Lossing's Field Book of the Revolution, Vol. II., Chapter XXI.







Charleston after the Invasion. – Condition of South Carolina. – Arrival of a British Armament. – Tardiness of the Militia. – Clinton’s Mistake. – Charleston Strengthened. – Spaniards in Florida. – Whipple’s Flotilla. – Passage of the Ashley by the British. – British Fleet in the Harbor. – Advance of Clinton. – Attack upon Charleston. – Surprise of Huger. – Arrival of Cornwallis. – Proposed Surrender rejected. – Continuance of the Siege. – Perils in the City. – Cessation of Hostilities. – Capitulation and Surrender. – Cruel Proclamation. – The French Fleet. – Effect of Clinton’s Proclamation. – Patriots sent to St. Augustine. – Sufferings at Haddrell’s Point. – Approach of Gates. – Marion at Charleston. – Formation of his Brigade. – His first Expeditions. – Marion and Wemyss. – Retreat of the latter. – Defeat of Colonel Tyne. – Skirmish near Georgetown. – Marion and Lee’s Expedition against Georgetown. – Its Failure. – Snow’s Island. – Harden’s Exploits. – The Postelles. – Marion’s Cavalry. – Conflicts with Watson. – Destruction of Marion’s Camp. – Capture of Georgetown. – Attack on British Posts near Charleston. – Battle at Quimby’s Creek Bridge. – Severe Battle above Quimby’s Creek Bridge. – Public Services and Execution of Colonel Hayne. – Skirmish at Parker’s Ferry. – Retreat of the British from Eutaw. – Attack on British Posts near Charleston. – Re-establishment of Civil Government. – Change in public Sentiment. – Waning of British power. – Mutiny. – Operations of a Spy. – War declared ended by Parliament. – Abduction of Governor Burke. – British attempts to collect Provisions. – Vigilance of Greene. – Skirmishes on the Combahee. – Death of Laurens. – Last Blood shed in the Revolution. – Evacuation of Charleston. – Revolutionary Localities near. – Destruction of the "Council Tree." – Departure from Charleston. – Wilmington. – British Occupation there. – Craig at Wilmington. – His Flight. – Journey Homeward. – Arrival in New York.


The season of repose enjoyed by Charleston after the invasion of Prevost was brief. When the hot summer months had passed away, both parties commenced preparations for a vigorous autumn campaign – the British to maintain their position and extend their conquests, if possible; the Americans to drive the invaders from the Southern States, or, at least, to confine them to the sea-ports of Savannah and St. Augustine. The fall of Savannah was a disastrous event. It was the initial step in those strides of power which the royal army made a few months later, when Charleston fell, when the patriot army of the South was crushed, and when the civil institutions of South Carolina and Georgia, established by the Republicans, were prostrated at the feet of the conquerors.

During the winter preceding the siege of Charleston, Lincoln’s army had dwindled to a handful, chiefly on account of the termination of the enlistments, and the hesitation of the militia when called to service, because of the defeat at Savannah and the apparent hopelessness of further resistance. The prison-ships at Savannah were crowded with the captives of the Georgia regiments, and the heel of British power, planted firmly upon the patriots of that state, made the Loyalists bold and active. All along the Southern frontier of South Carolina the voice of rebellion was subdued to a whisper, and a fearful cloud of hostile savages, gathered by the emissaries of the crown, frowned sullenly and threatening upon her western borders; while within her bosom, bands of unprincipled Tories, encouraged by others more respectable but passive, were endeavoring, by menaces and promises, to sap the foundation of Republican strength. Such was the condition of South Carolina when a British fleet, under Admiral Arbuthnot, bearing five thousand land troops, commanded by Sir Henry Clinton, 1 appeared off Edisto Inlet, within thirty miles of Charleston, toward the close of the winter of 1780 [Feb. 11, 1780.]. They came to subjugate the whole South, the chief feature in the programme of operations for that year.


From an English Print.

The Assembly of South Carolina was in session when the enemy appeared. Governor Rutledge was immediately clothed with the powers of supreme dictator, and with judgment and vigor he exercised them for the defense of the capital. Yet he did not accomplish much, for the militia were tardy in obeying his call to hasten to the city. If Clinton had marched directly upon Charleston when he landed his troops upon John’s Island, he might have conquered it within a week after his debarkation. 2 More cautious than wise, he formed a depôt at Wappoo, on James’s Island, and tarried more than a month in preparations for a siege.

General Lincoln was in Charleston with about fourteen hundred troops, a large portion of them North Carolina levies, whose term of service was almost expired. The finances of the state were in a wretched condition. The paper money was so rapidly diminishing, that it required seven hundred dollars to purchase a pair of shoes; and in every department, civil and military, the patriots were exceedingly weak. Lincoln’s first impulse was to evacuate the city, retire to the upper country, collect a sufficient army, and then return and drive the invaders from it. The tardy plans of Clinton changed Lincoln’s views. Hoping for re-enforcements, then daily expected, and also aid from the Spanish West Indies, 3 he resolved to maintain a siege. His first care was to strengthen the works upon Charleston Neck, cast up the previous year when Prevost menaced the town. Rutledge ordered three hundred negroes to be brought from the neighboring plantations to work upon the fortifications, and within a few days cannons and mortars were mounted; a trench, filled with water, stretched across the Neck from the Ashley to the Cooper, and two rows of abatis protected the whole. Fort Moultrie, the redoubts at Haddrell’s Point and Hobcaw, the works at South Bay, Hospital Point, and all along the city front, were strengthened and manned. 4 Charles Cotesworth Pinckney 5 was placed in command of the garrison at Fort Moultrie. Captain Daniel Horry was sent to Ashley Ferry to watch the approach of the enemy, and General Moultrie went southward to gather the militia, direct the movements of the cavalry, and annoy the enemy on his approach.

The little flotilla of Commodore Whipple, then in the harbor, was ordered to oppose the passage of the British fleet over the bar, but his vessels were small and thinly manned, and little reliance was placed upon them. The inhabitants viewed the gathering dangers with increasing alarm. Knowing the weakness of Lincoln’s army, and desirous of saving it, as their only hope for the future, the citizens advised an evacuation before it should be too late. Lincoln, hourly expecting re-enforcements, was hopeful, and expressing a belief that he might maintain a siege, or leave at a future time, if necessary, he resolved to remain, at the same time taking measures for keeping open a communication with the country toward the Santee.

On the twenty-eighth of March the royal army crossed the Stono, marched to the Ashley, at Old Town (the site of ancient Charleston), and there crossed that stream toward evening. They had strengthened Fort Johnson, cast up intrenchments along the Ashley to confront those of the Americans upon the opposite shore, and galleys were in motion to enter the harbor and anchor in the Ashley. The army moved slowly down the Neck, and on Sunday morning, the first of April, broke ground within eleven hundred yards of the American works, then defended by about eighty cannons and mortars. They were annoyed all the way by a party of light horsemen under Lieutenant-colonel John Laurens, and lost between twenty and thirty men in the skirmishes.

Admiral Arbuthnot entered the harbor on the twentieth of March with his smaller vessels and transports, and drove Whipple with his little fleet from Five Fathom Hole to the immediate vicinity of the town. On the ninth of April he left his anchorage, and, though exposed to an enfilading fire from Fort Moultrie, 6 halted under the guns of Fort Johnson, within cannon shot of the town. Pinckney hoped that Whipple would retard the British vessels, and allow him to batter them, as Moultrie did four years before; but the commodore, with prudent caution, retreated to the mouth of the Cooper River, and sunk most of his own and some merchant vessels between the town and Shute’s Folly (marked boom on the opposite map), and thus formed an effectual bar to the passage of British vessels up the channel to rake the American works upon the Neck. Clinton advanced to Hamstead Hill on the fifth [April, 1780.], and in the face of a sharp fire erected a battery and mounted twelve cannons upon it. He now demanded an immediate surrender of the town and garrison. Brigadier Woodford had just arrived with seven hundred Virginians, and reported others on their way. The citizens urged Lincoln to maintain a siege, for rumors had come that large numbers were pressing forward from the North to the relief of the city. Thus strengthened by fresh troops 7 and public opinion, Lincoln assured the besiegers that he should continue his defense until the last extremity. Forty-eight hours elapsed, when Clinton opened his batteries upon the town and fortifications, and a terrible cannonade from both parties was kept up from that time until the twentieth.

When the British were about to open their batteries, Governor Rutledge, leaving the civil power in the hands of his lieutenant, Gadsden, went into the country, between the Cooper and Santee Rivers, to arouse the militia and keep a communication open with the town in that direction. Lincoln sent his cavalry (about three hundred men), with General Isaac Huger in command, to watch the country in the vicinity of the head waters of the Cooper River. Led through the woods by a negro, Tarleton, with his legion cavalry, fell upon Huger at Biggin Bridge, near Monk’s Corner, at dawn on the fourteenth of April, and scattered his troops, who were unsuspicious of danger. Twenty-five Americans were killed; the remainder fled to the swamps. Tarleton secured almost three hundred horses, and then scouring the country between the Cooper and Wando, returned in triumph to the British camp.

