Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department, Volume One
Henry Lee

CHAPTER XV.

WHILE the allied army was engaged before Savannah, colonel John White of the Georgia line, conceived and executed an extraordinary enterprise. Captain French, with a small party of the British regulars, was stationed on the Ogeechee river, about twenty-five miles from Savannah. At the same place lay five British vessels, of which four were armed, the largest mounting fourteen guns. White, having with him only captain Etholm and three soldiers, kindled many fires, the illumination of which was discernible at the British station, exhibiting, by the manner of ranging them, the plan of a camp. To this stratagem he added another: he and his four comrades, imitating the manner of the staff, rode with haste in various directions, giving orders in a loud voice. French became satisfied that a large body of the enemy were upon him; and, on being summoned by White, he surrendered (1st of October) his detachment, the crews of the five vessels, forty in number, with the vessels, and one hundred and thirty stand of arms.

Colonel White having succeeded, pretended that he must keep back his troops, lest their animosity, already stifled by his great exertions, should break out, and indiscriminate slaughter take place in defiance of his authority; and that therefore he would commit his prisoners to three guides who would conduct them safely to good quarters. This humane attention on the part of White was thankfully received. He immediately ordered three of his attendants to proceed with the prisoners, who moved off with celerity, anxious to get away lest the fury of White’s corps, believed to be near at hand, might break out, much disposed as he himself was to restrain it.

White, with the soldier retained by him, repaired, as he announced to his guides and prisoners, to his troops for the purpose of proceeding in their rear.

He now employed himself in collecting the neighborhood militia, with whom he overtook his guides, their charge safe and happy in the good treatment experienced.

The extraordinary address of White was contrasted by the extraordinary folly of French; and both were necessary to produce this wonderful issue. The affair approaches too near the marvellous to have been admitted into these Memoirs, had it not been uniformly asserted, as uniformly accredited, and never contradicted.

Congress, undismayed by the gloom which the unexpected issue to the siege of Savannah had spread over the south, took immediate measures to reinforce Lincoln; and sir Henry Clinton, encouraged by his success, determined to press to completion its subjugation.

In pursuance of a resolution of Congress, the North Carolina line was ordered to South Carolina; and solemn assurances were given of effectual support to the languishing resistance in the south.

Sir Henry Clinton having withdrawn the British garrison from Newport, thereby restoring the elastic patriotism of the state of Rhode Island to its wonted energy and freedom, and being reinforced from England, prepared a respectable detachment of chosen troops to be led by himself for the reduction of South Carolina. Waiting for the departure from the American coast of the French fleet, he was no sooner apprised of this event than he began the embarkation of his army; which being completed, admiral Arbuthnot, the British naval commander on the American station, took upon himself the direction of the escorting fleet, and sailed from Sandy Hook on the 26th of December.

The voyage was tempestuous and tardy; some of the transports were lost, and others taken; all the horses for the cavalry and artillery perished; and the fleet, being much crippled in its stormy passage, never reached the Tybee, its destined point, until the end of January. Here the damaged ships were repaired with all practicable haste; and the admiral put to sea, steering his course for North Edisto sound in South Carolina. The armament arrived there on the 10th of February; and the next day was employed in disembarking the army on John’s Island.

Sir Henry Clinton was now on terra firma, within thirty miles of Charleston. He took immediate measures for advancing, but with the utmost circumspection, sacrificing much time in fortifying intermediate posts to hold safe his communication with the fleet. There are occasions and situations when such conduct is entitled to commendation, indeed when the omission would be highly reprehensible. But this was not the case now; no possible interruption was practicable on the part of Lincoln, whose regular force consisted of about two thousand men, including the North Carolina regulars, and four hundred Virginians, who had lately joined him under lieutenant colonel Heth. To these the militia of the town only is to be added; for that of the country was much indisposed to shut themselves up in a besieged fortress. The recollection of the repulse which himself and admiral Parker had sustained at this spot, in 1776, must have inspired sir Henry Clinton with more respectful considerations of the power of his enemy, and the strength of his defences, than accurate information would warrant. Determined to avoid a second rebuff, the general pursued, with unvarying pertinacity, the most cautious system.[note 48] The necessary boats for the transportation of the army, passing along the interior navigation to Waapoocut, entered into Ashley river under the command of captain Elphinston. On the 29th of March the van of the British reached the banks of the river, having marched thirty miles since the 11th of February, and never meeting, during the whole period, with the smallest resistance, except in the solitary instance of a rencontre between lieutenant colonel Washington, commanding Baylor’s diminished regiment of cavalry, and lieutenant colonel Tarleton; whose dragoons, having been remounted on horses procured by sir Henry Clinton since his landing, covered the left flank of a division advancing from Savannah. This first meeting terminated favorably for lieutenant colonel Washington, who in the sequel took a few prisoners; among whom was lieutenant colonel Hamilton of the royal regiment of North Carolina.

