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have to recommend these officers,together with those who are particularly noticed by the Rear Admiral, to their Lordships' favourable consideration. * Captain Robyns, of the Roya Marines, who commanded the marines of the squadron on this occasion, and in the operations against Washington, being severely wounded, I beg leave to bring him to their Lordship's recollection, as having been frequently noticed for his gallant conduct during the services on the Chesapeake, and to recommend him, with Lieutenant Sampson Marshall, of the Diadem, who is dangerously wounded, to their Lordships’ favour and protection. First Lieutenant John Lawrence of the Royal Marine Artillery, who commanded the rocket brigade, has again rendered essential service, and is highly spoken of by Colonel Brook. Captain Edward Crofton, who will have the honour of delivering this dispatch, is competent to explain any further particulars; and I beg leave to recommend him to their Lordships' protection, as a most zealous and intelligent officer. I have the honour to be, &c. ALEXAN DER Coch RAN E, Vice Admiral and Commander in Chief. To John Wilson Croker, Esq. &c. &c. &c.
His Majesty's ship Severn, in the Patapsco, Sept. 15 1814. Sir, In furtherance of the instructions I had the honour to receive from you on the 11th inst. I landed at day-light on the 12th with Major General Ross and the
force under his command, at a place the General and myself had previously fixed upon, near to North Point, at the entrance of the Patapsco ; and in conformity with his wishes, I determined on remaining on shore, and accompanying the army to render him every assistance within my power during the contemplated movements and operations; therefore, so soon as our landing was completed, I directed Captain Nourse, of this ship, to advance up the Patapsco with the frigates, sloops, and bomb ships, to bombard the fort, and threaten the water-approach to Baltimore, and I moved on with the army and seamen (under Captain Edward Crofton) attached to it, on the direct road leading to the above-mentioned town. We had advanced about 5 miles (without other occurrence than taking prisoners a few light horsemen), when the General and myself, being with the advanced guard, observed a division of the enemy posted at a turning of the road, extending into a wood on our left; a sharp fire was almost immediately opened upon us from it, and as quickly returned with considerable effect by our advanced guard, which, pressing steadily forward, soon obliged the enemy to run off with the utmost precipitation, leaving behind him several men killed, and wounded ; but it is with the most heartfelt sorrow I have to add, that in this short and desultory skirmish, my gallant and highly valued friend, the Major General, received a musketball through his arm into his breast, which proved fatal to him on his way to the water-side for re-embarkation. Our country, Sir, has lost in
him one of its best and bravest soldiers, and those who knew him, as I did, a friend most honoured and beloved; and I trust, Sir, I may be forgiven for considering it a sacred duty I owe to him to mention here, that whilst his wounds were binding up, and we were placing him on the bearer, which was to carry him off the field, he assured me the wounds he had received in the performance of his duty to his country caused him not a pang ; but he felt alone, anxiety for a wife and family dearer to him than his life, whom, in the event of the fatal termination he foresaw, he recommended to the protection and notice of his Majesty's Government, and the country. Colonel Brook, on whom the command of the army now devolved, having come up, and the body of our troops having closed with the advance, the whole proceeded forward about two miles further, where we observed the enemy in force drawn up before us (apparently about six or seven thousand strong); on perceiving our army, he filed off into a large and extensive wood on his right, from which he commenced a cannonade on us from his field pieces, and drew up his men behind a thick paling, where he appeared determined to make his stand. Our field guns anwered his with evident advantage, and so soon as Colonel Brook had made the necessary dispositions, the attack was ordered, and executed in the highest style possible. The enemy opened his musketry on us from his whole line, immediately as we
approached within reach of it, and
kept up his fire till we reached and
