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Chapter 18

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Title
Chapter 18
Identifier
http://www.nflibrary.ca/nfplindex/show.asp?b=1&ref=oo&id=298085
page
244-271
Type
Text
extracted text
244

MILITARY OCCURRENCES BETWEEN
GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA. ' 2 45

M

311 ,•O./.

d bluo

in the Chesapeake— Reception on board the
British ships of American. refugee=slaves—American misrepresentation on the subject Bounty

to British deserters.
• 4

i

41:



fi'k`

CHAPTER XVIII.

'

THE first military event we have to notice,
Capture of Moose Island, in Passamaquoddy Bay
—Expedition against Penobscot and CastineIts success—Destruction of the United States' ship
Adams — Capture and Destruction of several
other vessels, also of a great quantity of ordnanct
—American militia—Chesapeake Bay—Com, modore Barney's flotilla—Its progress against a
. Aocert of the British force, commanded by captain
_ Barrie, of the Dragon—Landing of the Bri—tisk at Benedict, on the Patuxent—Loss of five
straggling marines. from the St. Lawrence
schooner—American account of the behaviour
.and death .of the serjeant, commanding the
party—Barbarous circumstances under which,
!Lis life was taken—Landing of the British at.
Lower Marlborough—Intention of the American
government to destroy commodore Barney's
flotilla, in St. Leonard's Creek—Its prevention
by a military enterprise—Repulse of the force,
blockading the flotilla—Letters of commodore
Barney and one of his officers—Arrival in the
Potomac of rear-admiral Cockburn—His operations upon the shores of that, and other rivers

after quitting the Canadas, is the occupation, on
the 11th of July, 1814, by lieutenant-cobinel
Pilkington and captain sir Thomas Hardy, with
a detachment of troops from Nova Scotia, of
Moose island, near the mouth of Kobbeskook
river, opposite to the province of New Brunswick, and on the western side of Passamaquoddy
bay. The whole of this bay, as well as the
island of Grand Manan in the bay of Fundy
Was adjudged to be within the boundary of the
British North-American provinces. The eere-:'
mony of taking possession of the town of East.
port, .and of Fort-Sullivan, on Moose island
and every other particular, connected with the
expedition, will be found amply detailed in
the British official accounts.* The American
accounts offer nothing worthy notice ; except'
that they make: the British force 2000, instead.
of about 600 troops. As connected with the capture of Passamaquoddy, we pass, at once, to an expedition fitted
out at Halifax, Nova 'Scotia, against that part
of the district' of Maine, in the United States,
;

App. Nos. 98. 49. 50. .51. and 52.

4r

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lying to the eastward of the Penobscot river';
and which contains about 40 villages, and upwards of 30000 inhabitants. As to the probable
object of taking possession of th's tract of
country, we cannot better instruct the reader,
than by referring him to a work published by
Mr. Nathaniel Atcheson, in 1808, entitled :—
American Encroachments on British Rights."
Our business is merely with the conduct of the
expedition ; which, consisting of a 74, bearing
the flag of rear-admiral Griffith, two frigates, a
sloop of war, and 10 transports, having on board
a company of royal artillery, two rifie-conipanies of the 60th, and the 29th, 62d, and 98th
regiments, in all, about 1750 rank and file, under
the command of lieutenant-general sir John
Coape Sherbrooke, governor of Nova Scotia,
sailed from Halifax on the 26th of August. The
arrival of the expedition off the point of destination, its junction with other ships of war,
and its further proceedings, resulting in the
capture of Castine, Belfast, and Machias, the
capture or destruction of 22 ships, brigs, and
schooners, including the United States' frigate
Adams ; also of (including those at Machias)
32 pieces of ordnance, will be found most fully
detailed in the several official documents sent
home upon the occasion.*
The Adams had been a 32 gun frigate, but
-

41

App.

Nos. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. and 61.

GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA.

