Page:American History Told by Contemporaries, v2.djvu/634

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CHAPTER XXXIV — THE END OF THE WAR, 1780- 1781

 

211. A Review of the War (1780-1781)

BY JAMES MADISON
 
Madison was at this time a young Virginian, recently graduated from Princeton College; later he became member of Congress, secretary of state, and president. — Bibliography of Madison: Rives, James Madison; Winsor, Narrative and Critical History, VII, 315; Foster, Presidential Administrations, 12-15. — Bibliography of the southern campaigns: Winsor, Narrative and Critical History, VI, 519-555; G. W. Greene, Nathanael Greene ; Channing and Hart, Guide, § 140.

Philadelphia, July 7, 1781. . . .

THE insuperable difficulties which opposed a general conquest of America seemed as early as the year 1779 to have been felt by the enemy, and to have led them into the scheme of directing their operations and views against the Southern States only. Clinton accordingly removed with the principal part of his force from New York to South Carolina, and laid siege to Charleston, which, after an honorable resistance, was compelled to surrender to a superiority of force. Our loss in men, besides the inhabitants of the town, was not less than two thousand. Clinton returned to New York. Cornwallis was left with about five thousand troops to pursue his conquests. General Gates was appointed to the command of the Southern department, in place of Lincoln, who commanded in Charleston at the time of its capitulation. He met Cornwallis on the 16th of August, 1780, near Camden, in the upper part of South Carolina and on the border of North Carolina. A general action ensued, in which the American troops were defeated with considerable loss, though not without making the enemy pay a good price for their victory. Cornwallis continued his progress into North Carolina, but afterwards retreated to Camden. The defeat of Gates was followed by so general a clamor against him, that it was judged expedient to recall him. Greene was sent to succeed in the command. About the time of his arrival at the army, Cornwallis, having been rein-

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