Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XIV >> Page 145

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Page 145

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
commenced their massacres upon the frontiers. This in-
vasion was marked by the usual barbarities of Indian war-
fare. Poorly provided with arms, the borderers betook
themselves to stockade forts, in which they were shut up.
Col. Williamson, who was charged with the defence of the
back country, succeeded in raising a force of five hundred
men. A small affair with the Indians, in which they
were defeated, led to a discovery which opened a new
and bloody page in southern history. Thirteen of their
number, who were taken, proved to be white men, disfigu-
red, disguised, and painted so as to resemble Indians.
Henceforth, a warfare between the civilized was to ensue,
so savage in its atrocities as to justify the description
given of it by general Greene, who asserts that the "par-
ties pursued each other like wild beasts." Other states
knew nothing of the horrors which were the consequence
of the domestic feuds of the south. The news of the
defeat of the British fleet produced the best effects when it
reached the theatre of this bloody warfare. The patriots
were encouraged, the tories dispirited. The former turn-
ed out with alacrity, and Williamson soon found himself
at the head of twelve hundred men. With a detachment
of three hundred horse, he advanced upon a tory and In-
dian force at Occnoree creek. His approach was known,
an ambuscade laid for him, and he found himself in the
thick of a desperate conflict, for which he was only
partially prepared. His horse was shot under him, an
officer slain at his side, and under a dreadful fire his army
thrown into disorder.
It was rallied by colonel Hammond, the thicket was
charged and the day retrieved. Marching through the