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Lieutenant-Colonel Seton, and a detachment of seamen from the Roebuck, by Lieutenant Samuel Grove. On the 26th they attempted to land in the rear of some batteries and houses, but the road was found impracticable, and Colonel Seton determined to attack the batteries in front. A landing was effected under cover of the armed vessels; and the assailants, though exposed to a heavy fire of grape shot and musketry, and numbers of large rocky fragments, which were rolled from the height upon them, ascended the angular path, and drove all before them. "Vast quantities of provisions were destroyed, all the houses were burnt, sixteen of their canoes were also taken. Our loss was three seamen killed and ten wounded, and nine soldiers wounded. The French sent reinforcements to the Caribs, and took post on the Vigie. From Dorsetshire Hill their fortifications soon appeared respectable.
On the 7th of May, nine columns of the enemy, estimated at 1000 men, descended the hills, and marched toward the camp at Calliaqua. They halted upon the discharge of the first gun, beat a parley, and sent a French officer with a Hag of truce to summon the British commander to surrender. The Hon. Captain Molesworth returned a proper answer. In an hour the young Frenchman returned: he exhorted Captain Molesworth not to provoke an attack, as he was too feeble to resist ; said that he came to make the last overtures he was to expect, which were, that he might march to Kingston unmolested, provided he laid down his arms and left the camp as it then was, with all the ammunition and stores it contained. Captain Molesworth repeated his determination to defend the place to the last extremity.
While these negociations were carrying on, the Alarm frigate hove in sight. If Captain Molesworth had surrendered, a party of Caribs were stationed in the mill and Negro houses belonging to Sir William Young, on the road to Kingston, to attack the unarmed soldiers; and this was the French plan; they then intended to throw the blame upon their allies.
The Alarm stood for Calliaqua: in less than an hour she anchored near the camp, commenced a well-directed and destructive fire upon the enemy, and landed a body of seamen, who drove all before them.
About one o'clock the next morning, the French, with a body of disaffected Negroes and Mulattoes, attacked the British out-posts, drove them from Dorsetshire Hill, and obtained a six pounder.
During the attack, the troops on Berkshire Hill were drawn up, “ waiting in suspense the result of the conflict.” When that was known, they were ordered to march, and retake a place which had been suffered to fall without their assistance. At daybreak, the troops, under the command of Captain Forster, Major Seton, and Major Whytell, had gained the summit of the hill; and, after a
Coke's West Indies, vol. ii. pp. 212, 213, 214.
sharp conflict of two hours, regained possession of it. Numbers of the enemy threw themselves headlong from the precipices, and were dashed to pieces. Forty-eight lay dead, nineteen of whom were Whites. Only five prisoners were taken.
Those who escaped from Dorsetshire Hill retired to the Vigie, which they fortified with the greatest diligence. The hill is about one hundred yards in length, and twenty in breadth, bounded almost wholly by vallies, hardly passable. This hill they barricaded with sugar hogsheads filled with sand. Within musket-shot to the N.W., was another small conical hill, which became their first redoubt. About cannon-shot, nearly in the same direction, was another hill that commanded the road from Kingston: this was their advanced post. Lieutenant-Colonel Ritchie, with 600 of the 60th, and Major Malcolm's rangers, having joined the forces, it was determined that the Vigie should be attacked.
On the night of the 11th of June, the troops destined for the attack, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Leighton of the 46th, halted, about ten o'clock, at Warawarow River, four miles from the Vigie: separated into four corps, and marched in different directions to invest the enemy. It was necessary to storm the advanced posts first: the westernmost was carried without much opposition — the fugitives were followed to the next, which was as easily won. To regain these posts the French made a sortie; but perceiving they were liable to be flanked by another corps coming up, they retreated within their works, and commenced a heavy cannonade. Two six pounders and a mortar were brought to play upon them, and a mutual firing kept up for five hours; by that time the French had expended all their shot. They therefore beat a parley, and sent a shabby-looking officer to Colonel Leighton, with an offer to surrender the place, if they might be permitted to carry their arms and wounded to the Carib country. Colonel Leighton insisted upon their surrendering at discretion. The negociation was a feint to gain time, whilst they abandoned the Vigie. They were discovered and charged. Numbers perished, but several escaped. Very few prisoners were taken: the Vigie was covered with their dead and dying. The killed and wounded of the British did not exceed thirty."
