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driving them from this ground. Whilft thefe difpofitions were makeing, the enemy's whole force defcended from the hill, fallied out of the town, and attacked the Englifh in their advanced pofts; but they were immediately repulfed: and the ardour of the British troops hurrying them forward, they improved a defenfive advantage into an attack, paffed the ravines, mingled with the enemy, fcaled the hill, feifed the batteries, and pofted themselves on the fummit of Morne Garnier. The French regular troops efcaped into the town. The militia difperfed themselves in the country. All the fituations which commanded the town and citadel were now fecured; and the enemy waited no longer than until the batteries against them were com

Feb. 4. pleted to capitulate, and to furrender this important place, the fecond in the island.

The capital of the island, St. Pierre, ftill remained to be reduced: this is also a place of no contemptible ftrength; and it was apprehended that the refiftance here might be confiderable, if the ftrength of the garrifon in any degree correfponded with that of the fortifications, and with the natural advantages of the country. Our troops therefore were ftill under fome anxiety for the final fuccefs of their work, and feared, if not difappointment, at least delay. But the reduction of Fort Royal had fo greatly abated the enemy's confidence, that the militia defpaired of making any effectual defence. The planters alfo, folicitous for their fortunes, were apprehenfive of having their estates ruined by a war too long continued, or perhaps of lofing all by paffing the opportu

nity of a favourable capitulation. Influenced by thefe moives, and disheartened by the train of misfortunes which had attended the French arms here and in all other parts of the world, they refolved to hold out no longer; and general Monckton, juft as he was ready to embark for the reduction of St. Pierre, was fortunately pre- Feb. 12. vented by the arrival of depaties, who came to capitulate for the furrender of that place, and of the whole island.

The furrender of Martinico, which was the feat of the fuperior government, the principal mart of trade, and the center of all the French force in the Caribbees, naturally draw on the furrender of all the dependent islands. Granada, a fertile ifland, and poffeffed of fome

good harbours, was given up without oppofition. St. Lucia, and St. Vincent, the right to which had fo long been objects of contention between the two nations, followed its example. The English were now the fole and undisturbed poffeffors of all the Caribbees, and held that chain of innumerable islands which forms an immenfe bow, extending from the eastern point of Hifpaniola almost to the continent of South America. And though fome of these islands are barren, none of them very large, and not many of them well inhabited, they boat more trade than falls to the lot of many refpectable kingdoms.

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The time, in which Martinico was reduced, was a circumstance of almost as much confequence as the reduction itself; for the war against Spain having been declared in the beginning of the year, it became advifeable to strike early fuch an e!fective blow against that nation as [D] 2 migh

might incline them to a speedy peace, or might influence the fortune of the whole war, if, contrary to our wishes, the war fhould continue. It was, on this plan, neceffary to employ a very great force, and, of course, to call away a very confiderable part of that which had been employed at Martinico, whilft the feafon permitted them to act.

When the British adminiftration determined to transfer the war into the Spanish West Indies, with great judgment they fixed their eyes at once upon the capital object; and refolved to commence their operations where others of lefs ability would have chofen to conclude them. In an attempt upon fubordinate places, the conqueft would not have been much more certain; when obtained, it would be far from decifive; and a failure would have been fatal, as it would include a lofs of reputation. The failure of an armament in a fubordinate attack is a

bad preparative for a greater attempt. The plan, therefore, of the war of 1740 in the Spanish Indies, in which we began with Porto Bello, and fo proceeded to Carthagena, &c. was mean, because the fuccefs in one of thefe attempts did nothing towards infuring fuccefs in the other; and if we had fucceeded in both attempts, our advantage would have had but little influence on a third. But the plan of the war, just now concluded, was great and juft; becaufe we began with the Havannah, in which the whole trade and navigation of the Spanish West Indies centers, and without which it cannot be carried on. If we should in this conqueft, this conqueft alone would almoft have finifhed the war; because it would have utterly intercepted the enemy's refources. If we chofe to pursue our advantage, it expofed the whole Spanish America.

CHAP.

VIII.

·

Commanders in the expedition against the Havannah. Fleet fails from Portfmouth. Paffage through the old freights of Bahama. Town and harbour of the Havannah defcribed. Troops land. Difpofition of the troops. Siege of Fort Moro. Captain Harvey cannonades the More. English battery fired. Diftrefs of the English forces. Succours arrive from North America. A fally. The fort ftormed. Operations against the town. The Havannah Jurrenders. Advantages of this acquifition.