Four days after the surprise of Huger [April 18, 1780.], Cornwallis arrived at Charleston with three thousand troops from New York. Thus strengthened, Clinton enlarged the area of his operations. Detachments were sent into the country, and drove the Americans back. Governor Rutledge was compelled to flee higher up the Santee; Haddrell’s Point was taken possession of and fortified; supplies from the surrounding country were cut off, and every avenue for escape seemed closed. Lincoln called a council of war [April 21.], and an attempted retreat to the open country was proposed. The inhabitants objected, because they feared the invading army was too exasperated by the obstinate defense already made, to spare them in person and property. With rapine and pillage before them, they implored Lincoln to remain. Terms of capitulation, which allowed the army to withdraw to the interior, and the property of the citizens to be undisturbed, were agreed upon and proposed to Clinton. Clinton would not acquiesce, and the terrible work of siege went on. The Americans made but one sortie, and that did not seriously damage the British or impede their progress, 8 and on the sixth of May 9 the besiegers completed their third parallel, and in the face of a heavy fire raised redoubts nearer and nearer the American lines. 10


Now fully prepared to storm the town by sea and land, Clinton and Arbuthnot again demanded a surrender. The situation of the Americans was deplorable. The garrison consisted of less than three thousand men, a large portion of them raw militia; provisions of all kinds were becoming scarce, and the Loyalists in the city were fomenting disaffection among the distressed inhabitants. The engineers asserted that the lines could not be defended ten days longer, and that they might be carried by assault in ten minutes. Bombs and carcasses were falling in every part of the city with destructive effect, killing women and children, and setting houses on fire; and the town militia, in utter despair, had thrown down their arms. Further resistance seemed foolish and inhuman, for success was hardly possible, and lives and property were hourly sacrificed. The citizens, appalled by the destructive agencies at work around them, worn out by want of sleep and anxiety, and coveting any condition other than the one they were enduring, now expressed their willingness to treat for a surrender. A flag was sent out, and Clinton’s ultimatum was received. He demanded the surrender of the garrison and the citizens as prisoners of war, with all the forts and other works, and their appliances, together with the shipping that remained in the harbor. He would promise nothing except that the town property of those within the lines should remain unmolested, and that all prisoners should be paroled. A truce until the next day [May 9, 1780.] was asked by the besieged, and was allowed, when Lincoln again refused compliance with Clinton’s demands. At eight o’clock in the evening the firing commenced again. It was a fearful night in Charleston. The thunder of two hundred cannons shook the city like the power of an earthquake, and the moon, then near its full, with the bright stars, was hidden by the lurid smoke. Shells were seen coursing in all directions, some bursting in mid air, others falling upon houses and in the streets, and in five different places the flames of burning buildings simultaneously shot up from the depths of the city. "It appeared," says Moultrie, alluding to the bomb-shells, "as if the stars were tumbling down. The fire was incessant almost the whole night; cannon-balls whizzing and shells hissing continually among us; ammunition chests and temporary magazines blowing up; great guns bursting, and wounded men groaning along the lines; it was a dreadful night!" The cannonade was continued all the next day and part of the night, and many Americans were killed by the passage of balls through the embrasures of their batteries. Sand-bags were freely used for protection, but these were swept away, until at several points the besieged were obliged to abandon their works and withdraw. Arbuthnot now prepared to bombard the town from the water, and the batteries at Fort Johnson and at Wappoo hurled round shot into the streets. 11

At two o’clock on the morning of the eleventh [May, 1780.], Lieutenant-governor Gadsden, the council, and many leading citizens, requested Lincoln to signify his agreement to Clinton’s proposed terms of surrender, if better could not be obtained. A signal was given, the firing ceased, and before dawn all the guns were quiet. Articles of capitulation were agreed to, and signed by the respective commanders, and by Christopher Gadsden in behalf of the citizens. 12 Between eleven and twelve o’clock on the twelfth of May, the Continental troops marched out with the Turk’s march, and laid down their arms, after a gallant and desperate defense of about forty days. General Leslie immediately marched in and took possession of the town.

Great skill and courage were brought to bear upon the patriots during the siege, and never was a defense more obstinate and heroic, and yet it was not a bloody one. The loss on both sides in killed and wounded was nearly equal; that of the Americans, exclusive of the inhabitants of the town not bearing arms, was ninety-two killed, and one hundred and forty-eight wounded. The British lost seventy-six killed, and one hundred and eighty nine wounded. The number of prisoners, including the inhabitants of the town, was between five and six thousand. About four hundred cannons were a part of the spoils of victory. Thirty houses were destroyed during the siege. 13

The fall of Charleston, and loss of Lincoln’s army, paralyzed the Republican strength at the South, and the British commanders confidently believed that the finishing-stroke of the war had been given. Lincoln suffered the infliction of unsparing censure, because he allowed himself to be thus shut up in a town; but had he repulsed the enemy, or the siege been raised, as at one time contemplated, 14 the skill and wisdom of his course would have exceeded all praise.

Sir Henry Clinton now proceeded to re-establish the civil power of Great Britain in South Carolina. In proclamations, he made many promises of benefits to the obedient, and menaced the refractory with the miseries of confiscation of property and personal punishments. Finally, he offered pardon [June 1, 1780.] to all who should submit and crave it, and promised political franchises such as the people had never enjoyed. Lured by these promises, the timid and lukewarm flocked to Charleston, took protection, and many entered the military service of the king. Two hundred and ten influential citizens in Charleston agreed to an address of congratulation on the restoration of order and the ancient bond of union between the province and Great Britain. This movement, with the hasty retreat northward of troops marching to the relief of Charleston, and the destruction of Buford’s command (see page 458) on the Waxhaw, almost effaced every lineament of resistance in the South. As we have seen, garrison’s were posted in the interior, and the voice of rebellion was hushed.

Clinton and Arbuthnot sailed for New York on the fifth of June, leaving Cornwallis in chief command of the British troops at the South. Before his departure, Clinton issued a proclamation, declaring all persons not in the military service, who were made prisoners at Charleston, released from their paroles, provided they returned to their allegiance as subjects of Great Britain. So far, well; but not the sequel. All persons refusing to comply with this requisition were declared to be enemies and rebels, and were to be treated accordingly. And more; they were required to enroll themselves as militia under the king’s standard. This flagrant violation of the terms of capitulation aroused a spirit of indignant defiance, which proved a powerful lever in overturning the royal power in the South. Many considered themselves released from all the obligations of their paroles, and immediately armed themselves in defense of their homes and country, while others refused to exchange their paroles, for any new conditions. The silent influence of eminent citizens who took this course was now perceived by Cornwallis, and, in further violation of the conditions of capitulation, he sent many leading men of Charleston as close prisoners to St. Augustine [Aug. 27, 1780.], 15 while a large number of the Continental soldiers were cast into the loathsome prison-ships, and other vessels in the harbor. There they suffered all the horrors of confined air, bad food, filth, and disease. It was to these that the mother of President Jackson came, as an angel of mercy, with materials of alleviation for the sufferers. But the camp and typhoid fevers, and dysentery, swept off hundreds before the cruel hand of the oppressor relinquished its grasp. Maddened by torture, and almost heart-broken on account of the sufferings of their families, more than five hundred of the soldiers who capitulated at Charleston agreed to enroll themselves as royal militia, as the least of two present evils, and were sent to do service in the British army in Jamaica. Of nineteen hundred prisoners surrendered at Charleston, and several hundreds more taken at Camden and Fishing Creek, only seven hundred and forty were restored to the service of their country. 16

A brief lull in the storm of party strife and warring legions in South Carolina succeeded the blow which smote down Republicanism; but when the trumpet-blasts of the conqueror of Burgoyne were heard upon the Roanoke, and the brave hearts of Virginia and North Carolina were gathering around the standard of Gates, the patriots of the South lifted up their heads, and many of them, like Samson rising in strength, broke the feeble cords of "paroles" and "protections," and smote the Philistines of the crown with mighty energy. Sumter sounded the bugle among the hills on the Catawba and Broad Rivers; Marion’s shrill whistle rang amid the swamps on the Pedee; and Pickens and Clarke called forth the brave sons of liberty upon the banks of the Saluda, the Savannah, the Ogeechee, and the Alatamaha. The noble deeds of these partisans; the efforts and defeat of Gates; the successes of Greene and Morgan; and the brilliant achievements of "Legion Harry Lee," the strong right arm of the Southern army in the campaigns of 1781, we have considered in former chapters. Let us here, from this commanding point of view, note those daring exploits of Marion and his men not already considered, and also of their brave compatriots in their warfare in the vicinity of the sea-coast.

Marion was elected a captain in Moultrie’s second South Carolina regiment, and, with his friend Peter Horry, received his commission on the twentieth of June, 1775. These young officers, in new uniforms and helmet-shaped leather caps, decorated with silver crescents inscribed "Liberty or Death!" went out immediately upon the recruiting service on the Black River and the Pedee, and every where excited the enthusiasm of the people. Brave young patriots flocked around them, and in Fort Sullivan, when its cannons shattered the fleet of Sir Peter Parker in 1776, these stout hearts and hands received their first practical lessons in defensive warfare. Already, as we have seen (page 545), they had been efficient in capturing Fort Johnson, on James’s Island [Sept. 14, 1775.], but here they participated in the severer duties of vigorous conflict.

