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1813. mud at the bottom. A check being thus effectually June. given to a daring enterprise, in which all were so
ready to join, captain Hanchett waved his hat for the boats astern to keep afloat. In the hurry of pulling and the ardour of the men, this warning was disregarded; and one or two of the boats grounded. Two others, owing to their having received some shot that had passed through the sails of the Diadem's launeh,
sank. Capt. In the mean while the Americans at the battery, chett well aware of the shoal, had anticipated what had wound- happened; and, feeling their own security, poured
in their grape and canister with destructive effect. A 6-pound shot, which had passed through a launch on the starboard side of captain Hanchett's boat, and killed and wounded several men, struck that officer on the hip, and he instantly fell; but was quickly on his legs again. While he was assisting to save the men that were struggling in the water, in consequence of their boat having been sunk, a langridge shot entered his left thigh. While, also, the men from the sunken boats, and who consisted chiefly of the canadian chasseurs, or Independent Foreigners, were struggling for their lives in the water and mud, the Constellation's marines, and the american infantry, waded a short distance into the water, and deliberately fired at them. Huddled together, as the boats were when they struck the ground, and that within canister-range of a battery which kept upon them an incessant fire of more than two hours' duration, it required no very expert artillerists to sink three of the boats, and to kill three men and wound 16 ; especially when aided by the muskets of those humane individuals who waded into the water to fire at the drowning crews. Including 10 seamen, 62 were officially reported as missing. Of these, it appears, 40 gained the shore, and “deserted” to the Americans. As more than that number of missing appear to have belonged to the two foreign companies, this creates no surprise ; especially, as the
only alternative left to the men was to become 1813. prisoners of war.
The policy of attacking Craney island, as a means Reof getting at Norfolk, whither the Constellation marks frigate had retired for shelter on the first arrival of policy the British in the Chesapeake, has been much
plan of tioned; but there can be only one opinion, surely, the about the wisdom of sending boats, in broad daylight, to feel their way to the shore, over shoals and mud-banks, and that in the very teeth of a formidable battery. Unlike most other nations, the Americans in particular, the British, when engaged in expeditions of this nature, always rest their hopes of success upon valour rather than numbers. But still, had the veil of darkness been allowed to screen the boats from view, and an hour of the night chosen, when the tide had covered the shoals with deep water, the same little party might have carried the batteries, and a defeat, as discreditable to those that caused, as honourable to those that suffered in it, might have been converted into a victory, As it was, the affair of Craney island, dressed up to advantage in the american official account, and properly commented upon by the government-editors, was hailed throughout the union as a glorious triumph, fit for Americans to achieve. . On the night of the 25th of June, the effective British men of the 102d regiment, canadian chasseurs, and and battalion-marines; also, three companies of ship's carry marines, the whole amounting to about 2000 men, ton. commanded by major-general Beckwith, embarked in a division of boats, placed under the orders of rear-admiral Cockburn, and, covered by the brigsloop Mohawk, and the launches of the squadron. About half an hour before daylight on the 26th, the advance, consisting of about 650 men, along with two 6-pounders, under lieutenant-colonel Napier, landed two miles to the westward of Hampton, a town about 18 miles from Norfolk, and separated from it by Hampton roads. Shortly afterwards, the
1813, main body, consisting of the royal marine-battalion
whole moved forward. As might be expected, the
A subject next presents itself for relation, upon
which it is painful to proceed. As soon as the mitted Americans were defeated, and driven from Hampton, inza- the british troops, or rather, the foreign troops, dermat for they were the principals, forming part of the
advanced force, commenced perpetrating upon the
No event of the war was so greeted by the
. requisition, until tale followed tale, each outdoing can de- the last in horror. The language of the brothel was
exhausted, and that of Billingsgate surpassed, to
way at the
tion against the british character and nation. A few 1813. of the boldest of the anti-government party stood July. up to undeceive the public; but the voice of reason was drowned in the general clamour, and it became as dangerous, as it was useless, to attempt to gain a hearing. The “George-town Federal-Republican,' of July 7, a newspaper published just at the verge Reof Washington city, and whose editor possessed the marks happy privilege of remaining untainted amidst a subject corrupted atmosphere, contained the following ac
by count: “The statement of the women of Hampton editor. being violated by the British, turns out to be false. A correspondence, upon that subject and the pillage said to have been committed there, has taken place between general Taylor and admiral Warren. Some plunder appears to have been committed, but it was confined to the french troops employed. Admiral Warren complains, on his part, of the Americans, having continued to fire upon the struggling crews of the barges, after they were sunk.”
On the 11th of July sir John Warren detached Rearrear-admiral Cockburn, with the Sceptre 74, into which ship he had now shifted his flag, the Romulus, burn Fox, and Nemesis, frigates armed en flûte, the OcraConflict gun-brig, and Highflyer and Cockchafer coke. tenders, having on board the 103d regiment, of about 500 rank and file, and a small detachment of artillery, to Ocracoke harbour, on the North-Carolina coast, for the purpose of putting an end to the commerce carried on from that port by means of inland navigation, and of destroying any vessels that might be found there. During the night of the 12th, the squadron arrived off Ocracoke bar; and, at 2 A.M. on the 13th, the troops were embarked in their boats; which, accompanied by the Conflict and tenders, pulled in three divisions towards the shore. Owing to the great distance and heavy swell, the advance division, commanded by lieutenant Westphal, first of the Sceptre, did not reach the shoalpoint of the harbour, behind which two ļarge armed
1813. vessels were seen at anchor, until considerably after July. daylight: consequently, the enemy was fully pre
pared for resistance.
The instant the british boats doubled the point, lieut. they were fired upon by the two vessels; but lieuWest- tenant Westphal, under cover of some rockets, cap- pulled directly for them, and had just got to the
brig's bows, when her crew cut the cables and abanlarge doned her.
The schooner's colours were hauled armed down by her crew about the same time. The latter
vessel proved to be the Atlas letter of marque, of
was not molested.
On the 11th of July, at 9 A. M., the two United States' gon-vessels Scorpion and Asp got under way from Yeocomico river, but soon afterwards
were chased back by the british brig-sloops Contest, ameri- captain James Rattray, and Mohawk, captain the
honourable Henry Dilkes Byng. The two brigs then
Contest and Mobawk chase two