Colonel Leighton left Captain Cope of the 60th, with fifty men, to garrison the Vigie, and marched for Mount Young, with such rapidity, that some men died from fatigue; but no other loss was suffered in taking it. Upon Mount Young the English entrenched themselves, and sent some troops, under the command of Major Ecuyer, to assist Captain Otway, of his Majesty's sloop Thorn, in the capture of a promontory called Ouia, on the north-west coast. which defended a landing-place, where the enemy received their supplies. This was effected without much loss, and the enemy were supposed to be shut up from all possibility of relief; but they crossed the mountains, and took possession of Morne Rhonde, and afterwards of a hill near the English camp at Chateaubellair. Until now, these mountains had been deemed impassable: they are very high, very rugged, and covered with wood.
This unexpected change of situation enabled them to receive reinforcements from St. Lucia, and changed the appearance of the campaign. Colonel Gordon commanded at Chateaubellair; but Lieutenant-Colonel Prevost arriving with reinforcements, the command became his. It was then ordered that the enemy's position should be stormed. Some sailors were landed from his Majesty's sloop Thorn, to assist at the operation. The different parties marched to their respective stations about two o'clock, and the assault was made before day-light. The fall of Lieutenant Moore, who led the way, threw the van into confusion. The enemy came forward to every little eminence, kept up an incessant fire of small arms, and turned the confusion into a flight.
The loss in killed and wounded was very severe, and the savages refused to part with the body of a Mr. Gregg, one of the most respectable men on the island.
Colonel Leighton, with the 46th, was now recalled from Mount Young, and landed at Walliabou, four miles from Colonel Gordon's camp at Chateaubellair : he ascended the heights unperceived by the enemy, and sat down in their rear, with two pieces of ordnance. In the night the enemy retreated, but were so closely pursued, that all their efforts to save a field-piece were ineffectual. În forty-eight hours they were again on Morne Rhonde, which was only accessible in one direction, and that through a very thick wood.
Colonel Leighton was soon encamped on an opposite ridge; and, for the first time, found the enemy were possessed of a mortar. A mutual bombardment continued for some days; but on the 4th of July, the Morne was stormed. The advance were discovered by the enemy's piquet, and suffered severely from their ambushed foes; but, with a rapid and determined march, they reached the advanced redoubt. After an hour's defence, the place was stormed, and then the savages fled in all directions. One four pounder and one mortar were found in the camp, and the commandant and aidde-camp of the redoubt made prisoners. The English loss was sixteen killed, and several wounded. Colonel Leighton garrisoned the newly-acquired post, and returned to Mount Young.
General Grey left General Prescott to command in Martinico, and proceeded himself, on the 31st of March, with Sir J. Jervis, to attack St. Lucia.
On the 2d of April, several landings were made on St. Lucia ;
Coke's West Indies, vol. ii. pp. 226, 227. Edwards, vol. iii. p. 458.
Naval Chronicle, vol. xvii. p. 389.
ay at their mieher to remain up of the English goveF 300 men, sur
one under General Dundas near Gros Islet, another near Islet du Choc, and another under Prince Edward at the Cul de Sac des Roseaux. The same night Colonel Coote landed at the Grand Cul de Sac, into which harbour the ships came the next day. The following night Colonel Coote attacked a redoubt close to the fort, put the garrison (forty men) to the sword, spiked the guns, and retired. A summons was then sent to General Ricard, desiring him to surrender Morne Fortune, or it would be stormed that night. He replied, “ that he was determined to die at his post, and all his garrison were equally determined.” The landing the seamen with the scaling ladders, and other preparations, brought a flag of truce from the old general in the evening, saying his garrison had deserted him, and asking what terms would be given “ to an old man who had served his king faithfully near forty years, and then lay at their mercy ?” He was allowed all the honours of war, and his choice either to remain upon the island, or go to England, recommended to the protection of the English government.
