George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Frédéric, baron de Kalb, 20 June 1780

Camp Goshen Granville County N. Car: June 20th 1780.


I have Honor to transmit to your Excellency a Copy of a letter of mine of this day to the Board of War by will appear the Situation of affairs in this Quarter.

I could wish to be favoured with your Excellency’s orders, and to hear now and then of what passes to the Eastward. With the greatest Respect I have the honor to be your Excellency’s most obedient and very humble Servant

The Baron de Kalb

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


Camp Goshen in Granville County N.C. June 20th 1780


I had the honour to write to you from Petersburg the 6th Instant, that I was to march the Second Brigade next day, but I could not effect it, untill the 11th for want of the most necessary Waggons.

I shall march the first Brigade and Colonel Harresson’s Artillery to morrow, towards Hillsbourough where I shall be joined by the Secd Brigade under Genl Gist, and by Colonel Porterfield who has with him 307 Man Officers included, namely 177 Virga State Artillery 75 of his own State Regt and 55 Cavallery, with only 29 horses fit for Duty.

from Hilsbourough I intend to move on towards Cross Creek (as I informd you of in my last of 15th instant) in a body, for fear of any Surprise or Sudden Attack from the Enemy, all reports agree that they have a numerous Cavallery the last accounts were that they were at Charlotte in this State.

I will do all in my Power to oppose their Progresses with the Troops under my Command Consisting with the above mentioned; with Colonel Armands Corps and the Shattered remains of the two Regiments of horse which I have ordered from Willmingtown to join M. General Caswell at Cross Creek.

Colonel Buford escaped with about one hundred Man, and is going to Virginia to refit them with Arms and Cloathing, he has promissd me he would march them on again in a fourt night.

Governeur Nash in his Letter to me of the 4th inst. mentions that M. Gl Caswel was to march with 3000 militia to Cross Creek but did not hear any thing since from either, I have send on Q.M. and Commissary to find Provision on the Road and at the Creek, the Country is bare of Corn, and it is with the greatest difficulty we have been provided since we crossed Roanok.

I could not learn any thing of B. Gl Caswel with his Troops of about 400. I Suppose he is on his march to join or has joind his father.

By a Letter from Colonel Potterfield I am informd that B. Gl Rutterford of this State has a body of Militia near Salisbury, but no Arms, and if the Enemy was to march on, they would disperse. I immediatly wrote to him Requesting to join me, or to move to Cross Creek I do not think he will follow my advice, I am apprehensive that they do not intend to turn out Seriously, Especially at this Season, and to be in the field during the [   ] I have even no Certainty of M. Gl Caswels march (I recommended to Colonel Armand and the Light horse to be cautious in their March and not Expose themselves against Superior force) I do not know whether I may depend on any Militia at all; While I was in Virginia It appeared the State had ordered 2500 Militia to turn out, but have heard nothing of them since under these Circumstances I shall be Obliged to Act on the defensive; the more as i am quite in the dark in respect to the Enemys forces or movements and whether part of their Southern Army reimbarks or not.

We have here a raport; but nothing moore than a Raport, that the french have taken Antigua that a Combined fleet is before the Bar at Charleston and that a 74 Gun Ship 3 freegates, as also Eleven Transports with General Clintons Grenadiers and light Infantry fell into the hands of the french.

It is raported too, that a french fleet is at Sandy hook, and troops Landed, some add, that N. you[k] is taken, I wish to hear it Confirmed Officially.

I must Chiefly depend for our Subsistence on the nigh approching harvest, and should have suffered already had it not been for Major Forzyths C.G.P. exertion.

As things bear now, quite another Aspect then they did, when I received your Instruction at Philadelphia I must entreat you Gentlemen to give me new Orders as often as possible. With great Respect i have the honour to be Gentlemen your most Obedient humble Servant

P.S. General Smalwood is not come up, but expect him every Day.

I shall send bak and leave at Taylor’s ferry my two Howitzers—with the ammunitions thereto belonging under a Guard of Virginia State Artillery.

My Expectations in point of Recruts, from Maryland have not been fully answered.

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