Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> III. >> Page 153

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Page 153

Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
operation between the several detachments of the Americans
scattered through the country, by which their efforts were
rendered useless, and which subjected them to the fate which
finally awaited all of them. Col. Beaufort, who refuses his
support to the cavalry under White, to whom he is neverthe-
less civil enough to desire every success, was the same person
who suffered his whole command to be cut to pieces by Taile-
ton, at the Waxhaws, by a feebleness and mismanagement
almost unexampled in military history. Of Colonel White,
we need only quote what Johnson somewhere says of him,
that he never failed to obtain leave of absence, whenever he
desired it. He was a totally incompetent person to wear
sword and epaulet. For the surprise at Lanneau's, he de-
served to be cashiered and shot ; and a few such examples, at
this period, would have compelled the resignation of the in-
competent and imbecile, and secured good officers in their
places, and that vigilance and habitual state of preparation,
the lack of which is the great sin and deficiency of a militia
force. Of the affair at Lanneau's, Col. Tarleton gives the
following account :
" The American cavalry began to assemble on the north of
the Santee river, toward the latter end of April, under the
protection of two Virginia regiments of infantry and the mili-
tia of Carolina. Col. White had brought some dragoons from
the northward, [from Virginia, not from New-En ;land,] and
had collected those who had escaped from Monk's Corner.
He was soon after joined by a detachment from Georgetown,
and by Col. Horry's regiment of light horse. On the 5th
May, he crossed the Santee at Dupuy's Ferry. Fortune fa-
voured his first attempt. He suddenly surrounded an officer
and seventeen dragoons, who were foraging at Ball's planta-
tion, and made them prisoners. From thence he directed his
march towards Lenew's (Lanneau's) Ferry, with an intention
to recross the river, under the protection of 200 continental
infantry, ordered by Co]. Buford to meet the cavalry at that