Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> III. >> Page 148

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Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
were lighted every night near the abbatis, in order to discover
their advances, should they attempt to storm.
Whispered this night that the inhabitants of the town (mili-
tia) were framing a petition to Gen. Lincoln, begging of him
to accept the terms offered by Gen. Clinton ; at the same time
many of them refused to do farther duty. The allowance of
provisions consisted now of a little coffee, sugar and rice."
" 9th May. The batteries on the third parallel were then
opened, and by the superiority of the fire, both of artillery
and small arms, the British troops were enabled to gain the
counterscarp of the outwork which flanked the canal, which
they likewise passed, and then pushed on their approaches
directly for the ditch of the place." [Tarleton.]
" 9th May. When the enemy's third parallel was comple-
ted, we had sand bags. placed upon the top of our lines, for
the riflemen to fire through. The sand bags were about two
feet long and one foot thick ; we laid down, first, two of them,
three or four inches one from the other, and a third was laid
upon the top of the two, which made a loop-hole for the rifle-
men. The British followed our example. Many men were
killed and wounded through these holes." [Moultrie.]

The Americans were in the habit of drawing the fire of
entire companies, by simply elevating a hat upon a sword or
bayonet, above the parapets, when, so near were the assail-ants, so vigilant, and such good shots—particularly the German yagers—that it would be instantly riddled with bullets.
But the struggle was drawing to a close. The rejection of
the terms offered by Clinton left both parties free to com-
mence the conflict by 8 o'clock in the evening. Moultrie
says : " We remained near an hour silent, all calm and ready,
each waiting for the other to begin. At length we fired the
first gun, and immediately followed a tremendous cannonade.
About 180 or 200 pieces of heavy cannon were discharged
at the same moment. The mortars from both sides threw out
an immense number of shells. It was a glorious sight to see