Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> III. >> Page 145

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Page 145

Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
marines; under the command of Capt. Hudson, to attempt
the fort by storm, on the west and north-west faces, whilst the
ships of the squadron battered it in front. The garrison,
consisting of continentals and militia, to the amount of 200
men, seeing the imminent danger to which they were exposed,
and sensible of the impossibility of relief, accepted of the
terms offered by a summons on the 7th May, and by capitu-
lation surrendered themselves prisoners of war." But the
fact is, the supplies were cut off. Good fight might have
been made ; but the blockade was complete, and the garrison
must have perished by starvation.
" 6th May. This day Sir Henry Clinton sent proposals of
surrender to us, beginning with a preamble, that it proceeded
from his humanity and desire to spare the effusion of blood.
Council of general and field officers called. Governor and
Council also to be consulted." [Subaltern.]
" 6th May. The besieging party finished their third paral-
lel, which they had carried close to the canal, and by a sap
pushed to the dam which supplied it with water on the right,
drained it in several parts to the bottom. On the 6th and
7th of May, the artillery was mounted in the batteries of this
parallel, and the traverses and communications were perfectly
completed. Thus enclosed on every side, and driven to its
last defences, Sir Henry Clinton, wishing to preserve Charles-
town from destruction, and to prevent that effusion of blood
which must be the inevitable consequence of a storm, opened
a correspondence on the 8th with General Lincoln, for the
purpose of a surrender." [Tarleton.]
The 7th May was distinguished by a disaster—the partial
destruction of the principal magazine of the garrison, by the
bursting of a shell. This magazine stood behind St. Philip's
Church. Moultrie had the powder removed (100,000 lbs.)
to the north-east corner of the Exchange, where it was bricked
up, and where it remained undiscovered by the British, during
the long period while they held the city.