247

was afterwards lengthened, so as to rate a 36 ;

and then, on account of some defect in her construction, cut down to a corvette : in which
latter state she measured 725 tons American, or
783 English. She sailed upon her last cruize,
with an armament of four long 18-pounders,
20 Columbiad, or short long-guns, * of the same
caliber, and two long 12 pounders ; total 26
guns ; and with a complement, according to a
prisoner who was some weeks on board of her,
of 248 picked seamen ; chiefly masters and mates
of merchantmen. The Adams was, therefore,
one of the most formidable corvettes that cruized
on the ocean. IN hile in the Irish channel, towards the end of July, she was chased by the
Tigris, of 42 guns, captain Henderson ; and
would probably have been caught, had not
captain Morris thrown overboard his " quarterguns." As the Adams was not to fight a frigate,
and was an over-match for the heaviest sloop of
war in the British navy, we cannot conceive what
" glory" the American government expected to
derive, from sending such a ship to sea ? Although the entire destruction of this fine ship,
and the capture of 23 of her guns, were effected
by the combined forces detached up the river
for that purpose, yet Mr. Thomson concludes
his account of our " blowing her up," with
stating, that the British were " disappointed in
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• James's Nay. Occur. p. 5.

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the object of their expedition."* He does

GREAT BRITAIN. AND' AMERICA:
not;

however, attempt to conceal the behaviour of
the American militia ; who, he says, notwith•
standing captain Morris's judicious arrangements, could not be brought to oppose an " inferior number of British regulars," and fled
precipitately * Captain Barrie's account of the
very people who had stood up, though for a few
minutes only, as militia, at Hamden, appearing
( with, it may be supposed, scarcely breath to
speak, after their well-run race) " as magistrates,
select men, &c."t at Bangor, affords a tolerable
specimen of the real character,of Mr. Munro's
`-' unarmed inhabitants.":
The operations in the Chesapeake, during the
summer of 1814, now claim our attention. The
American editors have, as usual, by their happy
talent for amplification, given importance to
many events that occurred in the rivers and
creeks of that capacious bay, which we should
otherwise have deemed too insignificant. to
notice. The chief of these consist of the daring
exploits and hair-breadth escapes of commodore
Barney(an Irishman), and his flotilla of gunboats. The commodore himself, we must do
Mtn the justice to say, is a truly brave man-; and,
no dOubt, feels highly indignant at the numerous ridiculous tales that have been told of him,
:

,

,

.

* Sketches of the War, p. 235.
+ App. No. 59.
A pp. No. 69.

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249

by even the most moderate of the American
editors. Previous to our entering upon any of
the operations of the flotilla, it.becomes us to
apprize the reader of what its force consisted.
The first account we have of the flotilla is,
that " a number of boats, carrying heavy metal,
were constructed in March, 1814, on the eastern
shore of Maryland, for the protection of the bay ;
and the command of them was given to that
intrepid officer, commodore Barney."* Doctor
Smith tells. .us that " a flotilla of small schooners and barges, was fitted out at Baltimore, to•
scour the bay, and protect its shores, numerous
creeks and, inlets, from.. the enemy." t
rthomson sa y s : —" At that period," (end of May,
1814,) " a flotilla, consisting of a cutter, two
gun-boats, a galley,, and nine large barges, sailed
from Baltimore.”-t. ,Another American account
numbers the barges, when subsequently blown
up, at 13 ; and ': a Boston newspaper augments
commodore Barney's flotilla, when it left Baltimore, to 36 gun-boats, and 10 or 15 barges."
The commodore's cutter or sloop was the Scorpion, mounting eight „ carronades„ and a heavy
long-gun upon a traversing carriage;, and two of
the gun-boats, we find, were No:).. 137. and 138.
11' hether commodore ,..parney's,, flotilla • con;

*Hist. of the War: `P.' 224.

r
"
p.
286.
III.
Hist, of the United States, Vol.
Sketches of the War, p. 332:

11 a

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sisted of gun-boats, gallies, "small schooners," or
" large barges," it indisputably carried "heavy
metal ;" as, indeed, it well might, considering
that it was expressly fitted out" to scour the bay
and protect its shores from the enemy." Rearadmiral Cockburn saysVach vessel had a lunggun in the bow, and a carronade in the stern ;
the calibers of the guns, and the number of the
crew, in each, varying, in proportion to the size
of the boat, from 32-pounders and 60 men, to
18-pounders and 40 men.* It appears, also, from
the American accounts, that most, if not all, of
the vessels had on board furnaces for heating shot.
In his estimate of the crews the rear-admiral
cannot be much out of the way ; for, although
lie mentions having taken some of the flotillamen as prisoners, an American work states the
number of seamen and marines that accom.
panied commodore Barney to the field at
Bladensburg, after the loss of his flotilla, at
6004 Upon adding to this number, such as
may not have chosen to follow the commodore,
and such as were taken prisoners by lieutenant
Scott,* the Americans surely will not charge us
with over-rating, if we estimate commodore
Barney's original command at 700 men. A
flotilla, so armed, manned, and equipped, cruiz.
ing in waters known only to itself, and able,
* James's Nay. Occurr. his App. No. 81.
+ list. of the United States,.Vol. Ill. p. 297.



GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA.

251

almost at any time, to seek protection under
batteries and formidable positions on shore,
within gan-shot of which nothing larger than a
boat .could approach, was able to cope with
any force that two 74-gun ships, or four 46-gun
frigates, could send against it.
The first sight gained of this flotilla, by the
British, was on the lst of June, when it was proceeding from Baltimore, past the mouth of the
river Patuxent, " to scour the bay." The
British vessels consisted of the St. Lawrence
schooner, of 13 guns, and 55 men, and the boats,
in number seven, of the Albion and Dragon 74s,
under the command of captain Barrie of the
latter ship. The Americans had the honor of
seeing this trifling force retreat before them to
the Dragon, then at anchor off Smith's-point.
That ship got under weigh, and, along with the
schooner and the boats, proceeded in chase ;
but the shallowness of the water shortly compelled her again to anchor. In the meantime,
the flotilla had run for shelter into the Patuxent.
Captain Barrie, by way of inducing commodore
Barney to separate his force, detached two boats
to cut off a schooner under Cove-point ; but the
commodore, not considering that his orders to
give " protection" warranted such a risk, allowed
her to be burnt in his sight.
One American account of this affair says : "The
commodore discovered two schooners, one of

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which carried 18 guns, and he immediately gave'
chase."* Here, evidently, Mr. Thomson has,
by mistake, included the American schooner
burnt under Cove-point. Mr. O'Connor has
fallen into the same error ; or rather, he declares
there were " three schooners." Not a word
appears any where about :thk schooner that
was burnt. One editor says :—" Barney was
obliged to take refuge in-Alie• mouth of the
Patuxent."t Another says This bold exploit did great honor to Barney and his crews :"t
and all agree, that he fired " hot shot at the
enemy."
On the 6th the flotilla retreated higher up the
Patuxent ; and captain Barrie; being joined on
the day following by the Loire 46, and Jasseur
brig, proceeded up the river with those two
vessels, the St. Lawrence,' and the boats of the
Albion and Dragon. The flotilla retreated about
two miles up St. Leonard's creek, where it could
be reached by boats only ;• but the force of the
latter was not equal to the attack. Captain
Barrie endeavoured, however, by a discharge of
rockets and carronades from the boats, to provoke the American vessels, which were moored .,
in a line a-breast, across the channel, to come
down within reach of the guns of the ship, brig,
.

* Sketches of the War, p.
Hist. of the United States, Vol. III. p. 287.
I Mist. of the War, p. 225.

263

and schooner,' at anchor near the mouth of the
creek. At one time the flotilla, or, as Mr.
O'Connor: says, " the 13 barges" got under
weigh, and chased the boats to a short distance,and then returned to their moorings. With a
view to force the flotilla to quit its station, detachments of seamen and marines were landed
on both sides of the river, and the American
militia, estimated at :.3 or 400, retreated before
them to the woods.• The marines destroyed two
tobacco-stores, and several houses that formed
military posts ; but still the flotilla remained at
its moorings.
Fear is certainly a great magnifier of objects.
To that may we ascribe the frequent appearance
of razees, in nearly all the rivers of the Chesapeake. The name, once received as applicable
to a ship of extraordinary size and force, is in the
mouth of every terrified inhabitant of the coast,
the moment he descries an enemy's vessel with
three masts. The reader may perhaps know,
that a razee is a cut-down 74. Three British
ships only were fitted in this way ;. and, although
all were sent upon the North American station,.
only one of the three entered the Chesapeake,
and that not till the 25th of August, 1814. The
very editors who have just done telling us that
the .British cannot send their .74s up the rivers,
because of their heavy draught of water, make
no scruple in placing a cut-down 74 at the
,

OP*

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GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA.

