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Military Quotes

The concentration of troops can be done fast and easy, on paper.

-- Radomir Putnik

NavyIt was now the year 1755, when a dispute arising between this country and France (actually war was not declared until 17 May 1756) I felt anxious to return to my duty as a Seaman. The late Sir James Douglas, who died an Admiral, was a school-fellow of my Father`s; and then commanded the Bedford, fitting out at Chatham.
On receiving a letter from my Father, Capt. Douglas sent us a ticket to prevent my being impressed, with an order to enter on board the Bedford, and to bring with me as many men as I could procure. I took passage for myself, and what followers I had obtained, in one of the London Traders; but the night before we sailed, the Regulating Officer at Edinburgh and Leith, Capt. John Ferguson, impressed all the hands that were on board the Vessel. The Master of the London Trader shrugged his shoulders, and felt unable to proceed on his voyage; however, he at length consented to put to sea, if I would find men to navigate his ship. I accordingly sent those on board that were engaged for the Bedford, and arrived with them in six days at the rendezvous. On reaching Chatham I was informed by the First Lieutenant, that as the Bedford was not yet ready to receive the gentlemen MIDS, we had permission to sleep on shore; but must come on board every morning. This was nuts to many of them whose purse could afford it. Mine contained only ten shillings, five of which were engaged to pay for the freight of my chest and bedding, by the Chatham Hoy. I was sadly mortified in being thus thrown aback, at the very beginning of my career in the King`s Service, and racked my invention to devise if possible a good excuse for slinging my hammock on board; but fearing that my real situation might thus be exposed to some high-flying Midshipmen, I at length devised the following expedient; having discovered, on comparing notes, that one of my Messmates was in the same predicament. Among the beauties of Chatham Hill, we were particularly struck with a fine Hay-stack; this we knew must have a lee-side. It was fortunately fine weather; and with the Hay to cover us, though it was not then so much the fashion to sleep on straw, as it has since been, our lodging was tolerably good while it lasted; but the owner of the stack, having occasion for his Hay, soon removed our bed-clothes.

In this dilemma, necessity became again the mother of invention. We recollected that below the Dockyard a wooden Bridge had been placed over the marshy ground, for the convenience of people going to Upnor; and upon this bridge a small house, or shed, had been placed for shelter in case of rain. There we took up our nightly abode, and a rare cold one it was; the sides of our dormitory being made of old ship`s planks with the trunnel holes left in them. When the lasdt night of our roughihg it out arrived, Mr John Willock, the first lieutenant, a most worthy officer, told us, he had received the Captain`s order for us to sleep on board; and never did I so much feel the luxury of a warm bed; they who have only slept on beds of eider down, can have no conception of what I felt; nor ever will, unless they first resort to an Hay-Stack and a Hovel. As the Bedford was but badly manned, and even the few hands we could muster were poor Orkney Fishermen, Capt. Douglas requested the Mids to exert themselves in rigging the ship; this order produced considerable emulation among us, and was particularly p;easing to me, and my Hay-Stack Chum, since it gave us an oportunity of vying with our young gentry. When the Ship was ready to proceed to Blackstakes, our Carpenter found a defect in the Fore-Mast, which was accordingly condemned, unrigged, and taken out by the Sheer Hulk; and another rigged, and fitted for sea the same day. This was considered as brisk work; more especially when done by Mids, who were employed at the Mast-Head on this Service. We waited in the Downs for orders, and sailedthence as convoy to the Straits, with the Princess Louisa,60, Portland,50, and Bristol,50. After a tolerable passage we anchored in Tangier Bay; and having having taken in water at Gibraltar, sailed to the eastward as far as Cape de Gatt, where the Phoenix, Capt. Augustus Hervey, took charge of the Merchant Vessels; the Bristol returning with us to the Rock. During our stay there, while I was one day watering at the ragged Staff, (so called from the Stump Mast that was fitted into the Launch, when sent to get water, in order to hoist the casks in and out.) I observed the Sea suddenly to recede, or fall, very fast; our Boat immediately grounded on some rocks; and being apprehensive of her bilging, I started the water casks. Before this was half done, the sea rose again very rapidly. I could hardly believe the evidence of my senses; and not being able to explain so strange an event, proceeded to fill my casks, thinking that Davy`s Locker was bewitched. On my return to the Ship I found her shake, as if she had touched the ground. I threw the Lead, but found the same depth of water as when we came to anchor. It then occurred to me that a dreadful earthquake must somewhere have taken place. We soon sailed for Cadiz, where the water had risen to an amazing height; and having smuggled all the money on board that was in our power, proceeded to Lisbon; where we found the town in ruins, and its wretched inhabitants living in tents by the riverside.

We freighted our ship with as much money as we could procure, and sailed for England; when we were soon put under the command of Admiral Boscawen, who had lately arrived from Halifax, to relieve Sir Edward Hawke of Brest. The threats of invasion had been made by the French, who immediately after the declaration of war collected a formidable number of flat-bottomed boat for that purpose, and greatly alarmed our Government. On our second return from the Western Squadron to re-fit, Capt. Douglas left us, and Capt. Fowke succeeded him. We sailed under Admiral Holburne from St. Helens, 16 April 1757, the troops destined for North America were to embark at Cork; which having done , we left that harbour on 7th May, and arrived at Halifax on the 9th July. During our passage we carried away our main-mast, and with it one of the greatest rogues that ever entered on board a Man of War, called Spanish Tom; the rascal, however, though born to be hung, a punishment he afterwards underwent, was not born to be drowned.

At the time the accident happened he was stationed in the main-top, and was precipitated with it to a great depth in the Ocean; he, however rose like a cork, and to our astonishment survived. On our arrival in Halifax in Halifax we took the Arc de Ciel`s main-mast for a main-mast, and proceeded with the rest of the Admiral`s fleet to cruise off Louisbourg. We stood in close with the harbour and saw a number of Ships of War lying there; then returned to Halifax, re-victalled our Fleet, and appeared again off Louisbourg to block up the enemy.

