Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XV >> Page 158

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Page 158

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
Transcription 158THE HISTORY OF SOUTH CAROLINA.
mere skeletons ; the northern forces were all melted
away, chiefly by the expiration of their time of enlist-
ment. The Georgia regiments filled the prison ships of
the invaders. The possession of Georgia by the British
disarmed the patriotic citizens, and gave strength and
activity to the royalists and Indians. South Carolina
was, in brief, a frontier, on three sides hemmed in by
bitter and uncompromising enemies. The loyalists of
North Carolina, Georgia and Florida, the Indians al-
ways ready for war, which is a kindred life with that of
the hunter´┐Żwere gathering in restless and roving bands
upon her borders. The conquest of Charlestown promis-
ed to be easy, and with its possession, particularly if the
southern army should fall with it, the British ascendancy
in the south would be complete. The reduction of the
whole state, and probably that of North Carolina, would
ensue ; and no obstacle would then remain in the way of
an uninterrupted backward path of conquest through
Virginia, from the Savannah to the Delaware. The
enemy were also well acquainted with the embarrassments
of the state in procuring men and money. Of the six
regiments of South Carolina, but 800 men could be rai-
sed ; and so miserably depreciated was the value of her
paper, that the price of a pair of shoes was seven hundred
dollars. The invasion of Carolina was resolved upon.
On the eleventh of February, 1780, the British army
landed within thirty miles of Charlestown. The ap-
proach of danger led to the immediate action of the
people. The assembly, then in session, dissolved, after
having conferred upon John Rutledge, the powers, with
some limitation, of the dictator in ancient republics. He