Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XVIII >> Page 197

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Page 197

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
Transcription THE HISTORY OF SOUTH CAROLINA.197
coed line the ground descended, and then again arose to
a height sufficient to cover a man on horseback. Behind
this, the American reserve was posted, consisting of Wash-
ington's and McCall's cavalry, one hundred and twenty-five
in number. The advanced party were ordered not to deliv-
er their fire until the British were within fifty yards, and,
this done, to retire, covering themselves with trees and load-
ing and firing as occasion offered.
When Tarleton beheld his enemy ready to receive him,
he advanced to reconnoitre, but was prevented from doing
so by the picked riflemen who were scattered along
the entire front of the line. On this occasion they gave
the cavalry a few discharges, which made them tremble
at the deadly aim of the southern rifle. The British
were formed when within three hundred yards from the
front of Morgan's force, and soon after advanced with a
shout, under the cover of their artillery, pouring in an
incessant fire of musketry as they came. At the assign-
ed distance the militia delivered their fire with unerring
aim, and "here," says colonel Howard, "the battle was
gained." The assertion was justified by the spectacle of
dead and wounded, commissioned and non-commissioned,
who sank down under the deliberate and fatal discharge
which first followed the advance of the foe. But this was
not enough to repel the enemy under the excitement of bat-
tle and the goading of their commanders. The retreat of
the militia quickened the advance of the British, who rent
the air with shouts, as they fondly believed that the day
was already won. But the second line renewed the pun-
ishment which had followed from the fire of the first, and
at this moment the fearful havoc which the riflemen had