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T being determined to commence with this enterprize, fuch commanders were to be chofen, as could be fafely intrufted with the conduct of an undertaking fo weighty, and -on the fuccefs of which fo much depended. Lord Albemarle, the friend and difciple of the D. of C. commanded the land forces. Admiral Pococke, who having contri

buted by his valour towards that fovereignty which his country had obtained in the East Indies, was now chofen to extend its empire and its honour in the West.

They failed from Portsmouth on the 5th of March, the day on which the Grenades were furrendered. A fleet had failed from Martinico under the command of that fpirited and

and intelligent officer, Sir James Douglas, in order to reinforce them. The fquadrons very happily met, without delay or difperfion, at Cape Nichola, the north-west point of Hifpaniola, on the 27th of May, After this junction, the armament amounted to nineteen fhips of the line; eighteen small veffels of war; and near one hundred and fifty transports, which conveyed about ten thousand land forces. A fupply of four thousand had been ordered from New York, and was expected to join them very near as early as they could be fuppofed able to commence their operations.

There were two choices before the admiral for his course, to the Havannah. The first and most obvious was the common way, to keep to the fouth of Cuba, and fall into the track of the galleons. But this, though by much the fafeft, would prove by far the moft tedious paffage; and delays, above all things, were to be avoided, as the fuccefs of the whole enterprize would probably depend upon its being in forwardness before the hurricane feafon came on. He therefore refolved to run along the northern fhore of that ifland, purfuing his career from eaft to weft through a narrow paffage, not less than feven hundred miles in length, called the old ftreights of Bahama.

This paffage, through almoft the whole of its extent,is bounded on the rig and left by the most dangerous fands and fhoals, which render the navigation fo hazardous, that it has ufully been avoided by fingle and fmali veffels. There was no pilot in the fleet whofe experience could be depended on to conduct them fafely through it. The admiral, however, determined on this paf

fage; and being provided with a good chart of lord Anfon's, he re. folved to truft to his own fagaci ty, conduct and vigilance, to carry fafely through thofe ftreights a fleet of near two hundred fail.

So bold

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an attempt had never been made; but every precaution was taken to guard this boldness from the imputation of temerity. A veffel was fent to reconnoitre the paffage, and, when returned, was ordered to take the lead; fome frigates followed; floops and boats were ftationed on the right and left on the fhallows, with well adapted fignals both for the day and the night. The fleet moved in feven divifions. And being favoured with pleasant weather, and fecured by the admirable difpofitions which were made, they, without the smallest lofs or interruption, got clear thro' this perilous paffage on the 5th of June, having entered it the 27th of May.

The Havannah, the object of their long voyage, and of fo many anxious hopes and fears, was now before them. This place is not denominated the capital of Cuba; St. Jago, fituated at the fouth-eaft part of the island, has that title: but the Havannah, though the fecond in rank, is the first in wealth, fize, and importance. The harbour, upon which it ftands, is, an every refpect, one of the belt in the Weft Indies, and perhaps in the world. It is entered by a narrow paffage, upwards of half a mile in length, which afterwards expands into a large bafon, forming three cul de facs; and is fufficient, in extent and depth, to contain a thoufand fail of the largest fhips, having almoft throughout fix fathom wate and being perfectly covered from every wind. In this bay the rich fleets from the feveral parts of the Spa

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Spanish West Indies, called the Galleons and the Flota, affemble, before they finally fet out on their voyage for Europe.

This circumftance has rendered the Havannah one of the most opulent, flourishing, and populous cities in this part of the world, Great care was taken to fortify and fecure a place, which, by being the center of fo rich a commerce, would naturally become the fairest mark for the attempts of an enemy. The narrow entrance into this harbour is fecured on one fide by a very strong fort, called the Moro, built upon a projecting point of land: on the other, it is defended by a fort called the Puntal, which joins The town itself, which is fituated to the weftward of the entrance of the harbour, and opposite to the Moro fort, is furrounded by a good rampart, flanked with baftions, and covered wtth a ditch.

the town.

