In my Letter of the sixth of this month, I had the honor to inform your Excellency, that I was ready to begin my March for North Carolina, having been delayed some days by a diversion made by the Enemy towards Ninety Six. General Morgan still remained on the Pacolet, his Corps by the best accounts I could get, consisted of about five hundred men, Continentals & Virginia State Troops, & one hundred Cavalry under Colonel Washington, & six or seven hundred Militia, but that Body is so fluctuating, that it is impossible to ascertain its number, within some hundreds, for three days following Lieut. Colonel Tarleton with the Legion & Corps annexed to it, consisting of about 300 Cavalry & as Many Infantry, & the 1st Battalion of the 71st Regiment, and one three pounder, had already passed the Broad River, for the Relief of Ninety-six. I therefore directed Lieut. Colonel Tarleton to march on the West of Broad River, to endeavor to strike a blow at General Morgan, & at all events, to oblige him to repass the Broad River. I likewise ordered that he should take with him the 7th Regiment, and one three pounder, which were marching to reinforce the Garrison of Ninety-six, as long as he should think their Services could be useful to him. The Remainder of the Army marched between the Broad River and Catauba. As General Greene had quitted Mecklenburgh County, & crossed the Pedee, I made not the least doubt that General Morgan would retire on our advancing. The Progress of the Army was greatly impeded by heavy Rains, which swelled the Rivers & Creeks; yet Lieut. Col. Tarleton conducted his march so well, & got so near to General Morgan, who was retreating before him, as to make it dangerous for him to pass Broad River, & came up with him at 8 A. M. on the 17th inst. Everything now bore the most promising Aspect. The Enemy were drawn up in an open wood and having been lately joined by some Militia, were more numerous; but the different Quality of the Corps under Lieut. Col. Tarleton's Command and his great superiority in Cavalry, left him
It is impossible to foresee all the consequences, that this unexpected & extraordinary event may produce, but Your Excellency may be assured, that nothing but the most absolute necessity shall induce me to give up the important object of the Winter's Campaign. I shall direct Lieut. Colonel Balfour to transmit a Copy of this Letter, by the first opportunity, to the Secretary of State.