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Intrepidity of the officers who commanded in them, and the ex*. cellent use they made of their artillery, the besiegers, who rushed on to take advantage of the confusion and to storm the place, were in their first onset repulsed. By this brave exertion, time was obtained to carry off the wounded, and such artillery as was not hurried in the ruins. But the enemy bringing on their whole force to attack the flank works, they were necessarily abandoned. In these circumstances and without the most distant hope of relief, it would have been madness to contend longer. Aniionor» able capitulation was obtained by Mr. Chester the governor, and general Campbell. The place was delivered up on the 9th of May. The British troops were allowed to march out with the honors of war; were to be conducted to one of the ports belonging to Great-Britain, the port of Augustine, and the island of Jamaica only excepted; and were not to serve against Spain 01 her allies until properly exchanged. The Americans are not pleased that the exception was not extended ; as it left the British at .liberty to send them to New-York* where a part of themarr-i?ejl 'in a polacre on the 4th of July.
Sir George Rodney, in consequence of information concerning the French fleet under the Count de Grasse, detached theadmirals, Sir Samuel Hood and Drake, with \1 sail of the line, to cruise off Fort-Royal for the purpose of intercepting him. On the 28th of April, some of Sir Samuel's headmost ships returned .hastily in sight, and with signals announced the appearance of a seperior fleet and a numerous convoy to the windward of Point Valines. The admiral made the signal for a general chase to windward : and at night it was determined by the admirals to continue the line a-head, (which liad been previously formed) so that getting as much as possible to windward, they might close in with Fort-Royal at day-light, and cut offthe enemy from the harbour. In the morning the French appeared, their convoy keeping close in with the land, while Count de Grasse drew up his fleet in a line of battle a-breast for their protection ^notwithstanding the utmost exertions of the British, he was joined by four ships of the line and a fifty from Fort-Royal harbour The British commanders used every manoeuvre to bring him to close action; but he being to windward, and so having the choice, preferred a long shot distance. A partial engagement commenced; the van and tbe nearest ships in the centre of die British were exposed to a long and heavy weight of fire in their struggles to close die French and get to the windward,: but suffered chiefly in their masts, hulls and rigging. The action lasted about three hours ; when Sir Samuel, finding that not one shot in ten of the French reached, and that bis
attempts to gain the wind were fruitless, ceased firing. Five shipswere rendered unfit for immediate service; and the Russel received so many shots between wind and water, that she Was obliged to bear away for Statia. The count de Gras9e had now a decided superiority; and the following day would have brought on? a close engagement, which was prevented by the unexpected manoeuvres of Sir Samuel. After various movements on the part of the two fleets through the day, the British bore away in the night for Antigua. The French pursued in the morning, came up with the Torbay (which received several shot and some damage before she could be relieved} and continued the pursuit", 'through the rest of the day, but languidly.
The arrival of the Russel indicated to Sir George Rodney the danger of attending longer to the sale of the effects of Statia. ■■She was repaired with the utmost expedition, and in three days after her arrival, Adrn. Rodney and general Vaughan,. with the Sandwich, Triumph, Russel, and some land; forces, proceeded to join Sir Samuel Hood and to protect the islands. After some time the British fleet sailed from Antigua to Barbadoes. Meanwhile the Marquis de Bouille, with a body of troops under the viscount Damas, landed [May 10.] in the night at St. Lucier whose garrison was weak. The accidental arrival of a frigate, and of two sloops of war, who instantly landed their seamen and> marines to man the batteries, contributed much to the preservation of the island. The most vigorous preparations were made by* gen. St. Leger for the defence of the different posts. The French fleet, of 25 sail of the line, bore down.with a view of anchoring in Gross Islet Bay; but. were received with so severe a fire, that they retired to leeward. The marquis reimbarked his troopa in the night, and the whole fleet stood over to Martinico the next morning.
-ob the day [23d] Sir George Rodney arrived at Barbadoes with the fleet, a small French squadron with about 1200 land -forces, appeared offTobago, and the troops were landed the next day. Gov. Ferguson, immediately dispatched the Rattlesnake with intelligence to the admiral ; and the captain had the good fortune to deliver the dispatch at 12 o'clock on the night of the ,26th. Rodney not conceiving aright either of the force oI the invaders, or the strength of the garrison, contented himself with sending Drake with six sail of the line, some frigates, a regiand two additional companies to the relief of the island*, was instructed, after landing the forces, and endeavoring roy the squadron by which Tobago was invested, to rejoin. Rodney without a, moment's loss of time- On the day [23th ] hz
Jcft Barbadoes, Sir George received information that the French grand fleet was apparently standing toward Tobago. When Drake made it, on the morning of the 30th, he discovered de Grasse with several ships to leeward, between him and the island. He explored the count's situation and strength, and on observing that it consisted of 21 sail of the line, so that it was impossible to afford any relief to the island, he hauled his wind and saiied back; but was pursued to a considerable distance, while two of his swiftest frigates were dispatched to inform Rodney of hisreturn. Drake arrived in sight of Carlisle-Bay on the 2d of June, but the remainder of the British fleet did not come out till the following day. The French had landed on the 31st of May, another body of 1200 men; while the force employed for the defence of Tobago, including regulars, militia and seamen, amounted only to 427 whites, beside a small party of 40" armed negroes. These were ertcamped on Mount Concordia, where they remained from the 25th of May to the 1st of June, when they evacuated the post at one in the morning, and retired' to their last fastness, the way to which was extremely difficult. The marquis Bouille pursued the garrison with the utmost ea-i gerness; but finding his troops overcome by the heat, while the fugitives were still four miles a-head of him, and that he could not even procure any person who would conduct his troops through the intricate ways they had to pass, he determined upon making terror unite with force in the shortening of a business which might be not only tedious, but prove an hindrance to other great objects still in view. He accordingly ordered two capital plantations, which were nearest at hand, to be reduced to ashes; and perceiving that their destruction did not produce the desired effect, he ordered that four more should meet with a similar fate at the commencement of every four hours, till a surrender should be made to the morning summons he had sent to the garrison. The militia now absolutely refused to hold out any longer. All the governor's remonstrances were in vain. The commanding officer of the regulars refused to obey his orders, and thesoldiers determined to capitulate. The governor was at length prevailed on to consent to a capitulation, which took place on the 2d of June. The conditions were exceedingly favorable and advantageous to the island.
