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BATTLE OF COWPENS.
Battle of Cowpens. counters with the republican troops, as he had been cruel and sanguinary in the use of his victories. His former success, however, and the superiority of his numbers to those of Morgan's forces, caused him too much to despise his enemy.
In pursuance of Lord Cornwallis's orders, he marched in quest of his antagonist, and, on the evening of the 16th of January, 1781, he arrived at the ground which General Morgan had quitted a few hours before. At two o'clock in the morning, he recommenced his pursuit of the Americans, marching with extraordinary rapidity through a very difficult country, and at daylight he discovered the detachment of Morgan in his front. From the intelligence obtained from the prisoners who were taken by his scouting parties, he learned that Morgan waited his attack at a place called the Cowpens, near Pacolet river.
Here the American commander had drawn up his litt) : army, two-thirds of which consisted of militia, in two lines, the first of which was advanced about 200 yards before the second, with orders to form on the right of the second, in case the onset of the enemy should oblige them to retire. The rear was closed by a small body of regular cavalry, and about forty-five mounted militia men.
On the sight of this array, Tarleton ordered his troops to form in line. But before this arrangement was effected, that officer, obeying the dictates of rash valour rather than those of prudence, commenced the attack, heading his squadron in person. The British advanced with a shout, and assailed their adversaries with a well-directed discharge of musketry The Americans reserved their fire till the British were within
40 or 50 yards of their ranks, and then poured among them a volley which did considerable execution. The British, however, pushed on, and obliged the militia to retire from the field. They then assailed the second line, and compelled it to fall back on the cavalry.
Here the Americans rallied, and renewed the fight with desperate valour: charging the enemy with fixed bayonets, they drove back the advance, and following up their success, overthrew the masses of their opponents, as they presented themselves in succession, and finally won a complete and decisive victory. Tarletop fled from the bloody field, leaving his artillery and baggage in possession of the Americans. His loss amounted to 300 killed and wounded, and 500 prisoners, whilst that of the Americans was only 12 killed and 60 wounded.
Immediately after the action, General Greene sent off the prisoners, under a proper guard, in the direction of Virginia; and as soon as he had made the requisite arrangements, he followed them with his little army, leaving Morgan on the Catawba, watching the motions of the enemy.
On receiving intelligence of Tarleton's defeat, Lord Corn. wallis hastened in pursuit of the victors, and forced his marches with such effect, that he reached the Catawba river on the evening of the day on which Morgan had crossed it; but here his progress was for a short time impeded, as a heavy fall of rain had rendered the stream impassable. When the waters subsided, he hurried on, hoping to overtake the Americans before they had crossed the Yadkin; but when he arrived at that river, he found to his mortification, that they had crossed it, and had secured the craft and boats, which they had used for that purpose, on the eastern bank. He, therefore, marched higher up the stream till he found the river fordable.
Whilst he was employed in this circuitous movement, General Greene had united his forces with those of Morgan, at Guildford Court-house. Still, however, the forces of the American commander were so far inferior to those of the enemy, that, not choosing to risk an engagement, he hastened straight onwards to the river Dan, whilst Lord Cornwallis, traversing the upper country, where the streams are fordable,
What was the result?
Where did Greene unite his forces The loss on each side ?
with those of Morgan? Whither did Greene then march? Who was pursuing him ? Give an account of Morgan's retreat By what route ?
and Cornwallis's pursuit.
proceeded, in the hope that he might gain upon the Americans, so as to overtake them, in consequence of their being obstructed in their progress by the deep water below.
But so active was General Greene, and so fortunate in finding the means of conveyance, that he crossed the Dan, in Virginia, with his whole army, artillery and baggage. So narrow, however, was his escape, that the van of Cornwallis's army arrived in time to witness the ferrying over of
Mortified as Lord Cornwallis was, by being thus disappointed of the fruits of his toilsome march, he consoled himself by the reflection that the American army being thus driven out of North Carolina, he was master of that state, and was in a condition to recruit his forces by the accession of the loyalists, with whom he had been led to believe that it abounded. He, therefore, summoned all true subjects of his majesty to repair to the royal standard, which he had crected at Hillsborough. This experiment had little success. The friends of the British government were in general timid, and diffident of his lordship's power ultimately to protect them. Their terrors were confirmed, when they learned that the indefatigable Greene had recrossed the Dan, and had cut off a body of tories who were on their march to join the royal forces, and that he had compelled Tarleton to retreat from the frontier of the province to Hillsborough. For seven days, the American commander manœuvred within ten miles of the British camp; and at the end of that time, having received reinforcements from Virginia, he resolved to give Lord Cornwallis battle.
