Life of Major General Henry Lee
Cecil B. Hartley
Lee ordered to join Pickens in the siege of Augusta—Operations of Major Rudulph—Lee reaches Augusta—He hears of the Indian present of supplies, and determines to seize it—Sufferings of the troops on the march—Lee obtains the supplies—He sends Major Eggleston to summon Brown to surrender Augusta—Union of the whole besieging force—Lee defeats Grierson and captures one of the forts—Renewal of intercourse—Mayham tower built—Brown makes a sally and is repulsed with a severe loss—Brown's stratagem for burning the tower—Its failure—The deserter—The explosion—Brown surrenders Augusta—Lee saves Brown's life which is threatened by the Georgians—Pickens remains at Augusta—Lee joins General Greene at Ninety-six.
GENERAL GREENE reposing his army for the day, and strengthening the light corps with a battalion of North Carolina levies under Major Eaton, directed Lee to move towards Augusta, to which post Brigadier Pickens, with his corps of militia, had been commanded to repair. Lee commenced his march in the course of a few hours, marching thirteen miles in the evening of the day on which Maxwell had surrendered. Resuming motion at a very early hour in the morning, he pressed forward with the utmost expedition, relieving the fatigued infantry by occasionally dismounting his dragoons and mounting his infantry. Not only the claim for celerity, arising out of the general state of affairs, enforced this exertion, but there was cause to apprehend that Lieutenant Colonel Cruger, apprised as was presumed, of Lord Rawdon's abandonment, first of Camden and lastly of the field, would, in consequence of these untoward events, hasten to Augusta; giving up South Carolina to save Georgia. To reach Pickens before Cruger could join Brown, became, in this view of events, of the first importance. Pickens and Lee united could readily strike Cruger on his march, with the prospect of bringing him to submission. This done, the destruction of Brown only remained to be effected for the complete re-annexation (except the sea coast) of these States to the Union.
Approaching in the course of his march, the point nearest Ninety-Six, Lee detached a squadron of horse, under Major Rudulph, towards that post, for the purpose of ascertaining whether the enemy exhibited the appearance of breaking up, and with the hope by this sudden dash of seizing some of the garrison,—a very acceptable present to the American general, then on his march for that place, and in want of that accurate information to be derived only from residents in the place.
Rudulph, concealing his approach, appeared suddenly near the town, but was not so fortunate as to find a single individual of the garrison without the lines. He seized one or two countrymen returning home, who accompanied him to camp. From these we learned that Lieutenant Colonel Cruger was uninformed of the events that had lately taken place; but hearing of Greene's advance upon Camden, he had been industriously engaged in strengthening his fortifications, and was determined not to abandon his post.
Lee despatched a friendly countryman to General Greene with the intelligence procured, which banished all those apprehensions heretofore entertained lest Cruger might unite himself to Brown. Persevering in his march, Lee reached on the third day the vicinity of Augusta, which is seventy-five miles from Fort Granby, preceded by Captain O'Neale, with a light party of horse, charged with the collection of provisions and with the acquirement of intelligence.
From this active and discerning officer, the pleasing information was received of the recent arrival of the annual royal present to the Indians, which was deposited at Fort Galphin, about twelve miles below Augusta, on the north side of the river, consisting of articles extremely wanted in the American camp.[note 1] To relieve the wants of the army was in itself grateful, but this intelligence was important in a military view, because it showed that Colonel Brown's force in Augusta was reduced by detachments from it to secure his deposit at Fort Galphin.
Two companies of infantry now made the garrison of this latter post, which was a small stockade. Persuaded that his approach was alike unknown to Brown and to the officer commanding here, from the precautions which, by means of his superior cavalry, he had been enabled to adopt, Lee determined by a forced march, with a detachment of infantry mounted behind his dragoons, to seize the Indian present. Leaving Eaton behind with his battalion, the artillery, and the tired of the corps, to follow, he accordingly pushed on to Fort Galphin.
On the ensuing morning (21st of May), sultry beyond measure, the fatigued detachment gained the desired point; and, halting in the pine barrens which skirted the field surrounding the fort, waited for the moment of assault. For many miles not a drop of water had been procurable; and the extreme heat of the scorching sun, rendered more oppressive by the necessary halt under the pines, without any liquid whatsoever to revive sinking nature, produced a debility forbidding exertion.
