‘experienced so rude an encounter.’
Chap. LXVI.} 1776.
tide nor the wind suffered them to retire.
Once the springs on the cables of the ‘Bristol
’ were swept away; as she swung round with her stern toward the fort, she drew upon herself the fire of all the guns that could be brought to bear upon her. The slaughter was dreadful; of all who in the beginning of the action were stationed on her quarter deck, not one escaped being killed or wounded.
At one moment, it is said, the commodore stood there alone, an example of unsurpassed intrepidity and firmness.
, his captain, having his fore-arm shattered by a chainshot, and also receiving a wound in his neck, was taken into the cockpit; but after submitting to amputation, he insisted on being carried on the quarterdeck once more, where he resumed the command and continued it, till he was shot through the body, when feeling dissolution near, he commended his family to the providence of God and the generosity of his country.
Meantime the eyes of the commodore and of all on board his fleet were ‘frequently, and impatiently,’ and vainly turned toward the army.
If the troops would but cooperate, he was sure of gaining the island; for at about one o'clock he believed that he had silenced the guns of the rebels, and that the fort was on the point of being evacuated.
‘If this were so,’ Clinton
afterward asked him, ‘why did you not take possession of the fort, with the seamen and marines whom you practised for the purpose?’
's rejoinder was, that he had no prospect of speedy support from Clinton
But the pause was owing to the scarcity of powder, of which the little that remained to Moultrie
was reserved for the musketry