I take this favourable opportunity by Mr. Iredell to return you my very sincere thanks for your benevolent and polite attention to my application for the use of your house for my fugitive family. Circumstances now point out the necessity of retiring further northward, & my views at present are directed to Edenton or Halifax. I cannot therefore any longer suffer you to hold your house unoccupied, when perhaps some person who may think differently from me of the enemies' intentions may be inclined to occupy it Whatever inconvenience I may have exposed you to by thus availing myself of your intentions I consider as a debt I owe, & which I will repay in any manner & to what amount you think proper. I had yesterday a sight of a letter from Col. Lawrence to a Mr. Williamson, of this town. Eager to catch at any thing which may tend to weaken the efforts of the Enemy in this quarter, I have swallowed it all with implicit credulity, & wait impatiently for particulars. I think there can be no reasonable doubt that Cornwallis is advancing with considerable force—Report says in two Columns, one of which points at Camden, the other more immediately at Cross Creek. A Letter to Col. Washington from Col. White mentions that our little handful of men are retiring before them, & look forward, as far westward as Hillsboro, for a first permanent stand. This part of the country, if it held forth anything but want and barrenness would be a mark for them and an easy bloodless
P. S. Mr. Iredell will inform your Excellency of the disagreeable intelligence which Major Butler brings.