« ZurückWeiter »
by Lieutenant-Colonel Cruger, who, in the present circumstances, had thought it expedient to evacuate his post at Ninety-six. On the junction of the forces of these two commanders, Greene retired to the heights above Santee, from whence he sent his active coadjutors, Marion and Sumpter, with strong scouting parties, to interrupt the communication between Orangeburgh and Charleston. As a last effort to maintain their influence in the center of the province, the British took post in force near the confluence of the Waterce and the Congaree; but on the approach of Greene, they retreated for the space of forty miles, and waited his threatened attack at the Eutaw Springs.* Here
*"On the 8th of September, at four in the morning, General Greene advanced with 2000 men, to attack them in their encampment. His army moved from the ground in the following order. The South and North Carolina militia, commanded by Generals Marion and Pickens, and by Colonel Malmedy, composed the front line; the continental troops, from North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland, led on by General Sumner, Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, and Colonel Williams, composed the second line. The legion of Lieutenant-Colonel Lee covered the right flank; and the State troops of South Carolina, under Lieutenant-Colonel Henderson, covered the left. Lieutenant-Colonel Washington with his cavalry, and Captain Kirkwood with the Delawarc troops, formed a corps de reserve. As the army advanced, the van fell in with two parties of the British, about four miles from the camp of Eutaw, and was briskly attacked: but the enemy, on receiving a heavy fire from the State troops, and a charge with the bayonet from the infantry of the legion, soon retired. On notice of the approach of the Americans, Lieutenant-Colonel Stewart, who commanded the British army, immediately formed the line of battle. It was drawn up obliquely across the road, on the heights near Eutaw Springs. The right flank was covered by a battalion, commanded by Major Majoribanks, the left of which approached the road, and was concealed by a thick hedge. The road was occupied by two pieces of artillery, and a covering party of infantry. The front lines of the Americans continuing to fire and advance, the action soon became general. In the heat of the engagement, Colonel Williams and Lieuten
To what place did he then retreat?
an obstinate engagement took place, in which the British were defeated with the loss of 1100
and were compelled to abandon the province to the republicans, and take shelter in Charleston. Of all the incidents of the Ameri
ant-Colonel Campbell, with the Maryland and Virginia continentals, were ordered to charge with trailed arms; and nothing could exceed the intrepidity with which these orders were executed. The troops rushed on in good order through a tremendous fire of artillery and musketry, and bore down all before them. Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, while leading on his men to the decisive charge, received a mortal wound. On inquiring, after he had fallen, who gave way, and being told that the British were fleeing in all quarters, he said, “I die contented,” and immediately expired. A part of the British line, consisting of new troops, broke and fled; but the veteran corps received the charge of the assailants on the points of their bayonets. The hostile ranks were a short time intermingled, and the officers fought hand to hand; but Lee, who had turned the British left flank, charging them at this instant in the rear, their line was soon completely broken, and driven off the field. They were vigorously pursued by the Americans, who took upward of 500 of them prisoners. The enemy, on their retreat, took post in a large three story brick house, and in a picketed garden; and from these advantageous positions renewed the action. Four 6 pounders were ordered up before the house; but the Americans were compelled to leave these pieces and retire. They formed again at a small distance in the woods; but General Greene, thinking it inexpedient to renew the desperate attempt, left a strong picket on the field of battle, and retired with his prisoners to the ground from which he had marched in the morning. In the evening of the next day, Lieutenant-Colonel Stewart, leaving 70 of his wounded men and 1000 stand of arms, moved from Eutaw toward Charleston. The loss of the British, inclusive of prisoners, was supposed to be not less than 1100
The loss of the Americans, in killed, wounded, and missing, was 555. Congress passed a vote of thanks to every corps in the army; and a resolution for presenting to Major-General Green, “ as an honorable testimony of his merit, a British standard, and a golden medal, emblematic of the battle, and of his victory."
The battle of Eutaw may be considered as closing the revolutionary war in South Carolina."
*"It r is stated by themselves to be 693 men; of whom 85 only were killed in the field. General Greene, in his letter to congress of 11 September, says, that including 70 wounded who were left at Eutaw, he had made 500 prisoners.** The fugitives," he observes, “spread such an alarm, that the enemy burnt their provisions at Dorchester, and quitted their post at Fairlawn. Nothing but
What took place at Eutaw Springs?
can revolutionary war, the most brilliant is this campaign of General Greene. At the head of a beaten
undisciplined, and badly equipped, he entered the province of South Carolina, which was occupied, from its eastern to its western extremity, by an enemy much superior number, in appointments, and in military experience. But by his genius, his courage, and his perseverance, he broke through their lines of operation, drove them from post to post, and though defeated in the field, he did not cease to harass them in detail, till he had driven them within the fortifications of the capital. Well did he merit the gold medal and the British standard bestowed upon him by a vote of Congress, for his services on this occasion. By his successes he revived the drooping spirits of the friends of independence in the Southern States, and prepared the way for the final victories which awaited the arms of his country in Virginia, and which led to the happy termination of the war.
