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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
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Orders from Thomas Burke
Burke, Thomas, ca. 1747-1783
April 04, 1782 - April 21, 1782
Volume 16, Pages 263-269


Hillsborough, April 4th, 1782.

Ordered Colonel Burton, Q. M. G., to send the Arms and Stores rec’d from Virginia on the order of the Secretary of War, to Hillsboro.

April 5th.

Ordered Commissary General to deliver Stores and Provisions agreeably to General Greene’s letter of the 18th of March which I inclosed him in extract. Stores and salted provisions to be delivered to the Continental Quarter Master who is to estimate the expense of transportation to Georgetown and received such means as shall be necessary for execution.

Live Cattle to be sent in usual mode unless one more certain and expeditious can be found, in which case report is to be made of any assistance which can be given by the State.

Ordered Captain Long to double sentries for the purpose of reporting all who enter by day who are to be registered and returned.

April 6th.

Reprieved Bryant Hampton and White convicted at Salisbury and ordered Major Lewis to protect them and apprehend any person offering violence to them.

Received the disposition of the Troops and recommended a different position.

Ordered Commissioner of Granville to collect or impress 8,000 lbs. Salted meat or fresh equivalent, Wake 8,000, Orange 2,000, Caswell 2,000, to be paid or discounted for from the Specific Collection at the election of the person from whom collected or impressed.

Rejected application for a warrant against Lewis, formerly Member

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for Surry, for robbing a man of a negro, made on presumption said to be suggested by Colonel Martin that I was as Governor First Justice, which I think a mistake.

Ordered forage and rations for Governor Rutledge’s escort.

April 7th.

Answered Letters from General Lillington. See copy.

Answered Letters from Col. Kenan of April 4th. Denied the having paid any tax on Duplin County or any thing resembling it, reminded him that I had no such power and requested him to demand my order, referred him to the Assembly for provision against the oppression he complains of and ordered him to reject all surrendered persons as substitutes in the State Troops and to report to me previous to the enlistment of any such into the Continental service, that I may judge whether they are proper objects of pardon on such conditions.

Hope this may check the abuses by taking away the expectation of passing for substitutes such as oppressed. Plundering only to be effectually restrained by severe penalties to be enacted. No remedy now but by Civil Process.

All these cases must soon pass into other hands as I am resolved to retire.

Granted permission to Miss Jane Meares of New Hanover to pass to Charlestown or any other port within the British Lines in order to embark for Ireland or any other part of His British Majesty’s Dominions.

So far an answer to Mr. Maclain’s letter of 30th of March.

Gave permission to Joseph Bevan, the express, to give receipts for his expenses on his return to be taken up by the respective County Commissioners in discharge of Specific Taxes.

April 8th.

Permitted Joseph and John Hastings to come to me at 4 O’Clock. Decided that by the Cartel paroles given to Soldiers or non-Commissioned officers operated as a discharge in the case of Thomas Tossit.

Gave permission and protection to Joseph and John Hastings to remain at their respective homes until called on. See Copy.

On complaint of David Moore, of Orange, ordered Quarter Master

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to report relatively to horse impressed. The Waggon Master, John Reeves attend. Ordered him to release the horse if true that the complainant had but two for the plough and in future to impress from no man so circumstanced.

Ordered Governor Rutledge’s Escort, seven Dragoons of Bayton’s Regiment to the station in Caswell to recruit a few days, and to draw forage and rations on the Continental account.

April 9th.

Ordered Major McCauley of the Militia to arrange and make return of his troops in order to be inspected and armed.

April 10th.

Ordered Major McCauley to go on with the arrangement of the State Troops and deliver the State Draughts as they arrive if properly equipped. He will apply to the County Commissioner for provisions, and appoint Comm. to issue and account for them. And the Major to receive returns of the rations issued and none to be issued unless the Returns signed by the Commanding Officer.

April 11th, 1782.

Ordered the Quarter Master to issue Spirits to the officers and soldiers of the State Troops amounting to 250 Galls.

April 12th, 1782.

Ordered four hundred flints from the Quarter Master’s Store to be delivered to Major Long for the use of the State Troops. He to deliver into the Store such insufficient flints as he may have.

April 14th.

Ordered all State Quarter Masters, Commissarys, Commissioners, &c., to furnish Sergeant Harris of Colonel Bayton’s Regiment of light Dragoons on the route to Head Quarters with provisions and forage for five men and horses.

Delived Major McCauley one quire of paper.

April 15th, 1782.

Permitted Job Tison to repair to any Continental Officer to enlist for twelve months or otherwise to furnish a substitute.

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Major McCauley will be so good as to send a messenger for the County Commissioner unless he can be assured that he will be in very early in the morning.

If the Major can appoint a discreet man to borrow some provisions for the troops I will take care that the Commissary General shall replace it in kind received of an equal quantity.

April 16th, 1782.

No provisions are to be issued in any other manner than through the Commissary who is to account for them, nor is any provision to be issued but upon the return of the commanding officer of each Corps, to-wit: Regulars and Militia.

The provisions which have been brought in are to be immediately delivered to the Commissary and an account of it rendered, the rations are then to be issued regularly to all the troops. If any has been consumed it must be accounted for by the returns.

