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Letter from Ralph Falkner to Horatio Gates
Falkner, Ralph
September 25, 1780
Volume 14, Pages 648-649

COL. RALPH FALKNER TO MAJ. GEN. GATES.

New Garden, 25th September, 1780.

Sir:

Agreeable to your order of the 22d. Inst, I have sent you the returns you wrote for. The Difference in the returns arises from ye number of men out on Command who draw their Rations at the Stations where they are, and the number of men who are daily coming in from Virginia. I shall take all possible care that no frauds are committed in the Commissary's department, or any other, whilst the command remains with me.

Commissary Brown informs me that there is the greatest plenty of grain and Cattle on Hogan's Creek; But, as the people in that Settlement are disaffected, says he durst not venture among them without an armed force to protect and assist him, and that no provisions have ever been brought from that quarter. I shall, therefore, at his request, move there in two or three days, and shall send all ye flower and Cattle I may collect to Guilford Courthouse, or such other place as he may direct. This will be the best, and indeed ye only service I can render my Country with these men, during the short time they have to serve.

I have now to request your leave to discharge those men who did not go home from Hillsborough to procure Clothes, as they are now quite destitute, without shoe, stocking or Blanket, or indeed a possibility of procuring any to protect them from the inclemency of the weather at this sickly season. Some have hardly rags sufficient to cover their nakedness. Add to this that I have no arms to put in their hands, and the great disproportion there is between ye number of men and officers, there not being a sufficient number of the latter to controul the former, as will appear

-------------------- page 649 --------------------
by ye return, viz.: 4 Capts. 6 Lieuts, 2. Enss. and 506 privates. Were I only to retain such a number of men as I could properly arm and officer, it would answer every end for which I was stationed here, besides the lessening ye consumption of provisions. We are in want of Ammunition, flints and paper. A Letter directed to me, inclosed under cover of one to Mr. Morgan Brown, will I make no doubt, be transmitted safe to me.

I have the Honor to be, Sir,
Your most obt. humbl. Servt.,
RALPH FALKNER.