Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> III. >> Page 158

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 158

Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
ter of the issue throughout, Moultrie expresses no opinions.
His work, in this respect, is particularly meagre. Ramsay
has already told us, in quotations previously made, of the
incompetency of South-Carolina to such a struggle, at the
period when it begun. His chief subject of complaint is,
that Lincoln was deceived as to the degree of support which
he anticipated from without. We shall endeavour to show
that other troops might have been had, had they been re-
quired ; that more soldiers would only have increased the
misfortunes of the garrison, and precipitated the day of the
city's downfall ; and that it is to the miserable incapacity and
ignorance of those to whom the defence was entrusted, the
engineers and other officers, that the whole misfortune is at-
tributable. Ramsay thus describes the final causes which
precipitated the capitulation at last :
" During the siege, a few secret friends of royal govern-
ment fomented and encouraged a mutinous disposition among
the citizens, and successfully worked upon the fears of the
timid. When it was generally known that there was an in-
sufficiency of animal provision in the garrison, and that the
town was completely surrounded, these men openly urged the
necessity of an immediate surrender. The measure of peti-
tioning [Gen. Lincoln] received its first and warmest support
from the disaffected, to whom all capitulations were equal, as
they meant to become British subjects. These had the ad-
dress to strengthen themselves by the timid, and even by
some of the bravest and best citizens, who believed that far-
ther resistance was vain."
And farther resistance was vain, when the garrison and
people had exhausted their provisions, when the British lea-
guer was completed, and when the French General, Duportail,
looking at the wretched works which were thrown up as de-
fences, showed the greatest anxiety to get out of them as
soon as possible, declaring them to be wholly untenable.