Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> III. >> Page 104

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Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
prisoners. Capt. Roger Saunders was sent with a flag to
Gen. Patterson, who commanded the troops that came from
Savannah river, said to be about one thousand, who treated
him very rudely. He told him it was unmilitary to come in
the rear of his army, and he deserved to be hanged. Saun-
ders replied, he did not think it unmilitary, for he could not
know where his front or his rear was ; that, to be sure, he
(Patterson) had the power to hang him, but he was not
afraid to be hanged. He then said he must go to head-
quarters, where he would be treated better than he deserved.
He was detained three days. Merlin Wilkinson and another
gentleman went with him under the sanction of the flag. He
(Patterson) said he should detain th(m, as they were not
mentioned in the flag. Capt. Saunders told him it had been
the custom of the Southern army, on either side, these two
years ; and if it was intended to alter the custom, he should
have first given notice of it. However, they have detained
them—it is thought mostly because they had two fine horses."" 30th March. The advanced guard of the enemy came
within two miles of Charleston, when a party of 200 men,
under Col. Laurens, (arid a little while after two field pieces,)
were sent against them, who, after a skirmish of some hours,
returned, towards sunset. The fortifications of Charleston
were, at this time, very incomplete. All the negroes in town
were impressed, who, together with the parties detailed from
the garrison, were employed upon the works." [De Bralim.]
" 30th March. The enemy came down as far as Gibbs's,
from whence they skirmished with and drove our light infan-
try, who continued skirmishing with them all the day in view
of our lines, each retreating and advancing alternately in ex-
cellent order. Lieut. Col. Laurens, who commanded, was
reinforced in the evening by Major Low and ninety men, with
two field pieces. Our officers and men, stimulated in view of
both armies and many ladies, vied with each other in acts of
firmness and gallantry ; particularly regaining an old breast-
work the enemy took possession of in the evening, after our
people were retreating regularly to the garrison. A mere
point of honour, without advantage ! and afterwards left it
about dark, retreating very orderly into the garrison. Our
loss—Capt. Bowman killed, Major Hyrne and seven privates