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Brigadier Morgan was stout and active, six feet in height, not too much incumbered with flesh, and was exactly fitted for the toils and pomp
of His mind was discriminating and solid, but not comprehensive and combining. His manners plain and decorous, neither insinuating nor repulsive. His conversation grave, sententious, and considerate, unadorned and uncaptivating. He reflected deeply, spoke little, and executed with keen perseverance whatever he undertook. He was indulgent in his military command, preferring always the affection of his troops, to that dread and awe which surround the rigid disciplinarian.
No man ever lived who better loved this world, and no man more reluctantly quitted it: yet no man valued less his life than Morgan, when duty called him to meet his foe. Stopped neither by danger nor by difficulty, he rushed into the hottest of the battle, enamoured with the glory which encircles victory.
General Morgan, like thousands of morials, when nearly worn out by the hand of time, resorted for mental comfort to the solace of religion. He manifested great penitence for the follies of his early life; followed by joining the presbyterian church, in full communion with which he continued to his last day.
MOULTRIE, WILLIAM, a major-general in the revolutionary war, was devoted to the service of his country at an early period of his life. An Englishman by birth, he had, like many others of his countrymen, fled from the tyranny and oppression of the old world, and sought freedom and security in the new.
At the commencement of the opposition to the measures of the British ministry, he stood high in the estimation of his fellowcitizens of Carolina; and his name is found, in every convention which assembled at Charleston, for the purpose of devising ways and means of resisting those en. croachments on the rights of the citizen which were first attempted at Boston, and which, with the noiseless tread
of the savage, assailed the person and habitation of every American with the toils of slavery, and the dagger of violation. It was from the spirited exertions of the Rutledges, Pinckneys, Middleton and Moultrie, that Carolina was found among the first of her sister states in exposing herself to the terrors of the raging and warring elements of that time. On the 11th of January, 1775, the first provincial congress, as it was then called, of South Carolina, assembled at Charleston. It was a bright and splendid assemblage of talents, patriotism and heroism, and Moultrie was a distinguished member of it. The unanimity which marked their proceedings, and the fixed and resolute assertion of their rights and privileges, and the manly and heroic devotion which they manifested in subscribing to the association recommend ed by the congress at Philadelphia, sufficiently testify that they were worthy to be the fathers of Carolinian liberty.
Every thing wore the appearance of war, but hostilities had not yet even entered into the minds of our forefathers. In supplication and the assertion of their rights, supported by arguments, completely unanswerable, it was hoped and believed, that British violence would be convinced, and yield that prerogative right of oppression which she had claimed. But the battle of Lexington was the tocsin of alarm; and the groans of the dying freeman demanded vengeance for himself
, and security for his offspring, from his country : in consequence of which, the provincial congress of South Carolina again assembled at Charleston, on the first of June, 1775, and immediately determined on raising two regiments of foot and one of rangers, for the defence of the province; and of the second regiment Moultrie was nominated the colonel. Measures were taken to provide powder, and the other necessary implements of war. Difficult was the undertaking, but glorious the result. Embalmed in the affections of their countrymen are the memories of the gällant and noble few, who first trod the ramparts. of liberty. They have departed from among us, and it is now indeed but seldom that our eyes are blessed with the sight, and our hearts improved by the recognition of the gray hairs of the revolution.
The regiments which were ordered to be raised wero soon completed, and every measure which prudence could dictate to prevent disaffection from attempting any thing within, and to repel invasion from without, was accomplished. In the execution of these measures of prudence, colonel Moultrie was always found the prompt and efficient officer. About the last of this year, 1775, that spirit of disaffection which had hitherto lain dormant, began to manifest itself in the upper part of the country. In the district of Ninety-Six, the insurgents collecied in large bodies, and, after a warm and obstinate action, besieged colonel Williamson in his fora
To quell this insurrection, and repel any invasion which might be attempted, was indeed a difficult task, and one from which most men would shrink in despair. But our forefathers dared attempt it, and succeeded. The tories were compelled to abandon the siege of Williamson's camp, and to remain for a time quiet spectators of the passing events. For the better securing the harbour of Charleston, Moultrie erected a fascine battery on Sullivan's Island, which afterwards bore his narne. The English now began seriously to think of invading South Carolina, and fitted out accordingly a large naval armament from New York, the command of which was given to commodore Parker. It was now that war seemed about to pounce upon South Carolina as his prey.
