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calabashes of water, knapsacks, bad arms, &c. spent our strongest menj the weak unserviceable. Tuesday the twenty-sifth day of April we inarched, and lay that night in the woods. Wednesday, adjutant-general Jacklon, commanding four hundred in the forlorn, advanced near the fort to the town, where disobeying his order to have two wings on each fide the woods for discovering ambulcades, and cowardly neglecting the duty of his place (I doubt treacherously,; put captain Butler (a stout bu£ unexperienced soldier for'such a design) to lead the forlorn, who innocently sell into their ambuscades, but most bravely behaving himself with) bis ..division, fought it to death, and very orderly brought up his men until flain; so did captain Pawlet of the sirelocks sight to death, whom Jackson seeing fall, instead of relief, saced about and basely ranaway. Thereupon all the forlorn immediately, as a torrent in a narrow passage iheightened on a sudden nukes surious way into the sea, tumbled intp the reformades, they all as suddenly tumbled into the horse, they all jnixed like amass (infonarrow a pass) not able to contain above six abreast. The close thick woods encompassing the sides, where the enemy was lodged to flank us, and the fort great guns loaded with small shot, bits of iron, broken pistol barrels and such mischief, had sull power and sure aim all along that narrow pass; they in the same moment routed the general's own regiment, and, altogether mixed and crowded, sell into major-general Haynes's regiment; uever was any thing so wedged as we, which made the enemy weary with killing; and had not the rear part of major-g- neral Haynes's regiment drawn into the woods, and so counter flanked, beating back the enemy to the fort, regaining all the ground, bodies, and ambuscades, even under and beside the very fort, (which was maintained all night,) our whole army had been in that sudden motion disordered and consused. Jackson sneaked into the bushes, like an old fox, and saved himself. Our most gallant, noble, and valiant, major-gejieral Haynes, with whom and near his person (at his-own great desire) I was myself all this while, was stain, lanced through the body, yet regained and brought oft'by his own regiment: this was a great loss, as our major general, his lieutenant, colonel's clerk, died of their wounds. Major Forgison of the general's regiment, captain Butler, captain PawJet, captain Hine, captain Hancock, with many lieutenants, ensigns, and all the reformades, only seventeen excepted, got into the -woods, and m my hundred soldiers, with the loss of nine colonels, that is reformudes, captain Pawlet's of the sirelocks, sive of the general's regi«<uuit, and Ivvo of thenujor-gcncials, lo the great dilhoiioui of ourselves
and and nation. Yet what God will must be done, and this our affliction I hope will turn to mercy, if we be humbled as we ought. Thursday the twenty-seventh of April, early in the morning, Our general demanded of captain Hughes, whether he could play the mortar-piece; who answered no, for the fort had such command over all those places, that it would beat them from it. This I heard him say and consess. Whereupon, considering the soldiers weakness, want of victuals, and most olf • all water, and also the former discouragements, a retreat was privately concluded, a strong rear-guard appointed, the ten mortar shells neatly buried, our mortar-piece, drakes, spades, and shovels, all drawn off, and we sasely allthat day got toour old landing-place and fort. There we stayed our general's many goings to general Penn and Mr. Winflow,- and every return created new councils; the rain increased, our men weakening, all even to death fluxmg; the seamen aboard neglecting us forced us to eat up all our troop horses, the enemy driving all relief from us, triumph-, ing in these our encreasing miseries. Our councils resolved by seeking God to purge the army. First, Jackson sound guilty of cowardice, had his sword broke over his head for a coward, his commission taken away, and ex the army, and so to be swabber to the hospital ship of sick people ; which was accordingly done. Some women in men's cloaths we punished, and all suspected whores narrowly sought after; all officers strictly commanded to observe duty upon greatest pains. One of the major-general's (now Fortcscue) soldiers proved to run away hanged, and indeed, like a wise prudent general, all things by him ordered; yet our sickness increasing, it was resolved again to Ihip directly for Jamaica, where God hath owned us. I cannot now omit to express something concerning this our business, which I am sure the world will mistake in reporting; but myself being a present eye witness there on the place, and amongst the crowd in the midst of danger, near the major-general's person, 1 have not, neither shall I relate, any thing but what I know for certain truth. I know a three-fold cord cannot be easily broken, but when they twist not equally together they many times cut one another; and thus I am sure that in martial affairs, where commanders should execute like lightning, and those variable as the wind, according as. the present emergency requires, and not go for consent of others to the loss of all. I well know his highness would never submit in all his past, actions to such curbs, nor can brave designs ever succeed with such bridles, which I hope to be amended. ,
Thr original of another letter from Mr. Daniel to one Mr. Stirrope, to the same purpose, I have by me, and therefore I foi bear lo insert it.
