Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> III. >> Page 100

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Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
enemy's fleet, holding them in check, while the cross fires of
Fort Moultrie and our own shipping had full play upon them.
But, too readily deluded with the idea that the greater vessels
of the British could not effect, and would not even attempt
the entrance, the Commodore made himself easy until the
whole line of the enemy were within the bar.. It was then
too late to do any thing, but sink the vessels as a chevaux de
frieze, the most wretched use to which they could be put.
Floating masses of timber, linked with chains, and anchored
across the passage, might have been constructed while the
enemy were fixing their buoys. On this subject, Tarleton
writes thus :
" The Americans had a considerable marine force in Charles-
ton harbour, from which powerful assistance to their defences
and great destruction to the approach of the British fleet
might be equally apprehended. . . . These, at first, adopted
the plan of disputing the passage up the channel, by mooring
with their gallies at a narrow pass between Sullivan's Island
and the middle ground, in which station they could have
raked the British squadron on its approach to Fort Moultrie ;
but this design was abandoned for a less judicious one. . . .
Without yielding any assistance to' the fortification on Sulli-
van's Island, the ships were sunk to block up the passage of
Cooper river." [ Tarl eton's Campaigns.]
The reasoning of Col. Laurens is quite correct, when you
once admit the monstrous supineness which J eft the proper
moment for providing the obstruction of the channel to escape
" 26th March. The army moved to the front lines—the
North-Carolina regulars on the right, the Virginia next, then
Lytles' corps and South-Carolina regulars. General Moultrie
ordered to have the direction of the batteries and artillery."
26th March. The enemy are t1'rowng up works at the
mouth of Wappoo, on the north side, and at different places