Fortunately for the Republican cause, an accident 17 prevented Marion being among the prisoners when Charleston fell, and he was yet at liberty, having no parole to violate, to arouse his countrymen to make further efforts against the invaders. While yet unable to be active, he took refuge in the swamps upon the Black River, while Governor Rutledge, Colonel Horry, and others, who had escaped the disasters at Charleston, were in North Carolina arousing the people of that state to meet the danger which stood menacing upon its southern border. Marion’s military genius and great bravery were known to friends and foes, and while the latter sought to entrap him, the former held over him the shield of their vigilance. "In the moment of alarm he was sped from house to house, from tree to thicket, from the thicket to the swamp." 18 As soon as he was able, he collected a few friends and started for North Carolina to join the Baron De Kalb, then marching southward with a small Continental army. On the way, he was joined by his old friend Horry and a few of his neighbors, and these formed the "ragged regiment" who appeared before General Gates, the successor of De Kalb, mentioned on page 479. It was while in the camp of Gates that Governor Rutledge, who also was there, commissioned Marion a brigadier, and he sped to the district of Williamsburg, between the Santee and Pedee, to lead its rising patriots to the field of active military duties. They had accepted the protection of British power after Charleston was surrendered, in common with their subdued brethren of the low country; but when Clinton’s proclamation was promulgated, making active service for the crown or the penalty for rebellion an alternative, they eagerly chose the latter, and lifted the strong arm of resistance to tyranny. They called Marion to be their leader, and of these men he formed his efficient brigade, the terror of British scouts and outposts. Near the mouth of Lynch’s Creek he assumed the command, and among the interminable swamps upon Snow’s Island, near the junction of that stream with the Great Pedee, he made his chief rendezvous during a greater portion of his independent partisan warfare.

Marion’s first expedition after taking command was against a large body of Tories, under Major Gainey, an active British officer, who were encamped upon Britton’s Neck, between the Great and Little Pedee. He dispersed the whole party without losing a man [August, 1780.]. Flushed with victory, Marion was again in motion within twenty-four hours. Informed that Captain Barfield and some Tories were encamped a few miles distant, he sped thither, fell upon and scattered them to the winds. These two victories inspired his followers with the greatest confidence in their commander and reliance upon themselves. These sentiments, acted upon with faithfulness, formed a prime element of that success which distinguished Marion’s brigade.

Marion now sent Colonel Peter Horry, with a part of his brigade, to scour the country between the Santee and Pedee, while with the remainder of his command he proceeded to attack the British post near Nelson’s Ferry, an event which we have considered on page 500 {original text has "705".}. Striking his blows in quick succession, and at remote points, Marion excited the alarm of the British commander-in-chief, and he ordered Tarleton to endeavor to entrap and crush the "Swamp Fox." Colonel Wemyss, whom Sumter afterward defeated on the Broad River, was first sent after him with a strong force. With untiring industry he followed Marion in the direction of the Black River, and often fell upon his trail. But the wary patriot never suffered himself to be surprised, nor allowed his men to fight when almost certain destruction appeared inevitable. Wemyss was too strong for Marion, so the latter fled before him, and with sixty trusty followers he thridded his way through interminable swamps and across deep streams into North Carolina. It was a grievous necessity, for it left Williamsburg District, the hot-bed of rebellion, exposed to the fury of the pursuers. Marion first halted on Drowning Creek [August 30, 1780.]; then pushing further on, he encamped near Lake Waccamaw, whence he sent back scouts to procure intelligence. Soon, he was swiftly retracing his steps, for Wemyss had relinquished pursuit, and had retired to Georgetown, leaving the sad marks of his desolating march over a space of seventy miles in length and fifteen in breadth. The injured inhabitants hailed Marion’s return with joy, and his little army, seldom exceeding sixty men, soon had the appearance of a brigade. They were desperate men. Cruel wrongs gave strength to their arms, fleetness to their feet, power to their wills, and with joy they followed Marion toward the Black Mingo, fifteen miles below Georgetown, where a body of Tories were encamped. They fell upon them in two divisions, at midnight. An obstinate resistance was made, but the patriots were victorious. Marion lost but one man killed; the enemy were almost annihilated. This victory dispirited the Tories throughout the low country, and for some time Marion’s brigade enjoyed needful repose upon the banks of the Santee, except during a brief period when Tarleton, who succeeded Wemyss in attempts to smite Marion, came in pursuit. He scoured the country southward from Camden, between the Santee and the Black Rivers, in search of the partisan, and, like Wemyss, spread desolation in his path. Tarleton exerted his utmost skill and energy, but could never overtake the vigilant Marion. Sometimes he would be within a few miles of him, and feel sure of securing him before to-morrow’s sun, when at the same moment Marion would be watching the movements of the Briton from some dark nook of a morass, and at midnight would strike his rear or flank with a keen and terrible blow.

In October, Marion proceeded toward Lynch’s Creek to chastise Harrison, the lieutenant of Wemyss, who was encamped there with a considerable body of Tories. On his way toward Williamsburg, he fell upon Colonel Tyne, who, with two hundred Tories, was encamped at Tarcote Swamp, on the forks of Black River, in fancied security. It was midnight when he struck the blow [Oct. 25, 1780.]. While some slept, others were eating and drinking; a few were playing cards; but none were watching. The surprise was complete. Some were slain, twenty-three were made prisoners, but a large portion escaped to Tarcote Swamp, from which some soon appeared and joined the ranks of the victor, upon the High Hills of the Santee, where he encamped a short time after the action. Marion did not lose a man.

Informed that Harrison had moved from Lynch’s Creek, Marion collected some new recruits, and with his bold followers pushed forward to assail the British post at Georgetown, where only he could procure what he now most needed, namely, salt, clothing, and powder. He knew a surprise would be difficult, and an open assault dangerous. He chose the former method, but when he approached, the garrison was on the alert. A severe skirmish ensued within a short distance of the town, and Marion, discomfited, retired to Snow’s Island, where he fixed his camp and secured it by such works of art as the absence of natural defenses required. In this skirmish, Gabriel Marion, a nephew of the general, was made a prisoner, and murdered on the spot. After that, "No quarter for Tories!" was the battle cry of Marion’s men.

From Snow’s Island 19 Marion sent out his scouts in every direction, and there he planned some of his boldest expeditions. Re-enforcements came, and at the close of 1780, Marion felt strong enough to confront any British detachment then abroad from head-quarters.

While Greene’s army was approaching the Pedee early in 1781, Marion was very active abroad from his camp, at which he always left a sufficient garrison for its defense. Here and there he was smiting detachments of the British army; and when Lee, who had been sent by Greene to join him with a part of his legion, sought for Marion, it was with great difficulty that he could be found, for his rapid marches were in the midst of vast swamps. As soon as the junction was consummated [January, 1781.], these brave partisans planned an expedition against the British post at Georgetown, then garrisoned by two hundred men. Although the British works were strong, and our partisans had no cannons, they felt confident of the success of their plan, which was to attack the town and fortifications at two separate points. One division went down the Pedee in boats, the other proceeded cautiously by land. The attack was made at midnight, but nothing was effected beyond the capture of Campbell (the commandant) and a few privates, and slaying some stragglers from the garrison, who could not escape to the stockade. Yet the enterprise was not fruitless of good to the patriot cause. The audacity of the attempt had a powerful effect upon the minds of the British officers at the South, and the contemplated movement of a large portion of their forces from the sea-board to the interior, was abandoned. Thus was begun a series of movements to keep Cornwallis from Virginia until a sufficient force could be collected in Carolina to oppose him, which was the object of earnest efforts on the part of Greene.

After resting a few hours, Marion and Lee moved rapidly up the north bank of the Santee, toward Nelson’s Ferry, to surprise Colonel Watson, who had taken post there. That officer, informed of his approach, placed a small garrison in Fort Watson, five miles above, and with the remainder of his force hastened on toward Camden. At this time Greene was commencing his famous retreat, and summoned Huger and his troops at Cheraw, and Lee with his whole legion, to meet him at Guilford. The events which ensued in that quarter have been detailed in preceding chapters. 20

The departure of Lee, with his legion, greatly weakened Marion’s force. Yet he was not less active than before, and his enterprises were generally more important and successful. He sent out small detachments to beat up Tory camps and recruiting stations, where ever they might be found. His subordinates caught his spirit and imitated his example, and were generally successful. The brothers Captain and Major Postelle greatly annoyed the British and Tories beyond the Santee, in the direction of Charleston, early in 1781. Like Marion, his subordinates never lingered upon the arena of victory to be surprised, but, when a blow was struck, they hastened away to other fields of conflict. The great partisan never encumbered himself with prisoners – he always paroled them.

Toward the last of January [1781.], we find the blacksmiths of Kingstree forging saws into rough broadswords for a corps of cavalry which Marion placed in command of Colonel Peter Horry. In February, Horry is observed eastward of the Pedee battling with Tories and British regulars. Soon afterward he is engaged in a bloody conflict of eight hours, near Georgetown, slaying almost one half of his adversaries, and winning the victory. Every where the name of Marion was feared, and the presence of his men was dreaded by the opponents of the patriot cause.

In the spring of 1781, Colonel Watson was sent with a select corps of five hundred men to attempt the destruction of Marion’s brigade. He moved with caution, evidently afraid of the partisan, for he was then striking successful blows at different points, in rapid succession, and appeared to be possessed of ubiquitous powers. 21 Marion observed him, and concentrated his force on Snow’s Island, whence he sallied forth as occasion required. He sped with rapid foot to the path of Watson’s approach, and at Wiboo Swamp, nearly opposite the present Santee Canal, he confronted him. The advanced guards of Marion and Watson (the former under Horry, the latter under Richboo, a Tory colonel) met unexpectedly, and a severe skirmish ensued. Other portions of the two armies engaged in the fight. The field-pieces of Watson gave him great advantage, and Marion was obliged to fall back in the direction of Williamsburg. At a bridge over the Black River, below Kingstree, he checked his pursuers by well-aimed rifle-balls and the destruction of the bridge by fire. Down the stream, upon opposite sides, the belligerents marched nearly ten miles, skirmishing all the way. Darkness terminated the conflict, and both parties arranged their flying camps for rest, near each other. For ten days Watson remained stationary, continually annoyed by Marion, until he was obliged to choose between certain destruction in detail there, or attempt boldly to fight his way to Georgetown. He decided upon the latter course, and at midnight he fled. Marion pursued, fell upon him at Sampit Bridge, near Georgetown, and smote down many of his wearied soldiers. Watson escaped to Georgetown with the remnant of his army, complaining that Marion would not "fight like a gentleman or a Christian!"

