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, and do everything necessary for the public good. The British, having carried their arms into the upper country of Georgia, sent emissaries to encourage a rising in South Carolina. A party of abandoned men, whose chief object was rapine, put themselves in motion to join the British, gathering on the way every kind of booty that could be transported. They were pursued across the Savannah by Colonel Andrew Pickens with about three hundred of the citizens of Ninety-Six; and on the fourteenth of February 14. were overtaken, surprised, and completely routed. Their commander and forty others fell in battle, and many prisoners were taken. About two hundred escaped to the British lines. The republican govern- Chap. XIII.} 1779. ment which, since 1776, had maintained its jurisdiction without dispute in every part of the commonwealth, arraigned some of them in the civil court; and, by a jury of their fellow-citizens, seventy of them were convicted of treason and rebellion against the
soldiers tracking the ground with their bloody feet, Greene to Washington. retreated at the rate of seventeen miles a day along wilderness roads where the wagon wheels sunk in deep mire and the creeks were swollen by heavy rains. On the fourteenth, they arrived at the ferries. 14. Greene first sent over the wagons, and at half-past 5 in the afternoon could write that all his troops were over and the stage clear. So soon as Cornwallis gained good information, he Chap. XXIII.} 1781. Feb. 14. pursued the light troops at the rate of thirty miles a day, but he was too late. On the evening of the fourteenth, Otho Williams brought his party, which on that day had marched forty miles, to the ferries. The next morning, Cornwallis made his appearance there only to learn that the Americans, even to their rearguard, had crossed the river the night 15. before. The safety of the southern states had depended on the success of this retreat of two hundred miles from the Catawba to the