Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> III. >> Page 118

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Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
usher in the dawn of the important day. . . . A sortie
was in contemplation a few days since. The Hampstead bat-
tery was the object. Two ships were to co-operate with Gen.
Scott, who had the command. But, I think, very fortunately,
the wind veerin to the westward, prevented it being attempt-
ted. A very large body of troops (British) were within ten
minutes run to reinforce the party, (working at Hampstead,)
which could not be, of itself, less than 350. Judge then of
the probable issue, more especially, when you are informed
[that] the sallyers were not volunteers or picked troops, but
even some of our Charlestown militia were draughted for the
service. . . . With respect to the issue of the siege, it
would be presumptuous to give an opinion about it. What-
ever side success favours, I am perfectly confident we will
merit it. A blockade, regular approaches, and slow cautious
movements, will be most favourable to the enemy, and they
cannot but know it. An assault, even if successful, will cost
them too clear, to be attempted." [Thomas Wells, Jr.]
" 6th April. The present state of suspense is a state of
hope, and well founded hope, considering the slow progress of
the enemy ; for, although they broke ground the night of the
1st inst., and commenced at once witli the first parallel, which
they have supported with redoubts, there appear to be only
two works destined for batteries ; one on our right, the other
on our left ; in a very imperfect state, and with unfinished com-
munications. In the meantime, the Virginia [force] has arrived ;
the remainder of Scott's levies are at hand ; our works are
daily improving and strengthening ; in addition to our abba-
tis, we have covered the whole front with wolf-traps which will
remain an excellent defence against storm, after they have
cleared away our abbatis by an incessant fire of artillery. Our
obstructions in Cooper river are completed, which prevent the
enemy from accomplishing the investiture. A body of North-
Carolina militia, marching to our assistance, is ordered to halt
at Cainhoy. Col. Malmedy is sent to take the command,
and with an engineer to establish such posts as shall be neces-
sary for the security of our communication. The ground is
very favourable to our purpose, and has been already recon-
noitred by Col. de Cambray. . . . The enemy's gallies,