After the disastrous defeat of Gates' army, near Camden, on August 16,1780,the greater part of North Carolina was at the mercy of the English Army under Cornwallis. The patriots of the State were, however, not discouraged, and the Board of War, composed of John Penn, Alexander Martin, Col. Polk, Oroondates Davis and Mr. Maclaine, met at Hillsborough and pushed the work of recruiting in an energetic manner. Gov. Abner Nash was also active and was ably assisted by Gen. Jethro Sumner. The story of the struggles of the State, of the defeat of Ferguson at King's Mountain, of Col. W. R. Davie's gallant skirmishes, of the capture of Charlotte, are well told in the correspondence of Gen. Jethro Sumner, which has recently come into my hands. These let ters of Gates, Penn, Greene, Sumner, Sumpter, Davidson, Davie, and others, from the necessity of the autograph business, have become scattered all over the United States, and copies have been collected with much difficulty.
I have taken them in the order of their dates and made only such extracts as seem important and interesting.