This attempt to block up the the powerful French fleet in Louisbourg. was made in consequence of the arrival of Capt. Geary, in the Somerset,64, with the Devonshire,64, Capt. W. Gordon; Eagle,60, Capt. Hugh Palliser; and the York,60, Capt. Hugh Pigot. But the whole was frustrated by a dreadful Hurricane which blew dead on shore; it began in the east, in the evening of September 23, and during the night veered round to the south; and thus continued with a violence that had never been surpassed, for the time it lasted, until eleven o`clock the next morning; when it got round to the north. The ran on shore, and was wrecked about two leagues from Louisbourg; her Captain and most of her Crew perished. The Ferret sloop foundered, and every soul went to the bottom. Our ship, unlike most others, was not dismasted, her masts were saved by knocking out the wedges. When the gale first came on, there were but little hopes that any of the Fleet would be saved, as we were only thirteen leagues from the land. Had not Providence favoured us with a shift of Wind of eight points, it would have been all over with us. Many of the disabled ships were sent to England under Sir Charles Hardy and Commodore Holmes. We were ordered to take Prince Frederick in tow; and proceed with her to Aqua Forta in Newfoundland, the Admiral returned with the other ships to Halifax, and thence to England,; leaving the command to Lord Colvill in the Northumberland. Having fitted the Prince Frederick with jury masts, we returned home with a large convoy. During our passage another hard gale came on at S.W. The Convoy was totally dispersed, and never joined company; and the Prince Frederick again rolled away her masts. On our arrival at Plymouth, where the Bedford was docked, I found a considerable degree of party spirit had arisen in consequence of the conduct of Admiral Holburne, and Lord Loudoun, who commanded the land forces. One of the best answers that appeared, was a letter from a gentleman in Bristol dated September the 17th, an extract from which is preserved. The ingenious writer concluded with the following postcript:- "No Captain of a Man of War ought to be consulted about wintering in Halifax; not one of them will give his vote for it, as there are no public diversions there. Nor should any man be listened to who deals in Navy Jobs."

The year 1758 is ever memorable to a Seaman, for the Bill that was then brought forward, and passed under the auspices of the Hon. Mr George Grenville, enabling our honest Tars to remit money with care and safety, to their families.

Government had resolved that the operations in America should commence with the siege of Louisbourg. The gallant Admiral Boscawen, who, on 5 February had been promoted Admiral of the Blue, was appointed to command the fleet, having under him Sir Charles Hardy, lately made a Rear Admiral of the White, and Commodore Philip Durell. These two officers sailed previous to the remainder of the fleet, the first early in January, the other in February. We followed with the Admiral on the 19th of the same month, having a number of Transports in company. For the better preservation of the Soldier`s health, this prudent Commander made a southern passage, by getting into the Trade Winds, which ran down a great part of our longitude. We made Madeira, Teneriffe and the Bermudas; and having arrived at our destination, Left Halifax on 28 May, and with a fleet of 157 sail stood for Gabreuse Bay, the general rendezvous.

The success of this attack is well known. I witnessed the landing of our brave troops under the most tremendous fire of cannon and musketry. We though as much of this exploit at the time, as we have since of the landing in Egypt. On the capitulation of Louisbourg our ships went into the harbour; and soon afterwards the Admiral sailed for England with part of the squadron, leaving the remainder to winter in America with Rear Admiral Durell, who had been promoted in August. By this Admiral`s order Capt. Fowke discharged me into the flagship, the Princess Amelia.

We remained some weeks in Louisbourg Harbour; but whilst there, were hardly secure from a gale of wind that blew with much violence. Our anchor came home, and the Captain ordered the sheet anchor to be cut away; when, observing that our Men were cutting the stopper in a very awkward manner, I ran forward, seized the axe and cut it away myself. - This was not lost on Capt. Bray, and from this time I became a great favourite of his, as well as of the Admiral. We wintered in Halifax; and waited there until the ensuing spring, for tyhe arrival of Admiral Boscawen, our successor on the station, with a powerful reinforcement.

The year 1759, termed by Paul Whitehead Annus Mirabilis, or the year of wondrous Feats, was particularly brilliant both in Naval and Military Events, as that Poet described it in Stanzas well-known to Seamen.

"Of Roman and Greek
Let Fame no more speak,
How their Arms the Old World did subdue;
Through the Nations around
Let our trumpets now sound,
How Britons have conquer`d the new.
East, West, North and South.
Oupr Cannon`s loud mouth
Shall the rights of our Monarch maintain;
On America`s strand
AMHERST limits the land,
BOSCAWEN gives law to the Main."

The French, irritated by their constant defeats, were again reduced to the necessity of threatening England and Ireland with a formidable Invasion. But they soon found cause, paticularly from our achievements in America, to lay aside their gasconading accounts on a new construction, which were to steal across the Channel in a dark night, and carry all before them.

Admiral Boscawen was succeeded in North America by Vice Admiral Saunders; who sailed from England on the 17 February, with General Wolfe, in order to co-operate with him in an expedition against Quebec. This was only one of four grand Expeditions in America, planned originally by the Earl of Loudoun, which this year, 1759, were carried into effect. Sir Charles Saunders, I remember, had his Flag on board the Neptune,90, Capt. Broderick Hartwell; and Admiral Holmes, who left England a few weeks before him, on board the Dublin; a name that I hope will one day be be again revived in our dockyards. This fleet arrived within sight of Louisbourg on the 21 April; but found the harbour so choked up with ice, that the Admiral was obliged to proceed to Halifax.

We were sent early in May with a Squadron to the small Isle de Coudre, situated in the middle of the River St. Lawrence, about 20 leagues below Quebec; in order to interupt some French Transports and Victuallers, who had proceeded up the river.