Sad intelligence now reached Marion. The Tory colonel, Doyle, had penetrated to his camp on Snow’s Island, dispersed the little garrison, destroyed his provisions and stores, and then marched up Lynch’s Creek. He pursued the marauder until he was informed that Doyle had destroyed all his heavy baggage, and had the advantage of a day’s march on the road to Camden. Marion wheeled, and hastened, through the overflowed swamps, to confront Watson, who was again in motion with fresh troops, and had encamped upon Cat-fish Creek, near the present Marion Court House. Our partisan encamped within five miles of him, and there he was joined by Lee on the fourteenth of April [1781.]. This junction alarmed Watson. He destroyed his heavy baggage, wheeled his field-pieces into Cat-fish Creek, and fled precipitately by a circuitous route toward Georgetown. Soon after this, we find Marion [May, 1781.] hanging upon the rear of Lord Rawdon on his retreat from Nelson’s Ferry toward Charleston; and from that time until the siege of Ninety-Six, he was often with Sumter and Colonel Washington, watching the enemy’s movements near the Santee and Edisto, and cutting off intelligence and supplies from Cruger.

In June [1781.] Marion took possession of Georgetown, the garrison fleeing down Winyaw Bay after a slight resistance. He could not garrison it, so he moved the stores up the Pedee to his old encampment on Snow’s Island, and demolished the military works. Informed that the Loyalists of Charleston had organized, and under Colonel Ball were about to ravage the country south of the Santee, he anticipated them. He drove off the cattle, removed the provisions to a place of safety, laid waste the country, and left nothing but barrenness and desolation in the district menaced by the enemy.

We have observed (page 489) that soon after Greene abandoned his design of attacking Rawdon at Orangeburg, and retired to the High Hills of Santee, he detached Sumter, with Marion, Lee, and other active partisans, to beat up the British posts in the direction of Charleston, drive these hostile detachments to the gates of the city, and cut off all convoys of supplies for the British troops on the Edisto. The chief object to be gained was to cause Rawdon to abandon Orangeburg and hasten to the relief of Charleston. Sumter was the commander-in-chief of this expedition. As he approached Monk’s Corner, he divided his little army into separate detachments. Among the subordinate commanders of these were Horry, Mayham, Taylor, the Hamptons, and James. The garrison at Dorchester, first attacked, made no resistance to Colonel Lee, who also captured, at about the same time, all the wagons and wagon horses belonging to a convoy of provisions; while Colonel Wade Hampton pressed forward to the very lines at Charleston, captured the patrol and guard at the Quarter-house, five miles from the city, and spread terror through the town. He also took fifty prisoners (mounted refugees) at Strawberry Ferry, and burned four vessels laden with valuable stores for the British army.

At Biggin’s, near Monk’s Corner, where Huger’s cavalry were surprised more than a year before, was a strong force of about five hundred infantry, one hundred and fifty horse, and a piece of artillery, under Colonel Coates of the British army. Biggin Church, and a redoubt at Monk’s Corner, about a quarter of a mile distant, composed the defenses of the garrison. Against these Sumter, Marion, and Lee proceeded. They halted at sunset within a short distance of Coates’s camp, with the intention of attacking him early in the morning. Coates, alarmed by the intelligence brought by his patrols, that one half of Greene’s army, with all the partisan officers of the South, were upon him, decamped during the night, set fire to Biggin Church, so as to destroy stores which he could not carry away, and crossing the head waters of the Cooper River on the eastern side, retreated rapidly toward Charleston. When the blaze of the church was perceived in the American camp, Sumter called his troops to arms and hotly pursued the fugitives. Within a short distance of Quimby’s Creek Bridge, eighteen miles from Monk’s Corner, the cavalry of Lee and Marion overtook the rear-guard of the flying troops. Dismayed at the near approach of horsemen, they cast down their arms without firing a gun, and begged for quarter. Coates had crossed the bridge with his main body, and was waiting for the passage of his rear-guard, with the baggage, to destroy the bridge. The planks were already loosened, and every thing was in readiness for its demolition when the American cavalry approached. The brave Armstrong, with a section of Lee’s horsemen, dashed across the bridge and fell upon the British guard with a howitzer stationed there for its defense, and drove the artillerists from the gun. The place of contest was a narrow causeway and lane leading to the bridge, and for a short time a close and deadly conflict ensued. Many of the British fled, and Coates and some of his officers were left to fight alone, defended only by a wagon. Another section of the cavalry, under Carrington, followed close upon Armstrong, and leaping the chasm formed by the casting down of some loose planks by the hoofs of Armstrong’s horses, joined in the close combat with the enemy. Lee had now gained the bridge, where Captain O’Neil, with the third section, had halted. Captain Mayham, of Marion’s cavalry, dashed by them, when his horse was shot under him. The chasm had been widened by the passage of Carrington’s troops, and all Lee’s efforts to repair the breach were ineffectual. The stream was too deep to ford, and the shores too muddy to land if the horses had swam it, and, consequently, a victory so nearly secured had to be abandoned. Coates, with his recaptured howitzer, retreated to a strong two-story house and other buildings a little further up the stream, into which many of his soldiers had fled at the first attack. There he was assailed by Sumter and Marion, between three and four o’clock in the afternoon, and a severe battle was waged for three hours. Darkness, and the failure of the powder of the patriots, terminated the contest. Fifty of Marion’s brigade were killed or wounded, and seventy of the British fell. Coates held his position, and Sumter, informed of the approach of Rawdon, collected his own immediate forces, crossed the Santee, and joined Greene upon the High Hills, while Marion remained lower down upon the river to watch the movements of the enemy.

It was at about this time, while the army of General Greene was in repose near the Wateree, that the execution of Colonel Isaac Hayne, a leading Whig of South Carolina, took place at Charleston; an event which, in the opinion of the Americans, and of just men in Europe, marked the character of the British officer in command at Charleston with the foul stain of dishonor and savage cruelty. 22 The patriots were greatly exasperated by it, and General Greene gave the British commander notice that he would retaliate when opportunity should offer, not by the sacrifice of misguided Tories, but of British officers. He soon had power to exhibit terrible retribution, but happily, actuated by a more humane policy, Greene hesitated; the beams of peace soon appeared in the horizon, and bloody human sacrifices were prevented.

Here let us resume the general narrative of events in the South not already related, from the time of the encampment of Greene upon the High Hills of Santee, in 1781, until the evacuation of Charleston by the British the following year.

We have noticed on page 499, that Greene’s camp upon the Hills was broken up on the eighteenth of November, and the remnants of his diminished army were put in motion toward Charleston. Already intelligence of the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown had reached him, and the day of its arrival [October 30.] was made jubilant by the army. In the mean while, Marion was operating with vigor. He suddenly disappeared from the Santee upon one of his secret expeditions, and as suddenly was seen sweeping across the country in the direction of the Edisto, on his way to relieve Colonel Harden, who was closely pressed near Parker’s Ferry, a few miles above Jacksonborough, in Colleton District, by a British force of five hundred men, under Major Fraser. That officer’s camp was at the ferry. Marion prepared an ambuscade, and then sent out some of his swiftest horses with experienced riders to decoy his enemy into the snare. Fraser, with his cavalry, fell into the ambuscade in a narrow place, and was terribly handled [Aug. 30., 1781.]. The sure rifles of Marion’s men thinned his ranks, and had not their ammunition failed them, they would have accomplished a complete victory. For the want of powder, they were obliged to retire at the moment when the palm was offered to them. The loss of the British was severe, while Marion was not bereft of a man. He had succeeded in rescuing Harden, and as we have seen (page 493), obedient to the call of Greene, hastened toward the Santee and joined the American army at Laurens’s plantation [Sept. 7, 1781.], when pressing on toward Eutaw. After the great battle at that place, and his pursuit of Stewart, Marion encamped in the deep recesses of a cane-brake on Santee River Swamp, and awaited an occasion again to go forth to action.

The British commander, ignorant of the weakened condition of Marion’s brigade, 23 and the great diminution of Greene’s army, was alarmed when he was informed that the latter had crossed the Congaree, and was again pressing on toward Eutaw. He struck his tents and hastened toward Charleston. Perceiving this movement, Greene left his army while on its march from the Santee Hills, and at the head of two hundred cavalry and as many infantry moved rapidly toward Charleston. The garrison at Dorchester, more than six hundred strong, advised of his approach, went out to meet him. But so sudden and vigorous was the charge of Colonel Hampton, of the advance, that the enemy wheeled and fled in great confusion to their camp. Believing the whole army of Greene to be near, they destroyed all the public property, cast their cannons into the Ashley, and then fled toward Charleston, closely pursued. At the Quarter-house they were joined by Stewart’s forces, retreating by another road, and all hastened to the city gates. Terror spread through the town. The bells were rung, alarm guns were fired, and every friend of the crown was called to the defense of the city. Greene’s object was accomplished; the British outposts were driven in, and he hastened to join his army, now encamped at Round O, not far from the Four Holes’ Creek, forty or fifty miles from the city. Marion and his men lingered around the head waters of the Cooper to watch the enemy, and prevent his incursions beyond Charleston Neck. St. Clair had driven the British from Wilmington, and only Charleston and Savannah, with their respective dependencies, now remained in undisputed possession of the Royalists.

