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rivers of the
Rear-admiral Cockburn was now directed, with a April. squadron of small vessels, to penetrate the rivers at Rear- the head of the bay, and endeavour to cut off the adm; enemy's supplies, as well as to destroy his foundries, burn stores, and public works ; particularly a dépôt of
flour, military and other stores, ascertained, by the on his information of some Americans, to be at a place expedi- called French-town, situated a considerable distance up the up the river Elk. Accordingly, on the evening of
the 28th of April, taking with him the brigs Fantome Chesa- and Mohawk, and the Dolphin, Racer, and Highflyer peake.
tenders, the rear-admiral moved towards the river. Having anchored the brigs and schooners as far within the entrance as could be effected after dark, the rear-admiral took with him, in the boats of his little squadron, commanded by lieutenant George Augustus Westphal, first of the Marlborough, 150 marines, under captains Marmaduke Wybourn and Thomas Carter, and five artillerymen, under lieutenant Robertson, of that corps, and proceeded to execute his orders.
Having, owing to ignorance of the way, entered tacks the Bohemia, instead of keeping in the Elk river,
the boats did not reach the destined place till late
on the following morning. This delay enabled the batte- inhabitants of French-town, to make arrangements ry, ves- for the defence of the stores and town; for the sels,
security of which a six-gun battery had lately been erected. As soon as the boats approached within gun-shot of it, a heavy fire was opened upon them. Disregarding this, however, the marines quickly landed; and the american militia fled from the battery to the adjoining woods. The inhabitants of the town, which was situated at about a mile distant, having, as far as could be ascertained, taken no part in the contest, were not in the slightest degree molested; but a considerable quantity of four, of army-clothing, saddles, bridles, and other equipments for cavalry; also various articles of merchandise, and the two stores in which they had been
French town, de
contained, together with five vessels lying near the 1813. place, were entirely consumed. The guns of the
April. battery, being too heavy to be carried away, were disabled; and the boats departed, with no other loss than one seaman wounded in the arm by a grapeshot. . The Americans lost one man killed by a rocket, but none wounded.
The rear-admiral's system, and which he had The taken care to impart to all the Americans captured admiby, or voluntarily coming on board, the squadron, was, to land without offering molestation to the of unopposing inhabitants, either in their persons or ing the properties; to capture or destroy all articles of Amerimerchandise and munitions of war; to be allowed to take off, upon paying the full market price, all plained such cattle and supplies as the british squadron might require ; but, should resistance be offered, or menaces held out, to consider the town as a fortified post, and the male inhabitants as soldiers; the one to be destroyed, the other, with their cattle and stock, to be captured.
As the boats, in their way down the Elk, were Boats rounding Turkey point, they came in sight of
Turkey large estate, surrounded by cattle. The rear-admiral point. landed; and, directing the bailiff, or overseer, to pick out as many oxen, sheep, and other stock, as were deemed sufficient for the present use of the squadron, paid for them to the full amount of what the bailiff alleged was the market price. Not the slightest injury was done; or, doubtless, one of the industrious american historians would haye recorded the fact. Having learnt that cattle and provisions, in considerable quantity, were at Specucie Island, the rear-admiral, with the brigs and tenders, proceeded to that place. In his way thither, it became necessary to pass in sight of Havre de Grace, a village of about 60 houses, situated on the west side of the Susquehanna, a short distance above the confluence of that river with the Chesapeake. Although the British were a long way out of gun
$ Crew, turned the guns
1813. shot, the Americans at Havre de Grace, as if inMay. spired by the heroism of their townsman, commodore
Rodgers, fired at them from a six-gun battery, and fired at displayed to their view, as a further mark of defiance, Havre a large american ensign. This determined the rear
admiral to make that battery and town the next
object of attack, In the mean while, he anchored off Anchor Specucie Island. Here a part of the boats landed, off $pe- and obtained cattle upon the same terms as before. island. A complaint having been made, that some of the
subordinate officers had destroyed a number of turkies, the rear-admiral paid the valge of them out of his own pocket. The Americans as they were driving the cattle to the boats, jeered the men, saying, Why do you come here? Why don't you go to Havre de Grace? There you'll have something to do.” About this time a deserter gave the people at Havre de Grace, who had already been preparing, notice of the intended attack.
