Eutaw Springs—September 8, 1781

Democratic Thinker, American History


The Battle of Eutaw Springs, South Carolina, (September 8, 1781) was one of the last of the Revolution. Pronounced a British victory, the defeated Americans pursued the victors more than thirty miles—finally forcing the British out of South Carolina altogether.


AT Eutaw Springs the valiant died:
Their limbs with dust are covered o’er;
Weep on, ye springs, your tearful tide;
How many heroes are no more!

If in this wreck of ruin they
Can yet be thought to claim a tear,
Oh, smite thy gentle breast and say,
The friends of freedom slumber here!

Thou who shalt trace this bloody plain,
If goodness rules thy generous breast,
Sigh for the wasted rural reign;
Sigh for the shepherds sunk to rest!

Stranger, their humble groves adorn;
You too may fall, and ask a tear:
‘Tis not the beauty of the morn
That proves the evening shall be clear.

They saw their injured country’s woe,
The flaming town, the wasted field;
Then rushed to meet the insulting foe;
They took the spear—but left the shield.

Led by thy conquering standards, Greene,
The Britons they compelled to fly:
None distant viewed the fatal plain,
None grieved in such a cause to die.

But, like the Parthians famed of old,
Who flying, still their arrows threw,
These routed Britons, full as bold,
Retreated, and retreating slew.

Now rest in peace our patriot band;
Though far from nature’s limits thrown,
We trust they find a happier land,
A brighter Phœbus of their own.

—Philip Freneau.

A tip o’ the hat to America—Heart & Soul.

Contributed by Democratic Thinker.