Governor Rutledge, with his accustomed energy, now prepared to re-establish civil government. He first offered conditional pardon to Tories and others who should join the American army. Hundreds came from the British lines and eagerly accepted the governor’s clemency. Writs for an election of representatives were issued, and in January, 1782, a Republican Legislature convened at Jacksonborough, on the Edisto, thirty-five miles below Charleston.

Hope dawned upon the future of the South, and the bowed head of Republicanism was lifted up. General Leslie, the chief commandant in Charleston, perceived the change in the aspect of affairs, with alarm, and sent out proclamations, filled with promises and menaces, to counteract the movements of the patriots. It was too late. The people perceived the waning of British power as the area of its action was diminished, and promises and threats were alike unheeded. The army of Greene drew near to Jacksonborough, and encamped upon the Charleston road, six miles below the town. Thus protected, the Legislature acted freely and judiciously, and from that time the civil power met with no obstructions.

John’s Island was yet occupied by the enemy, under the command of Major Craig, who had been driven from Wilmington. Greene resolved to expel them. An expedition for the purpose was intrusted to Lieutenant-colonel Laurens, a son of Henry Laurens, who had lately come from the field of victory at Yorktown. Lee was his second in command. An attempt was made, on the night of the thirteenth of January [1782.], to surprise and capture the garrison of five hundred men, but the miscarriage of a part of their plan deprived them of their anticipated victory. Yet the design was not abandoned. A large body of Greene’s army moved forward, and Craig, taking counsel of his fears, abandoned the island, and fled, with his troops, to Charleston. A few prisoners, and provisions and stores of the camp, were the spoils of victory. Still further secure, the Legislature now labored industriously and without fear. Confiscation laws were enacted; the currency was regulated; general laws for the future government of the state were adopted; and a bill was originated for presenting to General Greene, in consideration of his services, the sum of ten thousand guineas. 24 They closed their labors by electing John Matthews governor.

From this time until the evacuation of Charleston, military operations were confined to attempts on the part of the British to procure supplies from the country, and opposition thereto by the patriots. In these operations, Marion’s brigade was conspicuous. Elected to a seat in the Assembly at Jacksonborough, he left it in command of Colonel Horry. Previous to his departure, he had a severe skirmish, near Monk’s Corner, with three hundred regulars and Loyalists, who came up from Charleston to surprise him. He repulsed them, but soon afterward, while he was absent, a larger force, under Colonel Thompson (the celebrated Count Rumford, subsequently), attacked his brigade near the Santee. Fortunately, he arrived during the engagement, but not in time to prevent the defeat and partial dispersion of his beloved troops. The remnant of his brigade rallied around him, and he retired beyond the Santee to reorganize and recruit.

The main armies continued quiet. Each felt too weak to attempt to disturb the other. Leslie’s condition was far worse than Greene’s. Confined within the city, provisions soon became scarce, while the flight of Tories to the town increased the demand. Greene had ample provisions, and moving forward, encamped near the head of the Ashley, within twenty miles of the enemy’s lines. Unable to damage the Americans in warfare, the British employed stratagem and bribery to weaken their power. Emissaries came into camp, and a mutinous spirit was engendered. A scheme was planned to abduct Greene, and convey him to Charleston. It was discovered twenty-four hours before it ripened, and was crushed. The conspirators were of the Pennsylvania line. Gornell, the leader, was executed, and four of his known companions in crime were sent, guarded, up to Orangeburg. The demon of discord was seen no more, and the British made no further attempts to arouse it.

Early in April, Marion, with a considerable force, was sent to "keep watch and ward" over the country between the Cooper and Santee Rivers. A Scotchman, pretending to be a deserter, came out from the city, visited Marion, and passed on unsuspected toward the Scotch settlements on the Pedee. Soon an insurrection appeared in that quarter, and Marion was informed that Major Gainey, for the third time, was gathering the Tories. The pretended deserter was a spy, and, by false representations of the power of the British and weakness of the Americans, he called the Highlanders to arms. The spy was caught and hanged while returning to Charleston, and before Gainey could organize his recruits, Marion fell upon him. More than five hundred Loyalists laid down their arms, and Gainey, thoroughly humbled, joined the ranks of Marion. 25

While the theater of war was thus narrowing, British statesmen of all parties, considering the capture of Cornwallis and his army as the death-blow to all hope for future conquests, turned their attention to measures for an honorable termination of the unnatural war. General Conway, the firm and long-tried friend of the Americans, offered a resolution in Parliament in February [1782.], which was preliminary to the enactment of a decree for commanding the cessation of hostilities. It was lost by only one vote. Thus encouraged, the opposition pressed the subject warmly upon the attention of the House of Commons and the nation, and on the fourth of March, Conway moved "That the House would consider as enemies to his majesty and the country all those who should advise, or by any means attempt, the further prosecution of offensive war on the Continent of North America." The resolution was carried without a division, and the next day the attorney general introduced a plan for a truce with the Americans. Lord North, after an administration of affairs, as prime minister, for twelve years, finding himself in the minority, resigned the seals of office [March 20, 1782.]. Orders for a cessation of hostilities speedily went forth to the British commanders in America, and preparations were soon made for evacuating the cities of Savannah and Charleston.

When General Leslie was apprised of these proceedings in Parliament, he proposed to General Greene a cessation of hostilities in the South. That officer, like a true soldier, refused to meddle in civil affairs, and referred the matter to the Continental Congress, the only competent tribunal to decide. Of course there must be a delay of several weeks, and while no important military movement was made by the main army of either party, each was as vigilant as if an active campaign was in progress.

On the thirteenth of August, Leslie, in general orders, declared his intention of evacuating Charleston, and sent a flag to Greene with a request that he might be allowed to receive and purchase supplies from the planters. 26 Greene refused his acquiescence, for it would tend to nourish a viper, perhaps yet disposed to sting. Leslie replied that he should obtain supplies by force, for it was necessary to have them before putting to sea. This menace gave activity to the camp of Greene, for he resolved to oppose with spirit every attempt of the enemy to penetrate the country. General Gist, with a strong force, was advanced to the Stono, and spread defensive corps, under good officers, southward to the Combahee, while Marion was instructed to keep watch over the region of the Lower Santee. Rapidly, and in wide circuits, that partisan, with his cavalry, scoured the region between the Sampit and the Santee, and sometimes he would sweep down the country, all the way to Cainhoy and Haddrell’s Point. Some warm skirmishes occurred, but he effectually kept the enemy at bay in that quarter.

Anxious to leave Charleston, where famine stood menacing the army and civilians, Leslie resolved to make a bold effort to penetrate the country by the Combahee, for little could be effected in the region guarded by Marion. He accordingly sent a large party thither in armed boats and schooners, where they arrived on the 25th of August, and passed up directly toward the head of the stream. Gist, with about three hundred cavalry and infantry, hastened to oppose the invaders, leaving Colonel Laurens with a guard near Wappoo, to watch the movements of the enemy in Charleston. Laurens, burning with a desire for active service, left a sick-bed and followed Gist. He overtook him upon the north bank of the Combahee, near the ferry, and at his earnest solicitation he was detached to the extreme end of Chehaw Neck, to garrison a small redoubt cast up there for the purpose of annoying the British when they should return down the river. With fifty light infantry, some matrosses, and a howitzer, Laurens moved down the river [August 26, 1782.], and halted at the house of Mrs. Stock, within a short distance of the point. At three o’clock in the morning he resumed his march. He had proceeded but a short distance, when a picket of the enemy was perceived, and at the same moment a large detachment, which lay concealed in the high fennel grass, arose and delivered a murderous fire. They had been informed of the march of Laurens, and landing on the north shore of the Combahee, concealed themselves in ambush by the road side. Laurens saw the danger of a retreat, and had no alternative but to surrender or fight. His brave spirit could not brook the former, and leading the way, he made an energetic charge upon the foe. The step was fatal to the young commander; he fell at the first fire. Captain Smith of the artillery was also slain, the howitzer was seized by the enemy, and the whole American force turned and fled in confusion. The fugitives were pursued a short distance, when Gist, with a considerable force, confronted the victors. They recoiled for a moment, but soon recovered, and a severe combat ensued. The British fell back to their boats, and the field of strife was the field of victory for the Americans; yet it was dearly won. Many unnamed patriots fell, and in the death of Laurens the country lost one of its most promising men. 27 The British succeeded in carrying off a large quantity of provisions and plunder from the Combahee, and from Beaufort and the neighboring islands. They made no other attempt to procure supplies, but applied themselves diligently to preparations for leaving Charleston. Kosciuszko, who was placed in command of Laurens’s corps, watched Charleston Neck, and detachments guarded the passes of the Stono. In this latter service the last blood of the Revolution was shed. 28

The evacuation of Charleston took place on the fourteenth of December [1782.]. 29 Leslie had leveled the walls of Charleston and demolished Fort Johnson, and on the morning of the thirteenth, the American army crossed the Ashley, and slowly approached the city, according to previous arrangements with Leslie. At daylight the next morning the British marched to Gadsden’s Wharf, and embarked. At eleven o’clock an American detachment took formal possession of the town, and at three in the afternoon General Greene escorted Governor Mathews and other civil officers to the Town Hall. From windows, balconies, even housetops, the troops were greeted with cheers, waving of handkerchiefs, and cries, "God bless you, gentlemen! Welcome! welcome!" Before night the British squadron (about three hundred sail) crossed the bar, and the last speck of canvas of that hostile array glittered far out upon the ocean in the parting beams of the sun that evening. The cool starry night which succeeded was one of great joy to the people, and the dawn of the morrow was that of a long and bright day for the emancipated state. Generosity succeeded revengeful feelings; confiscation acts were repealed; Loyalists were forgiven, on repentance, and those who had adhered to royal rule as the least of two evils, rejoiced in the glories of the happy days of freedom and prosperity which succeeded.

