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RAWDON ABANDONS CAMDEN-RAPID SUCCESSES OF THE AMERICANS.

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 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 a great

[1781.

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 stockaded fort was taken, but the troops were repulsed from the main works.

Greene retreated across the Saluda, and halted at Bush River, at twenty miles distance, to observe the motion of the enemy. In a letter thence to Washington, he writes: "My fears are principally from the enemy's superior cavalry. To the northward, cavalry is nothing, from the numerous fences; but to the southward, a disorder, by a superior cavalry, may be improved into a defeat, and a defeat into a route. Virginia and North Carolina could not be brought to consider cavalry of such great importance as they are to the security of the army and the safety of a country."

Lord Rawdon entered Ninety-Six on the 21st, but sallied forth again on the 24th, taking with him all the troops capable of fatigue, two thousand in number, without wheel carriage of any kind, or even knapsacks, hoping by a rapid move to overtake Greene. Want of provisions soon obliged him to give up the pursuit, and return to Ninety-Six. Leaving about one-half of his force there, under Colonel Cruger, he sallied a second time from Ninety-Six, at the head of eleven hundred infantry, with cavalry, artillery, and field-pieces, marching by the south side of the Saluda for the Congaree.

He was now pursued in his turn by Greene and Lee. In this march more than fifty of his lordship's soldiers fell dead from heat, fatigue, and privation. At Orangeburg, where he arrived on the 8th of July, his lordship was joined by a large detachment under Colonel Stuart.

Greene had followed him closely, and having collected all his detachments, and being joined by Sumter, appeared within four miles of

ÆT. 49.] SUMTER TO ATTACK BRITISH POSTS EXPLOITS OF LEE AND HAMPTON. 601

Orangeburg on the 10th of July and offered | Hampton, with his cavalry, passed to the east battle. The offer was not accepted, and the position of Lord Rawdon was too strong to be attacked, Greene remained there two or three days; when learning that Colonel Cruger was advancing with the residue of the forces from Ninety-Six, which would again give his lordship a superiority of force, he moved off with his infantry on the night of the 13th of July, crossed the Saluda, and posted himself on the east side of the Wateree, at the high hills of Santee. In this salubrious and delightful region, where the air was pure and breezy, and the water delicate, he allowed his weary soldiers to repose and refresh themselves, awaiting the arrival of some Continental troops and militia from North Carolina, when he intended to resume his enterprise of driving the enemy from the interior of the country.

At the time when he moved from the neighborhood of Orangeburg (July 13th), he detached Sumter with about a thousand light troops to scour the lower country, and attack the British posts in the vicinity of Charleston, now left uncovered by the concentration of their forces at Orangeburg. Under Sumter acted Marion, Lee, the Hamptons, and other enterprising partisans. They were to act separately in breaking up the minor posts at and about Dorchester, but to unite at Monk's Corner, where Lieutenant-Colonel Coates was stationed with the ninth regiment. This post carried, they were to reunite with Greene's army on the high hills of Santee.

Scarce was Sumter on his march, when he received a letter from Greene, dated July 14th, stating that Cruger had formed a junction with Lord Rawdon the preceding night; no time, therefore, was to be lost. "Push your operations night and day; station a party to watch the enemy's motions at Orangeburg. Keep Colonel Lee and General Marion advised of all matters from above, and tell Colonel Lee to thunder even at the gates of Charleston."

of that place, to a bridge on Goose Creek, to cut off all communication between the garrison and Monk's Corner. His sudden appearance gave the alarm, the garrison abandoned its post, and when Lee arrived there he found it deserted. He proceeded to secure a number of horses and waggons, and some fixed ammunition, which the garrison had left behind, and to send them off to Hampton. Hampton, kept in suspense by this delay, lost patience. He feared that the alarm would spread through the country, and the dash into the vicinity of Charleston be prevented—or, perhaps, that Lee might intend to make it by himself. Abandoning the bridge at Goose Creek, therefore, he set off with his cavalry, clattered down to the neighborhood of the lines, and threw the city into confusion. The bells rang, alarm guns were fired, the citizens turned out under arms. Hampton captured a patrol of dragoons and a guard, at the Quarter House; completed his bravado by parading his cavalry in sight of the sentinels on the advanced works, and then retired, carrying off fifty prisoners, several of them officers.

