« ForrigeFortsett »
Journal of Occurrences at Dominica.
frigates and sloops as he could collect, but the enemy never looked after them, although so much superior.
On the 14th, the packet from England arrived, under convoy of a frigate, and brought a reinforcement of 100 men of the York light infantry volunteers, under Major Muller*, and a detachment of artillery commanded by Captain George Crawfordt, which were much wanted. At the same time we heard that the enemy had taken all the shipping at St. Kitt's, Nevis, and Montserrat, and that they had levied contributions on these islands; great apprehensions had been entertained for Antigua, as it was thought they would endeavour to destroy the dock-yards at English harbour; but on leaving St. Kite's they stood 10 the S.E. and it was conjectured meant suddenly to attack Barbadoes, which was left very bare of troops; but they went quietly inio Martinique, from whence they sailed for France on the 13th, and on the 26th, Admiral Cochrane, with six sail of the line, reached Barbadoes, and immediately pursued them, but without effect: they landed the remainder of their troops at the city of St. Domingo, and got safe into Rochlort, the same port from whence they sailed, after a fine passage. So soon as we were informed of the arrival of Admiral Cochrane's squadron, we had no farther apprehensions of the enemy, knowing they would not return to face our fleet; the general immediately ordered up the militia, and six companies of the 46th regiment to Roseau ; the remainder of the regiment were left under the command of Captain M‘Kenzie, to do duty at Prince Rupert's.
From the 1st of April nothing of consequence occurred until the 16th of May, the first fleet for Europe had been appointed to sail from Tortola on the Ist of June, and the Dominica ships were to sail from that island in the 201h of May. General Prevost having obtained leave of abscence, had embarked all his baggage on board the Hawkesbury, Captain Carr; Brigadier General Dalrymple, who had arrived lately from England, and who had commanded for a short time at St. Vincent's, had arrived on the 10th, to Telieve him in the command of the troops, when, on the 16th, in the afternoon, a dispatch vessel from St. Lucia arrived with intelligence from General Brereton, that on the preceding day 15 sail of the line, besides frigates, had arrived at Fort Royal, Martinique, being composed of eight Spanish, and seven French sail of line of battle ships; they had sustained considerable damage from the fire of the Diamond rock, on which the commander, Captain Maurice, had displayed French colours, and decoyed them under the guns: one Spanish ship of the line, in particular, which had separated and came down by herself next day, was very severely handled. Upon the receipt of this intelligence General Prevost immediately ordered martial law to be proclaimed, the whole of the militia of the island on permanent duty, all the 46th regiment quartered on Morne Bruce, with the exception of a captain's detachment, and the light infantry of the first West India regiment, and part of the St. George's regiment began their march immediately
• Now Lieutenant colonel, Royals.
† A very active officer.
Journal of Occurrences at Dominica,
for Prince Rupert's, the general intending to make no defence elsewhere. Brigadier-general Samuel Dalrymple* proceeded to Prince Rupert's, in the garrison boat, with orders to assuine the command of the garrison: General Prevost himself was to remain at Roseau, until the enemy should appear, or until he was certain the island would be attacked. The two companies of the St. George's militia took post at Point Round, where they remained to keep up the communication. At Prince Rupert's every means was used to put the place in the best possible state of defence. The troops amounted to 1200 regulars, including 40 artillery men, and 500 militia were ready to march in to join them. Plenty of water and provisions were speedily got into the garrison, the whole of the first West India regiment being employed for some days on that service, and we were soon in a condition to have stood a four months siege.
