Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Joscelyn: A Tale of the Revolution >> Chapter XII: The Fugitive >> Page 117

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Novel (Romance) | The Reprint Company | 1975, 1976
Transcription JOSCELYNI17
missions. Companies of infantry and cavalry were organized, and one
body of "Rangers," under Major Mayson, captured Fort Charlotte,
on the Savannah river, expelled the British regulars in charge of it,
and possessed themselves of its guns and ammunition. These were
transmitted to the keeping of Captain Kirkland, who was posted at
Ninety Six. This man, a Scotchman, and the brother-in-law of our
widow at Beach Island, betrayed his trust, and went over, with most
of his men, who were mostly foreigners, also, to the loyalist party of
his section. He thus became associated with a sturdy and dogged race
of men, who finally raised the King's standard openly, and began to
organize troops in his Majesty's name, and, under commission from
the Royal Governor, Lord Campbell, at Charleston, Col. Fletchall,
the leader of the loyalists, soon collected a force of fifteen hundred
men about him ´┐Ża force, properly led, capable of overawing the
whole country between the Broad and the Savannah rivers. Had the
energies of Lord Campbell been such as to have allowed him to ven-
ture his own person into the interior, and taken command of these
people, the highland region would probably have been lost wholly
to the revolutionary cause.
Fletchall, who was, substantially, a feudal baron in his precinct,
had no military talents to support his social popularity. He was a
mere instrument in the hands of shrewder, abler and more courage-
ous parties; and these, in a country so sparsely settled with communi-
ties at once remote from each other, and wanting in homogeneity,
having so large a force in arms, already well concentrated for action,
might well entertain the strongest anticipations of the full success of
the royalist cause. At this time, be it remembered, the militia of the
whole province comprised but thirteen regiments, twelve of foot and
one of horse; in other words, as the regiments consisted, in that day,
of but five hundred men, the whole disposable force of the colony
was about seven thousand fighting men. Fifteen hundred in one
section alone, and that so remote from the capital and the larger
settlements, might well become bold enough to attempt any enter-
prise. Moses Kirkland, in immediate command of this force, under
Fletchall, was now meditating the capture of Augusta.
Such, in brief, was the tenor of the despatches brought to old Dun.
bar by Maj or Alison. Of course, there was a great deal more. Alison,
who had been a militia captain in Georgia, had hopes to subsidize a