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HistRevolV1_301-350.indd 19 3/16/12 11:49 AM C H A P T E R X V I Sir Henry Clinton and Admiral Arbuthnot sail for South Carolina • Charleston invested • Capitulates • General Lincoln and his Army Prisoners of War • General Clinton returns to New York • Lord Cornwallis 's Command and Civil Administration in Charleston • Mr. Gadsden and other Gentlemen suspected, and sent to St. Augustine • Much Opposition to British Authority in both the Carolinas • The Count de Rochambeau and the Admiral de Tiernay arrive at Newport • British Depredations in the Jersies • Catastrophe of Mr. Caldwell and his Family • Armed Neutrality • Some Observations on the State of Ireland • Riots in England • Cursory Observations [187] From the unavoidable inactivity of the Americans in some parts cHAP. xv1 of the continent, and the misfortunes that had attended their arms in 1 1 1 9 others, in the summer of one thousand seven hundred and seventynine , sir Henry Clinton was left without any impediment, to prosecute a well concerted expedition to the southern colonies. The opulence of the planters there, the want of discipline in their militia, the distance and difficulty of reinforcing them, and the sickly state of the inhabitants, promised an easy conquest and a rich harvest to the invaders. [188] The summer and autumn passed off; and it was late in the month of December, before general Clinton embarked. He had a strong body of troops, and a forcible squadron commanded by admiral Arbuthnot, who accompanied him; but they proceeded heavily on 1 1 s o their way; and it was not until the ensuing spring was far advanced, that the admiral passed the bar, and made himself master of the harbor of Charleston. The Americans flattered themselves for some time, that they should be able to make an effectual resistance to the passage of the British fleet up the Cooper river: (this passes on one side, and the Ashley 319 HistRevolV1_301-350.indd 20 3/16/12 11:49 AM 320 W A R R E N ' S H I S T 0 R Y 0 F T H E R E V 0 L lJ T I 0 N CHAP. xv1 runs on the other of the town of Charleston:) but they soon abandoned 1 1 s o every ground to the potent English, except the town of Charleston, which they determined to defend to the last extremity. Governor Rutledge was vested by the legislature with very extraordinary powers, which he was obliged to exercise in their full latitude. This gentleman had acted on all occasions with spirit and judgment becoming his character, both as a soldier and a magistrate. He immediately called out the militia; and published a proclamation directing all the inhabitants who claimed any property in the town, to repair immediately to the American standard, on pain ofconfiscation. Though couched in strong and [189] severe terms, this proclamation had little effect. The manifest reluctance of some to oppose the power of Britain, the dread that others felt of so potent an adversary, the ill success of the American arms in Georgia, the surprise of the cavalry and other parties that were coming to their relief, the arrival of British reinforcements, and the rapid advance they made to conquest, appalled the inhabitants, and obliged the citizens soon to abandon all hopes of even saving their town. The first summons of surrender, on the sixteenth of April, was rejected by the American commander, though it announced the dreadful consequences of a cannonade and storm, which would soon be the unhappy fate of Charleston, "should the place, in fallacious security, or the commander, in wanton indifference to the fate of the inhabitants, delay a surrender." General Lincoln replied, that he had received the joint summons of general Clinton and admiral Arbuthnot; that sixty days had passed since it had been known, that their intentions against the town of Charleston were hostile; in which, time had been afforded to abandon it; but that duty and inclination pointed to him the propriety of defending it to the last extremity. After this decided answer, the most vigorous operations ensued on both sides, but with great [190] advantage in favor of the British, till the eighth of May, when sir Henry Clinton again called on the American commander, to prevent the farther effusion of blood, by an immediate surrender. He warned him, that if he refused this last summons, he should throw on him the charge, of whatever vindictive severity an...


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