On the 30th sir Henry Clinton passed Ashley river before Charleston, and on the following day sat down in front of our works. On his march the van of the leading column was gallantly attacked by lieutenant colonel Laurens with a corps of light infantry; in which skirmish the earl of Caithness, aid-de-camp to sir Henry Clinton, was wounded. It is possible that the extraordinary delay, with which the movements of the British general were made, might have been intended with the double view of excluding the possibility of failure, and of seducing his enemy to continue in Charleston. If so, he succeeded completely in both objects. He certainly secured himself from insult; and his delay as certainly fixed the fate of the southern army, which never could have been inclosed in the untenable town, had not the sound mind of major general Lincoln been bent from its own resolve by the wishes of all the influential characters of the state, and by the confident expectation of adequate support; neither of which considerations would have influenced him but for the long lapse of time which intervened between the day of disembarkation, 11th of February, and the 30th of March, the day of beginning investiture.

At the bottom of the short and narrow isthmus, as has been observed, made by the rivers Ashley and Cooper, stands Charleston, the metropolis of South Carolina, and the emporium of the southern commerce. The rivers uniting south of the town make a convenient bay which glides by a slight current into the sea, assisting to form some handsome islands in its flow, and creating, by its resistance to the overbearing surge of the ocean, a bank of sand, emphatically called the Charleston Bar. On two of these islands, Sullivan’s and James’ defences had been erected in the beginning of the war: on the first, Fort Moultrie, on the last, Fort Johnston. In 1776 colonel Moultrie, by his intrepid resistance on Sullivan’s Island, repulsed a formidable fleet and army, as had been before recited.

Estimating the defence of the approach from sea as momentous to the safety of South Carolina, congress had prepared a small squadron, under commodore Whipple, to cooperate with the insular fortifications. United to those of the state our naval force, then in Charleston harbor, consisted of nine sail, the largest mounting forty-four guns. From the successful resistance made by colonel Moultrie in 1776, it was confidently, and with much reason, presumed that the difficulty of passing the bar, the cooperation of the squadron with the Forts Moultrie and Johnston, and the numerous batteries erected to protect the harbor, the British fleet would meet obstacles not easily to be surmounted. Fort Moultrie, with its appendages, was committed to lieutenant colonel Pinkney, fitted in heart and head to uphold its splendid fame.

Confiding in his defences by water, the American general bestowed his unremitted attention to strengthen and enlarge those on land. The two rivers which form Charleston neck, like all the rivers in that country, are lined on both shores with extensive swamps deep in water and in mud, and impervious to the passage of troops. Profiting by these natural impediments, a canal at a proper distance in front was cut from swamp to swamp. Beyond the canal, strong deeply laid abbatis in two rows presented themselves, and were rendered more formidable by a double picketed ditch. Between this line of defence and the main works, holes dug in the ground were interspersed to break the order of advancing colunms; strong redoubts and battenes skilfully constructed were erectcd to infilade the flanks; and in the centre was an inclosed horn work of masonry. The slow approach of the enemy, the active exertions of governor Rutledge invested by the general assembly with every
power[note 49] but that of life and death, and the indefatigable efforts of major general Lincoln, had rendered our land defences respectable and imposing, when the enemy appeared in our front. On the 1st of Apnl sir Henry Clinton began his first parallel at the distance of eight hundred yards; previous to which the fleet had taken its station off Charleston bar.

This natural obstacle had been uniformly regarded as presenting decided advantage to the besieged, and commodore Whipple, with his squadron, was therefore detached to Charleston, presummg that with his force he could successfully stop the enemy from passing the bar, inasmuch as their ships must be lightened, taking out their guns and other incumbrances, to enable them to float its water. Strange to tell, this uniformly accredited opinion was on the moment of trial found fallacious.[note 50]

It was discovered that our frigates could not approach near enough to oppose the passage of the bar with any kind of success; and we necessarily abandoned without a struggle this point of so much relied on defence. Commodore Whipple took a second station with his squadron in a range with Fort Moultrie, where it was confidently expected effectual opposition to the progress of the enemy’s fleet could be made.

