Page images

mer position. As soon as the second division was brought up, the gun vessels and boats returned for the remainder of the troops, the small-armed seamen and marines of the squadron, and such supplies as were required.

On the 25th Major-General Sir E. Pakenham, and Major-General (ribbs, arrived at head-quarters, when the former took command of the army.

The schooner which had continued at intervals to annoy the troops having been burnt on the '27 th by hot shot from our artillery, and the ship having warped farther up the river, the following day the General moved forward to within gun-shot of an entrenchment which the enemy had newly thrown up, extending across the cultivated ground from the Mississippi to an impassable swampy wood on his left, a distance of about one thousand yards.

It being thought necessary to bring heavy artillery against this work, and also against the ship which had cannonaded the army when advancing, guns were brought up from the shipping, and on the 1st instant batteries were opened; but our fire not having the desired effect, the attack was deferred, uutil the arrival of the troops under MajorGeneral Lambert, which were daily exected.

Major-General Lambert, in the Vengeur, with a convoy of transports, having on board the 7th and 43d regiments, reached the outer anchorage on the 1st, and tbis reinforcement wai all brought up to the advance on the 6th inst.

while preparations were making for a second attack, in the proposed plan for which, it was decided to throw a body of men across the river to gain posessession of the enemy's guns on the right bank. For this purpose the canal by which we were enabled to conduct provisions and stores towards the camp, waa widened and extended to the river, and about fifty barges, pinnaces, and cutters, having, in the day time of the 7th, been tracked under cover and unperceived, close up to the bank, at night the whole were dragged into the Mississippi, and placed under the command of Captain Roberts of the Meteor.

The boats having grounded in the canal, a distance of three hundred and fifty yards from the river, and the bank being composed of wet clay thrown out of the canal, it was not until nearly day-light that with the utmost possible exertions the service was completed.

The 85th regiment, with a division of seamen under Captain Money, and a division of marines under Maj or Adair, the whole amounting to about six hundred men, commanded by Colopel Thornton, of the 85th regiment, were embaiked and landed on the right bank of the river without opposition, just after day-light j and the armed boats moving up the river as the troops advanced, this part of the operations succeeded perfectly ; the enemy having been driven from every position, leaving behind him seventeen pieces of cannon.

The great loss however sustained by the principal attack having ing induced General Lambert to send orders to Colonel Thornton to retire, after spiking the guns and destroying the carriages, the whole were re-embarked and brought back, and the boats by a similar process of hard labour were again dragged into the canal, and from thence to the Bayone, conveying at the same time such of the wounded as it was thought requisite to send oil" to the ships.

Major-General Lambert having determined to withdraw the army, measures were taken to re-embark the whole of the sick and wounded, that it was possible to move, and the stores, ammunition, ordnance, &c. with such detachments of the army, seamen, and marines, as were not immediately wanted; in order that the remainder of the army might retire unencumbered, and the last division be furnished with sufficient means of transport.

This arrangement being in a forward state of execution, I quitted head-quarters on the 14th instant, leaving Rear-Admiral Malcolm to conduct the naval part of the operations in that quarter, and 1 arrived at this anchorage on the 16th, where 1 am arranging for the reception of the army, and preparing the fleet for further operations.

1 must in common with the nation lament the loss which the service has sustained by the death of Major-General the Hon. Sir Edward Pakenham, and MajorGeneral Gibbs. Their great military qualities were justly estimated while living, and their zealous devotion to our country's

welfare, will be cherished as an example to future generations.

In justice to the officers and men of the squadron under my command who have been employed upon this expedition, I cannot omit to call the attention of my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to the laborious exertions and great privations which have been willingly and cheerfully borne by every class, for a period of nearly six week6

From the 12th of December, when the boats proceeded to the attack of the enemy's gun--vessels, to the present time, but very few of the officers or men have ever slept one night on board their ships.