During the passage Capt. Simcoe of Pembroke,60, died in the Gulf, and was succeeded by Capt. John Wheelock; one of our lieutenants was sent for the time being to command the Pembroke, and Admiral Durell, who in February 1759 had been promoted Rear Admiral of the White, appointed me to act in his stead. As we proceeded up this noble river I was particularly struck by its beauty. At its mouth it is full thirty leagues wide, if measured from Cape Rosiers; and is thence navigable as far as Quebec, upwards of 400 miles from the Ocean. Some make it forty leagues wide, by probably measuring from the Bay and Point of Gaspee, which are a little to the South. Above this latter Bay is a steep broken rock, with an opening in the middle of it, through which a small sloop might sail; it is on this account called The Pierced Island. On our arrival at the Isle de Coudres, the Squadron anchored in the afternoon with great difficulty; as the tide runs at the rate of nine knots. It is generally the custom to keep in the North Channel,though the southern, which is called the Pass of Ibberville, from a General of that name, is not near so dangerous. According to report, an earthquake in 1663 overturned a mountain and threw it on this Isle, which it increased by one half; and, in place of the mountain, a dangerous gulf was sunk. Admiral Durell did not allow me to remain idle. Observing several canoes and a large Launch on the beach, he ordered three boats to be manned and armed, to destroy them; which I did accordingly; but, on returning to the beach found our boats, to our surprise, all high and dry. The water had fallen six feet in an hour! Our situation necame now extremely perilous; and as we could only launch one boat at a time, and were much exposed to an attack from the woods by the Indians, I every moment expected a retaliation from the Natives, whose Scalping Knives wer not suffered to rust for want of use. Our companions on board the Princess Amelia had been informed of this danger by Mons. de Vitney, the Pilot, who coming on deck, and hearing the service we had been sent on, declared we should run the utmost risk of being cut off. The Admiral immediately made the signal to return, but it was too dark to see it. We laboured hard to get the boats afloat, and at last succeeded without any molestaion from the natives. It was now adifficult and most arduous task, with such a tide running, to reach our respective ships; I therefore particularly cautioned the Officers in the other two boats, to beware of getting athwart Hawze, and go on board the first ship they could reach; - they missed every ship, and being carried away with the whole Ebb Tide, could not return until morning. Our boat had better success; we were fortunate to get on board and relieved the Admiral from his anxiety.

The next service on which I was employed was to sound the River in the Barge; we were soon attacked by nine canoes, which we beat off. The Admiral on this placed me for greater security in an armed Schooner prize, and by the time I had finished the Soundings, Admiral Saunders entered the River on board the Hind,20, Capt. Robert Bond. I was sent to meet him and furnish instructions for passing the Straits of Coudre; which being done by the 23 June,Admiral Saunders gave me his ordersto hasten down to Capt. Alexander Schomberg of the Diana,32, who had charge of the first division of Transports, and give him directionshow to proceed up the River. On my return the Princess Amelia was sent up to the Isle Madame, where she remained stationary during the siege; and Admiral Durell was ordered to send an officer with two Petty Officers and one hundred men , in order to assist with the preparatory operations. I was now superceded as acting Lieutenant in the Princess Amelia.

Before Admiral Saunders advanced further up the River, he shifted his flag from the Neptune into a ship of less burthen, the Stirling Castle,64, Capt. Michael Everitt. In this ship he proceeded up the River with the first division of the Fleet and Transports on the 26 June; and anchoring of the Island of Orleans, a little below Quebec, immediately prepared to land the Troops, which was done the next morning. Soon afterwards a heavy gale came on, which did much damage to the Transports, and swamped many of the Boats. Our boats were afterwards variously employed, until the plan wasc finally fixed on the first of July; when Admiral Saunders moving up between the Points of Orleans and Levi, on the ninth prepared to land on the North Shore, below the falls of Montmorenci; having placed his Majesty`s Sloop, the Porcupine,14, Capt. John Jervis, and the Boscawen,16, armed Ship, Capt. Charles Douglas, in the Channel between Orleans and the North Shore, to cover the Boats. The Troops were obliged to continue in the boats until it was near low water, when there was a flat, hard sand to land them on. While we were lying on our oars, the French were not idle in in saluting us with shells, but they did no damage. On the 18 July, two Men of War, two armed Sloops, and two Transports, among which were the Sutherland,50, Capt. Rouse, with Adfmiral Holmes` Flag, and the Squirrel,20, Capt. Hamilton, passed Quebec without any loss, and got into the upper River. I was also ordered to pass the Town, with eighteen more, our oars being all muffled; during which the batteries on Point Levi kept up an heavy fire. We stopped at Major Goram`s Post, joined the ships, and proceeding up the River, endeavoured to land at a village named Point au Tremble, but the French were too strong. We then attempted the other side, St. Antoine, where we met with little opposition; raised a redoubt on high ground, and left in it a party of Marines; we the advanced higher up the River, and landed at Dechambo, where we destroyed some magazines. We were thus employed for nearly 18 days before we again repassed Quebec.

On the 31 July preparations were made for an attack. Two light armed Transports had been prepared by the Admiral to be lain on the shore, as a defence against the batteries. One of them was not of the least use after she was aground; but the other was conducted and placed with the utmost judgement by an able Seaman, who had also been employed to survey the River, Mr James Cook, then Master of the Pembroke; afterwards so eminently distinguished, and lamented, as a Circumnavigator. The boats of the Fleet were filled with Grenadiers. Two Brigades under Lord Townshend, and General Murray, were in readiness to pass the Ford; and to facilitate the passage, the Centurion,50, Capt. William Mantel, had been placed by the Admiral in the Channel. Many of the Boats grounded on a ledge, and were some time in getting off. We at length, however, landed under a most tremendous fire. Our men were dreadfully exposed; and not able to make the least impression on the enemy, who had a breast Work. Fortunately a tremedous clap of thunder, succeeded by a heavy shower of rain, occesioned a cessation in their firing, and gave our men time to retreat; but the night had now set in, with a severe storm, and the tide had risen very much. The Division under Lord Townshend were obliged to ford below the Falls, and were up to their shoulders in crossing. The Indians now swarmed down to murder such of the wounded as could not be brought off, and to scalp the dead. After landing such of the wounded as we could secure, at the Hospital in the Isle of Orleans, I returned to the Shrewsbury,74, Capt. Hugh Palliser.

