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my's squadron, and accordingly hauled up and stood for the former, to sscertain her character; and after making her from the deck, perceived she tas a frigate as reported. I now shortened sail, believing that towards night I might be able to cut off the ship, (which was either a small frigate or large sloop of war,) and brig, from the third or largest sail, at this time nine or ten miles to windward ; in this, however, I was not able to effect my purpose, owing to the weather-sail (between sun-set and dark) bearing down for the others. Judging now from their manouvres, that after dark they would chase, I stood to the eastward, under short sail; believing that in the morning I might find them in some disorder ; at day-light, however, owing to the haziness of the weather, they were not to be seen; consequently, I wore and stood back to the westward to make them again, and in a few minutes discovered two, one on the lee, the other on the weather bow, to which I gave chace, but after chasing them about half an hour, the weather becoming more clear, and two large ships suddenly making their appearance, one on the weather and the other on the lee beam, I changed my course to the east-vard, when the four immediately crowded sail in pursuit ; but owing to the weather, assisted by the enemy's manner of chasing, I was enabled to get clear of them without difficulty in a few hours. From this I pursued a course on soundings (except in doubling Cape Hatteras) to eighteen fathom water oif the Delaware, where, in a fog, I tell in with a large vessel apparently a man of war. Shortened sail to topsails and cleared ship for action, but she suddenly disappearing, and in a few minutes she, or some other vessel near, being heard to fire signal guns, I stood on to the northward, from a belief I was near another squadron. From the Delaware I saw nothing until I made Sandy Hook, when I again fell in with another of the enemy's squadrons, and by some unaccountable cause was permitted to enter the bay, although in the presence of a decidedly superior force, after having been obliged to remain outside seven hours and a half waiting for tie tide.
I am, &c.
JOHN RODGERS. Ilon. Wm. Jones, Secretary of the Nary.
BOSTON, March, 1814. Having lately seen in the British Naval Chronicle, for May last, a publication signed Thomas Cook Jones, surgeon of his Britannic majesty's late ship Java; in which accusations of ill treatment towards the British wounded prisoners, whilst on board the United States' frigate Constitution, under the command of com
modore Bainbridge, are brought forward; I conceive it my duty, lest silence should be construed into an acknowledgement of its correctness, to expose some of the falsehoods composing that state. ment. After introducing himself with considerable egotisın, and much parade of professional skill, he makes the following observations :
“ Their (the British wounded) removal to the Constitution, the deprivations they there experienced as to food, and the repeated disturbances they suffered by being carried below, and kept there for several hours, three different times, on the report of an enemy heaving in sight : when these, I say, are considered, and the results contrasted with those of the American wounded, four of whom who lost their limbs died when I was on board, were laid in cots, placed in the most healthy parts of the ship, provided with every little laxury from competent and attentive nurses, and not allowed to be removed, when ours were thrust into the hold with the other prisoners, the hatches at once shutting out light and fresh air, and this too in the latitude of St. Salvador, the recovery of our seamen appears as miraculous as it proved happy; and truly evinced both resignation and courage in patiently submitting, without a complaint, to the cruelties of their situation, and firmly contending with every obstacle which chance or oppression could present or inflict. 'l'he Americans seemed very desirous not to allow any of our officers to witness the nature of their wounded, or compute their numbers. I ordered one of my assistants, Mr. Caponi, to attend, when their assistant went round, and he enumerated forty-six who were unable to stir from their cots, independent of those who had received what they called “slight hurts.”... Commodore Bainbridge was severely wounded in the right thigh, and four of their amputations perished under my inspection. “I have noticed these facts, that
be convinced of the falsity of their official despatches, and to authorize their being received with some degree of scepticism.
“ I sent my assistant, with most of the wounded men, in the evening, and remained myself in the Java, till within a few minutes of her being set on fire: one poor fellow only remained, who had received a musket ball, which entered the right orbit and remained imbedded in the brain : he was in articulo mortis, and I begged the American lieutenant to let me stay with him undisturbed for a few minutes, as I expected his inmediate dissolution.
“This Yankee son of humanity proposed assisting him into eternity; I instantly dragged him into the boat, and he expired along side the Constitution,”
It is not true that there was any distinction made between the British and American wounded : they were slung promiscuously together on the gun deck, and every thing which humanity could dictate that the ship afforded, was provided for their coniuit and
convenience. This ship was cleared for action but once during the time they were on board ; that was when the Hornet hove in sight, and as soon as her character could be ascertained, all the wounded, British and American, were brought on the gun deck together. Captain Lambert and Mr Waldo, were the only two persons not removed to the BirTH DECK on this occasion; the former was left to the last moment, from principles of delicacy us well as humanity. Every exertion was made to land the prisoners at St. Salvador as soon as possible, that they might be provided with every little luxury from competent and attentive nurses,” that our men of course could not receive on board.
It is equally false that we had forty-six men wounded. “Slight hurts,” and all others included, there were twenty-five only. Why request his assistant to attend for the porpose of counting them, when doctor Jones himself, or any other officer on board, could have enumerated them, if he chose, an hundred times a day? The doctor says four of our amputations perished under his own inspection. We had but five amputations altogether; four of them are now receiving pensions froin their country, and may be seen almost any day about the Navy Yard at Charlestown; and the fifth died of a malignant fever, north of the equator one month after the action. It is a fact, susceptible of the clearest and most positive proof, that not one of our men died during the time the doctor was on board the Constitution, nor until some time after we left St Salvador.