Having with him some mounted militia, Lee directed them to dismount and to advance upon the fort in the opposite direction—not doubting that the garrison, as was the custom, would eagerly pursue them, when an opportunity would be presented of obtaining the contemplated prize without loss. The major part of the garrison, as had been expected, ran to arms on sight of the militia, and, leaving the fort, pursued them. A selection having been made of all the infantry whose strength was fitted for action, a portion of them under Captain Rudulph was ordered to rush upon the fort, while the residue, supported by a troop of dragoons, took a direction which shielded the militia from the menaced blow. Rudulph had no difficulty in possessing himself of the fort, little opposition having been attempted, and that opposition having been instantly crushed. We lost one man from the heat of the weather; the enemy only three or four in battle.
The garrison, with the valuable deposit in its safe keeping, gave a rich reward for our toils and sufferings. Never was a beginning more auspicious. This success not only deprived Brown of a very important portion of his force, but yielded to his enemy an abundance of supplies much wanted by the army of Greene,—among which were the essentials of war, powder and ball—which articles had become scarce in the American camp, notwithstanding the occasional contributions of the several posts wrested from the enemy.
Lee, reposing his infantry for a few hours, detached Major Eggleston, at the head of his horse, to pass the Savannah below Augusta; and, taking a western direction, to join a corps of militia, known to be in the neighborhood, under Colonel Clarke, in case Brigadier Pickens should not yet have arrived. Eggleston was also ordered to make himself thoroughly acquainted with the enemy's situation for the information of his commandant, who wished to begin his operations the moment of his return; and was further enjoined to send in a flag with a summons from himself, stating the near approach of part of Greene's army, with the investiture of Ninety-Six by the main body under the general himself; and urging the propriety of sparing the useless waste of life —the certain consequence of resistance,—cruel, because vain.
The substitution of a second officer for his superior in summoning the fort arose from the course taken by Brown. He had refused to receive flags, forbidding all intercourse with the militia officers; and Lee, having profited by negotiation at Fort Granby, was desirous of removing the obstacles which prevented resort to the like course here. To effect this, he thought it advisable to authorize Eggleston, then the senior continental officer on the south of Savannah, to attempt negotiation. Brown, either discrediting the information contained in the summons, or immutable in the decision he had taken, would not answer the letter addressed to him, and forbade the renewal of such communication.
In the evening, Lee, with the artillery and infantry, joined Eggleston, then united to the militia under Pickens and Clarke, and encamped in the woods to the west of Augusta. This town is situated on the southern banks of the Savannah, in an oblong plain, washed by the river on the east and covered by deep woods in the opposite direction. In its centre stood Fort Cornwallis, judiciously constructed, well finished, and secure from storm. A half mile in its front up the river the plain is interrupted by a lagoon or swamp with a rivulet passing through it; and on the northwestern border of this lagoon was erected another fort, very inferior, called Grierson, from the militia colonel who commanded its garrison.
Brown conducted the British force in upper Georgia, and resided in Fort Cornwallis. Lee, hearing from Eggleston the affrontive rejection to his proffered negotiation, was considerably ruffled at the contemptuous treatment received, and determined never to enter into any communication with the British commandant until solicited by himself. Thus decided, he was gratified in discovering the divided condition of the enemy—its regulars in Fort Cornwallis and its militia in Fort Grierson; not doubting, if the moment was duly improved, that a tender of negotiation, on the part of Brown, would follow.
While the troops, still concealed, were engaged in taking refreshments, Lee employed himself in examining the ground. He did not hesitate in his decision, which was instantly to drive Grierson out of his fort, and to destroy or intercept him in his retreat to Fort Cornwallis.
Communicating his plan to Pickens and Clarke, it was adopted; and the troops were soon after arrayed for executing it.
Brigadier Pickens with the militia was to attack the fort on its north and west; Major Eaton with his battalion, by passing down the north side of the lagoon was to approach it on the south, co-operating with the militia; while Lee, with his infantry and artillery, was to move down the lagoon on its southern margin, parallel with Eaton, ready to support his attack if required, or to attend to the movements of Brown, should he venture to leave his defences and interpose with a view to save Grierson.