mouth of every creek near to which a British
frigate had cast anchor. These are the gentlemen, too, who boast that their " authentic"
accounts have passed through so many editions.
As another proof of Mr. Thomson's love of
the " authentic," he concludes his account of
the affair in St. Leonard's creek thus : " The
commodore immediately moved upon them,"
(the British boats,) " and after a smart fire,
drove the barges down to the 18-gun vessel,
which, in attempting to beat out, was so severely
handled, that her crew ran her a-ground, and
abandoned her."* This is the very vessel, the
St. Lawrence, whose capture by the Chasseur,
the Americans so joyfully announced, seven
months after she was thus " run a-ground and
abandoned." In justice to Mr. Thomson's contemporaries, we must say, that he is the only
editor who has favored the public with this
" authentic" piece of information.
On the 15th of June, the Narcissus, of 42 guns,
joined the little squadron ; and captain Barrie,
taking with him 172 boats, containing 180
marines, and 30 of the black colonial corps,
proceeded up the ricer to Benedict.t Here the
men disembarked, and drove into the woods,
without a struggle, a number of militia, who
left behind a part of their muskets and camp
equipage, as well as a 6-pounder field-piece.
,

* Sketches of the War, p. 333.

t Sec Plate V.

255

After spiking the latter, and destroying a store
containing tobacco, the British again took to
their boats, except five or six men who had probably strayed too far into the woods.
The circumstances attending the capture of
these men have been fully detailed in an Alexandria newspaper, of the 25th of June, and are
too interesting in their nature not to be given
entire to the reader. The party, it appears,
consisted of a portion of the St. Lawrence's
marines, commanded by sedeant Mayeaux, a
Frenchman, who had been seventeen years in
the British service, and who bore a most excellent character. The Alexandria paper, first
assigning as a reason for giving so particular an
account of the " late affair at Benedict," that
some of the citizens " bore a distinguished part
in it," proceeds as follows :—" The cavalry of
the district arrived on Tuesday evening, about
five o'clock, and at the moment general Stewart
was preparing to attack the enemy, who were in
possession of Benedict. At this moment a small
detachment of the enemy presented themselves
at the foot of the hill, not far distant from the
place where the cavalry were posted. The order
was immediately given to charge, and intercept
their retreat, which was done with so much
haste and impetuosity, as to break the ranks,
which, considering the nature of the ground,
was not injudicious.- :Five of the enemy were

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taken prisoners.- - The serjeant of the guard,
having been separated from his men, and endeavouring to make his escape, was pursued.-Among the first who overtook him, was Mr.
Alexander Wise, of the Alexandria dragoons,
who made a:bold but unsuccessful assault upon
him, and being unable to check his horse, passed
ten or fifteen paces beyond him. On turning his
horse, he received the fire of the serjeant, and
fell dead. At this moment Mr. Alexander
Hunter, 'a young gentleman of this town, (who
had.volunteered his services for • the occasion
with the cavalry, and whose conduct has already
been the subject of much and well-merited
commendation,) .came up, when the serjeant
faced upon him and received the tire of his
pistol, which seemed to take effect. Mr. Hunter's horse being alarmed.at the report, ran some
distance from the spot, When Mr. hunter returned, he found general Stewart engaged with
this intrepid soldier. He immediately advanced
to the general's relief ; upon which the serjeant
having had his bayonet-.unshipped, dropped his
musket, and, mounting an adjoining fence, fell
upon the other side, upon his back. Mr. Hunter dismounted, and, unarmed, immediately.
followed and engaged him, demanding of several
horsemen who advanced, to aid in securing him.
Two of whom presented their pistols, and, after
calling upon Mr, Hunter to disengage himself

I

GREAT BRITAIN AN!) AM ER ICA:;

.

257

from his antagonist, discharged their • pistols
without effect. This braveinarine then retreated,
unpursued, to an adjoining swamp. His escape
appearing certain, unless immediately pursued,
Mr. Hunter begged the loan of a sword, which
was presented to him by the general ; and with
which he alone pursued, and soon overtook him,
when a conflict ensued between them, the brave
enemy endeavouring by many and vigorous
efforts to get possession of the sword, and refusing, though repeatedly urged, to surrender,
except with his life, which a fortunate stroke
soon after terminated."
As the writer of this article,---which, be it
remembered, is extracted from an American
newspaper,--alludes to some "erroneous impressions" caused by " the variety of verbal accounts
received," we have a right to conclude, that the
account he has published is as much mollified
as circumstances would admit-; particularly,-as
the gallant Frenchman had not been permitted to
live to tell his own story. When we reflect, too,
upon the notorious partiality of the southern
Americans towards the French, and their equally
notorious hatred towards the British, the very
fact (the knowledge of which the same account
admits) that the poor sufferer was a Fenchman,
may have contributed to alter the features of this,
even in its present shape, heart-rending story.
After this wounded marine had " dropped his
YO ►,. I r.

