Letter from Richard Caswell to Cornelius Harnett
Caswell, Richard, 1729-1789
Volume 11, Pages 602-604
GOV. CASWELL TO HON. C. HARNETT.
[From Executive Letter Book.]
New Bern, 2d September, 1777.
I had the pleasure of receiving your favor of the 11th August last
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night. I congratulate you on your recovery of the small-pox; your having it so favorably was in a great measure owing to the regular regimen you observed, I am told, on your journey—I imagine. I was really very anxious about the money you mentioned, but was happily relieved from that anxiety about three weeks ago, when Mr. Allen delivered it safe to me in Dobbs. I immediately dispatched expresses to the Treasurers, who came up and received it. The warrants I had granted the recruiting officers are taken up, and the Troops paid off to the first instant, and those at Halifax ordered to march the same day, I mean yesterday. The Artillery Company is ordered to Kingston to join Col. Sheppard's Battalion, which is assembling with the utmost expedition, about 400 Rank and File, who will march with the Artillery Company to join the grand army in a few days. I thank you for the intelligence you give me of our affairs. They appear not to be in quite so good a state as I could wish them, but hope Gen. Gates' arrival there, with the great numbers of militia which we are told are flocking in, will change the face of things.
I rejoice to hear the No. Carolina Troops are in high spirits whenever they are led to action: I hope and believe they will acquit themselves like brave men. I am greatly obliged to you for inquiring after Capt. Caswell, and giving me an account of his health. Give me leave to request you will be pleased to enquire frequently into his conduct, and give him such advice and assistance as you could wish to be given by your friend to a son circumstanced as he is, and so far distant from his parent. I hope he will gratefully receive either from you in a becoming manner. Dr. Burke I shall be glad to see whilst he shall happen to be in this State. I imagine he will have left Philadelphia before this reaches you, I shall therefore omit writing to him this post; his stay here, I persuade myself, will be but short. The Council is to meet here this day; some of the members are here; to that board I will do myself the pleasure of delivering your compliments. We have been alarmed with the rising of Tories, and forming of conspiracies: the former among the Highlanders & Regulators and in the County in which you had the honor to draw your first breath, and in Bertie and Martin. The Militia in some places was called on to quell the first, but the Insurgents only proceeded to Cross-Creek, under a pretence of getting salt, which they were supplied with,
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and finding the country alarmed and ready to treat them as they deserved, desisted from proceeding any further. The other Gentry, many of them have been apprehended and committed to gaol, in order to take their trials in the Courts of Oyer. Among them is Mr. Brimage, who attempted to escape, got as far as Ocacock, where he was apprehended, carried up to Edenton, and committed to a poisonous and noisome dungeon, as he calls it, in a letter to me. He asks my interference with the Justices to admit him to bail, which I did not think proper to meddle in.
We have heard of the arrival of upwards of 200 of the enemy's fleet in Chesapeak. Our Militia, on that account, is held in readiness, that is the first and second Divisions, to march at the shortest notice to the assistance of Virginia, and I have had intimation from the Governor that, if certain incidents happen, he shall expect our friendly aid of men &c.
I shall be extremely glad to hear from you, at such times as you can conveniently spare a few minutes to communicate anything you may be pleased to wish me to know.
I am Dr Sir Yours &c.,