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sary to review the progress of the war in other quarters, which finally brought the main strength of both parties to decide the question of American Independence near the Capes of Virginia. The first and most prominent in interest is the brilliant career of Greene in the Southern States, With an inferior force of badly armed and scantily supplied soldiery, notwithstanding repeated defeats and repulses, by his genius, constancy, and courage, he triumphed over the enemies of his country, and in a series of skilful and gallant actions, recovered the Carolinas, and established the revolution in the Southern States.
The defeat of General Gates at the battle of Camden, disastrous as it truly was to the American arms, elated the British to an extravagant pitch. South Carolina was thought to be totally subjugated, and preparations were made by Cornwallis to proceed in his career of victory to the invasion of North Carolina. The reverse sustained in the battle of King's Mountain, and the defeat and death of Fergusson there, had checked his career for the present, to be resumed as soon as he could repress and punish the manifestations of patriotic feeling, which had broken out among the people into symptoms of revolt on the approach of Gates, and afterwards on the fall of Fergusson. With the tories of North Carolina he held constant communication, and relied upon liberal aid from them as soon as he should cross into that State. Impatient under the suspension of his advance, he prosecuted the system of administration he had chosen to secure the future submissiveness of South Carolina. This had been marked by peculiarly harsh and barbarous measures, and they were now prosecuted with greater severity. Carolina became for a season a field of wide proscription and confiscation. General orders were issued to all the British posts to hang, summarily, all those taken in arms for the Americans, who had been drafted into the royal militia by the arbitrary proclamations issued after the surrender of Charleston, and to seize on the property of all who submitted at first, but took part with their country on the “invasion" of Gates. At Charleston, Camden, Ninety-Six, Augusta, and other places, multitudes were gibbetted, without compunction, for fighting the battles of their native land. Arrests, sequestrations, transportation, became common expedients, and terror was the instrument by which the loyalty of the State was to be secured. We have already seen the partial effects of such a policy. It created an infinite num ber of secret enemies, ready to take up arms with tenfold fury, whenever the pressure of superior force should be
removed, -and it stimulated to greater audacity the partizan corps of independent bands of whigs, who roamed throughout the State, beating up the British quarters, harassing their posts, cutting off tories and stragglers, and doing all the mischief in their power to the dominant force. Cornwallis, however, did not estimate these consequences very highly, and being reinforced by the troops under Leslie, late in December resumed his intention of marching to conquer North Carolina.
General Greene had taken up a position with the main body of his little army, on the eastern branch of the Pedee river, nearly opposite Cheraw Hill; and the remainder of his force, under Morgan and Pickens, were stationed at the confluence of Broad and Pacolet rivers. The whole force very little exceeded two thousand men. With these inferior numbers he took the field, at the opening of the year. Unable to cope in regular battle with Cornwallis, he determined to carry on the war of detachments, and harass the British in detail.
Colonel Lee, with his legion, joined him, and was immediately sent to the support of Marion, who, as usual, was engaged in a partizan enterprise against some of the enemy' posts. So rapid were Marion's movements, that it was sometimes difficult even for his friends to find him. Lee and Man rion, with their joint forces, surprised Georgetown, and captured Colonel Campbell.