The whole of the army, -with the principal part of its provisions, its stores, artillery, ammunition, and the numerous necessary appendages, have been all transported from the shipping- to the head of the Bayone, a distance of seventy miles, chiefly in open boats, and are now re-imbarking by the same process. The hardships, therefore, which the boats' crews have undergone, from their being day and night continually passing and re-passing in the most changeable and severe weather, have rarely been equalled ; and it has been highly honourable to both services, and most gratifying to myself, to observe the emulation and unanimity which have pervaded the whole.

Rear- Admiral Malcolm superintended the disembarkation of the army, and the various services performed by the boats; and it is a duty that I fulfil with much pleasure, assuring their lordships that

his his zeal and exertions upon every occasion could not be surpassed by any one. 1 beg leave also to offer my testimony to the unwearied and cheerful assistance afforded to the Rear-Admiral by Captains Sir Thomas M. Hardy, Dashwood, and Gordon, and the several Captains and other officers. Hear-Admiral Codrington accompanied me throughout this service; and 1 feel much indebted for his able advice and assistance.

Capt. Sir Thomas Troubridge, and the officers and seamen attached under his command to the army, have conducted themselves much to the satisfaction of the Generals commanding. Sir T. Troubridge sjieaks in the highest terms of the Captains and other officers employed under him, as named in his letter (a copy of which is enclosed) reporting their services. He particularly mentions Capt. Money, of the Trave, who, I am much concerned to sav, had both lioncs of his leg feroken by a musket shot, advancing under a heavy fire to the attack of a battery that was aftcywards carried. The conduct Of Captain Money at Washington and near Baltimore, where he was employed wi'h the army, having before occasioned my noticing him to their Lordships, I beg leave now to recommend him most 6trongly to their protection. The wound that he has received not affording him any probability of his being able to return to his duty for a considerable time, 1 liavc given him leave of absence to go to England; and bhall entrust to him my dispatches.

I have not yet received any official report from the Captain of the Nymphe, which ship, with the vessels named in the margin, were sent into the Mississippi to create a diversion in that quarter. The bombs have been for some days past throwing shells into Port Placquemain, but I fear without much effect. I have sent to recall such of them as are not required for the blockade of the river.

I have, &c. Alexander Cochrane, ViceAdmiral, and Commanderin-Chief. John Wilson Croker, Esq. &c. &c. &c.


Downing-street, April 17, 1615. A dispatch, of which the following is a Copy, has been this day received by Earl Batlmrst, one of his Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, from Major-General Sir John Lambert, K. C. B. commandiitg on the coast of Louisiana :—

Head-Quarter*, Isle Dauphine, Feb. 14, 1815. My Lord,—My dispatch dated January 29th will have informed your Lordship of the re-embarkation of this force, which was completed on the 30th: the weather came on so bad on that night, and continued so until the 5th of February, that no communication could be held with the ships at the inner anchorage, at a distance of about 17 miles.


It being agreed between ViceAdmiral Sir Alexander Cochrane and myself that operations should be,carried towards Mobile, it was decided that a force should be sent against Fort Bowyer, situated on the eastern point of the entrance of the bay; and from every information that could be obtained, it was considered a brigade would be sufficient for this object, with a respectable force of artillery. I ordered the 2d brigade, composed of the 4th, 21st, and 44th regiments, for this service, together with such means in the engineer and artillery department as the chief and commanding officer of the royal artillery might think expedient. The remainder of the force had orders to disembark on Isle Dauphine, and encamp; and Major-Cieneral Keane, whom I am truly happy to say has returned to his duty, superintended this arrangement.

The weather being favourable on the 7th for landing to the eastward of Mobile Point, the ships destined to move on that service, failed under the command of Captain Ricketts, of the Vengeur, but did not arrive in sufficient time that evening to do more than determine the place of disembarkation, which was about three miles from Fort Bowyer.

