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THE disasters which followed the American arms, after the

1 landing the British in Georgia, roused the South-Carolinians vigorously to oppose the extension of their conquests. By an almost unanimous voice they chose John Rutledge, esq. their governor ; and to him and his council was delegated, by the icgislature, power “to do every thing that appeared to hini and them necessary for the public good." In execution of this trust a body of militia were assembled, stationed at Orangeburgh, near the centre of the state, and kept in constant readiness to march whithersoever the public service required. The governor sent orders to gen. Williamson, and directed him to push parties into Georgia, and destroy all the cattle, horses, provisions and carriages they should meet with in that state. (April 16.) Gen. Lincoln, in a letter, remarked upon the order, as affecting alike the innocent and guilty, the aged and infirm, &c. and concluded with saying—"As nothing but a conviction that it is an indispensible duty, would have led me to the disagreeable task of making the above remarks, so I shall avoid at present any other, however my own feelings may have been hurt.” The order, if at all needful, should have gone from the continental general, whom congress had empowered to command in that department. He in a letter of the preceding day, wrote to the president of congress, “We liave lately exchanged some prisoners, those who have come out are in a most miserable condition, few of them fit for service. Their treatment on board the prison ships, and the measures adopted to oblige them to renounce their ailegiance to the United States, and engage them in the British service, have been cruel and unjustifiablc, many enlisted with them--mdny are dead--and others in a weak, dying state.”

{April 19.] A council of war was held at the general's headquarters at Black-swamp, when it was agreed -" That as the number of militia in camp, with those at gen. Williamson's camp, and 500 promised from Orangeburgh, and 700 from North-Carolina now in the state, amounted to 5000 men, they would collect the remainder near to Augusta (atter leaving 1000 here and at Purysburgh) and cross the Savannah, take some sirong ground in Georgia, prevent the enemy's receiving supplies from the back parts of the country, circumscribe them within narTow liinits, and prevent thcir junction with the unfriendly, and the savages, in Georgia and the back parts of this state.” The general began his march, [April 23.] leaving at Blackswamp and Purysburgh, the 5th and part of the 2d regiinent of South-Carolina, and about 800 militia under gen. Moultrie. When the Amcrican arniy was 160 miles up the Savannah gen. Prevost availed himself of that moment, and crossed over to Pus rysburgh with 2400 men; he had beside a considerable body of In. dians. The first night after entering Carolina, he made a forced march in hope of attacking Moultrie at Black-swamp, but was three hours too late. The latter had changed his quarters, and being joined by col. M’Intosh's party, which had made a timely: retreat form Purysburgh, took post at Tullyfinny bridge, to prevent the further incursion of the British, and to keep between them and Charleston. Gen. Lincoln, on information of these movements, [Mav 1.) iminediately detached 300 chosen continental troops to reinforce Moultrie, lest he should be mistaken in his idea, that Prevost only intended a feint to divert him from his general plan'; in pursuit of which he crossed the Savannala. near Augusta, and marched for three days down the country toward the capital of Georgia. But being informed by Moultrie's letters of the 4th and 5th, that his number of men was greatly. diminished by the desertion of the militia, and that he was obliged to retire before the enemy, Lincoln re-crossed the river and country, as fast as possible, to come up with Prevost. Moultric. had no cavalry to check the advancing foe; who met with scarce., any other interruption in their march, thạn the destruction of all. the bridges by the retreating Americans. The absence of the main army under Lincoln, the retreat of Moultrie, the plundering and devastations of the invaders, and above all the dread of the royal auxiliaries, the Indians, diffused a general panic a-, mong the inhabitants and induced many to apply to the Britisha for protection. The facility with which their army proceeded through the country, added to the repeated suggestions of the . friends, to royal governmcat, wlio positively assured Prevost, that Charleston would certainly surrender at his approach, in duced him to change his original plan, and push for that place. ! Had he designed it at first and continued his march with the same rapidity he began it, he would probably have carried the -town by a coup-de-main ; but he halted two or three days; when : advanced more than half the distance. In this interval the licuta governor and the council made the greatest exertions to fortify; it on the land side. All the houses in the suburbs were burnt. Lines and abbatis were in a few days carried from Ashley to Cooper rivers.' Cannon were mounted at proper intervals. across the whole extent of Charleston neck. The militia of.