The cavalry, under Eggleston, were ordered to draw near to Fort Cornwallis, keeping in the wood and ready to fall upon the rear of Brown should he advance upon Lee. These arrangements being finished, the several commandants proceeded to their respective points. Lee's movement, open to view, was soon discerned by Brown, who, drawing his garrison out of his lines accompanied by two field pieces, advanced with the appearance of risking battle to save Grierson, now assailed by Pickens and Eaton. This forward movement soon ceased. Brown, not deeming it prudent, under existing circumstances, to persevere in his attempt, confined his interposition to a cannonade, which was returned by Lee, with very little effect on either side. Grierson's resistance was quickly overpowered; the fort was evacuated; himself with his major and many of his garrison killed; the lieutenant colonel with others taken; and the few remaining, by reaching the river, escaped under cover and concealment of its banks to Fort Cornwallis.[note 2]
Lieutenant Colonel Brown, perceiving the fall of this post, withdrew into his fort; and apprehending, from what he had seen, that he had to deal with troops fitted for war, applied himself to strengthening his situation. Whatever was attainable in the town, and necessary to his defence, was now procured; and every part of the works requiring amendment was repaired with industry. These exertions on the part of the enemy could not be counteracted; all now to be done was to assume proper stations for close investiture, and, by regular approaches, to compel his surrender.
In the late contest our loss was trivial,—a few wounded, and fewer killed. But unhappily among the latter was Major Eaton of North Carolina, who had served only a few weeks with the light corps, and in that short period had endeared himself to his commandant and fellow soldiers by the amiability of his manners. He fell gallantly at the head of his battalion in the moment of victory.
On the banks of the Savannah, south of the lagoon near its flow into the river, was situated a large brick building, the mansion-house of a gentleman who had joined the enemy. Here Lee with his corps took post, while Brigadier Pickens with the militia occupied the woods on the enemy's left. The morning was spent in ascertaining the most eligible mode of approach; to execute which all the requisite tools found at Fort Galphin, with many collected from the neighboring farms, had been brought to camp.
Fort Cornwallis was not far from the Savannah river, the shelter of whose banks afforded a safe route to the troops. It was determined to break ground in this quarter, and to extend our works towards the enemy's left and rear.
Pickens and Lee pressed forward their measures against Fort Cornwallis with zeal and diligence; but not with the wished for celerity, so vigilant and resolute was the active and sagacious officer opposed to them. The condition of several of the wounded taken in the attack on Fort Grierson, called for various comforts not to be found in the American camp, and the principal officer who had been taken, asked permission to procure the requisite supply from Colonel Brown, whom he knew to be well provided, and whose disposition to cherish his soldiers he had often experienced. To this application Pickens and Lee answered, that after the ungracious determination to stop all intercourse, announced by the commandant of Fort Cornwallis, disposed as they were to obey the dictates of humanity, it could not be expected that any consideration could prevail with them again to expose the American flag to contumely. If, however, he thought proper to wait upon Colonel Brown, they would permit him to proceed whenever he pleased, on the faith of his parole, returning immediately after receiving Brown's reply.
This offer was cheerfully accepted, and a letter was prepared on the part of the American commandants, expressing the regret with which they permitted a flag to pass from their camp, though borne by a British officer, after the affrontive treatment experienced upon a late occasion; and assuring the commandant of Fort Cornwallis, that no consideration affecting themselves or their troops would ever have led to such a condescension.
To this letter, Brown returned a very polite answer by the prisoner (whose application was instantly complied with), excusing what had passed by a reference to some previous altercations, which had rendered such a decision necessary on the part of the British commandant, so long as the individual to whom he alluded continued to command,[note 3] and whom he really did believe had sent in the flag refused to be received, not knowing or expecting the extraordinary change of force opposed to him which had taken place. Pickens and Lee were very much gratified that, while obeying the claims of humanity, they should have produced a renewal of intercourse, without which the contest drawing to a close could not be terminated but with a painful waste of human life.
The works contiguous to the river had advanced nearly to the desired state, and those which had been subsequently commenced in the rear of the fort began to assume a formidable appearance; yet extreme difficulty occurred in the consummation of the plan adopted by the besiegers, as the surrounding ground presented no swell or hill which would enable them to bring their six pounder to bear upon the enemy. It was determined to resort to the Mayham tower, the effect of which Lee had so happily witnessed at Fort Wattson; and orders were accordingly issued to prepare and bring in timber of such a size as would sustain our only piece of artillery.
Brown heretofore had patiently looked on at our approach, diligently working within his fort, as we discovered by the heaps of fresh dug earth in various directions, but with what view remained unascertained. Seeing that his enemy's works were rapidly advancing, he now determined to interrupt our progress by sallies, however hazardous, which he foresaw could alone retard his approaching fate, hoping that in delay he might find safety. On the 28th he fell upon our works in the river quarter at midnight, and by the suddenness and vigor of the onset, drove the guard before him; but the support under Captain Handy coming up, after an obstinate conflict, regained the trenches, and forced the enemy to take shelter in the fort.