Here let us close the chronicles of the war in the Southern States, and depart for the North.

On the morning of the day when I departed from Charleston [January 29, 1849.], the sun came up from the sea bright and unclouded, and I could not have wished for a lovelier day to visit places of note in Charleston and vicinity. I had already been out to the Lines, and the old ship-yard and magazines on Cooper River, with Reverend Dr. Smythe. The scars of the former are yet visible in several places upon the Neck, and a portion of the citadel, a remnant of the "horn work," survives the general wreck of the military works about Charleston. It was just at sunset when we passed through a beautiful avenue of live oaks, draped with moss, to view the ruins of the magazines and officers’ quarters among thick shrubbery and tangled vines near the banks of the river, about four miles above the city. A little to the northwest of these ruins is an ancient burial-ground, on the verge of a deep morass. The tall trees, pendent moss, silent ruins, and deep shadows of night fast hovering over the scene, gave the place a tinge of romance, thrilling and sad. On our way to this interesting spot we turned aside, about a mile and a half nearer the town, to view a venerable and lordly magnolia, under whose spreading branches tradition avers General Lincoln held a council of officers during the siege in 1780. Incredible as it may appear, the owner of the land, and of the house shaded by the tree wherein he and his mother were born, had just felled it for fire-wood. Instead of being its destroyer, who, in like circumstances, would not have been its defender? and when rude hands were laid upon it, would not have exclaimed,

"Woodman, spare that tree!

Touch not a single bough!
In youth it sheltered me,
And I’ll protect it now.
’Twas my forefather’s hand
That placed it near his cot;
There, woodman, let it stand,
Thy ax shall harm it not!" – MORRIS.


I sketched the venerable house near by, the property of Colonel William Cummington during the Revolution, and marking the position of the stump of the magnolia, preserved for posterity a sketch of what tradition calls the Council Tree, with its surroundings.

It was on the bright and balmy day of my departure that I visited Sullivan’s Island, and made the sketch printed on page 551. From thence I crossed over to Haddrell’s Point (now Point Pleasant), and after passing an hour there, where so many of the brave patriots of South Carolina suffered a long imprisonment, I returned by steam-boat to the city. There are no remains of Revolutionary fortifications at Point Pleasant, and it is now famous in the minds of the citizens of Charleston only as a delightful summer resort.

At three o’clock in the afternoon I left Charleston for home, in a steam-packet bound to Wilmington, bearing with me many mementoes of the war for independence at the South, and filled with pleasing recollections of a journey of several weeks among the inhabitants of that sunny land where I had enjoyed the hospitality and kindness of true Republicans, keenly alive to the reflected glory of their patriot fathers, and devotedly attached to the free institutions of our common country, the fruits of a happy union.

The waters of the harbor were unruffled by a breeze, and I anticipated a delightful voyage to the Cape Fear; but as the city and fortifications receded, and we crossed the bar to the broad bosom of the Atlantic, we found it heaving with long, silent undulations, the effects of the subsiding anger of a storm. Sea-sickness came upon me, and I went supperless to my berth, where I remained until we were fairly within the mouth of the Cape Fear, at Smith’s Island, on the following morning. The low wooded shores of Carolina approached nearer and nearer, and at eight o’clock we landed at the ancient town of Wilmington, on the eastern side of the Cape Fear.

I contemplated spending a day at Wilmington, but circumstances requiring me to hasten homeward, I was there only during the hour while waiting for the starting of the rail-way cars for the North. I had but little opportunity to view the town, where Republicanism was most rife on the sea-board of North Carolina before and during the Revolution; but by the kindness of friends there, especially of Edward Kidder, Esq., I am enabled to give, traditionally and pictorially all that I could have possibly obtained by a protracted visit. Already I have noticed many stirring events here during the earlier years of the war; it now remains for me to notice only the British occupation.

When, toward the close of 1780, Cornwallis prepared to move from his encampment at Winnsborough, toward North Carolina, he directed Colonel Balfour, at Charleston, to dispatch a sufficient force to take possession of Wilmington, that he might have a sea-port for supplies, while in that state. Major James H. Craig (who was governor general of Canada in 1807) was sent with four hundred regulars to perform that service. He took possession of the town without much resistance, toward the close of January, 1781.


He immediately fortified himself, using the Episcopal church, a strong brick edifice (of the front of which the engraving is a correct view), for a citadel. 30 Craig held undisturbed possession of Wilmington until the arrival of Cornwallis, on the seventh of April, after his battle with Greene, at Guilford. He remained in Wilmington, with his shattered army, eighteen days, to recruit and to determine upon his future course.


His residence was on the corner of Market and Third Streets, now (1852) the dwelling of Doctor T. H. Wright. Apprised of Greene’s march toward Camden, and hoping to draw him away from Rawdon, then encamped there, Cornwallis marched into Virginia, and joined the forces of Arnold and Phillips at Petersburg. The subsequent movements of the earl, until his surrender at Yorktown, have been detailed in former chapters.

Major Craig held possession of Wilmington until the autumn of 1781, when, informed of the surrender of Cornwallis, and the approach of St. Clair on his way to join Greene, he abandoned Wilmington and fled to Charleston. This was the only post in North Carolina held by the British, and with the flight of Craig all military operations ceased within its borders. 32

The rail-way from Wilmington to Weldon, on the Roanoke, a distance of one hundred and sixty-two miles, passes through a level pine region, where little business is done, except gathering of turpentine and the manufacture of tar. It was a dreary day’s ride, for on every side were interminable pine forests, dotted with swamps and traversed by numerous streams, all running coastward. We crossed the Neuse at Goldsborough, eighty-five miles north of Wilmington, and the Tar at Rocky Mount, forty miles further. At sunset we passed Halifax, 33 near the falls of the Roanoke, and arrived at Weldon at dark. The morning was uncomfortably warm; the evening was damp and chilly; and when we arrived at Richmond the next morning, two hundred and forty miles north of Wilmington, a cold rain was falling, and every thing was incrusted with ice. I tarried a day at Richmond, another at Washington City, and on the fourth of February [1849.] I sat by my own fireside in the city of New York, after an absence of about eleven weeks, and a journey of almost three thousand miles. There my long and interesting tour ended, except an occasional "journey of a day" to some hallowed spot in its vicinity. God, in his providence, dealt kindly with me, in all that long and devious travel, for I did not suffer sickness for an hour, and no accident befell me on the way.



1 Henry Clinton, K. B., was a son of George Clinton, governor of New York in 1743, and grandson of the Earl of Lincoln. He served in the British army on the Continent, during the Seven Years’ War, and came to America with General Howe in the spring of 1775, bearing the commission of a major general. He was distinguished at the battle of Bunker Hill; commanded in New York, and operated against the forts among the Hudson Highlands in 1777; and in 1778, succeeded Sir William Howe in the supreme command. After he evacuated Philadelphia, he went to New York, where he continued his head-quarters until he left the country, in 1782. He was appointed governor of Gibraltar in 1795, and died there on the twenty-second of December, the same year. His signature is printed on page 144.

2 On the voyage from New York, one vessel, carrying heavy ordnance for the siege, foundered and was lost, and nearly all the horses belonging to the artillery and cavalry perished at sea. Immediately after landing, Lieutenant-colonel Tarleton was ordered to obtain a fresh supply of horses. This service he soon performed, by seizing all that fell in his way on the plantations upon the islands and the main, some of which were paid for, and some were not. The Whigs were not considered entitled to any pay. Having mounted his cavalry, Tarleton joined a body of one thousand men, under General Patterson, whom Clinton had ordered from Savannah to re-enforce him.

3 Spain was now at war with Great Britain, and willingly became a party in our quarrel, with the hope, like France, of crippling English power. When the approach of the British fleet was made known, Lincoln dispatched a messenger to Havana to solicit material aid from the Spanish governor. Direct assistance was refused, but the Spaniards indirectly aided the Americans. When Clinton was preparing to march upon Charleston, Don Bernardo de Galvez sailed from New Orleans to reduce Fort Charlotte, an English post at Mobile. It surrendered to the Spaniards on the fourteenth of March, 1781, and on the ninth of May, Pensacola also bowed to Spanish domination. These successes placed the two Floridas in possession of the Spaniards, except the strong fortress of St. Augustine.

4 The lines of intrenchments were on the ridge of land whereon St. Paul’s Church, the Orphan House, the "Citadel" (a part of the old works), and the Presbyterian church now stand.

5 Charles Cotesworth Pinckney was born in Charleston on the twenty-fifth of February, 1746. At the age of seven years, be was taken to England with his brother, Thomas, by their father (Chief-justice Pinckney), where he was educated, and also studied law. In 1769 he returned to Charleston, after visiting the Continent. In England he took part against the Stamp Act with its opposers there, and, on reaching his native country, he eagerly espoused the cause of the patriots. He commenced the practice of law in 1770, and soon became eminent. When a regiment was formed in Charleston in 1775, of which Gadsden was colonel, Pinckney was appointed a captain, and was at Newbern for a while on recruiting service. He was active in the defense of Charleston in 1776. In 1778, he accompanied General Howe in his expedition to Florida. He assisted in the repulse of Prevost in 1779, and in the defense of Charleston in 1780. When the city fell, he became a prisoner, and suffered much from sickness and cruel treatment. He was exchanged in February, 1782, when the war was almost ended. He was soon afterward raised to the brevet rank of brigadier. On the return of peace, he resumed the practice of his profession. He was a member of the convention which formed the Constitution of the United States. Washington offered him a seat in his cabinet, which he declined, and in 1796 he accepted the appointment of minister to the French Republic. There he had a delicate duty to perform, and while in the midst of personal peril in the French capital, he uttered that noble sentiment, "Millions for defense, not one cent for tribute." In 1797, Mr. Pinckney was appointed the second major general in the army under Washington, and for many years he was an active politician. For about twenty-five years he lived in elegant retirement, in the enjoyment of books and the pleasures of domestic happiness. He died on the sixteenth of August, 1825, in the eightieth year of his age.

