OUR narrative begins in South Carolina, during the summer of 1780. The arms of the British were at that time triumphant throughout the colony. Their armies overran it. Charlestown, the chief city, had stood a siege, and had fallen, after a protracted and honourable defence. One-half of the military strength of the lower country, then the most populous region, had become prisoners of war by this disaster; and, for the present, were thus incapacitated from giving any assistance to their brethren in arms. Scattered, crushed, and disheartened by repeated failures, the whigs, in numerous instances, hopeless of any better fortune, had given in their adhesion to the enemy, and had received a pledge of British protection. This protection secured them, as it was thought, in their property and persons, and its conditions simply called for their neutrality. Many of the more firm and honourably tenacious, scorning all compromise with invasion, fled for shelter to the swamps and mountains; and, through the former, all Europe could not have traced their footsteps. In the whole state, at this period, the cause of American liberty had no head, and almost as little hope: all was gloomy and unpromising. Marion, afterward styled the "Swamp Fox," and Sumter, the "Game Cock"--epithets aptly descriptive of their several military attributes--had not yet properly risen in arms, though both of them had been engaged already in active and successful service. Their places of retreat were at this time unknown; and, certainly, they were not then looked to, as at an after period, with that anxious reliance which their valour subsequently taught their countrymen to entertain. Nothing, indeed, could be more deplorably prostrate than were the energies of the colony.
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