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Letter from Griffith John McRee to Jethro Sumner
McRee, Griffith John
January 16, 1782
Volume 16, Pages 481-482

MAJOR G. I. McREE TO BRIG. GEN. SUMNER.

Wilmington, Jan. 16th, 1782.

Dear General:

I was honored with your’s bearing date the 19th December—shall be attentive in conducting myself agreeable to its contents. Previous to the receipt of it I had collected about one hundred men, mostly all Recruits. This success I have met with since the army, under G. Rutherford, was Disbanded. They are very likely young men and very naked, which prevents my marching them to the Southward until I hear from you. It is impossible for them to serve without cloathes, and I request you will, if there is any in the State, (which I hear there is a quantity) let me know whether I can depend on having such men as I have inlisted cloathed, otherwise ’twill be needless inlisting such as have not enough to supply themselves. Shall they march without arms to Camp? If there is any compleat stands to be had I beg leave to propose arming them, for they will march through a disaffected country. Should you be of this opinion please to have one hundred and fifty stands forwarded. I expect to receive a considerable number of men that will serve in consequence of the Governor’s Proclamation, which is but lately come to hand. Had I known of it sooner much might have been done whilst I was in the Country.

I have on duty here Captain Mills, Lieuts. Cottgrave, Wilkinson & Slade and Mr. Holmes, besides Lieuts. Jones and Orrill, who are at home in Onslow, and have Remained there in Idleness, notwithstanding orders for all Officers being ordered to take the field, they are ordered to join me the 20th and shall be put in arrest.

Mr. Hardy Holmes is a Young Gentleman that joined Captain Doherty last Spring and rendered him much assistance as an Officer. This he did from assurance of Capt. Doherty and myself to procure him a Commission bearing date from that time. He was prevented going to Camp in the Summer by the Smallpox—was taken with it on his way, and by the time of his recovery the Tory insurrection was so brief that it occasioned him to return and take an active part in their Reduction, since which he has rendered me

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most essential service by his activity and assiduity; besides the justice due him, I am further actuated in his behalf from the full assurance of the great service he will render his country, being every way qualified to make the accomplished officer. I beg you’ll send him a Brevett bearing date from May last. The want of such Gentlemen at that time to fill our Vacancies and your Sanction to me to encourage young Gentlemen, Qualified for the purpose, occasioned our persuading Mr. Holmes to enter.

You’ll please send your answer, as soon as possible, and acquaint me concerning the Cloaths and Arms, which no doubt you’ll quickly forward if to be had. If there is any Stores in Halifax please to send us a small Quantity. We have received nothing of the kind in this District, nor can it be had.

Please to signify your pleasure respecting my going to Camp & investing Hadley with your orders for the District.

I keep the Officers busy in training the Recruits, and hope they will be something better than Militia before they get to Camp.

I have the Honor to be,
Dear General,
Your obedt., Hum. Servt.,
G. I. McREE.