Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter XIX / From Ship to Shore >> Page 469

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Page 469

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription GLIMPSES ALONG SHORE. 469
mass which you see at the extremity of the dark line, shows you what is called ' the breach,' where the ocean breaks through with foam and roar, and separates Long from Sullivan's island. To cross this ' breach' was Clinton's necessity. It was sometimes fordable ; but on this occasion, according to the British report, a miracle took place in behalf of the Carolinians, not unlike that which divided the sea for the Israelites, yet raised it up, immediately after, in mountains to overwhelm the pursuing Egyptians. Here, the waters on ' the breach,' rose in the twinkling of an eye from two feet to seven. It ceased to be fordable to the grenadiers who, strangely enough, contended that they could not possibly hope to do fighting, to sight a carabine, or charge a bayonet, with their eyes under the water. In that only half-civilized period, the average height of a grenadier corps did not exceed six feet."" But Clinton had his vessels for the passage."" Oh ! to be sure ! And he did try to cross. But the rifles of Thompson proved an obstacle no less potent than the arm of the sea. Two little six-pounders, besides, planted on the opposite sand-hills, were mischievously stuffed with grape and cannister. Under the two fires, Sir Henry's rafts, flats, and schooners, were swept of their crews, and after two desperate at-tempts the assailant drew sullenly off, and waited the result of that more terrific conflict, which was going on, the while, within the harbor, and which continued throughout the day till nine at night."
There you get a faint glimpse of the sand-hills on Sullivan's, crowned sparingly with shrubs, among which the rifles were posted. Behind those sand-hills there is quite a forest. The white line which you mark, fringing the dusky plain of the sea, is that famous beach, so broad, so hard,, so long, of which the Charlestonians boast as so beautiful a seaside drive. It is second to few or none in the country. Now you see the houses dotting the sandy shores. That long dusky building is the Moultrie House, cool, airy, ample ´┐Ża delicious retreat in the hot season. The darker compacter mass which you note west of it is the famous fort, formerly Sullivan, where the stout old patriot Moultrie, pipe in mouth, at the head of his little regiment, beat off the British fleet. From this point you perceive that the settle-