The engagement took place on the 15th of March, near Guildford Court-house. The American army consisted of 4,400 men, of which, more than one-half were militia ; and the British of 2,400 veterans ; after a brisk cannonade in front the militia in advance were thrown into some confusion by the rash folly of a colonel, who, on the advance of the enemy, called out to an officer, at some distance, that he would be surrounded.' This alarm caused the North Carolina militia to fly. The Virginia militia, and the continental troops,
Where did Greene have a narrow How long did he maneuvre neai the escape?
British camp? How did Cornwallis console himself? What induced him to give battle? Whom did he invite to join his Where and when did the engagerpena standard ?
take place ? What deterred them from doing so ? Describe it What success of General Greene
BATTLE OF GUILDFORD.
maintained the conflict spiritedly for an hour and a half; but the discipline of the veteran British troops at length prevailed, and the Americans were obliged to retire ; but only to the distance of three miles.
All the advantages of victory were on the side of the Americans, for although Lord Cornwallis kept the field, he had suffered such loss in the action, that he was unable to act on the offensive directly after, and was soon compelled to march towards Wilmington, leaving his sick and wounded behind him. On this retreat he was pursued by General Greene as far as Deep river.
At Wilmington, Lord Cornwallis made a halt for three days, for the purpose giving his troops some rest; and at the end of that time, resolving to carry the war into Virginia, he marched to Petersburg, an inland town of that state, situated on James river. Hither it was expected that he would have been followed by the Americans ; but Greene, being aware that his lordship had by this movement approached nearer to the American main army, and confident that his movements would be closely watched by the Virginia militia, after mature consideration, adopted the bold measure of again penetrating into South Carolina.
That state was in the military occupation of the British, who were, indeed, harassed by the partisan troops of Marion and Sumter, but were in such apparent strength, that there was reason to fear that the republicans, if not aided by further support, would abandon the cause of their country in despair. The British had formed chains of posts, which, extending from the sea to the western extremity of the state, maintained a mutual communication by strong patrols of bodies of horse.
The first of these lines of defence was established on the Wateree, on the banks of which river, the British occupied the well fortified town of Camden, and Fort Watson, situated between that place and Charleston. The attack of the fort, Greene entrusted to Marion, who soon compelled its garrison to surrender on capitulation.
In encountering Lord Rawdon, near Camden, Greene was not so fortunate. In consequence of the unsteadiness of a few of his troops, he was defeated, but moved off the ground
What was the result?
What was the condition of that state? Who had the advantages of victory? How was it defended ? What is said of Cornwallis ?
Who took Fort Watson ? What induced Greene to penetrate What was the result of Greene's en again into South Carolina?
counter with Lord Rawdon ?
SIEGE OF NINETY-SIX.
in such good order, that he saved his artillery, and though wounded, he took up a position, at the distance of about five miles from Camden, from which he sent out parties to intercept the supplies, of which he was apprised that his antagonist was in the utmost need.
In consequence of the vigilance of Greene in cutting off his resources and of the loss of Fort Watson, which had been the link of his communication with Charleston, Lord Rawdon, after having in vain endeavoured to bring on a second general engagement with the Americans, was reduced to the necessity of destroying a part of his baggage, and retreating to the south side of the river Santee. This retrograde movement encouraged the friends of congress tr resume their arms, and hasten to reinforce the corps of Ma rion, who speedily made himself master of the British posts on the Congaree, the garrisons of which were in general made prisoners, whilst those who escaped that fate by a timely evacuation of their positions, made good their retreat to Charleston.
Savannah river now presented the last line of defence held by the British, who there possessed the town of Augusta, and the post of Ninety-Six. The former of those places were attacked by Colonel Lee, and after a very obstinate defence on the part of the commander, Colonel Brown, it surrendered on honourable terms.
The important post of Ninety-Six, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Cruger, was strongly fortified and defended by 500 men.
On reconnoitering the place, General Greene, whose army was not much more numerous than the garrison, determined to besiege it in form. He accordingly broke ground on the 25th of May, and pushed his works with such vigour, that he had approached within six yards of the ditch, and had erected a mound 30 feet high, from which his riflemen poured their shot with fatal aim upon the opposite parapet of the enemy, who were hourly expected to beat a parley.
But this bright prospect of success was at once overclouded by the arrival of intelligence that Lord Rawdon, having received reinforcements from Ireland, was hastening to the relief of his countrymen at the head of 2,000 men. In this extremity Greene made a desperate effort to carry the place
How did Greene afterwards proceed? Who took Augusta from the British ? To what measure did he compel Lord Describe Greene's operations at NineRawdon ?
ty-Six. What was effected by Marion ? What obliged him to raise the sieges