At day-light the next morning the troops got into the boats, and six hundred men were landed, under Lieut.-Colonel Debbcig, of the 44 th, without opposition, who immediately threw out the light companies, under Lieut. Bonnet, of the 4th regiment, to cover the landing of the brigade. Upon the whole being disembarked, a dis

position was made to move on towards the fort, covered by the light companies. The enemy was not seen until about twelve hundred yards in front of their work i they gradually fell back, and no firing took place, until the whole had retired into the fort, and our advance had pushed on nearly to within three hundred yards. Having reconnoitred the fort with Lieutenant - Colonels Burgoyne and Dickson, we were decidedly of opinion, that the work wag only formidable against an assault; that batteries being once established, it must speedily fall.— Every exertion was made by the navy to land provisions, and the necessary equipment of a battering train, and engineers' stores. We broke ground on the night of the 8th, and advanced a firing party to within one hundred yards of the fort during the night. The position of the batteries being decided upon the next day, they >verc ready to receive their guns on the night of the 10th, and on the morning of the 11th the fire of a battery of four 18-pounders on the left, and two 8-inch howitzers on the right, each at about one hundred yards distance, two 6-pounders at about three hundred yards, and eight small cohorns advantageously placed on the right, with intervals between one hundred and two hundred yards, all furnished to keep up an incessant fire for two days, were prepared to open. Preparatory to commencing, I summoned the fort, allowing the commanding officer half an hour for his decision upon such terms as were proposed » Finding he was inclined


to consider them, I prolonged the period at his request, and at three o'clock the fort was given up to a British guard, and British colours hoisted, the terms being signed by Major Smith, military secretary, and Captain Rieketls, R. N. and finally approved of by the Vice-Admiral and myself, which I have the honour to enclose. I am happy to say, our loss has not been very great; and we are indebted for this, in a great measure, to the efficient means attached to this force. Had we been obliged to resort to any other mode of attack, the fall could not Lave been looked for under such favourable circumstances.

We have certain information of a force having been sent from Mobile, and disembarked about 12 miles off, in the night of the 10th, to attempt its relief; two schooners, with provisions, and an intercepted letter, fell into our hands, taken by Captain Price, H. N. stationed in the bay.

I cannot close this dispatch without naming to your Lordship again, Licut.-Colonels Dickson, royal artillery, and Burgoyne, royal engineers, who displayed their usual zeal and abilities; and Lieutenant Bennett, of the 4th, who commanded the light companies, and pushed up close to the enemy's works.

Captain Honourable R. Spencer, R. N. who had been placed with a detachment of seamen under my orders, greatly facilitated the service in every way by his exertions.

From Captain Ricketts, of the R. N. who was charged with the landing and disposition of the na

Vol. LVII.

val force, I received every as• sistance." .

(Signed) John Lambert. Major-Gen. Commanding. Earl Bathurst, &c.


Return of Casualties in the army under the command of Major-General Lambert, employed before Fort Boyer, between the 8th and 12th February; 1815.— Total—13 killed, 18 wounded. (Signed) J. Stoven, D. A. G.

Return of the American Garrison of Fort Boyer, which surrendered to the force under Major-Gen Lambert, Feb. 11, 1815.

1 field-officer, 3 captains, 10 subalterns, 2 staff, 16 Serjeants, 16 drummers, 327 rank and file, 20 women, 16 children, 3 servants, not soldiers. (Signed) Fred. Stoven, D. A. A. G.


Extract of a letter from ViceAdmiral Sir Alexander Cochrane, G. C. B. &c. to John W. Crokcr, esq. dated on board His Majesty's ship Tonnant, off Mob'de Bay, the 14th of February, 1815. It being the intention of Major General Lambert and myself to have attacked Mobile, and findNing the entrance into the bay so guarded by Fort Boyer as to render it unsafe to attempt forcing a passage with the smaller ships of war, the Major-General and myself thought it advisable to attack the fort by land, and on the 7th a detachment of ships, under the M command

« PreviousContinue »