Extract of a letter from Lieutenant-general Earl Cornwallis to Sir Henry Clinton, dated Charles town, August 6th, 1780.
THE general state of things, in the two provinces of North and South Carolina, is not very materially altered since my letters of the 14th and 15th of last month were written. Frequent skirmishes, with various success, have happened in the country between the Catawba river and Ennoree rivers was formed by us under Colonel Floyd; Colonel Neale, the rebel colonel, had fled; but Lieutenant-colonel Lisle, who had been paroled to the islands, exchanged, on his arrival in Charles town, his parole for a certificate of his being a good subject, returned to the country, and carried off the whole battalion to join General Sumpter at Catawba. We have not, however, on the whole, left ground in that part of the country. Turnbull was attacked at (b.) Rocky mount by Sumpter, with about one thousand two hundred men, militia and refugees, from this province, whom he repulsed with great loss: We had, on our part, an officer killed, and one wounded. Colonel Turnbull's conduct was very meritorious. The affair of Captain Huck turned out of less consequence than it appeared at first: The captain and three men of the legion were killed, and seven men of the New-York volunteers taken. On the eastern part of the province, Major M'Arthur, seeing the great importance of the post at Chiraw hills, and finding himself perfectly secure from any attack of the enemy, desired to continue there longer than it was intended he should when I had the honour of writing to you on the 15th. At last, however, the 71st regiment grew so exceedingly sickly, that he found it absolutely necessary to move, and marched on the 24th to the east branch of Lincoln's creek. Gates, who had taken the command of De Kalbe's corps, was still on Deep river; and Rutherford no farther advanced than Rocky river, Pedee. Knowing of no enemy within many miles, he ventured to send about one hundred sick in boats down the Pedee to George town. Colonel (c.) Mills, who commanded the militia of the Cheraw district, though a very good man, had not compiled with my instructions in forming his corps; buthad placed more faith in oaths and professions, and attended less to the former conduct of those he admitted. The instant the militia found that M'Arthur had left his post, and were assured that Gates would come there the next day, they seized their own officers, and the hundred sick, and carried them all prisoners into North Carolina. Colonel Mills with difficulty made his escape to George town. The wheat harvest in North Carolina is now over, but the weather is still excessively hot; and, notwithstanding our utmost exertions, a great part of the rum, salt, and necessaries for the soldiers, and the arms for the provincials, and ammunition for the troops, are not very far advanced on their way to Camden. However, if no material interruption happens, this business will be nearly accomplished in a fortnight or three weeks.
Our assurances of attachment from our distressed friends in North Carolina are as strong as ever. And the patience and fortitude with which those unhappy people bear the most oppressive and cruel tyranny that ever was exercise over any country, deserve our greatest admiration.