Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XVI >> Page 172

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Page 172

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
talents and experience secured him the command of a
major-general in the army of the United States. DeKalb
had pushed his march to the south by the direct route
from Petersburg in Virginia, for Camden in South Caro-
lina. On the 6th of July he reached Deep river, and halted
at Cox's mills to collect provisions, and determine upon
his future course.Here, he was overtaken, and super-
seded in command, by general Gates. 'The arrival of
Gates increased the activity of this little army, without
improving its condition. Gates, unhappily, was one of
those men whom success intoxicates and destroys. He
had no sooner arrived than he issued orders to his troops
to hold themselves in readiness for marching, and on the
27th, the army was under march over a barren country to
Monk's ferry, in direct opposition to the counsel of all his
The troops were without provisions and clothes, many
without arms, and suffering from fatigue, from a protracted
march, at every step of which they had been compelled
to undergo these severe privations. Still, his army was
increased in its progress, by accessions, from Virginia
and the Carolinas, of lean detachments ; and, with a little
delay to permit of the coming in of the militia, and the
procuring of arms and supplies, it might have been swollen
to a very respectable force of four or five thousand men.
Sanguine of success, and pressing on with the despatch
which was all that this unfortunate general seemed to think
necessary to secure it, he reached Clermont, where he en-
camped on the 13th of August. Here he was informed,
by colonel Sumter, of the advance of a considerable con-
voy of British wagons on the route from M'Cord's ferry to