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Letter from William Sharpe to Richard Caswell
Sharpe, William, 1742-1818
November 12, 1779
Volume 14, Pages 222-223

[From Executive Letter Book.]

Philadelphia, Nov. 12th, 1779.


Our great disappointment in Georgia is very disagreeable, as well as the dangerous situation Charles Town is now in, the loss of which would sensibly be felt by No. Carolina particularly and all the States generally.

The reasons why the former order for the March of the North Carolina Brigade was countermanded is so obvious to your Excellency that it needs no explanation. To march Troops so far and with the necessary expedition must be extremely fatiguing, and yet I have no doubt that virtuous body of men will undertake and execute the orders with all the patience and fortitude of the Soldier. In case the Enemy send immediately a considerable reinforcement from New York to Prevost, the consequences may be very disagreeable. The Enemy at New York received despatches from their Court the 23d Ulto., the Contents of which has not yet transpired. Some suppose they have received orders to embark the greatest part of their Troops either to the West Indies or to Britain. It is true that there was a considerable appearance of an embarkation before they could have heard

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of the seige being raised in Georgia, a part of which is said to be bound for Halifax; particulars we have not heard. If wisdom was applicable to their Councils, we might have good reason to conclude they would repair immediately either to Europe or the West Indies, and endeavor to hold something substantial, and quit pursuing the shadow of conquering these States. A few days more will probably develop these things.

I have the honor to send you enclosed an Extract of the Journal of Congress, a part of which will be sent officially by the President. I thought it best to give you a full view of what passed on that very interesting occasion, altho' a degree of secrecy was judged necessary, and to which I take the liberty to add that three Continental Frigates will be immediately forwarded from Boston for the further defence of Charles Town, if they arrive in time.

I have to give you the disagreeable News of the death of Mr. Hewes, whose remains were interred last evening.

With the highest esteem and respect,
I have the honor to be,
Your Excellency's Mo. ob. huml. Serv't,
Gov. Caswell.