The Commissary must every day lay before me a return of his receipts and expenditures.

Recommended to General Butler to inquire if Edward Wilson’s complaint of the impressment of his only horse be well founded and to redress the grievance if true.

21st April.

Ordered Commissioner of Chatham to deliver to the Commanding officer at the post of Hillsborough two wagon loads of corn.

Judiciary Report of the Judges relative to the prisoners condemned at Salisbury.

At Salisbury Superior Court, March Term, 1782, Samuel Bryant, John Hampton and Nicholas White were indicted, tried and found Guilty of High Treason and accordingly were condemned.

The several charges laid in the several bills of indictment were the same, to-wit:

The taking a Commission from the King of Great Britain.

The levying War against this State and the Government thereof.

The aiding and assisting the Enemy by joining their Army and by enlisting and procuring others to enlist for that purpose.

The forming and being concerned in forming a Combination, Plot and conspiracy for betraying this State into the hands and power of a foreign Enemy, to-wit: The King of Great Britain.

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And the giving intelligence to the Enemies of this State for that purpose.

From the evidence adduced on the part of the State, it appeared to the Court that in the Summer of the year 1780, a body of men were collected in the County of Rowan, with an avowed design of reducing the State of North Carolina to the obedience and domination of the King of Great Britain, that the said body of men were headed by the said Samuel Bryant whom they called their Colonel, that he acted as such, that the said men were chiefly armed and marched under the command of the said Samuel Bryant, in warlike array through a Part of the County of Rowan, through the counties of Montgomery and Richmond to the ford of the Grassy Islands on the Pee Dee River, that the number of the said body of men was increased on their march to that place to about six or seven hundred. That on their march they took a number of prisoners, good and faithful Citizens and subjects of this State, whom they tried and confined by the orders of the said Samuel Bryant, put them under Guard and marched with them, that they crossed the Pee Dee at the said Ford, and were joined by about twenty-five British Dragoons belonging to the 71st Regiment, about four miles from Anson Court House, then occupied as a British post, by a party of the same Regiment, that from thence the said Samuel Bryant corresponded with and gave intelligence to a Major McArthur, then at the said Court House, and commanding such part of the said Regiment, as were posted there and at the Cheraws. That the said McArthur and the said Bryant had an interview at the said Court House, near to which the said Major McArthur received the said Bryant’s men, whom he, the said Bryant had previously drawn up into a hollow square for that purpose, that the said Major McArthur highly approved of them, and the conduct of the said Bryant, that a Council was then called, composed of the British and Bryant’s officers. That the said Bryant was by the said British, as well as the said men under his command, called and esteemed a Colonel and the said Hampton, a Lieutenant Colonel, that the said Bryant and Hampton, respectively gave Military orders as such, which were obeyed by the men under their command. That from thence the said Bryant, after several manoeuvres and counter marches in the County of Anson marched his men to Thomson’s Creek where

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he left them under the command of the above said John Hampton, and went to Camden, then a post in the possession of the British, and to which place the said Bryant procured such of his prisoners to be conveyed, as he had not previously paroled or enlisted into his Corps, where such prisoners were confined in the British Provost that two of the said prisoners had been previously enlisted into the said Corps.

That after the battle of the Hanging Rock where it was the said Bryant and his Corps were engaged and where he lost a considerable part of his men, he marched about two hundred and fifty of them into Camden. It did not appear in evidence to the Court that the said Bryant had quitted the British service until about the time of the evacuation of Wilmington.

John Hampton, above mentioned, when first sent for to the said Bryant’s Camp, refused to go, saying that he thought he could or would not go. But on the second or third application went thither and took upon him the command of a Lieutenant Colonel, march’d with the said Corps, sat in Council and acted as a Member thereof, and in the absence of the said Bryant, gave orders which the men of the said Corps received and obeyed, as from their officers authorized to command them, and while in Camp at Thompson’s Creek aforesaid, administered an oath of allegiance to one man, to be loyal and faithful to the British King and Government, and at all such times when he had the command of the said Corps, kept his prisoners tied and confined as the said Bryant had done.

Nicholas White, above mentioned, bore the title of Captain and led into the said Bryant’s Camp, an hundred men or upwards who composed a part of the said Corps, and over whom he continued, as their Captain, and when it came by rotation to his time to take the charge of the prisoners, he seemed to be more rigorous than any of the other officers of that Corps, always tieing the prisoners closer, using more menacing language to them and discovering a remarkable activity and alertness in the service he was then engaged in.

The private moral characters of these men, especially Bryant and Hampton appeared as follows: That they were generally considered as very honest men, nor did it appear to the Court that they had on their march through a considerable part of this State or elsewhere, committed any violences more than any other Army would

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have done in similar circumstances, in supplying themselves with Arms, ammunitions, provisions, horses, &c., there being no proof of their having been guilty of any murders, house-burning or plundering except as above mentioned for the support of their Army.

The above, to the best of our recollections, is a true state of the evidence, so far as we conceived it related to the trial of the above mentioned prisoners.

Certified under our hands the 5th day of April, 1782.