Lee arrived in the neighborhood on the following day, but too late to win any laurels. Hampton had been beforehand with him, made the dash, and "thundered at the gate." Both now hastened to rejoin Sumter on the evening of the 16th, who was only waiting to collect his detachments, before he made an attack on Colonel Coates at Monk's Corner. The assault was to be made on the following morning. During the night Coates decamped in silence; the first signal of his departure was the bursting of flames through the roof of a brick church, which he had used as a magazine, and which contained stores that could not be carried away. A pursuit was commenced; Lee with his legion, and Hampton with the State cavalry, took the lead. Sumter followed with the infantry. The rear-guard of the British, about Conformably to these orders, Colonel Henry one hundred strong, was overtaken with the Hampton with a party was posted to keep an baggage, at the distance of eighteen miles. eye on Orangeburg. Lee with his legion, ac- They were new troops, recently arrived from companied by Lieutenant-Colonel Wade Hamp- Ireland, and had not seen service. On being ton, and a detachment of cavalry, was sent to charged by the cavalry sword in hand, they carry Dorchester, and then press forward to threw down their arms without firing a shot, the gates of Charleston; while Sumter with and cried for quarter, which was granted. the main body, took up his line of march along While Lee was securing them, Captain Armthe road on the south side of the Congaree, tow- strong with the first section of cavalry pushed ards Monk's Corner. on in pursuit of Coates and the main body. As Lee approached Dorchester, Colonel Wade That officer had crossed a wooden bridge over

602 EXPLOIT OF CAPTAIN ARMSTRONG-BOLD STAND OF COLONEL COATES. [1781.

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which sheltered them from the attack of cavalry. Here he awaited the arrival of Sumter with the main body, determined to make a desperate defence.

It was not until three o'clock in the afternoon, that Sumter with his forces appeared upon the ground, having had to make a considerable circuit on account of the destruction of the bridge.

By four o'clock the attack commenced. Sumter, with part of the troops, advanced in front, under cover of a line of negro huts, which he wished to secure. Marion, with his brigade,

Quimby Creek, loosened the planks, and was only waiting to be rejoined by his rear-guard, to throw them off, and cut off all pursuit. His troops were partly on a causeway beyond the bridge, partly crowded in a lane. He had heard no alarm guns, and knew nothing of an enemy being at hand, until he saw Armstrong spurring up with his section. Coates gave orders for his troops to halt, form, and march up; a howitzer was brought to bear upon the bridge, and a fatigue party rushed forward to throw off the planks. Armstrong saw the danger, dashed across the bridge with his section, drove off the artillerists, and captured the how-much reduced in number, approached on the itzer before it could be discharged. The fa- right of the enemy, where there was no shelter tigue men, who had been at work on the but fences; the cavalry, not being able to act, bridge, snatched up their guns, gave a volley, remained at a distance as a reserve, and, if and fled. Two dragoons fell dead by the how-necessary, to cover a retreat. itzer; others were severely wounded. Arm- Sumter's brigade soon got possession of the strong's party, in crossing the bridge, had dis- huts, where they used their rifles with sure placed some of the planks, and formed a chasm. effect. Marion and his men rushed up through Lieutenant Carrington with the second section a galling fire to the fences on the right. The of dragoons leaped over it; the chasm being enemy retired within the house and garden, thus enlarged, the horses of the third section and kept up a sharp fire from doors and winrefused. A pell-mell fight took place between dows and picketed fence. Unfortunately, the the handful of dragoons who had crossed, and Americans had neglected to bring on their arsome of the enemy. Armstrong and Carring- tillery; their rifles and muskets were not suffiton were engaged hand to hand with Colonel cient to force the enemy from his stronghold. Coates and his officers, who defended them- Having repaired the bridge, they sent off for selves from behind a waggon. The troops the artillery and a supply of powder, which acwere thronging to their aid from lane and companied it. The evening was at hand; their causeway. Armstrong, seeing the foe too ammunition was exhausted, and they retired in strong in front, and no reinforcement coming good order, intending to renew the combat on in rear, wheeled off with some of his men with artillery in the morning. Leaving the to the left, galloped into the woods, and pushed cavalry to watch and control the movements up along the stream to ford it, and seek the of the enemy, they drew off across Quimby main body. bridge, and encamped at the distance of three miles.

During the melée, Lee had come up and endeavored with the dragoons of the third section to replace the planks of the bridge. Their efforts were vain; the water was deep, the mad deeper; there was no foothold, nor was there any firm spot where to swim the horses

across.

