Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> III. >> Page 128

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Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
nental troops out, I was for holding the garrison to the last
extremity ; which was at once agreed to, except by Colonel
Lamey, who said we were already come to the last extremity,
or if we were not of that opinion, desired to know what we
called the last extremity. But it was carried without other
opposition to hold out, and we parted this night. I desired a
letter signed by Gen. Moultrie and myself on the 17th, might
be destroyed, which was done before us." [McIntosh.]
The success of the defenders of the post of Lempriere, in
driving off the party of British that first showed itself in the
neighbourhood, was perhaps a misfortune. It was a premature
exhibition of strength which taught him caution, and saved
him a disaster. On this point, Tarleton ought to be an au-
thority. He writes :
" A detachment of continentals from Charlestown, took pos-
session of Lamprey's Point, a peninsula on the east side of
Cooper river. Col. Webster with the principal part of his
command, marched towards the Neck, (which the Americans
had fortified with indefatigable ardour, since their arrival,) and
in all probability would have ventured an attempt to dislodge
them, if a masked battery of eighteen pounders had not, for-
tunately for the English, opened upon a reconnoitering party ;
which circumstance, together with the flank fire of a galley
and an armed vessel, demonstrated the impracticability of the
design." [Campaigns.]
The council described above, was necessarily a stormy one.
The citizens might well be indignant that, after being buoyed
up with the assurances of the adequacy of their defences, the
sufficiency of their provisions and material for defence and
siege, they should be told, when too late to remove their
effects and families, yet at the very beginning of the bom-
bardment, that defence was impossible. Of what calibre could
the general and his engineers have been, who could blunder
in this fashion ? We have seen what Whipple said about the
scarcity of provisions-what Timothy said about the sluggish-
ness of all proceedings, and what McIntosh says of the neglect