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Title: The History of the First West India Regiment
Author: Ellis, A. B. (Alfred Burdon), 1852-1894
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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_Major, First West India Regiment._








I beg to return my best thanks to A.E. HAVELOCK, Esq., C.M.G.
Administrator-in-Chief of the West African Settlements;
Lieutenant-Colonel F.B.P. WHITE, of the 1st West India Regiment; V.S.
GOULDSBURY, Esq., Administrator of the Gambia Settlements; A. YOUNG,
Esq., Lieutenant-Governor of Demerara; F. EVANS, Esq., C.M.G., Assistant
Colonial Secretary of the Gold Coast Colony; ALFRED KINGSTON, Esq., of
the Record Office; and RICHARD GARNETT, Esq., of the British Museum, for
the very valuable assistance which they have rendered me in the
collection of materials for this Work.


    INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER                                                  1


    FERRY, 1779                                                          26


    1780--THE BATTLE OF HOBKERK'S HILL, 1781                             33


    SPRINGS, 1781--REMOVAL TO THE WEST INDIES                            43


    DEFENCE OF FORT MATILDA, 1794                                        53


    1795                                                                 63


    THE CARIB WAR IN ST. VINCENT, 1795                                   69


    MAJOR-GENERAL WHYTE'S REGIMENT OF FOOT, 1795                         77


    THE CAPTURE OF ST. LUCIA, 1796                                       85


    1797                                                                 93


    THE DEFENCE OF DOMINICA, 1805                                       103


    1808                                                                117


    1810                                                                125


    THE EXPEDITION TO NEW ORLEANS, 1814-15                              141


    1816--THE HURRICANE OF 1817                                         160


    THE DEMERARA REBELLION, 1823                                        170


    EXPEDITION, 1832                                                    178


    THE MUTINY OF THE RECRUITS AT TRINIDAD, 1837                        188


    GARRISONS--THE APPOLLONIA EXPEDITION, 1848                          208


    ESCORT TO RIO NUNEZ, 1850                                           218


    1854                                                                228


    THE TWO EXPEDITIONS TO MALAGEAH, 1854-55                            236




    1859                                                                257


    THE BADDIBOO WAR, 1860-61                                           265


    THE ASHANTI EXPEDITION, 1863-64                                     276


    THE JAMAICA REBELLION, 1865                                         286


    AFRICAN TOUR, 1866-70                                               298


    THE DEFENCE OF ORANGE WALK, 1872                                    304


    THE ASHANTI WAR, 1873-74                                            317


    ASHANTI EXPEDITION, 1881                                            333

    APPENDIX                                                            343

    INDEX                                                               361


    1. ST. VINCENT                     _facing page 69_

    2. GRENADA                                 "    93

    3. DOMINICA                                "   103

    4. MARTINIQUE                              "   125

    5. GUADALOUPE                              "   133

    6. THE GAMBIA SETTLEMENTS                  "   178

    7. THE GOLD COAST                          "   215

    8. BRITISH HONDURAS                        "   219

    9. THE MELLICOURIE RIVER                   "   236

    10. SWARRA CUNDA CREEK                     "   265

    11. THE COUNTY OF SURREY, JAMAICA          "   287

    12. ORANGE WALK                            "   305

    13. THE ROUTE TO COOMASSIE                 "   319

    14. BRITISH SHERBRO                        "   337



At the present day, when our Continental neighbours are outvying each
other in the completeness of their military organisations and the size
of their armies, while in the United Kingdom complaints are daily heard
that the supply of recruits for the British Army is not equal to the
demand, it may not be out of place to draw the attention of the public
to a source from which the army may be most economically reinforced.

The principal difficulty experienced by military reformers in their
endeavours to remodel the British Army on the Continental system, is
that caused by the necessity of providing troops for the defence of our
vast and scattered Colonial Empire. Without taking into consideration
India, our European and North American possessions, a considerable
portion of the army has to be employed in furnishing garrisons for the
Cape Colony, Natal, Mauritius, St. Helena, the Bermudas, the West
Indies, Burmah, the Straits Settlements, Hong Kong, etc.; which
garrisons, though creating a constant drain on the Home Establishment,
are notoriously inadequate for the defence of the various colonies in
which they are placed; and the result is that, whenever a colonial war
breaks out, fresh battalions have to be hurriedly sent out from the
United Kingdom at immense expense, and the entire military machine is
temporarily disarranged.

In size, and in diversity of subject races, the British Empire may be
not inaptly compared with that of Rome in its palmiest days; and we
have, in a measure, adopted a Roman scheme for the defence of a portion
of our dominions. The Romans were accustomed, as each new territory was
conquered, to raise levies of troops from the subject race, and then,
most politicly, to send them to serve in distant parts of the Empire,
where they could have no sympathies with the inhabitants. In India we,
like the Romans, raise troops from the conquered peoples, but, unlike
them, we retain those troops for service in their own country. The
result of this attempt to modify the scheme was the Indian mutiny.

