Nathanael Greene to Daniel Morgan – 16 Dec 1780

Daniel Morgan Nathanael Greene letter to Daniel Morgan Nathanael Greene
Nathanael Greene's Letter to Daniel Morgan - December 16, 1780
Camp Charlotte, December 16,1780.


Sir – You are appointed to the command of a corps of light infantry of 320 men detached from the Maryland line, a detachment of Virginia militia of 200 men, and Colonel Washington’s regiment of light horse, amounting to from sixty to a hundred men. With these troops you will proceed to the west side of the Catawba River, where you will be joined by a body of volunteer militia under command of General Davidson of this State, and by the militia lately under command of General Sumter. This force and such others as may join you from Georgia, you will employ against the enemy on the west side of the Catawba, either offensively or defensively, as your own prudence and discretion may direct—acting with caution and avoiding surprises by every possible precaution. For the present, I give you the entire command in that quarter, and do hereby require all officers and soldiers engaged in the American cause to be subject to your orders and commands.

The object of this detachment is to give protection to that part of the country and spirit up the people—to annoy the enemy in that quarter-to collect the provision and forage out of their way—which you will have formed into a number of small magazines in the rear of the position you may think proper to take. You will prevent plundering as much as possible and be as careful of your provisions and forage as may be, giving receipts for whatever you take to all such as are friends to the independence of America.

Should the enemy move in force toward the Pee Dee, where the army will take a position, you will move in such a direction as to enable you to join me if necessary, or fall upon the flank, or into the rear of the enemy, as occasion may require. You will spare no pains to get good intelligence of the enemy’s situation and keep me constantly advised of both your and their movements. You win appoint, for the time being, a commissary, quartermaster, and forage master, who will follow your instructions in their respective lines. Confiding in your abilities and activity, I entrust you with this command, being persuaded you will do everything in your power to distress the enemy and afford protection to the country.

Given under my hand at Charlotte this 16th December, 1780.