Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XXVII >> Page 304

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History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
Transcription 304THE HISTORY OF SOUTH CAROLINA.
His charge was met with firm nerves and the keenest
aim. A single fire terminated the action ; and it is seldom
that a single fire has done equal execution on a like
number of men. One officer, eight men and five horses
were killed ; three officers, eight men and a number of
horses wounded and taken. The Americans sustained
no loss in men, but a very severe loss in ammunition.
The driver of the wagon which contained it, or his horse,
took fright during the engagement, and made off in a
direction which revealed its flight to the enemy, by a
small detachment of whom it was captured. Unhappily,
Marion was destitute of his cavalry, who were then
patrolling the country below, and cavalry alone could
have retrieved his loss. Five of his men, armed with the
broad swords of the slain British, and mounted on as many
captured horses, resolved upon the effort. They suc-
ceeded ; but the prize was again wrested from their hands
before they could reach the infantry, by the return of
the enemy in force.
"It was certainly," remarks the historian, the dis-
tinguishing attribute of Marion, always to extract good
service from the militia. They thought themselves
invincible under him ; and in the present instance, he
declares that not a man faltered ; that he even had to
check their anxiety to move out into the open field and
receive the charge of the cavalry. But Marion's coolness
never deserted him ; in the absence of his cavalry, a defeat
would have been converted into a route, and both corps
would have been sacrificed in detail."
Had his cavalry been present, the assailants must
have been utterly cut to pieces. In an hour and a half