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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Letter from Jethro Sumner to John Penn [Extract]
Sumner, Jethro, 1733?-1785
1780
Volume 14, Pages 777-778

GEN. JETHRO SUMNER TO HON. JOHN PENN.

“I crossed the ford of the Yadkin river last evening with the Brigade under my command and Gen. Davidson's. The enemy having pursued my horse under the command of Col. Davie within three miles of our camp on Mallard's Creek, I immediately reinforced him with 200 infantry and about 60 horse. The enemy's retreating was convincing to me that they were not in force from Charlotte, and being informed by Col. Davie of their having 600 or 800 horse, we suppose that their intention was to take the McKnitt's road from Charlotte to Torrents' road, & to cut off our retreat to Salisbury. When we arrived at Salisbury, understanding the river was arising, determined us to retire, and we have encamped within a mile of the Ford, advantageously on the north side. The people of Mecklenburg County are very spirited, and a majority will be in the field in a day or two. The

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enemy lay close in their camp; they are not fond of fighting in small parties. The party under Col. Davie repulsed the enemy's advanced party of horse several times upon their entering Charlotte, killed 22 of them and wounded a larger number. The day following, the enemy engaged a small party of horse at the crossroads, four miles from Charlotte, by surprise, and made prisoner a son of Gen. Lock, whom they cut to pieces on the ground; one or two are yet missing. The few Continental troops of the state are very naked; I wish some supply may be ordered them. Gen. Sumpter will be able to inform you of the situation of the troops in Catawba river, under the commands of Colonels Locke, Cleveland, Armstrong, McDowell, Grimes and about 200 Virginians. They are powerful, were they to make a junction, and would effect good service just now, being mostly of horsemen. A speedy assembling of the intending army to act in this quarter is absosolutely necessary to be made with the greatest diligence.”