Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XIV >> Page 149

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Page 149

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
The continentals in South Carolina, under the command
of Lincoln, did not exceed six hundred men. The rest
of his force consisted of militia, whose term of service
changed every second or third month. He established
his first post at Purysburg, on the Savannah river, for the
purpose of maintaining a watch upon the movements of
the British army in Georgia. Moultrie was stationed
at Port Royal island, from whence he drove major
Gardiner, at the head of a British force two hundred
strong, which had been sent from the royal army at Sa-
vannah for its capture, and to explore the way for a greater
enterprise. His own force, wholly of Charlestown mili-
tia, comprised about the same number of men. The
British suffered severely, and lost nearly all their officers.
This little success prevented their contemplated invasion
of South Carolina for a time, and they confined their ope-
rations to the upper country, where their emissaries were
active among the tories. Hundreds of these were now
embodied upon the western frontier of the state. Here
they were encountered by colonel Pickens, at the head
of three hundred men. After a vigorous contest of nearly
an hour, the royalists were defeated with great slaughter,
their commander, colonel Boyd, being among the slain.
The prisoners taken, were tried as traitors to South Car-
olina, of which they were subjects, and to which they
owed obedience. A regular jury determined on their
offence, and seventy of them were condemned to death
a sentence, however, carried into effect upon five only of
the principal leaders. The rest were pardoned.
The failure of this second insurrection of the tories,
and the severity of their punishment, defeated their plans