Imágenes de página

of war.

tion was not, however, figned, course and inevitable necessity. until the 14th in the morning, The regular force was certainly when the fort was given up, and such, as to give little encouragethe garrison furrendered prisoners ment to a very vigorous defence.

Thus the province of Wet Florida, This surrender, which appeared with a weak and divided force, inevitable, was however attended was reduced piecemeal, withwith circumstances which render- out its being able any where ed it exceedingly vexatious. For to make that effectual resistance, Major General Campbell had which might have been expected, marched from Pensacola, with (as if it had been concentered in some the Spaniards say) 1100 regular one good point of defence. forces, and some artillery, for its During these transactions on the relief; and was besides accompa- çontinent of America, the Spaninied by fome Talapuche Indians ; ards sent out so great a force to a people, who being exceffively join the French in the West Inferocious and cruel, and the inve- dies, as seemed sufficient to change terate and mortal enemies of the the whole fortune of the war in Spaniards, are by them regarded that quarter, and to threat the with a very peculiar dread and British fleets and islands with the horror. The van of Campbell's most imminent danger. In the force was arrived within sight of latter part of April, Don

18th. the Spanish camp, at the very Joseph Solano failed from inftant that the fort was surrender- Cadiz upon that service, with ed : 'and they accordingly used 12. sail of the line, and several the utmost expedition in taking frigates, which convoyed a fleet poffeffion of, and covering them of 83 transports, having eight selves with the works, under the regiments of Spanish infantry, of strong apprehension of an imme- two battalions each, and a confidiate attack. De Galvez boasted, derable train of artillery, on board; that the British forces in the field the whole land force, including and garrison were superior in 100 engineers, amounting ta numbers to his own; and did not 11,460 effective men. The island scruple openly to declare, that, of Jamaica was generally supposed with the smalleit activity and vi- to be the great object in view ; to vacity in their works, the latter : facilitate the reduction of which, might have made good the de- the giving of a decisive blow to fence, until the arrival of the Rodney by the way, would have fuccour.

been an useful, if not necessary .. It seems upon the whole face of preliminary, the affair, as it appears at present, It seemed to happen fortunate. that the lieutenant-governor had ly, that the Cerberus frigate, not, from the beginning, the Capt. Mann, having fallen in with smallest idea of any attempt being the Spaniih fleet at sea, and that made for the relief of the place; officer judging rightly of their defand that he accordingly, from the tination, from their course and fisit appearance of the enemy, other circumstances, he with great considered its lofs as a matter of propriety considered, that the pub..


lic utility, and the importance of nearest islands, and dispatched an the object, should fupersede, or fup- expeditious sailing frigate, to inply the defects of, at least, general form M. de Guichen of his situaorders, and that no object of his tion, and to require a speedy junc. cruize could possibly stand in any tion of the feets where he then, degree of comparative value, with was. The French commander the proper application of that immediately failed from Martiknowledge, which he had now nique, with 18 ships of the line, accidentally acquired ; he accord. being all that were yet in readiingly, instantly proceeded, with ness, and keeping close the utmost expedition, to the West to leeward of the inands, June 10. Indies, in order to communicate joined the Spaniards under Domithe intelligence to Sir George nique. Rodney. That commander, who The combined fleets, when all was then at Carlisle Bay in the united, amounted to no less than island of Barbadoes, whither, we 36 fail of the line ; which, with have formerly shewn, he had re- their combined land forces, formpaired, after his last action with, ed such an apparent superiority, and long pursuit of M. de Gui as nothing in those feas or islands, chen, in order to victual, water, seemed at all capable of resisting: and refit his fleet, upon receiving The danger. of Jamaica appeared this intelligence by the Cerberus, to be great.indeed; and the other used the utmost diligence in put- islands, which are called leeward, ting to fea, in order to intercept from their situation with respect the Spanish fleet and convoy, be- to Europe and North America, fore they could join the French, though windward with respect to who were then in Fort-Royal Bay, that, could scarcely hope for any Martinique, and had not yet re other security, than what might covered the effects of the late rough arise from the pursuit of a greater encounters.