6 In this passage the British lost twenty-seven seamen killed, and a transport which ran aground and was burned by its crew.

7 Woodford had marched five hundred miles within twenty-eight days. On the day of his arrival the terms of enlistment of about seven hundred North Carolinians expired, and they all went home at an hour when they were most needed.

8 At daybreak on the twenty-fourth of April, a party under Lieutenant-colonel Henderson made a sortie, surprised a British picket, and with the bayonet killed about twenty of them. Twelve were made prisoners. Captain Moultrie, a brother of the general, was killed, and two other Americans were wounded.

9 This day was marked by disasters to the Americans. On that morning, Colonel Anthony Walton White, of New Jersey, with the collected remnant of Huger’s cavalry, had crossed the Santee and captured a small party of British. While waiting at Lanneau’s Ferry for boats to recross the river with his prisoners, a Tory informed Cornwallis of his situation. Tarleton was detached with a party of horse to surprise White, and was successful. A general rout of the Americans ensued. About thirty of them were killed, wounded, or captured, and the prisoners were retaken. Lieutenant-colonel Washington, with Major Jamieson and a few privates, escaped by swimming the Santee. Major Call and seven others fought their way through the British cavalry, and escaped. At noon on the same day, the British flag was seen waving over Fort Moultrie, the little garrison, under Lieutenant-colonel Scott, having been obliged to surrender to Captain Charles Hudson, of the British Navy.

10 Clinton’s nearest battery in making this approach was on the lot in Mary Street, formerly used as the lower rail-way depôt, and long known, according to Johnson, as the Fresh-water Pond. This redoubt was several times demolished by the American cannons, and rebuilt during the siege. – Johnson’s Traditions, &c., 248.

11 One of these shots demolished an arm of Pitt’s statue, as mentioned on page 542.

12 The terms of the capitulation were partly honorable and partly humiliating. The town, fortifications and shipping, artillery and stores, were to be given up; the Continental troops and sailors were to be conducted to some place to be agreed upon, there to remain prisoners of war until exchanged; the militia to be permitted to return home, as prisoners of war, on parole, and to be secured from molestation as long as they did not violate these paroles; the arms and baggage of the officers and their servants were to be retained by them; the garrison were to march out, and lay down their arms between the works and the canal (at I, on the map, page 559), the drums not to beat a British march, nor the colors to be uncased; the French consul, and French and Spanish residents should be unmolested, but considered prisoners of war; and that a vessel should convey a messenger to New York, that he might carry dispatches to General Washington.

13 Gordon, Ramsay, Moultrie, Marshall, Stedman, Lee, Tarleton.

14 During the siege, Arbuthnot was informed that Admiral De Ternay was approaching with a French fleet, direct from Newport, to aid Lincoln; and on the very day when terms of surrender were agreed upon, the fear of being blockaded in the harbor of Charleston made Arbuthnot resolve to put to sea immediately. Ternay was certified of the surrender of Lincoln while on his way, by the capture of a pilot-boat, bearing Clinton’s dispatches to Knyphausen, then in command at New York. These dispatches informed Knyphausen of the fall of Charleston. Had Lincoln held out another day, his army might have been saved, but he was not aware of the approach of Ternay.

15 Lieutenant-governor Gadsden and seventy-seven other public and influential men were taken from their beds by armed parties, before dawn on the morning of the twenty-seventh of August, hurried on board the Sandwich prison-ship, without being allowed to bid adieu to their families, and were conveyed to St. Augustine. The pretense for this measure, by which the British authorities attempted to justify it, was the false accusation that these men were concerting a scheme for burning the town and massacring the loyal inhabitants! Nobody believed the tale, and the act was made more flagrant by this wicked calumny. Arrived at St. Augustine, the prisoners were offered paroles to enjoy liberty within the precincts of the town. Gadsden, the sturdy patriot, refused acquiescence, for he disdained making further terms with a power that did not regard the sanctity of a solemn treaty. He was determined not to be deceived a second time. "Had the British commanders," he said, "regarded the terms of capitulation at Charleston, I might now, although a prisoner, enjoy the smiles and consolations of my family under my own roof; but even without a shadow of accusation preferred against me, for any act inconsistent with my plighted faith, I am torn from them, and here, in a distant land, invited to enter into new engagements. I will give no parole." "Think better of it," said Governor Tonyn, who was in command; "a second refusal of it will fix your destiny – a dungeon will be your future habitation." "Prepare it, then," replied the inflexible patriot. "I will give no parole, so help me God!" And the petty tyrant did "prepare it;" and for forty-two weeks that patriot of almost threescore years of age, never saw the light of the blessed sun, but lay incarcerated in the dungeon of the Castle of St. Augustine. All the other prisoners accepted paroles, but they were exposed to indignities more harrowing to the sensitive soul than close confinement. When, in June, 1781, they were exchanged, they were not allowed to even touch at Charleston, but were sent to Philadelphia, whither their families had been expelled when the prisoners were taken to the Sandwich. More than a thousand persons were thus exiled, and husbands and wives, fathers and children, first met in a distant state, after a separation of ten months.

The Continental prisoners kept at Haddrell’s Point suffered terribly. Many of them had been nurtured in affluence; now, far from friends and destitute of hard money, they were reduced to the greatest straits. During thirteen months’ captivity, they received no more than nine days’ pay. They were not allowed to fish for their support, but were obliged to perform the most menial services. Cornwallis finally ordered Balfour, the commandant of Charleston, to send them to one of the West India islands. The general exchange of prisoners which soon afterward took place alone prevented the execution of this cruel order.

16 Gordon, iii., 226.

17 At the beginning of the siege, Marion was at a house in Tradd Street, and the host, determined that all of his guests should drink his wine freely, locked the door to prevent their departure. Marion would not submit to this act of social tyranny, and leaped from a second story window to the ground. His ankle was broken, and before the communication with the country toward the Santee was closed he was carried to his residence, in St. John’s parish, on a litter. He was yet confined by the accident when the capitulation was signed. See Simm’s Life of Marion, page 96.

18 Simms.

19 This island is at the confluence of Lynch’s Creek and the Pedee. It is chiefly high river swamp, dry, and covered with a heavy forest filled with game. The lower portions are cane-brakes, and a few spots are now devoted to the cultivation of Indian corn. Here was the scene of the interview between Marion and a young British officer from Georgetown, so well remembered by tradition, and so well delineated by the pen of Simms and the pencil of White. The officer who came to treat respecting prisoners was led blind-folded to the camp of Marion. There he first saw the diminutive form of the great partisan leader, and around him in groups were his followers, lounging beneath magnificent trees draped with moss. When their business was concluded, Marion invited the young Briton to dine with him. He remained, and to his utter astonishment he saw some roasted potatoes brought forward on a piece of bark, of which the general partook freely, and invited his guest to do the same. "Surely, general," said the officer, "this can not be your ordinary fare!" "Indeed it is," replied Marion, "and we are fortunate, on this occasion, entertaining company, to have more than our usual allowance." It is related that the young officer gave up his commission on his return, declaring that such a people could not be, and ought not to be subdued.

20 At about this time, Colonel Harden, a gentleman of Beaufort, who, with a large number of the Whigs of his district, had joined Marion in Williamsburg, marched with seventy of the most resolute of his comrades to visit their homes. A few others from Georgia, under Colonel Baker, accompanied them, and in the face of the foe, then in possession of the country upon the Lower Santee and Edisto, they ravaged the region from Monk’s corner to the Savannah River. Like Marion, Harden made rapid and excentric marches, and always baffled pursuit. He crossed and recrossed the Savannah as often as circumstances required, and soon his force amounted to two hundred men. The name of Harden became as terrible to the Tories of Beaufort, Barnwell, and Colleton, as that of Marion beyond the Santee. He had several skirmishes with British detachments, and finally, on the twelfth of April, 1781, he surprised and captured a redoubt and garrison called Fort Balfour, at ancient Pocataligo, below the Combahee. Having awed the Tories in that section of the state, Colonel Harden and his detachment joined the forces under General Pickens, higher up on the Savannah.

21 At this time, Major M‘Ilraith, with a force about equal to that of Marion’s, was met by the latter in a swamp near Nelson’s Ferry. They prepared for battle, when M‘Ilraith, who was a humane man, made the chivalric proposition that twenty picked men of each army should meet and fight for victory. It was agreed to; the forty men were drawn up in line and approached each other, when those of M‘Ilraith’s party fell back. The sun went down, and yet they lingered; and at midnight, M‘Ilraith doubtless considering prudence the better part of valor, decamped, leaving his heavy baggage behind. He was pursued by Colonel Horry early in the morning, but without effect.

