Col. Banastre Tarleton, see Morgan to NG, 19 January (PGNG, 7: 152-161).