Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XV >> Page 156

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Page 156

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
D'Estaing and Lincoln. The assault was ordered to
take place at 4 o'clock in the morning ; but some miscal-
culations having been made, it was broad day light when
the troops advanced to the attack, when all their move-
ments were perceptible to the enemy.
By the desertion of a grenadier the night before the
assault, the British were also apprised of the contempla-
ted arrangements, and were enabled to strengthen them-
selves in the Spring Hill battery by additional forces,
which were withdrawn from those points against which
the feints were to be made. Under these disadvantages,
the allied troops nevertheless marched forward with
great boldness to the assault, but under a heavy and well
directed fire, not only from the batteries, but from several
armed gallies which lay in the river and threw their
shot directly across their path. This cross-fire did such
fearful execution as to throw the front of the column into
confusion. A general retreat was commanded, after it
had stood the enemy's fire for fifty-five minutes ; but not
before the ramparts were carried by the South Carolina
regiment. Lieutenants Hume and Bush planted its col-
ors upon the walls, but they were shot down a moment
after. These colors had been presented to the regiment
for its gallant conduct at Fort Moultrie. It was a point
of honor that they should not be lost. Lieutenant Gray
endeavored to save them, and received his mortal wound
in the attempt. Jasper, the brave man who replanted the
crescent flag of Fort Moultrie on the merlon in the hottest
fire of the foe, was more successful. He bore them back
from the bloody heights and delivered them in safety to
his comrades ; but he too received a mortal wound in