entered the wood, when he gave way in every direction, and was chased by us a considerable distance with great slaughter, abandoning his post of the Meetinghouse, situated in this wood, and leaving all his wounded and two of his field guns in our possession. An advance of this description against superior numbers of an enemy so posted, could not be effected without loss. I have the honour to enclose a return of what has been suffered by those of the naval department, acting with the army on this occasion; and it is, Sir, with the greatest pride and pleasure I report to you, that the brigade of seamen with small arms commanded by Captain Faward Crofton, assisted by Captain Sullivan, Money, and Ramsay, (the three senior commanders with the fleet) who commanded divisions under him, behaved with a gallantry and steadiness which would have done honour to the oldest troops, and which attracted the admiration of the army. The seamen under Mr. Jackson, master's mate of the Tonnant, attached to the rocket brigade, commanded by the First Lieutenant Lawrence, of the marines, behaved also with equal skill and bravery. The marines landed from the ships under the command of Captain Robyns, the senior officer of that corps, belonging to the fleet, behaved with their usual gallantry. Although, Sir, in making to you my report of this action, I know it is right I should confine myself to mentioning only the conduct of those belonging to the naval department; yet I may be excused for venturing further to state to you generally the high admiration
with which I viewed the conduct of the whole army, and the ability and gallantry with which it was managed and headed by its brave Colonel, which insured to it the success it met with. The night being fast approaching, and the troops much fatigued, Colonel Brook determined on remaining for the night on the field of battle; and on the morning of the 13th, leaving a small guard at the Meeting-house to collect and protect the wounded, we again moved forward towards Baltimore, on approaching which it was found to be defended by extremely strong works on every side, and immediately in front of us by an extensive hill, on which was an intrenched camp, and great quantities of artillery, and the information we collected, added to what we observed, gave us to believe there were at least within their works from 15 to 20,000 men. Colonel Brook lost no time in reconnoitering these defences, after which he made his arrangement for storming, during the ensuing night, with his gallant little army, the entrenched camp in our front, notwithstanding the difficulties which it presented.— The subsequent communications which we opened with you, however, induced him again to relinquish the idea, and therefore yesterday morning the army retired leisurely to the Meeting-house, where it halted for some hours to make the necessary arrangements respecting the wounded and the prisoners taken on the 12th, which eing completed, it made a further short movement in the evening towards the place where it had disembarked, and where it arrived this morning for re-embarkation, with
out suffering the slightest molestation from the enemy, who, in spite of his superiority of number, did not even venture to look at us during this slow and deliberate retreat. As you, Sir, were in person with the advanced frigates, sloops, and bomb vessels, and as, from the road the army took, I did not see them after quitting the beach, it would be superfluous for me to make any report to you respecting them. I have now, therefore, only to assure you of my entire satisfaction and approbation of the conduct of every officer and man employed under me, during the operations above detailed, and to express to you how paticularly I consider myself indebted to Captain Edward Crofton (acting captain of the Royal Oak,) for the gallantry, ability, and zeal, with which he led on the brigade of seamen in the action of the 12th, and executed all the other services with which he had been intrusted . since our landing; to Capt. White (acting Captain of the Albion) who attended me as my Aide de Camp the whole time, and rendered me every possible assistance, to Captains Sullivan, Money, and Ramsay, who commanded divisions of the brigade of seamen; to Lieutenant James Scott of the Albion whom I have had such frequent cause to mention to you on former occasions, and who in the battle of the 12th commanded a division of seamen, and behaved most gallantly, occasionally also acting as an extra Aide-de-camp to myself. Captain Robyns, who commanded the marines of the fleet, and who was severely wounded during the engagement, I also beg to recommend to your favourable notice and consideration, as well as Lieutenant George C. Urmston, of the Albion, whom I placed in command of the smaller boats, to endeavour to keep up a communication between the army and navy, which he effected by great perseverance, and thereby rendered us most essential service. In short, Sir, every individual seemed animated with equal anxiety to distinguish himself by good conduct on this occasion, and I trust therefore the whole will be deemed worthy of your approbation. Captain Nourse, of the Severn, was good enough to receive my flag for this service; he rendered me great assistance in getting the ships to the different stations within the river; and when the storming of the fortified hill was contemplated, he hastened to my assistance with a reinforcement of seamen and marines; and I should consider myself wanting in candour and justice, did I not particularly point out, Sir, to you, the high opinion I entertain of the enterprize and ability of this valuable officer, not only for his conduct on this occasion, but on the very many others on which I have employed him since with me in the Chesapeake. I have, &c. G. Cockburn, - Rear-Admiral. Vice-Admiral the Hon. Sir Alexander Cochrane, K. B. Commander-in-Chief, &c. &c. &c.