At the beginning of September I was sent for by Sir Charles Saunders, and informed that he intended to send me home in the Rodney,4, Cutter, Capt. Ph. J. Percival, with his own and General Wolfe`s dispatches/ The Admiral also added that he had recommended me to Lord Anson for promotion. I received my orders on the 5th, and immediately got into the Boat which was waiting to to carry me on board my old Ship, the Princess Amelia, that I might be ready by the time the Cutter dropped down. I the received Admiral Durell`s letters, who also gave me a vert flattering certificate.

I left the busy scene I had long witnessed with regret. The Town and Citadel of Quebec surrendered on 18 September, so I only missed that Triumph by thirteen days. During my Voyage home nothing material occured until one day, as we were scudding before the wind in a heavy Gale from the S.W. I observed a most tremendous Sea coming, which threatened to break on board us. In order to divide it, and take us end on, I immediately called out to the man at the steerage, I was standing in the Companion, when it suddenly struck us with such violence as made me think it would turn the Cutter end-over-end. It shifted the casks in her Hold, and knocking me down, washed the man away from the Helm, and nearly overboard. We had in all but thirteen hands, out of an establishment for a Cutter of forty men, and even these were below. Myself and the helmsman were the only persons on deck; and we could not open the scuttle to let our shipmates out, as it was entirely under water. The Vessel lay like a Log - her sails all split and flying into shreds. It was therefore plain, that it was all over with us, unless by some means we could right again. We therefore instantly cut away everything lee-side, that could be got at; and endeavoured to bring that side to windward, that the sea may strike her deck, and once more set her right. By our repeated exertions, and the assistance of Providence, this was at last effected. I then lat-to, finding the vessel to small to scud in such a Sea. The weather becoming more moderate, we proceeded safely on our Voyage, until we struck Soundings in the Channel. but it still blew strong at S.W. We ran in to Portsmouth Harbour, and landed Capt. Perceval with the Express. Owing to what I have now related, General Wolfe`s Letter, although written eighteen days before the taking of Quebec, only arrived in town two days before the news from Brigadier Townshend, of that city`s capitulation.

Admiral Holburne, who commanded at Portsmouth, ordered me to drop the Cutter up-abreast of Common Hard; and there I remained, without ever hearing a single word from the Admiralty for some weeks. This was not quite so pleasant, and I began to think that that Admiral Saunders had hummed me about my promotion. To increase my satisfaction, I was sent for by Admiral Holburne, and told to strike the Pendant; my Men were to be sent on board his Flag Ship, the Royal Sovereign. Being noe adrift, and having received several invitations from Capt. Percival, I thought I would go and look him up at his Father`s, the Earl of Egmont. - Was introduced and received kindly. Upon which I informed his Lordship what Sir Charles Saunders had promised to do for me; with my apprehensions that either the Admiral, or Lord Anson, had forgot me. Lord Egmont immediately sent his son to inquire at the Admiralty, and in about six weeks, while I was on a visit to my old and worthy friend Admiral Durell, at Portsmouth, a letter from Capt. Percival informed me of my promotion, 1760. Upon this I immediately made for London and took up my Commission for the Sutherland,50, Capt. Rouse, who had been at the siege of Quebec; his Ship was then repairing at Chatham. When I joined I found but one Officer on board, Lieut. Norman, who left the Ship on my arrival. I could only muster 35 men, although the whole complement was on the books; and my orders were to fit the Ship out as soon as possible. I therefore borrowed men from the other Ships, and with their exertions soon sailed to Blackstakes for the guns, powder and shot. During our passage to the Downs Capt. Rouse was taken very ill; I therefore waited on Sir Percy Brett, on our arrival, and by his orders took a convoy round to Portsmouth. - Admiral Holburne immediately sent the Commissioner`s Yacht out to Spithead to bring Capt. Rouse on shore, where he died in a few days. We remained without a captain for five or six weeks; when finding I had a sad lazy Crew to deal with, most of whom had been on shore all the time the Ship was fitting, I applied to the Admiral for leave to exercise them; and thus they were brought into some sort of order.

Capt. Benjamin Clive was next appointed our Commander, under whom we sailed for Quebec; having taken a Convoy of several Victualers in charge at Cork. On our arrival in the Spring of 1760, we found Commodore Lord Colvill Commander in Chief, on board the Northumberland,70, Capt. William Adams, and the rest of his Squadron, which had wintered in America; and also the Squadron under Commodore Swanton in the Vanguard,70. Three distinct Expeditions had been planned; all of which were ultimately to unite in laying siege to the City of Mount Royal, or Montreal, situated on an Island formerly called Ville Marie, sixty leagues above Quebec, in the River St. Lawrence; which is there about a league in breadth, and contains several Islands. General Amherst, who had wintered in New York, had the conduct of the military; and under him, Capt. Joshua Loring, of the Royal Navy, commanded the armed Vessels; a body of Indians were under the discipline and humane restraint of Sir William Johnston; and General Murray commanded at Quebec. On the side of the French, the Chevalier de Levis seconded the Marquis de Vaudreuil in the military department, and Mons. de Rigaud was Governor of Montreal. During the winter the Commander in Chief had established a naval force above Montreal, on Lake Ontario; and had built two fine Vessels at Niagara, the Onondaga,18, and the Mohawk with sixteen 6-pounders. At Oswego also, he had constructed Row Gallies, Floating Batteries, and a number of Whale Boats.

