The Papers of General Nathanael Greene

To Baron Steuben.

NG explains his retreat to Guilford and the council of war's decision to "retire immediately toward the confines of Virginia, & avoid at all events the risque of a general action."[1] He hopes to "strike a blow hereafter that may be decisive & important," but his "expectations on this head will rest chiefly on Virginia." Steuben's assistance will thus "become more necessary." NG hopes to exploit "the Enemies present situation, as it is evident they have risqued every thing to subdue North Carolina." Is pleased that while the British "are running over this Country," he has "a small Army of Militia in South Carolina" that has been able "to plague & alarm them." Gives details of Marion's raids on the British posts at Wadboo Bridge and Manigault's Ferry.[2] The lead and ammunition from the Moravian towns have been sent across the Dan River; Capt. [Nathaniel] Irish should "collect" those items and begin making musket cartridges, which are "scarce." NG has received three letters from Steuben; he will reply "when time & circumstances" permit.[3] Adds that Lord Cornwallis "appears perfectly well acquainted with the strength of the Militia of this Country; and boldly advances regardless of their collective force."
Letter Signed (NHi) 2 pp.
    [1.] See Proceedings of a Council of War, 9 February (PGNG, 7: 261-262).
    [2.] On the raids, see Gen. Francis Marion to NG, 31 January (PGNG, 7: 229-230) and 2 February (PGNG, 7: 239).
    [3.] The letters from Steuben were probably those of 28 January (PGNG, 7: 214) and 30 January (PGNG, 7: 224-225), and 4 February (PGNG, 7: 249-250).