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to surrender themselves
copy the passes in such a manner, as to shut Charles-Town up entirely.
As the arrival of a large reinforcement from New York, enabled the general considerably to strengthen the corps under Webster, so the importance of the situation induced Earl Cornwallis to take the command on that side of Cooper's River. Under the conduct of this nobleman, Tarleton attacked, defeated, and ruined another body of cavalry, which she enemy had with infinite difficulty collected together. .
In the mean time, the besiegers had completed their third parallel, which they carried close to the rebel canal; and by a sap, pushed to the dam which supplied it with 'i:er on the right, they had drained it in several parts to the kt.om. On the other hand, the admiral, who had constantly pressed and distressed the enemy, in every part within his reach, having taken the fort at Mount Pleasant, acquired from its vicinity, lad the information of the desertin which it encouraged, a full knowledge of the /late of the garrison and defences of Fort Moultric, in Sullivan's I Hand. 'In pursuance s.f this information, and determined not to weaken the operation of the army, he landed a. body of seamen a:id marines, ia order to storm the place by Uod, while the ships battered it in every possible direction. In these circumllance:, the garrison (amounting to something more than aoo men) seeing the imminent danger to which they were exposed, and sstiGb.'e of the impossibility of reUf, were glad, by a capitulation,
prisoners of war. MV ?*•
Thus enclosed on every side, and driven to its last defences, the general wishing to preserve Charles Town from destruction, and to prevent that effusion of human blood, which must be the inevitable consequence of a storm, opened a correspondence on the following day with Lincoln, for the purpose of a surrender. But the conditions demanded by that commander being deemed higher than his present circumstances and situation entitled him to, they were rejected, and hostilities renewed. Tfte batteries on the third parallel were then opened, and so great a superiority of sire obtained, that the besiegers weie enabled under it to gain the counterscarp of the out-work which flanked the canal: which they likewise passed;, and then pushed on their works directly towards the ditch of the place.'
The objections to the late con ditions required by Gen. Linciln, went principally to some stipulations in favour of the citizens and militia; but the present state of danger having brought those people to acquiesce in their being relinquished, as, the price of security, that commander accordingly proposed to surrender upon the terms which were then offered. The Britilh commanders, besides their averseness to the cruel extremity of a storm, were not disposed to press to unconditional submission, an enemy whom they wistied to conciliate by clemency. They granted now the same conditions which they had before .. ,
offered; and the capi- May iitfc. tuiation was accordingly signed.
The garrison were allowed some of the honours of war; but they were not to uncase their colours, nor their drums to beat a British inarch. The continental troops and seamen were to keep their baggage, and to remain prisoners of war until they were exchanged. The militia were to be permitted to return to their respectives homes, as prisoners on parole; and while they adhered to their parole, were not to be molested by the British troops in person or property. The citizens of all sorts to be considered as prisoners on parole; and to "hold their property on the fame terms with the militia. The officers of the army ar.d navy to retain their servants, swords, pistols, and their baggage, unsearched. Horses were refused, as to carrying them out of Charles Town; but they were allowed to dispose of them in the town..
Seven general officers, ten continental regiments, and three battalions of artillery, became prisoners upon this occasion. The whole number of men in arms who were taken, including town and country militia and French, amounted to 5611, exclusive of ■ear a thousand seamen. The number of rank and file, which appear on this list, bear no proportion to the clouds of commission and non-commission officers, which •xceed nine hundred. The thinness of the continental regiments accounts partly for this circumstance; it appearing from Lincoln's return to congress, that the whole number of men of every sort, included in so many regiments and battalions, at the time of the surrender, did not amount to quite 2500. He boalts in that
letter, that he lost only twrnfj men by desertion, in six weeks before the surrender.
As the siege was not productive of sallies or desperate assaults, which were in a considerable degree prevented by situation, and the nature of the -works, the loss of men was not great on either side, and was not very unequally shared. A prodigious artillery was taken; amounting, of every sort, and including those in the forts and ships, to considerably more than 400 pieces. Of these, 311 were found in Charles Town only. Three stout rebel frigates, one French, and a polacre of 16 guns, of the fame nation, which escaped the operation of being sunk to bar the river, fell likewise into the hands of the viclors.