While they were thus occupied, Colonel Coates, with his men, opened a fire upon them from the other end of the bridge; having no fire-arms to reply with, they were obliged to retire. The remainder of the planks were then thrown off from the bridge, after which Colonel Coates took post on an adjacent plantation, made the dwelling-house, which stood on a rising ground, his citadel, placed the howitzer before it, and distributed part of his men in outhouses and within fences, and garden pickets,

Here, when they came to compare notes, it was found that the loss in killed and wounded had chiefly fallen on Marion's corps. His men, from their exposed situation, had borne the brunt of the battle; while Sumter's had suffered but little, being mostly sheltered in the huts. Jealousy and distrust were awakened, and discord reigned in the camp. Partisan and volunteer troops readily fall asunder under such circumstances. Many moved off in the night. Lee, accustomed to act independently, and unwilling perhaps to acknowledge Sumter as his superior officer, took up his line of march for head-quarters without consulting him. Sumter still had force enough, now that he was joined by the artillery, to have held the enemy in a state of siege; but he was short of ammuni

END OF THE CAMPAIGN-EMBARRASSMENTS OF WASHINGTON.

603

ET. 49.] tion, only twenty miles from Charleston, at a | awaiting an augmentation of force for their place accessible by tide water, and he appre-meditated attack. To Washington's great dishended the approach of Lord Rawdon, who, it appointment, his army was but tardily and was said, was moving down from Orangeburg. scantily recruited, while the garrison of New He therefore retired across the Santee, and re- York was augmented by the arrival of three joined Greene at his encampment. thousand Hessian troops from Europe. In this predicament he despatched a circular letter to the governments of the Eastern. States, representing his delicate and embarrassed situation. "Unable to advance with prudence beyond my present position," writes he, "while, perhaps, in the general opinion, my force is equal to the commencement of operations against New York, my conduct must appear, if not blamable, highly mysterious at least. Our allies, who were made to expect a very considerable augmentation of force by this time, instead of seeing a prospect of advancing, must conjecture, upon good grounds, that the campaign will waste fruit

So ended this foray, which fell far short of the expectations formed from the spirit and activity of the leaders and their men. Various errors have been pointed out in their operations, but concerted schemes are rarely carried out in all their parts by partisan troops. One of the best effects of the incursion, was the drawing down Lord Rawdon from Orangeburg, with five hundred of his troops. He returned no more to the upper country, but sailed not long after from Charleston for Europe.

umph to our enemies, and will have a pernicious influence upon our friends in Europe, should they find such a failure of resource, or such a want of energy to draw it out, that our boasted and extensive preparations end only in idle parade. * * The fulfilment of my engagements must depend upon the degree of vigor with which the executives of the several States exercise the powers with which they have been vested, and enforce the laws lately passed for filling up and supplying the army. In full confidence that the means which have been voted will be obtained, I shall continue my operations."

Colonel Stuart, who was left in command at Orangeburg, moved forward from that place, and encamped on the south side of the Conga-lessly away. It will be no small degree of triree River, near its junction with the Wateree, and within sixteen miles of Greene's position on the high hills of Santee. The two armies lay in sight of each other's fires, but two large rivers intervened, to secure each party from sudden attack. Both armies, however, needed repose, and military operations were suspended, as if by mutual consent, during the sultry summer heat. The campaign had been a severe and trying one, and checkered with vicissitudes; but Greene had succeeded in regaining the greater part of Georgia and the two Carolinas, and, as he said, only wanted a little assistance from the North to complete their recovery. He was soon rejoiced by a letter from Washington, informing him that a detachment from the army of Lafayette might be expected to bring him the required assistance; but he was made still more happy by the following cordial passage in the letter: "It is with the warmest pleasure I express my full approbation of the various movements and operations which your military conduct has lately exhibited, while I confess to you that I am unable to conceive what more could have been done under your circumstances, than has been displayed by your little, persevering, and determined army."

CHAPTER XXV.

AFTER the grand reconnoissance of the posts on New York Island, related in a former page, the confederate armies remained encamped about Dobbs' Ferry and the Greenburg hills,

Until we study Washington's full, perspicuous letters, we know little of the difficulties he had to struggle with in conducting his campaigns; how often the sounding resolves of legislative bodies disappointed him; how often he had to maintain a bold front when his country failed to back him; how often, as in the siege of Boston, he had to carry on the war without powder!

