Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The History of South Carolina, From Its First European Discovery to Its Erection into a Republic >> Chapter XXVIII >> Page 314

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Page 314

History | S. Babcock & Co. | 1840
The reluctance of the invaders to leave the metropolis
of Carolina, showed itself even more conclusively in the
number of deserters whom they left behind them. Hun-
dreds emerged from cellars, chimneys and other hiding
places, as soon as the certain absence of their army
made it safe to do so. Scarcely a Hessian went back
but under compulsion ; and thousands prepared to en-
counter every danger of ill treatment from a people
whom they had wronged, rather than return to a stand-
ard to which they had been sold by their mercenary
sovereigns. Among the deserters, the Irish were partic-
ularly numerous. Their desertions were so frequent, long
before the war had been brought to an issue, that their
officers ceased entirely to confide in them ; and it is not
improbable that the inactivity of general Stewart when
at Orangeburg, and the subsequent imbecility which
seemed to mark the proceedings of the commander
while in garrison, arose, rather from doubts of the fidelity
of the troops, than from their sickness or any other of
the alledged causes.
The treaty of peace between the respective commis-
sioners of America and Great Britain, very happily soon
followed the evacuation, and relieved the country from
other evils, scarcely less serious than those which came
with a state of actual warfare. The southern army,
thrown for its support entirely upon South Carolina, soon
exhausted the few remaining resources of the province,
and the patience of the people. The state became indig-
nant at this charge, when it was known how much it had
already contributed, and how much more than any of its
sisters it had suffered for three tedious years.