Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> South-Carolina in the Revolution >> Page 32

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Page 32

Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
which was probably, during all this time, in the keeping of
New-England. No wonder that the account has been so
well kept ; for her troops, the last three years of the war, had
ample leisure for making all the entries.• South-Carolina,
like North-Carolina and Virginia, had thousands servinfr in
the army of the North, and counted necessarily in with that
section. They had thousands more, who fought, as Harry
Smyth, of the Wynd, did, " on their own hook," and were
never enrolled, never asked and never received pay or rations.
New-England is not a region readily to comprehend virtues
so gratuitous, and her writers never insist upon what they do
not understand. It is the misfortune of the South that the
lion does not often write the history of his own career. In
this history, he has left it almost wholly to the jackal.
Mr. Sabine, employing a frequent habit of later days, al-
most peculiar to that patriotic region which he esteems to
have found so little gratitude and acknowledgment, for its
services, from the rest of the confederacy,—sneeringly alludes
to the slave system of the south, under the words peculiar
institution"—as a source of our assumed military weakness.
But this military weakness of the south exists only in the
imagination of the abolitionist. As we read the history, the
slave institution has never been a source of weakness, and is,
in reality, one of strength. It was a source of strength to
Greek and Roman ; a source of greatness, too, infinitely be-
yond mere physical capacity. It has never enfeebled us in
any foreign contest ; though, prior to the revolution, in conse-
quence of a too little regard to the lessons of history, it was a
source of anxiety and doubt. The progress of that conflict
relieved the public mind from all of its apprehensions, and
showed that, in a time of war, it becomes a source of super;or
strength, securing the community, at all times, an abundant
agricultural supply—always in course of production—while