Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XIII >> Page 139

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Page 139

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
final integrity,´┐Żharmless memorials of the direst purpo-
ses of harm.
While the British fleet was preparing to attack the fort,
colonel Thomson, at the head of the third Carolina reg-
iment, kept the land forces of the enemy, under Sir Hen-
ry Clinton, in check, at the eastern extremity of the
island. Between ten and eleven o'clock, the thunder
bomb vessels began to throw shells. Four of the ships,
the Active, of twenty-eight guns, the Bristol and Ex-
periment, each of fifty, and the Solebay, of twenty-eight,
came boldly on to the attack. A little before eleven
o'clock the garrison fired four or five shot at the Active,
while under sail, but without doing hurt. When she came
near the fort she anchored, with springs on her cables,
and commenced the battle with a broadside. Her exam-
ple was followed by the other vessels, and a storm of iron
was rained upon the little fortress, with the most unre-
mitting fury. The bomb vessel continued to throw
shells, until she was disabled ; and amidst the roar of
three hundred heavy cannon, the courage of the defend-
ers, who were almost wholly natives of Carolina, was
summoned to its most fearful trial. But their conduct did
not belie their well-earned reputation, nor leave it doubt-
ful what would be their course in the war which was to
ensue. They stood as coolly at their posts as if they had
been trained veterans. With a limited supply of ammu-
nition which forbade the constant exercise of their guns,
they were enabled to time their discharges with regular-
ity, and direct them with a singular precision of aim
which told fearfully upon the enemy.