An attack on Haddrell's Point would have been
Chap. LXVI.} 1776. June 28.
still more desperate; though the commodore, at Clinton
's request, sent three frigates to cooperate with him in that design.
The people of Charleston
, as they looked from the battery with senses quickened by the nearness of danger, beheld the ‘Sphinx
,’the ‘Acteon,’ and the ‘Syren,’ each of twenty eight guns, sailing as if to get between Haddrell's Point and the fort, so as to enfilade the works, and when the rebels should be driven from them, to cut off their retreat.
It was a moment of danger, for the fort on that side was unfinished; but the pilots kept too far to the south, so that they run all the three upon a bank of sand, known as the Lower Middle Ground
Gladdened by seeing the frigates thus entangled, the beholders in the town were swayed alternately by fears and hopes; the armed inhabitants stood every one at his post, uncertain but that they might be called to immediate action, hardly daring to believe that Moultrie
's small and ill-furnished garrison could beat off the squadron, when behold!
his flag disappears from their eyes.
Fearing that his colors had been struck, they prepared to meet the invaders at the water's edge, trusting in Providence
and preferring death to slavery.
In the fort, William Jasper
, a sergeant, perceived that the flag had been cut down by a ball from the enemy, and had fallen over the ramparts.
,’ said he to Moultrie
, ‘don't let us fight without a flag.’
‘What can you do?’
; ‘the staff is broken off.’
‘Then,’ said Jasper
, ‘I'll fix it on a halberd, and place it on the merlon of the bastion next the enemy;’