Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XVI >> Page 168

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Page 168

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
ed, for a few weeks, every hope of successful resistance.
From several parts of the state, the people gave in their
adhesion to the royal authority, and believing his con-
quests to be complete, Sir Henry Clinton sailed from
Charlestown to New York, leaving to lord Cornwallis
the chief command of the southern department.
The general submission of the inhabitants, was followed
by a temporary calm. The British believed the state to
be thoroughly conquered. With this conviction, they
proposed to extend their arms to the conquest of the
neighboring states ; and their own force of five thousand
men being inadequate to this object, they conceived a plan
to carry out their operations, which had the effect of undo-
ing much which had been done by their arms. They
summoned the inhabitants to repair to the British stand-
ard. Paroles given to citizens, not actually taken in
Charlestown, were declared null and void, and the holders
of them were called upon to act the part of British sub-
jects, by appearing in arms at a certain time, under pain
of being treated as rebels to his majesty's government.
From this moment, the British popularity and power be-
gan to decline ; and the seeming submission which follow-
ed this command, was the disguise assumed by disaffec-
tion, under the pressure of necessity. The mask was
thrown aside by the greater number at the first sound of
the signal trumpet which rallied the patriots under the
banner of Gates.
One small body of Carolinians which retreated before
the British as they advanced into the upper country, was
conducted by colonel Sumter, a gentleman who had for-
merly commanded one of the continental regiments, and