Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XXV >> Page 278

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Page 278

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
the British sent forth a party of fifty for intelligence.
Hampton's advanced guard encountered the party, and
but few were suffered to escape. So close was the
pursuit of the survivors pressed, to the enemy's post, that
the whole cavalry of the British army, which, with a
strong detachment of infantry, had been sent to re-inforce
that post, issued out to charge the pursuing party. To
cut off this corps was a leading desire with Greene, and
he saw their approach with the most pleasurable'antici-
pations. But they recoiled and fled from the fierce on-
set of Hampton's horse. Twenty or thirty were slain,
wounded or taken ; and such an alarm did the presence
of Greene in person, excite among them, under the belief
that his whole army was at hand, that the garrison,
during the night, destroyed every thing,�threw their
cannon into the river, and made a rapid retreat to Charles-
town. Greene did not dare to pursue, for the infantry of
the enemy alone exceeded five hundred.
This maneuvre had all the effect which was intended.
The panic of the enemy increased, their outposts were all
abandoned, and their whole force concentrated at the
quarter house, about six miles from Charlestown. Here,
where the isthmus is narrow, the fugitives were halted
and joined by general Stewart, who, meanwhile, had
been hurrying with all speed, by another route, toward
the city.
General Leslie, who now succeeded Stewart, made
every preparation for immediate attach. The fears of
the fugitives from Dorchester, had magnified the force of
Greene to something more than three thousand men, at a
time when that brave commander could not muster at