Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter V >> Page 48

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History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
forth spies, both French and Indian, and regulated his
assault by their reports. The defences of the Spaniards
were very complete, and but for the surprise which
they experienced, and the terror which they felt at an
exaggerated report which had reached them of the num-
bers of the French, the results might not have been so
agreeable to the cause of justice.
The two small forts were carried by storm, and the
men not slain in the assault, were carefully reserved for
the final sacrifice, which De Gourgues meditated from the
first. The avenues leading to La Caroline, were then
occupied by the Indians, so that there remained no pos-
sibility of escape for the fugitives. This done, De Gour-
gues proceeded to a deliberate survey of all the difficul-
ties of the enterprise, He soon discovered that it must
be carried by escalade. It was defended by three hun-
dred men under a valiant governor, had a large number
of culverins and other cannon of various sizes, plentiful
supplies of ammunition, and provision in abundance.
While the French having retired to a wood for shelter
from the Spanish cannon, which began to play upon
them warmly from the moment when they came in sight
were preparing their ladders for the escalade, the gov-
ernor of the fort precipitated his defeat. Under an excess
of valor, he imprudently sallied forth with sixty of his men,
and had advanced but a little distance, when he found him-
self suddenly surrounded by the French under De Gour-
gues and his lieutenant, Cazenove, who cut off his return,
and slew his party to a man, on the spot where they were
encountered. 'The besieged, who beheld this exploit,
now left without a commander, were so terrified by the