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Frances Marion, Personal Correspondence, 1780

Gen. Lincoln to Lieut. Col. Marion, at Sheldon.

Head Quarters, Charleston, Jan. 31, 1780.

Sir,The state of affairs is such as to make it necessary that we draw our force to a point as much and as soon as possible. No troops will be kept in the field except two hundred light infantry and the horse.1 You will, therefore, please to select from the three regiments with you, two hundred of your best men, and those who are best clothed, and organize them into corps with proper officers. All the remainder with the baggage of the whole (saving such as is absolutely necessary for light troops) will march immediately to this town. You will please take the command of the light infantry, until Lieut. Col. Henderson arrives, which I expect will be in a few days. After that I wish to see you as soon as possible in Charleston. — Cross will deliver you this with a letter to Col. Parker, and another to Major Jamieson. You will send them towards Augusta in the common route by four horsemen. Two will guide Col. Parker to this town by the shortest way, the other two will guide Major Jamieson to your camp.

I am, Sir,
Your most obedient servant,
B. Lincoln.

1 Washington’s


Col. Marion to Col. P. Horry.

Lynch’s Creek, Aug. 17, 1780.1


You will take the command of such men as will be collected from Capts. Bounneau’s, Mitchell’s and Benson’s companies, and immediately proceed to Santee, from the lower ferry to Lenud’s, and destroy all the boats and canoes on the river, and post guards at each crossing place, to prevent persons from crossing to or from Charleston, on either side of the river. — You will give all necessary intelligence, and the number of men you may have collected as early as possible. You will procure about twenty-five weight of gunpowder, and a proportionable quantity of ball or swanshot, also flints, and send them up to me immediately, to the Kingstree, by an express.

I am with esteem,
Your obedient servant,
Francis Marion.

N. B. — You will also take the command of Capt. Lenud’s company, and furnish your men with arms, wherever you can find them, giving receipts.

1 Written about a week after Gen. Marion took command of the militia.



Extract of a Letter from Col. Marion to Col. P. Horry.

Lynch’s Creek, Aug. 27, 1780.

Dear Sir,

I am sorry to acquaint you that Gen. Gates is defeated with great loss; he was obliged to retreat to Charlotte, which obliges me also to retreat. You will without delay retreat with what men you can get, to Briton’s neck, where I have encamped. It is necessary to obtain ammunition, arms and accoutrements, and as many horses as you can get; also stores from Georgetown, which you will send if possible up the river to Briton’s neck.

On the 20th inst. I attacked a guard of the 63d and Prince of Wales’ regiment, with a number of tories, at the Great Savannah, near Nelson’s ferry. Killed and took twenty-two regulars, and two tories prisoners, and retook one hundred and fifty continentals of the Maryland line; one waggon and a drum; one captain and a subaltern were also captured. Our loss is one killed, and Capt. Benson is slightly wounded on the head.


Brig. Gen. Marion to Adjt. Postell.1

Snow’s Island, Dec. 30, 1780.


You will proceed with a party down Black river, from Black Mingo to the mouth of Pedee, and come up to this place; you will take all the boats and canoes from Euhaney up, and impress negroes to bring them to camp; put some men to see them safe; you will take every horse, to whomsoever he may belong, whether friend or foe. You will take all arms and ammunition for the use of our service. You will forbid all persons from carrying any grains, stock or any sort of provisions to Georgetown, or where the enemy may get them, on pain of being held as traitors and enemies to the Americans. All persons who will not join you you will take prisoners and bring to me. You will return as soon as possible. Let me know any intelligence you may gain of the enemy’s strength or movements.

I am, your obedient servant,
Francis Marion.

Adjt. Postell.

N. B. — You will bring up as much rice and salt in the boats as possible.

1 Major John Postell.