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canism, the governor immediately dissolved the Assembly.
4. On the 11th January, 1775, the first revolutionary provincial Congress met, and laid the foundation for the more regular meeting of the convention of March, 1776, by which the first constitution of South-Carolina was formed.
5. The convention of 1775 stamped money, established a Court of Admiralty, for the condemnation of British vessels, issued letters of marque and reprisal, and, on the 9th September, 1775, authorized the commencement of hostilities against two of the royal vessels, then lying in the harbour, having previously seized upon the king's forts, the guns of which were turned upon the ships, compelling their withdrawal.
6. To meet the danger which their patriotism had thus provoked, the South-Carolinians had raised three regular regiments of her own, and these, with her militia, constituted her means of defence. At this period, the whole white population in South-Carolina could not have exceeded seventy-five thousand persons. One would suppose that there was no evidence here of want of zeal, or deficient courage and republicanism. They were both soon to be tested.
7. The twenty-eighth of June found a British fleet, of great strength, and a land army of corresponding force, in hostile array, before the city of Charleston. Fleet and army were beaten off, with great loss, by the Carolinians-by native troops alone, be it remembered, and native officers exclusively. This event preceded the declaration of independence, on the part of the United States—preceded all the conflicts between the two powers, with the exception of those of Bunker Hill and Lexington ; which, by the way, were in turn preceded by a civil war in the mountain country of South-Carolina, where certain Scotch settlements had embodied themselves a year before, on behalf of the crown; and where, after a severe and protracted struggle, they had been put down. The affair of Fort Moultrie was one of the best fought battles of the whole revolution. The slaughter on board the British ships was almost unexampled, exhibiting a mortality greater in proportion to the numbers engaged than that which occurred at Trafalgar, while the resist
ance to the efforts of Sir Henry Clinton, with the land army, at the east end of the Island, conducted by native riflemen, under Colonel Thompson, was such as to paralyze the enemy.
This portion of the affair has been but little commented upon by our historians; yet the fire of Thompson's marksmen, with rifles, and from two small field-pieces, was such-and the British flotilla, advancing from Long Island upon the eastern end of Sullivan's, were so raked by the fire—that the men could not be kept to their guns. The decks were cleared, the flotilla dispersed, the enterprise abandoned ; yet the force of Clinton consisted of 2,000 British infantry, exclusive of some 600 or 700 marines and boatmen, supplied from the fleet; while Thompson's strength lay in his two.cannon, a small redoubt of palmetto logs, and 700 rifles. Surely, these events are enough to decide the republicanism and the zeal of Carolina. But farther:
8. At this very juncture, the emissaries of Great Britain had brought the savage and the scalping-knife down npon the frontier population, and several hundred persons, men, women and children, cunk under their barbarities. To quell these, joined with British and loyalists, the whigs had to take the field, at the opposite extremity of the Stat at the same perilous juncture. They did so, chastised the savages, drove them to their mountain fastnesses, while the loyalists fled to Florida, or promised submission, and implored and received mercy. These were prodigious exertions for South-Carolina, utterly unexampled in the case of a State so small of population, and with its settlements so far asunder, and so much exposeil. The consequence of this vigour and enterprise was a season of security ; but, in these achievements, Carolina was exhausting her resources and her strength, incurring a mountainous load of debt, and diminishing in numbers. Her spirit, always greater than her strength, led to one result, which operated injuriously in subsequent periods, as well to her reputation as to her safety. It prompted friend and foe, alike, to overrate her strength. The consequence was, that she received succour too slowly from Congress to avail for her security, while it prompted her enemies, when they did attempt her defences, to do so with forces so overwhelming, as to put it out of the question to dream of any successful resistance. Overrating
her strength, still, the historian would exact of her such performances as not only were not exhibited by any State, during the revolution, but which it was physically and morally impossible for any country, so situated, to exhibit.
We have shown the career of South-Carolina, up to a certain period, and her escape, thus far, from the power of the enemy, through her own isolated exertions. She enjoyed a temporary rest, in consequence. The next demonstration of the British, which brought her troops into the field, was upon the still feebler State of Georgia. The united forces of Colonel Campbell, from New York, and General Prevost, from Florida, got possession of Savannah and Augusta, at the close of 1778; but, before this, an unfortunate expedition was attempted against Florida, under General Howe, which had totally broken up the Southern army. Sickness, and strife, and starvation, had thinned down the Carolina regiments to a shadow, and the one regular Georgia regiment, made captive in various struggles, had perished in the prison ships of Britain. The defeat of Howe, at Savannah, and subsequently, Ashe's, at Briar Creek, tended still farther to dissipate the strength of Carolina ; and it was in the hour of her extremest exhaustion, that, taking advantage of the blundering of Lincoln, who had command of the Southern army after Howe, that Prevost made a rapid and formidable push for Charleston, having under him a force of 2,000 regular troops and 700 Indians and loyalists; while, to oppose him, General Moultrie had but a thousand militia men.
