Letter from William Caswell to Abner Nash
Caswell, William, 1754-1785
Volume 14, Pages 832-833
GENL. W. CASWELL TO GOV. ABNER NASH.
Camp at Cross Creek, 3d June, 1780.
His Excellency Abner Nash, Esqr., New Bern.
I imagine your Excellency will be surprised to hear from me at this place, but from the movements of the Enemy I found no other safe Retreat, and am happy to have the pleasure to inform you that we this afternoon arrived here with most of the Men of my Brigade. I sent Major Mitchell off to your Excellency a few days past. He, I suppose, gave a full account of our March to, or near, Haley's Ferry, on P. D. I parted with Colo. Buford on Friday Evening. He marched from Camden on Saturday Morning, and on Sunday the Enemy were in Possession of the Town. About
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12 o'clock Sunday night 300 Light Infantry, mounted behind 400 Horse, (the whole that came into Town that day,) Went in pursuit of Colo. Buford, and on Monday, 2 o'clock, overtook him. Colo Buford had notice previous to their attacking & had his men in readiness for action. The Infantry attacked him in front & the Light Horse in the rear. The attack lasted 20 Minutes, when the whole of Colo. Buford's Troops was killed & taken, the Advanced Guard and the main Guard excepted, which was in front and made their Escape. The rest fell into the hands of the Enemy, with the Baggage & Two field Pieces. This Acct. I have from several of the advanced Guard, who have joined me. I have not heard from that Party since, but from a Deserter I am informed they intend for Charlotte, & then to this place. Two thousand was ordered off after my Brigade. Three Days past they were at Lynche's Creek, since which I have not heard of them. And there was a party at Black River & Black Mingo. I lay partly between these parties when I was a Haley's Ferry, and had no other place but this that I could get Provisions at. And by reports from Deserters I was informed that a party would soon be at Wilmington, & these three Bodies to form a Junction at this place. This plan of operation I imagine they will easily carry into effect, if some troops do not arrive to our assistance. Shall wait here (the Enemy Willing) untill I receive orders from your Excellency, or some superior Officer.
The Men under my command are very much in want of their Bounty; shall be happy to have it if Possible.
I have this moment received an account of the same party that Fought Col. Buford having a Scrimage with Col. Porterfield at or near Charlotte. Colo. Porterfield retreated towards Salisbury, with little or no loss.
I have the honour to be
Your Excellency's most obedt. Servt.,