Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XIV >> Page 146

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 146

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
Indian settlements, Williamson proceeded to lay them
waste. With an army of two thousand men, he pen-
etrated their country where the people were most nu-
merous. Entering a narrow defile, enclosed on each
side by mountains, a second ambuscade awaited him.
Twelve hundred warriors from the surrounding heights,
poured in a constant fire upon his troops, from which they
were only saved by the charge of the bayonet. The In-
dians fled after a severe conflict, in which they lost ground
rather than men. The Carolinians suffered severely from
their fire. Williamson proceeded on his task of destruc-
tion, which in a short time was made complete. Penetra-
ting their planted and beautiful vallies, he destroyed their
crops and villages. All their settlements eastward of the
Apalachian mountains were laid waste ; and to avoid
starvation, five hundred of their warriors fled to join the
royalists in Florida. The conquest of the country was
complete, and the Cherokees sued for peace. They were
compelled to cede to South Carolina, all their lands beyond
the mountains of Unacaya, These lands form at this
moment, the flourishing districts of Greenville, Anderson,
and Pickens.
The declaration of American independence, by the
congress at Philadelphia, followed hard upon the battle
of Fort Moultrie. The latter event took place on the
28th of June ; the former on the 4th of July following,
1776. The representatives of South Carolina in the
continental congress, at this exciting period, were
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Thomas Lynch,
and Arthur Middleton. For this event South Carolina
had been long prepared. She had in fact maintained