<br /> Lee Letter: n573

Washington and Lee University

Sender: John Hanson
Recipient: Thomas Sim Lee

Dear sir

I have been Confined to my room a fortnight and was so unwell when the last
post set out, that I was not able to write, I am now on the recovery
And hope to be able to Attend Congress in a day or two. You have had I
understand as full Accounts from the Southward as any we have had.
After the Shameful flight of General Gates it is with great pleasure We
are informed that so many of our brave Officers and Soldiers are Safe.
General Smallwood and Gist have gained immortal Honor, to have been
able to Cut their Way through a Surrounding Enemy with a handful of
men, equals any thing that has been done this war. Smallwood ought and
will I hope in a few days be promoted to a Maj General and ought in my
Opinion to take the Command of the Southern Army, or General St Clair
or Some other brave Officers Should Superseed Gates.

We are informed from the Southward that a pretty handsome affair has been
lately performed by a Small Body of the Western Militia on the Borders
of South Carolina1 they were Attacked by the
Enemies Cavalry – they Judiciously fell back into a thick Wood – Sustained
Several Warm Attacks, and at a period of the Action, when the
Countenance of the Enemy began to fail, they Issued from their Cover,
Charged them With Bayonets, took 48, and it is Said Killed a greater
number. This gallant affair was Conducted on our part by a Colo
Williams, Colo Clark of Georgia, and a Colo.
Shelby.2

It is reported and Credited by many that a french fleet of 18 Sail of the
line and Some frigates are on the Coast. They were Seen it is Said a
few days ago to the northward of our Capes. The English fleet has left
Rhode Island and Steered towards New York. Our new raised Battalion is
ordered by the General to the Southward. I have Sent Mrs. Lees
Shoes – price for making 360 Dolls. most enormous.

With usual esteem and regard I have the honour to be, Your Excellencys most
humble Servt,

John Hanson

Notes:

Receiver’s copy, Lee, Horsey and Carroll Papers deposit (1985), Maryland
Historical Society.

1 That is, the battle of Musgrove’s Mill, S.C., August 18, 1780. For a
September 5 report of the battle by Col. James Williams, see PCC,
item 154, 2:327 – 28.

2 That is, colonels James Williams, Elijah Clarke, and Isaac Shelby.