Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> South-Carolina in the Revolution >> Page 51

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Page 51

Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853

best Sunday garments were at hand ! Well, what was the result ? The capital was defended, the British were beaten
off, wholly by South-Carolinians, in one of the most sanguin-
ary battles of the war I This was one defence of the capital.
Another occasion followed, when General Lincoln, withdraw-
ing all the regular troops away from South-Carolina, on a
wild-goose chase into Georgia, left its whole sea-board open,
and its capital city liable to a coup-de-main of General Pre-
vost. What, then, was the course of the Carolinians ? We
find Moultrie rushing to the rescue, with twelve hundred militia
from one quarter ; and Governor Rutledge, with another body
of native militia, pressing down, for the same object, from
another quarter of the interior; while Lincoln, with similar
speed, was marching from a third direction ; and it is highly
probable that some of these people hurried to the danger,
stripped to the buff, as did those fierce fellows, Stark and
Putnam. A second time were the British baffled in their at-
tempts, and in neither instance was there a deficient courage
or patriotism shown by the Carolinians in the defence of their
capital. Nor was there any lack of the necessary spirit on the
third and last occasion, when^the town was finally yielded.
Previous to this, however, the losses of the southern army
were so considerable as materially to impair its strength.
General Ashe, with the Georgia continentals, and fifteen hun-
dred North-Carolina militia, was surprised and beaten, and his
troops dispersed by Prevost. This disastrous event was fol-
lowed by one still more disastrous, in the badly-managed as-
sault upon Savannah, by the combined forces of D'Estaing
and Lincoln, when they were defeated with prodigious loss
a loss falling particularly heavy upon the Carolina troops
who alone succeeded in planting their standard upon the en-
emy's works---a barren, but an honourable achievement i
With forces greatly diminished by these and other disas-