His Majesty's Ship Tonnant, Chesapeake, Sept. 12, 1814. Sir, In my dispatch of the 2nd instant, recounting the success of our expedition against Washing
ton, I acquainted you, for the information of my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, that the winds had been unfavourable for the return of the ships which were detached up the Potomac, under Captain J. A. Gordon of the Sea-horse, to co-operate against the capital; but that I had heard of their having accomplished the destruction of Fort Washington. I have now the honour not only to confirm this report, but to transmit for their Lordships' information, a copy of Captain Gordon's detail of his proceedings, in which his further success has exceeded my most sanguine expectations; having forced the populous city of Alexandria to capitulate, and having brought down the river in triumph, through a series of obstacles and determined opposition, a fleet of twenty-one enemy's vessels. The difficulties which presented themselves to these ships in ascending the river, impeded by shoals and contrary winds, and the increased obstacles which the enemy had prepared against their return, with a confident hope of obstructing their descent, were only to be overcome by the most indefatigable exertions. I trust, therefore, that the resolution and gallantry displayed by every one employed upon this service, which deserve my warmest applause, will be further honoured by the approbation of their Lordships. I have, &c. A LEx. Coch RAN e. Vice-Admiral, Commanderin-Chief.
Seahorse, Chesapeake, Sept. 9, 1814. Sir, –In obedience to your or
ders, I proceeded into the River Potomac, with the ships named in the margin, on the 17th of last month; but from being without pilots to assist us through that difficult, part of the river called the Kettle-Bottoms, and from contrary winds, we were unable to reach Fort Washington until the evening of the 27th, Nor was this effected but by the severest labour. I believe each of the ships was not less than 20 different times a-ground, and each time we were obliged to haul off by main strength; and we were employed warping for five whole successive days, with the exception of a few hours, a distance of more than fifty miles. The bomb-ships were placed on the evening of the 27th, and immediately began the bombardment of the Fort, it being my intention to attack it with the frigates at day-light the following morning. On the bursting of the first shell, the garrison were observed to retreat; but supposing some concealed design, I directed the fire to be continued. At eight o'clock, however, my doubts were removed by the explosion of the powder-magazine, which destroyed the inner buildings, and at daylight on the 28th we took possession. Besides the principal fort, which contained two fifty-two pounders, two thirty-two pounders, and eight twenty-four pounders, there was a battery on the beach of five eighteen pounders, a martello tower, with two twelvepounders, and loop holes for musketry, aud, a battery in the rear of two twelve and six six-pound field-pieces. The whole of these guns were already spiked by the Wo L, LVI.
enemy, and their complete destruction, with their carriages also, was effected by the seamen and marines sent on that service, in less than two hours. The populous city of Alexandria thus lost its only defence; and, having buoyed the channel, I deemed it better to postpone giving any answer to a proposal made to me for its capitulation until the following morning, when I was enabled to place the shipping in such a position as would ensure assent to the terms I had decided to enforce. To this measure I attribute their ready acquiescence, as it removed that doubt of my determination to proceed, which had been raised in the minds of the inhabi ants by our army having retired from Washington: this part of our proceedings will be further explained by the accompanying documents. The Hon. Lieutenant Gordon of this ship was sent on the evening of the 28th to prevent the escape of any of the vessels comprised in the capitulation, and the whole of those which were seaworthy, amounting to 21 in number, were fitted and loaded by the 31st. Captain Baker, of the Fairy, bringing your orders of the 27th, having fought his way up the river past a battery of five guns and a large military force, confirmed the rumours, which had already reached us, of strong measures having been taken to oppose our return; and I therefore quitted Alexandria without waiting to destroy those remaining stores which we had not the means of . bringing away.
Contrary winds again oeca