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Letter from Richard Caswell to William Caswell
Caswell, Richard, 1729-1789
November 11, 1777
Volume 15, Pages 706-708


New Bern, 11th November, 1777.

My Dear Son:

I have wrote you many letters since I had the pleasure of receiving any from you and fear they have not fallen into the proper hand and flatter myself that yours have been miscarried as I have not received a line from you since one dated the 5th September at Newport. I have been ever since the Battle at Brandywine in daily expectation of receiving intelligence from your own hand which I have hitherto failed in, indeed, I have lately been informed by Letter from Capt. Medici that you, at Brandywine, received a wound in the hand, and for a few days was led to believe you was not able to write me, but that Suggestion has been removed by Mr. William Blount who says he dined with you about the 18th September, and heard not a syllable of your having received a Wound. Of Course I am thereby induced to believe that Capt. has been misinformed, tho' his good nature has induced him to Say, you desired him to inform me your Situation and that you had not time to write, you well know that a Single line from yourself would be of more Satisfaction than a sheet from another hand, relating to you, especially in the Critical situation you have lately been; pray, if

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ever this reaches your hand, relieve my anxiety and that of your relatives here, by giving me an account of your Situation & if possible the various difficulties thro' which you have struggled since the Letter I mentioned recd. from you last. 'Tis true I have from Messrs. Burke, Harnett, and Penn recd. Letters in which you are sayed to be Well. We have recd. Accots. of the Unfortunate loss of poor Genl. Nash. I consider that loss, as most people here do, as irreparable to this State. However you or rather the officers with you I suppose may think otherwise, indeed I value and esteem many of them as good and Brave Men, but really, I think, the late General, in every respect cannot be equalled by the ablest and best amongst you. If ever you get time to write me, do tell me a Little of the Conduct and Behaviour of the North Carolina men, how some of them have fallen, whether Bravely or otherwise tho' the latter I flatter myself you will have no accot. to give me of, yet if you have I wish to know it.

We have had Glorious Accounts here within a few days, of the Surrender of Burgoine & his whole Army to General Gates, of Genl. Putman getting between Genl. Clinton & New York & the expectation of his being able to cut off his retreat, of Genl. Washington's being again in possession of Phila., and Howe's retreating to his Shipping & of the Success of the Forts and Batteries on the Delaware against the British Ships & Land Forces, which have occasioned great rejoicing, Bonfires & Illuminations here. The Assembly it is supposed will have members sufficient to-day to Constitute the upper & lower houses and proceed to business; nothing material has lately happened. Your Friends all I think are well. Your mother, all your sisters & Bro. Dickey & Winstone are here and desire to be remembered to you. I have got a horse for you at £150. price but do not send him 'till you tell me you wish I should do so. The Glorious Accounts we have recd. induce me to think matters will turn out so as that you may probably obtain leave of Absence in the dead of Winter, for two or three Months, in which case I hope you will be able to get home without my sending the Horse and on your coming I promise to have him in fine order for you to return with. If we are not to have the happiness of seeing you this winter and you think it will be prudent to send the Horse, let me know and I shall do it by the first safe opportunity.

You know my sentiments of the Honor of a Soldier & a Gentn.

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as well as the Glorious cause you are engaged in, and if at any Time, you can, consistently with those sentiments & agreeable to your own Wishes leave the Service, you are at liberty to do so, but previous thereto I shall be glad to know it that I may at least endeavor to make provision for you here.

I wish you health of Body and Strength of Mind to Bear all your difficulties in a becoming manner and leave you to the protection of that being who will never leave you if you do your duty, which that He may enable you to do is the constant prayer of

Your ever affectionate,