Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XXIV >> Page 263

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History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
with his horse. An attempt to gain the enemy's rear,
brought upon him a destructive fire, which slew many of
his men and horses, and drove the rest in confusion. He
was succeeded by colonel Hampton ; and Kirkwood's in-
fantry, with their bayonets, rushing at the same time to
revenge their companions, succeeded in expelling the Brit-
ish from this strong position. But Majoribanks retired
slowly, still holding on to the thickets, and making for a
new position, of nearly equal strength, behind the palisa-
does of the garden.
Here the British army had partly rallied, though
nothing could well exceed the alarm in their encamp-
ment. Every thing was given up for lost. The commis-
saries destroyed their stores ; the numerous retainers of
the army, mostly loyalists and deserters, who dreaded
falling into the hands of the Americans, seizing the
horses wherever they might be found, lied in terror,
carrying consternation where they went, even down to
the gates of Charlestown. Their alarm might not have
been groundless, had it not been for the misfortunes of
the Americans, in the losses of Washington's cavalry, and
the rash pursuit, by the infantry, of the disordered British.
So severely had Washington's command suffered in the
affair with Majoribanks, that but two of his officers could
return into the action. The colonel himself had his
horse shot under him, and owed his life to the clemency
of a British officer.
By the time that Majoribanks had gained the palisadoes,
Sheridan had thrown himself into the house, and some
of the routed companies from the British left, had made
good their retreat into the picketed garden, from the in-