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Letter from William Purviance to Cornelius Harnett
Purviance, William
June 25, 1776
Volume 10, Pages 615-616


Deep Inlet, Tuesday Morning 25th, June, 1776.

My Dear Sir,

Two days since I wrote you by Captain Dunbibin, who I learn does not goe before tomorrow, as Mr Ward Lyes ill indeed dangerously so. Yesterday I was in Town for amunition and provetions—the amunition I got and with Graite worke obtained one Barrel porke at £5, with two hundred weight Bread at 34s. per hundred, this to be carted then Boated to my men, by wch you see the Trouble and Expence with much Loss I am left to maintain my men. Doaty-having yesterday sent me word by Captain Daws of Onslow he could not supply me I wish Alexander Hostler may be apointed who will procure every necessary from Cross Creek. In this the Council will be doubtless Judges, and make sum allowance for carting and Boating such a distance as well as to think what we are to doe in the winter for cloathing & blanketts, shd this company be thought necessary, if not, I am willing to turn out with what I am able to gather to supporte so far as in my power this part of the coast. I informed you that Stevens and Kennedy was at Deep Inlet during the two days I was at New River and yesterday I have learnt their secret intentions if General Moore has not informed you, you may believe what follows. Persons were employed by Stevens on the coast to give inteligens. Two tenders were to call in Deep Inlett and Rich Inlett Sundays and Thursdays, where he was to meet them. One letter is already detected and I am very anxtious to steale a march on that vilan who I hope will sum of those days fall into my hands. They will watch well if they see my men. I shall keep them secreted untill they get out of their crafts. This moment Mr Jno. T. Alston is left my house for town being delivered me by the Light Horse and after viewing all I could learn, have sent him with my Horses to town, where his friends from the Southard wait to view him. He says he were well. Urdby Tatmarsh says their intelligens is good and that Stevens came down rejoycing, told them he had fixed plans for Inteligence, that the one half of the people above were their friends, and that questions daylie arose, that their old enemy Colonell Purviance was disgusted and refused to act and thrown up his command. It nettled me so much to learn them think me well affected to any measure they have ever followed or proposed, that nevertheless the Trouble and cost I have been at with that command if my people are paid off and that the two commissions are consistant, as Mr Ashe, my steady enemy says they are not, I'll resume my command of the

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company when there is the smartest occasion. I am the more willing to doe this from the Discontent I saw amongst the People above which I saw yesterday who reflect much on me for quitting them. I promised them if they were paid and no commissions already given out I wd do anything they thought best. So soone as I have wroate this I sett off by land for Topsail to see how matters goe on and to cause Middleton to forward his accts. Whether the Council may think it so or otherwise no pains shall be spaired to render the public every service in my power, and when I canot serve them as an officer I'll most chearfully take my muskett. Alston informs me Day before yesterday a fifty Gun ship was off Cape Fear Barr, Left Intelligence that Carleton had Defeated our troops at Kenneda and made grait slaughter (a Lye I hope and believe), that he spoak Howe with two hundred Sail men of war and Transportes at sea—that all the ships of war and Transportes were over Charlestown Barr, if so they might as well be at Barmodas for all the Hurt they can do. I well know the place where they are. He adds the hope soon to crush us and teach us obedience. Pray remember the acct sent to Congress for the Rum Bought of Jukes the candles and paper and have a warrant forwarded me. When any thing new and a conveyance offers you may expt to hear from Dear Sir,

Your very Humble Servt,
Wm PURVIANCE.