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the war into the enemy's quarters; and, crossing the Savannah, near Augusta, marched into Georgia, and proceeded towards the capital of that province. Prevost instantly took advantage of this movement to invade South Carolina, at the head of 2400 men; and, driving Moultrie before him, pushed forward towards Charleston. At this time, his superiority appeared to be so decisive, that Moultrie's troops began to desert in great numbers, and many of the inhabitants, with real or affected zeal, embraced the royal
On his appearance before Charleston, the garrison of that place, which consisted of 3300 men, sent commissioners to propose a neutrality on their part during the remainder of the war. This proposal he rejected, and made preparations to attack the town, which was respectably fortified. But, whilst he was wasting time in negotiations, Lincoln was hastening from Georgia to the relief of the place; and on the near approach of the American army, fearing to be exposed to two fires, he withdrew his forces across Ashley river, and encamped on some small islands bordering on the sea-coast. Here he was attacked by Lincoln, who was, however, repulsed with loss, in consequence of the failure of a part of his combinations. Notwithstanding this success, the British general did not think it advisable to maintain his present position, but retreated to Port Royal, and thence to Savannah.
The Americans retired to Sheldon, in the vicinity of Beaufort, which is situated at about an equal distance from Charleston and Savannah. Here they remained in a state of tranquillity till the beginning of September, when they
Where did Lincoln determine to carry the war?
were aroused from their inaction by the appearance off the coast of the fleet of D'Estaing, who had proceeded towards the close of the preceding year from Boston to the West Indies, whence, after capturing St. Vincent's and Granada, he had returned to the assistance of the allies of his sovereign. At the sight of this armament, which consisted of 20 sail of the line, and 13 frigates, the republicans exulted in the sanguine hope of capturing their enemies, or of expelling them from their country. The militia mustered with alacrity in considerable force, and marched under the command of General Lincoln to the vicinity of Savannah. Before their arrival, D'Estaing had summoned the town, and had granted to General Prevost a suspension of hostilities for twenty-four hours, for the purpose of settling the terms of a capitulation. But during that interval, the British commander received a reinforcement of several hundred men, who had forced their way from Beaufort; encouraged by which seasonable aid, he determined to hold out to the last extremity. The allied forces, therefore, commenced the siege of the place in form; but D'Estaing, finding that much time would be consumed in regular approaches, and dreading the hurricanes which prevail on the southern coast of America at that season, resolved on an assault. junction with Lincoln, he led his troops to the assault with great galantry; but the steadiness of the British won the day; and after having received two slight wounds, he was driven back with the loss of 637 of his countrymen, and 200 of the Americans, killed and wounded. At the close of
What fleet appeared off Charleston in September?
the engagement, D'Estaing retired to his ships, and departed from the coast, whilst Lincoln crossed the Savannah river, and returned with his forces, daily diminishing by desertion, to South Carolina. In proportion to the joy of the inhabitants of the southern States at the arrival of the French fleet, was their mortification at the failure of their joint endeavors to rid the provinces of an active enemy.The brave were dispirited by defeat, and the sanguine began to despair of the fortunes of their country. Those, however, who thought more deeply, took comfort from the consideration that the enemy had effected little in the course of the campaign, excepting the overrunning and plundering of an extensive tract of territory, and that they had been compelled to terminate their excursions by again concentrating themselves in Savannah.
SIEGE AND CAPITULATION OF CHARLESTON, 12TH OF MAY,
The events which had occurred in South Carolina, having pursuaded Sir Henry Clinton that the cause of independence was less firmly supported there than in the northern States, he determined to make that province the principal theater of the war during the ensuing campaign.-Leaving, therefore, the command of the royal army in New York to General Knyphausen, on the 26th of Decem1779, he sailed from that city with a considerable force, and, after a stormy passage, on the 11th of the ensuing month, he arrived at Tybee, in Georgia, at the mouth of Savannah river. Hence he proceeded to Ashley river, and encamped opposite to Charleston. On his arrival, the assembly of the State of South Carolina broke up its sitting, after having once more delegated a dictatorial authority to Governor Rutledge, who immediately issued his orders for the assemblage of the militia. These commands were ill
How were the inhabitants of the southern States affected by their bad sucFrom what source did others take comfort?
