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[317] march directly to Camden, confident of its easy capt-
Chap. XV.} 1780. June.
ure and the consequent recovery of the country. To Kalb he wrote: ‘Enough has already been lost in a vain defence of Charleston; if more is sacrificed, the southern states are undone; and this may go nearly to undo the rest.’

Arriving in the camp of Kalb, he was confirmed in his purpose by Thomas Pinckney, who was his aid, and by Marion. It was the opinion of Kalb, that the enemy would not make a stand at Camden.1 His first words ordered the troops to be prepared to march at a moment's warning. The safest route, recommended by a memorial of the principal officers, was by way of Salisbury and Charlotte, through a most fertile, salubrious, and well-cultivated country, inhabited by presbyterians who were heartily attached to the cause of independence, and among whom a post for defence might have been established in case of disaster. But Gates was impatient; and having detached Marion towards the interior of South Carolina to watch the motions of the enemy and furnish intelligence, he, on the morning of the twenty-seventh

July 27.
of July, put what he called the ‘grand army’ on its march by the shortest route to Camden through a barren country which could offer no food but lean cattle, fruit, and unripe maize.

On the third of August, the army crossed the Pedee

Aug. 3.
river, making a junction on its southern bank with Lieutenant-Colonel Porterfield of Virginia, an excellent officer, who had been sent to the relief of Charleston, and had kept his small command on the frontier of South Carolina, having found means to subsist

1 Kalb's letters, captured by the British.

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