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to the projects of his Lordship and determined him to retreat towards Cambden. He commenced his retreat on the 14th of October, and after a tedious and fatiguing march, rendered difficult by heavy rains which swelled the watercourses and saturated the earth, he arrived at Winnsborough on the 29th where he established himself, for the convenience of protecting the country between Cambden and Ninety Six. Soon after his arrival here, Cornwallis despatched Tarleton with a view to cut off General Sumpter, who had never been a moment idle when an opportunity offered of striking at the enemy. He was now posted near the Tyger river, at Blackstock Hill, where Tarleton encountered him on the 20th November. A part of Sumpter's force had possession of a log barn, which served as a secure defence against the attack of cavalry, while the apertures between the logs allowed those within an opportunity of firing to great advantage. The 63d regiment, which had just met with a severe repulse by Sumpter, on the Santee, was ordered to join Tarleton in his attack; but this officer with his usual impatience and impetuosity, being joined by 80 of their mounted infantry, pushed on without waiting for the remainder, with 250 men. Sumpter was so advantageously posted, that nothing but the most daring presumption on the part of Tarleton, could have led him to hope for success; his rash valour had served him on other occasions, and he had been the minion of fortune so long that he fancied the vigour of his arm invincible. No troops could have behaved better than those of Tarleton ; but Sumpter's strength of position and great superiority of numbers, rendered their valour unavailing. The party belonging to the 63d regiment were literally cut to pieces,
their commanding officer, Major Money, two Lieutenants, and a third of the privates being killed. Tarleton endeavoured to support the charge of his party, but was compelled to fall back; the whole of the assailants retreated until they formed a junction with the regiment advancing to their support. General Sumpter was severely wounded in the attack; and having remained on the ground long enough to bury his dead and take care of the wounded, as well his own as those of the enemy, he retired across the Tyger, not being strong enough to wait for a second attack from Tarleton's reinforcements.
General Marion in the mean time continued his skirmishing with great success, having always a place of retreat so secure and concealed that the enemy were never able to find him out, unless he chose himself to offer them battle, a thing which he never declined when an opportunity offered. The services of this officer were so various and constant, but so unconnected in general with the operation of the main army, that it would require a separate volume to detail his gallant exploits. He was never idle; though repeatedly left with not more than a dozen militiamen, he was constantly in the field, and constantly on the watch for an occasion of using his little band for the advancement of the great cause of resistance to the invaders of his native land.
The defeat of Colonel Ferguson had raised the hopes of the American army, as much as it depressed those of Cornwallis; and notwithstanding the complete rout of Gates at Cambden, the enemy had so far the worst of the campaign, having lost a greater number of men than the Americans, and been compelled to abandon several posts which they held in the begin
ning of the campaign. With some little gleam of hope, shining upon them amid the gloom which had so long enveloped the south, the American army mov ed from Hillsborough on the 2d November, and reached Salisbury on the 8th, a distance of one hundred miles. General Gates remained at Hillsborough a few days longer, enjoying the pleasing anticipation of being able soon to retrieve his losses, when he receiv ed the rumour of Greene's appointment, and of a court of inquiry to be held on his conduct. In addition to this information, which perhaps was not altogether unexpected by him, from his knowledge of the temper of Congress, he received also the afflicting news of the death of his only son. This was a trial of his firmness which it required all his philosophy to support; but General Gates suffered neither grief nor resentment to stifle the dictates of duty. His efforts, on the contrary, were redoubled to place his army in such a situation as would give the least trouble to his successour; and if the same caution and prudence of arrangement had been observed in his earlier movements, as now characterized the disposition of his reduced means, the laurels of Saratoga would have flourished in undiminished freshness. Having arrived at Salisbury, General Gates directed General Smallwood to encamp with his division at Providence, and to build huts for the winter accommodation of the men, while Morgan, who at the repeated solicitation of General Gates had been promoted to the rank of Brigadier, was directed to take a position somewhat in advance with the light troops, the General himself fixing his head quarters at Charlotte.
Things were thus situated, when on the 2d of December, General Greene arrived to take the command.
He was received by General Gates with a noble cordiality, that did honour to his heart; and on the succeeding day the command was transferred to him in the following general orders. The honourable Major General Greene, who arrived yesterday afternoon in Charlotte, being appointed by his Excellency General Washington, with the approbation of the honourable Congress, to the command of the Southern army, all orders will for the future issue from him, and all reports are to be made to him.General Gates returns his sincere and grateful thanks to the Southern army, for their perseverance, fortitude and patient endurance of all the hardships and sufferings they have undergone while under his command. He anxiously hopes their misfortunes will cease therewith; and that victory, and the glorious advantages attending it, may be the future portion of the Southern army." The conduct of General Greene on this unpleasant occasion evinced his great delicacy, and undiminished respect for the unfortunate Gates. He publickly thanked him for his polite reception, and as a further compliment, confirmed by general order, all the standing orders of Gates.
General Gates remained no longer than was necessary to make the requisite communications to his successour, of whom he took an affectionate leave, and proceeded slowly towards the north. Where he had a few months before been met with greetings and shouts of welcome, he was now received with cold politeness, or chilling indifference; nor until he arrived at Richmond, the capital of Virginia, did he see a smile of recognition or hear a whisper of condolence or consolation under his misfortunes. His splendid victory at Saratoga was forgotten in his more recent 47
defeat. But thus it is ever with the world, always ready to minister to the pride of success, and ever prone to shun or insult misfortune. The Legislature of Virginia, however, made an honourable exception to this remark. As soon as they heard of the Generals arrival, they appointed a committee of their body to wait on him with the assurance of their high regard and esteem; "that the remembrance of his former glorious services cannot be obliterated by any reverse of fortune, but that this house ever mindful of his great merit, will omit no opportunity of testifying to the world, the gratitude which as a member of the American Union, this country owes him in his military character." This kindness from so important a number of the union, made a deep impression on the mind of General Gates; and the subsequent respectful reception which he met with from the commander in chief, tended to soothe the feelings with which he now retired to his farm never more to mingle in the strife of his country,
General Gates had scarcely resigned the command of the army, when intelligence arrived of a skirmish between a part of Morgan's corps and a foraging party of the enemy. Morgan had attempted with his infantry to intercept one of those parties who had advanced into the country some distance from their main body, but they managed to elude his efforts. Washington, however, who with his cavalry had taken a more extensive circuit, advanced to Clermont, where a garrison of 100 men under Lieutenant Colonel Rudgely, were posted in a block house, or rather a log barn, impenetrable to small arms, and secured from the attack of cavalry by a surrounding abbatis. It had been Washington's intention to carry this place by surprise, but finding this impracticable, he resorted to a