The advance of Cornwallis into North Carolina, in the position of the American forces, would have left Morgan in
To dislodge and disperse that detachment, he accordingly sent Tarleton, with his celebrated legion, amountjing to eleven hundred men, and advanced with his main i army in a northwesterly direction, between the Catawba
and the Broad rivers, to intercept the retreat of the Americans, when they should retire before Tarleton. Leslie
moved in a parallel direction, on the eastern side of the i Catawba, leaving Greene and his corps on the right, held be in check by the garrisons at the British posts. Tarleton's · orders were to come up with Morgan, and “push him to
the utmost.” With his characteristic impetuosity he pressed forward, but Morgan, advised of the superiority of troops,
especially cavalry, brought against him, abandoned his post, d
on the 16th of January, and retired up the country, only a few hours before Tarleton arrived. Tarleton, without
pausing to rest, followed up the pursuit during the night
, and early the next morning overtook the Americans at the Cowpens, where they had halted for refreshment and repose. Morgan had determined to risk a battle at once, rather than exhaust his men by the effort to escape from an enemy 80 remarkable for the celerity of his movements. Making a skilful arrangement of his troops, he waited the charge of the enemy upon ground which afforded Tarleton the free use of his celebrated cavalry. The first line, composed of militia, was directed to check the enemy's advance and fall back. The second line was composed of continental infantry, under Colonel John Eager Howard, and in the rear the regular cavalry and a party of mounted militia were stationed as a corps de reserve, under Colonel Washington. The British cavalry outnumbered the American three to one; the infantry were superior and they had two field pieces. Confident of an easy victory, Tarleton dashed onward,
without allowing his troops time to recover from
their fatigue, and not even pausing to form his line carefully. They charged the militia impetuously, with a battalion of infantry, supported by dragoons. These were met by a steady fire. The first line giving way, they pressed rapidly against the second. The resistance here was so obstinate that Tarleton brought up his whole reserve to strike a final blow. Colonel Howard, on this increase of force against him, determined to change his order of battle. His directions being misunderstood, a retreat was commenced, and continued for a short distance. The mistake proved fortunate. Tarleton hurried on in disorderly pursuit, when Howard, rallying the infantry, faced about, and received the pursuers with a deadly and continuous fire, which threw them into confusion. Following this advantage, while the enemy were surprised and wavering, the order was given to charge bayonets. It was obeyed with alacrity, and the day was instantly decided. Colonel Washington, at the same time, charged the enemy's cavalry, and routed them, and a general flight of the British commenced, and was continued without a rally, until the fugitives reached the camp of Cornwallis. The loss of the British was unexampled, considering the numbers engaged. One hundred were killed, two hundred wounded, and five hundred pri
The artillery, standards, eight hundred musketa, and a hundred horses were among the fruits of the victory to the Americans. They lost only twelve killed and about sixty wounded. Morgan displayed extraordinary activity and courage during the day, moving about the field, giving his orders and mingling in the contest, wherever it was hottest. Colonels Howard and Washington exhibited admirable skill and daring, and the masterly movement of the former won the battle. As a military achievement, few events in the revolutionary war were more brilliant than the battle of the Cowpens. In its results it was not less important. It was the turning of the tide of fortune in favor of the Americans, heretofore driven before superior force, and the commencement of that flow of success, which, with few ebbings, soon swept over the South, and drove the enemy out of the country.
The intelligence of Tarleton's defeat disconcerted the plans of Cornwallis. He resolved to intercept the march of Morgan, and compel him to restore his prisoners and trophies. Morgan, who was aware of the necessity of a speedy retreat into Virginia, in order to save himself and secure the fruits of his splendid victory, made all haste to escape.. A
military race then commenced, of a dubious and exciting * character. Morgan and Cornwallis were about equally dis
tant from the fords of the Catawba, in different directions, and the struggle was which should arrive there first. The march of the Americans was excessively toilsome and pain
On the 29th, twelve days after the battle, Morgan arrived at the fords, and had safely crossed them only two hours before the van of the enemy appeared on the opposite banks. It was then too dark to cross that night, and Cornwallis encamped on the banks of the river. During the night a heavy fall of rain raised a swell in the river, and made it impassable for two days. In the interim, Greene, who had ordered his own detachment to retire towards Virginia, and ridden with but two or three attendants a hundred and forty miles, joined Morgan on the 31st.
When the waters of the Catawba subsided, Cornwallis crossed, and the pursuit recommenced. A slight but unsuccessful attempt was made to obstruct his passage. Both armies hurried on to the Yadkin. Greene, this time, was pressed so closely that Cornwallis reached him before the whole of his army had been ferried over. The van of the British engaged a portion of the rear guard