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OPERATIONS IN GEORGIA AND SOUTH CAROLINA. i9!
The joy felt by the Americans at the success of these daring enterprises, was somewhat damped by the failure of an expedition, undertaken by the state of Massachusetts, to dispossess the British of a fort which they had erected at Penobscot, in the district of Maine. They here lost the whole of their flotilla, which was destroyed or captured by Sir George Collyer, whilst their land forces were compelled to seek for safety by retreating through the woods.
Spain having now declared war against Great Britain, it was hoped by the Americans that this additional pressure of foreign foes would compel the British ministry to withdraw their forces from North America. But the energies of the mother countrywere roused in proportion to the increase of her peril. Her fleets gave her decided superiority on the ocean, and her king was determined to strain every nerve to reduce his revolted colonies to obedience. At this period the ease with which the reduction of Georgia had been effected, and the advantages which it might afford in making an attack upon the rest of the southern states, induced his ministers to renew their efforts in that quarter.
The back settlements of Georgia and' the Carolinas, abounded with renegadoes and tories, who had been compelicu by vie reputucans io witnuraw into inese wiids, from the more settled part of the country. These adventurers having joined the royal forces, under the command of Major-General Prescott, which had also received reinforcements from Florida, that officer found himself in a condition to commence active operations. His preparations filled the neighbouring states with alarm.
The American regular troops had, with few exceptions, been sent from the Carolinas to reinforce the army of General Washington; and the only reliance of the patriots in this part of the country was on the militia, which congress had placed under the command of General Lincoln. On inspecting his men, Lincoln found them very ill prepared to meet the disciplined forces of the enemy, as they were deficient in equipments, badly organised, and worse drilled. In these circumstances, the active operations of the enemy allowed him no time to train them.
The defeat at Penobscot.-What is said of Spain and Great Britain ? -What induced the British to transfer their operations chiefly to the sruth ?-What description of forces joined the standard of General Prescot: ?-Whó commanded the American forces in the south ?-ON what did they consist ?
DEFEAT OF GENERAL LINCOLN.
Soon after his arrival at head quarters, a division of he British army, under Major Gardiner, was detached from Savannah to take possession of Port Royal, in South Carolina, but was driven back with heavy loss of men, and nearly all their officers, by General Moultrie. This repulse damped the ardour, and suspended the enterprise of the British, who took post at Augusta and Ebenezen situated on the Savannah river.
Here they waited in expectation of being joined by a body of tories, who had been collected in the upper parts of South Carolina. These reputable allies of the British had no sooner begun their march towards Augusta, than they commenced such a series of atrocities against the peaceful inhabitants, that they rose en masse, to oppose them. Colonel Picken, with about 300 volunteers, pur sued and came up with them near Kettle creek, where he totally routed them, killed about 40, with their leader, Colonel Boyd, and dispersed the rest. Some of them afterwards gave themselves up to be tried by the laws of South Carolina, for violating the sedition act. Seventy of them were condemned to die; but only five of the ringleaders were executed. This proceeding led to acts of retaliation on the part of the tories and the king's troops, which for a long time gave a peculiar character of atrocity to the war in the southern states.
Encouraged by this success, General Lincoln sent an expedition into Georgia, with a view of repressing the incursions of the enemy, and confining them to the low country near the ocean. The detachment, consisting of 1500 North Carolina militia, and a few regular troops, under General Ash, crossed the Savannah, and took a position on Briar creek; but he was surprised by Lieuienant-Colonel Prevost, who made a circuitous march of 50 miles, and came upon his rear with 900 veterans. The militia were thrown into confusion at once, and fled at the first fire ; 150 of the Americans were killed, 162 taken, some were drowned in attempting to cross the Sa vannah, and only 450 escaped to the camp. This event cost General Lincoln one-fourth of his army, and opened a communication between the British camp at Savannah, and the Indian and tory friends of the British in North and South Carolina.
What took place at Port Royal ?-What is related of the tories ? Who defeated them ?-How were they treated ?-What was the conse quence ?-Give an account of the battle of Briar creek.-What wem
he effects of this defeat ?
GENERAL PREVOST BEFORE CHARLESTON.
In this disastrous state of affairs the legislature of South Carolina invested the governor, Mr. John Rutledge, and his council, with an almost absolute authority, by virtue of which a considerable force of militia was embodied and stationed near the centre of the state, to act as necessity might require.
Lincoln now determined to carry the war into the enemy's quarters; and with the main army, he crossed the Savannah, near Augusta, and marched towards the capital of Georgia. Prevost instantly took advantage of this movement, to invade South Carolina, at the head of 2400 men, and compelling General Moultrie, who was charged with the defence of Charleston, to retire, he pushed forward towards that city.
At this time his superiority was so decisive, and his prospects so bright, that Moultrie's troops began to desert in great numbers, and with real or affected zeal embraced the royal cause. On his appearance before Charleston, the garrison of that place, consisting of 3300 men, sent commissioners to propose a neutrality on their part during the remainder of the war. This advantageous proposal he was impolitic enough to decline, and made prepara. tions to attack the town, which was tolerably well fortified.