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musket," and, in climbing the fence, fallen
(from weakness, no doubt) " upon his back,"
was it manly in the two American horsemen to
" discharge their pistols" at him ? or did Mr.
hunter's conduct in stepping aside to allow them
to do so, entitle him to " much and well-merited
commendation" ? Was it not a cowardly act
in Mr. Hunter to borrow, and in general Stewart
to lend, a sword to attack an unarmed, already
wounded man ?—And then, " a fortunate stroke"
terminated the poor wretch's existence !--We
envy not the feelings of the " young gentleman"
who committed, or of the general and his party
of cavalry and volunteers who abetted, this foul
murder :—for, what else can we call it ? No
truly brave man but would have set a higher
value upon the gallant se►jeant's life, for the
determination he evinced not to surrender. Why
not have permitted him to remain in the swampto
which lie had fled : what dire mischief could have
happened to the republic by the presence of this
unarmed individual ? A day or two's residence
in the woods might have lowered his lofty spirit;
and lie would then, perhaps, have freely surrendered to a tenth part of those whom he so long
kept at bay ; and from whom he would, no doubt
have ultimately escaped, had he possessed another
musket, or perhaps another load, even, for that
which he had. Acquitting the American commanding officer of those, accordant feelings which

GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA.

259

would have prompted him to grant so brave a
man his liberty, no alternative remains to account for the general's hot pursuit of him, but
that he must have felt piqued, because Mayeaux's conduct was so opposite to that Of the
American captain of militia, who, in the same
neighbourhood, and about a twelvemonth pre-,
vious, suffered himself to be taken prisoner by
a one-handed British lieutenant the navy.*
in vain do we search,- 'through the different
American works for any account of the capture
of serjeant Mayeaux and his party ; although
the capture of a single individual has on other
occasions, been exultingly recorded by the whole
of our three obsequious historians. It must be
the wish of every staunch American, that the
editor of the Alexandria newspaper had not
been so officious : be it our task to give a yet
more permanent form to the account of the
intrepid behaviour, and the dastardly murder,
of serjeant Mayeaux.
After quitting. Benedict, captain Barrie ascended the river to lower Marlbormigh, a town
about 2S miles from the capital of the United
States.1 The party landed, and took possession
of the place ; the militia, as well as the inhabitants, flying into the woods. A schooner,.
belonging to a captain David, was captured, and
loaded with tobacco : after which, having burnt,
;

-

* See p. 39, 1- See Plate V.
$ 6 2

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GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA.

at Lower Marlborough, and at Magruders,* on
the opposite side of the river, tobacco-stores,
containing 2800 hogsheads, and loaded the boats
with stock, the detachment re-embarked. The
Americans collected a force, estimated at about
350 regulars, besides militia, on Holland's clifts;'
but some marines, being landed, traversed the
skirts of the heights, and re-embarked without
molestation ; the American troops not again
shewing themselves, till the boats were out of
gun-shot.
The blockade of commodore Barney's flotilla,
and the depredations on the coasts of the Pa•
tuxent, by captain Barrie's squadron, caused
greai inquietude at Washington. At length, an
order reached the American commodore, directing
him to destroy the flotilla ; in the hopes that the
British, having no longer such a temptation in
,their way, would retire from a position so con•
tiguous to the capital. The order was suspended,
owing to a proposal of colonel Wadsworth, of
the engineers; who, with two 18-pounders, upon
travelling-carriages, protected by a detachment
of marines and regular troops, engaged to drive
away the two frigates from the mouth of the
creek. The colonel established his battery
behind an elevated ridge, which sheltered him
and his men ; and, on the morning of the 26th
of June, a simultaneous attack of the gun-boats
* Sec Plate 5.

