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[319] under Caswell, and proceeded towards the enemy
Chap. XV.} 1780. Aug.
at Lynch's creek.

In the following night that post was abandoned; and Lord Rawdon occupied another on the southern bank of Little Lynch's creek, unassailable from the deep muddy channel of the river, and within a day's march of Camden. Here he was joined by Tarleton with a small detachment of cavalry, who on their way had mercilessly ravaged the country on the Black river as a punishment to its patriot inhabitants, and as a terror to the dwellers on the Wateree and Santee. By a forced march up the stream, Gates could have turned Lord Rawdon's flank, and made an easy conquest of Camden. Missing his only opportunity, on the eleventh, after a useless halt of two

days he defiled by the right, and, marching to the north of Camden, on the thirteenth encamped at
Clermont, which the British had just abandoned. The time thus allowed, Rawdon used to strengthen himself by four companies from Ninety-Six, as well as by the troops from Clermont, and to throw up redoubts at Camden.

On the evening of the tenth, Cornwallis left

Charleston and arrived at Camden before the dawn of the fourteenth. At ten o'clock on the night of
the fifteenth, he set his troops in motion in the
hope of joining battle with the Americans at the break of day.

On the fourteenth, Gates had been joined by seven

hundred Virginia militia under the command of Stevens. On the same day Sumpter, appearing in camp with four hundred men, asked for as many more to intercept a convoy with its stores on the

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