Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

fident he will acquit himself with honor whenever he is brought to trial. But if I could have my wish, he should be acquitted without an enquiry unless he chose it himself.” .. .. nrétt

That you may form a clearer conception of the miseries attending the war in South Carolina, you are presented with a few extracts from gen. Greene's letters. While before Ninety-Six. he wrote to col. Davies, the 23d of May-" The animosity be.. tween the whigs and tories of this state, renders their situation truly deplorable. There is not a day passes, but there are more or less who fall a sacrifice to this savage disposition. The whigs seein determined to extirpate the tories, and the tories the whigs. Some thousands have fallen in this way in this quarter, and the evil rages with more violence than ever. If a stop cannot be soon put to these massacres, the country will be depopulated in a few months more, as neither whig nor tory can live.” Thus with out charging, he rebuked Davies for a crine of which he was wofully guilty, and advised him to a better conduct. Weighty reasons, though not a similar one, induced Greene to write ta Pickens on the 5th of June-"The inhabitants near Parker's Ford, on the Saluda, are in great distress from the savage conduct of a party of men belonging to col Hammond's regiment. This par ty plunders without mercy, and murders the defenceless people just as private pique, prejudice or personal resentments dictate. . Principles of humanity as well as policy require, that proper mea. sures should be immediately taken to restrain these abuses, heal differences, and unite the people as much as possible. No vio: lence should be offered to any of the inhabitants, unless found in ärms. The idea of exterminating the tories is no less barbarous than impolitic. I hope you will exert yourself to bring overthe tories to our interest, and check the growing enormities which prevail among the whigs, in plundering, as private avarice or a bloody disposition stimulates them.” July the 30:h, the general thus expressed himself to the same person-" I am exceedingly. distressed that the practice of plundering still continues to rage. If a check is not put to this fatal practice, the inhabitants will think their miseries rather increased than lessened.” While Greene remained on the High Hills of Santee, he received from the presi. dent of congress, Mr. M‘Kean, the following extracts from let. ters of lord G. Germaine. To the commissioners for restoring peace. “March the 7th. Your declaration of the 29th of De cember, will, I trust, be productive of good effects. The nas. row limits to which you have reduced your exceptions, and the generality of the assurance you have given of restoration of the former constitutions, were, I doubt not, well considered, and judgin

ed

ed necessary and expedient; but as there are many things in the constitutions of some of the colonies, and some things in all, which the people have always wished to be altered, and others which the common advantages of both countries require to be changed, it is necessary to be attentive, that neither your acts for declarations preclude any disquisition of such subjects, or prevent sach alterations being made in their constitution, as the people may solicit or consent to.” [Thus it appears that the ministry meant that the commissioners should be so guarded in their acts and declarations, as that the American constitutions might not obtain from the same stability and permanency.]-To Şir H. Clinton. “Feb. the 7th. It gave his majesty satisfaction to find you had determined to replace gen. Leslie's detachment in Elizabeth viver, by one under.gen. Arnold, with positive orders to establish a permanent post there." To Sir H. Clinton.“ March the 7th. It is a pleasing, though at the same time a mortifying Teflection, which arises, from a view of the return of the provincial forces you have transmitted, that the American levies in the king's service, are more in number than the whole of the enlist ed troops in the service of the congress. I hope in the course of the summer, the admirał and you will be able to spare a force sufficienc to effect an establishment at Casco Bay, and reduce that country to the king's obedience. As the exchanges (as it apo pears from Mr. Washington's last letter to you) will not be cararied on further, the measure of enlisting your prisoners for ser

vice in the West-Indies should be adopted immediately, and inxeleed such has been the mortality of the troops there from sickwess, that I do not see any other means of recruiting them.The prevalency of westerly, winds these last two months, has prevented the Warwick and Solebay, with their convoy, from getting further than Plymouth, where they are all detained." The president wrote in his letter of July the 17th, which accompanied the above extracts. “It further appears from these Jetters, that Arnold has received bills of exchange for 50001. sterling on London, which have been paid, and the money in-vested in the stocks. This was probably the certain reward, the rest may have been eventual. Congress are possessed of the originals.?! The following of May the 22d, is thought also to have been sent to Greene by a member of congress" Congress this day received a mnost affectionate and friendly letter from the king of France. He gives us every assurance of the most substantial said, as far as his abilities and the exigencies of his affairs in Eusrope will admit.--He speaks in the most tender and feeling manper on the distressing situation of our affairs, and says, he will

risk embarrassing his own affairs in order to afford us some Tex lief.'?

