Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

are without example in the navy – I never could have deserved them.”!

Upon the 5th of March, information was received at St. Vincent's of the insurrection at Grenada. Governor Seton ordered the signal of alarm to be fired, and in the evening the militia appeared in arms upon the parade. One-half were to do duty on Berkshire Hill during a certain number of days, when they were to be relieved by the others, and so on in rotation. The Queen's company to windward, and the Chateaubellair company to leeward, were left to guard their respective boundaries, and to forward to head-quarters any intimations respecting the Caribs' motions. On the following day, a planter, with his family, arrived in town from Mariaqua, who informed the governor that a friendly Carib had urged him to quit the island without delay, as his countrymen intended to proclaim war against the English within three days, and had determined to murder every one of them.

Governor Seton sent an aid-de-camp to the Caribs, who expressed the utmost surprize at the suspicions entertained against them. “ They had,” they said, “been once already deceived by the French; and their misconduct during the last war we had generously cancelled, and, since the peace, had displayed toward them the utmost kindness and humanity. No possible advantage could arise by their making war against us, and no pardon could be expected should they attempt it. They could not answer for those who resided at Grand Sable and Rabaccaw, not living in habits of intimacy with them; but could not discover, in any wise, that they intended to interrupt the tranquillity of the colony."

The next day, two Caribs who had been sent to the windward chiefs, Chatoyer and Duvalle, to summon them before the governor, returned, and said, that “ they were of opinion that the Caribs had no intention of breaking with the English. But should the generality of them adopt a measure so absurd, they implored protection for themselves, their wives, and little ones, as they could not think of rendering themselves so detestable as to unite with them.” Yet,

Coke's West Indies, vol. ii. p. 200.

1

CAPTAIN FAULKNOR'S LETTER TO HIS was good enough to remove me to a frigate MOTHER.

of thirty-two guns, the Blanche, where I

mean to stop, not wishing to bave a larger His Majesty's ship Blanche, Barrington ship. The Rose was the first ship into Bay, St. Lucia, April 4.

Barrington Bay, so named by Sir John “ HONOURED MADAM. Since my last Jervis, it being the famous place where of the 25th of March from Martinico, the that good admiral made so gallant a defleet and troops have procedeed to this fence in the late war. I think he will island, and found it an easy capture, after receive pleasure to hear of this event, and, sustaining the fire from the different bat had I a moment's time, I should not fail teries, and intending to storm the strong to write to him.

We next proceed to fort of Morne Fortune, in which I was to Guadaloupe, where we shall probably meet have commanded a party of my own sea with some opposition. I am ever," &c. men of the Rose, which ship I had until

Naval Chronicle, vol. xvi. p. 33. this island was taken, when the admiral

on the Tuesday following, these men were foremost in plunder ing the very plantations where they had made these professions, and where they had resided, in ease and affluence, for more than ten years.

On Sunday evening information was received, that the Caribs in Mariaqua, in conjunction with the French, were plundering the estate of a French lady, who, with her family, were considered as well affected to the English. Captain Seton, the governor's son, was sent, with some volunteers, to apprehend the perpetrators. Late in the night, they fell in with some Carib and French huts, illuminated, and their inmates rioting on the plunder of the day. Only eighteen were made prisoners: these had the French national cockade in their caps, and arms and ammunition were found in the huts.

On Monday evening a reinforcement of thirty-four men was sent to windward to Captain Morgan, who expected to be attacked by the Caribs. The next morning they saw Mr. Gilchrist's house and plantations in flames; the troops immediately quickened their march, and got into a narrow range of high canes in a valley surrounded by hills: here they were sorely galled by the fire of the enemy, and retreated to join Captain Morgan, who determined to proceed to Kingston without delay. When they had advanced as far as Massarica river, they saw a body of Caribs, posted before them, on a ridge, which commanded the road. The Caribs made signs of peace, and so far imposed on some of the party, that they pronounced them friends, and encouraged the rest to go forward. “As soon as they were completely exposed, the Caribs opened a destructive fire upon them, and another body of the enemy attacked them in the

A retreat was immediately determined upon, and effected, with the loss of sixteen of the finest young men in the colony. No quarter was given by the conquerors, who put their prisoners to death, by cutting off the legs and arms, and otherwise mangling their bodies.

Those who escaped spread terror and dismay by their reports. All the inhabitants of the windward country forsook their houses; and the Caribs burning every house and plantation, and putting every white man to death, advanced to Calliaqua. On Thursday morning they reached Dorsetshire Hill, pulled down the British flag, and hoisted the tri-coloured one in its place.

The Caribs to leeward, under Chatoyer, their commander-inchief, were not less active. They arrived at Chateaubellair on Tuesday morning, where they were joined, with the greatest zeal and eagerness, by all the French inhabitants, who became guides for the Caribs, and shewed them the hiding-places of the English — as though ingratitude and murder were the proper returns for a repeated series of lavish acts of generosity.

rear.

Coke's West Indies, vol. ii. pp. 202. 204.

Three white young men were taken prisoners, and carried to Dorsetshire Hill; where, upon the following Saturday, they were ordered out by Chatoyer, and massacred in the most shocking manner. Every exertion was used by the French and Caribs to render this position as strong as possible. With great labour they dragged one six and one four-pounder from Stubb's Bay, and had them mounted by Saturday night.

