Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XXV >> Page 276

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Page 276

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
Transcription 276THE HISTORY OF SOUTH CAROLINA.
no less than of the commander-in-chief, the mountaineers
under Shelby and Sevier upon the strength of whose
re-inforcement he had ventured into the field´┐Żon a
sudden deserted him after three weeks service. This
desertion was, with some probability, attributed to the
departure of their colonel, Shelby, who had obtained leave
of absence. Something, too, has been said of the service
not being sufficiently active for their habits; but reasons
such as these furnish a poor apology for soldiers, who,
in the cause of their country's liberty, should be well
pleased to encounter any sort of service which it may be
the policy of their commander to impose. Marion had
endeavored to find them sufficient employment. He had
approached and defied the enemy, but could neither tempt
nor provoke him to leave his encampment. With numbers
decidedly inferior, the brave partisan was chagrined to
find it impossible to bring his enemy into the field ; and
the only services, in which he was able to employ his
mountaineers, were in attacks on the post at Fairlawn,
and on the redoubts at Wappetaw. Detachments of
about two hundred of them, supported by Mayhem's
cavalry, were, in both instances, commanded by Shelby.
Wappetaw was abandoned at their approach. The
attack at Fairlawn was made while the enemy lay at
Wantoot. In passing this post, Marion showed himself,
but. did not succeed in decoying the British cavalry into
the field. At Fairlawn the attack was successful. The
place surrendered at discretion, and the whole garrison,
with three hundred stand of arms, stores and provisions,
fell into the hands of the Americans. The house with
its contents, and the abbatis, were committed to the
flames.