History of the United States of America, from the Discovery of the Continent - Vol. 5

By George Bancroft | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXIV
THE WAR IN THE SOUTH. CLINTON AND LINCOLN.
1778–1780.

To trace events intelligibly in their connection, the war of Great Britain on the Netherlands has been carried forward to the ruin of their commerce in the West Indies. The plan for the southern campaign of 1778 was prepared by Germain with great minuteness of detail. Georgia and South Carolina were to be reduced by detachments from the army of New York and be held by the employment of their own militia; the upland settlements were to be separated from the planters of the low country; the one to be reduced by the terror of savage warfare, the other by the fear of their slaves; the city of Charleston was in due time to be taken, and, on the appearance of a small corps at Cape Fear, “large numbers of the inhabitants,” it was thought, “would doubtless flock to the standard of the king,” whose government would be restored in North Carolina. But, for want of troops, the summer at the South passed away in idleness. When in autumn two expeditions of regulars and vindictive refugees were sent by BrigadierGeneral Prévost from east Florida into Georgia, the one was stopped at Sunbury, the other at the Ogeechee. The latter on its return burned the church, almost every dwelling-house in Midway, and all rice and other cereals within their reach; and they brought off negroes, horses, cattle, and plate. Screven, an American officer, beloved for his virtues, was killed after he became a prisoner.

Bobert Howe, the American commander in the southern district, returned from an expedition against St. Augustine after the loss of one quarter of his men.

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