The English, in the meantime, removed their records, &c. to the fort on Berkshire Hill. Measures were also taken to secure the town; and the surrounding canes to a certain distance were burnt, that they might not conceal the approach of the Caribs. A post was established on Sion Hill. The Caribs were frequently seen on the estates belonging to Messrs. Kean and Sharp: and once a small party advanced as far as the government house, none of which) places are six furlongs from Kingston. The troops upon Sion Hill kept the enemy in awe, by a constant discharge of shot and shells.

On Wednesday morning, Captain Campbell, with a company of the 46th, arrived from Martinico; and in the course of the week, the Zebra sloop of war, and the Roebuck. These were opportune reinforcements; for the Caribs and French would have begun to bombard the town on the Sunday morning.

On Saturday at midnight, Captain Skinner, of his Majesty's sloop Zebra, led a party to storm Dorsetshire Hill. Lieutenants Hill and Samuel Grove of the navy followed. The company of the 46th, under Captain Carry, came next; and Major Whytell and Captain Campbell brought up the rear, with the militia and some armed Negroes. The ascent was by a winding and rugged path, and they got within eighty yards of the main post before they were discovered. Nothing could exceed the inirepidity of the assailants: they did not fire till they had approached within twenty yards, when Captain Skinner gave orders to fire and charge he led the way himself, and was ably seconded by Lieutenants Hill and Grove. Captain Campbell of the 46th, and Major Whytell, stormed at another place; and in fifteen minutes the fate of the hill was decided. “ Are you Chatoyer ?" was the question asked the huge Carib chief, who fell, as he replied, “oui, b-e!” Major Leith, of the militia, killed him in single combat. His Royal Highness Prince William Henry had given Chatoyer a silver gorget, and this was found upon him.

The assailants had only five men killed and four wounded. Lieutenant Hill, of the Zebra, was one of the latter. Some of the enemy escaped, but several French and Caribs lay dead on the field.

In consequence of this defeat, the French abandoned their allies :

Coke's West Indies, vol. ii. pp. 205. 207._The facts, which are not in Dr.Coke's West Indies, were given to the author by his old mossmate, Captain S. Grove.

but the Negroes on the plantations through which they were obliged to pass lay lurking for their prey, and caught great numbers o them. Mr. Dumont, the secretary of the conspiracy, fell into their hands — about twenty were hanged with him.

Two hundred Negroes were armed, and sent in pursuit of the fugitives. These returned the same evening, driving before them the French inhabitants of Calliaqua, men, women, and children, the plunder of whose houses had been more tempting than following the Caribs. Neither was English property safe from the hands of these destructive assistants. The governor and council, therefore, , forbade any similar expeditions.

The Caribs soon formed three camps in the neighbourhood of Calliaqua, about three miles from Sion Hill. From these strong holds they sent various parties to plunder the adjacent country. At the very base of Sion Hill, and under its guns, they set fire to the sugar-works on Greathead's estate, and totally destroyed them.

On the 5th of April, two transports arrived with the 46th regiment, under convoy of his Majesty's ship Montague. The troops were landed the next morning, and marched to Berkshire Hill. These men had been prepared for the climate by a previous residence of three years at Gibraltar: preparations were made for storming the Carib camp.

About ten o'clock on the night of the 10th, the different parties marched for their respective stations. Captain Campbell of the 46th, at the head of the grenadiers, was to make the attack. In case of success, Captain Hall, with the light infantry, was to cut off the enemy's retreat to Calliaqua in one direction, and Colonel Loman, with the militia, and a detachment of sailors from his Majesty's ship Roebuck, in another. The light infantry reached their station about one o'clock, and were immediately attacked by very superior numbers: it had rained heavily, and the arms of the assailants were wet. They halted: Colonel Loman, with his party, were near their appointed station, when orders to retreat were given by some unknown person in the advanced files. The arrival of Captain Campbell with the grenadiers of the 46th, and Lieutenant Farquharson, with a detachment of the 60th, stopped the confusion. The whole charged the enemy, who, unable to withstand the bayonet, fled in all directions.

After destroying the encampments, the troops marched to the barrack-ground above Calliaqua, and intrenched themselves. Five hundred Negroes were ordered to be armed and drilled. Within a few days they appeared on the parade, and in a few weeks acquitted themselves beyond mediocrity in the discharge of their duty.

On Saturday the 25th of April, two armed schooners sailed from Kingston to attack the settlement of Duvalle, the Carib chief, at the north end of the island. The, troops were commanded by

Coke's West Indies, vol ii. pp. 208. 210, 211.

Lieutenant-Colonel Seton, and a detachment of seamen from the ! Roebuck, by Lieutenant Samuel Grove. On the 26th they atsampled to land in the rear of some batteries and houses, but the dead was found impracticable, and Colonel Seton determined to tack the batteries in front. A landing was effected under cover

the armed vessels; and the assailants, though exposed to a heavy śre of grape shot and musketry, and numbers of large rocky fragDents, which were rolled from the height upon them, ascended the angular path, and drove all before them. Vast quantities of prorisions were destroyed, all the houses were burnt, sixteen of their canoes were also taken. Our loss was three seamen killed and ten Founded, 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 flag 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, I 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.

« AnteriorContinuar »