On the 4th of April, the fortress, consisting of 300 men, surrendered on the same terms as had been granted to General Rochambeau at Martinico. General Ricard obtained leave to go to America.
Sickness soon appeared among the English troops. The night after they were landed, the second battalion of grenadiers remained in the open air, and the next morning forty of the best men were on the sick list.
Sir Charles Gordon was left governor of the island, and the army returned to Martinico.
The Quebec, Captain Rogers, Blanche, Captain Faulknor, Ceres, Captain Incledon, and Rose, Captain Scott, were sent to take possession of the Saintes, which was done by a party of seamen and marines with great gallantry. On the 8th of April, Admiral Sir J. Jervis, with the army, sailed from Fort Royal. On the 10th, the Boyne and Veteran anchored in Point à Petre Bay, but the transports did not get in until the following day. A detachment of troops, with 500 marines, were landed at Gozier Bay at one in the morning, under cover of the Winchelsea, Captain Lord Viscount Garlies, who placed his ship within half musket-shot of the battery, and soon silenced it. Under cover of his fire, the troops landed in a surf which swamped the Veteran's pinnace, and damaged several of the flat boats. The enemy spiked the guns in Gozier battery, and abandoned it and the village. · At midnight of the 11th of April, General Dundas, with the light infantry, joined by Captain Nevilles, fifty marines, and 200 seamen from the Veteran and Winchelsea, marched off in one column by a road that led through a post, which had been
Edwards, vol. iii. p. 459, 460.
Annual Register, 1794, pp. 339.
reconnoitred, in order to be at daylight under the Fleur d’Epée, with two other columns, one under Colonel Symes, the other under Prince Edward. Colonel Symes marched near the coast, the Prince by a road between him and General Dundas. At the first post they found the guard ready: the English advanced, without Aints in their muskets, in dead silence, under a shower of musketry, into the battery. Lieutenant Whitlock was left with some seamen and marines to guard this post, and the general pushed on for Fleur d’Epée. Ăs the day dawned the storming began, under a heavy fire of musketry: the ascent of the part allotted to the seamen was scarcely practicable.
The fort being attacked in all quarters, all retreat for the garrison was cut off, and 150 of them were killed.
The garrison consisted of 232 men. Fort St. Louis, the town of Point à Petre, and a battery upon Islet à Cochon, were abandoned : thus the possession of Grand Terre was complete.
The colours of the second battalion of the regiment de Guadaloupe were taken in the battery near Point à Petre by Mr. Herbert, of his Majesty's ship Veteran, and given to Sir Charles Grey.
The seamen were reimbarked, and the light infantry under General Dundas, and landed again on the 15th of April between L'Ance des Vieu Habitans and La Baillie in Basse Terre. The Prince, Sir C. Grey, and Colonel Symes, landed on the 14th at Petit Bourg, and marched along the coast to Basse Terre, the enemy abandoning every thing before them. General Dundas, with a large body of seamen and marines under Captain Nugent, notwithstanding the enemy had made abattis in every ravine at the passage over every river, got possession of the parks, withịn half gun-shot of Morne Houel, which was attacked on the night of the 19th. Colonel Blundell was to lead one column, and Captain Nugent to command the other : the assailants marched across ravines thirty feet deep, and climbed up by the roots of trees. Colonel Blundell took possession of the fort at daylight.
The post of Palmiste was carried by Prince Edward and Colonel Symes, and that of Houelmont by Major-General Dundas. On the 21st the French governor capitulated, upon the same terms as the other island. General Collot had under his command, when he surrendered, 5877 troops.
This conquest was effected with the loss of only seventeen men killed, and about fifty wounded, on the part of the English.
Captain Faulknor to his Mother.
“ His Majesty's ship Blanche, Guadaloupe, April 22, 1794. 6. After a campaign unexampled for fatigue and severe service, the conquest of Guadaloupe was completed yesterday, with two
Annual Register, 1799, p. 340.
Edwards, vol. iii. p. 461.