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Letter from John Rutledge to Abner Nash
Rutledge, John, 1739-1800
May 16, 1780
Volume 14, Pages 819-820

[North Carolina State Papers, Vol. 72, p. 85.]


16 May, 1780.

Dear Sir:

Last Sunday week Fort Moultrie surrendered; the garrison are prisoners of war, but the Militia admited to their parole, to remain peacably at home. We have accounts (so certain that I think they can't be doubted) that on Friday last, Charlestown surrendered. As yet I have received no authentic intelligence of the terms of capitulation, but what seems most probable (of the several which are reported) are, that the County Militia were to march out with four days' provisions, and remain at their own homes as prisoners on parole; that the Continentals were to be prisoners of war, and exchangeable for Burgoyne's Troops, and that such of the inhabitants of the town as chose to remove with

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their effects should be allowed thirty six hours for so doing—those who remained to enjoy their property, I suppose upon taking the oath of alleg'ce. to the King of Great Britain. As soon as I receive a copy of the Articles of Capitulation I will send it to you by express. In the meantime I think it necessary to give you the foregoing information, which I request you will immediately communicate to the Governor of Virginia and Congress, (by sending pr. express to each a copy of this letter,) that you and they may see the absolute necessity of speedy and large enforcements under proper Commanders, to preserve or regain this country. I cannot say whether it will be possible to get any more of our Militia into the field, or to keep the few who are now in it; however, I shall use my best endeavours to do so.

I am, with great esteem, Dr. Sir,
Your mo. ob. serv.,

P. S. Two days ago one Weickman, who lives at Salisbury, was apprehended coming from the British Army and carrying letters, of which the enclosed are copies. Simpson's letter, by discovering Mr. Martin's scheme, will, I hope, enable you to defeat it. I have sent copies of these to Salisbury, and recommended to the officer commanding there to apprehend Boat and the other persons to whom Mitchell's circular letters are directed, and to inform you of his having done so, that he might receive your orders respecting them. Weickman says Govr. Martin assured him there would be an army of 6,000 men at Cross Creek in 14 days from the surrender of Chas. Town. This is improbable (for Simpson's letter, I think, would have mentioned it, if such a thing was intended). However, the disaffected would have been encouraged by such a Message, had Weickman arrived.

Gov. Nash.