The British fleet, amounting to 20 or, 21 ships of the line, were soon informed on their arrival off Tobago, of the loss of the island. The next day they were in sight ofthe French fleet, consisting of 24 sail of the line. The British ships were cleared with the utmost alacrity for action. Count dc Gras?e was to leeward, arid
seemed more disposed to seek than to shun an engagement; the option was on the side of Sir George Rodnev, who in the present instance dec lined righting, and probably on very warrantable: grounds. Soon after, tire count sailed for Martinico. Certain acts of congress here deserve to be noticed.' On the 26th of May, Mr. Morris, twelve days after he had signified his acceptance of the office of supermtendant of finance had the satisfaction of learning, that the congrqss had that day approved of the plan for establishing a national bank in the United States, which he had submitted to their consideration of the 11th. They; fesolved to promote and support it; and that the subscribersshould be incorporated under the name of—The president, directorsand Company of the bank of North-America. They also recommended io the several states the making of proper laws for the prevention" of other banks or bankers being established or allowed within the said states respectively during the war. It is thought that this bank will be of eminent service to the United States, and tend greatly to lessen their embarrassments ; and that it will be no less beneficial to the public, than to the individual subscribers. - Congress agreed [June 14.] " That the minister plenipotentiary at Versailles, be authorized, to offer lieut gen. Burgoyne in exchange for the honorable Henry Laurens. Onjuly the 23d, they resolved--" that five suitable persons be appointed and authorized to open a subscription for a loan of 30,000 dollars, for the support of such of the citizens of South-Carolina and Georgia, as have been driven from their country and possessions by the enemy, the said states respectively, by their delegates in congress, pledging their faith for the payment of the sums so lent, with-interest, in proportion to the sums which shall be received by their respective citizens, as soon as the legislatures of the said states shall severally be in condition to make provision for so doing, and congress hereby guaranteeing this obligation—that the said five persons do also receive voluntary and free donations, to fee applied to the further relief of the said sufferers—Ordeied, That the president send a copy of the above resolution to the executive of the several states not in the power of the enemy, revesting them to promote the success of the said loan and donation in such way as they shall think best." . To your comprehending this resolution, you must be informed of. the following particulars: In June a general exchange of prisoners was agreed to' for the southern states, in which the militia ^4both sides were respectively exchanged for each other. Notwithstanding everydimculty, a considerable numberof theinfrabii«u;ts,hud perseveringly iefu$cd to become British subjects. These Vol. 1U. D d being
helng exchanged, were delivered, as well as the continental d£i fleers, at the American posts in Virginia and Pennsylvania. The* suffering friends of independence exulted at the prospect of their being released from confinement and restored to activity1 in their country's cause; but their prospects were obscured by the. distresses brought on their families by this otherwise desira^ tie event. On the 25th of June, the British commandant at Charleston, lieut. col. Balfour, issued the following order—As many persons lately exchanged as prisoners of war, and others who have long chose to reside in the colonies now in rebellion* have, notwithstanding such their absence, wives and. families still remaining here, the weight of which, on all accounts, it is equally impolitic as inconsistent should longer be suffered to rest on the government, established here, and the resources of it—*• The commandant is therefore pleased. to direct, that all such women, children and others as above described, should quit this town and province on or before, the first day of August next ensuing; of which regulation all such persons are.hereby ordered to take notice, and to remove themselves accordingly.'* Here let me introduce an account of the manner in which most of the whig ladies conducted while they remained in Charleston. They showed, an amazing fortitude, and the strongest attachment to tire cause of their country, and gloried in the appellation of rebel ladies. Neither soothing persuasions, nor menacing hints, not their own natural turn for gaiety and amusement, could prevail on. them to grace the ball or assembly with their presence, to oblige the British officers with their hand in a dance, or even to accompany them, notwithstanding the engaging, qualities that many o£ thempossessed. Butno sooner was an American officer introduced as a prisoner, than his company was sought for and his person., treated with every possible mark of attention and respect. They, even visited the prison-ships and other places of confinement, td» solace their suffering countrymen. At other seasons they retired in a great measure from the public eye, wept over the distresses of their country, and gave every proof of the warmest ■ attachment to its suffering cause. In the height of the British conquests, when poverty and ruin seemed the unavoidable portion of every adherent to the independence of America, they discovered more firmness than the men. Many of them, like guardian angels, preserved their husbands from falling in the hour of temptation, when interest and inconvenience had almost gotten the better df, honor and patriotism. Many examples could be produced of theif. cheerfully parting with their sons, husbands and brothers (among those who were banished, and whose property was seized.