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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Letter from John Rutledge [Extract]
Rutledge, John, 1739-1800
July 1779
Volume 14, Pages 137-138

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Part of letter of July, 1779:

General Lincoln having received such Intelligence of this intention, strength and position of the Enemy, as rendered it advisable to attack them, at Stono Ferry, did so, on the 20th Ulto., about 7 in the morning, with great vigour. They were advantageously posted, and covered by three strong redoubts, and a well-constructed Abbattis, supported by several pieces of Artillery. The Picquets having been driven in, the Attack began on the Right, which was instantly continued thro' the Line. A large body of Highlanders sally'd out on our Left, but were soon driven with considerable slaughter into their Redoubts. The Action continued without intermission 56 minutes, when, as the General could not draw the Enemy out of their Lines (which were so strongly constructed that our light Field Pieces could make no impression upon them), as the Force of the Enemy was much greater than had been represented, and as they had during the Engagement obtained a large reinforcement from Johns Island, our Troops were withdrawn from the Lines, and all our Artillery and wounded brought off. Our loss is not considerable; many of the wounded are already on duty, and most of the rest (their wounds being slight) it is judged will soon recover. The Enemy's is supposed to be

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much greater, as a number of their Dead were Reckoned on the ground, and it was observed that their Field pieces were several times left without a man to work them. Upon the whole, tho' we had not the wished for-success, our people are Convinced that they would have beaten the Enemy if they had quitted their Lines. It is probable, from the Enemy's sticking close to them, they were of the same opinion. Our men are in high spirits and wish for a fair trial, by equal numbers in the open field. Lieut. Charleton, of the North Carolina Brigade, died of his wound; that State has lost no other officer.