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Letter from Nathaniel Lawrence to Jethro Sumner
Lawrence, Nathaniel
August 29, 1782
Volume 16, Pages 647-648


Philadelphia, August 29th, 1782.


As an officer belonging to the State of North Carolina I should have had the honor of addressing you before this had I known that you commanded the line of that State; but I never was informed of it till this day by Colonel Blount, one of our delegates in Congress.

I had the misfortune, Sir, in June, 1779, to be captured by the enemy in fort LaFayette, a small post on the Hudson, commanded by Capt. Armstrong of our second Regiment; I continued a prisoner till March, 1781, when I immediately waited on the Commander in Chief, then at New Windsor for his orders; he, Sir, referred me to General Greene as commanding the Southern department, in consequence of which I wrote to General Greene and transmitted my letter through the channel of Head Quarters; after waiting about four months, I received an answer from General Greene, informing me that from the deranged State of our line he could not inform me what my rank was, nor even if I was continued in service, but directed me to continue where I was till I should hear further from him, since which I have heard nothing officially from that Quarter. I am, Sir, at this time in General Flow’s family, and if I can be spared from the Regiment for the present, I shall consider myself

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obliged by your permission to remain with the Genl. He has written to Genl. Greene on the Subject.

I was surprised in looking over the returns of our line at the war office, to see a Mr. Stephen Slade (a Gentleman I never remember to have seen or heard of before) returned as a senior officer to me. I do not mean to accuse the Officers of the line of injustice, I am sure they are incapable of it, but it must have been a mistake, which I persuade myself they will rectify before the commissions are given out.

Any commands Sir, directed to the care of our Delegates in Congress will safely reach me.

I have the honor to be Sir, With the utmost respect, Your very hum. Servt.,