Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XVII >> Page 177

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Page 177

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
Transcription CHAPTER XVII.
The milita composed so large a part of general Gates'
army, that he lost all hopes of victory on seeing them
leave the field. His flight was thence to Clermont and
Charlotte, where he hoped to rally the fugitives. It was
in the midst of the hurry of flight, that he was overtaken
by a courier, who brought him the consoling intelligence
of the complete success of Sumter in his enterprise. He
had succeeded in his attempt against Carey's fort, on
the Wateree, had captured the garrison, and intercepted
the escort with the wagons and stores.
On hearing of the defeat of Gates, Sumter began his
retreat up the south side of the Wateree. He was pur-
sued by Tarleton, with his legion and a detachment of
infantry.
The movements of Sumter were necessarily and greatly
impeded by his captives. He had with him forty baggage
wagons, filled with booty of the very kind that the Ameri-
cans were most in need of. He was encumbered also by
three hundred prisoners. Tarleton, pursuing with his usual
celerity, came suddenly upon the camp of the Americans,
near Fishing Creek, and a complete surprise was effected.
The British cavalry burst upon them when there was not
a man standing to his arms, and threw themselves be-
tween the men and the parade where their muskets were
stacked. The videttes were probably sleeping on their
posts, seduced into a false security by the belief that the
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