On the ninth of May, the Lowestoffe Frigate commanded by Capt. Deane, had arrived in the Bason, and brought the joyful intelligence to General Murray; whose Garrison had suffered severely during the winter from an inveterate scurvy; that Commodore Swanton was approaching with a Fleet from England. On the night between the 16th and 17th May, Mons. de Levis raised the siege of Quebec and retired, leaving his camp standing. On the 13th June, the Troops under General Murray had embarked for Montreal in forty Transports, escorted by Capt. Deane, with the Penzance,44, Diana,26, Porcupine,16, and the Gaspee Schooner, 8 guns, without waiting for the reinforcements which we had in convoy.

Our Ship was ordered to proceed up river to Point Platoon, and there remain. On our arrival, we found that the western side of the River still held out; for after the boasting letter which M. Vaudreuil had adressed to the Captains of the Canadian Militia, the poor devils had nothing left for it but to contest every spot to the last moment. - "If the English make any attempt, said that vaunting Officer, it can have no other object than the ambitions of their Generals; we are thoroughly prepared to repulse them with spirit." Having several skirmishes with the inhabitants, I got a boat called a Battoe, and hoisting her aboard the Sutherland, had her fitted with a six-pounder. This annoyed the enemy considerably whenever they attacked our scouting parties.

On the 8 August the Squadron under Capt. Deane passed Trois Rivieres, about half way between Quebec and Montreal; and having removed a strong Boom placed across the River, anchored on the 12th off Sorrel, where the enemy had a strong post. The Diana remained below Trois Rivieres to keep up the communications. Lord Rolls, with the Troops from Louisbourg, followed General Murray up the River on board a small Squadron conducted by Lieut. Garnier of the Navy, who was sent on this service by Lord Colvill; and about a league from Trois Rivieres, Lieut. Garnier was superseded.

The passage of the Rapids of Richlieu is extremely perilous, and can only be accomplished by the utmost skill and courage. These Rapids are four in number - Cotau de Lac; Hattures des Cedres; Buisson: and Trou et la Cascade. Of these the last two are the most tremendous. About noon on the 31st Augusta division of our army had passed the first. Next day, the Rapids being full of broken waves, the Boats rowed in single file, and kept at a distance, notwithstanding which precaution a Corporal and three Men were drowned.The weather on the third came on so bad that our army was obliged to halt. On the fourth, at daybreak, they began a navigation beyond measure dangerous; the enemy deemed it impracticable. Though the weather was favourable, we lost eighty-four Men, forty-six Batteaux, seventeen Whale Boats, and a Row Galley; but our Men were soon rewarded for all their fatigue and anxiety. On 7 September, Col. Bourgainville and another officer, came in the morning to one of our outposts with a letter to parley; at 12 o`clock proposals for a Capitulation arrived; and on the ensuing day, the 8th, the articles were agreed to and exchanged. Our good Commander, Capt. Clive, being in an ill state of health, changed into the Trident,64, with Capt. Julian Legge; and we sailed under him to Halifax, were we wintered.

Early in the following spring, 1761, being the senior Officer on that station, we received our order to proceed to New York, with the Falkland, Capt. Drake; Repulse, Capt. Allen; and Lizard, and then taking a Convoy of Transports with Troops on board, Lord Rollo, Commander, to sail for the West Indies. On our arrival at the Leeward Islands we were attached to the Squadron under Commodore Sir James Douglas, with his Pendant aboard the Dublin, Capt. Gascoigne; and on the 6th June anchored in the Road of Roseau, Dominica. Two Officers were immediately dispatched with a summons to M. Longprie, the Governor; who, after trifling with us by sending two of the principal inhabitants on board the Dublin to treat about a capitulation, declared in the afternoon, that the inhabitants would defend themselves. Our Ships therfore moved in close to the shore, and having come to anchor with springs on their cables, soon silenced the batteries. The Troops landed under cover of our fire and the next day became masters of the Island. - Sir James Douglas was succeeded at the end of the year by Rear Admiral Rodney, who had been appointed by Mr Pitt to co-operate with the force he had provided to attack all the French West Indian Islands. Admiral Rodney arrived at Barbadoes on the 22nd November; where he was joined by Sir James Douglas, and a part of his Squadron. As soon as we had taken in our water and provisions, we sailed under Sir James to block up Martinico. Admiral Rodney arrived from Carlisle Bay on 5 January 1762 and joined us on the seventh with an armament consisting of 16 Sail of the Line, many Frigates, Sloops of War, Bomb Ketches, Hospital Ships and Transports; on board which were upwards of 13,000 land forces. - But I have not time to describe that variety of fatigue, which Seamen had the glory of cheerfully sharing with the Army, in this memorable attack; suffice it therefore to add, that on the 12 February Martinico yielded, like Louisbourg, Quebec and Montreal, to British valour; and soon afterwards Granada, St. Lucia and St. Vincent. I must now repair to a still more stupendous instance of British Heroism. Having been almost frozen amidst the severe cold of North America, I now, after a genial thawing at the Leeward Islands, was nearly roasted at the Havana. Fortunately, like othe Seamen, I was happily blessed with an accomodating, amphibious sort of constitution.

