Hillsborough 30th August 1780
My public Letter to Congress, has surely been transmitted to Your Excellency. Since then, I have been able to collect authentic Returns of the Kill’d Wounded and Missing of the Officers of the Maryland Line, Delawar Regt Artillerists, and those of the Legion under Colo. Armand, they are inclosed—The Militia broke so early in the Day, and scattered in so many Directions, upon their Retreat; that very few have fallen into the Hands of the Enemy—By the Firmness and Bravery of the Continental Troops, the Victory is far from bloodless on the part of the Foe; they having upwards of Five Hundred Men, with Officers in Proportion, killed and wounded. I do not think Lord Cornwallis will be able to reap any Advantage of Consequence, from his Victory; as this State seems annimated to reinstate and support the Army—Virginia I am confident will not be less patriotic. By the joint Exertions of the two States, there is good Reason to hope, that should the Events of the Campaign be prosperous to Your Excellency; all South Carolina might be again recovered—Lord Cornwallis remained with his Army At Camden, when I received the last Accounts from thence. I am cantoning ours at Salisbury, Guildford, Hillsborough, and Cross Creek. The Marylanders and Artillerists, with the General Hospital will be here—The Cavalry near Cross Creek, and the Militia to the Westward—This is absolutely necessary as we have no Magazine of Provisions; and are only supplied from hand to Mouth—Two Days after the Action of the 16th Fortune seem’d determined to continue to distress us, for Colonel Sumpter, having marched near Forty Miles up the River Wateree; halted with the Waggons and Prisoners he had taken the 15th, by some Indiscretion the Men were surprized, cutt off from their Arms, the whole routed; and the Waggons and prisoners retaken—What Encouragement the numerous disaffected in this State, may give Lord Cornwallis, to advance further into the Country; I cannot yet say—Colonel Sumpter, since his surprize, and Defeat upon the West side of the Wateree; has reinstated and encreased his Corps to upwards of 1000 Men. I have directed him, to continue to harrass the Enemy upon that Side—Lord Cornwallis will therefore be cautious how he makes any considerable Movement to the Eastward; while this Corps remains in Force upon his Left Flank—and the Main Army, is in a Manner canton’d in his Front—Anxious for the public Good, I shall continue my unwearied Endeavors, to stop the Progress of the Enemy; to reinstate our Affairs, to recommence an Offensive War, and recover all our Losses in the Southern States. But if being unfortunate, is solely Reason sufficient for removing me from Command, I shall most chearfully submit to the Orders of Congress, and resign an Office few Generals would be anxious to possess; and where the Utmost Skill and Fortitude, is subject to be baffled by the Difficulties, which must for a Time; surround the Chief in Command here—That your Excellency may meet with no such Difficulties—That your Road to Fame, and Fortune may be smooth and easy, is the sincere Wish of Sir Your Excellency’s most obedient humble Servant
P.S. Your Commands in respect the Virginia Line, shall be exactly, and faithfully obeyed.
DLC: Papers of George Washington.
Hillsboro’ 29th Augt 1780
List of Continental Officers Kill’d, Captivated, Wounded and Missing in the Actions of the 16th & 18th Augt 1780
|The Honorable Major Genl The Baron De Kalb|
|Captain Williams||6th||Maryland Regt|
|[Lnt] Adjt Coleman||Artillery|
|Lieut. Coll||Porterfield||Va State Regt||Wounded.|
|Lt Colonel||De Buson||A.D. Camp Gl DeKalb||Do.|
|Major||Pinckney||A.D. Camp Genl Gates||Wounded.|
|Roan||Va state Artillery|
The above is the most accurate Return I can obtain at present—Those who have recd slight Contusions which do not hinder their doing duty are not included. Yr most Obedt Hble Servant
N.B. 700 Non Cmd Officers, & Soldiers, of the Maryland Division, have rejoind the Army. & mostly with their Arms. an Exact Return thereof shall be sent by the next conveyance.