The Papers of General Nathanael Greene

From Governor John Rutledge of South Carolina,

Thanks NG for "Yesterday's" letter, containing a "full & clear" state of affairs [not found]. The situation is "critical," but he hopes it is not "desperate." Lord Cornwallis "has more Confidence in his own Strength, & the disposition of the People, than is well founded"; he is "playing a bold Game, & putting every thing to the Hazard." Rutledge believes the "{Mecklenburghers will tread close on his heels}" and that the "Mountaineers" will "soon come down"—though NG should "press, the Sollicitation for their Aid." A united Continental army will slow British "Progress" and avoid battle until "Circumstances" warrant it; then, he trusts, the outcome "will be favourable." An unconfirmed report "prevails here" that the Pennsylvania line is marching to join the Southern Army. Suggests that NG send an express to "quicken their Steps, & direct their Route"; their arrival would "instantly, put a different Face on Matters."[2] Marion's "Manouvres will vex the Enemy," cause them "some Injury," and could "perplex them" if Cornwallis proceeds "much farther" and NG can send some regulars to aid Marion.[3] Cornwallis could then find he has "quitted the Substance to grasp at the Shadow—that he had given up one Country, in order to obtain another, & that he would not be unable to hold either of them." Believes this is a good time to capture the goods at Hampton's Store, which are much wanted. A "Very few Men" could accomplish the task.[4] Asks NG to send him intelligence and forward his mail.
Autograph Letter Signed (Greene Papers: DLC) 4 pp. The ALS is damaged; portions of the letter were taken from a GWG Transcript, CSmH.
    [1.] No place was given, but in a letter of this date to the South Carolina delegates in Congress, Rutledge gave Hillsborough as his location. (SCHGM 18 [1917]: 133)
    [2.] On the transfer of the Pennsylvania line to the Southern Department, see note at NG to Steuben, 13 January (PGNG, 7: 109-111).
    [3.] Detachments from Gen. Francis Marion's brigade had raided British supply depots south of the Santee River. (See Marion to NG, 31 January, PGNG, 7: 229-230, and 2 February, PGNG, 7: 239.)
    [4.] Rutledge had been urging an attack on Wade Hampton's store for some time. (See NG to Morgan, second letter of 13 January, PGNG, 7: 107.)