The Papers of General Nathanael Greene


From General Francis Marion

Sir

I recd two of yourse of 16th Ult: I have seen an Officer from Colo Lee, but find that that there is no Occasion to go at the torries on Little Peedee as Colo Kenan from North Carolina is there & has Disperst them. From {the Situation of} Colo Watson I do not think it {practicable to} surprise him in his present post, which is Difficult to Approach. His rear is coverd by a Large Lake[,] his front is an Old field grown up thick with haw trees not Easyly penetrated, his right and Left is by a narrow road which Lead to his Encampment. He has by the best Information two hundred & fifty men, about thirty of them Harrisons Corps mounted. I do not think it practicable to march a Number of men from You down there without {be}ing Discovered. Shoud you think of making an Attack on that post, the best meathod woud be for your men to Come by water to this place & march over Kings Tree Bridge which is the only pass over Black River; in two days I can Collect the most of my Detatchments.
I have sent partys on Waccomaw, Black River & Santee to Empress all the horses that can be found But find the British has taken every horse fit for Saddles or Draught. I have twenty small horses very poor & ordinary[.] I do not think they will be of any service, or woud send them. Before your arrival on Peedee I had Collected every horse I coud find to mount my Brigade, & they are now badly mounted.
As I had kept only {a flying party} I coud not Lay in any provisions {untill Lately, & am} forming magazines in two places on the North of Peedee. The rice to be had is Low down this & Waccomaw River within Six or Eight miles from the Enemy.
I am making use of every meathod in my power to get all the rice out of the Enemys power, but the river is so high, that a boat woud not go up to you in three weeks. It is a fortnights voage when the river is Low, and none but small boats Carrying ten or twelve {Barrels} of rice can go up.
I have sent to collect 50 negroes to put in boats & will make an Attempt to send you some rice as soon as the river is fallen. At present it is Impracticable.
I send up a Number of prisoners taken at Different times, which youll see by the Inclosed List. The toreys are such as has been Active against us & the most of them taken in Arms. Benjn Guest has been twice taken by Me. At first he was a Lieut under Col Tyne & made his Escape & was prefer'd to A Captn. I took him plundering Negroes horses & c & c. Shoud he Now Escape he will ruin all the good men in his Neighbourhood.
When I find an Oppertunity to do any thing against the Enemy I will Inform Colo Lee & will {give him all} the assistance I can. Shoud I Join in duty with him I expect to Command, not from the Malitia commission I hold, but from an Elder Continental Commission.
I mention this as it may not in any Juncture be Disputed, which may be of hurt to the service. I have the Honour to be

Yr most Obt Servt

Frans Marion

Autograph letter signed (Greene Paper: DLC) 3 pp. The manuscript is torn; several words were taken from a GWG Transcript, CSmH.