Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> South-Carolina in the Revolution >> Page 43

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Page 43

Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
Transcription SOUTH-CAROLINA IN THE REVOLUTION. 43
king the army in the aggregate," [this was soon after New-York had fallen into the hands of the B1 itish,] "he must
have been a novice or a sanguine calculator, who could sup-
pose it capable of sustaining the lofty tone and verbal energy
of Congress. In point of numbers merely, it was deficient ;
though a fact then little known or suspected. Newspapers
and common report, indeed, made it immensely numerous,
&c."
But this was only in the arithmetic of New England. The
fact is that this pretension of the Eastern States to numbers
in the army, would be the most ridiculous thing in the world,
in view of the actual fact, if it were not for the enormous
robbery of the national funds, of which it has been made the
pretext. So reluctant were they to appear in arms, that, at
a later period, they could only meet the demands of Wash-
ington by enlisting the captured soldiers of Burgoyne's army,
whom Washington refused to receive.
As Mr. Sabine has given us his picture of the Connecticut
soldiery, under the excitement of patriotic and military im-
pulse, and been pleased to do this by way of ungracious con-
trast to that of the troops and people of the South, under
similar circumstances, it may not be amiss to hear Graydon's
description of the same class of warriors. The period is that
which was employed by the British in their first demonstra-
tions upon New-York :
" Among the military phenomena of this campaign, the
Connecticut light horse ought not to be forgotten. These
consisted of a considerable number of old-fashioned men
probably farmers and heads of families, as they were general-
ly middle aged, and many of them apparently beyond the
meridian of life. They were truly irregulars ; and whether
their clothing, their equipments, or caparisons were regarded,
it would have been difficult to have discovered any circum-
stance of uniformity, though in the features derived from
' local habitation,' they were one and the same. Instead of
carbines and sabres, they generally carried fowling pieces,