Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XXII >> Page 242

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Page 242

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
would have been madness to advance directly to the
attack. The precedent of King's mountain furnished the
partisan with his order of battle. His own brigade, led
by colonels Middleton, Polk, Taylor and Lacey, were
ordered to reach and occupy a line of negro houses.
Marion's brigade, at that time very much reduced, was
thrown into two divisions, and ordered to advance on the
right of the enemy, having no shelter but fences, and
these within short gun shot of the house which the
British occupied. The several parties moved to the
attack with alacrity. Sumter's brigade soon gained the
negro houses in their front, and from these directed their
rifles with great effect. Colonel Thomas Taylor, with a
small command of forty-five men, pressed forward to the
fences of the enemy's left, from whence he delivered his
fire. This drew upon him the British bayonet, which
compelled his retreat. Marion's men, as they beheld
this, with the coolness and intrepidity of veterans, rush-
ing through a galling fire, extricated Taylor, and from the
imperfect covering of the fences, continued the fight until
not a charge of ammunition remained among them. All
who fell in the action were of Marion's command.
The British maintained their defence from within the
houses, and from a picketed garden, till the sun was
down. The Americans were then drawn off, after a
conflict of three hours, in which they lost forty men
killed and wounded. The British loss was seventy
killed ; their force nearly doubled that of the Americans,
and were chiefly composed of Irish troops, but for whose
inexperience in the use of fire-arms, the loss, of Marion's
men must have been infinitely greater than it was. Sum-