Imágenes de páginas

The answer of England is an able paper; refutes all the charges of complaint, and attributes the conduct of Spain to the overwhelming j of the French in the Spanish councils. On August the 19th, a treaty of alliance offensive and defensive, between the French republic and the King of Spain, was signed at St. Ildephonso, by Citizen D. C. Perignon and Don M. de Godoi, Prince of Peace. The articles which relate to the West Indies are the 5th and part of the 15th. “Art. 5. The power called on shall in the same way place at the disposal of the requiring power, within the space of three months, reckoning from the moment of the requisition, 18,000 infantry and 6000 cavalry, with a proportionate train of artillery, ready to be employed in Europe, and for the defence of the colonies which the contracting powers*. in the Gulf of Mexico.” Extract from Art. 15. “The two powers . to make instantly a common cause, to repress and annihilate the maxims adopted by any country whatever, which may be subversive of their present principles, and which may bring into danger the safety of the neutral flag, and the respect which is due to it, as well as to raise and re-establish the colonial system of Spain on the footing on which it has subsisted, or ought to subsist, conformably to treaties.” About four o'clock on the morning of the 8th of January, the French and Caribs in St. Vincent's attacked the English camp on Forbes' Ridge. Three hundred men, in three divisions, attacked the left, right, and front at the same moment. The left was protected b a three pounder and a cohorn, placed on a tongue of land j ran out about fifty yards, and, from its steepness on each side, was supposed to be almost inaccessible. M. Chenow headed the division which attacked this part. Guided by a deserter, he entered the battery alone, and found the two artillery men, who had charge of the gun, sleeping across it; he then brought his division up, killed the artillery men, and, with a discharge of grape shot from the gun, gave the first intimation to the English that their camp was attacked. This gun having the command of the ridge occupied by the artillery, the whole in a few minutes was entirely lost. Attacked upon the right and all along the front at the same moment, the troops gave way at all points; the most gallant personal exertions of General Stewart were ineffectual; the army retreated to the block-house at Biabou, the enemy hanging on their rear and right. Fortunately Lieutenant-Colonel Fuller of the 40th, with 200 men, who was on his march from Dorsetshire Hill to the camp, arrived at the critical moment, and routed the Caribs. The troops remained at Biabou until dark; General Stewart then ordered fires to be lighted, resumed his march, and on the 10th occupied

Annual Register, 1796, p. 165. Coke's West Indies, vol. ii. p. 2s6.
Gazette. General Stewart's Letter.


the eminences between the Vigie and the sea. Fifty-four English were killed, 109 wounded, and 200 missing. The loss in officers was unusually great in proportion. General Hunter arrived from Martinico; he immediately drew the whole of the force, except from the Vigie, to the heights surrounding the town, and the passes to Berkshire Hill were carefully strengthened. On the 14th, the enemy in great force in Mariaqua Valley seemed determined to attack the Vigie. At this time its possession was not of sufficient importance to induce General Hunter to risk an action, he therefore ordered it to be evacuated, which was done at ten o'clock, and the enemy immediately marched in. The next day they advanced to Baker's Ridge, and opened a smart cannonade upon Dorsetshire Hill: their shells were injudiciously thrown, and did no damage. A party of Caribs at the same time encamped about Bowe Wood, at the head of Kingstown Valley. On the morning of the 20th, Lieutenant-Colonel Prevost was ordered to attack the redoubt on Baker's Ridge. He surprised and cut their piquet guard to pieces; but after receiving two wounds from the fire from the redoubt, he retreated to Millar's Ridge, pursued by the exulting enemy. More than twenty times they attempted to ain the summit of the ridge, darkness then obliged them to desist. he same morning the Caribs pursued some straggling soldiers to the camp at Green Hill. Major Jackson went out to attack them, and Major Fraser endeavoured to flank them; but after several hours bush fighting, they set fire to Bow Wood House and retreated. During the action, Lieutenant-Colonel Gower, with 330 of the 63d, anchored in the roads. On the 24th, a long six-pounder field-piece was mounted on Millar's Ridge; it soon occasioned evident confusion in the enemy's camp, who in the dark retired to the Vigie with their artillery. No further operations were carried on until the arrival of Sir Ralph Abercrombie from St. Lucia on the 8th of June. The troops were immediately landed; and in the afternoon of the following day the whole army, 3960strong, marched in six divisions from Sion Hill to attack the Vigie; Brigadier-General Knox, with 936 men, to Mariaqua Valley; Major-General Hunter to Calder Ridge, with 1045; Major-General Morshead to Carapan Ridge, with 857; Lieutenant-Colonel Fuller to Ross Ridge, with 573; LieutenantColonel Dickens to Warawaroa Valley, with 317; and LieutenantColonel Spencer, with 232, as a corps de reserve, followed the line of march. A little before daylight, Lieutenant-Colonel Dickens commenced the attack by carrying a redoubt, which the Caribs abandoned with a slight resistance. After attempting the next post in that direc

