George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Nathanael Greene, 11 January 1781

From Major General Nathanael Greene

Camp S. Carolina at Kershaw’s ferry1
on the east side of Pedee [River]
January 11th 1781.


I do myself the honor to enclose your Excellency an extract of a letter from Brigr Genl Morgan, the authenticity of which depends solely on the report of the Baron Glaub⟨uc⟩.2

The memorandum which your Excellency will recieve herewith of the Corps under the command of Lord Cornwallis in S. Carolina, is the best I have been enabled to obtain, and I believe their strength is well ascertained.3

Brigr Genl Du Portail being on his way to join the No[r]thern Army, will have the honor to deliver this dispatch and to communicate to your Excellency further and more particular information respecting the state of the department under my command. I have the honor to be, with the most perfect respect and esteem, Your Excellency’s Most Obedient Humble Servant.

Nath. Greene

P.S. I have encloseded a return of the troops.4

LS, DLC:GW; LB, DLC: Nathanael Greene Papers. The postscript appears only on the LS. GW replied to Greene on 27 February.

1Kershaw’s ferry crossed the Pee Dee River (now Great Pee Dee River) just south of the village (now city) of Cheraw, South Carolina. Greene’s camp was above the village on the east side of the river and a few miles south of the border with North Carolina (see Greene to GW, 28 Dec. 1780, n.1).

2The enclosed extract of a letter from Brig. Gen. Daniel Morgan to Greene, dated “Camp on Pacolet Creek” in South Carolina on 31 Dec. 1780, reads: “After an uninteresting march I arrived at this place on the 25th of December. on the 27th I recieved intelligence that a body of Georgia Tories about 250 in number had advanced as far as Fair-forrest, and were insulting and plundering the good people in that neighbourhood. On the 29th I despatched Lt Colonel Washington with his own Regt and 200 Militia horse, who had just joined me, to attack them. Before the Colo. could overtake them they had retreated upwards of 20 Miles. He came up with them next day about 12. OClock A.M. at Hammond’s store house 40 Miles from our Camp. They were alarmed and flew to their horses. Lt Col. Washington extended his mounted Rifle men on the wings, and charged them in front with his own Regiment—they fled with the greatest precipitation without making any resistance. One hundred and fifty were killed and wounded and about 40 taken prison⟨er⟩ What makes this success more valuab⟨le⟩ it was attained without the loss of a man. This intelligence I have just recieved by the Baron Glaub⟨ec⟩ who served in the expedition as a Volunteer. To guard against any misfortune I have detached 200 Men to cover the retreat of the fortunate party. When I obtain a more particular account, I shall transmit it to Head Quarters, and recommend to your particular attention those men who have distinguished themselves on this occasion” (DLC:GW; see also Greene Papers description begins Richard K. Showman et al., eds. The Papers of General Nathanael Greene. 13 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1976–2005. description ends , 7:30–33).

Glaubeck (Glasbeck, Glasbeech), apparently a mere adventurer, was a volunteer aide to Morgan. Later in 1781, Congress awarded him a brevet commission as a captain for his “merit and services” at the Battle of Cowpens in South Carolina (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 19:247). After the war, Greene appealed to Congress for reimbursement for debts incurred aiding Glaubeck, who had proven to have no “mon[e]y or means” or credit (Greene to Richard Henry Lee, 22 Aug. 1785, in Greene Papers description begins Richard K. Showman et al., eds. The Papers of General Nathanael Greene. 13 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1976–2005. description ends , 13:564–68).

3Greene enclosed a “Memorandum of the Corps under the Command of Lord Cornwallis in S. Carolina,” dated 6 Jan. 1781, that gave as the British strength “At Head Quarters,” 1,280; at Camden, 3,095; at Charleston and its vicinity, 650; at Ninety Six, 250; and at Georgetown, 80. Militia at these posts totaled “near” 1,400 (DLC:GW).

4This return has not been identified.

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