The British ships selected for this operation lay two weeks without the bar, deprived of their guns, waiting for wind and tide.

These being favorable on the 20th of March, a sixty-four, with some frigates, passed without injury of any sort. No sooner had this been effected but it was discerned that the obstructions in the channel were not of magnitude, and that no probability of successful resistance offered in our new station. The squadron was a second time ordered to retire; and having sunk most of our armed ships in the mouth of

Cooper’s River to prevent the British admiral’s holding that important pass, the crews and guns were landed and applied in the defence of the town, now relying for its safety, solely upon the strength of its fortifications and the valor of its garrison.

With a fair wind, on the 9th of April, the British admiral weighed, with the determination to pass Fort Moultrie.

This he readily accomplished, notwithstanding all the opposition which it was possible for colonel Pinkney to make. Not a ship was disabled; and only twenty-seven men killed and wounded. A convincing proof that unless the hostile fleet is stopped by obstructions in the channel difficult and tedious to remove, the fire of forts and batteries never can avail.[note 51] Having passed this our only remaining point of resistance, the British fleet anchored within the harbor out of reach of further offence. On the same day sir Henry Clinton finished his first parallel, when the British commanders demanded the surrender of the town. To this summons general Lincoln replied: “Sixty days have been past, 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.” This answer was no sooner received than the British batteries commenced the dire assault, which continued without intermission.

As the British were possessed of the harbor and of Charleston neck, only the pass across the Cooper river, and up its eastern bank, remained open to general Lincoln. A retreat was effectible, and ought in prudence to have been attempted as soon as the defence of the bar was discovered to be impracticable; being then omitted it ought now to have been attempted. For although it certainly had been rendered more hazardous than it was, before the enemy’s fleet passed the bar, yet it was still practicable.[note 52] One difficulty of force only was attached to the attempt—discovery before the garrison had crossed the river and begun its march. This certainly might have been prevented by lining all the avenues to the enemy’s posts with troops of approved fidelity. But this salutary plan was not adopted.

It does not seem then to have been even contemplated; for shortly before, brigadier general Woodford, with seven hundred of the Virginia line, detached from the main army by general Washington, entered the town. This would not have taken place had retreat been in view. Woodford would have been halted at Monk’s Corner, where brigadier Hager, of the South Carolina line, was posted with the cavalry, to preserve communication between the town and country. Indeed the loss of Charleston was a sad deranging blow to the south; the force of which was aggravated by the injudicious, though faithful, effort to preserve it. Not only the metropolis of the state, and the depot of its commerce, with a portion of that of its northern neighbor, but the unrivalled seat of southern beauty, taste, arts, sciences, and wealth, Charleston, from its foundation, had been the pride, the boast, and delight of the high spirited gentry, and gallant yeomanry of that country. And as if nature had stepped out of its ordinary course to give superiority to its advantages, it is the region of salubrity, and draws within its pale, in the season of summer, the sick to be cured, and the well to enjoy health, reversing the common order in Europe and America.[note 53]

Such a combination of influence was not to be resisted by the brave and amiable Lincoln,[note 54] especially when supported by the coincident wish of the grave fathers of the state, and encouraged by his reliance on assurances of adequate succor. It is to be regretted that the general’s thorough knowledge of his own situation, of the enemy’s strength and object, and of the imbecillity of government, had not induced him to adopt that plan of operations which would have upheld the commonweal should disappointments, which too often happened, follow the assurances received from congress. It was very certain that the possession of Charleston, only, was not the sole object of the hostile armament, but the conquest of that state, in the first place, and then of as many others as could be added to it. It was equally certain that the preservation of the country would soon regain the town, whereas the loss of the country would irretrievably fix the doom of the town. Nor could it be doubted that the salvation of the country depended on the timely evacuation of the town, as thus only the army would be preserved to arrest the enemy’s advance. After this had been done, if the assurances made general Lincoln should be realized, the subjugation of the state became visionary, and the invader would abandon Charleston, which would have probably stopped the prosecution of the war. If the assurances should turn out illusory, as they did, the army safe, would have given a rallying

point to our militia, and drawn together such a force as might have resisted the enemy effectually, whenever sir Henry Clinton returned to New York.[note 55] Those afflicting disasters which followed never could have taken place, heightened by the intestine divisions in the two Carolinas. The leading characters of the country never could have been shut up in Charleston, to be thence transported in captivity; and the people under the direction of their accustomed lights and guides, linked together by sameness of birth, of habit, of religion, and of law, never could have been thrown into those deadly feuds, engendering that sanguinary warfare, in some sections of the country, which, with the fury of pestilence, destroyed without discrimination.

