[AMERICAN REVOLUTION]. TALLMADGE, Benjamin (1754-1835). Autograph letter signed ("Benja Tallmadge"), to Jeremiah Wadsworth (1743-1804), Peekskill, 29 October 1780. 2 pages, folio blank integral, address leaf, chipped at edge, silked.
WASHINGTON'S SPYMASTER CELEBRATES A GREAT VICTORY: "THEY CAME UP WITH THEM AT A PLACE CALLED KING'S MOUNTAIN...AND GAVE THEM A TOTAL DEFEAT"
"I congratulate you on the Good news from the Southward," Tallmadge writes to Wadsworth in Connecticut. "The following is an extract from Genl. Orders which have just come to hand: 'Totoway Octo. 27th 80. The Genl. has the Pleasure to Congratulate the Army on an important Advantage lately obtained, in No. Carolina, over a Corps of 1400 Men, British & New levies, Commanded by Col. Ferguson. The Militia of the neighbouring Country, under Col. Williams, Shelby and Others, having assembled to the amt. of 3000 men, detached 1600 of their number on horseback, & fell in with Ferguson's Party on its march to Charlotte; they came up with them at a Place called King's mountain, advantageously posted, and gave them a total defeat, in which Col. Ferguson with 150 of his Men were killed, 800 made prisoners & 1500 stands of Arms taken. On our part the loss was inconsiderable. We have only to regret that the brave Col. Williams was mortally wounded. This advantage, in all Probability, will have a very happy influence on our successive operations in that Qr. It is a proof of the Spirit & Resources of the Country.'" Tallmadge--who was in charge of running all spies in the American service--also mentions the court-martial of Col. Sheldon, tried on suspicion of collaboration with Benedict Arnold. Tallmadge is sure he will be acquitted since the "pitiful prosecutor was not able to prove a single charge against him." He ends by hoping "this instance of success" at King's Mountain "will not lull you from making great Exertions to raise a Contl. Army."