« AnteriorContinuar »
meditated against fort Armstrong, that has been prevented. general Floyd is operating on the east side of the Talapoosie, as
suppose him to be, a most fortunate diversion has been made in his favour. The number of the enemy has been diminished, and the confidence they may have derived from the delays I have been made to experience, has been destroyed. Discontent has been kept out of my army, while the troops who have been exposed to it, have been beneficially employed. The enemy's country has been explored, and a road cut to the point where they will be concentrated when they shall be driven from the country below. But, in a report of this kind, and to you who will immediately perceive them, it is not necessary to state the happy consequences which may be expected to result from this excursion. Unless I am greatly mistaken, it will be found to have hastened the termination of the Creek war, more effectually than any measure T could have taken with the troops under my command.
I am, &c.
Maj. Gen. Tennessee Volunteers. Major general Thomas Pinckney.
CHARLESTON, January 31st, 1814. SIR,
I have the honour to inform you that yesterday morning, about 4 o'clock, I received information express from Stono, that the United States' schooner Alligator had been the evening before ehased in by an enemy's squadron, and attacked in the night by a detachment of boats. I immediately repaired to the place, and ordered two barges round, and a detachment of seamen overland, from the Nonsuch, to her assistance. About 8 A. M. I got on board the Alligator, then some distance up the river. I received the following information from sailing master Bassett, her commander; that he sailed on Saturday morning from the river of: North Edisto, for Charleston. Soon after leaving the bar, discovered an enemy's squadron, consisting of a frigate, a heavy brig, and a hermaphrodite, which gave chace to him—wind light from the south-west ; he found that the frigate would cut him off from Charleston, and in the evening run into the river and hove to; the enemy then close off the bar; and from their manouvres was of opinion they intended to send in their boats, He stood up the river about two miles, and anchored, prepared for action. About a quarter before 8 P. M. the moon very bright, discovered six of the enemy's boats shove off from under the marsh abreast him, and within pistol shot (having under cover of the inarsh, with múfiled oars, approached this near without discovery), he immediately gave them a broadside, whịch was returned;
cut his cable and made sail, when the action continued for 30 minutes, close on board ; soon after making way, the pilot was unfortu. nately mortally wounded, and the schooner grounded ; at this time their largest barges were disabled, and about musket shot distance astern, when they retreated and have not since been seen. The Alligator's rigging and sails, from the topsail yard down, are literally cut to pieces, and but few shot in her hull, two men killed and two wounded, one severely, and the pilot (Mr. Hatch, a very respectable master of a vessel in this port, having a large family depending entirely on his exertions for support) mortally wounded. Great credit is due to sailing master Bassett, his officers and crew, for defeating a force so greatly superior in numbers, as there could not have been less than 140 men opposed to forty. The enemy, by the information received from the inhabitants immediately on the river, must have suffered severely, as there was great confusion on board them while retreating, and the largest boat appeared to be so much injured as to require the assistance of the others. I left the schooner last night in Wappoo Cut, and she will be here as soon as the weather will permit. When I receive Mr. Bassett's official report, I shall do myself the honour to forward it, for your further information.
I have the honour to be, &c.
J. H. DENT. Hon. Wm. Jones, Secretary of the Navy.
Extracts of letters from general Floyd to general Pinckney.
CAMP NEAR FORT HALL, February 2d, 1814. “SIR,
“ I arrived with the army at this place yesterday. I apprised you in my last of the necessity of falling back. The arrival of twelve wagons in the evening, the prospect of reinforcements, and the handsome terms in which you have been pleased to approbate the conduct of the army in the late affair with the enemy, I flatter myself will contribute to the accomplishment of my labors to preserve the honour and reputation of the army. I now entertain a gleam of hope that things will end well. No means on my part have or will be neglected to effect so desirable an object. Reasoning, seasoned with threats of the consequences, and the direful effects which followed the improper conduct of the New York militia, have been represented in strong terms; nor have I omitted to remind them of their pledges to the government to brave dangers, encounter toil and endure privation—to risk life and fortune in support of the common cause. You
rest assured that I shall employ all the means in my power to promote the public interest.
" Since my report of the battle of the 27th, I am well assured, that seven of the enemy's slain have been found in one grave in Canlibee swamp, and five others in an adjacent one. Accept my acknowledgments for the terms in which you have been pleased to approbate my conduct-my endeavours to continue to merit it will be unremitting."
“ February 30, 1814. “I am informed that the enemy are in possession of our works at Camp Defiance, on their way to attack us, which in all probability they will attempt to night. We are well prepared, and will give a good account of them, if they attempt the execution of their designs, I this morning sent off the most of our wounded and sick."
HEAD QUARTERS, FORT STROTHER, February 17th, 1814. SIR,
Your two letters of the 8th and 14th instant, have been receiv. ed, but from the continued hurry of business with which I am surrounded, I have not had time to answer them until now.
The importance of the service you have rendered, and the deep interest you have taken in forwarding my views and the objects of the campaign, command my sincere thanks. I hope you will continue to aid in procuring the means and transporting the supplies to this place : the active exertions of a patriot of sixty-five years of age, will certainly stimulate the youthful soldier to his duty; such examples have become necessary; I find those who talk most of war and make the greatest bustle about our injured rights at home, are the last to step forward in vindication of those rights. Patriotism is an appendage which such men wear as a coquette does a fine ribband, merely for show, and to be laid aside or applied as necessity may require. I have the honour to be, &c.
