Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XIII >> Page 140

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History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
At one time, the commodore's ship, her stays shot
away, swung round with her stern upon the fort, inviting,
in that unfavorable situation, the fire of all its guns. For
a moment every cannon that could be made to bear, belch-
ed forth its iron upon her. "Mind the commodore, the
fifty gun ship !" was the cry, echoed by men and officers,
along the whole range of the little battery. Dreadfully
did she suffer from this attention. Her scuppers ran with
blood ; her quarter deck was twice swept of every man
but her commander, and he himself narrowly escaped
with two wounds, which disabled him. With a loss in
killed and wounded of more than one hundred men, she
was at length, but with some difficulty, withdrawn from
the action.
Nor was the loss of the other vessels, comparatively
speaking, much less. That of the Experiment, in slain,
was greater. Her captain was maimed, fifty-seven of
her men killed, and thirty wounded.
The battle lasted till near nine o'clock in the evening,
and the ammunition of the little fortress was exhausted
during its continuance. This led to the belief, on the part
of the assailants, that the defence had ceased, and they
sent up three vigorous cheers in token of their satisfaction.
But a fresh supply of powder, from the city, soon unde-
ceived them. The battle was renewed with ten-fold fury,
and though the imperfect structure which sheltered the
Carolinians, reeled and trembled to its base at every broad-
side which they fired, they kept to their guns, resolved to
meet the invaders behind the crumbling ruins, rather than
yield in a conflict upon which were equally staked the
pride and the possession of their country.