Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

pliance with the dispatch, abandoned the Vigie at seven o'clock the same evening, arrived at Calliaqua without molestation; and from thence with his men was conveyed in boats to Sir William Young's Island and Rock. .

Captain Molesworth also evacuated the post at Morne Rhonde. The Vigie was once more occupied by the enemy, to the great alarm of the inhabitants. On the 29th his Majesty's ship Scipio arrived with a convoy of transports, having on board the 40th, 54th, and 59th regiments, who were landed without delay. The enemy called in all their out-posts and made every exertion to strengthen the Vigie. At ten o'clock on the night of the 1st of October, 750 men, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Strutt, marched by Calliaqua to the heights of Calder, where they lay concealed in a piece of standing corn.

Major-General Irving and Brigadier-General Meyers with the main body, about 1000 strong, marched at two o'clock from Greathead's house to Warawaroa Valley. At Augur's Pasture, Captain Boland of the 40th regiment was detached with 350 men, to gain the heights to the westward of the enemy's position. He was attacked in his ascent, but gallantly, though with considerable loss, gained the place. The two generals, with the 59th regiment, gained Fairbairn's Ridge by day break. To oppose their ascent from thence to the Vigie Ridge, the enemy posted their whole force on a small eminence, covered with a thick wood. The 59th, under Major M-Cleod, persevered in their attempts to climb the mountain, under a heavy fire of musketry, until the generals ordered them to retreat as it became dark. 100 men were killed and wounded in this unsuccessful attack.

The enemy, apprehensive of being attacked again during the night, and having almost expended their ammunition, abandoned the Vigie in the night, managing the thing so well that it was first discovered by accident. A drunken man, who had been a spectator of the action, lost his way back during the retreat, as did a sergeant and ten men of the 5th regiment: a Negro in the interest of the enemy offered to guide them to town, but instead of so doing betrayed them into the Vigie, with the intention of making them prisoners, when, finding that his friends had abandoned the place, he did so also, and left these men in possession of the Vigie. In the morning General Irving sent Lieutenant Kelly to take possession of that post, which he found pre-occupied by his drunken countryman, who is said to have refused him admittance until he had agreed to sign a receipt for the place.

Mount Young and Mount William now became the enemy's principal posts, and upon these they entrenched themselves. About the 16th of November the English took post on Forbes' Ridge, and from thence harassed their opponents with both shot and shell.

On the 29th Brigadier-General Stuart assumed the command, upon the resignation of General Irvine, and with a few inconsiderable skirmishes the year closed.

[blocks in formation]

In Jamaica, by the 15th of January, 91 men, 111 women and 124 children, Maroons, had surrendered to General Walpole ; and the next day Lord Balcarres had in his possession 400, of whom 130 were men.

General Walpole differed in opinion with Lord Balcarres; he had promised, in a secret article, that the Maroons should not be sent off the island. Lord Balcarres appointed ten o'clock on the Ist of January for them to come in and perform the treaty — this General Walpole found did not allow them time, however well disposed they might be. Upon the 17th he says, in his letter to Lord Balcarres, “ I hope your lordship will not think me unreasonable in requesting, at the termination of this rebellion, your permission to return to Europe, with a view to obtain his Majesty's consent, at a general peace, to a sale of my commission.”

Lord Balcarres calls them “ quicksilver rebels,” and suggests, that as a rumour may reach them, that they had not surrendered soon enough to be benefited by the terms of the treaty, which would make them uneasy — that their numbers resident with General Walpole may be reduced by every means he could devise.

Upon the 18th, General Walpole states, that thirty-two were still out. On the 20th, Lord Balcarres gives him permission to keep any number under ten, and their families may remain with them ; but he adds, “ I confess I shall enjoy no ease until I hear that all the rest are actually in Montego Bay.

