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[401] Indians raised on the back of South Carolina; and a
Chap. LXVI.} 1776 June.
body of royalists to ‘terrify and distract, so that the assault at Charleston would have struck an astonishing terror and affright.’ He reported South Carolina to be in ‘a mutinous state that delighted him;’ ‘the men would certainly rise on their officers; the battery on Sullivan's Island would not discharge two rounds.’ This opinion was spread through the fleet, and became the belief of every sailor on board. With or without Clinton's aid the commodore was persuaded that his well drilled seamen and marines could take and keep possession of the fort, till Clinton should ‘send as many troops as he might think proper, who might enter the fort in the same way.’

One day Captain Lempriere, the same who in the former year had, with daring enterprise, taken more than a hundred barrels of powder from a vessel at anchor off St. Augustine, was walking with Moultrie on the platform, and looking at the British shipsof-war, all of which had already come over the bar, addressed him: ‘Well, Colonel, what do you think of it now?’ ‘We shall beat them,’ said Moultrie. ‘The men-of-war,’ rejoined the captain, ‘will knock your fort down in half an hour.’ ‘Then,’ said Moultrie, ‘we will lie behind the ruins and prevent their men from landing.’

On the morning of the twenty eighth a gentle

sea-breeze prognosticated the attack. Lee, from Charleston, for the tenth or eleventh time, charged Moultrie to finish the bridge for his retreat, promised him reinforcements, which were never sent, and still meditated removing him from his command; while Moultrie, whose faculties, under the outward show

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