The Spaniards, who had been for fome time preparing for war, had formed a confiderable navy in the West Indies: this fleet, which was near twenty fail, moftly of the line, lay at this time in the bafon of the Havannah; but they had not, when our armament appeared before the port, received, it feems, any authentic account from their court concerning the commencement of hoftilities between the two nations.

Whether the Spaniards were rendered inactive by the want of inAtructions, whether all their fhips were not in fighting condition, or whatever elfe was the caufe, this fleet lay quiet in the harbour. If fome of the above reafons did not oppofe, it may be very rationally fuppofed, that their best part would have been to come out and fight

our fqudron. They were not very far from an equality; and though the iffue of a battle might have proved unfavourable to them, yet a battle tolerably maintained would have much difabled our armamenr, and perhaps have been a means of preventing the fuccefs of the whole enterprize. The lofs of their fleet in this way might poffibly have faved the city; but, the city once taker, nothing could poffibly fave the fleet. It is true, they much trufted, and not wholly without reafon, to the ftrength of the place, and to thofe aftonishing difficulties which attend any military operation, that is drawn out to length in this unhealthy climate. In other refpects, they were very far from being deficient in proper measures for their defence. They made a ftrong boom across the mouth of the harbour ; and almoft the only use they made of their fhipping, in the defence of the place, was to fink three of them behind this boom.

When all things were in readinefs for landing, the admiral, with a great part of the fleet, bore away to the weftward, in order to draw the enemy's attention from the true object, and made a feint, as if he intended to land upon that fide; while commodore Keppel and captain Harvey commanding a detachment of the fquadron, approached the fhore to the eastward of the harbour, and effected a June 7. landing there in the utmolt order, without any oppofition, having previously filenced a fmall fort, which might have given fome difturbance.

The principal body of the army was destined to act upon this fide. It was divided into two corps; one of which was advanced a confiderable

derable way in the country, towards the south-east of the harbour, in order to cover the fiege, and to fecure our parties employed in watering and procuring provifions. This corps was commanded by general Elliot. The other was immediately occupied in the attack on Fort Moro, to the reduction of which the efforts of the English were principally directed, as the Moro commanded the town, and the entrance of the harbour. This attack was conducted by general Keppel. To make a diverfion in favour of this grand operation, a detachment, under colonel How, was encamped to the weftward of the town. This body cut off the communication between the town and the country, and kept the enemy's attention divided. Such was the difpofition, and it was impoffible to find a better, of the land forces during the whole fiege.

The hardships which the English army fullained, in carrying on the fiege of the Moro, are almost inexpreffible: the earth was every where so thin, that it was with great difficulty they could cover themfelves in their approaches. There was no fpring or river near them; it was neceffary to bring water from a great distance; and fo precarious and fcanty was this fupply, that they were obliged to have recourfe to water from the fhips. Roads for communication were to be cut through thick woods; the artillery was to be dragged for a vaft way over a rough rocky hore. Several dropped down dead with heat, thir, and fatigue. But fuch was the refolution of our people, fuch the happy and perfect unanimity which fubfifted between the land and the fea fervices, that no diffi

culties, no hardships, flackened for a moment the operations against this important, ftrong, and well defended place. Batteries were, in fpite of all difficulties, raised against the Moro, and along the hill upon which this fort ftands, in order to drive the enemy's fhips deeper into the harbour, and thus to prevent them from molefting our approaches.

The enemy's fire, and that of the befiegers, was for a long time pretty near on an equality, and it was kept up with great vivacity on both fides. The Spaniards in the fort communicated with the town, from which they were recruited and fupplied: they did not rely folely on their works; they made June 29. a fally with fufficient refolution, and a confiderable force, but with little fuccefs. They were obliged to retire, with a lofs of two or three hundred men left dead on the spot.

Whilft thefe works were thus vigorously pushed on fhore, the navy, not contented with the great assistance which they had before lent to every part of the land fervice, refolved to try fomething further, and which was more directly within their own province, towards the reduction of the Moro. Accordingly, the day the batteries on fhore were opened, three of their greatest fhips, the Dragon, the Cambridge, and the Marl borough, under the conduct of capt. Harvey, laid their broadfides against the fort, and began a terJuly 1. rible fire, which was returned with great conftancy. This firing, one of the warmest ever feen, continued for feven hours without intermiffion. But in this cannonade the Moro, which was fituated upon a very high and fleep rock, and great advantages over [D] 4

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