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Sumter, Thomas (1734-1832) to Nathanael Greene

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02507 Author/Creator: Sumter, Thomas (1734-1832) Place Written: Congaree, South Carolina Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 16 June 1781 Pagination: 1 p. : address : docket ; 42 x 24.7 cm.

Summary of Content: Written by the partisan fighter Brigadier General Sumter, known as the "Carolina Gamecock," to Major General Greene as commander of the Southern Department. Sumter had refused to formally join Greene's command, but was assiting him in the unsuccessful siege of Ninety-Six, which continued until 19 June 1781. At this point Sumter's command still operated under "Sumter's Law," the policy which paid troops that enlisted for 10 months an enslaved person, a horse, and a portion of any Loyalist plunder. Says he received Greene's letter and that there are accounts that the British were 12 miles above Orangeburg. Claims there are 1,500 troops commanded by Lord Rowden. They also have 400 cavalry troops and eight field pieces. Seems that the Ninety-Six is their destination. Says he is waiting for some troops to join him before he marches to slow the British advance. Has advised Colonel Washington and Colonel Lee of his situation. Says General Francis Marion has crossed the Santee River, but has a weak force. Printed material from sale as well as a print are included in the file.

Full Transcript: Congaree 16th. June. 1781 -
Dr Sir
I have this Moment Received yours by Capt Lenton and at the Same Instant Certain accounts that the enemy are or Rather was Twelve ...Miles above orangeburg Last Night thier Number in all probability. Near fifteen hundred Commandd, by Lord Rowden. they have a Considerable Number of Cavalry - Said four hundred, & eight field pieces - there is Scarce a Doubt but 96. is the place of their Destination, I am Just Moving upwards have been Detaind, for Some men to Join from below - Which are Not yet Come, I will Do every thing in My power to Retard thier March, I have Given Col. Washington Notice of thier Movement .&. Col. Lee also who I have Just been informed is in the forts of Saluda & Broad Rivers and May Join the other Troops on thier way up with ease - Genl. Marion has Crossed the Santee & is Moving up but at a Great Distance and but weak -
the Enemy Take Great pains to Collect the Militia upon their March. they are Not Very Successfull -
I have Great hope your business will be Compleated before they arive - I am Dr Sir your most
obedt Hble Servt
Thos Sumter
[address leaf]
Hon.ble Majr. Genl. Greene
Express -
Genl Sumter -
June 16th 1780
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People: Sumter, Thomas, 1734-1832

Historical Era: American Revolution, 1763-1783

Subjects: Revolutionary WarRevolutionary War GeneralGlobal History and US Foreign PolicyArtilleryBattleCavalryMilitary HistoryGlobal History and US Foreign Policy

Sub Era: The War for Independence

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