Until the 20th we heard nothing farther of the enemy, but saw some of their cruizers on that day. General Prevost arrived in the garrison boat, and we expected he had got some important information; however, it appeared he only came to see that every preparation was made in the garrison; he had only learned that the enemy's troops were very sickly, and that they were detaining all American vessels with provisions, in order to re-victual their fleet. On the forenoon of this day, we saw an enemy's line of battle ship, and two frigates passing down towards Guadaloupe, and at the same time another frigate standing up from that island, towards Prince Rupert's bay, which proved to be the Jason frigate, Captain Champain, just arrived on the station, and last from Tortola, having convoyed a fleet from Cork, and gone down to Surinam, with the ships bound there. She had heard nothing of the enemy's fleet, but knew the ships to leeward to be enemies; they allowed her to bear up for Prince Rupert's, without making any altempt to cut her off. The arrival of General Prevost diffused the greatest joy throughout the garrison, as in him every individual reposed the greatest confidence: the frigate was also a very seasonable reinforcement, as in case of an attack her crew would have been of most essential service at the bat
General Prevost, after his arrival, reviewed the garrison, and closely inspected the works; he ordered parties from the first West India Tegiment to be employed daily in clearing the face of the inner Cabrilet of the brushwood, which might have afforded shelter to the enemy, in case of an attempt to storm. From the 2012 we every day observed the enemy's cruizers passing and repassing, but none of our own. On the 25th a Swe. dish sloop, which the general had sent to gain information of the enemy's motions, retarned with the intelligence, that they still continued in Fort
• Dr. Bremner, artillery surgeon, Mr. H. Gordon, of the commissariat department, Mr. Hater, ordnance store-keeper, were ordered down with the General to take charge of their respective departments.
+ The two hills on which stands the fortress of Prince Rupert are named Caberites, from the oumber of goats formerly seen running wild about them.
Journal of Occurrences at Dominica.
Royal, that they had only 5000 troops on board, and that they threatened Dominica, St. Lucia, and Trinidad: the latter we thought it probable would be their point of allack, in compliment to the Spaniards: when we heard they had only such a small number of troops, we were quite confident of bidding them defance in our strong hold, and we understood St. Lucia was in an equal slate of preparation as ourselves, and equally confident of repelling the enemy. On the 1st of June we received intelligence of their having attacked the Diamond Rock, and that it was feared it bad surrendered, as English colours were no longer seen flying.
On this day, Major Payne, of the 46th regiment, arrived from Barbadoes, and took the command of the regiment, Captain James*, whom he superceded in the command, was sent up to Roseau 10 lake charge of the regulars and militia doing duty there. On the 4th, being His Majesty's birth day, the General entertained the whole of the officers in garrison. The troops had been all drawn out at twelve o'clock, and fired a royal salute from their alarm posts, which had a very fine effect. This day passed on very quietly, but on the following day, about twelve o'clock, signals from Roseau announced the approach of the enemy's fleet; every countenance now brightened, we imagined the eventful period had arrived when we should again have to encounter the enemy on more equal terms. At three o'clock, when the officers were assembling at the mess-room, a large ship was seen over the low land at Point Round, which by our glasses we soon discovered to be a French frigate; she soon afier shortened sail, and lay to. The officers dined in great spirits, having little doubt that Prince Rupert's was certainly to be allacked; at five all the troops were paraded, the General addressed each corps separately, and reminded the 46th † and Ist West India regiments of their former good conduct, and recommended to the volunteer light infantry to emulate them: Double guards were mounted, and the whole ordered to be under arms at four next morning. The General then gave his orders separately, and most distinctly to the Com. manding Officers of corps, and Heads of departments. In the evening his quarters were literally besieged with officers, all eager for news, and to hear the General's sentiments, on the important prospect now before them. At nine all was quiet throughout the garrison. About twelve at night, the body of the combined fleet was distinctly seen from Fort Shirley, by Captain C. Campbell, the commanding officer of the guard, and reported to the General. At half-past three the whole garrison was in motion, marching to their respective alarm posts; at four every man was at his post, and never were troops animated with greater zeal, or more eager for another opportunity of signalizing themselves. As day light appeared, we counted three Admiral's flags, fifteen sail of the line, two ships armed en fule, and fifteen smaller vessels. From five in the morning, when they were nearly
• This officer, now Lieutenant-colonel of the 57th regiment, commanded the 46th with much credit on the 22d February.
* Both regiments have been allowed to bave the word Dominica marked in their colours.
