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Letter from Joseph Hewes to Samuel Johnston
Hewes, Joseph, 1730-1779
May 16, 1776
Volume 10, Pages 604-606

Letter from Joseph Hewes delegate in Congress from North Carolina to Samuel Johnston.

Philadelphia, 16th May, 1776.

Dear Sir,

I have had the honor to receive your several favours of the 10th, 13th, 15th, & 17th ultimo enclosing sundry resolutions of your Congress. I took the earliest opportunity to lay those papers before Congress and have now the pleasure to inform you they have taken your Six Regiments into Continental Service, appointed Nicholas Long Esqr deputy quarter master general with the rank of Colonel, ordered Twelve field pieces to be procured and sent to you, also

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Three Tons of Powder, Six Chests of Medicines, and one hundred weight of bark.

I urged the necessity of taking your light Horse into their service, but could not prevail on them to do it, no colonies having been yet allowed to raise any on Continental pay, it is said they are very expensive Troops and of little use in this Contest. I am informed a Company or two were raised in South Carolina but being found by experience to be too expensive the Horses were discharged and the men turned into the ranks of foot Regiments. I had it not in charge from you to make application for any Powder or Medicines, but apprehending they would be wanted I took the liberty to apply for them, the three Tons of Powder in Twenty five barrels went off yesterday in three Waggons for Halifax, the Medicines will be sent off next week. I hope these matters will meet the approbation of your Congress; should you want Drums, Colours, Shoes, Stockings and Blankets for your Soldiers I believe some might be procured here, Cannon fitt for field pieces cannot be purchased at any price, before the resolution passed in Congress to procure and send Cannon, or I had received your Orders, I had done my utmost to get them. I had Contracted with a person to Cast Twenty four double fortified four pounders which will do either for field pieces or Ship Guns, they are not yet done nor can I say when they will. I can only say that nothing on my part shall be wanting to get them soon as possible.

I send you enclosed the Commissions for the field Officers of the Six Regiments and for Colonel Long, the Resolutions of Congress respecting the several matters before mentioned also a resolution that passed yesterday together with sundry other papers.

My endeavours to get a few Muskets for your Troops have hitherto been fruitless it is impossible to procure any here at this time many of the Continental Troops in this City and in New York are without any, we are greatly distressed on that account, some of our Vessels have returned without any, some have brought a few, and very few, and several that were expected with a Considerable quantity are missing supposed to be taken by our Enemies, every effort is exerted to get them made in these Colonies but this Source falls exceedingly short of our demands, however we have some Vessels out that may be expected about this time and we hope they will arrive safe with a seasonable supply.

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A few days ago Thirteen Row Gallies built at the expense of this Province each carrying one Eighteen pounder attacked the Roebuck & Liverpool Men of War in the River about Twenty Miles below and obliged them to return to the Capes in a shattered condition it is thought if they had been fully supplied with powder & Ball they would have destroyed those Ships, the Boats expended in the engagement about four Tons of powder, the report of this day is that the ships are gone out to sea supposed to be to Halifax in Virginia to repair the damage they received in this action, for other news I beg leave to refer you to the papers inclosed.

I am with great respect & esteem
Dear Sir
Your mo. obed. hum. Ser.
JOSEPH HEWES.