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gen. Lillington had delayed fo much time, as to render 1781. our junction critical, I gave him orders to file off to Crofs Creek. I thought his going there at this moment, might keep down the tories; and his reinforcement would be too inconfiderable to enable us to make a ftand, and would only add to our difficulties in getting over the river." The next morning he fent an express Feb. to him with this note-" 4 o'clock. Follow our route, 14. as a divifion of our force may encourage the enemy to push us further than they will dare to do, if we are together. I have not slept four hours fince you left me, fo great has been my folicitude to prepare for the worst. I have great reafon to believe, that one of Tarleton's officers was in our camp the night before laft."-Again 2 o'clock in the afternoon. The greater part of our waggons are over, and the troops are croffing." The communication between Greene and Williams closed for the present with " Irwin's ferry, past 5 o'clock. All our troops are over, and the ftage is clear. The infantry will cross here, the horse below. Major Hardman has posted his party in readiness on this [the fouth] fide, and the infantry and artillery are posted on the other, and I am ready to receive and give you a hearty welcome." Greene had the pleasure of feeing all the light army fafe over that night, though in the day they had been pushed forty miles by Cornwallis's army, whofe van arrived just as the American rear had croffed. The next day Greene dispatched the following letters-To governor Jefferson of Virginia; "On the Dan river, almost fatigued to death, having had a retreat to conduct for upward of 200 miles, manoeuvring conftantly in the face of the enemy, to give time for the militia

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1781, to turn out and get off our ftores."-To baron Steuben; "Col. Williams, with the light infantry, lieut. col. Lee's legion, and the cavalry of the 1ft and 3d regiments, has covered our retreat, and conducted with great propriety in the most critical fituation. Cornwallis's movements are fo rapid, that few or no militia join us. He marches from 20 to 30 miles in a day; and is organized to move with the fame facility as a light infantry corps. Should he continue to push us, we must be finally ruined without reinforcements."—To gen. Washington; "The miferable fituation of the troops for want of clothing has rendered the march the most painful imaginable, many hundreds of the foldiers marking the ground with their bloody feet. The British army is much stronger than I had calculated upon in my laft. I have not a fhilling of money to obtain intelligence with, notwithstanding my application to Maryland for that particular purpose. Our army is in good spirits, notwithstanding their fufferings and exceffive fatigue." Some days after he informed baron Steuben-" We have been astonishingly successful in our late, great, and fatiguing retreat, and have never loft, in one inftance, any thing of the leaft value." It was with inexpreffible grief and vexation, that the British discovered, on the 15th, that all their exertions had been in vain, and that all their hopes were fruftrated. Lord Cornwallis however had this to confole him, that there was no force in North Carolina to prevent the royalifts from making good their promise of a general rifing in favor of British government.

During the tranfactions above related, gen. Marion defended himself with a few faithful militia in the fwamps and

and moraffes of the fettlements near Charlestown; and 1781. was frequently fallying out from his hiding places, and enterprising something in behalf of his country. Having mounted his followers, he infefted the British outpofts, intercepted their convoys, deftroyed their stores, beat up their quarters, and fo haraffed them with alarms, that they were obliged to be alway upon their guard. On the other fide, col. Balfour, who commanded at Charlestown, projected an expedition against Wilmington in North Carolina. A small naval force was equipped, and major Craig difpatched on the fervice with about 300 foldiers. The troops were landed about nine miles fhort of Wilmington; and the town being abandoned by its defensive force of about 150 men, was taken without resistance. It has fince been made a post of some strength.

Lieut. col. Lee's legion recroffed the Dan on the 18th, agreeable to the wish of gen. Greene, to watch the motions of Cornwallis's army; which, after having collected a quantity of provifion, began on the morning of the 19th to move flowly toward Hillsborough. There his lordship erected the royal standard, and by procla- Feb. mation on the 20th, invited all his friends to repair to 20. it. Greene being informed, that numbers had joined his lordship, and that the North Carolinians were repairing to him in fhoals to make their fubmiffion, was apprehensive, that unless fome fpirited measure was immediately taken, the whole country would be loft to the American cause. He concluded therefore upon returning to North Carolina. The light troops recroffed the Dan on the 21ft, and on the next day were followed by the main body, accompanied with 600 Virginia militia under

1781. under gen. Stevens. Greene, the more effectually to alarm Cornwallis and difcourage the royalifts, rode with his aid de camp twenty-one miles toward the enemy and within about fifteen of his lordship. The report of his being within that distance foon reached his lordship; who inferred that the American army was equally near. The light infantry hung round his lordship's quarters, while the main army advanced slowly, keeping in view the route to the upper parts of the country, the more effectually to avoid an action, and to form a junction with the militia of the Weftern Waters under col. Campbell and others, who were expected in confiderable

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Lieut. col. Tarleton with the British legion was detached from Hillsborough, across the Haw river, to major O'Neil's plantation, to protect a confiderable number of royalifts appointed to meet there on the 24th. Gen. Pickens and lieut. col. Lee, who had intelligence of Tarleton's movements, concerted measures to bring him to action. Lee's cavalry were to attack those of Tarleton's command, while Pickens's militia difperfed the collected royalifts. Thefe happened to be paraded on the night of the 25th, in a long lane leading toward O'Neil's houfe. Lee led his cavalry into the lane, mistaking the royalifts for a part of Pickens's militia, which he fuppofed had arrived there before him. After he discovered the diftinguishing red rag in their hats, he with great presence of mind paffed on, intending to leave them to the treatment of their countrymen under Pickens. When these came up, and a firing had commenced between them and the royalists, Lee with his cavalry returned and fell upon the latter; who not having

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feen Tarleton's dragoons, miftook Lee's cavalry for 1781. them. While laboring under this mistake, he cut them down as they were making ardent proteftations of loy alty, and afferting-" that they were the very best friends of the king." A horrid flaughter was made of them, between 2 and 300 being cut to pieces. Tarleton was refreshing his legion about a mile from the scene. Upon hearing the alarm, he ordered his men to mount; precipitately recroffed the Haw; and returned to Hillsborough. On his retreat, he also cut down feveral of the royalifts as they were advancing to join the British army, mistaking them for rebel militia of the country. This event, together with Greene's having recroffed the Dan, broke all Cornwallis's meafures. The tide of public fentiment was now no longer in his favor. The recruiting service declined and was stopped, which had it proceeded a fortnight longer, would have so strengthened his lordship, that he must have held the country. The advocates for royal government were discouraged, and could not be induced to act with confidence. Confiderable numbers, who were on their way to join his lordship, returned home to wait for further events.

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On the 27th Lord Cornwallis retired from Hillfbo- Feb. rough in two columns. The fame day Lee's legion and 27 Pickens's militia joined the main body of American light infantry, which was now confiderably reinforced by volunteer horfe and riflemen from Virginia: and the whole corps paffed the Haw (a branch of Cape Fear river) at night. Greene, with the main army, augmented by the North Carolina militia, croffed it the next morning, and marched with all his force toward Allamance. In E the

VOL. IV.

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