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vince he had left. He resolved, therefore, to return with all speed to that province and provide for its security.
On the 14th of October he commenced his retrograde and mortifying march, conducting it in the night, and with such hurry and confusion, that nearly twenty waggons, laden with baggage and supplies, were lost. As he proceeded, the rainy season set in; the brooks and rivers became swollen, and alınost impassable; the roads deep and miry; provisions and forage scanty; the troops generally sickly, having no tents. Lord Cornwallis himself was seized with a bilious fever, which obliged him to halt two days in the Catawba settlement, and afterwards to be conveyed in a waggon, giving up the command to Lord Rawdon.
In the course of this desolate march, the British suffered as usual from the vengeance of an outraged country, being fired upon from behind trees and other coverts by the yeomanry; their sentries shot down at their encampments; their foraging parties cut off. "The enemy," writes Lord Rawdon, "are mostly mounted militia, not to be overtaken by our infantry, nor to be safely pursued in this strong country by our cavalry."
For two weeks were they toiling on this retrograde march, through deep roads, and a country cut up by water-courses, with the very elements arrayed against them. At length, after fording the Catawba where it was six hundred yards wide, and three and a half deep, and where a handful of riflemen might have held them in check, the army arrived at Winnsborough, in South Carolina. Hence, by order of Cornwallis, Lord Rawdon wrote on the 24th of October to Brigadier-general Leslie, who was at that time in the Chesapeake, with the force detached by Sir Henry Clinton for a descent upon Virginia, suggesting the expediency of his advancing to North Carolina, for the purpose of co
CORNWALLIS AT WINNSBOROUGH.
operation with Cornwallis, who feared to proceed far from South Carolina, lest it should be again in insurrection.
In the mean time his lordship took post at Winnsborough. It was a central position, where he might cover the country from partisan incursions, obtain forage and supplies, and await the cooperation of General Leslie.
NAMES-HAUNTS-TARLETON IN QUEST OF HIM-SUMTER ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE SANTEE-HIS AFFAIR WITH TARLETON AT BLACK STOCK HILL-GATES AT HILLSBOROUGH-HIS DOMESTIC MISFORTUNES-ARRIVAL OF GREENE-HIS CONSIDERATE CONDUCTGATES RETIRES TO HIS ESTATE-CONDITION OF THE ARMY-STRATAGEM OF COLONEL WASHINGTON AT CLERMONT-MORGAN DETACHED TO THE
DISTRICT OF NINETY-SIX-GREENE POSTS HIMSELF ON THE PEDEE.
THE victory at King's Mountain had set the partisan spirit throughout the country in a blaze. Francis Marion was soon in the field. He had been made a brigadier-general by Governor Rutledge, but his brigade, as it was called, was formed of neighbors and friends, and was continually fluctuating in numbers. He was nearly fifty years of age, and small of stature, but hardy, healthy and vigorous. Brave but not braggart, never avoiding danger, but never rashly seeking it. Taciturn and abstemious; a strict disciplinarian: careful of the lives of his men, but little mindful of his own life. Just in his dealings, free from every thing selfish or mercenary, and incapable of a meanness. He had his haunts and strongholds in the morasses of the Pedee and Black River. His men were hardy and abstemious as himself; they ate their meat without salt, often subsisted on potatoes, were scantily clad, and almost destitute of blankets. Marion was full
MARION, HIS CHARACTER.
of stratagems and expedients. Sallying forth from his morasses, he would overrun the lower districts, pass the Santee, beat up the small posts in the vicinity of Charleston, cut up the communication between that city and Camden; and having struck some signal blow, so as to rouse the vengeance of the enemy, would retreat again into his fenny fastnesses. Hence the British gave him the bye name of the Swamp Fox, but those of his countrymen who knew his courage, his loftiness of spirit and spotless integrity, considered him the Bayard of the South.
Tarleton, who was on duty in that part of the country, undertook, as he said, to draw the swamp fox from his cover. He accordingly marched cautiously down the east bank of the Wateree with a body of dragoons and infantry, in compact order. The fox, however, kept close; he saw that the enemy was too strong for him. Tarleton now changed his plan. By day he broke up his force into small detachments or patrols, giving them orders to keep near enough to each other to render mutual support if attacked, and to gather together at night.
The artifice had its effect. Marion sallied forth from his covert just before daybreak to make an attack upon one of these detachments, when, to his surprise, he found himself close upon the British camp. Perceiving the snare that had been spread for him, he made a rapid retreat. A close pursuit took place. For seven hours Marion was hunted from one swamp and fastness to another; several stragglers of his band were captured, and Tarleton was in strong hope of bringing him into action, when an express came spurring from Cornwallis, calling for the immediate services of himself and his dragoons in another quarter.
Sumter was again in the field! That indefatigable partisan having recruited a strong party in the mountainous country, to
which he retreated after his defeat on the Wateree, had reappeared on the west side of the Santee, repulsed a British party sent against him, killing its leader; then, crossing Broad River, had effected a junction with Colonels Clark and Brannan, and now menaced the British posts in the district of Ninety-Six.
It was to disperse this head of partisan war that Tarleton was called off from beleaguering Marion. Advancing with his accustomed celerity, he thought to surprise Sumter on the Enoree River. A deserter apprised the latter of his danger. He pushed across the river, but was hotly pursued, and his rear-guard roughly handled. He now made for the Tyger River, noted for turbulence and rapidity; once beyond this, he might disband his followers in the woods. Tarleton, to prevent his passing it unmolested, spurred forward in advance of his main body with one hundred and seventy dragoons and eighty mounted men of the infantry. Before five o'clock (Nov. 20) his advanced guard overtook and charged the rear of the Americans, who retreated to the main body. Sumter finding it impossible to cross Tyger River in safety, and being informed that the enemy, thus pressing upon him, were without infantry or cannon, took post on Black Stock Hill, with a rivulet and rail fence in front, the Tyger River in the rear and on the right flank, and a large log barn on the left. The barn was turned into a fortress, and a part of the force stationed in it to fire through the apertures between the logs.
Tarleton halted on an opposite height to await the arrival of his infantry, and part of his men dismounted to ease their horses. Sumter seized this moment for an attack. He was driven back after some sharp fighting. The enemy pursued, but were severely galled by the fire from the log barn. Enraged at seeing his men shot down, Tarleton charged with his cavalry, but found it im