Upon the reduction of Martinico, Capt. Legge exchanged into the Temple,70, with Capt. Everitt coming into our Ship; and after the arrival of Sir George Pocock in the West indies, we sailed under his Flag; first to Jamaica, and afterwards to the Havana. Our Captain was ordered, with the Cerberus Frigate, Capt. Webber, and Lurcher Cutter, to sound the Bay of Matanzas, and report its survey. Capt. Everitt appointed me to this service in the Cutter. As soon as I had obtained sufficient knowledge of that Bay, I sent the Soundings on board; adding that with the leading marks that accompanied it, the Ships might run in and anchor; which they afterwards did. I received the following letter from my Captain. -

The SUTHERLAND, off Matanzas Bay, 26 July 1762. SIR, I have yours, with the enclosed Soundings, &c.; and as the Coxswain tells me he learns from the Cutter, there are no Vessels or Craft of any kind in the Bay, I think the Cutter will be a sufficient safeguard to the boats; viz. the Sutherland`s Barge and Yawl, and the Cerberus`s Barge, whose Lieutenant has directions, which accompany this, to stay and assist you in taking a sketch of the Bay, from the Eastward round to the bottom of the Bay to the west Point. And you are to eneavour to come to the strength of the Castle; and when you have a nearer view of it, to take a sketch of it. - And be very particular in your Soundings, Bearings, and what distance from it. This you are to do with the utmost prudence and caution, and not to suffer anybody to land for fear of their being cut off. I send you the Master in the Barge, who is to be employed on this Service. If any strength should hereafter appear, let the Lurher Cutter attend the boats at a proper distance. In the mean time we shall lay off and on. You are to use the utmost dispatch on this Service, and join me with the Boats as soon as possible. It will also be necessary for you to consult with the Lieutenant of the Cerberus, how the Castle may be attacked by the Ships, in what manner they are to bring up, and how near they can get to it.

I am your humble servant,
Michael Everitt.
P.S. I must approve of the regular method you have taken in setting down the Soundings. Also endeavour to come at the height of the Castle, as near as you can.

On my return from this service I was sent on shore with a party of Men to assist the operations going on against the Morro; and this was the most fatiguing duty I ever underwent. The ground was our only resting placein the woods; and even that was reduced to a bed of torture by multitudes of Scorpions, Centipedes and Tarantulas. Our wretched beverage was brackish water, and though our Men were dreadfully afflicted with both the flux and scurvy, their only food was Salt Beef. Most devoutly did we all rejoice when the Morro was taken by storm, and the Havana surrendered on 13 August, 1763. The Sutherland, which had only sixteen of her guns remaining mounted, had the honour of conveying the Admiral back to Spain:- Our poor old Ship had but a single bottom, and that was perforated through and through by the worms; we however landed the Admiral and our prisoners, in perfect safety at Cadiz to the utter astonishment of their countrytmen, who thought the Havana impregnable. We then sailed for England and were paid off, on the peace, at Chatham.

At the peace I returned once more to my worthy Father in Scotland, and remained there on half-pay for about five months; when to my great joy, I received a letter from the Secretary of the Admiralty, Mr Philip Stephens, informing me that the Earl of Egmont, then First Lord of the Admiralty, would appoint me Lieutenant of the Ramilies Guard Ship, commanded by his son the Hon. Capt. Percival. Our meeting, after so long an absence, was cordial on both sides, and I found him the same gay, eccentric character. He was never fond of his profession; and before he died, in about 1797, had smarted severly from his dissipation. He was buried in Charlton, Kent. In the month of December 1763, I was sent from on board the Ramilies to Hull, with a party of Seamen, to navigate the Glory,32, frigate, which had lately been launched there, to Portsmouth. Glory was renamed Apollo in August 1774. On my arrival in Hull I met Mr Collingwood, the Master-Attendant of Deptford Yard, who had come , by order of the Navy Board, with 30 riggers and Yachts` Men, to get the Glory ready. But on going to examine her, I found she had only 90 tons of ballast, which was not sufficient for that season of the year.I made Mr Collingwood observe that she heeled considerably with the Wind; upon which he put more on board, but still not enough. As we were badly manned, with little else than Yachts` Men and Watermen, I reefed the courses and Top-sails before we got under weigh. When we got in sight of Cromer, whose Bay, from its rocky Coast, is called by Seamen the Devil`s Throat, the Wind took us a-head, and would not allow our fetching Yarmouth Roads. Our Ship also being in no disposition to beat to windward, and it beginning to blow hard, we were under the necessity of close reefing our Top-sails; and even then she lay on her beam-ends, - her rigging being all new, was not sufficiently set up. Our situation every moment became more and more critical. It still blowing harder, we could not bear our Courses; were therfore obliged to habd them, and let the Ship drift under the balanced Mizen. Providentially we had an experienced Pilot, well acquainted with the North Sea. I observed to him, looking at the Charts, that if the Wind did not shift, we must drive upon the Lemon and Ower Sands, which lie on theCoast of Norfolk, about nine leagues from Hasborough. He replied that when we came into nineteen fathoms Water, we must endeavour to put the Ship before the Wind and push for the Swash; when the Kead should be kept going all the time. This was our only alternative to save the Ship, and our lives; but to increase our distress, there was not a Man besides the Pilot and myself, who could heave the Lead. At this dreadful instant the Wind, thank God! shifted several points in our favour; so that we drove clear of those dangerous Shoals. The Gale also abated; when making what sail we could, we brough our Ship to an anchor off Mock Beggar Church, about midway between Winterton and Haseborough. While lying there we experienced another heavy gale; but it was off the land and only made the Yachts` Men and lubbers sick, as we rode with three cables an end. Having at length a fair Wind we passed throgh Yarmouth Roads and anchored in the Downs; but, on leaving it, made several ineffectual attempts to get to Portsmouth; when the wind shifted round to the S.W. and blew a perfect Hurricane. Many of the outward bound Ships then riding in the Downs were were lost, and I fear but few of their Crews saved. We were detained by heavy Gales for fifty-three days, until by orders of the Navy Board we stood up the Medway for Chatham, where to our great satisfaction we arrived after a Voyage of two months. The fatigue and anxiety I had undergone, owing to the age and infirmities of the Master-Attendant, sent me to sick quarters; and it was two months before I was able to return on board Ramilies. A Guard Ship being though too idle a life for so young and inexperienced an Officer as Capt. Percival, Lord Egmont placed him in a more active Ship, the Tweed,32, then on the Newfoundland station. I was removed with the Captain and we sailed together to join our Ship in September 1764. Commodore Palliser ordered us to Cadiz and Lisbon, to bring home the Merchants` money. On our arrival in Sheerness we remained there until the month of May 1765, when Capt. Percival, being dissatisfied with the Tweed, asked his father for the Aquilon,28, Frigate. In this ship we again sailed for Newfoundland; but cattying away the main-mast and springing the bowsprit on our passage were sent home to ] refit. We afterwards made a second voyage to Cadiz and Lisbon for money, and on our return were both appointed to the Launceston designed for the Virginia station. Capt. Percival soon gave up this Ship for a Yacht; when we parted, and Capt. Johm Gell, a most excellent Seaman and Officer, became my Commander. Launceston was now ordered to receive the Flag of my worthy friend Admiral Durell and Lord Egmont acquainted me by letter that I was to be one of the Admiral`s Lieutenants and that he had recommended me to him for Promotion. We sailed for Spithead and hoisted the Blue Flag at our fore-top-mast head. The present Sir Robert Calder was First Lieutenant, although junior to both myself, and another Officer, Mr Nourse. Calder, on his first appointment to the Ship, had been only third. During our passage the Admiral was taken ill, and died the second day after our arrival at Halifax. With him I lost such a friend as I never recovered. That Tide in the affairs of men, now began gradually to ebb.