Let this sad though faithful record of our own experience admonish the rulers of the nation, if in future vicissitudes of the ever changing scenes of human affairs, they should be called upon to act in a similar conjuncture; and let it impress on future generals, situated as was major general Lincoln, that the wiser course is that which promises to promote the common good, when the known impotence of the government renders the failure of its promises probable. Although this opportunity for retreat[note 56] was neglected, yet the governor and general concerted measures well calculated to maintain the communication between the town and country. The governor, with a moiety of the executive counsel, left the town for the purpose of encouraging the collection of the militia, and of establishing a succession of posts, wdth supplies of provision, in case, at any future day, a retreat might be deemed proper, while the lieutenant governor, the aged and respectable Mr. Gadsden, with the other moiety, continued in the town to encourage, by their presence, their fellow citizens, and to assist, by their authority, the military operations. Governor Rutledge formed two camps, one between the rivers Cooper and Santee, and the other on the Santee. But although clothed with dictatorial powers, and exerting these powers with unabating zeal, he was never able to collect a force in any degree respectable.

To be the principal, or to be the auxiliary, is very differently relished by man.

The militia, feeling their imperfections, can rarely be brought to act the first character, though willing, as they proved themselves, to assume the second.

To encourage the efforts of the governor, general Lincoln, inadequate as his garrison was, detached three hundred regulars, who, with the cavalry and the militia, it was confidently hoped might have held open the communication yet remaining, especially as portions of the promised reinforcements were daily expected; all of which would probably have been annexed to this incipient army.

Sir Henry Clinton, soon after the establishment upon John’s Island, had drawn from Savannah one thousand and two hundred men, and sent orders to lieutenant general Knyphausen to reinforce him with three thousand more from New York. This succor was daily expected.

Proceeding without disturbance in his second parallel, and anxious to close the investiture of the town by extending his operations on the north of Cooper’s River, he placed under lieutenant colonel Webster a corps of one thousand and five hundred men for the execution of this object. Webster found that the American cavalry still lay at Monk’s Corner. To this point he devoted his attention: soon informed, as well of their strength and position as of their precautions, to guard against surprise, he determined to break up the post, and selected the night of the 14th April for his concerted enterprise. Taking some neglected by-paths, his van composed of Tarleton’s legion, and Ferguson’s riflemen, by avoiding the patroles, approached our videttes unperceived. Lieutenant colonel Tarleton drove at them with his habitual promptitude, and entered the camp with the videttes.

Although accoutred for action, yet so instantaneous was the assault, that the American cavalry were routed without resistance. Lieutenant colonel Washington, and most of the corps, saved themselves by their knowledge of the country, while the inhabitants suffered outrages shocking to relate.[note 57] All the extra horses, wagons, baggage, &c., fell into the hands of the enemy. The British and American statements differ as to our loss widely. By our account we lost only thirty dragoons besides the baggage of the corps. Mr. Stedman, to whom I have before recurred, places it much higher; and I have never been able to satisfy myself as to the real loss.[note 58] This successful exploit enabled lieutenant colonel Webster to establish a position on the Wando, thus securing all the country between that river and the Cooper. Lincoln learned with deep regret the disaster of our cavalry, and its direct consequence, the enemy’s establishment on the Wando. He came to the resolution of striking at this post; but so weak was his garrison, that, by the advice of a council of war called upon the occasion, he relinquished his intention; and the post, fatal to his communication with the country, was left undisturbed, although held by only six hundred infantry and some cavalry. The reinforcement from New York arriving about this time, lord Cornwallis was appointed to undertake the investiture of the town on the north side of Cooper River, with considerable augmentation to the corps operating under Webster. Sir Henry Clinton had now completed his second parallel without interruption, Lincoln wisely determining to preserve his force undiminished by offensive efforts on his part, that he might be more able to meet a storm, or to make good his retreat.