The determined spirit manifested by the foe in this attempt to destroy our approaches, induced Lee to appropriate his infantry exclusively for their defence at night, relieving them from any further share in labor and from every other duty. It was divided into two divisions, to one of which was alternately committed the protection of our works. On the succeeding night Brown renewed his attempt in the same quarter, and for a long time the struggle was continued with mutual pertinacity, till at length Captain Rudulph, by a combined charge with the bayonet, cleared the trenches, driving the enemy with loss to his stronghold. On the 30th, the timber required to build the proposed Mayham tower, was prepared and conveyed to the intended site. In the evening we commenced its erection, under cover of an old house to conceal our object from the enemy. In the course of the night and the ensuing day we had brought our tower nearly on a level with the enemy's parapet, and began to fill its body with fascines, earth, stone, brick, and every other convenient rubbish, to give solidity and strength to the structure. At the same time the adjacent works, in the rear of the fort, were vigorously pushed to the enemy's left, to connect them with the tower, which was the point of their termination.
Brown's attention was soon drawn to this quarter; and, penetrating the use to which the log building would be applied, he determined to demolish it without delay.
Pickens and Lee, well assured from what had passed that their judicious opponent would leave nothing unessayed within his power to destroy their tower,—on the completion of which their expectation of immediate success chiefly depended,—determined to prepare before night for the counteraction of any attempt which might be made. The lines in that quarter, entrusted to the militia, were doubly manned; and Handy's division of the infantry, though on duty every other night, was drawn from the river quarter to maintain the militia. The North Carolina battalion supplied its place; and to Captain Handy on one side, and to Captain Rudulph on the other, (approved officers,) were committed henceforward the protection of our lines. The tower was designated as the peculiar object of attention, and to its defence one company of musketry was exclusively applied. Not more than one third of the night had passed when the enemy began to move; concealing his real object by renewing his attempt upon the river quarter, where Rudulph, with his accustomed gallantry, gave him a warm reception.
While the contest here was bravely urged, and as bravely sustained, Lieutenant Colonel Brown with the elite of his garrison fell upon our works in his rear. Here for a while the militia of Pickens contended with vigor, but at length were forced by the bayonet out of the trenches. Handy, leaving one company at the tower, with his main body hastened to support the militia, who very gallantly united with the regulars, and turned upon the successful foe.
The conflict became furious; but at length the Marylanders under Handy carried the victory by the point of the bayonet. Upon this occasion the loss on both sides exceeded all which had occurred during the siege. Brown, finding that every effort to destroy our works by open war proved ineffectual, now resorted to stratagem. Lee had omitted to put down,[note 4] as was originally intended the old wooden house, under cover of which the tower had been commenced, and which by accidentally taking fire would have probably consumed it. This house attracted Brown's notice, and he determined, by burning it, to rid himself of the tower. He had by this time erected a platform in one of the angles of the fort opposite to our Mayham tower, and which, being mounted with two of his heaviest pieces of ordnance, opened upon it before it was finished.
Nevertheless the exertions of the builders did not slacken, and on the first of June the tower was completed, and was found to overlook the enemy's parapet. The upper logs having been sawed to let in an embrasure for our six pounder, it only remained to make an apron upon which the matrosses could draw up their piece to th6 floor of the tower.
This was done in the course of the day, and at dawn on the second our six pounder was mounted, completely commanding the enemy's fort. Finley instantly announced his readiness to act by returning the enemy's cannonade, which had been continued without intermission. Before noon the enemy's two pieces were dismounted from the platform, and all the interior of the fort was raked, excepting the segment nearest to the tower and some other spots sheltered by traverse.
It was now that Lieutenant Colonel Brown determined to put in execution his concerted stratagem. In the course of the night a deserter from the fort was sent to Lieutenant Colonel Lee. He was a Scot, with all the wily sagacity of his country, and a sergeant of the artillery. Upon being questioned upon the effect of our cannonade, and the situation of the enemy,—he answered, that the strange loghouse lately erected, gave an advantage, which, duly improved, could not fail to force surrender; but that the garrison had not suffered so much as might be presumed; that it was amply supplied with provisions, and was in high spirits.
