Mar 22, 2018 - Sale 2470

Sale 2470 - Lot 1

Price Realized: $ 5,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 2,000 - $ 3,000
"GIVE THE STRICTEST ORDERS AGAINST ADMITTING MEN OF SUSPICIOUS CHARACTERS" (AMERICAN REVOLUTION.) CORNWALLIS, CHARLES. Autograph Letter Signed, "Cornwallis," to Deputy Inspector of Militia Abraham de Peyster, ordering him to join Maj. [James] Wemys, disarm the least fit loyalists under Maj. [Samuel] Tynes, and organize a Militia under Col. [William Henry] Mills; also ordering all suspicious applicants to be disarmed and severely punished if later found to possess arms. 1 1/2 pages, 4to, written on the recto and verso of a single sheet, with detached integral blank; complete separations at folds repaired by silking on recto and verso, marked brittling overall, portion at lower right nearly detached affecting 6 lines with minor loss, moderate scattered staining. Camden, 31 August 1780

Additional Details

"You will please to join Maj'r Wemys on the High Hills of Santee & until he moves endeavour to make something of the Militia under Major Tynes, by regulating the few honest loyalists under the Officers of the best Character & disarming the rest in the most rigid manner; Maj'r Tynes is a weak, well intentioned Man, Cap't Moore may be treated with civility, but not trusted on account of his connexion with the Singletons. Cap't Bromfield is an active & I believe well affected Man, but rather more intent on private Plunder than the King's Service; You may perhaps get more particular information on the spot, & from Major Wemys on his March, & endeavour if possible to establish some hasty Militia under Col: Mills at the Cheraws; and above all give the strictest orders against admitting men of suspicious Characters into the Militia; Those of that description all to be disarmed, and Maj'r Wemys will please to Publish, that if any man, who is ordered to be disarmed, shall be discovered to have fire arms in his possession; The informer shall have five guineas, & the delinquent shall forfeit all his property, & be confined during the pleasure of the Com'g Officer of His Majesty's Forces in this Province."
After his victory at the Battle of Camden on August 16, 1780, Cornwallis reorganized his army, relying largely upon poorly equipped Loyalist militia, some of whose loyalty, this letter suggests, was questionable.