Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XXVI >> Page 284

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Page 284

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
had stolen a brief respite from the labors of the field, that
they might assist in the no less arduous toils of council.
All had suffered, and many of them severely. A nobler
assembly one more distinguished for faith, integrity,
wisdom and valor�was never yet convoked in the cause
of a nation. The proceedings were opened by a speech
from governor Rutledge, distinguished by the accustomed
energy of manner and force of matter which character-
ized that orator. In the course of this speech, he gave
a brief glance at the history of the war in the state. A
portion of his picture we transfer to our pages, as sum-
ming up briefly, a thousand details which a more particu-
lar narration would make too voluminous for our limits.
"The enemy," said he, unable to make any impres-
sion upon the northern states, the number of whose
inhabitants, and the strength of whose country, had
baffled their repeated efforts, turned their views towards
the southern, which a difference of circumstances afforded
some expectation of conquering, or, at least, of greatly
distressing. After a long resistance, the reduction of
Charlestown was effected by the vast superiority of force
with which it had been besieged. The loss of that gar-
rison, as it consisted of the continental troops of Virginia
and the Carolinas, and of a number of militia, facilitated
the enemy's march into the country ; and their establish-
ment of strong posts in the upper and interior parts of it,
and the unfavorable issue of the action near Camden,
induced them vainly to imagine that no other army could
be collected which they might not easily defeat. The
militia commanded by the brigadiers Marion and Sumter,
whose enterprising spirit and unremitting perseverance