Sunday, December 18, 2016

Allaire's Diary, 1780

Excerpts from Loyalist Lieutenant Anthony Allaire's Diary, March-April 1780:

Tuesday, 14th. Found several horses, a quantity of furniture, Continental stores and ammunition, hid in a swamp by one John Stafford, a sort of Rebel commissary who lives at Coosawhatchie, and is, by the by, a cursed fool, which alone prevents his being a damned rogue.

Monday, 20th. The army got in motion, marching about two miles. Received orders to halt, the rear guard being fired on; it proved to be the York Volunteers, getting the boats on the carriages at the river, were fired on by a skulking party of rascals on the other side of the stream.

Tuesday, 21st. The army got in motion. Marched to Fish Pond river. Here we were detained to repair the bridge till evening. Before we crossed we moved on about three miles, through a swamp, over an exceeding bad causeway. This day Col. Tarleton, with his dragoons, joined us from Beaufort, where he had been to get horses—his being all lost on the passage from New York.

Thursday, 23d. All the army, except the Seventy-first regiment, and greatest part of the baggage, crossed the river in boats and flats, the bridge being destroyed. Col. Tarleton came up with a party of Rebel militia dragoons, soon after crossing the river at Gov. Bee's plantation. He killed ten, and took four prisoners. Gov. Bee was formerly Lieut. Gov. under His Majesty, is now one of the members of Congress, and Lieut. Gov. of South Carolina.

Monday, 3d. Marched to Ashley Ferry to cover the Dragoons of the Legion whilst crossing the river. Marched from this up the river to Henry Middleton's plantation; passed several famous country seats, one called Drayton's Hall, belonging to William Henry Drayton, deceased, who was a member of Congress, and died at Philadelphia. Constant firing at our works from the Rebels all day.

Saturday, 8th. ... About four o'clock this afternoon the fleet hove in sight, coming up under full sail with a fresh breeze at south west, and passed Fort Moultrie--the Rebel fort that they boasted of on Sullivan's Island, which no fleet could ever pass.

Wednesday, 12th. Received orders to march. The North Carolinians were ordered to join Col. Ferguson.

(Lt. Allaire, a New York-born Loyalist, served under British commander Patrick Ferguson.)