The Papers of General Nathanael Greene

To the Officer Commanding the Militia in the Rear of the Enemy.[1]

Asks him to give the bearer certain information on the militia who are collecting in the enemy's rear and whether they can get around the enemy and join NG. He hopes that the rest of the Southern Army, which is on the march from the Pee Dee River, will join him the "next day after to morrow."[2] He had wanted the junction to take place at the Yadkin River, but "the depth of the creeks, the badness of the roads, the poorness of the horses, and want of harness as well as provisions, prevented it." NG is retiring toward Guilford because he is determined not to allow the enemy to defeat his army "in detachments." If the militia join him and the army can get provisions, NG has "no doubt of stoping Lord Cornwallises progress."[3] If the enemy do not cross the Yadkin, NG wants all provisions and horses moved out of their way.[4] Denying horses to the enemy is especially important, because it prevents them "from moving with such amazing rapidity, as they may, when they can mount their Infantry." The prisoners are "safe over the Roanoke [Dan]," and the stores are "out of reach of the enimy."[5] NG has no militia with him, nor can he learn how many are in the enemy's rear. Asks for "any accounts of Cols Cambell, Shelby and the other officers over the Mountains." If they are on the march, NG wants them apprised of the army's situation and wants the "whole of the militia" to be well provisioned.[6]
Autograph Draft Signed (MiU-C) 3 pp.
    [1.] From NG's letters to him of 9 February (PGNG, 7: 262 and PGNG, 7: 263), it appears that this letter was delivered to Col. Francis Lock.
    [2.] The two detachments of the Southern Army united at Guilford Court House on 7 and 8 February. (See Huger to NG, 8 February, PGNG, 7: 259-260, and NG to Washington, 9 February, PGNG, 7: 267-270.)
    [3.] As seen in NG to Washington, 9 February (PGNG, 7: 267-270), the Southern Army was neither reinforced by the militia nor furnished with an adequate supply of provisions.
    [4.] The British did cross the Yadkin River.
    [5.] Regarding the British prisoners who were being marched to Virginia, see note at NG to Hyrne, 8 February (PGNG, 7: 257).
    [6.] Col. William Campbell did not join NG's army until early March, and then only with a token force. (Campbell to NG, 2 March, PGNG, 7: 380-381.) Col. Isaac Shelby did not bring men to the Southern Army. (Boatner, Encyc., p. 1001)