Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Mellichampe: A Legend of the Santee >> Chapter XLVIII: Remorse >> Page 400

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 400

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription 400 MELLICHAMPE.
but strike a fatal blow at Barsfield's position. What number
of loyalists does Thumbscrew report as in Piney Grove' since
the 27th ?"
Eighty-six have gone in to him since the 27th thirty-two
before and the troop which he brought, after all its losses,
� could scarcely be less than twenty five."
Making in all "
One hundred and forty-three, rank and file.""Not too many not too many, major, if we employ the
scheme. What say you ?"
I think not, general. Barsfield will concentrate his men,
most probably, on the line over which Mellichampe is� to be
conducted. That direction we know from this paper. The
advantage is important which it gives us, since we have only
to plan our enterprise so as to avoid this�fall upon other
points of his camp, and break in upon his ambush, flank and
rear, while avoiding his front."
True, Singleton it will be to our advantage in beating
Barsfield, I grant you ; but not in serving Mellichampe. If he
keeps this line, it will be necessary that we strike a moment
before he approaches, and just when he has left the house, or
he must fall before our help would avail him, coming in from
flank and rear. We must confound the ambush in part�we
must keep the whole camp of the tory alive by a concerted
attack at all points, in front not less than in rear, or we lose
Mellichampe, though we gain the fight."
Singleton acknowledged the difficulty.
If," resumed Marion, if Mellichampe would only think to
avoid the track prescribed by his confederate, and force him
to go aside upon another .route, however slight the variation,
it would yet serve us, and we might save him.""I doubt not, general, that he will think of this; he is
wonderfully shrewd in such matters, though rash and thought-
less enough in others. I think we may rely upon him that
he will."
We must hope for it, at least," said Marion. The affair
looks promising enough in all other respects, and we must
drive our whole force to the adventure. We have been cooped