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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
Coke's West Indies, vol. ii. pp. 216. 222.
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 asterwards of a hill near the English camp at Chateaubellair. Cotil 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. In 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.
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 Fortuné, 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. ii. 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 Ents in their muskets, in dead silence, under a shower of musketry, into the battery. Lieutenant Whitlock was left with some seamen ad marines to guard this post, and the general pushed on for Fleur d'Epée. As the day dawned the storming began, under a heary 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, within 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 be 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. “ 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. ii. p. 461.
other small islands dependent on it, and I am sure it will give you no small pleasure to hear the share I have had in every part of the expedition. The value and importance of these islands can only be judged of by those who are witness to their high cultivation, richness, and the increase of trade that will consequently arise from their being in our possession. All our good fortune may be attributed to the unanimity of the two corps; the hearty zeal with which they have acted together, and the vigorous talents and measures of the two commanders-in-chief. His Royal Highness Prince Edward, who has been on service with us, embarks on board the Blanche to-morrow, when we sail for Halifax ; and the ship will be refitted there, and remain on the coast of America until the ensuing October, when I return hither for the rest of the war.”
From Halifax, 18th May, he wrote again to his mother, stating his having had a pleasant passage of eleven days, and that Prince Edward was “ a pleasant kind companion.” — “ The Dædalus, a British frigate,” he says, “ has been kept in port these last five months by superior force. The Blanche, I trust, will be ready for sea in a few days, and I mean, without a moment's delay, to proceed to her relief.-In a former letter I related to you my receiving a shot in a cartouch-box that was buckled round the centre of my body; since which I commanded a detachment of seamen at the storming the strong fort of Fleur d'Epée at Guadaloupe, and which was thought impracticable to be taken by assault
. The grenadiers, light infantry, and seamen, were sent on this service. The side of the mountain which the seamen had to get up was almost perpendicular, and defended by nature and art. All difficulties were overcome: but by the time we got upon the
ramparts, we were so blown, and our strength so exhausted, that the strongest amongst us were unmanned. I was attacked by two Frenchmen, one of whom made a thrust at me with his bayonet, which went through the arm of my coat without wounding me, and the other made a blow at me, which I parried, and he eluded mine in return, but immediately sprung upon me, clasping his arms round my neck, and, fixing his teeth in the breast of my shirt, wrenched the sword out of my hand, and tripped me up; falling with great violence upon the ground, with this French officer upon me. In this situation two of my own seamen flew to my relief, and saved my life, and at a moment when the man upon me had his hand lifted up to stab me. An escape so providential, and an event so critical, calls for my warmest thanks to the Almighty. The conquest of this fort determined the fate of Guadaloupe: the troops, who had intended before to make a vigorous opposition, now ran before us, and we had little to do afterwards but to march through the island a march indeed of great severity in a climate so
Naval Chronicle, vol. xvi. p. 34.