Whilst the American commander was enjoying the honors bestowed upon him by his grateful countrymen, as the just meed of his valor and skill in arms, Lord Rawdon, soon after his return to Charleston, by an example of severity, brought odium on the British cause and fired the breasts of
the brick house, and their strong post at Eutaw's, hindered the remains of the British army from falling into our bands." General Green testified high respect for the memory of Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell. Colonel Henderson, a valuable officer, received a dangerous wound during the action, and the command of the South Carolina State troops devolved on Colonel Wade Hampton, an officer of distinguished merit, who made a very spirited charge, in which he took upwards of 100 prisoners. In this confusion, Colonel Washington brought up the corps de reserve, and charged the enemy so briskly on the left, as to give them no time to rally; and upwards of 500 were taken prisoners. Colonel Washington was wounded; and while disengaging himself from his horse, which was shot under him, he was taken prisoner.”
Give a sketch of this brilliant campaign?
the continentals with indignation. Amongst the American officers, who distinguished themselves in the defence of South Carolina, was Colonel Haynes, a gentleman of fortune, and of considerable influence in his neighborhood. After the capitulation of Charleston, Haynes voluntarily surrendered himself to the British authorities, requesting to be allowed his personal liberty on his parole. This indulgence, usually granted to officers of rank, he could not obtain; and was told that he must either take the oath of allegiance to his Britannic Majesty, or submit to close confinement. In an evil hour, induced by family considerations he chose the former alternative, and signed a declaration of fealty to George III., protesting, however, against the clause which required him to support the royal goverrment with arms; which clause, the officer who received his submission assured him it was not intended to enforce. The officer in question, no doubt in this assurance exceeded his authority, and Haynes was time after time summoned to join the royal standard. Regarding this as a breach of the contract into which he had entered with the British, he again took up arms on the side of independence, and having been taken prisoner in a skirmish with part of the royal forces, he was, without the formality of a trial, ordered for execution by Lord Rawdon. To the petitions of this unfortunate officer's children, as well as those of the inhabitants of Charleston, his lordship turned a deaf ear, and Haynes suffered death as a rebel and a traitor.* Though the death of this gallant soldier, may be vindicated by the
*" To their own, and to the great honor of human nature, numbers of the British and loyalists, with governor Bull at their head, preferred a petition to lord Rawdon in his behalf. But the petition was not noticed. The ladies then
What brought odium on the British cause?
strictness of the law, its policy was, in the existing circumstances, extremely questionable.
came forward in his favor with a petition, couched in the most delicate and moving terms, and signed by all the principal females of Charleston, tories as well as whigs. But all to no purpose. It was then suggested by the friends of humanity, that if the colonel's little children, for they had no mother, she, poor woman ! crushed under the double weight of grief and the small-pox, was just sunk at rest in the grave. It was suggested, I
that if the colonel's little children, dressed in mourning, were to fall at the knees of Lord Rawdon, he would pity their motherless condition, and give to their prayers their only surviving parent. They were accordingly dressed in black, and introduced into his presence: they fell down at his knees, and, with clasped hands and tearstreaming eyes, lisped their father's name, and begged his life : but in vain.
So many efforts to save him, both by friends and generous foes, could not be made, unknown to Colonel Haynes. But he appeared perfectly indifferent about the result; and when told that they had all failed, he replied with the utmost unconcern-Well, thank God, Lord Rawdon cannot hurt me.
He can. not be more anxious to take my life than I am to lay it down.”
With his son, a youth of thirteen, who was permitted to stay with him in the prison, Colonel Haynes used often to converse, in order to fortify him against the sad trial that was at hand. And indeed it was necessary,
for sel. dom has a heavier load been laid on a tender-hearted youth. War, like a thick cloud, had darkened up the gay morning of liis days, the grave had just closed her mouth on a mother who doated on him; and he now beheld his only parent, a beloved father, in the power of his enemies, loaded with irons, and condemned to die. With cheeks wet with tears, he sat continually by his father's side, and looked at him with eyes so piercing and sad, as often wrung tears of blood from his heart.
Why,” said he, “my son, will you thus break your father's heart with unavailing sorrow? Have I not often told you, that we came into this world but to prepare for a better? For that better life, my dear boy, your father is pre. pared. Instead then of weeping, rejoice with me, my son, that my troubles are so near an end. To-morrow, I set out for immortality, You will accompany me to the place of my execution; and when I am dead, take and bury me by the side of your mother."
The youth here fell on his father's neck, crying, “Oh my father! Oh my father! I will die with you! I will die with you!" Colonel Haynes uld eturne strong
of son; but, alas! his hands were loaded with irons. “Live," said he, “my son, live to honor God by a good life; live to serve your country; and live to take care of your brother and little sisters !"