« AnteriorContinuar »
one previous to our return from Saint Martin's :--On the forenoon of this day, a Spanish polacre, laden with wine, brandy, oil,and, as was also understood, some specie, bound from Cadiz to: the Havannah, put into Marygott bay, and there anchored. Almost immediately after our arrival at Saint Bartholomew's, we were alarmed by the discharge of a gun in the town, and repaired to the place from whence the report proceeded; when, to our great astonishment, we found the entire garrison under arms, the Governor and fort-major with the troops, and the town in a perfect uproar. A small schooner, full of men, in the middle of the harbour, appeared the general object of curiosity and inquiry; and an armed boat, which had been despatched by the Governor for the purpose of bringing those persons ashore, was soon after seen returning; and, with astonishment and regret, we beheld Colonel W, with a number of his officers and some other individuals, conveyed on shore as prisoners, all armed, and disguised under large cloaks. It appeared that they were on the point of proceeding
to Marygott bay, for the purpose of cutting out the Spanish polacre, whose arrival at that place has been already mentioned; but the Governor, having through some channel received information of their daring project, frustrated the design, and apprehended the party. The. polacre, indeed, was otherwise secure from the attack, having sailed from Marygott early in the forenoon. The prize-master who came into Gustavia the day after our arrival, was likewise a conspicuous character in this enterprise. Colonel Wand his party were shortly after restored to liberty ; but notice was transmitted to Colonel Elliot, stating the particulars of the late intended attack, and warning him against similar attempts.' I was subsequently informed that the French admiral, on being made acquainted with the circumstance, proceeded to Saint Bartholomew's in search of Colonel W, who had, fortunately for him, left that island for Grenada.
A few days prior to our return from Marygott, the ship Emerald sailed for Grenada from St. Bartholomew's, leaving be
hind four of Colonel Hippesley's officers, who had resigned their commissions in consequence of some irregular promotions in that corps. The time was also fast approaching for our departure, in obedience to the peremptory orders recently issued by the Governor, when the arrival of the ship Dowson with Colonel Campbell's rifle regiment on board, in some little degree exhilarated our spirits; and it was determined, after much consultation, that the three ships (the Britannia, Prince, and Dowson), should together proceed to the island of Grenada, in order, if possible, to receive more direct intelligence from the Oroonoco, and endeavour to strike out some plan of future operations. In conformity with this resolution, the three vessels sailed from Saint Bartholomew's, on Saturday the 21st of February, and arrived at Grenada on the Friday following.
Our anxiety for news was too ardent to admit of delay. Mr. Ritchie, Colonel Gilmore, and some other officers, therefore, immediately waited on Mr. Guthrie, the Independent agent resident at this island,
whose'accounts inevery particular coincided with those which had been before received from Mr. Molony, and in other respects represented the general situation of the patriot armies in terms so unfavourable and disheartening, as' not only to confirm Mr. R. in his determination against proceeding with the stores to the main ; but likewise placed Colonel Gilmore in a situation so irrecoverably desperate, 'as to leave him (as he considered) no other resource than that ofaltogether disbanding the brigade; which measure, so distressing and ruinous to our hopes, he put in execution on the following day. Our condition now may be readily conceived :- deprived of the support of our Colonel ; destitute of resources or friends ; and unable to devise any means of extrication from our difficulties, we saw ourselves threatened with all the horrors of privation and want. Of the men composing our late brigade, some joined the other ships; others enlisted in the Queen's regiment (at this time garrisoned in Grenada); whilst a few determined on endeavouring to work their passage to the United States.
The various artificers were put ashore at the same period. The printer, having been permitted to carry with him a portion of the types and printing apparatus, fortunately procured a situation in the newspaper-office. The armourer afterwards returned to Saint Bartholomew's, with the intention of proceeding to New Orleans. The fate of the remainder I never learned, but fear their distresses must have been great, as they appeared totally destitute of money, and were consequently dependent for subsistence on the manual exercise of their respective arts.
Some of the officers succeeded in providing for themselves, either through their own resources or pecuniary aid from friends; the remainder, including Captain and myself, were still permitted to continue on board the Britannia.
At this eventful period, Colonel Gilmore intimated his determination of returning to England, first pledging himself to render the remaining officers, in their now distressing situation, whatever temporary assistance his influence or interest could pro