But seeing that a third parallel must bring the enemy upon his canal, and render further resistance chimerical, he determined to interrupt its prosecution. Lieutenant colonel Henderson, of the south Carolina line, commanded a night sortie: it was executed with honor to the commandant and his detachment; but so thoroughly stable were the enemy’s advances, that it was ineffectual, and a repetition was never attempted.

Lord Cornwallis having, with his detachment, joined lieutenant colonel Webster, the retreat of the garrison became scarcely practicable, nevertheless such was the solicitude of the American general to save his army for the defence of the country, that he called a council of war to acertain, through their advice, the course to be pursued. No longer doubting of the fall of the town, the council recommended that an offer of surrender should be made on two conditions: viz, Safety to the persons and property of the inhabitants; and permission to the garrison to continue in arms. The first condition was that which every conqueror ought to grant with pleasure; the second, that which no conqueror can grant, unless situated very differently from the British commander. The proposition was rejected; and the besiegers pressed forward on their way to victory. The admiral prepared a detachment from his fleet under captain Hudson to attack Fort Moultrie, from which colonel Pinkney, and a greater part of the garrison, had been withdrawn soon after the fleet passed the fort. Why a single man should have been left, much as the lines before Charleston required additional force, seems inexplicable, especially after the evacuation of our small posts at Lempriere’s Point, and on the Wando.[note 59]

The menace against Fort Moultrie produced surrender: the flag of that renowned post was now lowered; and the remnant garrison, about two hundred men, were made prisoners.

The American cavalry, after the surprise at Monk’s Corner, withdrew to the north of the Santee for security, where lieutenant colonel White, of Moylan’s regiment, took the command. This officer, discovering that lord Cornwallis extended his foraging parties to the southern banks of the river on which he was encamped, determined to interrupt the collection of his supplies. Prepared to execute this proper decision, upon the first notice of the enemy’s approach, he passed the Santee, struck at the foe, broke up the forage excursion, captured most of the party, with which he retired to Lenew’s Ferry upon the Santee, where he had ordered boats to meet him; and at the same time communicating his success to lieutenant colonel Bufort, who commanded a regiment of Virginia levies, stationed near the ferry, on the north side of the river, requiring his aid in the transportation of himself and prisoners to the opposite shore.

How it happened is not ascertained; but it did happen, that Bufort’s cooperation, nor the boats ordered by White were felt or seen; and the successful lieutenant colonel, expecting instantly the means of conveyance, incautiously waited on the southern bank of the river instead of moving to some secret and strong position.


Col. John White

Lieutenant colonel Tarleton was on his march to Lenew’s Ferry with his cavalry; sent thither by the British general to procure intelligence; falling in with a royalist, he was informed of White’s success, and instantly pressed forward to strike him. He came up with our cavalry on the banks of the Santee, and repeated the catastrophe of Monk’s Corner. The knowledge of the country was a second time beneficial to the fugitives: the swamps saved some, while others swam the river. Between thirty and forty only were killed and taken.

The evacuation of our small posts on Wando and Lempriere’s Point, with the surrender of Fort Moultrie, and the second discomfiture of our cavalry, gave to the enemy uncontrolled possession of all the country between the Cooper and Santee Rivers, and extinguished the glimmering hopes that had been still entertained of the practicability of a retreat from the town.

Soon followed the completion of the third parallel, which placed the garrison at the mercy of the besiegers. Unwilling, fromi motives of humanity, to increase the hardships of the unfortunate, the British admiral and general a second time demanded surrender.

Lincoln now, from necessity, yielded up his army; but, still anxious to save the militia and inhabitants from captivity, he excepted them in his assenting answer, which exception being declared inadmissible, the negotiation ceased.

Reluctantly sir Henry Clinton renewed the contest by opening the batteries of the third parallel, and pushed his works under their fire to the brink of the canal, which by a sap to the dam was drained. This first barrier was now possessed by the enemy, and a double sap carried thence under the abbatis, within thirty steps of our work. For two days, the fire from the third parallel continued without intermission, and with great execution; and the sharp shooters were planted so close to our lines as to single out every man who exposed himself to view.

