Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

been mentioned) necessarily demand our first attention. On a report of a committee, to whom was referred a letter of the 20 of last September, together with sundry papers, containing an account of the negociation with which he was entrusted, congress resolved on the 4th, “That all the clothing, artillery, arms and military stores, shipped in pursuance of the orders of the honor able John Laurens, for the use of the United States, be upon their arrival in any of the ports of the United States, delivered to the order of the board of war, who are hereby empowered and directed to take charge and direction of the same :--That all the money shipped by the order of Mr. Laurens, for the use of the United States, be upon his arrival, delivered to the order of the sun perintendant of finance, who is hereby empowered and directed to take charge of the same." The next day they resolv*ed" The conduct of lieut. col. Laurens, in: his mission to the court of Versailles, as special minister of the United States, is highly agreeable to congress, and entitles. him to public approbation.” To supply any deficiency that there might be in their resolution respecting monies arriving from Europe, they resolved on the 3d of December—"That the superintendant of the finances be and hereby is authorised and directed to apply and dispose of all monies which have been or may be obtained in Europe by subsidy, loan or otherwise, according to the several resoJutions and acts of congress now existing, or which may hereafter be made for the approbation of monies belonging to the United States." However gratefully they thought of the French king's free gift, they could not with any propriety accede to the mode in which it was to be applied to the benefit of the United States. By passing into the hands of the commander in chief, it would subject the army to an appearance of being pensioned by France, and when generally known by the troops might loosen their relative dependence upon.congress; they therefore wisely directed, that the military stores should be delivered to the order of the board of war, and that the disposal of the monies should jest with the superintendant, subject to their own appointments.

We must now pass to South-Carolina.. · When the continental officers under gen. Greene had heard of the manner in which col. Hayne was executed, and that not. withstanding the general cartel, several officers of militia were still detained in captivity, they made a representation thereof in writing to Greene on the 20th of August; and recommended, that a strict enquiry should be made into the several matters mentioned, and if ascertained, that he would be pleased to retaliate in the most effectual manner; by a similar treatment of British subjects who were or might be in his power. They voluntarily sub

jected

gected themselves to all the consequences, to which they would be exposed in case of capture. A few days after, Greene issued from his head-quarters at Camden a proclamation, wherein he expressly declared It is my intention to make reprisals for all such inhuman insults, as often as they shall take place."--He added, " I further declare, that it is my intention to take the of ficers of the regular forces, and not the seduced inhabitants who have joined their army, for the objects of niy reprisals.”--Greene demanded also from the British commanders their reasons for the execution of Hayne. He received a written answer, signed N. Balfour, in which there was an acknowledginent,“ that it took place by the joint order of Lord Rawdon and himself, but in consequence of the most express directions from Lord Cornwallis, to put todeath those who should be found in arms, after being at their own requests received as subjects, since the capitulation of Charleston, and the clear conquest of the province in the summer of 1780." General Greene replied to lieut. col. Balfour on the 19th of September" Sir, your favor of the 3d instant I have received, and an happy for the honor of col. Hayne, to find nothing better to warrant his cruel and unjust execution, than the order of Lord Cornwallis, given in the hour of victory, when he considered: the lives, liberties and property of the people prostrate ab his feet, but I confess I cannot express my astonishment, that you and lord Rawdon should give such an extraordinary example of severity, upon the authority of that order, under such a change of circumstances, so long after it had been remonstrated against, and after a cartel had been settled, to restrain improper severia ties, and to prevent the necessity of retaliation. You will see by my letter to lord Cornwallis of the 17th December last, a copy of which is enclosed, that I informed his lordship, his order was cruel and unprecedented; and that he might expect retaliation, from the friends of the unfortunate.--You observe, that to authorise retaliation, there should be a parity of circumstances, to which I can by no means agree. Retaliation presupposes an act of violence having been committed, and that it is adopted to punish the past and restrain the future ; and therefore whatever *will produce these consequences is warranted by the laws of retaliation.--You observe, that the inhabitants of any country at war,

we allegiance to the conquering power. The right of conquest from partial successes, is often made use of to levy contributions; but I believe there are no instances, where the inhabitants are punished capitally, for breach of parole given under these circumstances, especially where the two powers are contending for em. pire ; and this act of severity complained of, is the more extra. ordinary as you long lost that part of the country, and upon youg

OW

own principles, the inhabitants owed allegiance to the conquering power. The execution of lieut. Fulker, was without my knows : jedge or consent; nor did I ever hear of it before. I understood there were some who fell a sacrifice to the violence of the mic litia, for the many outrages they had been guilty of, and this :without the knowledge of the commanding officer, who puta stop to it the moment he discovered it. But there is a great difference between deliberate executions and deaths which happen from an enraged people, urged by a sense of injury and oppress sion. I have never authorised or countenanced an execution but for the crime of desertion ; on the contrary, I have taken: all the pains in my power to soften the resentments of the inha.. bitants toward each other, and to prevent as much as possible, the dreadful calamity of private murders. It has been my ob- . ject to reclaim, not to destroy, even such of the inhabitants as have been opposed to the interests of their country, and I cannot but consider your remarks respecting col. Grierson and major Dunlap, as both illiberal and ungenerous, if you are acquainted with facts. If not, I hope you will be more careful how you censure without authority for the future. “A handsome reward was offered for the detection of the murderers of both these per sons. As you have referred the justification of your conduct in the affair of col. Hayne, to lord Cornwallis, and as his determin. ation upon that matter will govern the business of future exchanges, I can see no advantage in appointing a person to meet capt. Barry on the subject; beside which, that gentleman is now a prisoner of war, and no longer in a capacity to negociate affairs : of this nature. I am, Sir, your most obedient humble servant; Nathaniel Greene.” But before the date of this letter, the fol , lowing important military operation had taken place. ..

