The Papers of General Nathanael Greene

From General Daniel Morgan


I just recd your letter of the 19th Instant and am much oblig'd to you for your cautions against a surprize. Mr Tarlton might as well have been surprised himself a bean [i.e., at being] so devilishly beaten as he was.[1] I approve much, of having boats with the main army, but would not wish to have any with me. My party is to weak to guard them. I am convinc'd a decent into Georgia would answer a very good purpose. It would draw the attention of the enemy that way, and much disconceart my Lords [Cornwallis's] plan. I am convincd from every circumstance he intend to march in force through this part of the state, toward Virga, and his making a junction with Lisly fixes me in that opinion.[2]
I Should be exceedingly fond to make a decent into Georgia, but am so emaciated that I cant undertake it. I grow worse every hour. I cant ride out of a walk.[3] I am exceedingly sorry to leave the field at such a time as this, but it must be the case. [Col. Andrew] Pickens is an enterprising man and a very judicious one, perhap he might answer the purpose. With regard to Genl [Thomas] Sumter[,] I think I know the man so well that I shall take no notis of what he has done, but follow your advice in every particular. I have not had any Intelligance from Lord Cornwallis this tow [two] day. I expect to hear from him every hour. If anything interesting I will let you know it immediatly.[4] The last account, I had of him he had retreated to Smith Ford on Broad River.[5] The prisoners are gone on to Salsbury, seventeen more of their scaterers are brought into Charlotte by some of our parties. I have the Honor to be with sinceare regard

your very obedt servt

Danl Morgan

My Detachment is much weakened by this fight with Tarlton. I expect we have near fifty men disabled, returns shall be sent you of the effectives.[6] We have nothing to drink.[7]
Autograph letter signed (Greene Papers: DLC).
    [1.] On Morgan's victory over Col. Banastre Tarleton at Cowpens, see Morgan to NG, 19 January (PGNG, 7: 152-161). Much of this letter is a direct response to NG's letter of 19 January (PGNG, 7: 146-147).
    [2.] On Gen. Alexander Leslie's troops reinforcing Cornwallis, see note at Morgan to NG, 23 January (PGNG, 7: 178-179). Cornwallis was planning to invade North Carolina.
    [3.] Morgan described his physical problems in more detail in his first letter of this date (PGNG, 7: 190-191).
    [4.] The next day, Morgan sent NG three letters (PGNG, 7: 199, PGNG, 7: 199, PGNG, 7: 201) containing information about British movements.
    [5.] As noted at Morgan to NG, 23 January (PGNG, 7: 178-179), Cornwallis was not retreating. Instead, he was retracing his line of march after learning that Morgan was not moving in a northwesterly direction, as Cornwallis had initially been led to believe. The British commander was still determined to overtake Morgan and force him into battle.
    [6.] Morgan's casualties at Cowpens are discussed at Morgan to NG, 19 January (PGNG, 7: 152-161).
    [7.] On 30 January (PGNG, 7: 219-221), NG ordered Gen. Isaac Huger to march the rest of the army to join Morgan's detachment. Huger was to bring "Rum and Spirits" with him.