Whilst he had been wasting time in negotiations, General Lincoln had been hastening from Georgia to the relief of the place; and on his approach, Prevost, fearing to be exposed to two fires, withdrew his forces across Ashley river, and encamped on some small islands bordering on the sea-coast. Here, on the 20th of June, he was attacked by General Lincoln, with about 1200 men, but succeeded in giving him a repulse with the loss of 150 inen,
in consequence of the failure of a part of the American general's combinations.
Notwithstanding this success, General Prevost did not think it advisable maintain his position, but retreated to Port Royal, and thence to Savannah.
The Americans, under the command of Lincoln, soon afterwards retired to Sheldon, a healthy situation in the vicinity of Beaufort, about halfway between Charleston and Savannah. Both armies now remained in their rem
Who was made dictator in South Carolina ?-Whither did Lincoln narch !-- What advantage did Prevost take of this movement ?--Who retired before him ?-What did the garrison at Charleston offer?- Was the offer accepted !-- What occasioned Prevost's retreat ?- What happened on the 20th of June ?-Whither did Prevost retire after defeating Lincoln ?-Whither diü the Americans retire ?
spective encampments in a state of tranquillity until beginning of September, when the arrival of a French feet on the coast roused the whole country to immediate activity.
Count d'Estaing had proceeded, towards the close of the preceding year, from Boston to the West Indies, whence, after capturing St. Vincents and Grenada, he had returned to the assistance of the Americans. 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 the country The militia poured in from the surrounding region in great numbers, and uniting with the regular force, under General Lincoln, marched for the vicinity of Savannah.
Before their arrival d'Estaing had summoned the town to surrender, and had granted General Prevost a suspension of hostilities for 24 hours, for the purpose of settling the terms of a capitulation. But during this interval, a reinforcement of several hundred men had forced their way from Beaufort to his relief. Encouraged by this seasonable aid, Prevost determined to hold out to the last extremity.
The allied forces, therefore, commenced the siege of Savannah form. On the 4th of October the besiegers opened with 9 mortars, and 37 pieces of cannon, from the liind side, and 15 from the water. On a report from the French engineers, that a considerable time would be consumed in conducting the siege by regular approaches, d'Estaing, who was apprehensive of injury to his fleet from hurricanes at that season of the year, determined on an assault.
In conjunction with Lincoln, he led his troops to the attack with great gallantry; but a heavy and well directed fire from the batteries, and a cross fire from the British galleys, threw their front columns into confusion. Two standards were planted on the enemy's batteries; but after 55 minutes of 'hard fighting, it was found necessary to order a retreat. Count d'Estaing, and Count Pulaski, were both wounded; the former slightly, the latter mortally. Six hundred and thirty-seven of the French, and qpwards of 200 of the continentals and militia, were kille!
What news roused them to action ?--What is said of d'Estaing ? What is said of the militia ! - What blunder did d'Estaing makeVhat saved Prevost ?-Describe the siege.--The assault.-Who were
wounded What was the loss ?
ACHIEVEMENTS OF PAUL JONES.
195 or wounded. The damage sustained by the British was trifling. Immediately after this unsuccessful assault, the militia retired to their homes; Count d'Estaing re-embarked his troops and artillery, and sailed from Savannah; and General Lincoln, recrossing the Savannah river, returned to South Carolina.
The visit of the French fleet to the coast of America, although unsuccessful in its chief object, was not altogether useless to the United States. It disconcerted the measures of the British, and caused a considerable waste of time in digesting their plans of operation. It also occasioned the evacuation of Rhode Island, which, however, was of little importance to the cause, as the 6000 men who were stationed there for two years and eight months, were thus effectually kept out of active service.
The paper money system adopted by the continental congress, had now begun to produce its legitimate effects of ruin and distress. The bills were depreciated to about one-thirtieth of their nominal value. The pay of the officers and soldiers was insufficient to procure them clothing, Congress finding its funds and credit exhausted, made a requisition on the several states for provisions and forage. Private capitalists, of whom Robert Morris, Esq., of Philadelphia, was among the most liberal, made loans to the government, and loans were solicited in Europe. Notwithstanding these expedients, the army was wretchedly supplied ; and it required all the patriotic exertions of their officers to restrain the men from desertion or open revolt. The example of their leaders, in cheerfully submitting to severe hardships, and making sport of privations which were any thing but light, had its effect in retaining the troops in the service, and making them bear, and do their utmost for the cause of their country.
This year was signalized by the most celebrated of the achievements of Paul Jones. In August he sailed from France in the Bon Homme Richard, with six other vessels, the whole squadron being under his command Having cruised successfully off the coast of Ireland for some time, he sailed with the Pallas, of 32 guns, and the Vengeance, of 16 guns, to the coast of Scotland, captured severa, armed vessels in sight of the port of Leith, and after threatening to lay the town under contribution, which
Who deserted the Americans? - Why?-What was Lincoln obligort -What is said of the paper money system ?-Of the patriotic behaviour of capitalists, officers, and men
to do 1-of what use was the visit of the French fleet to the Americans 1