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1780. Jn answer to their address, they were promised the pririleges and protection of British subjects, on subscribing a- test of their allegiance, and willingness to support the royal cause. Many of their fellow citizens soon followed their example of exchanging paroles for protections. Those who owned estates in the country, had no security i by capitulation for any property out of the lines, unless they became subjects. Such as declined doing it met with every discouragement. A numerous class of people were reduced to the alternative of starving or suing for protection. Traders and shopkeepers, after having contracted large debts, by purchasing of the British merchants who came with the conquering army, were precluded by lord Cornwallis's proclamation of July the 25th, from selling the goods they had purchased, unless they assumed the name and character of British subjects. Thus were multitudes pressed into a service, which they 'were ready to desert upon every occasion. But its triumphant state made the royalists, in both Carolinas, confident of British protection, and greatly increased them by accessions from those who alway side with the strongest. A large body of them collected under the command of col. Mbore in North Carolina, on the 2id . of June. The greatest part had taken the oath of allegiance to that state, and many had done militia duty in the American service. Their premature insurrection, contrary to lord Cornwallis's advice to his friends, which was so remain inactive till he had advanced into their settlements, subjected them to an immediate dispersion. Gen. Rutherford instantly marched against these insurgents, but was so short of lead that he could arm only 300 men. Col. Lock advanced with this detachment 8 twenty twenty-five miles ahead to observe them, while the main 1780. body halted for a supply of ammunition. The colonel, though greatly inferior in force, was reduced to the necessity of attacking or being attacked. He chose the former; and capt. Falls, with a party of horse, rushed into the middle of the royalists, and threw them into confusion. Twenty-two of the whig militia were killed or wounded: among the former were six of their officers, who were singled out by riflemen among the insurgents. The captain was one of the slain. Col. Moore proposed to col. Lock a cessation of all hostilities for an hour, which being agreed to, the former ran off with his whole party. Scarce was this insurrection quelled, ere another party of North Carolina royalists under cdl. Brian, marched down on the east side of the Yadkin, and joined the British army at Camden.
As the British advanced to the upper part of South Carolina, a considerable number of the determined friends of independence retreated before them, and took refuge in North Carolina. In this class was col. Sumpter, who formerly commanded a continental regiment, and was known to possess a great mare of bravery and other military talents. Soon after he had left his home, a British detachment turned his wife and samily out of doors, and burned his house and every thing in it. A party of South Carolina exiles, who had convened in North Carolina, made choice of him for a leader. At the head of this little band of patriots, he soon returned to his own state, and took the field against the victorious British, at a time when the inhabitants had generally abandoned the idea of supporting their own independence. Coh Sumpter had every difficulty to encounter. His
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1780. followers were in a great measure unfurnished with arms and ammunition, and had no magazines from which they could draw a supply. The iron tools on the neighbouring sarms, were worked up for their use by common blacksmiths ihto rude weapons of war. They supplied themselves with bullets, by melting the pewter with which they were furnished by private housekeepers. When the colonel at the head of these volunteers penetrated into his own state, and re-commenced a military opposition to the British, after it had been suspended about fix weeks; all the indignant passions of the royal officers were roused against the inhabitants. Without taking any share of the blame to themselves, for their mistaken policy in constraining men to an involuntary submission, they charged them with studied duplicity and treachery, and laid aside lenient measures for those that were dictated by revenge. They were further irritated, by a suspicion that the inhabitants connived at, if not sacilitated the escape of deserters who were become numerous. An apprehension of that kind wrought so
July upon lord Rawdon, that he threatened to punish either by whipping, imprisonment, or transportation to the West Indies there to serve his majesty, any person who should meet a soldier straggling without a written pass beyond the picquets, and not do his utmost to secure him; or who should shelter such straggling soldiers, serve them as a guide, or furnish them with any other assistance. To encourage the country people in putting a stop to desertions, he promised to give them ten guineas for the head of any deserter belonging to the volunteers of Ireland, and five guineas only if they brought him in alive; and a reward, though not to that amount,
for for such deserters as they might procure belonging to1J80any other regiment.
Colonel Sumpter having taken the field, a party of his corps, consisting of 133 men, engaged a detachment it. of the British troops, and a large body of tories, commanded by capt. Huck, in the upper parts of South Carolina. The royalists were posted in a lane, both ends of which were entered at the fame time by the Americans. They were speedily routed and dispersed. Col. Ferguson of the British militia, capt. Huck, and several others were killed. This was the first advantage gained over the royal forces since their landing in the beginning of the year. At the moment the attack was made, a number of women were on their knees vainly soliciting capt. Huck in behalf of their families and property. During his command, he in a very particular manner displayed his enmity to the presbyterians, by burning the library and dwelling-house of their clergyman, and all bibles containing the Scotch translation of the psalms, which is held in the highest veneration by the generality of the Scotch and Irish presbyterians, and their descendants, through the United States. These proceedings inspired the numerous devout people of the district with an unusual animation. They generally arranged themselves under col. Sumpter, and opposed the British with the enthusiasm of men called upon to defend, not only their civil liberties but their holy religion. The effects of this ardor were very sensibly felt, for the colonel was soon reinforced to the number of 600 men.
No sooner did gen. Gates hear of the commencement of Sir H. Clinton's operations to the southward, but he wrote in the beginning of March to Mr. Matthews, a
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»780. South Carolina delegate at congress,—" From the arrival of Sir H. Clinton and lord Cornwallis in the Savannah, and their landing the army upon the Carolina side of the river, it can be no longer doubted, that it has been resolved at St. James's, to remove the theatre of the war to the southern states." He then pointed out as the measures to be immediately taken—the sending all the troops raised west of the Delaware, instantly by the water route to James river, and marching them directly cross North Carolina to meet the enemy. Mr. Matthews received the letter on the 13th of March just as he was going to the house: when there, he stated the contents of it as a matter of information and not of opinion, with a view of attracting more effectually the attention of congress. He then took the liberty of proposing the plan of operations for the southern campaign agreeable to Gates's ideas. The proposal was not duly regarded; and it was not till afterward that the resolution was taken to fend forward the Maryland and Delaware lines. These amounted only to 1400 effective men. They marched from head quarters at Morris-town on the 16th of April, under the command of baron de Kalb, embarked at the Head of Elk in May, landed soon at Peterfburgh in Virginia, and from thence proceeded by land toward South Carolina. Virginia made great and effectual exertions to expedite their movements: but in North Carolina little or no preparations were made for supporting the troops or transporting their baggage. The baron was under the necessity of halting on Deep river the 6th of July, He received frequent assurances of support; but found no resources except in making frequent detachments for collecting provisions, which