Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XVI >> Page 164

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History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
Transcription CHAPTER XVI.
The ill success of this first attempt, in the American
war, to defend a city, approves of the general policy of
Washington on this subject. The sterner wisdom, by
which the city should have been sacrificed to the preser-
vation of the army, would have produced far less evil to
the state. The conquest of the interior rapidly followed
the loss of the city. The troops, which might have suc-
cessfully baffled the march of the invader through the for-
ests, were in his power ; and his progress, for awhile, was
almost entirely uninterrupted through the country. Lieu-
tenant-colonel Tarleton, of the British army, a soldier
more remarkable for the rapidity of his movements than
for his talents, and more notorious for the sanguinary war-
fare which he pursued in Carolina than for any other bet-
ter qualities, commenced a career of victory, as a cavalry
leader, soon after the landing of the enemy, which was
continued for a long period after, with little interruption.
While Clinton was pressing the siege of the city, he
achieved sundry small but complete successes, that de-
prived the garrison of most of those advantages which ne-
cessarily must have resulted from their keeping a body of
troops in the field. On the 18th of March, 1780, he sur-
prised a party of eighty militia men, at the Salke-hatchie
bridge, many of whom were slain and wounded, and the
rest dispersed. He was equally successful, a few days
after, against a second party, which he surprised near