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accommodation ; those who had served out their full time, were permitted to return home, and the others upon - satisfactory assurances that their grievances should be redressed, rejoined their countrymen in arms.
To return to North Carolina, where lord Cornwallis had begun to make vigorous exertions in order to reduce that province, but was delayed by general Morgan and the troops under him, who attempted to make themselves masters of the valuable district of Ninety-Six. To prevent this, his lordship dispatched lieutenant-colenel Tarleton, with three hundred cavalry, three hundred light infantry, the seventh regiment, the first battalion of the seventy-first regiment, and two three pounders, to oppose the progress of Morgan. The British commander had not the least idea of the success of the expedition. On the seventeenth of January, the royal detachment came up with the Americans under general Morgan , two thirds of whom were militia i these were drawn up in a wood, at a place called the Cowpens, near Pacolet river. The British, besides the advantage of field-pieces, had five to four in infantry, and more than three to one in cavalry. The attack was begun by the first line of infantry, consisting of the seventh regiment, and a corps of light infantry, with a troop of cavalry placed in each flank. The first battalion of the se. venty-first, and the remainder of the cavalry, formed the reserve. The American line soon gave way, aad the militia quitted the field ; upon which the king's troops sup posing victory certain, engaged with ardour in the pursuit and were thereby thrown into disorder : general Morgan's corps, who were supposed to have been routed, immediately faced about, and discharged so heavy a fire upon the royal troops, as threw them into such confusion, that they were at length totally defeated by the Americans. Four liundred of the British light infantry were killed, wounded, or taken prisoners : the two field-pieces fell into the hands of the Americans, together with the colours of the seventh regiment ; and almost all the detachment of royal artillery were cut to pieces in defence of their colours. Colonel Tarleton then retreated to Hamilton's ford, near the mouth of Bullock's creek, with part of liis baggage, having destroyed the rest. This stroke was sensibly felt by lord Cornwallis.
The care of collecting the remains of Tarleton's corps, Dow principally employed his thoughts, as well as to endeavour to forin a junction with general Leslie, who had been ordered to march towards him with a body of British troops, from Wymesbopough. Considerable exertions were then made by part of the army, to retake the prisoners, and intercept general Morgan's corps on its retreat to the Catawba. But that officer, by forced marches had crossed it the evening before a great rain, which swelled the river to such a height as prevented the British from crossing for several days; in which tiine the prisoners with their captors, had crossed the Yadkin river, whence they proceeded to the river Dan, which they also passed; and on the fourteenth of February reached Guilford court-house in Virginia.
Lord Cornwallis halted two days to collect flour, and rid himself of all unnecessary incumbrances. Being thus prepared, he marched through North Carolina with great rapidity, and pemetrated to the extremities of that province, to the banks of the river. Dan : some skirmishes ensued, but he met with no very considerable opposition. On the first of February, 1781, the king's troops crossed the Catawba, üt M'Cowan's ford, where general Davidson, wiih a party of American militia was posted, in order to oppose their
passage, but he was killed by the first discharge; the royal troops made good their landing, and the militia retreated. When lord Cornwallis arrived at Hillsborough, he erected the royal standard, and invited by prociamation, ail loyal subjects to repair to it, and assist in the restoration of order and good government. He had been informed that the king's friends were numerous in that part of the country; but the event did not confirm the truth of such information. The royalists were but few in number, or too timici to join the king's standard. About two hundred were proceeding to Hillsborough, to avow their attachment to the royal cause, under colonel Pyle, but they were met accidentally by a detachment of the American army, who killed several of them, as they were begging for quarter, without making the least resistance. General Greene in the mean while was marching with great expedition with the troops under his command, to form a junction with other American corps, that he might impede the progress of lord Cornwallis.
General Greene having effected a junction on the tenth of March 1781, with a regiment of continental troops, and two large bodies of militia from Virginia and North Carolina, was resolved to attack the British troops under lord Cornwallis. They accordingly marched on the twelfth, and on the fourteenth arrived at Guilford. Lord Cornwallis was apprized of the designs of the American gene
as they approached nearer to each other, a few skirmishes between the advanced parties took place. On the fifteenth, lord Cornwallis proceeded with his whole force, to attack the Americans on their march, or in their encampment. About four miles from Guilford, the advanced guard of the British army, commanded by colonel Tarleton, were met by lieutenant-colonel Lee's division, with whom he had a severe skirmish, and was obliged to make a precipitate retreat. The country in. which the action happened is a perfect wilderness, excepting some few fields interspersed.
