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markable throughout the war, for their great bodily power and exact discipline, together with the splen . did equipment of the men and horses. Io their march, there was something picturesque and strikking. The glittering of their highly polished weapons in the sun beams, the brilliant dye of the large crimson cloaks, in strong contrast with the opening verdure of the forest, the fiery neighing and curvetting of the high-blooded southern chargers, the glee of laughter and mirth, which at times escaped the jovial troopers, and the loud cheering tones of command by the infantry officers in the rear, were all calculated to expand the bosom with rapture and triumph. Jarvis breathed in a new atmosphere; bis spirits rose with the excitement of anticipated glory and honour; bis eye kindled, and his cheek glowed with impatience for the approaching contest. He dashed the spurs into the sides of his steed, who refreshed by a heavy feed and rest, bounded o'er the ravines and fallen logs, with an activity and ease that excited the admiration of the whole troop. They had crossed the Haw river, and guides to di. rect them in the route of their adversaries became useless. The many symbols of devastation generally attendant upon the route of a predatory corps, always attended the footsteps of Tarleton, and plainly poiuted his path. The male inhabitants of the country had all fled; here and there a trembling female, with a groupe of miserable children, were seen bewailing over the blackened walls of their home, and the destruction of all their means of subsistence. Information was obtained from them of
the numbers and quality of Tarleton's troops; and in a short time afterwards, they received from a countryman, the delightful information that Tarleton with his whole corps, totally unsuspicious of their approach, was encamped at a farm-house not more than three miles off. The preparations for attacking him, were instantly made. The infantry of the legion, commanded by Lee in person, formed the centre, and marched directly in front. Rudolph with the legion cavalry in column, was formed upon the right, and Pickens, with the militia riflemen, was placed upon the left. The Maryland companies under Oldham, composed the reserve. As they meditated to surprise the enemy, they moved through the woods in perfect silence, under the direction of faithful guides. In event of completing a surprise, Rudolph, supported by Oldham's reserve, was ordered to charge with the legion cavalry, in full gallop. Jarvis heard this command with rapture: he was in the front rank of the troop, and anxiously did he look out for the enemy's encampment.
At last the desired spot appeared at a distance: the swords of the whole troop were drawn, and the van charged in full speed, to surround the house. But alas! the enemy had gone: but a short time previous they had left the ground, and all the satisfaction derived from the event, was the capture of two of Tarleton's staff, who had been detained at the place, for the purpose of settling for the subsistence of their troop. Deep was the mortification of the whole party, at beholding the cloud which thus o'ercast the bright prospects of the morning,
and curses, “not loud but deep,” were uttered by the whole detachment, at this singular caprice of fortune. Tarleton, however, was but a shurt distance in advance, and the whole party, with the legion cavalry at its head, proceeded with ardour in the pursuit. It was now determined by Lee, that the party should represent a reinforcement sent by Cornwallis, from Hillsborough, to aid Tarleton in his support of the loyalists. This deception was easily supported among the country people, as the light corps of the British army, commanded by Tarleton, were universally equipped in the short green coats, and other uniform, peculiar to the legion cavalry and infantry. The van officer of the legion, with his body, proceeded in advance, and in a short time was met by two young countrymen on horseback, whom he accosted in the assumed manner. They promptly answered, and expressed the greatest gratification at meeting with the British troops, as Colonel Pyle was advancing, in a short distance bebind, with four hundred loyalists, to join Colonel Tarleton. The officer, holding them in conversation, despatched a dragood
to Colonel Lee, with this important information. Jarvis, with Rudolph, was but a short distance from Lee, when the messenger arrived; and when the pame of Pyle was pronounced, it was with difficulty he could master his feelings. The sufferings which he bad undergone the evening previous, the dastardly, assassin-like attack upon him, whilst unarmed and bound, the horrible emotions whilst in his prison, all rushed upon his mind in rapid and gloomy succession.
“Adjutant,” said Lee, to an officer near him, “ go in the rear and inform General Pickens, that Pyle, with bis Tories, is near: request him to form bis riflemen upon the left flank in the woods, out of sight, as the green twigs in their hats will betray us : inform him that with the legion, I shall turn the occurrence to advantage. Soldiers of the legion,” continued Lee, “you will shortly come into contact with a large number of your misguided countrymen : it is my wish that they should not be attacked till I discover to their commander, my real character, and give him his option of disbanding his forces, and returning home, or joining with us. Humanity forbids that we should slaughter them, unsuspicious of our real character; but, if any resistance is made, my orders are to crush it at once: spare none who make a stand against us, but pursue none who retreat. Sergeant, guard those prisoners well, in the centre. If they make any attempt to betray us, shoot them down upon the spot.”
As these various commands were ended, the two young Tories, escorted by a couple of dragoons, rode up. Lee advanced, and accosted them with great appearance of satisfaction.
“How d'ye, Colonel Tarleton," they both exclaimed, (having in the joy of the moment, forgotten that this was a reinforcement:) “Colonel Pyle has sent us with his compliments, to inform you that he is close at hand, and ready to join you, and that every body in these parts is ready to take a part with you.” “I'fags,” said one of them, in a whisper to the other, " what a nice, well-behaved little man, Colonel Tarleton is !"
6 Colonel Pyle deserves my warmest thanks,” said the supposed Tarleton, “and he will no doubt be richly rewarded for his loyalty. Do you, Sir,” said he to one of them, go back to the van with this dragoon,
and from thence to Colonel Pyle, with my congratulations and request, that he would be so good as to draw out on the margin of the road, and allow my wearied troops to pass, without delay, to their night position. You, Sir," said he to the other, “can remain with me, if you choose.” The young man, with an overflowing of respect and pride, stationed himself by the side of Lee." 6. Thomas," said Lee to the dragoon accompanying the other, “ do you inform the van officer, that it is my wish for him to proceed, until he comes in sight of Colonel Pyle's troop where he must halt, as I shall proceed in front.”The whole legionary party vow slowly advanced, and in a short time came up with the van, when they were met by the young messenger sent to apprise Pyle of their approach. A ready compliance with Colonel Tarleton's request, couched in terms of the most extravagant respect, was the answer which he delivered.
By its union with the van, the whole column of horse bad now become complete, and in a short distance Pyle's troop was seen extended in a long line, patiently awaiting the advance of the legion. As Jarvis was riding within a few feet of the legion Colonel, the latter observed in a low tone: “I
sup pose, Mr. Templeton, that Pyle will hardly recog
in the legion uniform, as he doubtless supposes that you are swinging at this time upou some