Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter IX >> Page 92

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History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
mained stationary ; and, instead of attacking the city, he
contented himself with setting on foot some predatory in-
cursions into the contiguous islands. The day following
this interview, a party went ashore at James island, from
which the militia had been withdrawn for the defence of
the city. They committed some petty trespasses, and
burnt the houses upon one or more plantations, but were
soon driven to their boats by a detachment under captain
Drake, who had been sent over to encounter them.
Another party of near two hundred men, landed on
Wando neck and commenced similar depredations.
While in a state of fancied security, they were surprised
before the break of day, by a detachment of one hundred
men, under captain Cantey. A sharp fire from several
quarters aroused them, in the same moment, to equal con-
sciousness and confusion. Many were killed, some
drowned, and more wounded. Those who escaped the
attack became prisoners of war.
Meanwhile, colonel Rhett, having got his little fleet in
readiness, weighed his anchors, and moved down the
river to where the enemy lay. But the French did not
wait his assault. They escaped by superior sailing, and
put to sea without suffering an exchange of shots.
After they had disappeared from the coast, a ship of
force, with two hundred men, arrived to their assistance,
and was seen in Sewee bay, where she landed a number
of troops. This intelligence induced the governor to
send captain Fenwicke against them by land, while
Rhett, with two vessels, sailed round by sea, with the
view to prevent their escape by that quarter. Fenwicke,
though he found the enemy well posted, charged them