صور الصفحة
PDF
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

“Cardin the American has a great deal of merit, but wants bread to eat. He is an excellent fellow for the woods; I am sure of my intelligence and therefore wish the field mareschal wou'd give him leave to serve the campaign with us, as he himself desired—5 or 6 shillings a day for the campaign (till other provision can be made) wou'd satisfy him fully. If this is thought too high a price for his services, I am ready to find him in food and shelter at my own expence. Hotham has a letter from Murray recommending him in the strongest manner upon former acquaintance in war. My information regards some later acts of his upon which I venture to present to your lordships and to the public as a good servant and a brave soldier, and beg he may be sent to us or after us. He is bold, circumspect, and more artful than his appearance bespeaks—has experience in the method of the American war beyond anybody that I can hear off, I hope we shan’t lose such a subject so particularly adapted to this kind of work. I am at more trouble to find out proper people to forward the service than almost any body and succeed so ill when I have found'em that I am discourag'd from proceeding in my discoveries. Cardin was Lieut. of Shirley's or Pepperreles I know not which, and has but one thread bare old uniform to cover an indefatigable body spurred on to action by a daring mind.

“Death, wounds, sickness, and a necessary garrison, will diminish our numbers. I give 3ooo men for these different articles. Would it not be a wise measure to send a reinforcement of a good old battalion of 9oo men to join us about the middle of June. With such an increase of strength we might undertake the great object, at least I see no reason at this distance to hinder it. Of the 8oo men drawn from the 2d. Battalion under Major Hardy's command I can venture to say that we shant land 4oo, but the mischief they will do in the fleet by introducing diseases amongst them is still more to be apprehended. No nation in the world but this sends soldiers to war without discipline or instructions.”

In a postscript “The wind labours hard against us. Adam Livingstone of the S. Fusrs. and Delaune of Kingsley's are form'd by nature for the American war.”

[1758] May 12th. Halifax. Same to same.

From Christopher Colombus’ time to our days there perhaps has never been a more extraordinary voyage. The continual opposition of contrary winds, calms, or currents baffled all our skill and wore out all our patience. A fleet of men of war well mann'd, unincumber'd with transports, commanded by an officer of the first reputation, has been eleven weeks in its passage. We made the Madeir Islands, the Canaries, Bermudas, and lastly to crown all the Isle of Sable Two or three of the ships are sickly, the rest are in very good condition. The Admiral, who has omitted no care or precaution to advance the service, is labouring to fit the fleet for the sea with all possible despatch.

“We found Amherst's Regiment in the Harbour in fine order and healthy. Fraser's & Brigr. Lawrences Battalions were here, and both in good condition. The Highlanders are very usefull serviceable soldiers, and commanded by the most manly corps of officers I ever saw. Webb's, Otway's, and part of Monckton's battalions from Philadelphia came in with us. The detachments from this garrison are not joind, so that these battalions are very weak, scarce exceeding 300 men a regiment. About 5oo Rangers are come, which to appearance are little better than la cana ille.

“Brigr. Whitmore is expected every day with the artillery and the troops from New York and Boston, Bragg's from the Bay of Fundy, and Anstruther's from Ireland.

“A great quantity of facines and gabions are made and other preparations of that sort, and a kind of small wooden fort (that takes to pieces) to secure our communication, instead of redoubts, which it seems the ground does not admit of, I have recommended a provision of pallisades, that the troops may be quiet in their camp and to fortify our different magazines. We are to expect opposition at our landing. It is suppos'd they have about 15oo irregulars, and that their garrison is augmented, because seven ships (three of which are said to be men of war of two decks) have got into the harbour. The battalions are in general healthy, and I daresay will do their duty well. They are irritated against the enemy and have a quarrel of their own to decide besides the public cause. As I foresaw long ago we shall find work to do. We are preparing a body of Light Foot to join to the Rangers, and I believe the whole will be put under the command of Capt. Scott, (Major of Brigade) who is an active officer and us’d to that kind of war. Capt. Raes came in yesterday, from Sr. C. Hardy's squadron off Louisbourg. They have had the severest weather imaginable, and the snow is still upon the ground of Cape Breton, tho’ here the weather is fair and dry and warm. We don’t entertain a right notion of L'Isle Royale in England; it is not possible to encamp there early in the year and to preserve the army. I wouldn’t be understood by that to mean that we are prevented by the season at this time. We only wait the arrival of Brigadier Whitmore and the equipment of the squadron to set sail, and certainly we shall struggle against all difficulties and push the affair with vigour. As I told your Lordship we will put your cannon to proof.” In a postscript, “Gen1. Hopson delivers over the command of the troops this day to Brigadier Lawrence.