the vicinity were summoned to the defence of the place; and they generally obeyed. General Moultrie's retreating army, governor Rutledge's militia from Orangeburgh, and the detachment of chosen continental troops under colonel Harris, whiclı marched near forty miles a day for four days successively, all reached Charleston on the 9th and 10th of May. - [May 11.] Nine hundred of the British army, their main body and baggage being left on the south side of Ashley river, crossed the ferry, and soon appeared before the town. The same day count Pulaski's legionary corps of infantry crossed Cooper river to Charleston. They had scarcely arrived two hours when he led 80 of them out of the lines, and stationed then in a valley behind a small breast-work, with the view of drawing the British into an ambuscade. He advanced a mile beyond his infantry, and joined a party of regular horse and mounted militia volunteérs, and with that force engaged the British cavaly for a while, and then retreated to his infantry, who from an eagerness to engage had quitted their breast-work, and so rendered abortive the advantages of the intended nbuscade, and were by superior numbers compelled to retreat. Pulaski, Irowerci, by discovering the greatest intrepidity, and by successful personal rencounters with individuals of the British cavalry, had a considerable influence in dispelling the general panic, and in introducing military sentiments into the minds of the citizens. Major Huger, a distinguished officer, while commanding a party without the lines, was killed at night, through inistake, by his countrymen. That the town might not be carried by surprise or a sudden assault, tar barrels wcre lighted up in front of the works. Its defence rested on the exertions of 3300 men, the greater part of wliom were militia, wholly unacquainted with military operations. General Lincoln was inarching with all expeditions for its relief, but his timely arrival was dubious, and the crisis extremely hazardous; a proposition was therefore made by the civil authority to gen. Prevost--" That South-Carolina would remain in a state of neutrality till the close of the war, and then follow the fate of its neighbors, on condition the royal army would withdraw.” The British commander rejected this advantageous offer, alledging that he did not come in a legislative capacity; and insisted, " that as the garrison was in arms, they should surrender prisoners of war." Upon this they prepared for sustaining an immediate assault, but Prevost, fcaring the consequences, declined inaking it. Some days after, he took an express coming from Lincoln ; upon reading it, and discovering the movements and intentions of the latter, he cried out aloud, that he expected to be between two tires, and precipitately' quitted his ground, re-crossed Ashley river, and to avoid Lin: coln's army, now in his rear, filed off from the main land to the island on the sea-coast. Both armies encamped within 30 miles of Charleston, watching each other's motions till the 20th out June, when a part of the British army entrenched at Stono ferrv, was attacked. By a pre-concerted plan, a feint was to have been made from James-Island, with a body of militia froin Charleston, at the moment when gen. Lincoln began the attack from the main ; but from mismanagement they did not react their place of destination till several hours after the action. The American army consisted of about 1200 men, only half conti. nentals, who were posted on the left, while the North and SouthCarolina militia occupied the right. Col. Malmedy led a corps of light-infantry on the right, and lieut. col. Henderson on the Icft. The Virginia militia and the cavalry formed a corps of re: serve. The British force consisted of 6 or 700 men. They had redoubts, with a line of communication, and field-pices ad. vantageously posted in the intervals, and the whole secured with an abatis. That they might be harassed, or luiled into security, they were alarmed by small parties for several nights preceding the action. When the attack was made, two companies of the 71st regiment sallied out to support the pickets. Henderson ordered his fight-infantry to charge them, on which they in, stantly retreated; only nine of them got safe within their lines. All the men at the British field-pieces between their redoubts, were either killed or wounded. The attack was continued for an hour and twenty minutes, and the assailants had inanifestly the advantage; but the appearance of a reinforcement, to prevent which the feint from James-Island was intended, made a retreat necessary. The whole garrison sullied out on the Ame. rica05; their light troops, however, so effectually retarded the Eritish, that they not only retreated with regularity, but brought off their wounded with safety. Lincoln lost in killed and wounded, 146, beside 155 missing. This attack accelerated the retreat of the enemy, who wich great assiduity and fatigue, passed over from island to island, until they arrived at Beaufort, from whence they had an open and free communication with Georgia by water, whither most of them went, leaving a sufficient garrison under colonel Maitland. ..

This incursion into South Carolina added much to the wealth of the officers, soldier's and followers of the camp, and still more to the distresses of the inhabitants. The negroes, ailured with hopes of freedom, repaired in great numbers to the royal army; and to recommend themselves to their new master's, discovered where their owners had concealed their property,

It is supposed that the British carried out of the state about 3000 slaves, many of whoin were shipped off and sold in the WestIndies; but the inhabitants lost upward of 4000, each worth, on an average, about fifty-six pounds sterling. Several hundreds of them died of the camp fever; and numbers laboring under diseases and afraid to return home, perished in the woods. The royal armiy also plundered the planters of several rice barrels full of plate. They spread over a considerable extent of country, and small parties visited every house, stripping it of whatever was most valuable, and rifling the inhabitants of their money, rings, jewels and other personat ornaments; and yet what was destroyed by the soldiers was supposed to be of more value than what they carried off. The devastations committed by them were so enormous, as that a particular relation of them would scarcely be credited by people at a distance, though the sane would be attested by hundreds of eye-witnesses. it will be nearly as difficult to credit another species of depredation whicir certain Americans have committed upon general Washington's property. His debtors have been discharging in paper currency (at the rate of a shilling in the pound, through the depreciation) bonds which ought to have been paid him, and would have been realized before he left Virginia, but for his indulgence. Seven thousand pounds sterling would not compensate the losses he might have avoided by remaining at home and attending a little to his own concerns. Alas! what is virtue come to! What a miserable change has four years produced in the temper and disposition of many of the sons of America ! It almost surpasses belief. · Sir Henry Clinton dispatched Sir George Collier and general Matthews, with about 2000 men, beside 500 marines, to inake a descent upon Virginia. They sailed for Portsmouth, and upon their arrival landed the troops at a distance; then marched and took immediate possession of the town [May 10.) which was defenceless. The remains of Norfolk, on the opposite side of the river, fell of course into their hands. On the approach of the fleet and army the Americans burnt several vessels; others were saved and possessed by the British. The guards were pushed forward 18 milcs by night, to Suffolk, where they arrived by daylight, and proceeded to destroy a magazine of provisions, together with the vessels and naval stores found there. A similar destruction was carried on at Kemp's landing, Gosport, Tanner's Creek, and other places in that quarter; nor were the frigates and armed vesseis less active or successful in their service. Within the fortnight that the fieet and arıny continued upon the coast, the loss of the Americans was prodigious. Above 130 vessels of all sorts, ine VOL. II.

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