Major general commanding. Colonel William Cocke,
UNITED STATES FRIGATE PRESIDENT,
SANDY HOOK BAY, February 19th, 1814. SIR,
I have to acquaint you that I arrived at my present an. chorage last evening at 5 o'clock, after a cruize of seventy-five days, and now have the honour to detail to you the particulars In pursuance to your directions, I sailed from Providence the 5th December; and although I expected to have run the gauntlet
through the enemy's squadron, that was reported to be cruizing between Block Island and Gayhead for the purpose of intercepting the President, I had the good luck to avoid them. The day after leaving Providence, I re-captured the American schooner Comet, of, and bound to, New York, with a cargo of cotton from Savannah, which had been captured by the Ramilies and Loire, and in their possession about 48 hours. In a few hours after recapturing the Comet, a sail was discovered to the eastward, which I felt inclined to avoid, from the circumstance of the weather being hazy, and knowing that I was in the neighbourhood of an enemy's squadron. From an advantage of wind, she was enabled, however to gain our lee beam at a distance of three or four miles, owing to which I was induced to shorten sail, with the intention of offering her battle in the morning, should nothing else be in sight, and she not be a ship of the line. The weather becoming more obscure at 2 o'clock, prevented our seeing her until day-light, when she stood from us to the north east, although the President was hove to, to let her come up. From this date until the 25th, we did not see a single sail, except
the Recovery (a brig belonging and bound to Penobscot, from St.Bartholomew, in ballast) until after reaching the longitude of 35, and latitute 19, being carried that far eastward by a severe S. W.gale, accompanied by such a heavy sea, as to render heaving to impracticable without infinite risk, when two large sail were discovered standing to the northward, and to which I gave chase, believing, as well from the situation in which they were first discovered, as the manifest disposition they afterwards showed to avoid a separation, that one was a frigate and the other an Indiaman under her convoy ; in this I was mistaken, for on a nearer approach I could discover the headmost was a frigate with seven ports abaft her gangway. and the other a ship of equal or little inferior force. On discovering their decided superiority, and supposing them to be enemy's ships, I endeavored, during the succeeding night, to separate them by steering different courses, and occasionally shewing a light, but was unable to succeed, for the headmost was at one time so near that she fired a shot over us, whilst her consort was but a few hundred yards astern of her. I now directed our course to be altered, made sail, and continued the remainder of the night to shew them light occasionally, but to no effect, as at day-light they were discovered to be in a situation to unite their force. After this I shaped a course to reach a position to windward of Barbadoes, on a parallel of longitude with Cayenne, and did not meet another vessel till the 30th, when falling in with a Portuguese brig, and receiving information that she had been boarded 36 hours before by two British store ships, bound to the West Indies with 300 troops on board, I crowded sail to the westward in the hope of overtaking them; in this I was again disappointed, and after a pursuit of four days, hauled further southward to gain the latitude of Barbadoes; and in that situation, on the 5th of
January captured the British merchant ship Wanderer, of 7 guins and 16 men, from London bound to Jamaica, partly loaded with plantation stores, and after taking from her such light articles as were of most value, sunk her. In the same position, on the 7th, I fell in with the British merchant ship Prince George, in the character of a cartel with prisoners, which, with 4 other British vessels, had been captured by two French 44 gun frigates, the Medusa and Nymph, the same ships I had fallen in with 14 days before. On board of the Prince George I sent the prisoners captured in the Wanderer to Barbadoes, on parole. On the 9th of January, while still to windward of Barbadoes, I captured the ship Edward, of 6 guns and 8 men, from London bound to Laguira, in ballast—which vessel I also sunk. Having learned from the master of the Edward as well as the Wanderer and Prince George, that they had been separated in the Bay of Biscay from their convoy, consisting of the Queen 74, two frigates, and two sloops of war, I was induced, owing to a belief that the convoy was still to the eastward, to remain to windward of Barbadoes until the 16th January, when finding they must have passed, I changed my ground and ran off Cayenne, and from thence down the coast of Surinam, Berbice and Demarara, though between Tobago and Grenada, thence through the Caribbean sea, along the southeast side of Porto Rico, through the Mona passage, down the north side of Jamaica, and other leeward islands, without meeting a single vessel of the enemy, or any other than four Spanish droggers and one Swedish ship, until I got near the Manilla reef ; near which, after capturing and sinking the British schooner Jonathan, loaded with rum and dry goods (the most valuable part of which I took on board) I hauled over for the Florida shore and struck soundings off St. Augustine, and from thence run on soundings as far as Charleston, passing within 4 or 5 miles of Colum-' bia island, and as near to Savannah as the weather and depth of water would allow, without meeting a single vessel except a Spanish ship from the Havanna bound to-Spain, but steering for Savannah in consequence of having sprung a leak.
Arriving of Charleston, (which was on the 11th instant,) I stretched close in with the Bar, and made the private signal of the day to two schooners lying in Rebellion Roads, and which, from their appearance, I believed to be public vessels. After remaining all day off the Bar, with colours hoisted, and the beforementioned signal displayed, without being able to communicate with the schooners, I stood to the northward, and at seven o'clock the next morning, discovered and chased a ship to the southward, which, after pursuing eight or nine miles, led me to a second sail, (a brig under her topsails, with her top-gallant masts housed, and her flying gib-boom rigged in), and from thence to the discovery of a third sail, represented from the mast-head to be a large frigate ; on discovering the third sail, added to the manouvres of the first and second, I was induced to believe them part of an ene