Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> South-Carolina in the Revolution >> Page 50

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Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
lery, by a people suffering from a cruel epidemic, threatened
with famine, and sustaining, day and night, the bombardment
of batteries far superior to their own ! There is no doubt that
Charleston was not as well defended as it might have been ;
but this was rather the fault of the New England general in
command, than that of the citizens ; and no imputation should
be flung upon the valor or patriotism of the people, unless it
can be shown that the arguments upon which they rest their
defence shall be proved to be valueless. We shall indicate
these arguments, but shall first return to the earlier passages
in the history of the revolution in the south.
Mr. Sabine has given us a vivid picture of Stark and Put-
nam scampering off to the leaguer of Boston, under the gush
of patriotic fury, without paying proper attention to the state
of their nether garments. We have observed that this was
the first scene at the opening of the revolution, and had the
charm of novelty to recommend it. About the same period,
or a little after, Charleston was invaded by a superior force of
the enemy. What, then, was the conduct of the Carolinians ?
They certainly showed, at that time, no want of patriotism or
courage. What says Ramsay on this point ? " In South-
Carolina, particularly, every exertion had been made to put
the province, and especially its capital, in a respectable posture
of defence." The alarm guns are fired, and " the militia of
the country, very generally, obeyed the summons of President
Rutledge, and repaired in great numbers to Charleston."
Ramsay is not a picturesque writer, like Mr. Sabine, or he
would have been at some pains to inquire whether Marion,
from St. John's, Berkeley, and Thompson, from St. Matthews,
and a score or more besides, of leading patriots who never
asked for continental pay—certainly never struck for higher
wages—did not leave their corn fields and lumber mills, for
the defence of the capital, without looking to see that their