Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> III. >> Page 160

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Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
Roderick Mackenzie, the bitter analyst of Tarleton, though
differing with the latter in opinion, thus testifies involuntarily
in favour of his reasoning, while he gives the relative strength
of the two armies very fairly : " It cannot, by any means, be
admitted that six thousand American troops, indifferently dis-
ciplined, should, in any situation, be able to counteract the
measures of a British force, consisting of ten thousand."
Tarleton speaks reasonably, and the argument of Mackenzie
is conclusive. The works were not only worthless, but too
extensive for the number of troops. But we have said that
the number of troops, if increased, would certainly have in-
creased the evil. Under the circumstances they certainly
would, by increasing the number of consumers. There were
too many mouths already for the supplies in store, and nobody
talks of surrendering, among those by whom the citizens are
represented, until the food begins to fail equally for garrison
and people. Troops could have been had. Look at Col.
Beaufort and Gen. Caswell, who, with their respective brigades,
are specially kept in the open field. We have seen what
Gervais says of these forces. Besides, there were the troops
at Orangeburg, under Williamson, and others in small and
useless detachments, scattered about the country, and which
could have been brought to Charleston before the post at
Had,lrill's was surrendered—in other words, before the navi-
gation of Cooper river was closed up. " Before this time,"
says Tarleton,—that is, before the middle of April, and when
the second parallel of the British had not been begun—" the
Americans had joined a body of militia to three regiments of
continental cavalry, and the whole was entrusted to Brigadier
General Huger. This corps held possession of the forks and
passes of Cooper river, and maintained a communication with
Charlestown, by which supplies of men, arms, ammunition
and provisions might be conveyed to the garrison during the