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Letter from Edward Carrington to Horatio Gates
Carrington, Edward, 1749-1810
August 29, 1780
Volume 14, Pages 577-579


Richmond, Augt. 29th, 1780.


I had the Honor to receive yours of the 3d instant, on the 15th. According to your orders I set out for the Army as soon as I could possibly get off, and was on my way when I met Colo. Senff & Major McGill with the disagreeable news of the misfortune which had befallen you. Through these Gentlemen I received your orders to return to this place & push on the preparation of Stores, which I have accordingly done & shall neglect nothing within the Compass of my power to that end. We had experienced such repeated disappointment from the hands we had at Work here on the foundation of the State, & the business was carried on upon so small a scale, that, since the late unhappy circumstance, I have concerted with Genl. Muhlenburg the Measure of making Cartridges also at Chesterfield Court House, where the regular Troops rendezvous, & where a Number of Men, at present unfit for the Field, may be employed in that business. We have accordingly sent to that place a quantity of Materials, on which they are now at Work, under the direction of Col. Davies. You may rely on a sufficient number of Cartridges being ready for sending on, as soon as you may think proper to direct them, or whenever Genl. Muhlenburg may conceive it proper to send them on. 51,000 Cartridges went off from this place about the 16th instant, and in the care of a Mr. Mason, Waggon Master, who was to deliver them to Genl. Stevens. I suppose this He will now have an opportunity of doing, as we hear he is still at the Head of a part of his Militia, or, at any rate, Mason will know how to dispose of them with propriety. The flints you ordered as you passed through this place were sent from here in a few days afterwards

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to Petersburgh, from whence Mr. Elliot, D. Q. M. G., there was ordered to forward them immediately, & we had not the least doubt of its being done till the receipt of your letter. I saw them off before I left Petersburgh to join the Army, with a number of Marquees for yourself & some for Officers of the Maryland line; but on hearing how matters were circumstanced with you, I consulted with Colo. Senf & Major McGill the propriety of halting them at Taylor's Ferry, where the Surplus Stores are, until you should be able to give further orders respecting them. We determined that to be the best station for them, upon which I immediately sent orders to Mr. French, the Waggon Master under whose care they were, to lodge them with the other stores at that place. This we hope will meet your approbation. I did myself the Honor to write you on the 3d instant by the Hands of Colo. Drayton, D. Q. M. G. for South Carolina. In this letter I afforded you prospects, tolerably flattering, with respect to the establishment of a Laboratory here on Continental establishment, which, from letters I had received from the Board of War & Commissary Genl. of Military stores, I had reason to expect would have been carried into compleat execution before this; however, I have hitherto been disappointed in the arrival of the hands. I have lately wrote three pressing letters, which I have repeated by Senf & McGill, & in hopes the measure will take place time enough for the supply of such ordnance stores as may be necessary by the time those are expended which are at the different repositories in your Quarter.

The State of Arms in the state you will receive from Genl. Muhlenburg, who will also inform you of a quantity of Musket Cartridges which have arrived at Fredericksburgh for the Southern Army.

I hope by the time this letter reaches you you will so far have recovered your indisposition as to afford your presence to what ever may be going on for reinstating an army in the Field, & hope ere long to have the pleasure to see you at the Head of a Body of Men on whom you may better depend than on Undisciplined Militia. Should the resolves of last Assembly be put tolerably well in execution, you ought to have upwards of 3,000 Regulars from this State. I have the pleasure to acquaint you that the reasons of your Misfortune are well understood here. If

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in the present situation of your Affairs, my presence with you would be at all useful, my being called from here will, I can see, be not inconvenient, & I shall be happy in the Honor of joining you as soon as possible.

I have the honor to be,
With much esteem & rept,
Yr. Mo. Obt.,
Lt. Col. Art.