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Letter from John Penn to Henry William Harrington
Penn, John, 1740 or 1-1788
September 22, 1780
Volume 15, Pages 412-413


Hillsborough, September ye 22d, 1780.


The Gentlemen appointed to act with me as a Board of War, left this place soon after their Appointment, having been long detained in the Assembly they thought it absolutely necessary to go home for a few Days, but will soon return. I have, at their Request,

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in their Absence continued to do Business, there being a Necessity for it.

General Gates informed me two days ago that he thought, from the Tories imbodied in Bladen, our Stores at Wilmington and Cross Creek were in Danger; I wrote to you by the Express, advising you to Impress Waggons, if to be got, and send the Stores this Way, provided you thought it necessary; at the same Time mentioning the Propriety of getting what Leather was there, if to be had; One tanned for two raw Hides. And I would take Care to send the raw Hides from this Place, by the Waggons that go for the Stores. I want Leather to Shoe the Regular Troops as soon as Possible, that we may have their assistance again; But as you are likely to have Employment in a different Way, I shall be obliged to you to deliver the enclosed to Colo. Rowan with your Advice how to Act. Your Letter to General Gates, of the 19th Instant is now before me, and I am sorry that you have not received a Letter which the Board of War wrote to you, informing you that Colo. Taylor was sent to Chatham for a few Days to quell the Tories there, and that he would obey any Directions he should receive from you.

I highly approve of your assisting our Friends wherever you can, especially Colo. Kobb, who appears to be an Active, good officer. From your Situation you can Judge much better than the Board of War, how to direct the Movement of our Troops to the Southward; you will therefore give such Directions to Colo. Thomas Taylor, for his Conduct, as you think best for the Publick Good; & will also Judge of the Propriety of your taking any other Post yourself. You know the Country and the Necessity of keeping a Proper Guard at Cross Creek. However I wish you to look upon yourself at Liberty to act as you think best until you are under the immediate Command of an Older Officer.

I have wrote to General Jones, desiring him to march his Brigade, or such Part as are equipt, as soon as Possible to Cross Creek; Should he Join you himself, he will, as the oldest officer, have the Command.

I shall remain at Hillsborough until my Colleagues return, you will therefore let me hear from you as often as you think it necessary.

I am, Sir, Your Obt. Servt.
General Harrington.