as a defence against an expected attack from
Chap. LXVI.} 1776.
the land forces.
should have replenished his stock; but in the heat of the action Moultrie
received from him this letter: ‘If you should unfortunately expend your ammunition without beating off the enemy or driving them on ground, spike your guns and retreat.’
A little later, a better gift and a better message came from Rutledge
, now at Charleston
: ‘I send you five hundred pounds of powder.
You know our collection is not very great.
Honor and victory to you and our worthy countrymen with you. Do not make too free with your cannon.
Be cool and do mischief.’
These five hundred pounds of powder, with two hundred pounds from a schooner lying at the back of the fort, were all the supplies that Moultrie
At three in the afternoon, Lee
, on a report from his aide-de-camp Byrd
, sent Muhlenberg
's Virginia riflemen to reinforce Thomson
A little before five, Moultrie
was able to renew his fire.
At about five the marines in the ships' tops, seeing a lieutenant with eight or ten men remove the heavy barricade from the gateway to the fort, thought that Moultrie
and his party were about to retreat; but the gateway was unbarred to receive a visit from Lee
. The officers half naked, and begrimed with the hot day's work, respectfully laid down their pipes as he drew near.
The general himself pointed two or three guns, after which he said to Moultrie
, I see you are doing very well here, you have no occasion for me, I will go up to town again;’ and thus he left the fort.
When at a few minutes past seven the sun went down in a blaze of light, the battle was still raging,