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

By George Bancroft | Go to book overview

CHAPTEK XXV.
THE WAE EST THE SOUTH. COKNWALLIS AND GATES.
1780.

RIVALRY between Clinton and Cornwallis already glowed under the ashes. Clinton had written home more truth than was willingly listened to; and, though he clung with tenacity to his commission, intimated a wish to be recalled. Germain took him so far at his word as to give him leave to transfer to Cornwallis the chief command in North America.

In 1780 all opposition in South Carolina was for the moment at an end, when Cornwallis entered on his separate command. He proposed to keep possession of all that had been gained, and to advance as a conqueror to the Chesapeake. Clinton had left with him no more than five thousand effective troops in South Carolina, and less than two thousand in Georgia; to these were to be added the regiments which he was determined to organize out of the southern people.

As fast as the districts submitted, the new commander enrolled all the inhabitants, and appointed field-officers with civil as well as military power. The men of property above forty years of age were made responsible for order, but were not to be called out except in case of insurrection or of actual invasion; the younger men who composed the second class were held liable to serve six months in each year. Hundreds of commissions were issued for the militia regiments. Major Patrick Ferguson, known from his services in New Jersey and greatly valued, was deputed to visit each district in South Carolina, to procure on the spot lists of the militia, and to see that the orders of Cornwallis were carried into execution. Any

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