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rests in any other capacity, I was led, in the month of September, 1817, seriously to turn my attention towards the contest in South America, as presenting a fertile field for honourable enterprise. At that time the public feeling was warmly interested in the dispute between the Spanish American Provinces, and the mother country; and the enthusiasm was so general and strong in favour of the Patriot cause, that, exclusive of numerous individuals daily crossing the Atlantic for the avowed purpose of joining their armies, several experienced British officers were actively engaged in the formation of regiments for the same service, who had received from Don Mendez (the accredited Agent of the Independents, in London) the rank of Colonel, and full authority to grant commissions to such gentlemen as they might consider qualified to hold the subordinate ranks in their respective regiments; the
officers to whom I have alluded, acting altogether under the authority, sanction, and guarantee, of Don Mendez, and in every respect governed by his directions.
On learning these particulars, and being personally acquainted with several gentlemen who proposed engaging in the same enterprise, I readily accepted the offer of a friend to procure me an introduction to Colonel Gilmore, who had been appointed by Don Mendez to the command of an intended Artillery Brigade; and my wishes were speedily gratified by receiving from the Colonel a nomination to a First-Lieutenancy in his own corps, with his positive assurance and engagement for the faithful performance of the following conditions:- 1st. That on arriving in South America I should retain the rank to which he had thus appointed me.
2dly. That I should from thence receive the full pay and allowances enjoyed
by officers of similar rank in the British service.
3dly. That the expenses of outfit (with the exception of the passage to the Spanish Main) should be, in the first instance, borne by myself; but,
4thly. That I should, immediately on arriving in South America, receive the sum of two hundred dollars, towards defraying
Such were the promises held out to me, in common with the other officers, by Colonel Gilmore, against whom, however, I do not in the most remote degree insinuate the charge of delusion or deceit; for he and the other commanding officers had received from Don Mendez, his guarantee for the faithful performance of the stipulated conditions. It is upon the latter gentleman, therefore, exclusively, that the responsibility must rest, of having excited hopes which he must have known would
never be realized; of having guaranteed the performance of conditions, the fulfilment whereof he must have been aware was impracticable; and of having induced those desirous of embarking in this destructive enterprise, to believe that their services would be joyfully and gratefully accepted by the Independent Generals and their Armies; whilst he, at the same time, could scarcely have been ignorant, that the strongest hostility was manifested by the Patriots to the admission of foreign assistance; and that the jealousy of the native troops of those few British officers who had been tempted actually to join their armies was so rancorous, as to subject them to the perpetual hazard of assassination.
The preceding observations originate in no: hostility to the South American Patriots ; on the contrary, I am at this moment animated with the same warm feelings in their favour, and sincere good wishes for
their success, which induced me to proceed from this country for the purpose of sharing their dangers and fortune; but it will be obvious that the abstract justice of the Independent cause, or probability, if not certainty, of its ultimate triumph, are utterly distinct from the question ;-+-how far it is judicious for British subjects to take an active part in this sanguinary contest? My anxiety is to warn my countrymen of the fallacy of those hopes they have been led to entertain; to explain to them the true character of the enterprise, the estimation in which their services will be held, and the imminent hazard they must inevitably encounter from the jealousy of the natives. Nor should I omit referring to the exterminating and ferocious principle on which the war is carried on ; each side being so infuriated against the other by a long train of barbarities and cold blooded slaughter, as to render it almost necessary