Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Horatio Gates, 12 October 1780

From Horatio Gates

Hillsborough 12th: October 1780.


This Instant I received The Great and Glorious News, contained in the inclosed Letter from Brig: Gen: Davidson to Gen: Sumner, who directly dispatched it me by Express. We are now more than even with the Enemy. The moment the Shoes &c. for the Troops here, arrives from Taylors Ferry, I shall proceed with the Whole to the Yadkin. General Smallwood, and Col. Morgan, are on their way to that post; the Latter, with the Light Infantry, was yesterday advanced Eighteen Miles beyond Guilford Court House, the Former with the Cavalry lay last night thirteen Miles on this side that place. I desire Yr: Excellency will forthwith Dispatch copies of all The Letters I now send You to the President of Congress.

I am Sir Your Excellency Obedt: Hble Servt.,

Horatio Gates.

FC (NHi); endorsed (in part) “Copy.” Tr (DLC: PCC, No. 71, i), transmitted to Congress in TJ’s letter to Huntington of 15 Oct. 1780, along with the following enclosures (transcripts, same location): (1) Jethro Sumner to Gates, “Camp McGoons Creek,” 5 Oct.; (2) Gates to Sumner, Hillsborough, 7 Oct.; (3) Sumner to Gates, “Camp Yadkin Ford,” description begins Paul Leicester Ford, ed., The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, “Letterpress Edition,” N.Y., 1892–1899 description ends 10 Oct. (2 copies; this letter is printed in N.C. State Records, xv, 114); (4) William Davidson to Sumner, Rocky River, 10 Oct.; (5) Davidson to Sumner, “Camp Rocky River,” 10 Oct. (a second letter). 2d Tr of Gates’ letter to TJ (DLC); 3d Tr (DLC: Washington Papers); 4th Tr (Arch. Aff. Etr., Paris: Corr. pol., E-U, vol. 14), in French, accompanied by French transcripts of Davidson’s 2 letters and Sumner’s letter (i.e., enclosures Nos. 3–5, above) -these last being translations taken from printed documents “publié par ordre du Congrès.”

The inclosed letter from … Davidson was, specifically, enclosure No. 5 listed above; it was transmitted by Sumner in enclosure No. 3, and it conveyed the news, brought by one who was in the action, that “Ferguson the great Partisan” had been defeated at King’s Mountain, 7 Oct., by a force of 1600 Americans under “Colonels Campbell, Cleavland [Cleveland], Shelby, Seveer [Sevier], Williams, Brandon, Lacey, &c‥‥ Colo. Ferguson fell in the Action, besides 150 of his Men. 810 were made prisoners including the British, 150 of the Prisoners are wounded. 15 hundred Stand of Arms fell into our Hands. Colonel Ferguson had about 1400 Men, Our People surrounded them, and the Enemy Surrendered. We lost about Twenty Men.” The American forces will probably “secure their Prisoners in, or over the Mountains, and proceed towards Charlotte.”

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