The Papers of General Nathanael Greene

From General Isaac Huger


Agreeable to your orders of the 28th ultimo, I put the army in motion about 3 o'clock the following afternoon and arrived here this morning.[1] The poorness of the horses[,] the badness of the harness[,] heavy roads and deep Creeks subjected me to great inconvenience and delay. The Hospital and Quarter masters stores I was obliged to leave upon the ground for the want of horses but thro' the assistance of Governor [John] Rutledge and Colonel Wayde [Thomas Wade?] I hope they will be on tomorrow.
Your favor of the 30th just now came to hand. No time shall be lost in complying with your instructions but I am afraid it will be out of my power to make that dispatch you wish or may expect.[2] There are many embarrassments, but the want of meal is the greatest. The troops marched off with but three days allowance, no more at the time could [be] procured; there is none or very little to be procured in this country and untill a supply arrives from Colonel Wade it will be impossible for me to move. This[,] if it can cross Hitchcock Creek and Little River, I have some expectation will be in to morrow. If it is but three days allowance, I will proceed. Colonel Wade promised me that he would have a thousand bus[h]els of meal brought up to Sherraws Ferry from below, by the time that waggons could be sent to transport it to the army. I have sent five of the waggons which came from Cross Creek with salt & c for this purpose. The other five were detained by Genl Lillington. I have order[ed] them to Colonel Wade and to make as much dispatch as possible and follow the army upon the route it marches. I shall leave a party of Genl Lillingtons men to guard them.[3] The live stock shall be collected and I am in hopes to bring on a considerable drove.
All our supplies below must for the present be transported by land. The river is so rapid that it is impossible for boats to stem it, and this difficulty will create great delay in crossing the Pedee. I propose to cross at Mingos Ferry [Mounger's Ferry?] but can promise myself but one flat [boat?]: every possible exertion shall be made to get up those at Mask's and Colstons Ferries. Colonel Kosciuszko's boats are not with us. I have wrote him to join you immediately and directed him to forward such boats as were finished and to put the rest in charge of Colonel Wade and to order the artificers to join the army. This I conceived to be absolutely necessary from the want of artifficers none having joined from Philadelphia.[4]
The rum and such stores as are coming on for the use of the army I shall give directions to proceed to Ellis's Ferry and wait there for orders.[5] None has yet arrived except the stores from Rocky River.
I have repeated your orders to Colonel Lee and pressed dispatch to him. I have likewise wrote to Genl Marion and pointed out your instructions.[6]
The fleet mentioned in Colonel Lee's letter arrived off the Fort Johnson the 29th ulto[,] eight large sail and some smaller vessels, 26 men were landed when the express left Wilmington and the militia were collecting.[7] The stores at Cross Creek and in its neighbourhood I have ordered to be moved to Hillsborough.[8]
Genl Marion and Colonel Lee have been to the Santee but could not cross. Colonel Watson a few days before had moved to Camdin.[9] I am Sir with great respect

your very huml Servt

NB I have ordered all the horses about the country to be pressed and if the meal arrives will certainly move the day after to morrow.[10]

Draft (MiU-C). The unsigned draft is in the hand of NG's aide, Lewis Morris, Jr., and has previously been listed as a letter from Morris to NG. As Huger was then in command of the army, and NG called it "your letter" in his reply to Huger of 5 February, below, the editors have decided that Huger was the author.
    [1.] NG's orders have not been found.
    [2.] NG's "instructions" were in his letter to Huger of 30 January (PGNG, 7: 219-221).
    [3.] Neither Thomas Wade's promise nor the orders given to him have been found. On the wagons from Cross Creek, see Lillington to NG, 30 January (PGNG, 7: 222). Huger gave Lillington orders concerning the wagons in a letter of 2 February (PGNG, 7: 235).
    [4.] See Morris to Col. Thaddeus Kosciuszko, this date (PGNG, 7: 232). The artificer company from Philadelphia was still on its way south. (See Carrington to NG, 28 January, PGNG, 7: 209-210.)
    [5.] The stores were en route to the army from Hillsborough. (See Gunby to NG, 28 January, PGNG, 7 :210-211.)
    [6.] Gen. Francis Marion was to cross the Santee River and destroy British magazines; Col. Henry Lee had been ordered to rejoin the army "with dispatch." (See Huger to Marion, 28 January, and Lee to NG, 30 January, PGNG, 7: 208 and PGNG, 7: 222; Burnet to Lee, 2 February, PGNG, 7: 234-235.)
    [7.] The capture of Wilmington, N.C., by the British is discussed at Drayton to NG, 2 February (PGNG, 7: 236-237). Henry Lee's letter to NG of 25 January (PGNG, 7: 197-199), reported the departure of the British expedition from Charleston.
    [8.] On the moving of stores from Cross Creek to Hillsborough, see Morris to Nash, 28 January (PGNG, 7: 208-209).
    [9.] See Marion to NG, 27 January (PGNG, 7: 207-208).
    [10.] Huger wrote NG on 3 February (PGNG, 7: 247) that the army was marching "immediately."