Journal of Occurrences at Duminica.
within gun-shot, until ten, they lay becalmed, and a strong current driving them into the bay; but at length a breeze sprung up, which carried them gradually out. Not doubting but that they meant to attack the island, the General had at day-light ordered signals to be made to the post at Point Round, to know if they had landed any men to cut off the communication with Roseau, and very speedily received an answer in the negative; we observed at the same time different parties of militia in full march for the garrison, and at eight, Captain James, and some men of the 461h, crossed over from Point Round in a boat, and entered the garrison. The two companies of the 46th, and all the militia he could collect, amounting to nearly three hundred men, had marched from Roseau the preceding evening at five o'clock; and after a very harassing march of eighteen miles, over wretched roads, had reached Point Round by day light, and were now hasteping towards the garrison. At this time' also, Captain Champain landed his marines from the Jason, consisting of thirty-five men, com. manded by Lieutenant Bignall, who joined the 46th regiment. At nine another boat arrived with six gentlemen', who came to offer their services as honorary Aids-de-Camp to the General, having before proved themselves very useful al Roseau. About ten o'clock, whilst all were eager for the future proceedings of the enemy, the furnaces for red-hot shot being heated, and every necessary preparation made, the General rode up to the top of the outer Cabrite, accompanied by Captain Champain, for the purpose of making particular observations as to the enemy's motions. It was soon discovered that they were taking advantage of a breeze which now sprung up, and making sail towards Guadaloupe ; during the time they lay becalmed, they hoisted no colours; but did so, as soon as they made sail. Thus, after being closely shut up for three weeks, we saw this formidable armament pass us; and very readily conjectured, that they had either heard of the arrival of an English fleet at Barbadoes, or meant to attack Antigua, for which they seemed not unlikely to steer after calling at Guadaloupe. The General sent up Lieutenant Prevost in the afternooii to Roseau, and next morning he conmunicated to us by signal, that Lord Nelson, with his fleet, was arrived at Barbadoes. In the evening he returned to the garrison, and brought us the disagreeable intelligence, that his Lordship had sailed on the 4th for Trinidad; which, from the information sent up from St. Lucia, was supposed to be the object of attack. It seems on the morning of the 2d, a number of vessels were seen from the heights of St. Lucia, steering down to windward of St. Vincent, which General Prerelon supposed to be the enemy's fleet, and immediately sent off a dispatch vessel to Barbadoes with the intelligence. General Prevost had sent a neutral vessel from Prince Rupert's on the 1st, with dispatches for the commander of the forces, and with orders to reconnoitre Fort Royal harbour, and give the commander of the forces what information they could collect. Both these vessels reached Barbadoes at the same time, and unluckily, although
* Messrs. Porter, Chollet, Audain, Gordon, Gester, and Turguard.
Estimates of the Strength of France and Russia.
the neutral reported having seen the enemy's fleet at anchor on the 2d, and met the American vessels coming out, the information from St. Lucia was preferred, and his Lordship steered for Trinidad. Had he proceeded off Martinique, he must have overtaken them at Dominica ; and although his force was only twelve sail of the line, there could be no doubt of his beating them; the ships seen from St. Lucia were American's delained by the enemy's feet, from whose cargoes they had recruited their stock of provisious, the embargo being raised, they were allowed to sail, when the French fleet found it necessary to put to sea, or be blockaded by the British fleet. On the 8th, we learned by a neutral vessel from Guadaloupe, that the enemy had embarked troops on the 5th, and sailed on the 61h; and we were apprehensive, that having learned the weak state in which Barbadoes was left, (the garrison having been embarked in Lord Nelson's fleet, fos the relief of Trinidad), they meant to go to windward and get hold of it. From this day, until the 20th, he heard no more of them. We then learned that they had sent back the troops in the frigates to Guadaloupe, and that Lord Nelson had sailed from St. Kitt's in pursuit of them. They had the start of him by several days. General Prevost now once more resigned the command to General Dalrymple, fully sensible of the zeal and exertions of the troops, militia as well as regulars, and of all descriptions of persons employed in the public service. He failed rot to thank them in general, and to make known the high sense he entertained of them. The half of the 46th regiment*, under Major Payne, returned to Roseau, and the rest of the regiment, under Captain Archibald Campbell, were left at Prince Rupert's on the 5th of July. General Prevost sailed from Dominica to join the convoy at Tortola, beloved and regretted by the whole community
STRENGTH OF FRANCE AND RUSSIA.
(Continued from page 124.)
as far as Russia affects the politics and commercial interests of the civilized world, the Czar Peter may be said to have first discovered it. Such is the extent and siluation of the Russian territories : the nature and
* This invaluable corps is lately returned a skeleton from the West Indies; but will, no doubt, soon be filled up, and fit for service in the peninsula. The grenadiers of that regiment have had another opportunity of signalizing themselve under Captain Ogilby, at the reduction of Guadaloupe, in 1810.