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1780.]

ARNOLD'S REWARDS.

265

garb of loyalty, and put forth an address to his countrymen, in which he ventured to recommend to them his own base example; but it is not known that he made a single convert. His rewards were a commission of colonel in the British army, with the brevet rank of Brigadiergeneral, upwards of thirty thousand dollars in money,' and undying infamy."

While General Washington's bosom was glowing with indignation against Arnold, he felt nothing but tender commiseration for the traitor's unfortunate wife, whom he, in company with his aid, Colonel Hamilton, waited upon to soothe her in her affliction, and to tender her an escort either to her husband or her father. Both of them were persuaded that she had no knowledge of her husband's plot till the capture of André made it known to the world. When the conflict of her feelings, so touchingly and eloquently depicted by Hamilton, had subsided, she expressed her determination to share the fate of her husband after she had visited her friends in Philadelphia. It seems that she would have remained permanently with her father, if the Executive of Pennsylvania had not exiled her from the State during the war.

The examination of Arnold's papers, after his escape, satisfied General Washington that the excuses he had been disposed to make for the improper acts imputed to

1

2

VII. Lord Mahon's Hist., page 63.

Every thing that has been published relative to this interesting episode in the History of the American Revolution, may be found in the second volume of that curious and valuable work, Lossing's Pictorial Field Book.

3 In spite of all presumption to the contrary, Mrs. Arnold's friends in Philadelphia are convinced that she was not privy to her husband's treason; and, in support of their opinion, they have collected and printed (but not published) a mass of circumstantial evidence which it is not easy to resist.

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SERGEANT CHAMPE.

[CHAP. III. Arnold were entirely unsupported, and that his peculations and frauds had far exceeded the charges of his accusers. He felt the most ardent desire to make an example of one so thoroughly base; and he formed many schemes for his capture, one of which Sergeant Champe, a man of great courage and merit, attempted to execute, at the most imminent risks of his life.1

Major Carleton, from Canada, with one thousand men, made an incursion into the northern parts of New York, where he captured Forts Anne and George, with their garrisons.

With the view of making a friendly treaty with Holland, Mr. Laurens, late President of Congress, was sent to that country; but on the voyage, he was captured by a British frigate, and all his papers were taken with him.

Among those who had fled from Georgia when it was overrun by Prevost, was Colonel Clarke, who, having collected a body of men in the western part of the Carolinas, was tempted to lay siege to Augusta, in Georgia, in which there was but a feeble garrison; but the place being reinforced by Colonel Cruger, from Ninety-six, Clarke was compelled to seek safety by a rapid retreat.

Colonel Ferguson, a most active and energetic partizan officer, had been sent by Lord Cornwallis to encourage and embody the loyalists in the western portions of North and South Carolina. Thinking he had a good opportunity of intercepting Clarke in his retreat, but failing in this purpose, he proceeded to arm and embody as many

1 See a lively and interesting account of Champe's adventure in II. Lee's Memoirs, page 159.

2

They had been thrown overboard, but were saved by a British sailor. Among them was the plan of a commercial treaty between the United States and Holland, which had received the approbation of the presuming Van Berkel. In consequence of this discovery, Great Britain declared war against that country.

1780.]

BATTLE OF KING'S MOUNTAIN.

267

Tories as he could; and, through two mountaineers,

whom he captured and paroled, he threatened all who did not join his standard with fire and sword. The mountaineers of the Carolinas and Virginia, knowing how capable Ferguson was of executing his threats, and fired with resentment against the Tories not only for their own outrages, but for the barbarities to which they had stimulated the neighboring Indians, soon voluntarily assembled, under their respective colonels, for the purpose of attacking Ferguson himself. There were about eighteen hundred of these volunteers, under Colonels Campbell, Shelby, Sevier, M'Dowell, Cleaveland, and Williams; and they appointed Campbell, of Virginia, their leader, until Gates should send them a general officer.

