Letter from Matthew Ramsey to Horatio Gates
Volume 14, Pages 543-545
MATTHEW RAMSEY TO GENERAL GATES.
Drowning Creek, 9th August, 1780.
When I wrote to you before I hinted that I thought the part was Two Small, as I was inform'd that the Scotch was all lying out, which I find to be the case. I have been at fifty houses & have not found one Man at home. I went down One Side of the creek Myself with three Men, & did Every thing in My power to induce them to Come in, ashuring them that if they assisted Me in collecting cattle they would be admitted to Remain at their homes
-------------------- page 544
& be Entitled to Your Leanient protection, which is More than the Rascalls Deserves. As Yesterday I pend a parcel of Steers, & left one Man to take care of them, about 15 of them came & Tournd them out, Took the Soldeaer's arms from him & Brought him under Guard, & followed Me ten Miles, Surounded the House we Lay in, and Took us prisonars. I Expected Nothing but present Death; if it had not been for One of them that seemed to have the Command, they would of put us to the Sword. They ware Verry well arm'd. I told them they should answer for their conduct at a future day. Their answer was they would, but not to Rebels. this Sett, I am informed, has lay out ever Since the commencement of this present warr. They swore that if ever we came in their parts again that they would ly in the Swamps & Shoot us as Soon as a Dear. Houever, I am determin'd to go amongst them Once More, if I can get a few More Men. I think they are the worst enemy that we have at this present. all their Studey Seems to be is to prevent the army from being Supply'd with provisions. They are a Lawless Gang. it is Impossable to Catch them among so many Swamps. I have about 50 Steers Collected, but dawer Not start them as I am Shure they will Rescue, them as they did a few days ago—took 20 from a party of ours a little above this. I shall Try & keep in as Safe a place as posable Ontill I hear from You by the Bearer, who has been with Me & Can inform You More particular than I can write; he has been of great Service to Me. Genl. Rutherford has Bound him to Salisbury Court, but am in hopes You'l Release him from that, as I Can assure You that he never has been in arms against this Country. if I am Reenforced, & Can by aney Means Catch any of them, I will Send them to You; if I cannot Catch them, I am in hopes Your Honour will have No Obligation to Laying their Cottages waste, as they are Only a harbour for thieves & Tories. A party of Mollatous & Negrous almost kill'd a man. Yesterday, while they had us in Confinem't, they Seem'd to be Verey deserous to Conduct us to the Enemy, but they ware afraid of falling in with Some of Your army. I, being a Continental Officer, pleased them Verey Much, if they Could accomplish thire ends. Nothing Saved us but a part of Ouer Men that I sent over the creek, which They ware afraid would Come on them. As Soon as I get Clear of this place I will go on P. D. & Contract fore all the Corn there
-------------------- page 545
& Keep the Mills at work. My appointment is only Temporary, So that I do not know how Long I Shall Continue. I am to Meet Mr. Green, the C. G., at Hilsbro. the 30th Instant, Where ouer assembly is Ordered to Meet. If You have aney Orders to him, please to let me know. Their is a Number of people Imployed in collecting provisions, So that I am in hopes Your army will be plenteyfully Supply'd. I wish You a happy Campain.
Whilest I have the Honour to be,
Your Obed. H. Servt,
N. B. I Shall wait the Bearer's Return with Impatiens; am in hopes to have leave to take Satisfaction out of them Villians. You May Depend I Shall do nothing with Impropriety; all I want is to Breake up their den. I wish we ware Clear of their Sied.
I am in hopes You'l Excuse Me in Troubling You Now with this Long Eppistle. From My Situation, You May think I am Onhappy.
I forgot to Inform You that these Villians Took all Ouer Horses, Guns, & every other thing that they wanted.