Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> II. >> Page 70

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Page 70

Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
the feeding men on the pension list. But, to return. Our
author writes,
" The audacity with which Provost threatened Charleston,
in the same year, the facility of his march through South-
Carolina, and safety which attended his retreat, told a sad tale
of the supineness of the people of that province."
On the contrary, it spoke quite as well for the inhabitants
of South-Carolina, as did the progress of Ross to Baltimore,
in 1814, when our author himself played an honourable part,
fleshing his maiden sword in defence of his country. The
expeditions were not unlike. Proctor was a dashing partizan
officer, like Ross. He made a dash at Charleston, under pe-
culiar circumstances, and was driven off, as Ross was driven
from Baltimore. Nothing more—nothing less. He did not
succeed; he was baffled. Both aimed at a coup de main,
hoping to find the people, in both cases, unprepared. In
some degree, they did so. The results, however, were the
same in both cases. It was no reproach to the people of
South-Carolina, or of Maryland, that Provost and Ross were
audacious captains. It might have been a reproach had they
both been successful. As it was, neither succeeded.
But our author's facts are as erroneous as his conclusions.
He speaks of the " facility of Provost's march through South-
Carolina." Why, Provost can scarcely be said to have enter-
ed South-Carolina at all ! His progress was confined to a
march along the the sea-coast, not so far from his flotilla but
that he might have reached it at any moment, with a few
hours' effort, and through a region of swamp country, pne-
trated by creeks and water=courses, arms of the sea, occupied
by but few white inhabitants, covered with unbroken and
dense thickets, through which, with moderate skill and cau-
tion, he might at any time make his way, without waking up
the country at all. Moultrie, with one-third of his force, and