The Carolinians complained greatly of their not being properly assisted by their neighbours, particularly the ViTginians, in this long and arduous struggle. 1( the complaint is at all founded, it can only relate to the not sending of reinforcements to the garrison before the city was closely invested; for the southern colonies possessed no sorce^ which was in any degree equal to the raising, or even to the much incommoding cf the siege. Nor does it seem that the augmentation of the garrison would have answered any effectual purpose. At the commencement of the siege, an American lieutenant-colonel, of the name of Hamilton Bnllendine, having the fortune of being detected in his attempt to pass to the English camp 3t night, with draughts of the town and works, immediately suffered the unpitied death of a traitor. The moll rapid and brilliaa* • fuecefc success now attended every exertion of the British arms; Lord Cornwallis, on hi: march up the north side of the great Santee river, having received intelligence that the remaining force oi the rebels were collected near the borders of North Carolina, dispatched Colonel Tarleton, with the cavalry, and a new corps of light infantry, called the Legion, mounted on horseback, in order to root and disperse that body, before it could receive any addition of force irom the neighbouring colonies.
The enemy being at so great a distance, as not to apprehend almost the possibility of any near danger, had considered other circumstances of convenience more, than the means of securing a good retreat, in their choice of situation. No such negligence could pass unpunished, under any circumstance of distance, with such an enemy as they had now to encounter. Colonel Tarleton, upon this occasion, exceeded even his own usual celerity; and having marched >05 miles in 54 hours,
», t presented himself sud
May 29th. 5en,y and un„pect.
edly, at a place called Waxsaw, before an astonished and dispirited enemy. They, however, positively rejected the conditions whicn were offered them, of furrendering upon the fame terms with the garrison of Charles Town. The attack was highly spirited; the defence, notwithstanding the cover of a wood, faint; and the ruin complete. Above 100 were killed on the spot; about 1 jo so badly wounded as to be unable to travel, and about 50 bought away prisoners. Their
colours, baggage, with the remains of the artillery of the southern army, fell into the hands of the victors. The loss on .their side, though the rebels were superior in number, was very trifling.
After this success, there was nothing to resist the arms of Lord Cornwallis; and the reduction of that extensive colony of South Carolina was deem.-d so complete, at the time of T Sir Henry Clinton's June 5th* departure, on returning to h,is government of New York, that he informs the American minister in his letter, tbat_there were f'tw men in the province who were not either prisoners to, or in arms with, the Britilh forces; and he cannot restrain his exultation, at the number of the inhabitants who came in from every quarter, to teltifv their allegiance, and to offer their services, in arms, in support of his Majesty's government; and who, in many instances, had brought as prisoners their former oppressors or leaders.
That commander accordingly, in settling the affairs and government of the province, adopted a scheme of obliging it to contribute largely to its own defence; and even to look forward, in present exertion, to future security, by taking an active share in the suppression of the rebellion on its borders. In this view, he seemed to admic os no neutrals; but that every man, who did not avow himself an enemy to the British government, fhouM take an active part in its support. On this principle,, all persons were expected to be in readiness with their arms at a moment's warning j 'those who had families, to form a militia sot
the borne defence; but those who became Sir Henry Clinton and had none, to serve with the royal his noble successor, to use every forces, for any six months of the method their genius suggested to ensuing twelve, in which they them, for securing or extending .might be called upon, to assist their conquests; 'but the success "in driving their rebel oppres- of the measure in a partial expesors, and all the miseries of war, riment has been such, as will jeffar from the province." Their tify other commanders for not service was, however, limited, be- placing an intire and general desides their own province, to North pendence upon assurances of faCarolina and Georgia, beyond the vourable dispositions in the coloboundaries of which they were not nists, extorted under the influence to be marched; and, after the ex- of fear, which have every where piration of the limited term, they proved entirely delusive, were to be free from all future The departure of Sir Henry military claims of service, except- Clinton from New York had exing their local militia duties. So posed that city to an apparent warm were the hopes of success danger upon the outset of his exthen formed, that a few months pedition, which, as it could not were thought eqoal to the subju- possibly have been foreseen, no gation of, at least, that part of wisdom could provide against.— the continent. A winter, unequalled in that cli
