Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> II. >> Page 68

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Page 68

Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
succour too slowly from Congress to avail for her security,
while it prompted her enemies, when they did attempt her
defences, to do so with forces so overwhelming, as to put it
out of the question to dream of any successful resistance.
Overrating her strength, still, the historian would exact of her
such performances as not only were not exhibited by any State,
during the revolution, but which it was physically and moral-
ly impossible for any country, so situated, to exhibit.
We have shown the career of South-Carolina, up to a cer-
tain period, and her escape, thus far, from the power of the
enemy, through her own isolated exertions. She enjoyed a
temporary rest, in consequence. The next demonstration of
the British, which brought her troops into the field, was upon
the still feebler State of Georgia. The united forces of Col-
onel Campbell, from New-York, and General Provost, from
Florida, got possession of Savannah and Augusta, at the close
of 1778 ; but, before this, an unfortunate expedition was at-
tempted against Florida, under General Howe, which had
totally broken up the Southern army. Sickness, and strife,
and starvation, had thinned down the Carolina regiments to
a shadow, and the one regular Georgia regiment, made cap-
tive in various struggles, had perished in the prison ships of
Britain. The defeat of Howe, at Savannah, and subsequent-
ly, Ashe's, at Briar Creek, tended still farther to dissipate the
strength of Carolina ; and it was in the hour of her extremest
exhaustion, that, taking advantage of the blundering of Lin-
coln, who had command of the Southern army after Howe
Provost made a rapid and formidable push for Charles-
ton, having under him a force of 2,000 regular troops and
700 Indians and loyalists ; while, to oppose him, General
Moultrie had but a thousand militia men. -VVe have spoken,
already, of the result of this expedition ; and, after this sur-
vey, we boldly repeat the denial with which we set out, that