Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XIV >> Page 148

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Page 148

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
process of time, victory fled from her banner, and defeat
upon defeat followed her fortunes, and threatened the ruin
of her fondest hopes. A flag sent into the port of Charles-
town, under which the commissioners of Great Britain to
the Americans denounced the extremities of war against
her, if she continued to prefer the alliance of France to a
reunion with the mother country, was met by the instant
defiance of her government, by which the flag vessel was
commanded to depart immediately from the waters of the
The campaign of 1779 opened with a renewal of the
British hostilities against South Carolina.Savannah
had fallen the year before, and in the rapid extension
of the British arms, under colonel Campbell, over the
state of Georgia, South Carolina had become a frontier.
The proximity of her enemy called for early preparation,
and major general Lincoln, of the continental army, was
chosen to command her troops and conduct the defence
of her territory. This gentleman was particularly desig-
nated by the leading patriots of the south for the station
which was assigned him. He brought to the southward
great reputation, and, under many disadvantages and a
small army, preserved the state for fifteen months against
a superior enemy ; still it may be permitted us to wish
henceforward, that the commanders of our troops may be
found among our own people, with a knowledge of the
character and interests of those whom they defend, and
an equal knowledge of the soil, the situation and circum-
stances under which they fight. Commanders wanting
in this knowledge, have led many thousand gallant men
to defeat, when they might have been led to victory.