261

and battery was made upon the two frigates,
Loire and Narcissus.* What with hot shot, the
position chosen by the colonel not being commanded by the fire from either frigate, and
captain Brown, the commanding officer's, having
no force which he could land to carry the battery,t the Loire and Narcissus retired to a station
near Point Patience ; and the American flotilla,
with the exception of one barge, which put
back, apparently disabled by the shot from the
frigates, moved out of the creek, and ascended
the Patuxent. The frigates sustained no loss
on this occasion ; but commodore. Barney admits
a loss of a midshipman and three men killed,
and seven men wounded.
We have here a fine opportunity of contrasting the difference in style, between a letter
written by an adopted, and one written by a
native American, upon the same subject. Commodore Barney writes : " This morning, at 4
A.M. a combined attack of the artillery, marine
corps, and flotilla, was made upon the enemy's
two frigates, at the mouth of the creek. After
two hours' engagement, they got under weigh,
and made sail down the river. They are now
warping round Point Patience, and I am moving up the Patuxent with my flotilla."
An officer on board the flotilla, writes thus :
* Wilkinson's Mem. Vol. I. p. 730.
Hst. of the War p. 226.
)

+ Ibid, p. 740.

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MILITARY OCCURRENCES BETWEEN

" We moved down_ with the flotilla, and joined
in the chorus with the artillery. Our fire was
terrible. At six o'clock they began to move,
and made sail down the river, leaving us
masters of the field. Thus we have again beat
them and their rockets, which they did not
spare. First, we beat off a,few boats ; then, they
increased the number ; then, they added schooners ; and now, behold the two frigates: all
have. shared the same fate. We next expect
ships of the line. No matter, we will do our
duty." *
. On the 4th of July, the Severn, of 50 guns,
having joined the Loire and Narci,sus, captain
Nourse, of the first-named ship, despatched
captain Brown, with the marines of the three
ships, (150 in number,) up St. Leonard's creek.
Here two of commodore Barney's barges were
found scuttled, owing to the damage they had
received in the action with the frigates. The
barges, and several other vessels, were burnt,
and a large tobacco-store destroyed. Soon after
this, the. British quitted the Patuxent.
On the 19th of July, rear-admiral Cockburn,
in the Marlborough 74, having been joined by
a battalion of marines, and a detachment of marine artillery, proceeded up the river Potomac,
for the purpose of attacking Leonard's-town, the
capital of St. Mary's county, where the 36th
Navaplonumeiit, p. 24Q.

GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA.

2G3

United States' regiment was stationed. The
marines, under major Lewis; were landed, whilst
the boats pulled up in front of the town ; but, on
discovering the marines, the enemy's armed
force quitted the place, and suffered the British 4
to take quiet possession. A quantity of stores,
belonging to the 36th regiment, and a number •
of arms of different descriptions, were found
there, and destroyed ; a quantity of tobacco,
flour, provisions, and other articles, were brought
away in the boats, and in a schooner, which was
lying off the town. Not a musket being fired,
nor an armed enemy seen, the town was spared.
The Americans having collected some Virginia
militia, at a place called Nominy-ferry, in Virginia, a considerable way up Nominy-river,
rear-admiral Cockburn, on the 21st, proceeded
thither, with the boats ana marines ; the latter
commanded by captain Robyns, during the
illness of major Lewis. The enemy's position
was cn a very commanding eminence, projecting
into the water ; but some marines having been
landed on its flank, and they being seen getting
up the craggy side of the mountain, while the
main body landed at the ferry, the enemy fell'
back, and, though pursued several miles, till
the approach of night, escaped with the loss of
a few prisoners. They had withdrawn their
field-artillery, and hid it in the woods ; fearing
that, if they kept it to use against the British,

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they would not be able to retreat with it quick'
enough to save it from capture; After taking
on board all the tobacco, and other stores found
in the place, with a quantity of cattle, and
destroying all the storehouses and buildings,
the rear-admiral re-embarked ; and, dropping
down to another point of the Nominy river,
observed some movements on shore, upon
which he again landed with the marines. The
Americans fired a volley, but, on the advance of
the marines, fled into the woods. Every thing
in the neighbourhood was therefore destroyed
or brought off; and, after visiting the country
in several other directions, covering the escape
of the negroes who were anxious to join him,
the rear-admiral quitted the river, and returned
to the ships with 135 refugee negroes, two captured, schooners, a large quantity of tobacco,
dry goods, and cattle, and a few prisoners.
Ear from considering tobacco, packed up in
hogsheads, ready for shipping, as " good prize,
by the maritime law of nations," as he did the
north-west company's goods, * Mr. O'Connor
calls it " plundered property," and the seizure
or destruction of it the " petty and wanton act
of an unprincipled and mean enemy."t
On the 24th of July, the rear-admiral- we nt
up St. Clement's creek, in St. Mary's county,
'with the boats and marines, to examine the
See p. 193.
1- Mist. of the War, p. 22 7 .

GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA.

265

country. The militia shelved themselves occasionally, but always retreated when pursued ;
and the boats returned to the ships without any
casualty, having captured four schooners, and
destroyed one. The inhabitants remaining
peaceably in their houses, the rear-admiral
did not suffer any injury to be done to them,
excepting at one farm, from which two musketshots had been fired at the admiral's gig, and
where the property was, therefore, destroyed.
On the 26th of July, the rear-admiral proceeded to the head of the Machodic river, in
Virginia, where he burnt six schooners, whilst
the marines marched, without opposition, over
the country on the banks of that river ; and, there
not remaining any other place on the Virginia
or St. Mary's side of his last anchorage, that the
rear-admiral had not visited, he, on the 28th,
caused the ships to move above Blackstone's
Island ; and, on the 29th, proceeded, with the
boats and marines, up the Wicomoco river. He
landed at l-lamburgh and Chaptico ; from which
latter place lie shipped a considerable quantity
of tobacco, and visited several houses in different parts of the country ; the owners of which
living quietly with their families, and seeming
to consider themselves and the neighbourhood
to be at his disposal, he caused no farther inconvenience to them, than obliging them to furnish

266

MILITARY OCCURRENCES BETWEEN

supplies of cattle and stock for the use of his
forces ; for which they were liberally paid.
On the 2d of August, the squadron dropped
down the Potomac, near to the entrance of the
Yocomoco river, which the rear-admiral entered on the following day, with the boats and
marines, and landed with the latter. The
enemy had here collected in great force, and
made more resistance than usual, but the ardor
and determination of the rear-admiral's gallant
little band, carried all before it ; and, after
forcing the enemy to give way; the marines followed him 10 miles up the country, captured a
field-piece, and burnt several houses, which had
been converted into depots for militia-arms,
&c. Learning, afterwards, that general Hulagerford had rallied his men at Kinsale, the rearadmiral proceeded thither ; and, though the
'enemy's position was extremely strong, he bad
only time to' give the British an ineffectual volley
before the latter gained the height, when he
again retired with precipitation ; and did not
re-appear. The stores found at Kinsale were
then shipped without molestation ; and, having burnt the store-houses and other places, ..
with two old schooners, and destroyed two batteries, the rear-admiral re-embarked, bringing
away five prize-schooners, a large quantity of
tobacco, flour, &c. a field-piece, and a few pri.

GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA.

267'

soners. The American general Taylor was
wounded and unhorsed, and escaped only
through the thickness of the wood, and bushes,
into which he ran. The British had three men
killed, and as many wounded. Thus 500 British marines penetrated:10 miles into the enemy's
country, and skirmished, on their way back,
surrounded by woods, in the face of the whole
collected militia of Virginia, under generals
Ifinigerford and: Taylor ; and yet, after this
long march, carried the heights of Kinsale in
the most gallant manner.
Coan river, a few. miles below Vocomoco,
being the only inlet on the Virginia side of the
Potomac, that the rear-admiral hadnot visited,
he proceeded on the 7th to attack it, with the
boats and marines. After a tolerably quick fire
on the boats, the enemy went off precipitately,
with the guns : the battery was destroyed, and
the river ascended, in which three schooners.
were captured, and some tobacco brought off.
On the 12th, the rear-admiral proceeded up.
,

St. Mary's creek, and landed in various parts of
the country about that extensive inlet ; but
without seeing a single armed person, thoughi
militia had formerly been stationed at St. Mary's
factory for its defence ; the inhabitants of the
state appearing to consider it wiser to submit,
than to attempt opposition. On the 15th of
August, the ,rear-admiral again landed within

GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA.

