Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XIX >> Page 208

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 208

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
Transcription 208THE HISTORY OF SOUTH CAROLINA.
ing into the heart of Williamsburgh and to Snow's island.
The river on the west runs under a high bluff; the
grounds on the east side are low, and the stream, though
generally fordable, was at that time swollen by freshets,
so as nearly to reach the summit of the opposite shore.
This prospect seemed to appal the British colonel,
While he hesitated, the less wary partisan led the way
for his troop, plunged in, and safely reaching the opposite
banks, marched forward to occupy the eastern end of the
bridge. Marion detached major James with forty musk-
eteers, and thirty riflemen under McCottry, to burn the
bridge.
The riflemen were posted to advantage, and under
cover, on the river bank. The attempt of the musket-
eers to burn the bridge, drew upon them the fire of Wat-
son's artillery. Against this Marion had provided, and
the artillerists of the enemy were picked off by McCot-
try's rifles, as fast as they approached to apply their
matches to the gun. The bridge was fired and con-
sumed in the face of the enemy, who, baffled and ha-
rassed, turned from the pursuit of the wary partisan, and
proceeded by forced marches to Georgetown. But he
was not suffered to leave behind him the foe whom his
pursuit had seemed only to awaken. Marion hung upon
his progress,´┐Żnow upon his flanks, now in front, and
now in the rear while his rifles exacted heavy toll from
the enemy at every mile in their journey. Watson, at last,
reached Georgetown in safety ; but the implacable rifle-
men had followed his flying footsteps till the last moment.
Never had man been more harassed ; and the complaint
of Watson, that Marion would not fight like a christian