Copyright 1999. Rhode Island Historical Society. All rights reserved.
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
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
] 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.
The Papers of General Nathanael Greene,
ed. Dennis Conrad et al.
(Columbia, S.C.: Model Editions Partnership, 1999). Full texts of documents calendared in
The Papers of General Nathanael Greene
(Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 1994), Vol. 7, pp. 152-289. On the Web at http://mep.blackmesatech.com/mep/ [Accessed 13 January 2018]