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And he was mounted on a black horse with a
white star in his forehead, and he was going like a streak of lightning,
wasn't he?"

"That's the fellow!" exclaimed the questioners, hoping they were about
to get the knowledge they wanted.

"It looked to me like Jack Davis, though he went by so fast that I
couldn't get a square look at his face, but he was one of Marion's men,
and if I ain't greatly mistaken it was Jack Davis himself."

[Illustration: TARLETON'S LIEUTENANT AND THE FARMER (JACK DAVIS).]

Then looking up at the four British horsemen, the farmer added, with a
quizzical expression:

"I reckon that ere Jack Davis has hit you chaps pretty hard, ain't he?"

"Never mind about _that_," replied the lieutenant; "what we want to know
is where we can get a chance at him for just about five minutes."

The farmer put his cotton handkerchief into his hat, which he now slowly
replaced, and shook his head: "I don't think he's hiding round here," he
said; "when he shot by Jack was going so fast that it didn't look as if
he could stop under four or five miles. Strangers, I'd like powerful
well to earn that fifty pounds, but I don't think you'll get a chance to
squander it on me."

After some further questioning, the lieutenant and his men wheeled their
horses and trotted back toward the main body of Tarleton's cavalry. The
farmer plied his hoe for several minutes, gradually working his way
toward the stretch of woods some fifty yards from the roadside, where he
stepped in among the trees and disappeared. You understand, of course,
that the farmer that leaned on his hoe by the roadside and talked to
Tarleton's lieutenant about Jack Davis and his exploits was Jack Davis
himself.

One day a British officer visited Marion under a flag of truce. When the
business was finished Marion urged him to stay to dinner, and the
officer accepted the invitation. The meal consisted of only baked sweet
potatoes. Noting the surprise of his guest, Marion explained that the
fare was the regular food of himself and soldiers, but, in honor of the
guest, the allowance had been increased that day. This anecdote, which
seems to be authentic, was supplemented by the officer's return to
Charleston, where he resigned his commission, declaring that it was
useless to try to conquer such men. Marion led a spotless life, held in
high esteem by friend and enemy, and his name will always be revered
throughout this country, especially in the South.


PATRIOT VICTORY AT KING'S MOUNTAIN.

The next battle took place at King's Mountain, October 8, 1780.
Cornwallis had sent Colonel Ferguson with about 1,100 men to rouse the
Tories in North Carolina. He met with slight success, and fortified
himself on King's Mountain, between the Broad and Catawba Rivers, and on
the border between North and South Carolina. Aware of his danger, he
sent messengers to Cornwallis urging him to forward reinforcements
without delay. The Americans captured every one of the messengers, and
of course no reinforcements arrived.

The patriots consisted mainly of North Carolina and Kentucky riflemen,
numbering 1,500, all excellent marksmen. They attacked in three separate
columns, each of which was repulsed by Ferguson's men, who fought with
coolness and bravery. Then the Americans united and attacked again.
Ferguson was mortally wounded, and his successor was so hard pressed
that he surrendered. Four hundred of his men fled, three hundred were
killed, and eight hundred laid down their arms, while the loss of the
Americans was no more than twenty.

King's Mountain was a brilliant victory for the Americans and caused
Cornwallis to retreat into North Carolina. His men suffered greatly, and
the commander himself falling ill, the command was turned over to Lord
Rawdon, then a young man and famous afterward in India as the Marquis of
Hastings.


GENERAL GREENE'S SUCCESS IN THE SOUTH.

The failure of Gates led Congress to send the Quaker General Greene to
the South. Next to Washington, he was the most skillful leader of the
Revolution, and, despite his discouragements and difficulties, he
speedily demonstrated the wisdom of the step that placed him where he
was so much needed.


DEFEAT OF TARLETON.

Greene sent Daniel Morgan, the famous commander of the Virginia
riflemen, into South Carolina with a thousand men to gather recruits.
Cornwallis dispatched Tarleton with the same number after him. The
forces met at the Cowpens, near Spartanburg, in January, 1781. This time
the terrible Tarleton found that he had met his master. Morgan utterly
routed him, as was proven by the fact that Tarleton lost a hundred men
killed, besides ten commissioned officers. A large number were wounded,
and six hundred prisoners, his two guns, his colors, eight hundred
muskets, a hundred horses, and most of his baggage train were captured.
Of the Americans only twelve were killed and about fifty wounded.
Tarleton himself had a narrow escape, but got away with a handful of
men.


GREENE'S SKILLFUL RETREAT.

