Letters from Gen. Greene about the Battle of Guilford Courthouse

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Letters from Gen. Greene about the Battle of Guilford Courthouse - 0 r TrfViKrYin Avsm rl - i Cjnt - UtT,. j j...
0 r TrfViKrYin Avsm rl - i Cjnt - UtT,. j j lnteJllgCnC iiom mC OOUCnV.Tard, , ; j ! ; j j j ! Head quarters, Iron - Works, North - Carolina, March 10, 17S1. SIR, SINCE I had the honour of addrefling your lency laft, there have been fome changes h oCT circumftances. On the fecond, Lieut. Col. Lee, wijn a deiachmtnt of riflemen, attacked the advanced of tr. Britilh army, under col. Tarleton, near AllanWacV and killed and wounded, by report, about thirty them. On the 6th the Britifh moved down towi, High - Rock, either with a view to intercept our ftore or cut off the light infantry from the main body of army, then advanced rear feven miles but they w. handfom&ly oppofed, and f offered confiderabJy without efFecling any thin. This manceuvreoccafToned me to retire over the Hi river, and move down the north fide of ir, with a vie, to fecure our ftores coming to the army, and to fum a junction with feveraf confiderable reinforcements o( Carolina and Virginia militia, and one regiment of Virginia eighteen months me", on the march frCn Ilillfborough to High rock. I effecled this bufinefc and retired towards Guilford courthoufe. - 1 Our militia had been upon fucha loofe and uncr. tain 'footing ever fince we crbffed the Dan, that I could attempt nothing with confidence,, though we kept with n ten or twelve miles of the enemy for feveri! days. The enemy k?pt clofe, feemingly determine that we ftiould gain no advantage of them witho rifquitig fomething of conequrnce. I have the honor to be, with great refpeft and efteem, your moft obedient humble fervanr, NATHANIEL GREENE. His Excellency General Wafhington. Camp, at the Tron - Works, ten miles frctj Guilford Court - Houfe, March t6, 17S1. S I R, ON the tenth, I wrote to his excellency genenl Wafhington, from the High - Rock ford on the Haw river, a copy of which I enclo ed your exrt). lency, that I hra effected a junction with a continemil regiment of eighteen months men, and two confideri. ble b - d es of militia, belonging to Virginia and North. Carolina. After this jimclion, I took the refoiurin of attacking the enmy, without lofs of tirre, a:i made the neceff try difpofition accordim ly., being cr. funded that if we were fucceffful, it woild prove ru - ous to the enemy, and if otherwife, it wouli 5.1) prove a partial evil to us. The Army marched from the High - Rock ford c: the 12th, and on fhe 14th arrived at Guilford. 7?k enemy lay at the Quaker raetting houfe on D eo river, eight miles from our camp. On the morning c rhe 15th, our reconnoitering parties reported tie ent rj advancing on the great Salifbury ro. - ?d". T.'iearinjr was drawn up in three lines; the front line was com. pofed of the North - Carolina militia, under the command of genrrais Butler and Eaton ; the fecond linecf Virginia militia, commanded by generals Stevens atd r Lavvfon, forming two brigades the third line, coo - lifting of two brigades, one of Virginia, and one of IVlaryiar.d continental troops, commanded by genenl r tiuger and colonei Wulnms. Lieutenant colond Wafliingtoii, with the Dragoons of the firft and third .regiments, - a detachment of light infantry, compoied of continental troops, and a regiment of rifle men aider colonel Lynch, formed a corps of obfervation foe the fecurity of our rght flank. Lieutenant colontl Lee, with hi? legion, a detachment of light infantry, and a corps of riflemen under colonel Campbell, fup ed a cogys of obfervatiorr for the fecurity of our left flank. J The greater part of this country is a wifdernefs, ith a few cleared fields in terfperfed here and there. Tht army was drawn up upon a large hill of ground, fur - rounded by other hills, the greater part of which wa covered wirh timber and thick underbrufh TiieW line was pofted with two field pieces juft on the edged the wood, and the back of a fence which ran paralkl with tht line, wich an open firld direclly in their front The fecond line was in the woods, about three hundred yards in the rear of the firft and the Continenial troops about three hundred yards in the rear of to fecond with a double front, as the hill drew to a point where they were ported ; and on the right and left wen two old fields. In this pofition we waned the approari of the enemy, having prrvioufly fent off the'b'iggfP to this place appointed to rendezvous at, in cafeoti defeat. Lieutenant colonel Lee with his Iegionf his ir fantry, and part of his riflemen, met the enemy on their advance, and had a very fevere fkirmifh with lieuten ant colonel Tarleton, in which the enemy fuffered great ly. Captain Armftrong charged the Britifh legion, aid cut down near thirty of their dragoons ; but, as the enemy reinforced their advanced party, lieu t. col. Lee wai obliged to retire, and take his pofition in the line. The aftion commenced by a cannonade which lafle about twenty minutes, when the enemy advanced ia three columns ; the Heffians on the right, the guards in the centre, and lieutenant colonel Webfters bnca on the left. The whole mbvf d through the old fiel&t3 attack the Nortn Carolina brigades, who waited the a - tack unnl thr - enemy got within about one hundred forty yards, when p rt.of them began to fire, but ace fiderable part feft the ground without firing at all. Ti generals and field officers did all fhey could to idu the men to ftand tr.eir ground;, but neither the adva: tages of the pofition nor any other confideration ecu' induce them to ftay. General Stevens and gentr Lawfon, and the held ofneers of thole brigades, more fuccefsful in their exert oi:s. TJ;e Virginia litia gave the enemy a warm reception, and kept u? heavy fire for a long time, but being beat back, aclion became general nlmoft every where. The corf of obfervation under Wafhington and Lee were wartf J engaged, and did great exec tion. In a word, the coc flicl was long and Yevere, and the enemy only gaiitf their point by fuperior dirciolinc - Tny having broktn the fecond Maryland regimer'i J A . ff. 1 , v a. . r . i r', - anu lurucu uur icii xi xur, gijt uru lijc rear 01 iiic ginia brigade and appearing to be gr - ining our rig -

Clipped from
  1. The Pennsylvania Packet,
  2. 03 Apr 1781, Tue,
  3. Page 2

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  • Letters from Gen. Greene about the Battle of Guilford Courthouse

    staff_reporter – 07 Feb 2018

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