Extract of a letter from Lieutenant-general Earl Cornwallis to Sir Henry Clinton, dated Charles town, July 14, 1780.
Since my arrival at this place, I have been employed in the internal (a.) regulations of the province, and settling the militia of the lower districts, both of which are in great forwardness; and I have kept up a continual correspondence with the frontiers, and the internal parts of North Carolina, where the aspect of affairs is not so peaceable as when I wrote last. Major-general de Kalbe (c.) is certainly at Hillsborough, with two thousand continental troops, including some cavalry, and said to be preparing to advance to Salisbury: Porterfield is in the neighbourhood of Salisbury, with three hundred Virginians; and Rutherford, with some militia, with him: Caswall, with one thousand five hundred militia, is marched from Cross creek to Deep river, between Hillsborough and Salisbury; and Sumpter, with about the same number of militia, is advanced as far as the Catawba settlement. Lord Rawdon reports to me, that many of the disaffected South Carolinians, from the Wacsaw, and other settlements on the frontier, whom he has put on parole, have availed themselves of the general release of the 20th of June, and have joined General Sumpter.
Accounts from Virginia, through different channels, say, that two thousand five hundred of their militia had followed De Kalbe; that the assembly had voted five thousand men to be immediately drafted to serve as a corps of observation, and had vested their governor with absolute power during their recess. The government of North Carolina is likewise making great exertions to raise troops, and persecuting our friends in the most cruel manner; in consequence of which, Colonel Bryan, although he had promised to wait for my orders, lost all patience, and rose with about eight hundred (b.) men on the Yadkin; and, by a difficult and dangerous march, joined Major M'Arthur on the borders of Anson county: About two thirds only of his people were armed, and those I believe but indifferently.
The effects of the exertions which the enemy are making in those two provinces, will, I make no doubt, be exaggerated to us. To enable me to begin first, I am using every possible dispatch in transporting to Camden, rum, salt, regimental stores, arms, and ammunition, which, on account of the distance and excessive heat of the season, is a work of infinite labour, and requires considerable time. In the mean while, the measures I have directed Lord Rawdon to take, will, I trust, put it out of the power of the enemy to strike a blow at any of our detachments, or to make any considerable inroads into this province. I have (d.) the satisfaction to assure your excellency, that the numbers and dispositions of our militia equal my most sanguine expectations.
I have agreed to the proposal of Mr. Cunninghame, in Ninety-six district, to raise a corps on the footing of Major Harrison's.