Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XXII >> Page 235

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Page 235

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
ing foe, an opportunity offered of striking a blow at his
cavalry. Rawdon had with him but a small number of
horse ; his chief strength in this description of troops
being engaged in distant operations. Major Eggleston,
with a strong body of the American cavalry, throwing
himself in advance of the enemy, placed an ambush in
reserve, and presented himself with a small number in
view of the British. This drew upon him, as was antici-
pated, an attack from the whole hostile cavalry. His
flight seduced them to the thicket, where the rest of his
troop was concealed, and their joint charges completely
overwhelmed the foe. Many were slain, and forty-five
men and horse, with several commissioned officers, with-
in a mile of the whole British army, fell into the hands
of the Americans. The flight of Rawdon to Orangeburg,
stimulated by this event and the accumulating numbers
and audacity of the Americans, was so precipitate, that
more than fifty of the British army fell dead on the
march, from fatigue, heat and privation.
Greene encamped within five miles of Orangeburg,
and offered battle to his antagonist. Secure in his strong
hold, Rawdon did not venture to sally out ; and the force
of the American general was too feeble to justify an at-
tack upon him in his works. Several efforts which he
made with his cavalry, to arrest the approach of supplies
to the British, having proved abortive, and tidings having
reached him of the advance of Cruger with fifteen hun-
dred men to the relief of Rawdon, compelled general
Greene to retire from a position which he could not have
maintained against his foe after the junction with Cru-
ger. A day before the junction was effected, he with-