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Frances Marion, Personal Correspondence, Jan. 1781

Brig. Gen. Marion to Capt. John Postell.

January 23, 1781.

Sir,

Particular circumstances make me desire that you will immediately march all the men under your command to join me at the Kingstree; you must proceed by forced marches until you come up to me, for no time is to be lost. Leave your post as secretly as possible, without letting any one know where you are going, or of your intention to leave it.

I am, Sir,
Your obedient servant,
Francis Marion.

Six days after this date Gen. Marion detached Major Postell on the expedition which we have mentioned, page 91. [Chapter III Paragraph 7 — the party of supernumerary officers, who captured and destroyed British supplies. — A. L.]

———-

Gen. Greene to Gen. Marion.

Camp, on Pedee, Jan. 23, 1781.

Dear Sir,

I have the particular pleasure to congratulate you on the entire defeat of the enemy under Lieut. Col. Tarleton. Major Giles, this moment arrived, brings the glorious intelligence, which I have the pleasure to transmit.

On the 17th [January 17, 1781], at day-break, the enemy consisting of eleven hundred and fifty British troops, and fifty militia, attacked Gen. Morgan, who was at the Cowpens, between Pacolet and Broad river, with two hundred and ninety infantry, eighty cavalry and about six hundred militia. The action lasted fifty minutes and was remarkably severe. Our brave troops charged the enemy with bayonets, and entirely routed them, killing near one hundred and fifty, wounding upwards of two hundred, and taking more than five hundred prisoners, exclusive of the prisoners with two pieces of artillery, thirty-five waggons, upwards of one hundred dragoon horses, and with the loss only of ten men killed and fifty-five wounded. Our intrepid party pursued the enemy upwards of twenty miles. About thirty commissioned officers are among the prisoners. Col. Tarleton had his horse killed and was wounded, but made his escape with two hundred of his troops. This important intelligence I wish you to communicate to Lieut. Col. Lee if possible. I have not time to write him. If he has not attacked Georgetown, I wish he could privately transmit it to the garrison.

I am with esteem,
Your most obedient humble servant,
N. Greene.

———-

Extract of a Letter from Gen. Greene to Gen. Marion.

Camp, on Pedee, Jan. 25, 1781.

Dear Sir,

Your letter of the 20th is before me; before this I hope you have received the agreeable news of the defeat of Lieut. Col. Tarleton by Gen. Morgan; after this nothing will appear difficult.

———-

Gen. Huger to Brig. Gen. Marion.

Camp, Hick’s Creek, Jan. 28, 1781.

Dear Sir,

Gen. Greene wishes that you will attempt to cross the Santee, and if possible reach some of the enemy’s magazines and destroy them. I am persuaded you will not leave any practicable measure unattempted to effect this business. The execution is left entirely to your judgment and address.

I am, dear Sir,
With much esteem,
Your most obedient humble servant,
Is. Huger.

———-

Gen. Marion to Capt. John Postell.

Cordes’ Plantation, Jan. 29, 1781.

Dear Sir,

You will cross Santee river with twenty-five men, and make a forced march to Watboo bridge, there burn all the British stores of every kind; it is possible you will find a small guard there, which you may surprise, but bring no prisoners with you. You will return the same way, and recross the river at the same place, which must be done before daylight next morning. After effecting my purpose at Watboo, it will not be out of your way to come by Monk’s corner, and destroy any stores or waggons you may find there. You can learn from the people at Watboo what guard there is at the corner; if it should be too strong you will not attempt that place. In going to Watboo, you must see if there is a guard at the church; if there is you will shun it; you will consider provisions of all kinds British property. The destruction of all the British stores in the above-mentioned places is of the greatest consequence to us, and only requires boldness and expedition. Take care that your men do not get at liquor, or clog themselves with plunder so as to endanger their retreat.

I am with regard, dear Sir,
Your obedient servant,
Francis Marion.

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