Upon receiving an Account of the Surrender of Fort Loudoun, and the Overtures of Peace I immediately acquainted Colo Byrd with the contents of it, and desired him to halt, till he should receive further Information from me, And at the same time apprized him of what had been done by Colo Montgomery, and of his Departure from this Province, leaving behind him Four hundred of the Royals.
Since that, the Situation of our affairs in the Cherokee Nation is become truly deplorable; the Capitulation made with the Garrison of Fort Loudoun was perfidiously broken the first night of their Incampment, when all the Officers (except Capt Stuart) and Twentyth inst. And in Addition to our Misfortune they are Joined by the Mortar, and Several Creeks and Assisted by Ten French Men.
This Fort is not very defensible; besides the Garrison is destitute of Meat, and tho they are not in immediate want of Flour, Yet a considerable part of it being what was left by Colo Montgomery upon his return from Echoe, had received damage by the Sweat of the Horses. Since the time of his quitting Keowee, we have in vain attempted to Supply their Wants, as frequent and numerous parties of the Indians were perpetually hovering about the Fort and it has been with the utmost difficulty that Expresses have made their way to and from thence. It is to be Lamented that Mr. Lyttleton left there upwards of 6000 wt of Powder a quantity of Presents and Spare Arms; For unhappyly for us, the Indians are fully apprized of those Circumstances, and are Flushed with the Expectation of being Speedily Masters of the Place, and the Acquisition of it will be of the greater Importance to them, as they will be thereby Enabled the better to Continue the War with us My first Endeavour shall be to give this Fort a Temporary relief by throwing in by means of the Rangers a supply of Beef, And if the Commanding Officer can hold out a Month or Six Weeks I hope we shall be Able to withstand their Force and repell their Incursions but I shall give him Orders if he thinks it untenable immediately to destroy the Surplus Powder, to Spike the Cannon Bury or Sink the Iron Shot and to withdraw the Garrison.
If I shall be so happy as to Accomplish the present relief of it, I make not the least doubt but that a proper direction of the force of our Several Provinces, we may have it in our power by carrying the War into the Enemies Country to give them Such a Stroke, as will Secure us from any Molestation from them hereafter. The Consequences of their making any further progress in this province, and the Calamities that must from thence be derived to our Neighbours, are too Obvious to Stand in need of being descanted upon.
The Assembly has provided pay for a Regiment of 1000 Men for six Months. The Commissions are already Issued, And as the Encouragement both in point of Bounty and in other Respects is large, there is no fear of their being Speedily raised. This Corps together with our rangers; and the Royals will form a Body of about Two Thousand Men.
These matters I have laid before his Majestys Council, who Joined with me in Opinion, that I should Impart these several Intelligences to you and desire that you would in the most pressing Terms represent to your Assembly the Necessity of raising Troops to Co-operate either with Virginia or this Province, and that you will be pleased to direct their Motions in such a Manner as may Effectually conduce to the Ends proposed.
We find by Experience, That if we don't heartily Co-operate in our designs, and time things by a previous Concert of Measures, all our Schemes prove abortive, or unsuccessful Therefore I take the liberty of suggesting a Plan of Operations for your Consideration.
That this Province March by the way of Keowee about the middle of November, the Direct way into the Cherokee Nation, Colo Byrd with the Junction of the North Carolina Forces to Attack the upper Settlements at the same time. The Necessity the Enemy will be under to divide their forces, will make them less formidable to either of us, and must prevent them from eluding our Resentment by withdrawing from us, if they find us too powerfull for them.
And as this is a Most Important and Urgent Crisis I flatter myself you will not loose a moment in Acquainting me with the Result of your determinations thereupon