On the 21st, General Walpole says, “ į have given assurances to the Maroons of a little longer indulgence for the coming in of their families, some few of whom, from sickness, are still with the remaining Maroons in the woods.” On the 22d of January, Lord Balcarres writes to General Walpole, “ It will be difficult, I may say impossible, for me to meet the legislature until this measure is effected ” [sending the Maroons to Montego Bay]. 6It will be impracticable for me to inform the assembly that these people have surrendered, unless I can give a much more solid proof of it than the information of their skipping about in Old Town." On the 23d General Walpole replies, " I am not so fortunate as to coincide with your way of thinking, and my reason is, that a very different line of conduct has produced the success which we have already experienced, and if pursued will probably produce more; the dogs had certainly nothing to do with it.” Lord Balcarres

Proceedings against the Maroons, pp. 31.37.

answers the same day, “ When I enforce the measure of sending these Maroons to Montego Bay, I surely take off from you all responsibility respecting the bad effects of our taking such a step, for which I am alone answerable. I therefore most earnestly and pointedly request, that all the Maroons may be sent to Montego Bay." General Walpole answers, the same date, “ Another batch of Maroons have just set off for Montego Bay, making from 90 to 100 men capable of bearing arms.” On the 24th, sixty-seven were sent off. On the 26th, General Walpole requests permission to send Smith, the Maroon, with eight others, to persuade the rest to come in. On the 27th, Lord Balcarres replies, “ that to allow him to do so would be in contradiction to the spirit of his orders.

The opinions of his Majesty's confidential servants are fixed and determined on the principles of carrying on this war: nothing can be left, under these circumstances, to your discretion. My orders therefore are, that the Maroons be sent down immediately to Montego Bay, — when the dogs are out, not when the dogs are in. They ought to march by moonlight.” On the 26th, General Walpole reports, from Old Maroon Town, that “ Colonel Skinner speaks highly of the activity and utility of the Spaniards and their dogs;" and next day states, “ that about twenty of the Maroons are now here, chiefly Smith's and Johnstone's families, and I did suppose that it had been left to my discretion to have retained that number; but they can be sent down on Friday, if your lordship should not alter your opinion. I thank your lordship for leaving nothing to my discretion; discretionary orders are too apt to be civil, and consequently not very precise. Your lordship will have the goodness to say, whether any and how many Maroons may be left here.” On the 28th he states, “ Johnstone and Smith have again assured me, that if I will go with them, or Skinner, they think that every man now out may be brought in. They will go with soldiers, but not dogs.” Lord Balcarres replies, is that Smith's application to go out without dogs convinces him that they had not a moment to lose. The best and most agreeable news that could possibly reach me to-morrow forenoon would be, to hear that all the Maroons are secured and marched off to Montego Bay. I am on thorns until that moment arrives.”

On the 29th, General Walpole reports his having sent the Maroons to Montego Bay, and regrets that the opportunity of bringing in the others should be lost. On the 31st, he states that he had been to Montego Bay, and from the crowded state of the barracks he apprehended some disorders would break out among the Maroons, and suggests planking the stables for them, and he asks for 1000 or 1200 Negroes as pioneers, “ to get with all possible dispatch through the remainder of the work.”

Lord Balcarres says, “his requisition will startle the country,

umber that it haciefly Smith," that sility

His lordshieport I have

the diffe general adds, me brought in.es.

usly wished to the rebels se take every declare it w

and that roads and communications should not be made without an act of the legislature ;” and adds, “ I think you give much more consideration to the present state of the war than either I or the country do.—Your request to have nothing left to your discretion is totally incompatible with the very high situation in which you are placed ; and the great opinion I have had of the proper exercise of that discretion assuredly will justify the favorable report I have made to his Majesty of your services.” His lordship then asks for a return of the arms brought in. The reply is ninety-five and the general adds, “ I must repeat, that if your lordship had had the different communications and conferences on the spot, that you would then have been more of my opinion.”

