Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XXVI >> Page 296

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History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
in return for rice, such goods as answered the more
pressing wants of the Americans, were furnished from
the city. The removal of the army, upon the adjournment
of the legislature, down to Bacon's Bridge, at the head
of Ashley river, facilitated this trade by opening a boat
communication with the city. The produce from these
arrangements, though small and precarious, somewhat
relieved the distresses of the army. To its general
good behavior and unshaken integrity, under such heavy
wants as it had been compelled to endure, we must
record one sad and singular exception.
No longer able to meet the Americans in the field, the
British employed another agent of warfare, which they
have, perhaps, been as little reluctant to use as other
and far less civilized nations. This was corruption.
The near neighborhood of the American army, within
twenty miles of the city, suggested to the enemy a design
of working upon its distresses, and fermenting those dis-
contents, which they well knew must arise in every body
of men, whose condition is such as that of the American
army. An emissary had succeeded in tampering with the
soldiers of the Pennsylvania line, five sergeants and
twelve soldiers of which had been bought over to the
purposes of the enemy.
Had the zeal of these wretches in behalf of their new
employers not prompted them to make an experiment on
the fidelity of the Marylanders, the most fatal consequen-
ces might have ensued to the whole army. But the
sound principles of these long tried and noble fellows
sustained them against temptation. Their integrity, the
quick ears of one of their camp women, and the vigor and