Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> III. >> Page 170

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 170

Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
the loyalists, great numbers had fled from North-Carolina,
South-Carolina and Georgia, and taken refuge in Florida and
the Indian nation. These now began to collect from all
quarters, under the cover of Provost's army, and either to
add to the strength of the enemy, or, united in formidable
bodies, to hunt down and distress the whigs ; so that many
of them were forced in their turn, to desert their plantations,
and.,transport their families beyond the mountains."
Here we have a sufficient summary of the causes which
prevented the adequate accumulation of the country militia,
for the assistance of Charleston. On each previous occasion,
when the British had made their descent in force upon the
South, it had been a signal for the rising of the loyalists and
the Indians. Great Britain had been better able to subsidize
the capricious savages than the feeble colonies ; and with the
Apalachian ridges as a region of retreat, and Florida as a
hive and harbouring place for the loyalists, from which we
had no means of expelling them, our seas being entirely in
the hands of the enemy,—it needed but the signal. trumpet
of Britain to bring down upon the unprotected frontier a ter-
rible visitation from scalping knife and rifle. With this expe-
rience in mind, it was with a natur reluctance that the ran-
ger left the precincts of his homestead. He knew not at
what moment the war whoop would ring the knell of the
dear ones in his blazing cabin. Besides, there was an enemy
more potent than the British in Charleston—the small-pox-
of whose presence he bad been advised, and whose fearful
ravages he dreaded more than the weapons of any foe. Very
few of the colonists had ever had this terrible disorder. None
of their slaves were secure against it. It was a foe that
would haunt them to their hearthstones, seize upon their wives and little ones, which no fortress could wall out., and no rifle
shot bring down. When Mr. Sabine shall again endeavour
to draw air offensive -comparison between the patriotism of