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Penn, John (1741-1788) to Jethro Sumner

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00621 Author/Creator: Penn, John (1741-1788) Place Written: Hillsborough, North Carolina Type: Letter signed Date: 5 October 1780 Pagination: 2 p. : address : docket ; 22.5 x 18.5 cm.

Summary of Content: Written by Penn, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, as a Continental Congressman to Brigadier General Sumner in North Carolina. Informs Sumner that the militia must serve three months from the time they were at headquarters, not counting the time they were absent from their regiments since the defeat. Mentions insubordinate soldiers by saying, "those Men that are refractory ought to be informed that they must be obedient to the Laws of their Country." States that the board has written to Colonel Polk to furnish provisions for Sumner. Tells Sumner that Colonel Daniel Morgan and General William Smallwood will leave tomorrow with troops to join Sumner. The weather has delayed them for two days.

Background Information: Penn was a member of the Continental Congress from North Carolina 1775-1780 and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Sumner was colonel of the 3rd North Carolina regiment in 1776 ...and was commissioned brigadier-general by the Continental Congress in 1779. Morgan was promoted to brigadier general 13 October 1780. The defeat mentioned is possibly the Battle of Camden, 16 August 1780, which was a major defeat for the Continental Army.See More

Full Transcript: Hillsborough 5.th October 1780.

The Act of Assembly is sent to New Bern to be printed, tho' the [Purport] of the Law- you want is that the Militia shall serve ...Through Months from the Time they were at Head Quarters, not reckoning the Time they were absent from their Regiments since the Defeat; those Men that are refractory ought to be informed, that they must be obedient to the Laws of their Country.
The Board have written to Colonel Polk to furnish you with Provision, he is desired to exert himself, and to appoint as many Assistants as he thinks necessary:- You will call on him without delay.
General Smallwood and Colonel [2] Morgan will Set off Tomorrow with a Number of Regular Troops to join you; the Badness of the Weather has retarded them for two days.

I am by order
your Obdt Servt.
J Penn
[address leaf]
Brigadr. General Sumner
North Carolina
Board of War
of the 5th October received the 8th [ulto]
See More

People: Penn, John, 1740 or 1-1788
Sumner, Jethro, 1733?-1785
Smallwood, William, 1732-1792
Morgan, Daniel, 1736-1802

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: DesertionMutinyMilitary HistoryMilitary LawMilitiaMilitary ProvisionsRevolutionary WarDiet and nutrition

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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