Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter IX >> Page 91

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Page 91

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
The next morning, a company from James island, under
captain Drake, another from Wando, under captain Fen-
wicke, and five more, commanded by captains Cantey,
Lynch, Hearne, Longbois, and Seabrook, from other parts
of the province, made their appearance in the city, and
with the resident militia, comprised at that time the chief
military force of Carolina. Some great guns were put
on board such ships as happened to be in the harbor, and
the sailors were thus employed, in their own way, to as-
sist in the defence of the city. The command of this
little fleet was given to colonel William Rhett, a man of
resolution and address.
Meanwhile, the enemy having passed the bar, came
to anchor a little above Sullivan's island, and sent up a
flag to the governor, demanding his surrender. The
messenger was received blindfold, and conducted into
the forts, where Johnson had drawn up his forces so as to
display them to the best advantage. By transferring his
troops from fort to fort, by short routes, the Frenchman
was led to quadruple the real numbers of the defenders.
Having demanded the surrender of the town and country
to the arms of France, the messenger concluded by de-
claring, that his orders allowed him but a single hour in
which to receive an answer. Johnson answered prompt-
ly, that it did not need a minute."I hold this country
for the queen of England :" said he. "I am ready to
die, but not to deliver up my trust. My men will shed
the last drop of their blood, to defend the country from
the invader."
This answer, with the report of his messenger, seems
to have lessened the spirit of Le Feboure. His fleet re-