object. But it happened fortuNothing could have been more nately for the British interest, that happy, signal, or decisive in its this great hostile force, carried consequences, than this design, if within itself the fources of init had taken effect. But the views efficacy, weakness, and decay. and hopes of the British comman- The Spanish troops being too der were frustrated, through the much crowded on board their caution of the Spanish admiral. transports, that circumstance opeHad he proceeded directly to rating with the length of the voyFort-Royal Bay, which was his age, the change of climate and object, and the appointed place of diet, and above all, with their rendezvous to all his squadron and peculiar laziness, and want of convoy, he could scarcely have cleanliness, the whole of those avoided falling in with the British combined causes generated a most fleet, and the event would not ad- mortal and contagious disorder, mit of a doubt. But Don Solano, which firit infecting their own apprehen live, though not inform- seamen, at length spread, though ed of the danger, prudently stop- not entirely with ro fatal an effect, ped short, on his approach to the through the French fleet and land


taken away;


forces. Besides a great mortality commanders re-embarked their on the passage, the Spaniards had people, and the combined fleets landed no less than 1200 fiek, on proceeded, before the middle of their first arrival, at Dominique, July, with the Spanish convoy to and a much greater number after- the westward. It appeared afterwards, at Guadaloupe and Mar- wards, that M. de Guichen, haytinique. Thus, the spirit of en- ing escorted the Spaniards as far terprize was not only damped, as the island of St. Domingo, and but some part of the means were knowing there was no enemy in This in part ac

the he left them to proceed counts for their not having taken fingly to the Havanna, while he all the advantages against us, that put in himself at Cape François. was dreaded from the junction of In the mean time, Commodore the fleets : but it does by no Walfingham had arrived from mean's clear the matter sufficient. England at St. Lucia, with a few ly. It has been said, that the ships of the line, and four regiSpanish-admiral had no orders to ments under his convoy for Jamco-operate in any offensive mea- aica. The commander in chief, fures with the French. This is who was in the dark as to the not the only initance, in which designs of the enemy, but informthe want of concert between those ed of their departure from Fortallies has saved Great Britain. Royal, failed with the whole

Sir George Rodney, upon the fleet, as well to observe their mojunction of the enemy's fleets, re- tions, as to see the convoy well tired to Gross-Islet Bay, in St. on their way. Being soon fatisLucia, where he was equally well fied as to the immediate destinasituated, for observing their mo- tion of the enemy, he dispatched tions, for counteracting, so far as Admiral Rowley, along with Mr. he was able, their deligns with Walfingham and the convoy, to respect to the other islands, when- Jamaica; these commanders takever they should become manifeft; ing ten fail of the line along with and for self-defence, if their su them, to reinforce Sir Peter Parker, periority should prompt them to and thereby insure the security of venture upon an attack.

that island. Sir George Rodney The air and refreshments of the kept the remainder of the fleet, French islands, did not produce in order to obferve the future mothe good effects with respect to the tions of the enemy, and to cover Spanish fick, or in restraining the the Leeward Mhands. progress and violence of the dif- The fickness among the Spani. order, which had been expected, ards, with the apparent want of or were even usual, in such cases, concert between the fleets, went The distemper was little less con- far beyond, in their consequences, tagious or fatal than a pestilence; the immediate scene, and near and if the mortality was apparent views of action. In a word, they ly lessened, it seemed only to be were the means of overthrowing restrained by the decreafed num- the whole fcheme and design of ber of the victims. In these dis- the campaign, not in the West tressing circumstances, the Spanish Indies only, but in North Ame


rica likewise ; and seemed to wallis's forces, with the driving change, in no small degree, the of the British finally from the confortune and nature of the war. tinent, were considered only as