Determined to punish the audacious Morgan, Cornwallis started after him
with his entire army. Greene and Morgan, having united, fell back, for
their troops were too few to risk a battle. Their retreat across North
Carolina into Virginia has never been surpassed in this country. Three
times the British army were at the heels of the Americans, who avoided
them through the fortunate rise of the rivers, immediately after they
had crossed. Cornwallis maintained the pursuit until the Dan was
reached, when he gave up and returned to Hillboro.


BATTLE OF GUILFORD COURT-HOUSE.

Having obtained a number of recruits, Greene turned back into North
Carolina, and the two armies encountered at Guilford Court-House (now
Greensboro), in March, 1781. Some of the American militia gave way, but
the rest bravely held their ground, and, when compelled at last to
retreat, did so in good order. Cornwallis had been handled so roughly
that he did not venture to pursue the Americans.

[Illustration: DARING DESERTION OF JOHN CAMPE

From the American to the English ranks, for the purpose of associating
himself with the traitor Benedict Arnold, seizing him and getting him
alive into the hands of the Americans.]

Cornwallis now withdrew to Wilmington, while Greene moved across
North Carolina after the British forces under Lord Rawdon. Several
engagements took place, the principal one being at Hobkirk's Hill, near
Camden. Greene inflicted severe losses upon the enemy, but was compelled
to retreat, and spent the summer among the hills of the Santee, in the
neighborhood of Camden. Advancing toward the coast, he fought the last
battle in the State, at Eutaw Springs, near Charleston, September 8,
1781. The advantage was with the British, but the victory was one of
those that are as disastrous as defeat. Their loss was so heavy that
they retreated during the night and took shelter in Charleston. Greene
had completed his work with admirable effectiveness. Without winning
victories he had, by his caution, skill, celerity of movement, and
generalship, almost cleared the South of the enemy, for the only points
held by them were Charleston and Savannah, where they were closely
hemmed in for the rest of the war.

[Illustration: (CORNWALLIS)]


MOVEMENTS OF CORNWALLIS.

Meanwhile Cornwallis was at Wilmington, where he learned of Greene's
movements too late to intercept him. He was confident, however, that
Rawdon was strong enough to overthrow Greene, and he moved northward
into Virginia to join the forces already there, and complete the
conquest of the State. No serious opposition was encountered by him, and
Tarleton plundered the country as he passed through it. Entering
Virginia, Cornwallis found himself opposed by Lafayette, with 4,000
troops, which was hardly one-half the force under his own command.
Orders came from Clinton in New York for Cornwallis to seize upon some
suitable place near the coast, easily reached by the British vessels.
Cornwallis selected Yorktown, on the peninsula between the James and
York Rivers, where he fixed the headquarters of the army, and began
throwing up fortifications.


OUR FRENCH ALLIES.

The time had come when the friendship of France for America was to
accomplish something. In the summer of 1780 Rochambeau landed at Newport
with 6,000 troops, and later they were marched to Washington's camp,
near Peekskill and Morristown. Confident that he now had an army that
could achieve important results, Washington made preparations to attack
Clinton in New York. Rochambeau gave him every help, the allies working
together with the utmost cordiality and enthusiasm.


THE YORKTOWN CAMPAIGN.

Clinton was in a constant state of apprehension, for he had good cause
to fear the result of the attack that impended. Washington's plan,
however, was changed, in the summer of 1781, by the news that a French
fleet and a strong force would soon arrive in Chesapeake Bay and shut
off Cornwallis from all assistance from Clinton. Washington decided to
march southward and capture Yorktown and Cornwallis, meanwhile keeping
Clinton under the belief that he meant to attack him. So well was the
secret kept that Clinton's suspicions were not aroused until several
days after the departure of the allied armies.

De Grasse, the commander of the French fleet, arrived in Chesapeake Bay
August 30th. Thus Cornwallis was blocked off from the sea, and enough
soldiers were landed to prevent the British commander's escape by land.
On the same day Washington and Rochambeau, after making a feint toward
Staten Island, began a rapid march through New Jersey to Philadelphia,
and thence to Elkton, Maryland. Officers and men were in high spirits,
for they knew they were on the eve of great events. The citizens of
Philadelphia shared the feeling, and cheered the men as they marched
through the streets. On the way southward Washington made a hurried
visit to Mount Vernon, which he had not seen since the opening of the
war.

Aware of the grave danger threatening Cornwallis, a British fleet made
an effort to relieve him, but the more powerful French fleet easily beat
it off.



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