On the dispute that arose between Britain and Spain over the Falkland Islands, I was commissioned for the Conquestadore after remaining about eleven months on half pay. We hoisted her Pendant at Woolwich, and after being stationed in the Nore as a Receiving Ship, were commanded by Capt. Andrew Hammond, who was superseded by Capt. John Falkingham. I had only been six weeks in Conquistadore when I experienced another severe loss, by the death of my only friend, Lord Egmont, on 4 December 1770. I now drifted bodily to leeward; and on being paid off, which happened when I had been about half a yer on board, I felt myself a complete Wretch, without interest, and without resources.

I went to work resolutely and wrote to Mr Stephens for employment, who got me appointed to the Lizard, fitting out at Portsmouth for North America. We wintered in Boston under Admiral Montague, whose Flag was on board the Captain In the spring we sailed to Charlestown; and then coasted along Georgia and Florida as far as St. Augustine. Our Captain frequently landing on the different Islands, to survey the Live Oak trees. On our return we were ordered to Rhode Island where, during 1773, I was appointed to command the Gaspee Brig, then fitting at Halifax. I made all dispatch to join her and arrived in the month of June. When I reached Boston, the Admiral gave me orders to cruise six weeks in the Bay. On my return I was stationed at Rhode Island, where I continued all summer. In the fall of the year, when my Brig was laid up for the winter, I suddenly received directions to proceed round to Boston without a moment`s loss of time; immediately got her ready, and with much difficulty sailed over the Shoals. But owing to the season of the year, with heavy gales and a severe frost; the Wind sometimes at N.W., at others N.E., with great falls of snow, so as not to be able to see the length of the Vessel; we were nine weeks on our passage, which might have been accomplished in two days in summer. However we got safe to Boston, where we remained for the winter. We were repeatedly driven down the harbour, where, if we had not sufficient provisions on board, we must have perished, although so near the shore. One of these times our anchors hooked the ground and brought the Vessel`s head to the tide, crushed our windlass, and had nearly hauled out our bows, had we not cut the cable. As soon as the ice broke up, we were warped up by the Active Frigate and hauled alongside Long Wharf. Finding the Vessel very leaky we were ordered into Three Point Channel; when the Carpenters came to inspect us, her bows were found quite rotten. If the Gaspee`s company of thirty men had been acquainted with the real state of our Barkie`s bows, we should not have slept so easy as we did. She had only been kept afloat by a covering of plank on her bows; and not above nine months before, the Master Builder of Halifax had reported her fit to run for six or seven years without rquiring any repair. The Gaspee being ready for sea, I was ordered to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, to superintend the Fisheries; this I found a very pleasant and interesting Service. I generally called at Halifax on my return, which was in October, for any stores I stood in need of, and thence joined the Admiral at Boston.