[cess. Why did Sir Henry Clinton determine to make South Carolina the princi
pal theater of the war? At what time did he sail from New York?
. obeyed. The disasters of the last campaign had almost extinguished the flame of patriotism; and each man seemed to look to his neighbors for those exertions which might have justly been expected from himself. On reconnoitering the works of Charleston, however, Sir Henry Clinton did not think it expedient to attack them till he had received reinforcements from New York and Savannah, on the arrival of which he opened the siege in form. Charleston is situated on a tongue of land, bounded on the west by Ashley, and on the east by Cooper's rivers. The approach to
, Ashley river was defended by Fort Moultrie, erected on Sullivan's Island; and the passage up Cooper's river was impeded by a number of vessels, connected by cables and chains, and sunk in the channel opposite the town. On the land side, the place was defended by a citadel and strong lines, extending from one of the above mentioned rivers to the other. Before these lines, Clinton broke ground on the 29th of March, and on the 10th of April, he had completed his first parallel. On the preceding day, Admiral Arbuthnot, who commanded the British fleet, had passed Fort Moultrie with little loss, and had anchored near the town. About the 20th of April, the British commander
On his arrival what did the assembly of South Carolina do?
received a second reinforcement of 3000 men; and the place was soon completely invested by land and sea-his third parallel being advanced to the very edge of the Amer. ican works. General Lincoln, who commanded in Charleston,* would not have shut himself up in the town, had he
**General Lincoln, trusting to these defences, and expecting large re-enforce. ments, remained in Charleston at the earnest request of the inhabitants, and with the force under his command, amounting to 7000 men of all denominations under arms, resolved to defend the place. On the 21st of March, the British marine force, consisting of one ship of 50 guns, two of 40 guns, four of 32, and the Sandwich armed ship, crossed the bar, and anchored in Five Fathom Hole.
Commodore Whipple, finding it impracticable to prevent the enemy from passing over the bar, fell back to Fort Moultrie, and afterward to Charleston. The crews and guns of all the vessels, excepting one, were put on shore to re-enforce the batteries. Some of his ships he stationed in Cooper river; and the rest, with some other vessels, were sunk across the mouth of it, to pre. vent the British fleet from entering. On the 9th of April, Admiral Arbuthnot passed Fort Moultrie without stopping to engage it. Colonel Pinckney, who commanded on Sullivan's Island with 300 men, kept up a brisk and well directed fire on the ships in their passage; 27 seamen were killed or wounded, and the ships in general sustained damage. As the fleet was precluded from an entrance into Cooper river, it anchored near the remains of Fort Johnston, just without the range of shot from the batteries of the town. The same day on which the fleet passed Fort Moultrie, the first parallel of the besiegers was finished. The town being now almost invested by sea and land, the British commanders summoned General Lincoln to surrender; but the General with modest firmness replied: “Sixty days have passed since it has been known that your intentions against this town were hostile, in which time has been afforded to abandon it: but duty and inclination point to the propriety of supporting it to the last extremity.” The batteries of the first parallel were now opened upon the town, and soon made a visible impression; but the communication between the country and the garrison was still kept open across Cooper river, through which General Lincoln expected to receive his re-enforcements, and, if it should become necessary, to make good his retreat. To prevent the reception of those re-enforcements, and to cut off that retreat, Sir Henry Clinton detached Lieutenant Colonel Webster with 1400 men. By the advanced guard of this detach. ment, composed of Tarleton's legion and Ferguson's corps, the American cavalry, with the militia attached to them, were surprised in the night of the 14th of April, at Biggin's bridge, near Monk's Corner, 32 miles from Charleston, and completely routed and dispersed. The British now extended themselves to the eastward of Cooper river; and about this time Sir Henry Clinton received a ro.