The American army was posted on a rising ground, about a mile and a half from Guilford court-house; it was drawn up in three lines, the front composed of the North Carolina militia, under the command of the generals Butler, and Eaton; the second line of Virginia militia commanded by the generals Stephens, and Lawson, forming two brigades; the third line consisting of two brigades, one of Maryland, and the other of Virginia continental troops ; and a regiment of rifle men, under the command of Colonel Lynch, formed a corps of observation, for the security of the right flank ; lieutenant colonel Lee, with his legion, a detachment of light infantry, and a corps of riflemen, under colonel Campbell
, formed a corps of ohservation for the security of their left flank. The attack on the American army, was made in the following order, by the directions of lord Cornwallis. On the right the regiment of Bose, and the seventy-first regiment, led by znajor general Leslie, and supported by the first battalion of guards ; on the left, the twenty-third, and thirty-third reyiments, led by lieutenant-colonel Webster, and supported by the grenadiers, and second battalion of guards, commanded by brigadier-general O'Halu. The yagers and light infintry, remained in a wood on the left of the ordnance, ready to act as circumstances might require. About two o'clock P. M. the attack began by a cante nonade, which lasted about twenty minutes, when the action became general. The American forces under colonels Washington, and Lee, were warmly engaged, and did great execution. Colonel Tarleton's, orders, were to keep the cavalry compact, and not to charge without pesitive orders, except it was to protect any of the divisions from the most imniinent danger of being defeated. The woods were so thick, that the British could not make a free use of the bayonet. The second battalion of guards, were the first that gained the clear ground, near Guilford court-house, where was a corps of continental infantry, superior in number; these were formed in the open field, on the left of the road. Desirous of signalizing themselves, they immediately attacked, and soon defeated them, taking two six pounders ; but, as they pursued the Americans with too much ardour to a wood, they were thrown into confusion by a heavy fire, and were instantly driven into the field, by colonel Washington's dragoons, who recovered the two six-pounders. The American cavalry were alterwards repulsed, and the two six-pounders again fell into the hands of the British.
The British having broken the second Maryland regiment, and turned the left flank of the Americans, goi into the rear of the Virginia brigade, and were endeavouring to gain their right, which would bave enclosed the whole of the continental troops ; a retreat was immediately ordered by general Greene, which was conducted with good order to Reedy-Fork River, and they crossed the ford about three miles from the field of action, where they halted. After the stragglers were collected, they retreated to the Iron works about ten miles from Guilford, and encamped. The Americans lost their artillery and ammunition. Waggons.
The action lasted one hour and a half, in which short space, according to the account of lord Cornwallis, there were of the British five hundred and thirty-two killed, Wounded, and taken prisoners, General Greene, in his account to Congress, gives an account of no more than three hundred and twenty-nine killed, wounded, and missing : but he gave no account of the militia, which was more than one hundred. Lieutenant-colonel Stewart was killed in the action, and lieutenant-colonel Webster ; the captains Schutz, Maynard, and Goodriche, died of the wounds they received, and the brigadier-generals O'Hara, and Howard, and colonel Tarleton were wounded. The principal officer among the Americans killed, was major Anderson, of the Maryland line, and the generals Stephens and Huger, were wounded.
Notwithstanding general Greene's defeat, he endeavour. ed'to make some further attempts against the king's forces in South Carolina. Lord Rawdon, an experienced and very gallant officer, was posted at Camden, with about eight hundred British troops and provincials. Greene appeared before that place, on the 19th of April, with a large body of continental troops, and militia. Despairing of success, should he attempt to storm the town, he therefore took such a position, as he imagined, would be likely to induce the enemy to make a sally from their works ; wiien he thought he might attack them with advantage. Greene therefore posted the Americans on an eminence, which was covered with wood, flanked on the left by an impassible swamp.
On the morning of the twenty-fifth, Lord Rawdon marched out of Camden, and attacked Greene in his camp, who was compelled to give way, after making a vigorous resistance : he had been in hopes of defeating the British, as he had chosen so advantageous a situation, and had a commanding superiority in point of number. The bravery of colonel Washington, was very conspicuous in this acti. on ; he made two hundred of the English prisoners, besides ten or twelve officers, before he perceived the Americans were retreating. The British had about one hundred killed and wounded, upwards of one hundred of the Americans were taken prisoners; and according to general Greene's account, there were one hundred and twenty-six Americans killed and wounded. The British, it was said, continued the pursuit three miles.
After this action, the Americans retreated to Rugelú mills, twelve miles from Camden. Lord Rawdon soon ai. ter left that place, having first burned the jail, mills, and some private houses.
Greene's next expedition was an attack upon Ninety Six, which he attempted to storm, but was repulsed with