269

268 MILITARY OCCURRENCES BETWEEN

St. Mary's creek ; but found, in the different
parts of the country, the same quiet and submissive conduct on the part of the inhabitants,
as in the places visited on the 12th. The account of the preceding operations on the coasts
of the Chesapeake, with a battalion of marines,
a detachment of marine-artillery and of seamen,
in all, under 700 men, is extracted exclusively,
from rear-admiral Cockburn's official report of
his proceedings : the truth of which is tacitly
admitted by the silence of the American historians on the subject ; although the British
accounts had long previously come to their
hands.
While the British men-of-war were lying in
the rivers of the Chesapeake, the negroes from
the neighbouring plantations were continually
flocking to the banks ; entreating, by the most
piteous signs, to be rescued from a life of slavery.
Could such appeals be made in vain Fhey
were taken off, by hundreds ; and obtained from
an enemy that liberty, which their own free
country denied to them. It was in vain that
the American government, by asserting, through
the medium of the prints " known to be friendly
to the war," that the British, after receiving the
negroes, "shipped the wretches to the West
Indies, where they were sold as slaves, for the
benefit of British officers,"* attempted to check
* history of the War. p. 183,

the flow of slave-emigration. This plan failing,
the editor of the " Norfolk Herald" was instructed or induced to say :—"'To take cattle
or other stock, would be consistent with the
usage of civilized warfare ; but to take negroes,
who are human beings ; to tear them for ever
from their kindred and connexions, is what we
should never expect from a Christian nation,
especially one that has done so much to abolish
the slave-trade. There are negroes in Virginia,
and, we believe, in all the southern states, who
have their interests and affections as strongly
engrafted in their hearts, as the whites, and who
feel the sacred ties of filial, parental, and conjugal affection, equally strong, and who are
warmly attached to their owners, and the scenes
of their nativity. To those, no inducement
which the enemy could offer, would be sufficient
to tempt them away. To drag them away, then,
by force, would be the greatest cruelty. Yet, it
is reserved for England, who boats of her religion and love of humanity, to practice this
piece of cruelty, so repugnant to the dictates of
Christianity and civilization."*
Whether this article was penned at Washington, or on board of one of the British ships in
the bay, it is the happiest piece of satire, that
has appeared in an American newspaper:- • It
commences with an unqualified admission, that,
* History of the War, p. 185.

270 AILLIWARY

°COMMENCES BETWEEN

to take cattle or other stock" is " consistent,
with the usage of civilized warfare ;" whereas, in
all the American histories, not excepting that even
from which the extract is made, the British are
accused of " plundering large quantities of cattle."
As, however, the British commanders, whenever
the owners could be found, invariably paid for
what they did take, the admission is of little
use. But are not thos,• " human beings, who
have their interests and affections as strongly
engrafted in their hearts as the whites," part,
and a valuable part too, of the " stock" of an
American planter ?—The reader has only to take
up a Charlestown, a Washington, a Richmond,
or even a " Norfolk" newspaper, and a whole
side of advertisements, will presently assure him
of the degrading fact. Let it not be concealed
either, that the treatment of the slaves in, and
who form so great a portion of the southern
population of, the United States, is ten-times
more horrid and disgusting than any thing that
occurs among a similar class of " human beings"
in the British West Indies. In addition to the
accounts published in the American newspapers,
and the description given, and marks shown by,
the refugee-slaves themselves, it is only necessary, in order to substantiate the fact, to refer
to the code of laws by which. the American, in
comparison with that by which the British,
negroes are governed. We freely admit that,
-

GREAT BRITAIN AND AMERICA.

271.

" to drag away, by force," those slaves who
(if any such are to be found in the United States)
are " warmly attached to their owners and to the
place of their nativity," would be " the greatest
cruelty." But who has done so ? The British
in the Chesapeake, as the Americans themselves
inform us, were frequently straitened for provisions ; how ridiculous, then, is the charge, that
the captains of ships, by way of encreasing the
consumption on board, and without any corresponding benefit, should send parties on shore,
first to catch, —in which they must have been
tolerably active,—and then to " drag away,"
the slaves of the American planters. If, for
receiving on board such as voluntarily offered
themselves, the British officers required any other
sanction than " the dictates of Christianity and
civilization," they might find it in the following
resolution, submitted to the consideration of the
house of representatives of the United States, by
Mr. Fisk, of Vermont :—" Resolved, that the
committee on public lands be instructed tó
enquire into the expediency of giving to each
deserter from the British army, during the present war, 100 acres of the public lands, such
deserter actually settling the same."* We have
here a fine specimen of the " national honor" of
the United States, about which so much has been
said and written !
* National lutelligencer, Sept. 28th, 1814.

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