Maj. Keating Simons on Gen. Francis Marion

The following letter from Major Keating Simons, was received too late to be inserted either in the body, or in a note to this work, although it contains one of the finest traits of the character of Gen. Marion. — Major Muller and Major Simons acted as brigade majors to the general, and both were high in his confidence.

After the war Major Simons engaged in the useful business of a factor, and received the patronage and approbation of numerous friends. While himself labouring under many difficulties, arising from the war, he extended his helping hand to his old friend the general, struggling from the same cause under still greater embarrassments, and had the satisfaction to assist in extricating him from many of them. This debt of gratitude was not forgotten; when Mrs. Marion was dying she left the one half of her fortune to the late Keating Lewis Simons, Esq. eldest son of the major: but two short years since the ornament of the bar and of his country.

Charleston, November 17th, 1821

Dear Sir,

The anecdote of Gen. Marion you requested me to relate to you, I now take the first opportunity to mention. It occurred late in the year 1782, when the British troops were preparing to evacuate Charleston: they had a covering party on James’ island to protect their wood-cutters, and another on Lamprere’s point to protect their getting water for their shipping. Col. Kosciusko, a Polander, solicited Gen. Greene to afford him an opportunity of distinguishing himself; and as the covering party to the wood-cutters was the only one which now presented itself, the general gave him a command to attack them, which he did, and was defeated with the loss of a great many men, and among the slain was the gallant Capt. Wilmot.

About the same time that Gen. Greene gave Kosciusko this command, he wrote to Gen. Marion, “that he understood the watering party at Lamprere’s point was so situated as to afford him an opportunity of attacking it with success. Gen. Marion replied, “that he had not overlooked the situation of the British at that spot, but he viewed the war in Carolina as over, and as the enemy were preparing to go away, he had sent a party to protect them from being annoyed by his own men; that he commanded his fellow citizens who had already shed blood enough in the cause of freedom, and that he would not spill another drop of it, now when it was unnecessary; no, not for the highest honours that could be conferred upon him.”

If you think this anecdote worth mentioning in the biography of that great man, it is quite at your service.

With much respect and esteem,
I am, dear Sir,
Yours very truly,
Keating Simons.

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