I then, being very Weak, ordered the council of war to sall about the distributing the army into the several plantations, that tbey might sall to •work and live (for the suture) upon their own endeavours, and six plantations to be supplied at hand (Europe being sar off) for the surther carryingon the design, in what other place mould be judged most sit to attempt, according to my instructions I sent alto several parties abroad to discover the country, and attempt upon the enemy, and to secure the pal les into the mountains; who returned with fome prisoners and pillage, »..d shortly after most of the regiments were tent to their several plantations as it sell to them by lot. I pressed again for bread, but it was answered the men mutt work or rot: I replied their present labours mutt stay a time to receive a return of a crop, and, if they were not supplied till they .did reap the fruit of their endeavours, they would certainly be loit or rot before that day; but all, as above-witnessed by letter, did take lit le effect upon those who regarded not our misery and sufferings.—About thi- time 1 dispatched iome letters into England to give an account of our condition.
A LETTER TO SECRETARY THtfRLOE, JllNE 13, 1655.
ST\CE mv last we have only taken some prisoners, the rest continue in the mountains wanting houses, bread, and willing to submit, if not awed by a sew and discouraged by some soldiers that are unruly, occasioned by extreme want, which to redress was the work of this day, and we hope to make them good subjects, being most of them Portuguese. ^ he Spaniards we shall remove, and endeavour to gain all of them by our civility.
We struggle with all difficulties, about two thousand men sick. We fall short both of bread, and brandy, Sc. of what was promised and believed to be provided for us. We have not three weeks bread, and little cassava in the country, of which the enemy steals a share. Our men die daily, eating roots and fresh fleth (when any food is gotten) without bread or very little, we not daring on a sudden to take them from bread; by degrees accustoming them to want that which none will have sive
week* weeks hence, at half a bisket per diem. There miist some block-houses be erected at the harbour's mouth, were our men able to work at such hard labour, though I sear indeed they will not be able to plant caslava to feed them, or other necessaries to preserve lite, many preserring nay desiring death rather than lise, though they have recovered their hearts (courage I cannot say they had) which they lost at Hilpaniola. Yet I am consident they must not be the men must carry on this design in the lield, it may be they may in the country by planting, for I am consident had we raised men over England at a venture we should have been better fitted than by those assigned us; these with some other reasons have moved the council of war to desire me (if the Lord gave health) to present our condition to his highness and council, with some expedients which at present are not resolved upon; neither am I able to enlarge, having quite spent my spirits, to give some competent account by general Penn, who yesterday visited me, and told me he resolved for England to-morrow, 3 warning too short for me to be large, who am lo weak alter sive weeks flux, only some sew days intermission. i
The inclosed is a true account of the island, which for commodities, air at least, equals any situation among the Spaniards, aud exceedeih paniola in the judgment of
Sir, your yery obliged servant, jf Richard Venables.
A Xetter To Mr. Noel, JtrtfE 13, 1655.
1 Received yours concerning Mr. Blake, and the other expressing my lords mind in the managing this design, which at present we cannot put in execution: first, because it was not positive in our instructions but conditional: secondly, in regard there are but sew plantations all along that coast to Carthagena, and in consequence not victuals for us: thirdly, Carthagena itself is sive miles distant from any fresh water, and is iupplied only with rain water kept in cisterns; and so we were not able to #ay there any time: fourthly, our tents not coming nor our stores, we doubted the rains (which would kill us all) would overtake us before we could gain any place of Ihelter, or make one; they usually on that
coal* eoast, Hilling in the beginning of April, and destroying the natives if lyw ing in the open air, as we must, and our men raw and unseasoned to the climate. You were pleased to assure me, by the colonel and commissioner Povey, that one hundred tons of brandy were put on board the fleet for the Iandmen, as well as the seamen. We sind a very great sailure in thip, and our men die daily, as the physicians tell me, f >r want of it and bread, of which none mull taste sive weeks hence, at the rate of half a bifket per diem; and fresh flesh and roots put them into lluxes, which sweep them away by ten and twenty per diem. Frequently our planting tools sall very short; we mull have more; forty sets apiece lor smiths and carpenters.. I am insormed that much of our cloathing is spoiled at sea with wet; a supply of this also, with store of iron and steel, shoes, and linen, we want most. Match and flint waste daily, and not to be supplied here. Ammunition also, and a new squadron of iHips. But I earnestly desire you to press hard for swords and targets, and black jacksi without the last not a man can march in these torrid regions, where water is precious and scant; and without the other we shall do little service in these perpetual wildernesses. And if you forget brandy, bread, meal, pease, and rice, never expect good of all that halh been expended, nor probably to see us alive. Our wants are great, our difficulties are many. Unruly raw soldiers, the major part ignorant, lazy, dull, officers, that have a large portion of pride but not of wit, valour, or activity; but this must not be made public, though I desire my lord may .know it, but no more. Good sir, stir for us with vigour, and you vviii ever oblige,
$ir, your very humble servant,
A LETTER TO MR. Rowe.
I Must os necessity insorm you of a jarr that hath lately been betwixt captain Butler and myself, upon insormation given me of his setting the officers in disgust against me, of which several complaints were made unto me; whereupon I told him of it, and indeed called him drunken sot; ior when the treaty was betwixt the French governor and us, he was so druuk that lie sell from his horse and vomited, of which I have sus