Since I had the honour of writing to your Lordship by the Duke of Cumberland Packet nothing of great moment or out of the common course of things has occurred with regard to the Province of No Carolina except the withdrawing of the Fleet and Army from thence on the 31st day of May, a measure which was taken on the manifold considerations that the Army was not then all arrived, that the season was too far advanced for the service of the British Troops in this climate, that carriages and horses, the indispensible means of enabling the army to penetrate into the Country, were
The Armament on its departure from Cape Fear bent its course hither as I understand, on fair presumption that a sudden stroke might be made with advantage, but owing to a train of unlucky circumstances, which your Lordship will better learn from the Commanders of the Expedition, a month was almost consumed before any attempt was made upon the enemy. On the 28th of last month the Squadron attacked a strong Battery of the Rebels on Sullivan's Island, and after a severe cannonade that lasted more than nine hours, the ships having expended most of their ammunition, were obliged to haul off, having sustained great damage and very considerable loss of men. General Clinton, with whom I had the honour to be at this time, had made every arrangement that time and circumstances and the position in which his Army lay admitted, to support and take advantage of this attack, but the Frigates intended to make a diversion in his favour being laid aground by the Pilots, and none arriving at their appointed Station, nothing could be attempted by the Army but at the hazard of everything.
It is now resolved my Lord to join the main Army under General Howe and all preparations are making accordingly. As my Family, cutt off from my advice for want of communication, is detained at long Island near New York and I understand that Province to be the next object of his Majesty's arms I hope so tender a consideration will justify me to my Royal Master and to your Lordship for accompanying this Armament thither while it is utterly out of my power to effect any good purpose in North Carolina where I have left on Board a Transport which I hired for the purpose under the protection of the King's ships on that Station a number of the friends of Government who took sanctuary on board the Fleet during its stay at Cape Fear among whom there are persons
The check his Majesty's Arms have received in the attack made by the Squadron here the other day will certainly operate disadvantageously by teaching the Rebels higher opinions of their own strength, although I think it to be imputed to the deception of the Pilots in not carrying the ships so close to the enemy works as they engaged to do, by which as in a distant cannonade must always be the case, all advantage was on the side of the Artillery on shore, and the bravery of the British Seamen, which was displayed as usual upon this occasion could not command the success it deserved.