“ This Yankee son of humanity proposed assisting him into eternity," &c. No man who knows lieutenant Hoffman, will hesitate to pronounce doctor Jones an infamous calumniator. He (lieutenant Hoffman) is as remarkable for goodness of heart, for humane and tender feelings, for gentlemanly and correct conduct, as doctor Jones now is for his capacity to assert base and unqualified falsehoods. Lieutenant (then midshipman) German, who was present when this man was removed from the Java, and whose word no one will question, asserts that no such observation was made; on the contrary, that he, (Mr. G.) by the orders of lieutenant Hoffman, repeatedly solicited doctor Jones to visit the man then spoken of, and endeavor, if possible, to relieve him ; but that he neglected even to see him, until they were ready tor's request. If the doctor's charge had been founded in truth, would he not have reported lieutenant Hoffman immediately on his arrival at the Constitution? The ward room officers of the Constitution will recollect to have heard doctor Jones frequently spoken of during the cruize as an inhuman monster for his conduct to this same unfortunate sailor.
I leave the punishment due his presumption for calling in question "official despatches,” (after having fabricated himself such a tissue of assertions, without even a coloring of truth) to the first
officer of the Constitution, who may have the good fortune of an opportunity of taking him by the nose.
When the officers of the Java left the Constitution at St. Salvador, they expressed the warmest gratitude for the humane and generous treatment they had experienced; nor was this contemptible hypocrite sparing of his acknowledgments on that occasion. After having suffered every thing from the officers of the Constitution “ oppression could inflict," why come forward and offer thanks for kind and handsome treatment? [See letters of general Hislop and others.]
To complete the climax of false assertions relative to that account, one of the lieutenants of the Java, in a letter to the editor of the Naval Chronicle for June, asserts, that I an Irishman by birth, and was lately an assistant surgeon in the British Navy!” The truth is, I was born in the state of Maryland, and had never been on the ocean, except in the service of my country. I pledge myself to substantiate, by the most respectable testimony, should it be necessary, every thing that I have here staied.
I challenge the British to give a solitary instance, where they have given a faithful and candid relation of the result of their actions with us, since the declaration of the present war. They have, of late, established for themselves, a kind of national character, that, I trust, none will envy them the possession of; they have proved that although they may not always be able to conquer in battle, they can prevaricate, defame or mistake with as much ease as any nation on earth.
AMOS A. EVANS,
DETROIT, March 7th; 1814.
By lieutenant Shannon, of the 27th regiment of the United States' infantry, I have the honour of informing you, that a detachment of the troops under my command, led by captain Holmes of the 24th regiment of United States infantry, have obtained a signal victory over the enemy.
The affair took place on the 4th instant, about 100 miles from this place, on the river de French. Our force, consisted of no more than 160 rangers and mounted infantry. The enemy, from their own acknowledgment, had about 240. The fine light company of Royal Scots, is totally destroyed; they led the attack most gallantly, and their commander fell within ten paces of our front line. The light company of the 89th has also suffered severely, one officer of that company fell, one is a prisoner, and another is said to be badly wounded. In killed, wounded, and prisoners, the enemy lost about 80, whilst on our part there werd
but four killed and four wounded. This great disparity in the loss on each side, is to be attributed to the very judicious position occupied by captain Holmes, who compelled the enemy to attack bim at great disadvantage ; this, even more than his gallantry, merits the laurel.
Captain Holmes has just returned, and will furnish a detailed account of the expedition, which shall immediately be transmitted
I have the honour to be, &c.
Lieutenant colonel commanding at Detroit. Major general Harrison.
Enemy's forces as stated by the prisoners : Royal Scots, 101 : 89th Regiment, 45; Militia, 50; Indians, 40 to 60-total, 236.
P. S. We took 100 head of cattle also from the enemy, intended for Long Point or Burlington,
FORT COVINGTON, March 10th, 1814. SIR,
I have the honour to submit in writing, that the expedition sent under my command against the enemy's posts, by your special orders of the 21st ultimo, had the good fortune, on the 4th instant, to meet and subdue a force, double its own, fresh from the barracks, and led by a distinguished officer.
I had been compelled to leave the artillery by the invincible difficulties of the route from Point au Plait to the Round O. No wheel carriage of any kind had ever attempted it before, and none will ever pass it until the brush and fallen timber are cut away, and the swamp cause-wayed or drained. After joining captain Gill, I began the march for Fort Talbot, but was soon convinced of its being impossible to reach the post, in time to secure any force which might be there or adjacent. This conviction, united with the information, that the enemy had a force at Delaware, upon the Thames, that I should be expected at Fort Talbot, and consequently, that a previous descent upon Delaware might deceive the foe, and lead him to expose me some point, in defending others he might think menaced, and coupled with the possibility that hearing of captain Gill's march to the Round 0, by M Gregor's militia, whom he had pursued, a detachment had descended the Thames to intercept him, determined to exercise the discretion allowed by the order, and to strike at once upon the river.
On the 3d instant, when only fifteen miles from Delaware, we received information that the enemy had left Delaware with the intention of descending the river, and that we should probably