Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> III. >> Page 157

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Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
lest the magazine should take fire, as the work-house and
others that were next to it were in a blaze. At last some
timid person cried out that ` the magazine was on fire.' This
gave the alarm. Every one took fright, both British and
Americans, and instantly broke from the work, running away
as fast as possible through the streets, throwing down and
tumbling over each other, while others coming, tumbled over
them, in endeavouring to get as far as possible from the ex-
pected explosion. I have heard some of them say that,
though confoundedly frightened at the time, they could not
help from laughing to see the confusion and tumbling
I was then in a house adjoining St. Michael's Church, with
some company. I advised the going out of the house and
walking to South 'Bay, because I was apprehensive, from the
great shock which was felt in the houses, from the explosion
of 4,000 pounds of powder, that, should the magazine blow
up, which had 10,000 pounds in it, many of the houses in
town would be thrown down. A British officer askeG me how
much powder was in the magazine I told him. ' Sir,' said
he, ' if it takes fire, it will blow your town to hell.' I replied,
It will give a hell of a blast.' The British were very much
alarmed at the explosion. The troops were turned out under
arms and formed. Some of the British and Hessians sup-
posed it was designed by us. I was abused and taken up by
a Hessian officer. He was very angry, and said, ' You, Gen.
Moultrie, you rebels have done this on purpose, as they did
at New-York.' . . . . If they had considered a moment, they
would have found that it was almost impossible for the maga-
zine to take fire from the adjacent houses. It was enclosed
with. a high brick wall ; the magazine itself was built of brick,
and was bomb-proof."
With a single farther item, we conclude the journal of a
Subaltern, who was probably transferred to Haddrill's Point
with the rest of the prisoners of war :
16th May. General, field, commissioned, and other offi-
cers, ordered to attend for their paroles, but put off till to-
morrow. Officers almost tired out with attendance ?"
Thus, then, ended this protracted struggle. Of the charac-