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prepared for an action, and that a favorable moment offereds marched out to attack him..
The Americans were cooking their victuals, and Greene was at breakfast about ten o'clock, when some of his advance senti, nels, half a mile in front of the camp, fired upon the yan of the British. The American troops were ,soon formed, and waited with cheerful countenances the approach of the enemy : Col: O. Williams then rode to head-quarters: 2 or 300 yards in the rear of the line, and returned before they engaged. All the baggage, as is customary in general actions, was ordered off. The cavalry (which was unsaddled and feeding on the first alarm) was now ready; and so certain was Greene of success, that without the least hesitation, he ordered lieut. col. Washington to turn the right flank of the British, and to charge in their rear, By this time the fire between the British van, and the American light-infantry pickets became very lively, and the Maryland troops (who had been ordered to sit down) stood up and nade ready. The second regiment, being on the left of the line, was ordered to advance and attack the British on their, right flank, which was done by lieut. col. Ford, who had received a mortal wound in the action : the first regiment, commanded by.col. Gunby, was ordered to charge the enemy in front. The two Virginia'regiments were ordered to act in a similax manner upon the left of the British, and were led on by Greene in person, aided by gen. Huger, lieut. cols. Campbell and Hawes. . The artillery was well posted and doing great execution, and a small body of militia was coming into action, then suddenly a number of the Americans began to retire, though the danger was.net apparently great, and every body seemed ignorant of the cause. Col. Williams was at this instant near the centre of the Maryland brigade, and with the assistance of col, Gunby and other officers endeavored to rally the men. They halted, and gave a few fires, but could not be brought again to charge. A general retreat took place. Washington, in the execution of the order given him, had at one time possessed himself of near 200 prison. ers; but he relinquished the greatest part on seeing the arıny retire. The officers-he paroled on the field of battle; and then , collecting his men, wheeled round, made his own retreat good with the loss of three men, and carried off with him fifty prisoners. · The fortune of the day was irretrievable; but Greene, with his usual firmness, instantly took measures to prevent Raw don's improving the success he had obtained. · The retreat was conducted with such order and deliberation, that most of the American wounded, all their artillery and all their baggage, were
fafelv carried off, together with six royal commissioned officers: beside Washington's prisoners. The action was continued with intervals, till about four in the afternoon, and till the Americans biad retreated about four miles; when a detachment of the ini. fantry and cavalry under Washington were ordered to advance and annov the British. The York volunteers, a handsome corps of horse, being a little advanced of the British infantry, Wasli. Ángton with great intrepidity instantly charged them, killed a
umber and dispersed the rest. The British army, without at: tempting any thing further, retired to Camden, and Greene entcarped the Americans about five miles from their former position. The field of battle was occupied only by the dead. The Joss of the Americans in killed, wounded and missing, was 264.* Among the first was capt. Beatty of the Maryland line, one of the best of officers, and an ornament to his profession. Many of the missing returned. . . . - The next day Greene in general orders commended the exertions of several corps, but implicitly and by silence censured the infantry of the battalions, which would not have been done had he known the real cause of their apparent misconduct. The virtual censure was severely felt, and the dissatisfaction of the troops upon the occasion, who said they were ordered to retire, and the complaints of many of the ofñcers, who acknowledged they had coinmunicated such orders, at length produced, at the instance of cet. Gunby, a court of inquiry. It then appeared that Gunby received orders to advance and charge bayonets without firing this order was instantly communicated to the regimeirt, which’advanced cheerfully for some distance, when a firing began on the right, and in a short time became general through the whole regiarent. Soon after, two of the right-handcompaniesgave way, when Gunby ordered tbe other four to be brought off.
This was done, and they joined Gunby at the foot of the hill, where he was exerting himself in rallying the other two companies, and at length affected it. The regiment was again forned, and gave 'a fire or two as above related. Greene in general orders pronounced Gunby's spirit and activity unexceptionable ; but his-orders-for the regiment to retire extremely improper and uomilitary; and declared that to be the only probable cause why they did not obtain a complete victory: · * *. On the 28th of April, gen. Gréene thus expressed himselsin a
letter to the chevalier de la Luzernè- This distressed country I tam sure cannot struggle much longer, without ntore eifectual sup
port. They may struggle a little while longer, but they must fall, and I fear their fall will lay a train to sap the independence of the rest of America.--I have agreeable to your excellency's advice, impressed the states all in my power with a sense of their danger; but they have not the means to make the necessary exertions. We fight, get beaten, rise and fight again. The whole country is one continued scene of blood and slaughter.” On the 1st of May he wrote to the marquis de la Fayette" You may depend upon it, that nothing can equal the sufferings of our little army, but their merit. Let not the love of fame get the better of your prudence, and plunge you into a misfortune in too eager a pursuit after glory. This is the voice of a friend, and not the cau: tion of a general.” Capt. Smith of the Americans was deprived of the common indulgence allowed to prisoners, on a charge brought against him by deserters from Greene's army, of mure dering an officer and three privates belonging to the guards after the action of Guildford. Greene complained of it to lord Raw don in a letter of May the 3d, and said "Nothing can be more foreign to the truth than the charge. I have only to observe upon it, that had such a charge been made against any of your officers, whom the fortune of war had thrown into our hands before I should have treated them with any peculiar marks of indignity, I should first have made the enquiry, and had the fact better established. It is my wish that the war should be conducted upon the most liberal, rational and generous princi ples; but I will never suffer an indignity or injury to be offered to our officers without retaliation."
