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Letter from Colonel Caswell to Provincial Congress of North-Carolina



Camp at Long-Creek, February 29, 1776.

SIR: I have the pleasure to acquaint you that we had an engagement with the Tories, at Widow Moore' s Creek Bridge, on the 27th current. Our army was about one thousand strong, consisting of the Newbern Battalion of Minute-men, the Militia from Craven, Johnston, Dobbs, and Wake, and a detachment of the Wilmington Battalion of Minute-men, which we found encamped at Moore' s Creek the night before the battle, under the command of Colonel Lillington. The Tories, by common report, was three thousand; but GeneralMcDonald, whom we have a prisoner, says there were about fifteen or sixteen hundred. He was unwell that day, and not in the battle. Captain Macleod, who seemed to be the principal commander, with Captain John Campbell, are among the slain.

The number killed and mortally wounded, from the best accounts I was able to collect, was about thirty; most of them were shot on passing the bridge. Several had, fallen into the water, some of whom, I am pretty certain, had not risen yesterday evening when I left the camp. Such prisoners as we have made, say there were at least fifty of their men missing.

The Tories were totally put to the rout, and will certainly disperse. Colonel Moore arrived at our camp a few hours


after the engagement was over. His troops came up that evening, and are now encamped on the ground where the battle was fought. And Colonel Martin is at or near Cross-Creek, with a large body of men. Those, I presume, will be sufficient effectually to put a stop to any attempt to embody again. I therefore, with Colonel Moore' s consent, am returning to Newbern, with the troops under my command, where I hope to receive your orders to dismiss them. There I Intend carrying the General. If the Council should rise before my arrival, be pleased to give order in what manner he shall be disposed of. Our officers and men behaved with the spirit and intrepidity becoming freemen, contending for their dearest privileges.


To the Hon˙ Cornelius Harnett, President of the Provincial Congress of North-Carolina.