army under Macdonald
, who was himself confined to
his tent by illness, numbered between fifteen and sixteen hundred.
At one o'clock in the morning of the twenty seventh, the loyalists, commanded by Donald Macleod
, began their march; but it cost so much time to cross an intervening morass, that it was within an hour of daylight before they reached the western bank of the creek.
There they had expected to find Caswell
encamped; they entered the ground in three columns without resistance, for Caswell
and all his force had taken post on the opposite side.
were now within lessthan twenty miles of Wilmington
; orders were directly given to reduce the columns, and for the sake of concealment to form the line of battle within the verge of the wood; the rallying cry was, ‘King George and broadswords;’ the signal for the attack, three cheers, the drum to beat and the pipes to play.
It was still dark; Macleod
, who led the van of about forty, was challenged at the bridge by the Carolina
sentinels, asking: ‘Who goes there?’
He answered: ‘A friend.’—‘A friend to whom?’— ‘To the king.’
Upon this the sentinels bent themselves down with their faces towards the ground.
then challenged them in Gaelic, thinking they might be some of his own party who had crossed the bridge; receiving no answer, he fired his own piece, and ordered those with him to fire.
Of the bridge that separated the Scots and the Carolinians, nothing had been left but the two logs, which had served as sleepers; only two persons therefore could pass at a time.
and John Campbell
rushed forward and succeeded in getting over; Highlanders who followed with broadswords, were shot