Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XIII / The Bride of the Battle. A Tale of the Revolution. >> Page 299

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Page 299

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription PRAYER BEFORE STRIFE. 299
They were summoned with a single, shrill whistle, and Coul-
ter soon put them in possession of the adventure that lay before
them. It needed neither argument nor entreaty to persuade
them into a declaration of readiness for the encounter. Their
enthusiasm was grateful to their leader, whom they personally
And now, my brethren," said Elijah Fields, I am about
to leave you, and we are all about to engage in a work of peril.
We know not what will happen. We know not that we shall
meet again. It is proper only that we should confess our sins
to God, and invoke his mercy and protection. My brothers, let
us pray."
With these words, the party sank upon their knees, Brougli
placing himself behind Coulter. Fervent and simple was the
prayer of the preacher � in ar tificial but highly touching. Our
space does not suffer us to record it, or to describe the scene, so
simple, yet so imposing. The eyes of the rough men were
moistened, their hearts softened, yet strengthened. They rose
firm and resolute to meet the worst issues of life and death, and,
embracing each of them in turn, Brough not excepted, Elijah
Fields led the way to the enemy, by embarking alone in the
canoe. Coulter, with his party, soon followed, taking the route
through the forest.
IN the meantime, our captain of loyalists had gone forward
in his projects with a very free and fearless footstep. The
course which he pursued, in the present instance, affords one of
a thousand instances which go to illustrate the perfect reckless-
ness with which the British conquerors, and their baser allies,
regarded the claims of humanity, where the interests, the rights,
or the affections of the whig inhabitants of South Carolina were
concerned. Though resolutely rejected by Frederica, Dunbar
yet seemed determined to attach no importance to her refusal,
but, despatching a messenger to the village of Orangeburg, he
brought thence one Nicholas Veitch, a Scotch Presbyterian par-
son, for the avowed object of officiating at his wedding rites.
The parson, who was a good man enough perhaps, was yet a