In consequence of instructions which I received from the Admiral on 10 April 1774, I sailed from my station, along the coast of Nova Scotia into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, to prevent smuggling, and again to superintend the Fisheries. When the Season was over, I returned to Boston under the orders of Admiral Greaves in the Preston, who directed ne to cruise during the winter in the Bay of Fundy, between New England and Nova Scotia, to prevent smuggling. On the rocky, iron-bound coast we were obliged to push for a harbour during heavy falls of snow when we could not see half the length of the Vessel. We were lying in Falmouth Harbour, very near the Town; when, by neglect of the watch, four men jumped into the cutter and made for the shore. I was in my cabin; and hearing the rattling of oars looked out of the windows. Upon my coming on deck, with the Master, our muskets loaded, we called to them to return; which they not complying, I fired, and killed one man. The rest got to land and were received by some hundreds of the inhabitants. On the next day the Select Men, as Magistrates, wrote, desiring to know what should be done with the body of John Latty? I offered to bury him according to the custom of the Navy; this they refused. We were lying a cable`s length from the shore and the Master represented that he thought they were going to mount some guns in an old fort, so I thought it necessary to move the Brig a mile lower down. I then wrote to the Admiral, but my letters were intercepted and published. I now ventured to leave my station without order and ran for Nantasket Road, where I wrote to the Admiral apologising for the liberty I had taken and requesting a Court Martial. The Court, having tried the Master and Myself, we were honourably acquitted. When the Admiral delivered his order to resume the Command of the Gaspee. he at the same time gave me instructions to write to the Select Men and inform them that if they did not deliver up the deserters, I was empowered to impress every Man I found on the Water. This gave the inhabitants great uneasiness, as they were unable to produce the men, they having all sailed in a new Vessel for England. - I continued on this disagreeable Service until 1 March 1775, when, to the joy of all hands, I was ordered to resume my old station, superintending the Fisheries in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. When our provisions ran short we sailed for Quebec, and on my arrival the Governor, Sir Guy Carleton, informed me of his having received intelligence, that the Rebels were coming across Lake Champlain to attack the Settlement; that he had ordered two Vessels to be built at St. John`s, and armed for the protection of the Colony; and therefore wished me to go and examine them. I immediately sailed up to Montreal, left the Gaspee, crossed to Lepriere, and then to St. John`s where I found the Vessels in Timbers; with no prospect of their being ready in time, with the Rebels about 20 or 25 miles distant. We made every exertion, and got one launched on 3 Sept. 1775 - she was called the Royal Savage. Another, intended for a Row Galley, was so badly formed that one of the Thames Ballast Lighters would have rowed as fast. The enemy were at Ile aux Noix where they had a strong post. On the 11th we remained all night at Quarters. On the 17th their fleet appeared and anchored at Point Daniel; two Gundolas came down and fired at us, which we returned from our South Redoubt, with shot and shells, forcing their retreat. the next day the Gundolas mounted a heavy 12-pounder, we returned it with ten or twelve field pieces we had on board. It was difficult to bring our guns to a horizontal line because the Royal Savage had curved decks like a Merchant Vessel. On 18 Sept. the enemy had cut our communication with Montreal and were busy building gun and mortar batteries. The South Redoubt fired several shot and shells in the wood, where we thought they were at work. On the 21st two Batteau drifted down from Point Daniel, which we picked up. One had a sleeping man with two casks of pork, some muskets and paddles. We cut her down for a Floating Battery, putting a field 6-pounder in her. On the 25th the Rebels unmasked a battery of two 12-pounders from a distance of 800 yards, which we returned, but our shot fell short. The battery wounded our main-mast, shot away much of our rigging and once hit us twixt wind and water. As soon as it was dark we hauled the vessel on shore, repaired the leak, and got her out again before daybreak. On the 30th a shot came through the bows of the Row Galley and broke a Shipwright`s arm which occasioned his death. October 11th the Enemy opened a Battery on the other side, the east, of the River reducing St. John`s and sinking the Royal Savage. On 1 November a flag of truce came from the enemy to summon us to surrender; hostilities ceased on the night of the 3rd, and we surrendered, agreeable to capitulation. As soon as the Batteries were ready to take the Garrison on board, we proceeded up River to their camp where we remained for some time before moving up to Isle aux Noix. The following day we crossed Lake Champlain. Then Ticondaroga, Fort George, Fort Edward, Serra Toga and Half Moon until we arrived in Albany, where we continued until Congress had fixed upon our destination. The Artillery and thirteen Seamen were ordered to pass the River and proceed to the Government of Connecticut. We were kept for several weeks in a village called Canaan, but the place could not supply us with the necessaries we stood in need of so Governor Trumball of that Colony was so obliging to remove myself and the other officers to Withersfield, a beautiful village on the side of the Connecticut River. We remained here 15 months when we were exchanged and sent to New York. My men were put on board the ships appointed by Admiral Lord Howe; not one of them deserted, though often tempted. I am sorry to say that this was not the case with the soldiers, many of whom were left behind. I took passage to England in a Transport and on my arrival in town I informed the Admiralty of my return from captivity; at the same time claiming, as I thought, my right, promotion; but receiving no answer, I waited on Lord Sandwich, and presented him with a NEMORIAL OF MY SERVICE. When his Lordship had looked it over, he merely said, You may send one into the Board! I did so, but without any effect. But being still fond of a Profession I had for such a number of years been employed in, I, at length, waited again on Lord Sandwich, and tendered my Services, wherever he might think proper. He looked at the list, remarked that I was an old Officer; and then replied, We will employ you still. Flattering myself, from some hints, that I might expect Promotion, I the next morning received a note from the Admiralty, informing me that there was a commission waiting at the Office. To my astonishment and surprise, it was only as Second Lieutenant of the Cumberland, Capt. Joseph Peyton. Having passed between 23 and 24 years in actual Service as an Officer I conceived this to be both degrading and unjust; however as I was always zealous of the welfare of my Country I took up my Commission and repaired to the Ship. I must acknowledge that I never sailed with a more zealous Commander, he was not a pleasant officer to serve under; his temper being always petulant and warm; yet at the same time he was the most upright, honourable man I knew. We served on the Channel Service under Admiral Keppel, and later Sir Charles Hardy. On our return to Portsmouth I received a letter informing me of my Father`s death. I wrote to be superseded, and quitted a ship as well conditioned as any in the Navy. I then went into the North and after a few months returned to London, bringing with me credentials and recommendations from the Lord Provost and Magistrates of Edinburgh, requesting their Member, Sir Lawrence Dundas, to use his influence with the First Lord of the Admiralty; but these did me no kind of service. Through the interest of my friend Mr James Dyson, Solicitor of the Admiralty, I accepted an appointment to the Impress Service, and on this duty continued for the war, viz. two years and a month. Thus finishes my professional career. I returned to Scotland for thirteen months, with two children on my half pay of 54 pounds per annum. When the gallant veteran Lord Howe was placed at the head of The Board, my younger brother, Capt. John Hunter, of the Royal Navy, late Governor of New South Wales, applied to him to appoint me Lieutenant of the Royal Hospital og Greenwich, in the room of Lieut. Larcock, deceased. His Lordship willingly complied and I accordingly succeeded to Lieut. Larcock`s berth on 15 October 1787, satisfied and happy after plowing that turbulent and inconstant element the Ocean for forty-four years. Ambition once flattered me that I should have risen higher, and there have been times that I felt my Services merited promotion. When I have heard, as, thank God! I have lately often done, the shout of Victory, I rode uneasy at my moorings, and experienced a pang, that after so many years of Service, I should in my old age be unknown and unnoticed. But the squall never lasted long; Amidst all my Fortunes I have preserved that Sheet Anchor which no Man taketh from me - A firm belief in an over-ruling Providence, and a constant reliance upon Him Who Stilled the Waves.
Note: by Lieut. William Hunter. Born in 1731, he served in Merchant Ships and East Indiamen before joining the Royal Navy in 1755.


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