Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XXI >> Page 232

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Page 232

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
prize for which he struggled must have been in his pos-
session. Now, baffled, if not beaten, he fell back slowly
and sullenly before the pursuit of Rawdon, until the
latter, weary of a chase which promised to be hope-
less and, warned by circumstances which called him
else were, abandoned equally the pursuit and the country.
his march had served only to extricate Cruger from his
immediate difficulty. The proofs were convincing all
around him, that the day had gone by when a foreign foe
could maintain itself among the recovering inhabitants.
"Ninety-Six," in defence of which so much blood had
been already shed, was therefore abandoned to the assail-
ants from whom it had been so lately rescued ; and pite-
ous, indeed, was the misery of the wretched loyalists
whom this abandonment virtually surrendered to the
rage of the long persecuted patriots. A fearful day of
retribution was at hand, which they did not venture to
await. At a season when their farms were most lovely
in the promise of a plenteous harvest, they were compel-
led to surrender them and fly. Vainly did their chiefs
expostulate with Rawdon against his desertion of those
who, to serve the cause of their sovereign, had incurred
the enduring hostility of their countrymen. But the ne-
cessity was not less pressing upon the British general than
upon his wretched allies ; and with a last look upon their
homes, a mournful cavalcade of men, women and children,
prepared to abandon the fields of equal beauty and plenty,
which their treachery to their country had richly forfeited,
but for which they were still willing to perish rather than
depart. Sullenly the strong men led the way, while, with
eyes that streamed and still looked backward, the women