The Papers of General Nathanael Greene

To Patrick Henry

Dear Sir

A Man from your quarter arrived in my Camp this Morning, with orders as he says, from you, to enquire into our situation. I can assure you that it is not the most eligible, & from the prospect of things at present it is not likely to be much better. My force is too inconsiderable to mark the limits of the Enemies depradations, or in any wise to check the rapidity of their march through this unhappy Country. Lord Cornwallis is now on this side the Yadkin River, & it seems very probable from particular circumstances, that this Army is the object of his attention. My duty compels me to retreat immediately, as the only means eventually to save the Country. Your influence in Virginia properly exercised at this important period may terminate the War greatly to the honor & advantage of the Southern States. If it is possible for you to call forth fifteen hundred Volunteers & march them immediately to my assistance, the British Army will be exposed to a very critical & dangerous situation.
In all probability you will find me on the North side of Dan River. I must repeat it, the present moment is big with the most important consequences, & requires the greatest & most spirited exertions. You I know are equal to them, & I trust no step will be neglected that may be necessary to call forth the power of your part of the Country. I am sir with sincere esteem & respt

your mo: obt hble servt

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