Carolina, Robert Howe
was superseded in the south-
ern command by Major-General Benjamin Lincoln
In private life this officer was most estimable; as a soldier he was brave, but of a heavy mould and inert of will.
Towards the end of 1776, he had repaired to Washington
's camp as a major-general of militia; in the following February, he was transferred to the continental service, and passed the winter at Morristown
In the spring of 1777, he was completely surprised by the British
, and had a narrow escape.
In the summer he was sent to the north, in the belief that his influence with the New England
militia would be useful; but he never took part in any battle.
Wounded by a British party whom he mistook for Americans
, he left the camp, having been in active service less than a year.
He had not fully recovered when, on the fourth of December, 1778, he entered upon the command in Charleston
Collecting what force he could, the new commander took post on the South Carolina
side of the Savannah
, near Perrysburg
, with a force which at first scarcely exceeded eleven hundred.
As neither party ventured to cross the river, the British
, who were masters of the water, detached two hundred men to Beaufort
, sent almost alone to counteract the movement, rallied under his standard about an equal number of militia.
These brave volunteers, who were supported by but nine continentals, though they were poorly supplied with ammunition and though their enemy had the advantage of position, fought for their own homes under a leader whom they trusted, and on the