General Greene, on hearing that the British were returned to their former station on the south side of the Congaree, concerted measures for forcing them a second time from their posts in this quarter. Though the two armies were within fifteen miles of each other on a right line, yet as two rivers intervened and boats could not be procured, the American army was obliged to take a circuit of 70 miles, with a view of more conveniently crossing the Wateree and the Congaree. Soon after their crossing these ris' vers they were joined by general Pickens, with a party of the Ninety-Six militia, and by the state troops under lieut. col. Henderson. Gen. Marion also joined them with his brigade of militia, on the 7th of September. The whole American force being thus collected, Greene proceeded the next morning to attack the British army under lieut. col. Stewart, who had retired from the Songaree about 40 miles, and taken post at the Eutaw Springs, :

60

en 60 miles north of Charleston. The Americans and British 'were 7} nearly equal in number, about 2000; but new raised levies and

militia formed the greatest part of the first. * Greene drew up his : troops in two lines. The front consisted of the militia from North

and South-Carolina, and was commanded by Marion, Pickens and

col de Malmedy. The second consisted of the continental troops s from North-Carolina, Virginia and Maryland, and were led on E by gen. Sumner, lieut. col. Campbell, and col. O. Wiliams. Lee

with his legion covered the right flank, and Henderson with the

state troops, the left. Washington, with lris cavalry, and captain e Kirkwood, with the Delaware troops, formed a corps de reserve.

They marched at 4 o'clock in the inorning, and fell in with two * advanced parties of the British, about four miles a-head of their i main army: these being briskiy charged by the legion and state

troops, soon retired. The front line advanced and continued filing and advancing on the British till the action became general, when they in their turn were obliged to give way. They were

well supported by general Sumner's North-Carolina brigade of i continentals, though they had been under discipline only for a

few weeks, and were chiefly composed of militia men, who had been transferred to the continental service, tó make reparation for their precipitate flight in former actions. In the hottest of

the engagement, while great execution was doing on both sides, a Williams and Campbell, with the Maryland and Virginia conti

nentals, were ordered by Greene to charge with trailed arms. į Nothing could surpass the intrepidity of both officers and menon

this occasion. They pushed on ingood order, through a heavy cannonade, and a shower of musketry, with such unshaken resolution, that they bore down all before them. Lee, with great address, and good conduct; turoed the left flank of the British, and attack

ed them at the same time in the rear. Henderson being wound c. ed early in the action, the South Carolina state troops were led

on by lieut. col. Hampton, the next in comunand, to a very spi. rited and successful charge; in which they took upward of 100 prisoners. The British were routed in all quarters. Washington brought up the corps de reserve on the left, and charged so briskly with his cavalry, and Kirkwood's infantry, as gave the enemy no time to rally or form. They were closely pursued.--On their retreat, nuinbers threw themselves into a stron: brick house;

other's **

* O2 Auguft the it, the whole of the continentals did not amount to eight hundred. The seid return on the 4th of September, was, total of regulars rank and file one thousand two hundred and filty.dx ; Soush-Carolina kale troops, infantry leventy-three, and cavalry feventy-iwo; totalf militia foar * hundred and fifty-seven, exclufive of Marion's, of which there was no returene

shot u two before the com chephen

others took post in a picquetted garden and among impenetrable shrubs. The eagerness of the Americans urged them to attack the enemy in these positions. Washington made every possible exertion to dislodge them from the thickets, but failed, had his horse shot under him, was wounded and taken prisoner. Four six-poun. ders, two of which had been abandoned by the enemy, were ordered up before the house, and pushedon so much under the com. mand of the fire from thence and the thickets, that they could:205 be brought off again, when Greene, judging all further efforts improper, ordered the troops to retire.

The Americans collected all their wounded, except those under the command of the fire of the house, and retired to the ground from which they marched in the morning, there being no water nearer, and the troops ready to faint with the heat and want of refreshment, the action having continued near four hours; and been by far the hottest Greene ever saw, and the most bloody for the numbers engaged. He left a strong picquet on the field of battle.

In the evening of the next day, lieut. col. Stewart destroyed a great quantity of his stores, abandoned the Eutaw, and moved toward Charleston, leaving upward of seventy of his wounded, and oile thousand stand of arms. He was pursued for several miles, but without effect. Though major M Arthur joined him with a large reinforcement fourteen miles below the Eutaw, the action was not renewed. Indeed the loss of the British was heavy; five hundred were taken prisoners, including the wound. ed left behind them; they scarcely suffered less in killed, and the wounded whom they carried off. Several of their officers were paroled on the field of battle, two were killed, and sixteen wounded, as was the commander slightly in his left elbow. The Americans had 114 rank and file killed, 300 wounded, and 40 missing, in all 454 : officers killed and mortally wounded, 21, beside a volunteer; wounded 38, and a volunteer; in all 6). Among the killed of these, lieut. col. Campbell, of the Virginia line was the theme of universal lamentation. While with great firmness he was leading on his brigade to that charge which determined the fate of the day, he received a mortal wound, After his fall he enquired who gave way, and being informed the British were fleeing in all quarters, he added—“I die contented”-and immediately expired.

The success of the Anierican army in the first part of the engagement, spread such an alarm, that the British burned their stores at Dorchester, and evacuated their post near Monk's Corner. The gates of Charleston were shut, and a number of ne

groes

« ZurückWeiter »