Wlliam Gilmore Simms
South-Carolina in the Revolutionary War >> III. >> Page 173

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Page 173

Reviews/Essays | Walker & James, Publishers | 1853
numbers of expresses, and was a work of time. Once ap-
prised of the necessity, the forest-born and bred naturally
revolted at the idea of being tasked to go to the defence of
a place in which he was to be cooped up by an enemy, and
which is naturally sickly probably to exchange this abode
for a worse, in the gloomy dungeons of a prison-ship. But
when he surmounts these objections, he is to remember the
condition of his wife and little ones. Shall he leave them to
the tender mercies of the savage, within sight of whose
smoke he lives, or to the doubtful humanity of the outlaw
and the plunderer, who calls himself a loyalist only that he
may the better pursue his nefarious occupation. He would
be less than human himself could he leave them in such
dangerous proximity, without the usual protection of his own
and the rifle of his neighbours. They, too, are summoned
away like himself; and he demands and insists that before
he obeys the summons to the distant city, he shall first put
his young ones and their dam in a place of safety. He
hurries with them across the mountains into North-Carolina
and Virginia, and then reappears with his trusty rifle. This
occasions delay. Hundreds thus, who seemed indifferent to
the fate of Charleston, yet reappeared under patriotic leaders,
and, with competent captains, like Marion, Sumter, Pickens,
Davie, and others, in whom they confided, maintained such
conflicts as Connecticut had not seen for many a day.
It must be admitted that our forest population are dilatory
in their movements. All agricultural people are of this
character. They differ from the citizens, from those who
dwell in active business communities, in respects that derive
heir controlling influence from inevitable laws of nature
While the merchant has to watch all the fluctuations and
caprices of trade, and the manufacturer all the variations of
fashion in the community, to agriculturist obeys only the