Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XXVI >> Page 293

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Page 293

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
issue, with a firm and fearless countenance. Though
greatly fewer in number than the foe, the Americans
were better mounted ; and frequent exercise and repeated
successes, had inspired them with a confidence in them-
selves which almost made them heedless of any odds.
But they were destined, by one of those counter events
which disturb and defeat equally the hopes and the
calculations of men, to lose a glorious opportunity,"
in the language of Marion, of cutting up the British
The front section was led by an officer of approved
courage, who, in a very recent affair, had signally dis-
tinguished himself. It is Napoleon, however, who says
" that every man has his moment of fear ;" and it was
seemingly at some such unlucky moment, that the leading
officer was required to begin the battle. He led his
section forward, until, emerging from the cover of the
lane at its extremity, and in the face of the foe, instead
of charging boldly before him, he dashed aside into the
forests on his right, and drew after him the whole regi-
ment in irretrievable confusion. Vainly seeking to ar-
rest their flight, Marion himself was borne away by the
crowd, and narrowly escaped falling a victim to their
miserable panic. Many of the fugitives had to quit
their horses, and disembarrass themselves of their boots
and armor, to pass a deep creek which Iay in their way.
It was fortunate that some alarm prevailed in the hostile
ranks. The British were doubtful of their victory ; and,
apprehensive of ambuscade, did not pursue with prompt-
ness and resolution. They suffered some precious time
to elapse before they moved in pursuit ; and but few of