The Papers of General Nathanael Greene

Major Ichabod Burnet To Colonel Henry Lee, Jr.[1]

Burnet has just returned from Rowan County, where he left NG "last evening." NG has [William] Washington's dragoons "consisting only of 60 men, with him." As [Banastre] Tarleton has 250 dragoons and the militia "will not assemble or annoy the enemy" unless there is "a superiority in cavalry," NG's "anxiety to collect the cavalry is very great." NG expects Lee to join him in three days and "supposes every thing will depend upon it." Burnet provides a brief description of recent operations and his view of British intentions. "If you knew the anxiety of General Greene, who is now exposing himself to collect the militia, which he expects only to accomplish by having a superiority of horse. Indeed our army cannot keep the field one moment after they cross the Yadkin, unless we have a superiority of cavalry." Congratulates Lee on his "partial success."[2] Warns that unless Lee joins NG "immediately," he will "lose the opportunity of acquiring wreaths of laurels."[3]
Printed in Lee, Campaign of 1781, appendix, xxvii-xxviii.
    [1.] The printed version mistakenly has "J." as Burnet's first initial.
    [2.] On Lee's "partial success" in attacking the British post at Georgetown, S.C., see Lee to NG, second letter of 25 January (PGNG, 7: 197-199).
    [3.] Lee did not join NG until 8 or 9 February. (See NG to Lee, 8 February, PGNG, 7: 257.)