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MAD ANTHONY IN A MORASS.
before him. To retreat was more dangerous than to go on. So thinking, with that impetuous valor which had gained him the name of Mad Anthony, he ordered a charge to be sounded, and threw himself horse and foot with shouts upon the enemy. It was a sanguinary conflict and a desperate one, for the enemy were outflanking him right and left. Fortunately, the heaviness of the fire had awakened the suspicions of Lafayette:-it was too strong for the outpost of a rear-guard. Spurring to a point of land which commanded a view of the British camp, he discovered the actual force of the enemy, and the peril of Wayne. Galloping back, he sent word to Wayne to fall back to General Muhlenburg's brigade, which had just arrived, and was forming within half a mile of the scene of conflict. Wayne did so in good order, leaving behind him his three cannon; the horses which drew them having been killed.
The whole army then retired across the morass. my's cavalry would have pursued them, but Cornwallis forbade it. The night was falling. The hardihood of Wayne's attack, and his sudden retreat, it is said, deceived and perplexed his lordship. He thought the Americans more strong than they really were, and the retreat a mere feint to draw him into an ambuscade. That retreat, if followed close, might have been converted into a disastrous flight.
The loss of the Americans in this brief but severe conflict is stated by Lafayette to have been one hundred and eighteen killed, wounded and prisoners, including ten officers. The British loss was said to be five officers wounded, and seventy-five privates killed and wounded.
"Our field officers," said Wayne,
66 were generally dismounted by having their horses either killed or wounded under them. I will not condole with the marquis for
the loss of two of his, as he was frequently requested to keep at a greater distance. His natural bravery rendered him deaf to admonition."
Lafayette retreated to Green Springs, where he rallied and reposed his troops. Cornwallis crossed over to Jamestown Island after dark, and three days afterwards, passing James River with his main force, proceeded to Portsmouth. His object was, in conformity to his instructions from the ministry, to establish there or elsewhere on the Chesapeake, a permanent post, to serve as a central point for naval and military operations.
In his letters to Washington giving an account of these events, Lafayette says: "I am anxious to know your opinion of the Virginia campaign. The subjugation of this State was incontestably the principal object of the ministry. I think your diversion has been of more use than any of my manœuvres; but the latter have been above all directed by political views. As long as his lordship desired an action, not a musket has been fired; the moment he would avoid a combat, we began a war of skirmishes; but I had always care not to compromise the army. The naval superiority of the enemy, his superiority in cavalry, in regular troops, and his thousand other advantages, make me consider myself lucky to have come off safe and sound. I had my eye fixed on negotiations in Europe, and I made it my aim to give his lordship the disgrace of a retreat.” *
We will now turn to resume the course of General Greene's campaigning in the Carolinas.
* Memoires de Lafayette, t. i. p. 445
OPERATION IN SOUTH CAROLINA-APPEARS BEFORE
CAMDEN-AFFAIR AT HOBKIRK'S HILL-RAWDON ABANDONS
CAMDENATTACK ON THE FORTRESS OF NINETY SIX-OPERATIONS AGAINST LORD RAWDON-GREENE ON THE HIGH HILLS OF SANTEE-SUMTER SCOURS THE LOWER COUNTRYDASH OF COLONEL WADE HAMPTON AT THE GATES OF CHARLESTONEXPLOITS OF LEE AND HAMPTON-OF CAPTAIN ARMSTRONG AT QUIMBY BRIDGE-ACTION IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD-END OF THE CAMPAIGN.
RAPID SUCCESSES OF THE AMERICANS-GREENE'S
It will be recollected that Greene, on the 5th of April, set out from Deep River on a retrograde march to carry the war again into South Carolina, beginning by an attack on Lord Rawdon's post at Camden. Sumter and Marion had been keeping alive the revolutionary fire in that State; the former on the north-east frontier, the latter in his favorite fighting ground between the Pedee and Santee Rivers. On the re-appearance of Greene, they stood ready to aid with heart and hand.
On his way to Camden, Greene detached Lee to join Marion with his legion, and make an attack upon Fort Watson by way of diversion. For himself, he appeared before Camden, but finding it too strong and too well garrisoned, fell back about two miles, and took post at Hobkirk's Hill, hoping to draw his lordship out. He succeeded but too well. His lordship attacked him on the 25th of April, coming
upon him partly by surprise. There was a hard-fought battle, but through some false move among part of his troops, Greene was obliged to retreat. His lordship did not pursue, but shut himself up in Camden, waiting to be rejoined by part of his garrison which was absent.
Greene posted himself near Camden ferry on the Wateree, to intercept these reinforcements. Lee and Marion, who had succeeded in capturing Fort Watson, also took a position on the high hills of Santee for the same purpose. Their efforts were unavailing. Lord Rawdon was rejoined by the other part of his troops. His superior force now threatened to give him the mastery. Greene felt the hazardous nature of his situation. His troops were fatigued by their long marchings; he was disappointed of promised aid and reinforcements from Virginia; still he was undismayed, and prepared for another of his long and stubborn retreats. "We must always operate," said he, "on the maxim that your enemy will do what he ought to do. Lord Rawdon will push us back to the mountains, but we will dispute every inch of ground in the best manner we can." Such were his words to General Davie on the evening of the 9th of May, as he sat in his tent with a map before him studying the roads and fastnesses of the country. An express was to set off for Philadelphia the next morning, and he requested General Davie, who was of that city, to write to the members of Congress with whom he was acquainted, painting in the strongest colors their situation and gloomy prospects.
The very next morning there was a joyful reverse. Greene sent for General Davie. "Rawdon," cried he, exultingly, "is preparing to evacuate Camden; that place was the key of the enemy's line of posts, they will now all fall or be evacuated; all
RAPID SUCCESSES OF THE PATRIOT ARMY. 297
will now go well. Burn your letters. I shall march immediately to the Congaree."
His lordship had heard of the march of Cornwallis into Virginia, and that all hope of aid from him was at an end. His garrison was out of provisions. All supplies were cut off by the Americans; he had no choice but to evacuate. He left Camden in flames. Immense quantities of stores and baggage were consumed, together with the court-house, the gaol, and many private houses.
Rapid successes now attended the American arms. Fort Motte, the middle post between Camden and Ninety Six, was taken by Marion and Lee. Lee next captured Granby, and marched to aid Pickens in the siege of Augusta; while Greene, having acquired a supply of arms, ammunition, and provisions, from the captured forts, sat down before the fortress of Ninety Six, on the 22d of May. It was the great mart and stronghold of the royalists, and was principally garrisoned by royalists from New Jersey and New York, commanded by Colonel Cruger, a native of New York. The siege lasted for nearly a month. The place was valiantly defended. Lee arrived with his legion, having failed before Augusta, and invested a stockaded fort which formed part of the works.
Word was brought that Lord Rawdon was pressing forward with reinforcements, and but a few miles distant on the Saluda. Greene endeavored to get up Sumter, Marion, and Pickens, to his assistance, but they were too far on the right of Lord Rawdon to form a junction. The troops were eager to storm the works before his lordship should arrive. A partial assault was made on the 18th of June. It was a bloody contest. The VOL. IV.-13*