The Papers of General Nathanael Greene

To Colonel Otho H. Williams.

The troops are all across, "the stage is clear," and NG is ready to "receive" Williams and give him a "hearty welcome."[2]
Excerpt from Gordon, History, 4: 45.
    [1.] William Gordon provided the date of the excerpt in his history. Contrary to the impression given in some accounts of the retreat, the Dan River at Irwin's Ferry is not the border between North Carolina and Virginia; it is some ten miles inside Virginia. (See, for example, Treacy, Yorktown, p. 152.)
    [2.] According to Gordon, NG himself waited to cross the Dan with Williams's troops. They arrived during the night, after a march of nearly forty miles that day. (Gordon, History, 4: 45; Lee, Memoirs, 1: 292-93) The pursuing British van, according to its commander, did not reach the ferry until about twelve hours after the Americans had finished crossing. (Gen. Charles O'Hara to the Duke of Grafton, 20 April, SCHGM 65 [1964]: 176) Summing up the retreat, NG's aide Ichabod Burnet wrote on 15 February that the Southern Army, which had been "hard pushed [and] obliged to march from twenty to thirty miles a day," was now "safe over the river and... laughing at the enemy who are on the opposite bank." (Burnet to Benjamin Walker, PHi)