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" The

of the enemy

miles from Baltimore. On the 30th of November, a boat-expedition, with about 500 seamen and marines, ascended the river Rappahannock, as high as the town of Tappahannock, which they entered without much opposition, although three times their number of militia were in the neighbourhood. The editor of the American “National Intelligencer," of December 9, after having magnified captain Barrie's force to “ 2500 troops," says: purpose seems to be, as heretofore, to steal vegroes, stock, tobacco, &c. plunder the houses within their teach, and burn what they cannot carry off.” Charges of this description we have already, fully answered. We need only repeat here, that the negroes' come off voluntarily; the “stock” is amply paid for; and the “tobacco" "good prize, by the maritime law of nations,”: As much of the latter, as the British could not

carry off,” it was right for them to "bary:"" the charge of " plunder" we can only hope is, groundless. Had that, active and enterprising officer, captain Barrie, really had 2500 troops,". he would have compelled Mr. Gales to fill his. columns with matter fifty times more important than the capture of Tappahannock,s

Early in December, rear-admiral Çockburn, in the Albion, from Bermuda, bringing with, him the Orlando frigate, and some smaller ves-,

See p. 192.

.

sels, arrived in the Chesapeake, but merely to carry away the colonial marines; with whom, on the 14th, be proceeded towards Amelia Island, in East Florida : having left orders for captain Barrie to follow, with the Dragon, Hebrus, and Regulus. Accordingly, captain Barrie départed soon afterwards, leaving a few frigates and sloops in the Chesapeake; and, on the 10th of January, arrived off Cumberland Island, the southern-most of the chain along the coast of Georgia, and separated by Cumberland Sound from Amelia Island. Rear-admiral Cockburn not having yet arrived, captain Somerville of the Rota, as the senior officer, determined upon employing the two companies of the 2d West India regiment, and the detachments of royal marines which had recently arrived on that coast, in a combined attack upon the frontier-town of the state of Georgia, St. Mary's, situated a few miles up the river of that name, dividing the United States and East Florida. On the 13th an attack, with about 100 troops, marines, and searen, under the command of captain Barrie, was made on the fort, or key to the entrance of the rivar, at Point Petre. This - fort mounted two 24, two 18, one 9, and two brass 6-pounders; trom which, however, scarcely a single discharge was made, ere the garrison abandoned the post, and fled to the woods in the rear. On the 14th, the combined

forces, accompanied by the Terror and Devastation bombs, ascended the river to St. Mary's. Contrary to expectation, here, also, no resistance was made; and the town, the shipping in the harbor, and the merchandize in the stores, were taken quiet possession of. Soon afterwards an expedition of boats, went a considerable dis. tance further up the river, and brought down the Countess of Harcourt East Indiaman, which had been captured and carried in there by a Charlestown privateer; also a beautiful gunboat, named the Scorpion, a present from the town of St. Mary's to the United States.

On the 15th of January, rear-admiral Cockburn, who had been blown off the coast by strong north-west gales, arrived and took the command; and on the 22d, the British, after removing the guns, and destroying the fort and barracks, at Point Petre, descended the river to Cumberland Island ; of, which immediate possession was taken. The troops and marines were encamped; and the rear-admiral established his head-quar, ters at a very large house, built of tabby; * surrounding it with the ordnance brought from Point Petre. On the 22d of February, eight launches, two pinnaces, and onę gig, containing 186 officers, seamen, and marines, under the coinmand of captain Phillott, of the Primrose brig, -ascended the St. Mary's river, without

* Oyster-shells, and their cement,

opposition, 120 miles ; when a heavy fire of musketry, opening upon them from each side, compelled a retreat. While day-light lasted, a spirited fire was kept up by the boats ; but, unfortunately, after dark, the men could not bé restrained from firing, by which they exposed themselves to the view of their eneiny. The river was, in some parts, so narrow, that a couple of stout trees, many of which were on the banks, felled and thrown across, would have completely eut off the retreat of the boats. That not having been done, the boats got back to the island, with four killed, and 25 wounded.

One of the objects in assembling troops upon this part of the coast was, to assist in a combined attack upon

he town of Savannah, in Georgia; a naval station of no mean importance. The town stands upon a flat sandy cliff, elevated about 50 feet above the level of the Savannah river; is distant from the sea about 17 miles; and from St. Mary's, 95 miles. The number of its inhabitants is about 7000; and the quota of militia wbich, by the secretary of war's order of July the 4th, * the state of Georgia was required to hold in readiness, amounted to 350 artillery, and 3150 infantry ; total, 3500 men. The British, since their first arrival at-Cumberland island, had been waiting for a reinforcement, under general Power; but whose

Sec p. 274.

destination, unknown to them, had been altered. Without this additional force, it would have been imprudent to make the attack. Some other operations, in which a body of Indians and Negroes from the interior of West Florida, was to co-operate, had also been in agitation. But the intended junction had been prevented by the machinations of some of those crafty Americans, who, as "British subjects,” living under our own government,were so actively employed against us, during the whole of the late war. Consequently 7 or 800 - British troops, and 12 ships of war, including two 74s and three or four frigates, were allowed to remain, for several weeks, in a state of perfect inactivity; at a time, too, when an important, well-struck blow would have produced so healing an effect. Had it not been for a communication, opened, through the Spaniards on Amelia. Island, with East. Florida, both army and navy would have had their idle hours still further embittered by a want of subsistence.

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