Soon after the action with his lordship, Greene, knowing that the British garrison in Camden could not subsist long without fresh supplies from Charleston or the country, detached a reins forcement to Marion, on the road to Nelson's ferry; and on the 3d of May crossed the Wateree, and took occasionally such por sitions as would most effectually prevent succours from going inte the town from that quarter. On the 4th he wrote to gov. Reeds of Pennsylvania—“Those whose true interest it was to have in formed congress and the people to the northward, with the real state of things, have joined in the deception, and magnified the strength and resources of this country infinitely above their abilis ty. Many of those who adhere to our party, are so fond of plea, sure, that they cannot think of making the necessary sacrifices to support the revolution. There are many good and virtuous people to the southward, but they cannot animate the inhabitants in general, as you can to the northward. When ruin appears to approach any state, they are alarmed, and begin to think of ex! erting themselves : but its approach no sooner receives a check, than they fink back into a careless inattention.--- Virginia has.ex erted herself in giving a temporary support to the army; but her pleasure and her policy prevent her giving us such permanent aid as her strength and resources are capable of affording:-Ma. fyland has done nothing, nor 'can I.hear of any exertions there equal to the emergency. of war,-Delaware has not answered niy Jetters. These states have few men here, and those they have are daily discharged. North-Carolina has got next to no regu. lacs in the field, and few militia, and these the worst in the world, for they have neither pride por principle to bind them to any party, or to a discharge of their duty. Generals Marion and Sumpter have a few people who adhere to them, perhaps More from a desire and the opportunity of plundering, than from any inclination to promote the independence of the United States.--I have been playing the most hazardous game to keep up appearances in this quarter, until more effectual support could be afforded. But our number is reduced to a mere shadow. The war to the northward is nothing. It is a plain businesse Here the war rages like a fire ; and the enterprise and activity of the enemy almost exceed belief, I have run every risk and hazard, and find the difficulties thicken upon me daily, and you know I am not of a desponding spirit or idle temper.---If our good friends the French cannot lend a helping hand to save these sinking states, they must and will fall.--Here we are contending with more than five times our number, and among a people much more in the enemy's interest than, ours." Greene com plains in this letter of the Marylanders; but they had raised 500 regulars, who might have joined him in April, if proper pains had been taken by the executive power. 6. On the 7th of May lord Rawdon received a considerable re. inforcement by the arrival of the detachment under Watson. With this increase of strength he attempted the next day to com. pel gen, Greene to another action, which he found to be imprace ticable. Failing in his design he returned to Camden; and on the 10th burned. the jail, mills, many private houses, and a great deal of his own baggage. He then evacuated the post, and retired with his whole army to the south of the Santee, leaving about 30 of his own sick and wounded, and as many of the Americans. Greene's return to the southward being unexpected, the stores of the garrison were not provided for a siege ; but the evacuation was hastened, as Greene apprehended, from an alarm that a measure of his had given them. While in the neighbor, hood of Camden, he hanged in one day eight soldiers who had deserted from his army, and were afterward taken prisoners.. This
execution, according to the information given him, almost bred a mutiny in the garrison, which was composed very much of des serters. It had a strong effect on his own troops, from whom there was no desertion for three months. Rawdon had the ho, nor of saving his men, though he lost the post, the country, and the confidence of the tories. He offered every assistance in his power to the friends of British government, who would accoms pany him, which was the choice of several families. : The evacuation of Camden animated the friends of congress, and daily increased their numbers, while the Bțitish posts fell in quick succession. The day after the evacuation, the garrison of Orangeburgh, consisting of 70 British militia and 12 regulars, surrendered to Sumpter. Marion and Lee, after the capture of Fort Watson, crossed the Santee and moved up to Fort Motte, which lies above the Fork on the south side of the Congaree, where they arrived on the 8th of May. The British had built their works round Mrs. Motte's dwelling-house, which occasion ed her moving to a neighboring hut. She was informed that firing the house was the easiest mode of reducing the garrison ; upon that she presented the besiegers with a quiver of African ar, rows to be employed in the service. Skewers armed with con. bustible materials were also used, and with more effect. Success soon crowned these experiments, and her joy was inexpressible upon finding that the reduction of the past had been expedited, though at the expence of her property. The firing of her bouse compelled the garrison of 165 men to surrender at discretion on the 12th of May, after a brave defence. Two days after, the British evacuated their post at Nelson's ferry. On the 15th, Fort Granby, about 30 miles to the westward of Fort Motte, was reduced. The preceding night Lee erected a battery with. in 600 yards of its out-works, on which he mounted a six-pounder hastily brought from Fort Motte. After the third discharge from this field-pice, maj. Maxwell capitulated. His force cons sisted of 352 men, a great part royal militia. . Very advanta. geous terms were given them, in consequence of information that lord Rawdon was marching to their relief. They had the offer of security to their baggage, in which was included an immense quantity of plunder. This hastened the surrender. The American militia were much disgusted that the garrison were so favored. They indicated an inclination for breaking the capitulation and killing the prisoners. When Greene heard of it, he solemnly declared, that he would put to death any one that should be guilty of so doing. ». The day after the surrender of Fort Granby, Lee began his march to join Pickens. who, with a body of militia, was in the