Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XXVII >> Page 308

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Page 308

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
Their front was covered by logs and brush, so as to be
inaccessible to cavalry, and in infantry they were supe-
rior to Gist's command. The loss of the British on this
occasion is unknown. That of the Americans was very
serious for so small a force ; and in the death of Laurens
the army lamented a tried and gallant soldier ; the country
an unshrinking, unsleeping patriot. Greene, in a letter,
speaks of him in this language : " Poor Laurens has
fallen in a paltry little skirmish. You knew his temper,
and I predicted his fate. The love of military glory
made him seek it upon occasions unworthy his rank.
The state will feel his loss." His body was deposited
in the earth at the plantation of Mrs Stock, "where,"
says the biographer of Greene, "a small enclosure of
the simplest structure, seems to excite, not answer,
the inquiry, ' What undistinguished stranger lies buried
here ?'"
From the Combahee river the British passed into the
Broad, successively ascending the streams which com-
municate with that river, and carrying off all the provis-
ion and live stock which they could collect. From
thence they put into Port Royal, and laid the islands
of Beaufort and St. Helena under contribution. It was
in vain that Greene, with the feeble army which he com-
manded, sought to cover and protect these places. A
country of vast extent, intersected with streams and
marshes, easy of entrance, and quite as easy of egress,
was liable to insult at a thousand quarters, to which the
guardian eye could not extend, nor the guardian wing
give shelter. Still, the attempt was every where made,
with a promptness and energy which only needed corres-
ponding resources to have been every where successful.