Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XXIV >> Page 262

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Page 262

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
The centre and right of the British army still re-
mained much more numerous than the American, and
awaited the threatened charge with a constancy that
seemed unshaken. But the disorder and flight of the
left had its effect upon the other divisions of the army ;
and the pressure of the fugitives from the left, upon the
centre, imparted a portion of their panic to the rest of
their companions. The advance of the Marylanders, at
this lucky moment, helped to increase the confusion of the
foe. They delivered their fire with deliberation and fatal
effect, and along their whole front the enemy yielded.
Completely triumphant, as they now supposed them-
selves, the Americans pressed forward to prevent the Brit-
ish from rallying, and to cut them off from the brick house,
to which the fugitives naturally turned their eyes. Suc-
cessful in this, the victory would have been complete.
The great loss which the enemy had sustained, must have
compelled his surrender, unless he could secure this shel-
ter, which was now his object. It was in striving to
defeat this object, that the Americans sustained their
greatest loss ; and the affair which so far had promised
a glorious victory, ended in the complete disappointment
of the conquering army, and the temporary defeat of its
proudest hopes.
At this stage of the battle, Majoribanks still stood firm
in the thickets which covered him. General Greene saw
that he must be dislodged from a position which would
soon enable him to renew the fight with disadvantage to
the Americans. Colonel Washington, with his cavalry,
was dispatched on this duty ; but, on attempting a
charge, he found that he could not penetrate the thicket