Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XXVI >> Page 295

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Page 295

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
she had been engaged in supporting two armies, in spite of the interruption of her agriculture, and the devastation of her plains, it will rather be matter of surprise that it should have been done at all, than that it should not have been done in better manner. The greater wonder is, how any soldiers could be kept together under circumstances such as those which prevailed in Greene's army.
He writes about this time. to the president of Congress,
"we have three hundred men without arms, and more than a thousand so naked for want of clothing, that they can only be put on duty in cases of desperate necessity. Men in this situation, without pay or spirits, it is difficult to tell what charm keeps them together. I believe that it is nothing but the pride of the army and the severity of discipline that supports them under their, sufferings."
The south has reason to be proud of such soldiers ; and the wonder how they should have triumphed finally over the wealth, the valor, and the strength of Britain, and her thousand mercenaries, becomes proportionably lessened in the contemplation of a record such as this.
The only relief for the army in this deplorable condition, was derived chiefly from a specific contribution, voluntarily yielded by the inhabitants ´┐Ża source of relief, by the way, which, throughout the war, brought its small but timely aid frequently for its temporary preservation. In addition to this, a contraband trade was opened with certain merchants in Charlestown, and carried on, with the concurrence of the governor and council, through the medium of an agent near the army, and under the keen and vigilant eyes of colonels Lee and Laurens, by which