1758 May 24th. Halifax—Same to same.

“The latter end of May and the fleet not sail'd : What are they about? Why are they not landed at Louisbourg The troops have been all embark'd these 3 or 4 days (except Bragg's and two hundred men from Lunenburgh, who we suppose to be at hand), but the war ships are not quite ready, and if they were, the wind, rain, and fog of this last week would have kept us here. The Admiral means to sail with the first air breeze and leave some of the ships of war to follow. He has reinforc’d Sir Charles Hardy with the Royal William and Prince Frederick, and is impatient to be gone. The enemy we are told has entrench'd the shoar of the Bay of Gaberouse (?) and has planted his artillery upon the beach thereof. If we find him strong in that part, we must try him at a greater distance, and where perhaps he is less prepared, our present notions are to land 3ooo men at Miré and march towards Gaberouse, attack at the same time the further L'Orembeek and La Balleine, get footing in one or other of those little harbours, land a considerable body and march to the nether L'Orembeek which is not above a mile from the end of the North East harbour. A small body of men (by way of diversion) are likewise to be detached to the bottom of Gabarus Bay, there land and entrench themselves. While these operations are carrying on the Admiral threatens them at the harbours mouth with the gros of his squadron and makes all possible show of attack with the rest in that part of the Bay of Gabarouse where the Americans landed. If neither of these succeed we must fall upon some other method for we must get on shoar or perish all together in the attempt. It will be my part to command the body that goes round to Miré (3 battalions of the Light Foot).

Monckton has L'Orembeek with 2 battalions, and M. Lawrence manages the rest. Nothing, however, is yet fix’d upon, or can be fix’d till we see the object, and perhaps General Amherst may arrive in the meanwhile time enough to improve the present plan. When the troops &c. are landed we shall possess the Light House Point, canonade and bombard the Island Battery and destroy the shipping; then we proceed to open the trenches, and I shou'd imagine the attack will be directed against the Bastion Dauphin for reasons that the Engineers will give your lordship hereafter. General Abercrombie has with held the hautvitzers that were at New York amongst the stores intended for the siege of Louisbourg last year, and comprehended in the preparations of this year by which we shall be great sufferers. I hope Mr. Abercrombie has sufficient reasons to give for depriving us of so essential an article. We ought to have had a dozen of the largest sort for this business. I am told, too, that his Excellency had a great mind to keep the tools, in which case then was an end of the seige of Louisbourg altogether, and I believe it will now be found that we have not one pick axe too many.

“As here are no spare arms, nor no rifled barrell guns, the firelocks of these regiments will be so injur'd in the course of the seige that I doubt if they will be in any condition of service after it is over. Some of them are already very bad.

“Upon enquiry into the affairs of this country it appears evidently that the two principal posts and frontiers indeed of America are Halifax and Oswego, one of which we have already lost, and the other we must lose in 12 hours whenever it is attack'd. This is a most excellent harbour, is situated happily for the protection of our fishery and the interruption of the enemy's and for the annoyance of their navigation up the River St. Lawrence.

“The position of Oswego manifests its great utility. You secure an interest with the Indians and awe them; share the furr trade with the French ; make war upon their colony from thence with great ease, cut off the communication with the Ohio by a squadron of armed vessels upon the lake, and, by obliging them to defend themselves at home, prevent the bloody ravages upon the frontiers of our colonies. Hitherto there has been the most profound ignorance of the nature of the war upon this continent and several abuses in regard to the troops. Ld. Howe will remedy the first if he outlives this campaign, and it belongs to your Lordship to do the rest. The army is undone and ruin’d by the constant use of salt meat and rum. They might often be provided with fresh meat as cheap as the other, and by stopping 2d. or 3d. a day for their provisions they would have no more left than was of use to them, and the extravagance hitherto unknown of furnishing an army with provisions without making them contribute a part of their pay towards it, would be at an end. The women, too, can very well afford by their industry to pay 2d. a day for their provisions; the idle ones that cannot are better away. The men's necessaries indeed are at a higher price in America than in Europe, but still in time of war they can afford 2d. a day for provisions, and in time of peace 3d. ; the same at sea and at Gibraltar, which would be a considerable saving and a very reasonable one to the publick.

“Work done by the Soldiers for his Majesty's service is paid at a most exorbitant rate. We are indebted to Mr. Knowles for this piece of economy. Besides their provisions and their pay, the soldiers had a

« السابقةمتابعة »