This system, of subduing one mate for its length and severity, parr of the Americans by the h.id deprived New York, and the other j and of establishing such an adjoining islands, pf ail the deinternal force in each subjugated senlive benefits of their insular colony, as would be nearly, if situation; and while it also denot entirely, equal to its future prived them of their naval propreservation and defence, had tection, exposed that protection been often held out, and much itself to an equal degree of dansuggested in England, r.s exceed, ger. The North river, with the ingly practicable; and indeed, as straits and channels by which requiring only adoption to inline they are divided and surrounded, its success. And our preceding were every where cloathed with commanders on the American fer- ice of such a strength and thickvice had suffered much obloquy and nes;, a* would have admitted the bitterness of reproach, for their passage of armies, with their supposed negligence, in not pro heaviest carriages and artillery ;siting of means which were repre- so that the islands, and the adsented as so obvious, and which, joining countries, presented to the as it was said, would have been so view, and in effect, one whole and fortunately decisive with respect to unbroken continent, the war. Jn this alarming change, so sud
The wisdom of the measure in denly wrought in the nature of
question depended entirely upon the situation, Major General Pai
the number of persons in the re- tison, who commanded at New
spective colonies attached to the York, with the Hessian General
British government. It certainly Knyphauscn, and other officers on * that
that station, took the most prudential and speedy measures for the common defence. All orders of men in New York were embodied, armed and officered; and, including about i 500 seamen, amouQted to something near (.000 men. The officers and crews of the royal frigates, which were locked up in the ice, undertook the charge of a redoubt; and those os the transports, victuallers, and merchantmen, were armed with pikes, for the defence of the wharfs and (hipping.
It, however, happened fortunately, that General Washington was in no condition to profit of this unlocked for event. The small army which remained with him, hutted at Morris-Town, was inferior in strength to the royal military defensive force, exclusive of the armed inhabitants and militia. He, notwithstanding, made such movements and preparations, as sufficiently indicated design, and afforded cause for alarm. An ineffective attempt was even made by Lord Stirling, with 2700 men and some artillery, upon Staten Island. But he continued on the island only one day, and retreated in the night. In a number of small skirmishes and enterprizes, which took place during the winter, the British forces had continually the advantage.
During these transactions in North America, Captain Cornwallis, on the Jamaica station, acquired great honour, by the gallant defence which he made with a very inferior force, against W- de la Motte Piquet, who was himself wounded in the action. Being on a cruize oft Monte Christi, in his own ship, the Liou, of
64 guns, with the „T , .. ulist 1 e J March 20th.
Bristol of 50, and
the Janus of 44, he fell in with, and was chaced by the French commander, who had four 74 gun ships and two frigates. The enemy came within cannon shot by five in the evening, and a running fight was maintained through the whole night, without the enemy's venturing to come alongside, which it was in their power to do. In the morning, the Janus being a good deal disabled, and at some distance, the Lion and Bristol, through the defect of wind, were obliged to be towed by their boats to her assistance. This brought on a general engagement, which lasted between two aud three hours, and in which the enemy suffered so much, that they were obliged to lie by to repair. They, however, renewed the pursuit, and continued it during the night, without coming within gun lhot. But the appearance of the Ruby man of war, of 64 guns, with two Britifli frigates, in the morning of the third day, suddenly changed the face of things. The French commander was now, notwithstanding the superiority of force which he still retained, chaced 111 turn, and pursued for several hours, with the utmost exultation and triumph by the Britifli commanders.
Sir George Rodney had arrived, at St. Lucia, and taken the command of the fleet upon the Leeward Island station, by the latter end of March. Just previous to his arrival, M. de Guichen, with 25 fliips of the line, and eight frigates, all full of troops, had paraded for several days before that island, with, a view either of surL*i'] prize,