Morgan Afraid of Own Men

Morgan Afraid of Own Men

When Morgan was apprised of Tarleton’s approach he fell back a day’s march from his position on the Pacolet. He perhaps doubted the propriety of giving battle at all. His force was considerably inferior to that arrayed against him. The officers and men composing the entire body of his militia were almost wholly unknown to him except by report. He could not know what confidence to place in their skill and courage. A retrograde movement was necessary to enable him to call in scattered detachments. On the night of Jan. 16 the last of these joined him some time after dark. He now had his entire force and the question must be decided, “Shall we fight or fly?” The South Carolina militia demanded a fight. Their general could, from past experience and common fame, commend their courage in their present position, but let them cross Broad River and he would not answer for their conduct. Here the final decision is to risk a battle. The Cols. Brandon and Roebuck, with some others, had the special charge of watching Tarleton’s movements from the time he reached the valley of the Pacolet. They sat on their horses as he approached and passed that stream and counted his men and sent their report to headquarters. They watched his camp on the night of the 16th until he began his march to give battle. Morgan appears to have had the most exact information of everything necessary.