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In a few days came letters from Lafayette, dated 26th and 30th of July, speaking of the embarkation of the greatest part of Cornwallis's army at Portsmouth. There are in Hampton Roads thirty transport ships full of troops, most of them red coats, and eight or ten brigs with cavalry on board." He supposed their destination to be New York, yet, though wind and weather were favorable, they did not sail. "Should a French fleet now come into Hampton Roads," adds the sanguine marquis, "the British army would, I think, be ours."

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604 CHANGE OF THE GAME-MARCH OF THE ARMIES TO THE CHESAPEAKE. [1781.

At this juncture arrived the French frigate | determined to lead it in person. He would take Concorde at Newport, bringing despatches from with him something more than two thousand Admiral the Count de Grasse. He was to leave of the American army; the rest, chiefly NorthSt. Domingo on the 3d of August, with be- ern troops, were to remain with General Heath, tween twenty-five and thirty ships of the line, who was to hold command of West Point, and and a considerable body of land forces, and to the other posts of the Hudson. steer immediately for the Chesapeake.

This changed the face of affairs, and called for a change in the game. All attempt upon New York was postponed; the whole of the French army, and as large a part of the Americans as could be spared, were to move to Virginia, and co-operate with the Count de Grasse for the redemption of the Southern States. Washington apprised the count by letter of this intention. He wrote also to Lafayette on the 15th of August: "By the time this reaches you, the Count de Grasse will be in the Chesapeake, or may be looked for every moment. Under these circumstances, whether the enemy remain in full force, or whether they have only a detachment left, you will immediately take such a position as will best enable you to prevent their sudden retreat through North Carolina, which I presume they will attempt the instant they perceive so formidable an armament."

Should General Wayne, with the troops destined for South Carolina, still remain in the neighborhood of James River, and, the enemy have made no detachment to the southward, the marquis was to detain these troops until he heard again from Washington, and was to inform General Greene of the cause of their detention.

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"You shall hear further from me," concludes the letter, as soon as I have concerted plans and formed dispositions for sending a reinforcement from hence. In the mean time, I have only to recommend a continuance of that prudence and good conduct which you have manifested through the whole of your campaign. You will be particularly careful to conceal the expected arrival of the count; because, if the enemy are not apprised of it, they will stay on board their transports in the bay, which will be the luckiest circumstance in the world."

Washington's "soul was now in arms." At length, after being baffled and disappointed so often by the incompetency of his means, and above all, thwarted by the enemy's naval potency, he had the possibility of coping with them both on land and sea. The contemplated expedition was likely to consummate his plans, and wind up the fortunes of the war, and he

Perfect silence was maintained as to this change of plan. Preparations were still carried on, as if for an attack upon New York. An extensive encampment was marked out in the Jerseys, and ovens erected, and fuel provided for the baking of bread; as if a part of the besieging force was to be stationed there, thence to make a descent upon the enemy's garrison on Staten Island, in aid of the operations against the city. The American troops, themselves, were kept in ignorance of their destination. General Washington, observes one of the shrewdest of them, matures his great plans and designs under an impenetrable veil of secrecy, and while we repose the fullest confidence in our chief, our opinions (as to his intentions) must be founded only on doubtful conjecture.*

Previous to his decampment, Washington sent forward a party of pioneers to clear the roads towards King's Bridge, as if the posts recently reconnoitred were about to be attempted. On the 19th of August his troops were paraded with their faces in that direction. When all were ready, however, they were ordered to face about, and were marched up along the Hudson River, towards King's Ferry.

De Rochambeau, in like mauner, broke up his encampment, and took the road by WhitePlains, North Castle, Pine's Bridge, and Crompond, toward the same point. All Westchester County was again alive with the tramp of troops, the gleam of arms, and the lumbering of artillery and baggage waggons along its roads

On the 20th, Washington arrived at King's Ferry, and his troops began to cross the Hudson with their baggage, stores, and cannon, and encamp at Haverstraw. He himself crossed in the evening, and took up his quarters at Colonel Hay's, at the White House. Thence he wrote confidentially to Lafayette, on the 21st, now first apprising him of his being on the march with the expedition, and repeating his injunctions that the land and naval forces, already at the scene of action, should so combine their operations, that the English, on the arrival of the French fleet, might not be able to

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