France had designs for the ear. matters of course. lier part of the campaign in the It was undoubtedly in conseWelt Indies, in which the co- quence, and for the rounding and operation of Spain would be necef- completion of this scheme, that fary. She concerted another with preparations were made by the the Americans, which was to take Americans for a winter expedition place, on their side, in the lat- to Canada, the conduct of which ter; and both together went to was to be committed to the Marthe direct annihilation (and with quis de la Fayette. That officer a very suficiently apparent force' published accordingly a preparafor the purpose) of the Britifh tory memorial addressed to the power, in both parts of the new French Canadians, and calling world. The success of the scheme upon them by all the antient ties was founded upon, many strong of allegiance, blood, religion, grounds of hope and expectation; and country, as well as by the nabut like all complex machines, it tural and fervent desire of recoverwas liable to be disordered in the ing their own freedom, to be in whole, by the failure only of fome preparation to allift, join, and of its parts. It was expected, that support him upon his arrival; but the great superiority of the com. holding out all the severities of bined fleets would have enabled war, and all the terrors of mili. them, without much loss or da. tary execution, to those, if any mage, entirely to crush thBritish fuch there could be, who blindly naval force in the West Indies; perverse to their own interests, and that, with the great land force, forgetful of all those ties and duwhich it was supposed would be in ties, should in any manner optheir hands, the reduction of Ja- pose the arms, or impede the gemaica would not be an object of nerous designs of their deliverers. much dificulty or delay; that The failure, with respect to the some or all of the smaller islands great objects of the design, occawould follow of course ; but that, lioned the laying by for the present without spending too much time of this detached párt. upon leffer matters, M. de Gui- It is not to be wondered at, chat chen Kould proceed with his the near contemplation of such whole force to the coasts of North valt objects, and the flattering America, where, being joined by light in which they appeared, Ternay's fresh fhips, and Rocham- mould wonderfully elevate the beau's' fresh troops, they should, fpirits of the Americans, and in concert with Washington, at greatly invigorate their measures fack New York by sea and land. and counsels. Washington's arAs the Americans would strain my was accordingly recruited and every nerve on the occasion, no filled with such diligence, that doubt of success in that part of it was said to exceed 20,000 men ; the design could be entertained; and the northern provinces were and the reduction of Lord Corn- in readiness to send their militia,



[ocr errors]

and every denomination of mili- entirely preserve that command of tary, to take share, along with countenance, and equanimity of him and their French allies, in temper, by both of which he is so the final overthrow of New York. much diftinguished. All' the views Nor was it even apprehended, that of France and America, with rethe failure of the preliminary spect to the campaign, were now parts of the plan in the West In- finally shut up; and the force sent dies, could at all have affected the by the former to Rhode Island, main object with respect to North with a view of general co-operaAmerica.

tion, was now reduced to act only But it was impossible that any upon the defensive as a garrison. judgment formed at a distance, Undoubtedly, Great Britain had could interfere with M. de Gui- a wonderful escape from the danchen's knowledge of the state and gers of the present campaign ; and condition of his own force. Be- the island of Jamaica has expefides the fickliness of his people, rienced a fingular fortune, in the he was sensible that his ships had various hair-bredth risques, which suffered so much by long service she has encountered during the in the West Indies, as well as in war. Through all this course of the several engagements, that transaction, the Admirals Arbuththey were not by any means in a not and Graves, kept the French condition to encounter, either the squadron as clofely blockaded, at roughness of the service or of the Rhode Inand, as the advantage climate, which they must necessa- derived from the occafional shelter rily undergo in the North Ame- of some neighbouring islands could rican campaign. This know- afford, and the uncertainty of the ledge, and the determination winds and feas would admit. founded upon it, were, however, In the mean time, Sir George frictly reserved to himself, or to Rodney being aware of the origithose in his immediate confidence. nal design againft New York ; And when he took a great convoy and apprehensive that both the Brifrom the French islands under his tifh land and naval force would be protection, it was still thought or entirely overwhelmed by the vast expected on all hands, that as foon fuperiority of the enemy, as soon as he had seen them so far on their as he had received certain intelliway as to be out of danger, he gence of the departure of M. de would then proceed to the coait of Guichen from Cape Francois, imAmerica, for the accomplishment mediately failed himself, with of the projected enterprize. But eleven capital ships, and four frithat commander proceeded direct- gates, to their supposed assistance ly to Europe with his feet and and relief. Although he convoy; and the bad state of his found, soon after his arships, when he arrived at Cadiz, rival at New York, that this effufficiently juftified his conduct. fort of zeal for the public service,

Nothing was ever more galling which had arisen from the spur of to the Americans than this disap- the occasion, might have been pointment. It is even said, that difpenfed with; yet he discovered Washington himself, could not in the end, that he had no cause

Sept. 141


« AnteriorContinuar »