Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> II. >> Page 66

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Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
her, 1775, authorized the commencement of hostilities against
two of the royal vessels, then lying in the harbour, having
previously seized upon the king's forts, the guns of which
were turned upon the ships, compelling their withdrawal.
6. To meet the danger which their patriotism had thus
provoked, the South-Carolinians had raised three regular regi-
ments of her own, and these, with her militia, constituted her
means of defence. At this period, the whole white popula-
tion in South-Carolina could not have exceeded seventy-five
thousand persons. One would suppose that there was no ev-
idence, here, of want of zeal, or deficient courage and republi-
canism. They were both soon to be tested.
7. The twenty-eighth of June found a British fleet, of great
strength, and a land army of corresponding force, in'hostile
array, before the city of Charleston. Fleet and army were
beaten off, with great loss, by the Carolinians—by native
troops alone, be it remembered, and native officers exclu-
sively. This event preceded the declaration of independ-
ence, on the part of the United States—preceded all the con-
flicts between the two powers, with the exception of those of
Bunker IIill and Lexington ; which, by the way, were in turn
preceded by a civil war in the mountain country or South-
Carolina, where certain Scotch settlements had embodied
themselves a year before, on behalf of the crown ; and where,
after a severe and protracted struggle, they had been put
down. The affair of Fort Moultrie was one of the best fought
battles of the whole revolution. The slaughter on board the
British ships was almost unexampled, exhibiting a mortality
greater in proportion to the numbers engaged than that which
occurred at Trafalgar, while the resistance to the efforts of Sir
Henry Clinton, with the land army, at the east end of the
Island, conducted by native riflemen, under Colonel Thomison,
was such as to paralyze the enemy. This portion of the af-