Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> III. >> Page 90

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Page 90

Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
" 21st March. The enemy have got in ten of their men-of-
war, one of 52, two of 44, and seven frigates and 20 gun-
ships. We have seven ships and three galleys to oppose
them. If they will lay any time before the fort, I will engage
we beat them." [Moultrie.]
" 22d March. Very busy landing the cannon, &c., from
the shipping, making traverses, &c. Fine weather." [1VIc-Intosh.]
" 22d March All our ships and gallies are ordered up to
town, their guns taken out, placed in the batteries, and man-
ned by the sailors ; by which paeans we have a reinforcement
on shore of 1,200 men, which' adds greatly to our strength.
We are to sink some ships, to stop the channel from the Ex-
change over to the marsh. . . . Commodore Whipple
did not choose to risk an engagement with the British fleet.
I think he was right in the first instance, when stationed just
within the bar to prevent the British fleet from coming over,
as that was a dangerous place ; but his second position, when
he was to lay a little above Fort Moultrie, within point blank
shot of the fort, with his ships across to rake the channel—in
that situation it would have been impossible for them to pass
without losing some of their ships. I scarcely think they
would have attempted it." [Moultrie.]
Our next quotation, of the same date with the preceding, is
from an anonymous correspondent. His letters appear, un-
signed, among the manuscripts of Henry Laurens. We de-
tach only such portions as relate to the facts before us.
" On 22d March, Monday, the enemy got all their shipping
over the bar, and this evening we expect they will pass Fort
Moultrie, and make a very heavy attack upon the town in con-
junction with their land forces from James Island. Yesterday
our four continental frigates, with some armed vessels belong-
ing to this State, (having had previously their station under
the guns of Fort Moultrie) came up to town, in order, it is
said, to place their guns and men in the batteries on the Bay,
having discovered that they could not possibly withstand the
enemy's naval force. The acquisition of their guns and men
will be very great. I apprehend our ships will retreat up