tion, he was obliged to retreat, with the loss of fifty-one killed and wounded. The Generals Hunter and Morshead by this time opened a cannonade upon the Old Vigie, from their respective stations, the former distant about 500 yards, the latter 300; while a constant fire of musketry was kept up by the men from the adjoining canes. About two o'clock it was deemed practicable to carry the place by storm, and orders to that effect were given. Colonel Blair of the Buffs, and Major Stewart of the 42d regiment, headed the troops; the post was instantly carried, the enemy retreating with great precipitation to their other works, followed as expeditiously by the troops, who carried the two succeeding works in the same gallant manner. The New Vigie was now the only object to be gained. About five o'clock the artillery was brought forward, and when just about to be opened, and the troops selected for storming, the enemy sent a flag of truce to General Abercrombie, with an offer of surrender, . was accepted, on their delivering up the other posts of Ouia, and Rabacaw and Mount Young, with their garrisons. About noon the next day they marched out with the honours of war, and laid down their arms, 460 men; and the same evening they were embarked on board the transports in the harbour. The English loss was 100 killed and wounded. The Caribs, reduced to their own resources, sent, on the 15th, overtures of accommodation, on condition of retaining their lands and prerogatives as formerly. “They had burnt our houses and cane fields,” they said, “and the English had burned their canoes, and destroyed their provisions; therefore, on the principle of retaliation, we had no just cause of complaint, or any plausible pretext for prolonging an unnecessary war.” They were given to understand that nothing short of their unconditional surrender would be attended to, in which case their lives would be spared, and they would be treated with humanity. They requested until o 18th to consult about it, and promised to return an answer tllen, On the 15th of July, General Abercrombie sent orders from Martinico to General Hunter to remove the Caribs to the island of Baliseau (one of the Grenadines), and to supply them with necessaries, until orders came from England concerning their future destination. General Hunter communicated his orders to the Carib chiefs on Friday, and if by the following Tuesday they were not complied with, hostilities were to recommence against them. On Saturday and Sunday mumbers came from the mountains, and took their position between the camp and the sea. On Monday morning, one of the chiefs requested an audience of Lieutenant

[ocr errors][merged small]


