The Patriots Daily Bites of American History Series 21 :The British take Charleston




The Patriots Daily Bites of American History Series # 21
 by Gregory Dixon...US History 1956 

The British take Charleston: 

In the spring of 1780 the war in the south was renewed with vigor. The British took Charleston May 12,1780 and Lord Cornwallis held the city but Marion and Sumter with their resolute men armed with a few guns and saw blades did good service for the American cause. when the British forces went out to conquer the country the Carolina patriots attacked from behind bushes and trees. This was the first introduction called guerilla warfare in modern history. The British had a small force at Camden, South Carolina, a center for roads and hence of much importance from a military point of view.

General Gates and Dekalb resolved to attempt the capture of the place before the British General Cornwallis could arrive there but Cornwallis reached Camden first. A battle was fought August 16,1780 in which he was compelled to retreat losing artillery and baggage escaping capture himself and while Cornwallis was chuckling over his victory the woodsmen of the country, sharp shooters, every man attacked a British force at King’s Mountain Oct.7.1780 on the border of North and South Carolina and in a terrible battle completely defeated the enemy. (about a month later) The terrible winter at Morristown New Jersey records Benedict Arnold’s treason.

On September 22,1780 the most startling and the worst event of the revolution occurred. Benedict Arnold, Washington’s most trusted friend and commander at West Point had turned traitor. Discovery was made through the arrest of Mayor Andre, a British spy by whom Arnold attempted to send a plan of the fort to the British Commander at New York. Andre was tried and hanged but Arnold escaped to the British Army.

Later Arnold, the traitor, led an attack on Richmond, Virginia and burned it and last of all he led an attack on New London, Connecticut, his native state. Benedict arnold died in London twenty years later. It is said that the last request he made was to have the epaulets (ornamental strap worn on shoulder) and sword which Washington had given him might be brought. He said, “LET ME DIE IN MY OLD AMERICAN UNIFORM IN WHICH I FOUGHT MY BATTLES. MAY GOD FORGIVE ME FOR PUTTING ON ANOTHER!” 

The gloom of Benedict Arnold’s awful act of treason seemed to be reflected in the American Camp at Morristown in the terrible winter of 1780-81. In some respect it was worse than that at Valley Forge. The men half fed and half froze were driven to desperation and revolt.

(to be continued)
Greene’s camp in the South. 

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