• After lord Rawdon's return to Charlestoit, an affair took place which has roused the indignation of the Americans apdi may receive a fairer discussion in some future period, when ims. partiality shall be more prevalent than at present. The whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so far as it has come to my knowledge, shall be now laid before you. During the siege of Charleston, col. Hayne served his country in a corps of militia horse. After the capitulation no alternative was left, but either to abandon his farnily and property, or to surrender to the cons querors. He concluded, that instead of waiting to be capture ed, it would be both more safe and more honorable to go with in the British lines, and surrender himself a voluntary prisoners He therefore repaired to Charleston, and offered to bind hims self by the honor of an American officer, to do nothing prejudis cial to the British interest till he should be exchanged. Reporte made of his superior abilities and influence, uniformly exerted in the Americau cause, operated with the conquerors to refuse him a parole, though they were daily accustomed to grant that indulgence to other inhabitants. He was told, that he must ei ther become a British subjèct; or submit to close copfinement. To be arrested and detained in the capital, was not to himself an intolerable evil, but to abandon his family both to the ravage es of the small-pox, then raging in their neighborhood, and to the insults and depredations of the royalists, was too much for the tender husband and fond parent. To acknowledge himself the subject of a government which he had froni principle Teie nounced, was repugnant to his feelings; but without this, he was cut off from every prospect of a return to his family. In this embarrassing situation, he waited on Dr. Ramsay with a dee claration to the following effect. If the British would grant me the indulgence which we, in the day of our powers gave to their adherents, of removing my family and property, would seek an asylum in the remotest corner of the United States, F ther than submit to their government; but as they allow no de ther alternative than submission or confinement in the capital, at a distance from my wife and family, at a time when they are ia the most pressing need of my presence and support, I must for the present yield to the demands of the conquerors. I request you to bear in mind, that, previous to iny taking this step, I den clare that it is contrary to my inclination, and forced on me by hard necessity. I never will bear arms against my country. My new masters can require' no sevice of me, but wilat is enjoined by I the old militia law of the province, which substitutes a fine in lieu the gallantry of officers or the humanity of men. His children, accompanied by some near relations (tlie mother had died of the small-pox), were presented on their bended knees, as humble suitors for their father's life. Such powerful intercessions were made in his favor, as touched many an unfeeling heart, and drew tears from many an hard eye; but lord Rawdon aad Balfour continued firm to their determination, ions wie

of personal service; that I will pay as the price of my protec I tion. If my conduct should be censured by my countrymen, I 1 beg that you would remember this conversation, and bear witness I for me, that I do not mean to desert the cause of America."..

In this state of perplexity, col. Hayne-subscribed a declara, tion of his allegiance to the king of Great-Britain, but not with out expressly objecting to the clause which required him with hus arms to support the royal government. The commandant of the garrison, brig. gen. Paterson, and James Simpson, esq. int. tendantof the British police, assured him that this would never beurequired, and added further, that when the regular forces could not defend the country without the aid of its inhabitants, it wouid be 'high' time for the royal army to quit it. Having submitted to the royal government, he was permitted to return to his family. Notwithstanding what had passed at the time of his submission, he was repeatedly called upon to take arms against bis countrymen, and finally threatened with close confinement in case of a further refusal. This he considered as a breach of contráct; and it being no longer in the power of the British to give him that protection which was to be the compensation of his allegiance, he viewed himself as released from allengagements to their commanders. The inhabitants of his neighborhood, who had also revolted, petitioned gen. Pickens to appoint hini to the commiand of their regiment, which was done, and the appointment accepted. :,'. Hirmitini " . .? * Col. Hayne having thus resumed his arms, sent out in July a small party to recóiinoitre, which penetrated within seven miles. of Charleston, took gen. Williamson prisoner, and retreated to the head-quarters of the regiment. This was the same William son who was an active officer in the South-Carolina inilitia from the commencement of the war to the surrender of Charleston, soon after which event he became a British subject. Such was the anxiety of the British commandant to rescue Williamson, that he ordered out his whole cavalry on the business. Hayne fell into their hands. He was carried to the capital, and confined in the provošt’s prison, for having resumed his arms after accepting British protection. 'At first he was promised a trial; and had council prepared to justify his conduct by the laits of nations and Bsages of war; but this was finally refused, and he was ordered for execution by lord Rawdon and lieut. col. Baifour. Thenyal Vieut. gov. Bull, and a great number of inhabit:ints, both royale ists and Americans, interceded for his life. The ladies of Charleston generally signed a petition in his behalf, in which was introduced every delicate sentiment that was likely to operate on

the

[ocr errors]

The colonel was repeatedly visited by his friends, and conversed on various subjects with a becoming fortitude, He particularly lamented that, on principles of retaliation, his execu tion would probably be an introduction to the shedding of much innocent blood. He requested those in whom the supreme pow. er was vested, to accommodate the mode of his death to his feelings as an officer ; but this was refused. On the last evening, of his life, he told a friend, that he was no more alarmed at the thoughts of death than at any other occurrence which was ne. cessary and unavoidable...i'. · On receiving his summons on the morning of August the 4th, to proceed to the place of execution, he delivered to his eldest son, a youth of about thirteen years of age, several pas pers relative to his case, and said “ Present these papers to Mrs. Edwards, with my request that she would forward them to her brother in congress. You will-next repair to the place of execution, receive my body, and see it decently interred among my forefathers.?' They took a final leave. The colonel's arms were pinioned, and a guard placed round his person. The promi cession began frein the Exchange in the forenoon. The streets were crowded with thousands of anxious spectators. He walka ed to the place of execution with such decent firmness, compoz sure and dignity, as to awaken the compassion of many, and command respect from all. When the city barrier was pasty and the instrument of his catastrophe appeared in full view, a faithful friend by his side, observed to him, that he hoped he would exhibit an example of the manner in which an American can die. He answered with the utmost tranquility="I wilt endeavor to do so." He ascended the cart with a firm step and serene aspect. He enquired of the executioner, who was inak ing an attempt to get up to pull the cap over his eyes, what he wanted. On being inforined, the colonel replied" I will save you the trouble," and pulled the cap over himself. He was af terward asked whether he wished to say any thing, to whicha he answered "I will only take leave of my friends, and be ready.” He then affectionately shook hands with three gene tlemen, recommending his children to their care, and gave the signal for the cart to move.

Thus

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsett »