The Papers of General Nathanael Greene


From Governor John Rutledge of South Carolina

Dr Sir

I am much obliged to you, for communicating so full & clear a State, of our Affairs, as your Letter, of Yesterday's date, contains. They are, it is true, in a critical, but, I hope, not in a desperate, Situation. Lord Cornwallis is playing a bold Game, & putting every thing to the Hazard. I flatter myself, however, that he is marching to his Destruction. Certainly he has more Confidence in his own Strength, & the disposition of the People, than is well founded. I think {the Mecklenburghers will tread close on his Heels, after he has passed} their County, & they have recovered from their Pannick. The Mountaineers will Surely soon come down, but it wd not be amiss to repeat, & press, the Sollicitation for their Aid. And, the Continentals having happily affected a Junction, the Enemy will be harrassed & their Progress retarded. I persuade myself, that a general Action will be avoided, untill Circumstances shall warrant it, when, I am satisfied, that the best dispossition will be made of our Forces, & I trust that the Event will be favourable to Us.
A Report prevails here, that the Pensylvania Line are on the March to join the Southern Army. I have no Letter which gives any such Acct, but it comes from so many persons, that I am inclined to think {it true.} Would it not be expedient to {send an} Express to quicken their Steps, & direct their Route, lest they should halt in Virginia, or proceed too low down the Country[?] Their Appearance would, instantly, put a different Face on Matters. Marions Manouvres will vex the Enemy, & do them some Injury. They may likewise perplex them, &, if Lord C. should proceed much further from So Carolina, & some Regulars cd be sent into that State, to aid the Militia there, it is probable that his Lordship would soon find that he had 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 able to hold either of them. A favourable oppor{tunity} presents itself, for availing ourselves, {of the Goods} at Hamp{ten's Store, which are so much wanted, for the poor} Soldiers, & So Carolina Militia--&, very few Men might, now, effect that Business. I will trouble you to transmit to me, from Time to Time, any material Intelligence as it occurs, & you have Leisure for that purpose, & to order any Letters which are brought to Head Quarters, for {me}, to be sent on, by the first safe opportunities that offer. I am with great Esteem, Dr Sir

yr most obedt servt

J: Rutledge

Autograph letter signed (Greene Papers: DLC) 4 pp. The ALS is damaged; portions of the letter were taken from a GWG Transcript, CSmH.