Colonel Haffy, and in his presence harangued the other Carib chiefs, upon the necessity of submitting, who all solemnly promised so to do : in the night the greater part of them, and the orator himself, escaped to the mountains. In the morning Colonel Haffey, convinced of their treachery, made his dispositions to secure all he could; 280 were brought back to Calliaqua, and immediately removed to Baliseau, Lieutenant Laborde with thirty men was sent to Grande Sable, to receive the proffered submission of the Caribs in that district, and conduct them to Mount Young. He found their houses abandoned, and 200 of them in possession of an eminence, from whence they ordered him to withdraw instantly, declaring, at the same time, that they never would submit to the English. Mr. Laborde thought it prudent to obey their mandate. Lieutenant-Colonel Graham found a large party fortified near the bed of Colonarie River: he obeyed their invitation to approach, and displayed a white handkerchief in reply; when he had got within a few yards of their works, a volley of musketry killed and wounded so many of his men, that they retreated. Colonel Graham was badly wounded himself. From this time, the troops in various detachments destroyed their houses; more than 1000 were burnt in a few days, and several canoes of dimensions unheard of before among them. The whole force of the island was directed against the fugitives, who were soon compelled to yield, and then transported to Baliseau. The quantity of provisions theyB. was almost incredible. On the 2d of October, Marin Padre, their commander, surrendered; he was a Negro belonging to St. Lucia. On the 18th of October Major-General Hunter wrote to MajorGeneral Graham, to inform him, that since the 4th of July 725 brigands had surrendered, and 4633 Caribs, including women and children. From Baliseau, the Caribs were removed, by order of government, to the island of Rattan in the Bay of Honduras. Implements of husbandry were given them, and provisions sufficient to maintain them until their own crops should be ready. April the 15th, General Whyte, with about 1300 men of the 39th, 93d, and 99th regiments, commanded by Colonels Tilson, Hislop, and Gammel, with a party of artillery under the command of Captain Bagot, sailed from Carlisle Bay, with a squadron under the command of Commodore Parr, to attack Essequibo and Demerara. Upon the 21st, the smaller vessels took on board the troops, and stood for the river, but they soon afterwards got aground, and remained so until the next flood tide. A flag of truce was sent to summon the fort.

Coke's West Indies, vol. ii. pp. 244. 245.
Major-General Hunter's Official Letter. Annual Register, 1796, p. 14.

“By Major-General John Whyte, Commander of His Britannic Majesty's Land Forces, &c. &c. and Captain Thomas Parr, Commander of His Majesty's Ships, &c. &c.

“These are requiring you, the governor and council, military and naval forces, of the colony of Demerara and its dependencies, to surrender the said colony to His Britannic Majesty's forces under our command, and to place the said colony under his Majesty's protection, and quietly and peaceably to submit to his Majesty's government. ** “In which case the inhabitants shall enjoy full security to their persons, and the free exercise of their religion, with full and immediate enjoyment of all private property, whether on shore or afloat (excepting such as may appear to belong to the subjects of the French republic), according to their ancient laws and usages, or such other as may be determined upon previous to the colony's being placed under his Majesty's government, upon the most liberal and beneficial terms. “That in the event of the colony's remaining under the British government at the conclusion of a general peace, they shall enjoy such commercial rights and privileges as are enjoyed by the British colonies in the West Indies. With regard to the military and naval forces, that the officers and men of the land forces shall, if agreeable to themselves, be received into the British pay, with leave, at the restoration of the Stadholder, to return into his service. Each non-commissioned officer and soldier shall receive, upon his taking the oath of allegiance to His Britannic Majesty, to serve him faithfully during the war, where it may be thought proper to employ him, the sum of one hundred guilders. The officers to receive, upon the same conditions, the allowance of 200 days bat, baggage, and forage money, as paid to the British officers. The officers and men of the marine forces cannot be taken into the British service, until his Majesty's pleasure shall be known, but shall receive pay according to their rank, and every indulgence that can be allowed. . That the governor and all civil officers, after having taken the oaths of allegiance to his Majesty, which will be administered by Major-General Whyte, are (if they choose) to remain in their respective situations (excepting those who have shewn a decided partiality to the French interest), the governor only resigning the military command. Should such liberal terms be refused, the governor, council, and all concerned, must be answerable for the consequences, as an immediate attack will be made '... land and sea forces, which will render every resistance vain. ajor-General

[ocr errors]

Bolinbroke's Voyage to Demerary, p. 272,273.

« AnteriorContinuar »