Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XX >> Page 211

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History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
flicts-were those in which her own sons were pitted
against each other. The invaders gained their chief
victories by the arms of native citizens.
The flight of Cornwallis into Virginia enabled Greene
to direct his undivided attention to the remaining enemy
in Carolina, and on the 19th of April, 1781, he sat down
with his main army before Camden. On the 15th of the
same month, general Marion, having the legion of colonel
Lee under his command, invested Fort Watson on the
Santee. This was a stockade fort, erected on one of the
largest of the many ancient mounds which skirt this riv-
er. It was elevated about forty feet from the level, of
the plain, and far from any eminence which could com-
mand it. Its garrison consisted of about eighty regulars
and forty loyalists, commanded by lieutenant McKay of
the regular troops. Unprovided as he was with artillery,
it was impregnable to Marion. Its steep sides and strong
palisades discouraged any attempt to storm it.
One of the first efforts made to subdue it, was by cutting
the garrison off from Scott's Lake, by which it was sup-
plied with water. From this danger McKay relieved him-
self by sinking a well within the stockade. Thus foiled,
and without artillery, the besiegers must finally have been
baffled, but for one of those ingenious devices which are
perhaps more readily found by a primitive than an ed-
ucated people. At a short distance from the fort, there
grew a small wood which suggested the proper means
of annoyance. The trees were felled, and the timber
borne on the shoulders of the men, was piled crosswise,
under cover of the night, within a proper distance of the
fort. This enabled them to command the fort, and with