The husbandman was seen deserting his farm, and hastening to Charleston to protect his country. “ The noisy drum and ear-piercing fife," were heard on every breeze, and the lengthening columns, which proceeded to her aid from her sister states, gave "awful note of preparation and suspense." Lee and Armstrong, two gallant leaders of the American forces, marshalled the armies, and gave directions to the patriotic ardour of the Carolinians. But where is Moultrie ? In the battery, on Sullivan's Island, he may be seen tọiling, and directing the energies of his regiment to the completion of their works. Hastily erected, and apparently incapable of resistance, the gallant command er was advised to abandon it, and told, that the British ships would knock it down in half an hour; but his truly Spartan reply, “We will lay behind the ruins, and pre
vent their men from landing,” showed the spirit of Le. onidas, and that he was worthy to command the Thermopylæ of his country.
On the 28th of June, 1776, the British fleet commenced an attack on fort Moultrie. The great and unequal conflict was met by the gallant Moultrie, with a firm and unyielding front. - The raw and undisciplined troops of Carolina sustained from eight ships of the British navy an incessant cannonade for ten hours. But during that time none were seen to waver. Animated by the presence of their gallant commander, all were heroes; and their guns, pointed with deliberation, poured a slow but certain havoc over the decks of the enemy's vessels. One spirit, victory or death, pervaded every rank; even the wounded and the dying cheered and encouraged their comrades to perseverance. It was, indeed, a scene to fill every bosom. The wharves of Charleston were lined with crowds of anxious citizens, listening, in death-like silence to every gun, and watching, in an agony of hope and fear, every motion of Moultrie's flag. There, too, were assembled, the wives and children of the defenders of the fort. Every thing depended on the issue of the contest. Domestic happiness and liberty held their mantles high over their heads, and under such a covering, victory and triumph were certain.
For the gallant defence at fort Moultrie, the commander and his little band were entitled to, and received the evidences of the warmest gratitude of their country. To the female patriotism of Mrs. Elliott, they were indebted for the present of a pair of colours, made sacred by the language of the fair donor; that she “ had no doubt but that they would stand by them, as long as they could wave in the air of liberty.” The belief was not vain; those colours were wet with the expiring blood of Bush, Hume, Gray, and the gallant Jasper; and until Charleston fell, they waved in the van of the Carolina army.
After the signal repulse of the enemy from Sullivan's Island, the country was left in a state of tranquillity; and the declaration of independence was received at a time when exultation had not yet subsided for the recent vice tory, and when every heart was throbbing with the most delightful anticipations for the future, South Carolina sung the song of triumph and victory; and scarcely had the loud and swelling notes expired upon the ear, when she chaunted the hymn of liberty and independence.
Shortly after this time, Moultrie rose to the rank of brigadier-general, and was put upon the continental establishment. The state continued to enjoy a repose from the attacks of the external enemies until the year 1779.
In the mean time, the state was rent asunder by the intrigues of the disaffected; and the infatuated tories pulled down the angry vengeance and just chastisement of their country, upon their heads. The invasion of Georgia, by the British, and the defeat of general Howe at Savannah, was the commencement of that deluge of calamities which afterwards overwhelmed South Carolina. The experience of general Lincoln, when opposed by the rash and headstrong conduct of the militia, could only retard for a time, not entirely dissipate, the approaching storm. In the defence of Beaufort, general Moultrie displayed his usual sagacity and prudence; he repulsed the enemy at all points, and kept them in check with a handful of militia, until it was judged proper for him to abandon Beaufort to its fate, and unite himself with the main army. Encamped at Parisburg, Lincoln and Moultrie, with an army greatly inferior in numbers, composed mostly of militia and raw recruits, opposed a steady and never-varying front to the veteran ranks of England. It was even determined, with the assistance of general Ash, to push the war into Georgia, and by one bold movement drive general Provost to the necessity of surrendering. But the defeat of general Ash's army at Blair creek, completely frustrated the plans of the American officers, and drove them to the necessity of abandoning offensive for defensive war.
The enemy now endeavoured to approach to Charleston by land, from Georgia. To their advance, the veteran genius of Moultrie was opposed. Like a wounded lion, compelled to tread back his steps, his retreat was daring; and facing about, he occasionally snatched his prey from his
pursuers, and made their recoiling ranks tremble for their safety. Lincoln, who had previously marched with the flower of the army for Augusta, is seen stretching forward with a rapid march to gain the rear of the ad