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Letter from William McClure to Jethro Sumner
McClure, William
January 05, 1782
Volume 16, Pages 474-475

SURGEON W. McCLURE TO BRIG. GEN. SUMNER.

New Bern, Jan. 5th, 1782.

Dear General:

Col. Armstrong has again informed me of your desire that I should repair to Head Quarters, which I would gladly do, but my constitution will not permit. I am every night about two or three o’clock taken with a hectic fever which continues until I get up. I have constantly a cough & pains in my breast. I have every sympton which convinces me, that to enter into the service in my present situation would certainly throw me into a confirmed Consumption. Life is dear, & I must beg you would excuse my absence a little longer. I have sometimes thought of resigning at once, but when I consider the dangers and difficulties I have undergone, the unwearied assiduity & perseverance of six years in the service of my country, the close and most cruel confinement I endured because I was the means of saving the lives of a number of my poor distressed Countrymen in the Provost, the many losses I have

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sustained, and above all, my constitution ruined by excessive duty, I am determined to hold out a little longer.

Our rewards for service hitherto have been merely nominal, but I expect they will soon be realized, & for another Surgeon to step in now at the eleventh hour to reap the benefits of all my past labours ought, really in my opinion, to wound every feeling of equity, reason & even humanity itself. The many tokens I have experienced of your friendship convince me that this will not be the case if you can prevent it. The considerable loss of my property by the enemy in South Carolina, & likewise the property of my Mother, who was once in affluent circumstances & now reduced to poverty, demands every perquisite that might arise from my place in the Army.

I have wrote to Doctor Blyth, an able, active young man, to do my part of duty in the Army, and if it is not in his power to do it to let me know.

Yours, &c.,
WM. McCLURE.