Ferguson, on learning the approach of this force, whose numbers rumor had greatly exaggerated, retreated, and took post on King's Mountain, in South Carolina, near its northern boundary. The mountaineers, as soon as they heard of his retreat, selected nine hundred1 of their best men, whom they mounted on their fleetest horses, and who the next day came up with Ferguson, encamped on King's Mountain. He had under him above one hundred British regulars, and about a thousand American loyalists or Tories. This eminence was soon surrounded and assailed in three columns by the mountaineers, most of them trained from their boyhood to the use of the rifle, in which Ferguson himself was also particularly skilled. The assailants were repulsed by the bayonet, on which Ferguson mainly relied; but while he was engaged in repelling one column, he was assailed by the other two, who were in like manner put to flight by the bayonet;

1 Marshall says sixteen hundred men. The precise number was nine hundred and ten. See the official return to Gates, signed by Cleaveland, Shelby, and Campbell, in II. Lossing's Field Book, p. 634.

268

RETALIATION ON TORIES.

[CHAP. III. but all three still returning to the assault, so as to assimilate the contest to that of a wild boar beset by three mastiffs. In these successive attacks, Ferguson's men, without breastwork or defence, were gradually thinned in their numbers, by the unerring rifles of their adversaries, until at length he himself fell, mortally wounded. All hopes of resistance then deserted his followers, and they surrendered prisoners of war.

1

With the bitterness of hatred engendered by civil strife, and, as it was said, in retaliation for the cruelty practised on the defeated party at Camden, ten of the prisoners were hung on the spot. The total loss of the enemy was eleven hundred and five men, of whom two hundred and twenty-five were killed, one hundred and sixty-three wounded, and a few made their escape. Fifteen hundred stand of arms were taken. The loss of the assailants was small, but among them was Colonel Williams.

2

These hardy sons of the forest, after having achieved the patriotic purpose of their expedition, hastened to their log-cabins, and their wonted occupations. It is

3

1 Even this only dark part of the picture is relieved by the incident mentioned by Judge Johnson in his Life of Greene, which I will give in his own words:

"There were eleven selected, but one of them broke from the party conveying them to execution; and, though he had to make his way through a thousand of the best horsemen and marksmen in the world, such was the unusual admiration or feeling on the occasion, not one would lift a hand to stop him."

2 The superiority of these marksmen was shown in the excess of the killed over the wounded. It is said that a considerable number of the slain were shot in the forehead.

3

Though the country in question now abounds with comfortable and even handsome mansions, there probably was not half a dozen of those engaged in the capture of Ferguson who did not occupy a log house.

1780.]

SUMPTER AND MARION.

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probable that no single battle or event had so much influence on the operations of Cornwallis in America as this. But for the discomfiture of Ferguson, Greene could not have got back to Virginia, and the greater part of North Carolina, if it had not submitted to the British, would at least have continued debatable ground between the Whigs and the Tories. The names of the leaders of this expedition are particularly cherished by the people of the western parts of Virginia and the Carolinas.

Lord Cornwallis, who, little dreaming of such a disaster, had pushed on towards Salisbury, where he expected to be joined by Ferguson, now deemed it prudent to return to Winnsborough, between Camden and Ninety-six, in South Carolina. Here, too, matters had changed for the worse. He had ordered a sequestration of the property of all those who had borne arms against Great Britain, or were preparing to do so. This measure, and the excesses of the Tories, had roused the spirit of the patriotic party, who found most brave and efficient leaders in Sumter, in the upper part of the State, and Marion in the Eastern. The latter, when pressed by superior numbers, took refuge in swamps, where he encountered every species of privation; but whence he issued, as soon as circumstances favored him, to annoy the enemy. Tarleton, with his legion, was sent against him, but without effect. Sumter proved an equal annoyance, and with like success. He repulsed two attacks, the first under Major Wemys, and the latter under Tarleton, who sustained a loss of near two hundred men.

Much dissatisfaction existed against General Gates after his defeat at Camden, and Congress having ordered a court of inquiry on his conduct, Greene was appointed to the command of the Southern army by the advice of

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