Letter from John Rutledge to Richard Caswell
Rutledge, John, 1739-1800
Volume 14, Pages 112-113
PRESIDENT J. RUTLEDGE OF S. C. TO GOV. CASWELL.
[From Executive Letter Book.]
Charlestown, So. Ca., June 9th, 1779.
I have been lately favored with your two letters of the 26th Ulto. This will be delivered by Maj. Rice, one of Genl. Lincoln's aids, who is setting off for Philadelphia, and can inform you fully of the situation of the British and American Troops in this State. Lest he should not meet with you, I will mention that the enemy's whole force is now encamped within twenty miles of this Town, part on the main and part on an Island, but they have such a communication by a bridge of Boats that they can bring the whole together very speedily. The army under Genl. Lincoln have been for some time, and still are, within a few miles of them. Three men of War, the Vigilant, severa armed vessels &
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Transports, with provisions, (but without Troops,) arrived lately on the Coast, and are anchored near to the Island above mentioned. From the Enemy's intrenching themselves strongly on the main, I am inclined to think they wait for reinforcements, and as the number in Virginia is too trifling to do any thing of consequence there, but will be a good addition to their strength in this State, and as I understand by Governor Henry's letter that the Troops in Virginia had embarked, and one of the Fleet which arrived here sailed Northwardly last Saturday, I think it probable that Reinforcements are expected here from that Quarter. At any rate, however, it behooves us to prepare, as speedily as possible, a sufficient army to defeat theirs, so that the peace of this Country may be restored and Georgia regained. The time for which your Militia under Genl. Butler are to serve will expire on the 10th July, and the time of your Continental forces on the 10th August. I have taken what appeared to me the most effectual mode for drawing out the strength of this Country, as you will see by the enclosed proclamation; what effect it will have cannot be immediately discovered, but it will be a very unfortunate circumstance if our Army should, at any period between the time of service of any of it expiring and the bringing in Reinforcements, be so reduced as to give the Enemy an opportunity of attacking to advantage. I therefore most earnestly request that you will use every effort in your power to forward the Troops intended to be sent from North Carolina with the utmost despatch. This State is already much obliged to that and to you in particular for your attention and exertions, and flatter myself that you will continue them.
I am, with great esteem and respect, Dr. Sir,
Your Mo. ob. Servt.,
P. S. Money shall be paid on Genl. Butler's draft as you desire. Mr. Craike shall have all the aid in my power, but I fear that I shall not be able to give him much, Goods being very scarce. I wish we could spare the Arms you mention, but we really are in great want of Arms ourselves.