In the course of the conversation which followed, Lee inquired, in what way could the effect of the cannonade be increased. Very readily, replied the crafty sergeant: that knowing the spot where all the powder in the fort was deposited, with red hot balls from the six pounder, directed properly, the magazine might be blown up. This intelligence was received with delight, and the suggestion of the sergeant seized with avidity, although it would be very difficult to prepare our balls, as we were unprovided with a furnace.
It was proposed to the sergeant, that he should be sent to the officer commanding our battery, and give his aid to the execution of his suggestion, with assurances of liberal reward in case of success. This proposition was heard with much apparent reluctance, although every disposition to bring the garrison to submission was exhibited by the sergeant, who pretended that Brown had done him many personal injuries in the course of service. But he added, it was impossible for him to put himself in danger of capture, as he well knew he should be executed on a gibbet, if taken.
A good supper was now presented to him, with his grog; which being finished, and being convinced by the arguments of Lee, that his personal safety could not be endangered, as it was not desired or meant that he should take any part in the siege, but merely to attend at the tower to direct the pointing of the piece, he assented; declaring that he entered upon his task with dire apprehensions, and reminding the lieutenant colonel of his promised reward.
Lee instantly put him in care of his adjutant, to be delivered to Captain Finley, with the information communicated, for the purpose of blowing up the enemy's magazine. It was midnight; and Lieutenant Colonel Lee, expecting on the next day to be much engaged, our preparations being nearly completed, retired to rest. Reflecting upon what had passed, and recurring to the character of his adversary, he became much disquieted by the step he had taken, and soon concluded to withdraw the sergeant from the tower. He had not been many minutes with Captain Finley, before an order remanding him was delivered, committing him to the quarter guard.
In the morning we were saluted with a new exhibition, unexpected though not injurious. Between the quarters of Lee and the fort stood four or five deserted houses; some of them near enough to the fort to be used with effect by riflemen from their upper stories. They had often engaged the attention of Pickens and Lee, with a view of applying them, whenever the enemy should be assaulted, to aid in covering their attack. Brown, sallying out before break of day, set fire to all but two of the houses. No attempt was made to disturb the operation, or to extinguish the flames after the enemy had returned; it being deemed improper to hazard our troops in effecting any object not material in its consequence. Of the two left, one was most commodious for the purpose originally contemplated by Pickens and Lee in the hour of assault.
The besiegers being incapable of discovering any reason for the omission to burn the two houses, and especially the one nearest the fort, various were their conjectures as to the cause of sparing them: some leading to the conclusion that they were left purposely, and consequently with the view of injuring the assailant. The fire from the tower continued, and being chiefly directed against the parapet fronting the river, in which quarter the proposed attack would be directed, demonstrated satisfactorily that the hour had arrived to make the decisive appeal. Orders were accordingly issued to prepare for the assault, to take place on the next day at the hour of nine in the forenoon. In the course of the night, a party of the best marksmen were selected from Pickens's militia, and sent to one of the houses nearest to the fort.
The officer commanding this detachment, was ordered to arrange his men in the upper story, for the purpose of ascertaining the number which could with ease use their rifles out of the windows, or any other convenient aperture; then to withdraw, and report to the brigadier. It was intended, before daylight, to have directed the occupation of the house by the same officer, with such a force of riflemen as he should report to be sufficient. Handy was ordered to return to the river quarter at the dawn of day, as to his detachment and the legion infantry the main assault would be committed. These, with all the other preparations, being made, the troops continued in their usual stations,—pleased that the time was near which would close with success their severe toils.
About three in the morning of the fourth of June, we were aroused by a violent explosion, which was soon discovered to have shattered the very house intended to be occupied by the rifle party before daybreak. It was severed and thrown into the air thirty or forty feet high, its fragments falling all over the field. This explained, at once, not only the cause of Brown's omitting its destruction, but also communicated the object of the constant digging which had until lately employed the besieged.
Brown pushed a sap to this house, which he presumed would be certainly possessed by the besieger, when ready to strike his last blow; and he concluded, from the evident maturity of our works, and from the noise made by the militia, when sent to the house in the first part of the night, for the purpose of ascertaining the number competent to its capacity, that the approaching morning was fixed for the general assault. Not doubting but the house was occupied with the body destined to hold it, he determined to deprive his adversary of every aid from this quarter; hoping, too, by the consternation which the manner of destruction could not fail to excite, to damp the ardor of the troops charged with storming.