On February the 2d, Lord Balcarres states to General Walpole, “ My object has been to keep myself free and uncommitted; by no means to cramp you in any point that I am not forced to. – I do not know your opinion respecting the treaty, nor do I desire to know it; I have formed my own, and must declare it when I am called upon. You will of course take every means in your power to get in or destroy the rebels who are still out. But what I have anxiously wished for, namely, the securing the persons of these Maroons, has been executed, and I can now report with correctness and security: while these people remained in the Old Town, I could advance nothing but with incorrectness and insecurity. You may always keep any three Maroon men with you that you fix upon (Montague, James, and old Jarrett excepted), but no terms can be held to the rebels now out.” His lordship then states his intention of sending 160 Maroons from Montego Bay to St. Ann's. On February the 12th, the general reports, that Johnson had brought in six Maroons, with a number of women and children — that the remainder, seeing their countrymen sent off to Montego Bay, have construed it into treachery on our part. “I am told,” he says, " that some came to surrender, and upon this went back to the woods. Their want of water is, I understand, extreme; they cannot get any but what they draw from the wild pines. I have offered no terms but lives.” The general adds, that the want of water prevented his attending the Maroon party with a detachment of troops; but he was satisfied of their fidelity, and recommends seven of them by name. On the 18th, he mentions his intention of cutting a road to Pond River, the place where the Maroons made their last stand, in order to avail himself of the water, in case any expedition should be sent into the woods; he also complains of the commis. sioners not furnishing provisions. On the 20th Lord Balcarres says, “I am convinced the country will be of opinion, that martial law ought not to be continued. If, however, the banditti of runaway slaves have gone down to Old Womans Savanna, the 14th light dragoons must occupy posts in that neighbourhood; the country

Proceedings against the Maroons, p. 65.

that lies behind it, I believe, never was explored.” On the 29th, his lordship complains, “ that some Maroons have been permitted to go from Montego Bay to Falmouth unguarded, and orders them all to be strictly guarded.” The Maroons residing in Westmorland were ordered to be liberated, as they had no connection with the rebel town. On March the 4th Lord Balcarres says, “The country is extremely alarmed at the circumstance of several of the Maroon prisoners having been seen at St. Ann's, going at large without guards; I beg that no relaxation may take place respecting guarding against all possible escape of any of these Maroons."

General Walpole, on the 5th, congratulates his lordship upon “ having again the opportunity of finally and effectually terminating the rebellion.” He says, “I shall grant lives only. I have been too scandalously traduced already, to exert my judgment for the public good. Notwithstanding your lordship's ratification of the terms heretofore granted, I shall endeavour to keep the matter afloat till I may be honoured with your lordship's commands, for I cannot but apprehend that they may make some effort to get to windward, desperate as it may appear, should they be dealt with too rigidly in their conceptions. On the 9th Lord Balcarres replies, “ In your letter of the 5th instant, you write me that you have been too scandalously traduced already to exert your judgment for the public good, notwithstanding my ratification of the terms heretofore granted. This I do know, that all public men every where will be traduced by restless and violent characters; but my ratifying the treaty which you signed sufficiently marks the support which I gave to that measure, and the respectable council that advised me to ratify it bears you out as well as myself. — It stands on the minutes taken at that council, that provided the Maroons performed the first and third articles of the treaty, that the secret articles should be complied with. Every man, however, will form his own opinion as to those two points; — first, whether or not the treaty is a wise one; secondly, if it has been performed. As to the first and second articles, my mind is made up upon the subject, and my opinion is, that if force had not been sent out against them, in conformity to my orders of the 14th of January, issued in consequence of my receiving your letter of that date, they would not have come in at all. I am perfectly aware of the favourable opinion you have of the Smiths and Johnstone, and I shall represent it to the assembly at a proper time. I wish to make a remark upon the first part of your letter of the 5th, which runs in these words, “I give you joy of having again the opportunity of finally and effectually terminating the rebellion. This, I presume, alludes to the circumstance of your wishing to keep the Maroon prisoners at the Maroon town, instead of sending them to the coast; I really cannot state this to have been a difference of opinion between yourself and me, and I am free to

« AnteriorContinuar »