This morning Received your letter dated the 16th, From Salisbury, and being from home cannot go directly forward. But shall start as soon as have Sent off an officer and guard, who Is to Conduct the lead, which I expect is now on the road from The Mines to head Quarters. I am, Sir, heartily sory that I Have listened to the Solicitations of the officers & Justices of The peace in this & the Neighbouring Counties, to set at liberty, or to bind over to the law, any of the prisoners taken at King's Mountain, so much Against the interest of this & the United States, it being their oppinion that such men would Never be Exchanged, but be tryed by the laws of their Country. Nor did I know the Contrary, untill I was Acquainted by the board of war that a Cartel has been lately settled for that purpose, and what I have acted with reguard to the Militia of Salisbury district was entirely done Through my Ignorance, & the Council aforesaid; nor shall I plead Justification any further, as I now plainly see I was wrong.
When I got the Charge of the prisoners, Colo. Campbel's Troops were all left this place. Colo. Cleveland discharged his, and I was Left with Very few men fit for duty, without a sufficient Quantity of arms, and many of the Continentals obliged to Stand with empty Guns, for I had no Ammunition, and many of the officers from The other Side of the Mountain threatned that if
The Militia from Burk County are all bound to the Supperior Court, & listed for Six Months or longer, at the discreation of the Commander in Chief. Those of this County who were in The late insurection are likewise bound to Court & inlisted for Three months or longer, at the discreation of the commander in Chief, all which papers I have by me, excepting the inlistment of those of Burk, which I have sent to Majr. Armstrong to be Delivered to Brigadier General Davison. Those are the reasons which carried me out of the line of my duty and leaves me So much Exposed, Whilest those who advised me are at present Not so Subject to Censure. I could wish the past moments were in my power to recall, but that is for ever lost; I shall repair as Quick as possible to head Quarters and take Such papers as will Testify what I have above related, & shall for the Future be more Cautious of my Conduct in Tampering with Such Weighty affairs of Government, in case I ever am entrusted with them.