Happily he executed his plan too early for its success, or our gallant band would certainly have shared the fate of the house. This fortunate escape excited grateful sensations in the breasts of the two commandants, for the gracious interposition of Providence; and added another testimonial to the many already received, of the penetration and decision which marked the character of their opponent. The hour of nine approached, and the columns for assault were in array, waiting the signal of advance.
Pickens and Lee having determined, as intercourse with the fort was now open, to present to the enemy another opportunity of avoiding the impending blow by capitulation, a flag was despatched on the 3d of June, with a joint letter from the American commanders, adapted to the occasion. Lieutenant Colonel Brown, in reply, repeated his determination to defend the post. This resolution could not be maintained; and on the next day an officer, with a flag, proceeded from the fort. The bearer was received at the margin of our trenches, and presented a letter addressed to the two commandants, offering to surrender upon conditions detailed in the communication. Some of these being inadmissible, the offer was rejected, and other propositions made, which would be ratified by them, if acceded to by Lieutenant Colonel Brown. This discussion produced the delay of one day, which was gratifying to Brown; it being unpleasant to surrender on the birth-day of his king.
The terms, as altered, were accepted, and eight o'clock in the morning of the fifth was designated for the delivery of the fort, &c., to Captain Rudulph, appointed on the part of the victors to take possesion of it with its appurtenances. At the appointed hour the British garrison marched out, Lieutenant Colonel Brown having been taken into the care of Captain Armstrong, of the dragoons, with a safe guard to protect his person from threatened violence.[note 5] This precaution suggested by our knowledge of the inveteracy with which the operations in this quarter had been conducted on both sides, turned out to be extremely fortunate; as otherwise, in all probability, the laurels acquired by the arms of America would have been stained by the murder of a gallant soldier, who had committed himself to his enemy on their plighted faith. Brown was conveyed to Lee's quarters, where he continued until the next day, when himself and a few of his officers were paroled, and sent down the river to Savannah, under the care of Captain Armstrong, with a party of infantry, who had orders to continue with Lieutenant Colonel Brown until he should be placed out of danger. During the few hours' residence in Lee's quarters, the British colonel inquired after his artillery sergeant, who had a few nights before deserted from the fort. Upon being told that he was in the quarter guard, he took the first opportunity of soliciting from Lee his restitution, frankly declaring that he was no deserter, but was purposely sent out by him in that character, to destroy by fire the newly erected loghouse, which he plainly discerned to be destructive to his safety, and which his sergeant undertook to do while pretending to direct our fire with the view of blowing up the magazine of the fort.
This communication showed the danger to which the besiegers were exposed for a few minutes, by the readiness with which Lee entered into the plan of the deserter, but which, upon further reflection, he fortunately changed; and demonstrates the great caution with which the offer of aid from deserters ought to be received, especially when coming from a besieged fortress on the point of surrender, and in the care of an experienced, sagacious soldier. The request of Lieutenant Colonel Brown was granted, and his sergeant with joy rejoined his commander. As soon as the capitulation was signed, preparations for decamping were begun, and early the next morning, the baggage of the corps under Lee was transported across the Savannah; about noon, the infantry followed; and in the evening of the 6th, Lee joined with his cavalry; proceeding with expedition to Ninety-Six, in obedience to orders from General Greene. Brigadier Pickens remained at Augusta until conveyance for the stores taken there and at Fort Galphin could be provided; which being accomplished in a few days, he also marched for headquarters. Without delay, after the British garrison had laid down their arms, Pickens and Lee despatched intelligence of the event to Greene, who, announcing the success in general orders, was pleased to express to the two commandants, and their respective corps, the high sense he entertained of their merit and service, with his thanks for the zeal and vigor exhibited in the execution of the duty assigned to them. Lee, pressing forward with despatch, reached Ninety-Six on the forenoon of the 8th. Two routes led south of the enemy to the American headquarters, which had been established on the enemy's right. The officer despatched with the garrison of Fort Cornwallis in his charge, mistaking the intended course, took the road nearest to the town, which brought his troops under command of the enemies' batteries for a small distance. Believing that the exhibition was designed with a view to insult the feelings of the garrison, Lieutenant Colonel Cruger gave orders for tHte contiguous batteries to open upon this corps, notwithstanding it enveloped his fellow soldiers taken at Augusta, and was very near chastising the supposed bravado, which in fact was only the error of the conducting officer. Luckily no injury was sustained; but the officer was very severely reprimanded by Lieutenant Colonel Lee, for the danger to which his inadvertence had exposed the corps.