The Papers of General Nathanael Greene


To Colonel William Campbell

Sir

The enemy are pushing into the Country and are now as high up on the Catawba as Beatty's Ford; and seem to be determined to disperse the Militia, and push the Continental troops out of this State. To prevent so great a misfortune I could wish you could {bring} to our assistance 1000 good volun{teer mili}tia from over the Mountain, {enga}ged to serve one Month after they arrive at Head Quarters. Such a force joined to what we have in the field and can collect upon such a footing will enable us to push the Enemy in turn (and add new splendor to your own glory) and give the world another proof of the bravery of the Mountain Militia. Let me entreat you to come to our aid without loss of time.[2]
General Morgan's success you have heard of I presume, and I have this Moment heard of the surprise of George Town one {of the} Enemy's out posts. It was {effected} by Lt Colo Lee and his Legion.[3] I am with the highest respect

Your Most Obedt Servant

Nath Greene

Letter signed (ScCoAH). The LS is damaged. The words in curly brackets were taken from a transcript in the Greene Letter Book, DLC.
    [1.] On NG's decision to ride to Gen. Daniel Morgan's detachment, see Morris to Nash, 28 January (PGNG, 7: 208-209). As noted there, NG left camp on 28 January, and as seen by this and subsequent letters, he reached Morgan's camp sometime on 30 January, completing a journey of at least 100 miles in less than four days. (In his letters, NG called Sherrald's Ford "Sherards" or "Sherrards.")
    [2.] On 12 February, Campbell wrote Jefferson:
Late dispatches from General Greene, and various Letters from Officers in Carolina entreats the aid of the Mountain Militia, and I have taken the liberty once more to order them out notwithstanding their circumstances ill suits such a tour now. Matters yet unsettled with the Cherokees, and the Northwards already begun to annoy us; but altho' we have these and other difficulties to combat with, I believe the County will turn out with its usual ardor. Why cannot the eastern Militia act in the same manner. Surely they have the most property to fight for. In truth Sir, it wound our feelings to learn that the safety of our Country cannot be trusted to the natural defence thereof. (Calendar of Va. State Papers, 1: 507)
Although Campbell did join NG's army in time to participate in the battle of Guilford Court House, renewed hostilities with the Indians prevented him and other backcountry militia leaders from reinforcing NG with anything like the number of men the southern commander wanted or that Campbell seemed to expect. (On the renewal of hostilities with the Indians, see NG to Huntington, 28 December 1780, PGNG, 7: 7-10.)
    [3.] On Morgan's "success" at Cowpens, see Morgan to NG, 19 January (PGNG, 7: 152-161). On the "surprise" of Georgetown, S.C., see Lee to NG, second letter of 25 January (PGNG, 7: 197-199); as noted there, Lee's account omitted any mention of Gen. Francis Marion, who actually commanded the attack.