Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XIV >> Page 150

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History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
for a time, and deprived them of their vigor. Unsup-
ported by the British, they fled and dispersed themselves
over the country, while a few sent in their adhesion to the
new government and cast themselves upon its mercy.
As the British extended their posts on the south side of
the Savannah, Lincoln made encampments at Black
Swamp and opposite Savannah. From these points, he
crossed the river in two divisions, with the view of limit-
ing the operations of the enemy to the sea coasts of
Georgia only. In the execution of this design, he sent
general Ashe, with fifteen hundred North Carolinians and
a few Georgians, across the river at a point a little above
the British army. Ashe proceeded to Briar Creek, where
he suffered himself to be surprised by lieutenant colonel
Prevost ; the militia were thrown into confusion and fled
at the first fire. Several were killed, many were drowned
in attempting to cross the river, and a large number was
made captive. Sixty men, the few continentals under
colonel Elbert, attached to Ashe's army, fought with the
greatest bravery, but were forced to surrender.
This unhappy event deprived Lincoln of one-fourth of
his army, and opened a communication between the
British, the tories and Indians of the states of North
and South Carolina. It also emboldened Prevost to
undertake an expedition of considerable daring, which
was almost successful. Availing himself of the critical
moment when Lincoln, with the main force of the south-
ern army, was one hundred and fifty miles up the Savan-
nah river, he crossed with two thousand chosen troops,
flanked by several hundred Indians and loyalists, and pres-
sed on with all despatch for the conquest of Charlestown.