Letter from Henry William Harrington to the North Carolina Board of War
Harrington, Henry William, 1747-1809
Volume 15, Pages 139-141
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GEN. H. W. HARRINGTON TO THE BOARD OF WAR.
Camp Near Kershaw's Ferry,
East Side P. D., November 3rd, 1780.
The Honble. The Board of War, Hillsborough.
Your favor of the 28th Ulto. came to hand in due time, but I have not as yet been favoured with an answer to my Letter by Col. T. Wade and I have not heard for some time from Col. Brown a (torn out) two Expresses to Bladen County, but from his thorough honesty and attachment to the Cause I am sure He has not been, but then the Cattle he has collected must go by the way of Cross Creek & to Hillsborough. where I apprehend our Friends from Virginia and Maryland will want them. I have a considerable Body of Horse on the West side of the Pedee, with the triple view of alarming or harassing the Enemy on their Retreat, gaining intelligence, and on their return, collecting of Beeves for the use of our Army near Salisbury or Charlotte, which Beeves I shall send by the Anson Militia. I have ordered out the So. Militia for the collection of Cattle, which from the information I have received, I am in hopes will be in tolerable plenty. Fat hogs are to be had here in great numbers; Barrels and Salt are all that are wanted, and as the first cannot be made in an instant, for the Timber must be seasoned. My zeal for the Cause we are all equally engaged in induced me to give more than my orders from the Board, and to appoint a young gentleman, a resident of these parts as Purchasing Commissary on this River and So. Carolina, and gave him orders to engage Staves and Barrels, to be got, seasoned and made with the greatest expedition: also Barrels to hold Cornmeal, of which the greatest abundance may be had here, provided it can be gathered in time. My friend, Wm. Pegues (?) Esquire, will, I am certain, act in the most upright and conscientious manner. I have had the pleasure of his acquaintance many Years. He always accompanied me in the field against the Enemy whilst I was a citizen of So. Carolina, & behaved like a virtuous Christian and good officer; in short I will be his security in any Sum for the right discharge of the trust reposed in him & shall esteem myself obliged to the Hon. Board to confirm his appointment. Mr. Pegue's Certificates will be sufficient for the Beef, Pork and corn, but money must be had to pay the workmen who get the staves and
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make the Barrels. At the time I first heard of Brig. Gen. Davidson's appointment, the Enemy were advancing towards the Cheraws, and it was expected would attempt to Invade this State by the way of Cross Creek, where I then had the Honour to Command; and altho' I was determined, from the moment I heard of the said appointment to resign, yet I could not think of so doing until our insolent Enemy were obliged to Retreat. I acquainted His Excellency the Gov. and the Hon. Maj. Gen. Gates with my Intentions & determination. The time I waited for is now arrived, and I have the happiness to know that the last of our Foe has been obliged to retreat, and that by our own exertions. With regard to my said early Determination, I now beg leave to be permitted to resign my Commission of Brigadier General of Salisbury District, Pro tem., which the Last Session of Assembly were not willing I should hold, as clearly appears by Gen Davidson's Appointment. For my part, I am content, and I can assert with the strictest regard to Truth that, so this my Country is but faithfully Served, it is equal to me whether it be by me or by another. Colo. Kenan's Regiment of Cavalry are but weak in regard to numbers; they are fine fellows and well officered, and have near three months to serve. Col. Thomas Taylor's Cavalry is much more numerous, the Officers exceeding well disposed to do every service to their Country, the men fine fellows, but too much inclined to plunder, tho' restrained by their Officers. They are entitled to their discharge by the 20th Inst. One of the Nine Companies of Infantry now with me must have theirs by the 17th, four other Companies by the 24th, and the three last by the 2nd of December, Add to this that it is with difficulty and slowly that I collect the Draughts from Anson, Montgomery & Richmond; those from the first are almost all gone to the Enemy, as are many from the other two counties, yet I shall, with the utmost cheerfulness & assiduity, continue to collect the said Draughts and to answer the Views of the Board of War in other respects, until the time of these last Companies of Infantry is expired, by or before which time I hope the Board of War will instruct me with whom to leave the Command. Col. James Kenan, of Duplin County, who commands the first Regiment of Horse, is a good & spirited officer, and in my poor opinion would answer well the Intentions of the Board at this Post, but this must be left to your good judgment. I would now
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inclose my Commission, but will continue acting in this advanced Post without it till the General Assembly speaks (torn out) however I will wait on the Board at Hillsborough and leave it, on my way to my family on Roanoke.
I have the honor to be, Gentlemen,
Your most obedt. Humble Servt.,
H. W. HARRINGTON.