Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XXIII: The Threatened Sacrifice >> Page 210

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 210 MELLICHAMPE.
to the earth ! Charge the dd rebels�charge�and give
no quarter !"
The ditch was cleared the obedient troopers, accustomed
hitherto only to victory under the lead of Tarleton, went
over the bank and scrambled through the copse with more
daring than success. The overhanging branches were hewn
away in an instant �a path was cleared for the advance
through the close foliage, and, like bold cavaliers, a score of
the. troopers made their way through the obstruction. But
where was the enemy ? Where were they whose fatal rifles
had dealt them so much loss ? They had melted away like
so many shadows�they were gone. Fiercely the dragoons
dealt idle blows upon the surrounding bushes, which might
have been supposed to shelter a lurking rifleman, but their
sabres clashed together and found no foe. The partisans had
vanished from their sight, but they had not yet gone. While
yet the dragoons gazed bewildered and in wonderment, the re-
peated shot from the same select and deadly marksmen singled
them out, one by one, from another sheltered clump of wood,
not more than fifty yards in advance ; and the remaining few
who had passed into the open ground and were still exposed,
could hear the distinct commands of Singleton
Another round, men one more. Each his man."
The partisan had managed admirably, but he was now com-
pelled to fly. The advantage of ground was no longer with
him. Tarleton, with his entire force, had now passed through
the avenue, and had appeared in the open court in front. The
necessity of rapid flight now became apparent to Singleton,
and. the wild lively notes of his trumpet were accordingly
heard stirring the air at not more than rifle distance from the
gathering troop of Tarleton. Bitterly aroused by this seeming
audacity an audacity to which Tarleton, waging a war
hitherto of continual successes, had never been accustomed,
his ire grew into fury --
What, men ! shall these rebels carry it so ?" he cried
aloud. Advance, Captain Barsfield advance to the right
of the fence with twenty men, and stop not to mark your