Letter from John Butler to Richard Caswell
Butler, John, d. 1786
Volume 14, Pages 119-120
GEN. JOHN BUTLER TO GOV. CASWELL.
[From Executive Letter Book.]
Camp, near Stono River, 17th June, '79.
I marched from Charlotte the 11th of April and reached Genl. Williamson's Camp, opposite Augusta, on the 26th. Genl. Lincoln was then at Golphia, 16 miles below, with part of his Army. It was determined in Council to cross into Georgia, but before that could be effected, Genl. Lincoln received intelligence from Genl. Moultrie, who commanded at Purysburg, that near two thousand of the Enemy had crossed at that place into South Carolina. The Genl., supposing that they only meant to amuse him, crossed Savannah River at Fort Moore Bluff and marched down on the Georgia side 40 miles, to Summeral's Ferry, where he was well informed that the Enemy's main body had crossed and was marching towards Charles Town. He then crossed the River and made forced marches after the Enemy, but as they had at least a week start of us, they found time on their march to plunder a number of the Inhabitants of Negroes, Horses, provisions and household furniture. Such of the furniture as they could not
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carry they destroyed. They crossed Edisto at Parker's Ferry, proceeded down Ashley River on the South side to the Ferry, crossed there and encamped before Charles Town—I believe at or near the 6-mile house, but never made any attack. It happened that Major Huger was ordered one night to place some wagons in a place which was not at that time sufficiently fortified. Our own people from the lines discovered him, and, mistaking him for the Enemy, fired and killed the Major and 7 or 8 of his party. In a day or two after, Genl. Count Pulaski advanced with a party of horse and foot and made a vigorous attack on a party of the Enemy's horse. He drove them with the loss of about 40 of his own men. About this time Genl. Lincoln was within 30 miles of their rear, of which they were informed by taking an Express from Genl. Lincoln to Gov. Rutledge. They then recrossed Ashley River with precipitation, built a bridge across Wappoo Cut and went to James Island; stayed there about 10 days; from there they went to John's Island, where they remain at this day. Deserters who came in yesterday say they are loading their vessels with Negroes and Baggage, with design to go to Savannah. Others say they mean to attack Charles Town by water. Many skirmishes have happened between our horse and theirs; but little damage on either side. We are encamped 7 miles below from the Enemy.
I am, your Mo. ob. Servt.,