22 Isaac Hayne was a highly respected and well-beloved citizen of South Carolina. He was among the early patriots of that state who took the field, and at the siege of Charleston, in 1780, he served in a company of mounted militia, and at the same time was a member of the State Legislature. His corps was not in the city, but operated in the open country, in the rear of the besiegers, consequently it was not included in the capitulation. After that event his command was dispersed, and he returned to his family and estate, near the Edisto. Believing that the wisest policy for him to pursue was to go to Charleston, surrender himself a prisoner, and take his parole like others, he repaired thither. He was too confiding in the honor of the conquerors, for, knowing him to be a man of influence, the commandant refused the privilege, and told him that he must either become a British subject or submit to close confinement. He would gladly have endured imprisonment, but he could not bear the thought of leaving his family exposed to the insults of marauders, and the pestilence of small-pox, then spreading over the lower country. He consulted his friend, Dr. Ramsay, the historian, who was himself a prisoner in Charleston, and, influenced by family affection, he accepted a British protection upon the humiliating terms proposed by Clinton in his second and cruel proclamation, and took the oath of allegiance. He was assured by Patterson, the deputy British commandant in Charleston, that he would not be called upon to take up arms for the king, "For," he said, "when the regular forces of his majesty need the aid of the inhabitants for the defense of the province, it will be high time for them to leave it."

Colonel Hayne was often called upon by subordinate officers to take up arms for the king, but steadily refused. When, in 1781, Greene approached with a Continental army, and the partisan troops had swept royal power from almost every place where it had planted its heel of military subjugation, Colonel Hayne felt released from his oath of allegiance, because its conditions were such that its obligations ceased when royal rule should be suppressed. When again summoned (as he was peremptorily, while his wife was upon her dying bed) to repair, with arms, to the British camp at Charleston, he again refused. He did more; he buckled on his armor, repaired to the American camp, and, forswearing his forced allegiance to the British crown, he pledged his life to the defense of his country. With a troop of horse, accompanied by Colonel Harden, he scoured the country toward Charleston, and captured General Andrew Williamson, a former efficient patriot, but now active in the British service. When intelligence of the event reached the city, a troop of cavalry was sent in pursuit of Hayne. A battle ensued, and the patriot was made a prisoner and conveyed to Charleston. Colonel Nesbit Balfour, a proud, vain, and ambitious man, was then the commandant. He knew that the surest road to distinction was rigor toward the rebels. He chose to consider Hayne a traitor, because he had signed an oath of allegiance, and then took up arms against the king. Here was an opportunity for Balfour to distinguish himself, and Hayne was cast into the provost prison, and kept there until Rawdon arrived from Orangeburg. He was then taken before a court of inquiry, where neither the members nor the witnesses were sworn. The whole proceeding was a mockery, for Rawdon and Balfour had prejudged him worthy of death. Without even the form of a trial, he was condemned to be hung. No one, not even the prisoner, supposed that such cruelty was contemplated, until the sentence was made public, and he had but two days to live! The men of the city pleaded for him; the women signed petitions, and went in troops and upon their knees implored a remission of his sentence. His sister, Mrs. Peronneau, with his orphan children (for his wife was in her grave), clad in deep mourning, knelt in supplication before his judges, but in vain. Rawdon and Balfour were inexorable, and on the thirty-first of July, 1781, one of the purest patriots and most amiable of men was hung upon a gibbet. Like Andrè, he asked to be shot as a soldier, but this boon was denied him. Thirty-two years afterward, Lord Rawdon, in a letter to General Henry Lee (see his Memoirs, page 459), attempted to excuse his want of humanity, by pleading the justice of the sentence. But the denunciations of the Duke of Richmond at the time, in the House of Lords, and the truth of history, have given the whole transaction the stamp of barbarism.

23 After the battle at Eutaw, Marion was re-enforced by detachments of mountain men, under Colonels Shelby and Sevier, the heroes of King’s Mountain, and with them he confidently took the field. He attacked the British outpost at Fairlawn, while the main body, under Stewart, were encamped behind redoubts at Wappetaw and Wantoot. The attack upon Fairlawn was successful. The garrison, and three hundred stand of arms, with provisions and stores, were the spoils of victory. Encouraged by this success, Marion prepared for other enterprises, when the Mountaineers, after about three weeks’ service, suddenly left him and returned to the upper country. No satisfactory reason for this movement has ever been given.

24 This example was imitated by the Legislatures of North Carolina and Georgia. The former voted him five thousand guineas, and the latter twenty-four thousand acres of land.

25 Among the insurgents was the notorious David Fanning, a Loyalist of North Carolina. He was one of the most desperate and brutal of the Tory leaders, and at one time had command of almost a thousand marauders like himself. He became a terror to the people of central North Carolina. He captured many leading Whigs, and took them to Craig, at Wilmington. On the thirteenth of September, 1781, he and his associate, Hector M‘Neil, with their followers, entered Hillsborough, carried off the governor, Thomas Burke, * and other prominent Whigs, and hastened with them toward Wilmington. They were intercepted by a party under General Butler, and a severe skirmish ensued at Lindley’s Mill, on Cane Creek. Fanning was wounded, but successfully retreated with his prisoners to Wilmington. After the defeat here mentioned, on the Pedee, Fanning went to Charleston, and accompanied the Tories who fled to Nova Scotia, where he died in 1825.

* Thomas Burke was one of the purest patriots of the South. He was a native of Ireland; came in early life to Virginia, and in 1774 settled as practicing lawyer, in Hillsborough, North Carolina. He was one of the earliest Republican legislators in the state. He was a member of the Provincial Congress at Halifax in 1776, and of the Continental Congress, from 1777 till 1781, when he was chosen governor of his state. After his capture by Fanning, he was sent to Charleston, and kept closely guarded, upon John’s Island, when Craig commanded there. He escaped, and in 1782 resumed his official duties. He died at Hillsborough in 1783.

26 Greene’s army now covered a fertile district, where wealth abounded, and prevented foraging and plundering where the enemy had generally found the best supplies. Perceiving their homes thus secured, many of the families returned from exile, and every where the board of hospitality was wide spread to their deliverers. The rugged features of war were soon changed by the refinements of social life, and the soldiers, who had been battling for years among desolated homes or the dark wilderness, felt that a paradise was gained. The wife of General Greene reached his camp at the close of March, and was every where caressed. The officers were greeted at numerous social gatherings, and the charms of many a fair daughter of the sunny South subdued hearts which never quailed before an enemy. In the district occupied by the army, were many wealthy, beautiful, and accomplished women, and "many," says Johnson, in his Life of Greene, "were the matrimonial connections to which this period gave rise between the officers of the army and the heiresses of Carolina and Georgia."

27 John Laurens was a son of Henry Laurens, president of the Continental Congress in 1777. He joined the army early in 1777, and was wounded in the battle at Germantown. He continued in the army (with the exception of a few months), under the immediate command of Washington, until after the surrender of Cornwallis, in which event he was a conspicuous participant as one of the commissioners appointed to arrange the terms. Early in 1782, he was sent on a special mission to France, to solicit a loan of money and to procure arms. He was successful, and on his return received the thanks of Congress. Within three days after his arrival in Philadelphia, he had settled all matters with Congress, and departed for the army in the South, under Greene. There he did good service, and was killed on the Combahee, on the twenty-seventh of August, 1782 {original text has 1781."}, when he was but twenty-nine years of age. Washington, who made him his aid, loved him as a child. He declared that he could discover no fault in him, unless it was intrepidity, bordering on rashness. "Poor Laurens," wrote Greene, "has fallen in a paltry little skirmish. You knew his temper, and I predicted his fate. The love of military glory made him seek it upon occasions unworthy his rank. The state will feel his loss." He was buried upon the plantation of Mrs. Stock, in whose family he spent the evening previous to his death in cheerful conversation. A small inclosure, without a stone, marks his grave.

28 Captain Wilmot, a brave young officer, who commanded a company detailed for the purpose of covering John’s Island, impatient of inaction, often crossed the river to harass British foraging parties on the island. While engaged in one of these excursions, in company with Kosciuszko, he fell into an ambuscade and was killed. This occurred in September, 1782, and was, it is believed, the last life sacrificed in battle.

29 Preparatory to the evacuation, commissioners were appointed to make arrangements to prevent the carrying away of slaves on the departure of the British. All was made satisfactory; but the promises of the enemy were shamefully violated. Moultrie says that more than eight hundred slaves, employed on the works in the city, were sent to the West Indies and sold. It has been estimated that between the years 1775 and 1783 the state of South Carolina was robbed of twenty-five thousand negroes, valued at about twelve million five hundred thousand dollars.

30 This church was demolished in 1841, and upon its site a new Protestant Episcopal church now stands.

31 This is from a pencil sketch, by Mr. Charles Burr, of Wilmington.

32 At Elizabeth, higher up on the Cape Fear, in Bladen county, quite a severe battle was fought in July, 1781, between a few refugee Whigs, under Colonel Thomas Brown, and a body of Tories. The Whigs forded the Cape Fear after dark, and before midnight were in deadly conflict with the Tories. The surprise was complete, and the victory quite easy. This bold act crushed Tory ascendency in that section of the state. I received from the venerable Dr. De Rosset, of Wilmington, an interesting account of a gallant affair on the part of the Americans at a place called "The Oaks," near Wilmington, in which he, though a lad, participated. I regret the want of space that precludes the possibility of giving the narrative here. Like many other similar details, the local historian must make the record. Dr. De Rosset is a son, I believe, of the mayor of that name mentioned on page 362. I have also received (too late for insertion), from the venerable A. M. Hooper, of Crawford, Alabama, an interesting sketch of the public life of William Hill, an active patriot of Cape Fear, of whom Josiah Quincy in his journal (1773), said "though a crown officer, a man replete with sentiments of general liberty, and warmly attached to the cause of American freedom."

33 Here the Provincial Congress of North Carolina met on the fourth of April, 1776, and took precedence of all similar assemblies in action favorable to independence. It was at Halifax that Cornwallis crossed the Roanoke (see page 341), while on his march to Virginia, in May, 1781.



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