The Papers of General Nathanael Greene

From Colonel Edward Carrington,

Fears that NG will think he has stayed in Virginia too long; it was in the best interest of the department for him to remain even if he had not had to assist Baron Steuben.[1] "The invasion of Mr Arnold effectually dispersed the Executive & we could not get them together again till the 19th instant."[2] Carrington and [Richard] Claiborne formulated a plan to transport supplies for the army. It required the "Accession of the Executive," which they have obtained "at length."[3] Carrington also "found it necessary to spur the Executive to the Execution of some Laws on which the existence of the Army depends."[4] The law to collect wagons "had nearly expired before the Executive could be collected to attend to it." Claiborne will see to it that "all misfortunes of this sort" are "rectified" when the Assembly convenes on 1 March. "Axes, Boat nails, & " would have been sent by now had not [James] Hunter, influenced by Gen. [George] Weedon, begun making entrenching tools in the belief that Arnold would attack his works. Carrington has "Charged" Claiborne and the quartermaster at Fredericksburg to "Urge" the "coming on" of supplies from Hunter's. Hopes that "Iron & Horse Shoes" have begun to arrive from Ross's works.[5] A company of artificers from Philadelphia "passed by this place a few days ago," bringing with them shoes for the troops. "Lt. Haitton," the officer in charge, "could not make a return of his Tools," but said he was "fully equipped."[6] Steuben has informed Carrington that stores should be sent to "Bethena" in the future.[7] Twenty wagons loaded with supplies, which had started out for the Southern Army, have returned to Petersburg: fourteen with arms and military stores were recalled because of Arnold's invasion; the other six returned by mistake and "are proceeding again." Carrington sets out "tomorrow" for the army and will "lose no time" on the road except to meet with Col. [Nicholas] Long at Hillsborough, N.C. When he arrives, Carrington will inform NG fully about the state of his department as far as he has "yet meddled with it."[8]
Autograph letter signed (Greene Papers: DLC) 3 pp.
    [1.] Steuben commended Carrington's work in Virginia in letters to NG of 8 January and 30 January (PGNG, 7: 76-81, PGNG, 7: 224-225).
    [2.] On Arnold's invasion and dispersal of the Virginia government, see Steuben to NG, 8 January (PGNG, 7: 76-81).
    [3.] The plan to facilitate transportation is found in Claiborne's letter of 29 January to Gov. Thomas Jefferson. (Boyd, Jefferson Papers, 4:464)
    [4.] Carrington, in a letter of 30 January, sought to "Spur" Jefferson to obtain wagons. (Boyd, Jefferson Papers, 4:478)
    [5.] In his letter to NG of 23 January (PGNG, 7: 180-181), Weedon wrote that he had been ordered to defend Hunter's works. As noted at Carrington to NG, 29 December 1780 (PGNG, 7: 23-25), David Ross operated an iron works in Bedford County, Va.
    [6.] Lt. James Hutton's company of artificers had left Philadelphia on 13 December. (Febiger to NG, 19 January, PGNG, 7: 150-151.)
    [7.] In a letter of 13 January (PGNG, 7: 109-111), NG had told Steuben to ship the army's supplies to the "Moravian Towns in North Carolina." Bethania was one of those towns.
    [8.] Carrington apparently set out to join NG on, or soon after, 30 January. He overtook the Southern Army at Guilford Court House, N.C., on, or about, 9 February— the day before NG began his retreat to the Dan River. (Steuben to NG, 30 January, PGNG, 7: 224-225; Carrington to Steuben, 23 February, Steuben Microfilm)