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[410] though the British showed signs of weariness. The
Chap. LXVI.} 1776. June 28.
inhabitants of Charleston, whom the evening sea breeze collected on the battery, could behold the flag of crescent liberty still proudly waving; and they continued gazing anxiously, till the short twilight was suddenly merged in the deep darkness of a southern night, when nothing was seen but continual flashes, followed by peals as it were of thunder coming out from a heavy cloud. Many thousand shot were fired from the shipping, and hardly a hut or a tree on the island remained unhurt; but the works were very little damaged, and only one gun was silenced. The firing from the fort continued slowly; and the few shot they were able to send, were heard to strike against the ships' timbers. Just after nine o'clock, a great part of his ammunition being expended in a cannonade of about ten hours, his people fatigued, the ‘Bristol’ and the ‘Experiment’ made nearly wrecks, the tide of ebb almost done, with no prospect of help from the army at the eastward, and no possibility of his being of any further service, Sir Peter Parker resolved to withdraw. At half-past 9 his ships slipped their cables, and dropped down with the tide to their previous moorings.

Of the four hundred and thirty-five Americans in the fort, who took part in this action, all but eleven remained alive, and of these but twenty-six were wounded. At so small a cost of life had Charleston been defended and a province saved.

When, after a cannonade of about ten hours, the firing ceased, the inhabitants of Charleston remained in suspense, till a boat from Moultrie announced his victory. At morning's dawn the ‘Acteon’ frigate

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