Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> III. >> Page 91

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Page 91

Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
Cooper river. Our troops are in high spirits, but the great
misfortune is that we have too few of them. The Virginia
Line, which we have so long expected, have not yet made
their appearance, and I am much- afraid they will come too
late. Col. John Laurens, who, while our ships lay at Sulli-
van's Island, had the command of the marines, is now station-
ed with his men in a battery near Fort Moultrie, where he is
determined to give the British troops the first salute, and
where I expect to join him to-morrow as a volunteer. As
soon as the enemy passes the fort we shall proceed up to town,
as the principal and only opposition will be made here, there
being no retreat for us if the enemy should succeed." [Anony-
" March 22d. Charleston. You guessed right. The ship-
ping of the enemy got over the bar on Monday morning in
part, and in the evening the remainder; one of them a 64 gun
ship. This was not expected. It is a little surprising that we
should have been in possession of this country a century, and
at this day only know that a vessel of such a draft of water
could come in, after destroying the beacons and blackening
the church.* This success of the enemy made it necessary to
adopt different plans. The shipping have left their station
near Fort Moultrie, and is come to town yesterday evening.
The guns are taking out to be placed in the batteries, to be
worked by the seamen ; this gives us an addition of eleven or
twelve hundred men. Several hundreds of the North-Caro-
linian's time is out in three or four days. Propositions have
been made to them of a large bounty, and the greater part
have agreed to stay three months longer. A battery is erect-
ing near Liberty Tree, at the old Indian fort, which will com-
mand Town Creek, and it is said the Bricole is to be sunk in
it—if the enemy leaves us time to do it. Traverses are ma-
king to cover our lines from the fire of the shipping. In a
few days, perhaps to-morrow morning, the matter will he very
serious Fort Moultrie, if they stop there, I make no doubt
* St. Michael's steeple, which had been always employed as a beacon. It was blackened when the British fleet appeared, but the British alleged that the black made it more conspicuous than ever as a beacon.