Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> III. >> Page 168

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Page 168

Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
Transcription 168 SOUTH-CAROLINA IN THE REVOLUTION.
younger State. Subsequently, her troops, even drawn from
the Charleston militia, could march to Savannah, and emulate
and surpass the best achievements of the French forces under
D'Estaign, losing some of her best blood upon that ill-man-
aged field of carnage. But her resources were not inexhausti-
ble. She had been playing the losing game in all these con-
flicts. Her troops had been wasted in repeated marches, cut
up in detail, broken by frequent surprises, under inexperienced
militia commanders, until the final formid able leaguer of the
British found her overwhelmed with debt, without money,
men, or means of subsistence. Undoubtedly, there were
hundreds who preferred to fly, with their possessions, to a
place of safety, rather than peril them on their patriotism.
This is a common history, known to all regions. In a sparsely
settled country, like that of the rich parishes of South-Caro-
lina, in those days, a single example of this sort would show
as conspicuously as the flight of a regiment in other places.
When Moultrie or Laurens were told of the disappearance of
some well-known planter, who had stolen off; with his house-
hold goods and gods, the effect was a loathing and revulsion,
which produced unqualified denunciation, the more bitter and
extreme from their own personal knowledge of the fugitive.
A high-spirited and noble gentleman will dwell upon such a
defection with prolonged bitterness, where a simple adherence
to the laws of duty would fail to provoke attention, and would
certainly command no eulogies. That Cataline should destroy
his country is monstrous ; but that Cato should be true to it,
is only a matter of course. We contend that a fair propor-
tion of the citizens of Charleston and the immediate neigh-
bourhood were as true to the faith which they professed, as
true to the patriotism which prompted them unselfishly to
revolution, and as firm and courageous in their maintenance
of their pledges, as any people in the country, and that there