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Pair of Manuscripts which Relay News and Intelligence from Charleston, South Carolina, 1779

folio, two manuscripts, unsigned, dated June 9, 1779 and June 21, 1779, written in the same anonymous hand, old folds, else in very good condition. 

These manuscripts contain news, and perhaps official intelligence the first of which is headed “Important News,” describing news from the siege of Charleston. Important News. Baltimore, Wednesday 4 o’clock June 9, 1779

Folio, two pages of a four page bi-folium, folded, docketed in ink on verso, in an early 19th century hand: “Baltimore June 9, 1779 Raising of the siege of Charleston, S.C. by the British 19, May 1779.”  and “Charles Town Affair”

An important letter containing fresh news of the siege of Charleston, South Carolina:

 “Mr. James White a Gentleman of Philadelphia this moment arrived here from Edenton in North Carolina, brings the agreeable Intelligence of the Defeat of the British Army from Georgia before Charlestown South Carolina which by rapid march they had inverted on or about the 19 ultimo having it is said been encouraged to commit that rash Act by their evil Councillors the Tories.

The particulars of this great event are gone forward to Congress by Express and may be speedily expected here M White obtained his information from the Honble M Hughes of Edenton who just as he left that place favour’d him with the perusal of a late letter from Charlestown advising that the Enemys forces supposed to be under the Command of Genl Prevoost consisted of 3700 men that they cannonaded the Town upwards of three Hours to little effect killing but two or three of the Garrison during the siege which was suddenly raised by the Gallant Exertions of General Moultrie and his troops who had to the number of 1500 prieviously entered the town carried by Count Pulaskie, his corps and noble Band of Citizens who have all gained immortal Honour that a sally of volunteers closed the scene before the town from whome the enemy fled with the utmost precipitation leaving 553 of their number dead on the spot and did not halt until they had ran 10 miles –

That they had but two or three Days provisions left, and as 4500 under General Williams had advanced within 15 miles of Charles Town and General Lincoln at the head of 2500 more had entered Jacksonborough on Parpen River (36 miles from Charles Town and taken all the Enemys Baggage burning the village at the same time for lack of Rightious Inhabitants it was generally believed the remnant of the Enemys defeated army must inevitably surrender themselves Prisoners – M White adds that the Express from Charles Town reported that during the siege of that place a great tumult had been raised by a number of disaffected Inhabitants which would have given success to the Enemy had it not been checked by the execution of 40 Traitors.” [sic] Camp Monday 11 o’clock June 21, 1779folio, two pages, old folds, docketed on verso: “Acct of the Charles Town Affair“, in a contemporary hand, and (in the same 19th century hand as in the docketing of the letter above): June 21, 1779 Extract of a letter of Owen Biddle to Colonel Biddle, relative to Siege of Charleston S.C.” Old handstamp at base of page one “Schuyler Papers.”

 This letter contains further discussion of the situation in Charleston and contains different news, and expresses doubts concerning the accounts received:

 “Dear Sir, 

 The following is an Extract of a letter under 17th Instant from Owen Biddle Esq. at Philadelphia to Colo. Biddle (who has favoured me with the perusal of his letter I desire his compliments to you) which this moment arrived –

We yet remain in doubt respecting the Carolina news. Although we have so many Reports which rather corroborates each other that it meets our Assent. Yesterday a Colo. Smith with his wife arrived here from Charlestown (their home is within 3 miles of Kings ferry on the North River and he is said to be Brother of Mr. Smith one of the Councell of New York) he left Charlestown the 8th May & crossed the ferry where he staid all night when he came away the enemy was said to be about 35 miles off Charlestown after he left the ferry he proceeded to Wilmington in North Carolina where he was detained by the indisposition of Mrs. Smith while he remained their letters where recd. From a Mr. Chad at George Town which is about half way between Charlestown & Wilmington advising that the Enemy has advanced to the town & made an assault about 4 o’clock P.M. on the 11th May and that they were repulsed after an Engagement of 5 hours, leaving 1100 men on the field killed and wounded after the repulse they crossed Ashley River on their pontoons to James’s Island where they remained Mr. Smith says further that whilst he continued at Wilmington several sailors arrived there from Charleston, who left it after the Action that he examined them apart, and that they agreed in their account to the same purport, he also says that one of our Armies had gone into Georgia to take the advantage of the absence of their Troops. I have not seen Colo. Smith but had this from Mr. Pain who has leisure to pursue news and abilities to investigate it, he gives credit to it. Colo. Smith will probably be camp in a few days when you may see him. There is much in favour of the Account he gives, that it is not contradicted nor we have Intelligence by any other person of so late a date or so Direct from Charlestown.              The within and above give us still greater reason to