We have spoken, already, of the result of this expedition ; and, after this survey, we boldly repeat the denial with which we set out, that the progress of republicanism and revolution was slower in South-Carolina than in her sister colonies; nay, we assert that it was more rapid than in most, and laboured only with this difficulty, that the physical strength of the State bore no sort of proportion to its sentiment, its spirit, and its zeal. South-Carolina has been subjected to a trial, both by friends and foes, which took for its tests rather her spirit than her strength. Had justice been done to both, respectively, she would have been succoured seasonably by Congress, and might have been spared a thousand miseries and losses, which are properly due to a selfish influence ; which, monopolizing for a single section most of
the resources of the country, has since added to the abandonment of another, the base and false disparagement of its claims, merits and sacrifices. All this history, North and South, has yet to be written ; when it will be seen that, if the soldier of the South does not survive on the pension list, it was because he perished in the field, or in a captivity which the pensioner, well versed in the cautionary maxims of Falstaff and Hudibras, took precious good care to avoid. The sage military counsel,
"He who runs away
Will live to fight some other day," needs only a little revision, to suit this large class of revolutionary warriors; and we amend it thus,
"He who runs away Feeds fat on pensions many a day.”
But he don't feed to fight. Witness the war of 1812 and the recent one with Mexico, where, still governed, as it would seem, by the well-conned and profitable maxim, they eschewed all of the war but the spoils. Compare the number of New Englanders in the war with Mexico, with those who pushed for California when it was well over, and you have just about the proportion between the true fighting men and the simulacra—the feeding men on the pension list. But to return. Our author writes,
“ The audacity with which Prevost threatened Charleston, in the same year, the facility of his march through South-Carolina, and safety which attended his retreat, told a sad tale of the supineness of the people of that province."
On the contrary, it spoke quite as well for the inhabitants of South Carolina, as did the progress of Ross to Baltimore, in 1814, when our author himself played an honourable part, fleshing his maiden sword in defence of his country. The expeditions were not unlike. Proctor was a dashing partizan officer, like Ross. He made a dash at Charleston, under peculiar circumstances, and was driven off, as Ross was driven from Baltimore. Nothing more-nothing less. He did not succeed; he was baffled. Both aimed at a coup de main, hoping to find the people, in both cases, unprepared. In some degree,
they did so. The results, however, were the same in both
It was no reproach to the people of South-Carolina, or of Maryland, that Prevost and Ross were audacious captains. It might have been a reproach, had they both been successful. As it was, neither succeeded. But our author's facts are as erroneous as his conclusions. He speaks of the “ facility of Prevost's march through South-Carolina.” Why, Prevost can scarcely be said to have entered South-Carolina at all! His progress was confined wholly to a march along the seacoast, not so far from his flotilla but that he might have reached it at any moment, with a few hours' effort, and through a region of swamp country, penetrated by creeks and water-courses, arms of the sea, occupied by but few white inhabitants, covered with unbroken and dense thickets, through which, with moderate skill and caution, he might at any time make his way, without waking up the country at all. Moultrie, with one-third of his force, and those badly armed militia, could only harass and retard, and not prevent his march. The two armies had sundry skirmishes, in which the Carolinians showed no supineness. Moultrie regained the city, and prepared for defence, having no force but his militia and the citizens. Negotiations were opened, and, to gain time for the arrival of Governor Rutledge and General Lincoln, from the interior, were gravely deliberated upon. Had the city been taken, there would have been nothing to surprise, and the reproach would have lain only at the door of the continental general, who, with the regular forces of the country, had rambled off into the backwoods of Georgia, as if purposely to invite the bold enterprise of the British commander. The reduction of the city, the year following, was far less easily effected than that of Philadelphia, New-York, and other places, while the inequalities of force were even greater. We could take up, sentence by sentence, this summary of our author, and show its equal injustice to the zeal, the republicanism and the courage of SouthCarolina, but that our space and leisure do not allow. We trust that we have suggested clues enough for the re-examination of the whole history. Summed up in brief, South-Carolina had shown a zeal and spirit which provoked the British government to extreme hostility, th more particularly because her republicanism was regard