After quitting Specucie Island, the rear-admiral
bent his course towards Havre de Grace; but the Grace shallowness of the water admitting the passage of
boats only, the 150 marines and the five artillerybattery men embarked at midnight on the 2d of May, and
proceeded up the river. The Dolphin and Highflyer tenders attempted to follow in support of the boats, but shoal water compelled them to anchor at the distance of six miles from the point of attack. By daylight, the boats succeeded in getting opposite to the battery; which mounted six guns, 12 and 6 pounders, and opened a smart fire upon the British. The marines instantly landed to the left; which was a signal to the Americans to withdraw from their battery. Lieutenant Westphal, having in the mean time, stationed his rocket-boat close to the battery, upon the american militia, and drove them to the extremity of the town. The inhabitants still keeping up a fire from behind the houses, walls, and trees, lieutenant Westphal, by the admiral's orders, held
Attack Havre de
out a'flag of truce, and called upon them to desist. 1813. Instead of so doing, these “unoffending citizens"
May. fired at the british lieutenant, and actually shot him Lieut. through the very hand that was bearing the flag of Westtruce. After this, who could wonder if the british Poundseamen and marines turned to the right and to the ed left, and demolished every thing in their way? The towns-people themselves had constructed the battery; ing á and yet not a house in which an inhabitant remained truce. was injured. Several of the inhabitants, principally women, who had fled at first, came again into the town, and got back such articles as had been taken. Some of the women actually proceeded to the boats; and, upon identifying their property, obtained its restoration.
Many of the inhabitants who had remained peace- Good ably in their houses, as a proof that they were well informed of the principle upon which sir George of some Cockburn acted, frequently exclaimed to him : "Ah, inhasir, I told them what would be the consequence of bitants. their conduct. It is a great pity so many should suffer for a headstrong few. Those who were the most determined to fire upon you the other day, saying it was impossible you could take the place, were now the first to run away." Several of the houses that were not burnt did, in truth, belong to the chief agents in those violent measures which had caused such severity on the part of the British ; and the very towns-people themselves pointed out the houses. Lieutenant Westphal, with his remaining hand, pursued and took prisoner an american captain of militia ; and others of the party brought in an ensign and several privates, including an old Irishman, named O'Neill. After embarking the six guns from the battery, and taking or destroying about 130 stands of small-arms, the British departed from Havre de Grace.
One division of boats, headed by the rear-admiral, British then proceeded to the northward, in search of a a cancannon-foundry, of which some of the inhabitants of non
1813. Havre de Grace had given information. This was May. found, and quickly destroyed ; together with five found. long 24-pounders, stationed in a battery for its pro
tection; 28 long 32-pounders, ready for sending Havre away; and eight long guns, and four carronades, in
the boring-house and foundry. Another division of boats was sent up the Susquehanna ; and returned, after destroying five vessels and a large store of flour.
On the night of the 5th of May, the same party of ascend british marines and artillerymen again embarked in Sassa- the boats, and proceeded up the river Sassafras,
separating the counties of Kent and Cecil, towards the villages of George-town and Frederick-town, situated on opposite sides of the river, nearly facing each other. Having intercepted a small boat with two of the inhabitants, rear-admiral Cockburn halted the detachment, about two miles from the town; and then sent forward the two Americans in their boat, to warn their countrymen against acting in the same rash manner as the people of Havre de Grace had done ; assuring them that, if they did, their towns would inevitably experience a similar fate; but that, on the contrary, if they did not attempt resistance, no injury should be done to them or their towns; that vessels and public property only would be seized; that the strictest discipline would be maintained; and that whatever provision, or other property of individuals, the rear-admiral might require for the use of the squadron, would be instantly paid for in its fullest value. The two Americans agreed in the propriety of this ; said there was no battery at either of the towns; that they would willingly deliver the message, and had no doubt the inhabitants would be peaceably disposed.
After waiting a considerable time, the rear-admiral
advanced higher up; and, when within about a mile George from the towns, and between two projecting points
of land which compelled the boats to proceed in close order, a heavy fire was opened upon them from one field-piece, and, as conjectured, 300 or 400 militia,
Are fired at from