His Excellency Thomas Burke, Esquire,
I am to inform your Excellency that this Morning Major Craigg marched his Army from one Clifton’s (about 16 or 18 Miles from New Bern), and it is generally believed that he will be in town this Evening; it is said that he has Four Hundred British and as many Tories. The little Army we have, prevented him from Crossing Trent River. General Caswell with about 180 Horse went to go on his Lines, and met with Craigg’s light Horse, with 50 Infantry, who were sent to Surprise Col. Hill, who with a Party was sent to take post at one Sanders’ Bridge, who were put to the rout but a few Minutes before the General, who had marched some miles on their track, but unfortunately for the General the Centre of his Line broke, which he endeavoured to rally, but could not prevail on them to return to the Charge; the Enemy pursued the Horse for some little Distance, and, too, but a few Prisoners, killed nor wounded any. In the mean-time the Two wings joined, and met their Horse on the Return, and attacked them, which lasted some time, and am so happy to write you they drove them in. They sallied out the second time on our Horse, who beat them back, with the loss of 8 or 10 killed and several wounded, among the former is Gordon, of Wilmington, who
I am sorry to observe unless we have some speedy relief, these lower Counties must fall into the Hands of the Enemy; I could wish to hear from you, Sir, as soon as possible.
Camp at Webber’s Bridge on Trent, 19th Aug., 1781. Received 22nd; Answered same Day.