The enemy being prepared to strike the last blow, the orders for assault only remained to be given, when the inhabitants became assured that the concluding scene could not long be deferred, and though heretofore devoted to the defence of the town, now with one accord supplicated general Lincoln to relinquish the exception made in their favor, and to accept the terms proffered.[note 60]

The amiable Lincoln could not longer hesitate in stopping the effusion of blood. He communicated to sir Henry Clinton his readiness to lay down his arms upon the conditions before offered.

Highly honorable was the conduct of the British commanders. They did not press the unfortunate, but agreed that the terms before rejected should form the basis of capitulation, which being soon prepared, signed and ratified, Charleston was surrendered on the 12th, six days after the third parallel was finished.[note 61]

The adverse generals, in their official despatches, speak in very approving terms of the zeal and gallantry with which they were respectively supported. The loss was by no means correspondent to the length and obstinacy of the conflict, because of the safe and judicious system adopted by the besieger in his advances, and from the inadequacy of the garrison, which induced the besieged to husband with care his force, in the hope that some propitious event might occur on the part of our ally, and force sir Henry Clinton to change his plan of operations, as had taken place with Lincoln himself before Savannah; and relying also upon the reiterated assurance of ample support from congress and the government of North and South Carolina.

The enemy lost seventy killed, and one hundred and eighty-nine wounded: our loss, including militia and inhabitants, amounted to one hundred and two killed, and one hundred and fifty-seven wounded. Among the former was lieutenant colonel Richard Parker, of the first Virginia regiment. He was one of that illustrious band of youths who first flew to their country’s standard when she was driven to unsheath the sword. Stout and intelligent, brave and enterprising, he had been advanced from the command of a company in the course of the war to the command of a regiment. Always beloved and respected, late in the siege he received a ball in the forehead, and fell dead in the trenches, embalmed in the tears of his faithful soldiers, and honored by the regret of the whole army.

The British official statement give a total of prisoners exceeding five thousand, including, no doubt, all the inhabitants capable of bearing arms, it being certain that Lincoln’s continental force did not reach to two thousand, exclusive of officers, when he surrendered. His effective militia, by his official return, amounted at the same time to five hundred men. In addition we lost, by the British account, one thousand seamen, American and French, with four hundred pieces of ordnance, abundant magazines of military and naval stores, and all the shipping in the harbor.[note 62] The loss of men, stores, &c., though somewhat exaggerated, was a severe blow upon the United States, and excited very gloomy sensations throughout America. The error of risking a country to save a town which only can be retained by the reduction of the country, was now perceived with all its pernicious consequences.

Nevertheless, so well established was the spotless reputation of the vanquished general that he continued to enjoy the undiminished respect and confidence of Congress, of the army, and of the commander in chief.

During the winter the king of Spain had been accepted as mediator by the king of England and his most christian majesty, with the ostensible and laudable view of putting a stop to the ravages and waste of war.

The negotiation terminated unsuccessfully; and the mediating power united with France in the contest. Timely communication of the resolution of the Spanish court was sent to Don Gulves, the governor of New Orleans. Availing himself of the information, he collected a military force, and falling upon the unprepared British settlements on the Mississippi, annexed them to the government of Spain. Soon after his return to New Orleans, Don Gulves made arrangements for the reduction of West Florida. In the month of January he embarked two thousand men on board of transports under convoy of a small squadron, and sailed for the bay of Mobile.

Unluckily he encountered a storm in his voyage, and suffered severely. Several of the vessels foundered; many of the troops perished; and most of his stores were lost. With the remainder he at length entered the bay of Mobile. Here he established himself, and waited for a supply of men and stores from New Orleans. These having reached him, he stood up the bay, and on the 25th of February landed in the vicinity of the town of Mobile, where the English had erected a stockade fort, then garrisoned by one company of regulars. Don Gulves, pursuing the cautious system exemplified by sir Henry Clinton before Charleston, beset this little stockade with regular approaches, laboring at them incessantly until the middle of March, when opening a battery of heavy cannon he demolished it in twelve hours. The garrison surrendered by capitulation. Had the dilatoriness of the Spanish operations consumed a few days more, Don Gulves would have been compelled to relinquish his enterprise, as general Campbell, pressing forward by forced marches with a body of troops from St. Augustine, approached the neighborhood of Mobile soon after it surrendered. This incursion gratified the feelings of the defenders of the southern States, as it cherished the expectation that the invasion of the two Floridas already begun would be prosecuted, and consequently would employ some of the enemy’s troops, thus diminishing the force against which they had to contend.

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