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Browsing: Papers of John Adams, Volume 8


This foot note contained in document ADMS-06-08-02-0075
5. The Independent Chronicle of 24 June carried four highly exaggerated reports of a battle at Charleston in mid-May: two from Baltimore, one from Smith's Clove, N.Y., and one from a ship arrived in Beverly. All claimed severe losses for the British, ranging from 700 to 1,500 casualties. All agreed that the British were caught between the forces of Gens. Lincoln and Moultrie and likely to suffer total defeat. The victory was further confirmed by a South Carolinian arriving in Philadelphia. A dispatch from Lincoln himself was said to claim 1,400 casualties and 700 prisoners captured (Independent Chronicle, 1 July). Actually, British Gen. Prevost had avoided a major engagement by withdrawing from the Charleston area when he discovered that he was between two armies. A significant engagement between Lincoln and Prevost did not occur until June, when the American losses were greater than the British (Ward, War of the Revolution , 2:685–687; Howard Peckham, ed., The Toll of Independence, Chicago, 1974, p. 60–61). See also James Lovell to JA , 13 June, note 14 (above).