The plan of a local colonial army was, however, first tried in the West
Indies. At the close of the last century, when the West India Islands,
or the Plantations, as they were then called, were of as much importance
to, and held the same position in, the British Empire as India does
now, there was in existence a West India Army, consisting of twelve
battalions of negro troops, raised exclusively for service in the West

As India was gradually conquered, and the West India trade declined
(from the abolition of the slave trade and other causes), the West India
Colonies, by a regular process, fell from their former pre-eminent
position. Each step in the descent was marked by the disbandment of a
West India regiment, until, at the present day, two only remain in
existence; and it is a matter of common notoriety that those two are
principally preserved to garrison Sierra Leone, the Gold Coast Colony,
British Honduras, and British Guiana--colonies the climates of which,
experience has shown, are fatal to European soldiers, who are
necessarily in time of peace, from the nature of their duties, more
exposed to climatic influence than are officers. Economy was, of course,
the cause of this continued process of reduction, for, until recently,
such gigantic military establishments as those of Germany, Russia, and
France were unheard of; and Great Britain was satisfied, and felt
secure, with a miniature army, a paper militia, and no reserve. All this
is now changed, and the necessity of an increase in our defensive power
is admitted.

These negro West India troops won the highest encomiums from every
British commander under whom they served. Sir Ralph Abercromby in 1796,
Sir John Moore in 1797, Lieutenant-General Trigge in 1801, Sir George
Provost in 1805, Lieutenant-General Beckwith and Major-General Maitland
in 1809 and 1810, all testified to the gallantry, steadiness, and
discipline of the negro soldiers. Sir John Moore, speaking of the new
corps in 1796, said "they are invaluable," and "the very best troops for
the climate." To come to more recent times, in 1873 the 2nd West India
Regiment bore for six months the entire brunt of the Ashanti attack, and
had actually forced the invading army to retire across the Prah before
the men of a single line battalion were landed. In fact, the efficiency
of West India troops was, and is, unquestioned.

This being so, it may be asked, why should not the present number of
regiments composed of negro soldiers be increased for the purpose of
garrisoning the colonies, especially those of which the climate is most
prejudicial to English soldiers? This would not be a return to the
former state of affairs, for when we had twelve negro regiments they
were all stationed in the West Indies, whereas the essence of the
present scheme is to send them on service in other colonies. Such an
augmentation of our West India, or Zouave, regiments certainly appears
politic and easy. I will also endeavour to show that it would be

Each West India battalion would take the place of a Territorial
battalion now serving abroad. The latter would return to the United
Kingdom, be reduced to the Home Establishment, and have from 300 to 400
men passed into the Reserve. Repeat this process seven or eight times,
and the services with the colours of between 2000 and 3000 European
soldiers are dispensed with, the Reserve being increased by that number.
In addition, negro soldiers being enlisted for twelve years' service
with the colours, negro regiments on foreign service would not require
those large drafts sent to white battalions to replace time-expired men,
transport for which so swells the army estimates; while the negro being
a native of the tropics, invaliding home would be reduced to a minimum.

The pay of the black soldier is ninepence per diem, against a shilling
per diem to the white, so that there would be some saving effected in
that way. In fact, it has been calculated that for an annual addition to
the army estimates of some £27,000, six new negro battalions, each 800
strong, could be maintained; giving, on the one hand, an addition of
4800 to our present military force, and on the other, an increased
Reserve, and six more Territorial battalions in the United Kingdom,
ready to hand on a European emergency. To this may be added the lives of
scores of Englishmen yearly saved to their country.

By the Territorial scheme now in force in Great Britain, an attempt has
been made to localise corps on the German system, irrespective of the
fact that Germany has no colonies, while those of Great Britain are most
numerous. In Germany, in time of peace, each army corps is located in a
district, from which it never moves, and in which the Reserve men,
destined to complete the regiments to war strength, are compelled to
live. Thus, when a general mobilisation takes place, the men are on the
spot, and join the regiments in which they have already served. France
has adopted this system, with the exception that army corps are not
permanently located in districts, and the army thus localised is the one
for European service only. For her colonies an entirely distinct army is
maintained, composed of men specially enlisted for foreign service. In
Great Britain we have neither adopted the German system nor the French
modification of that system; but a scheme of localisation, with the
main-spring of localisation removed, has been endeavoured to be grafted
upon our old system, under which the regular army is sent on service in
time of peace to distant portions of the globe. Should the mobilisation
of an army corps be necessary in England, the Reserve men would, in a
large number of cases, find the regiments in which they had formerly
served, on foreign service. It would then be necessary to draft them
into regiments to which they were strangers, in which they would take no
interest, and where they would be unknown to their officers. On the
other hand, should it be necessary to despatch suddenly six or seven
battalions to India or the Cape, they have to be made up to a war
strength from other corps, for they have been reduced to a skeleton
establishment in order that men may be provided for the Reserve.

Localisation, to be effectual, must be thorough; but it and the demands
of foreign service are so incompatible that they cannot be efficiently
combined. At the present time, neither is said to be in a satisfactory
condition, and the Reserve, which was expected to have risen to a total
of 80,000 men, consists of 32,000 only.

Military reformers have long since arrived at the conclusion that if the
British Army is to be maintained at such a footing as to give weight to
the voice of Great Britain in the councils of Europe, we must have two
distinct armies; namely, one for home service, ready for a European
imbroglio, and a second to which the defence of the colonies can be
entrusted. The objection to this has been, hitherto, the great expense,
for it has always been taken for granted that this Colonial Army would
consist of white soldiers; and the question of increased pay, supply of
recruits, and periodical removal of men to the United Kingdom, over and
above the cost of the Territorial Army, had to be considered. With negro
troops, however, for the Colonial Army, this objection, if it does not
entirely disappear, is reduced at least by three-quarters. Should it be
tried on a small scale and found successful, there need be no reason why
in time almost the whole of the Territorial battalions should not be
withdrawn from foreign service. In this way localisation could be made a
reality; and with such vast untouched recruiting grounds as our colonies
offer, there can be no doubt as to the practicability of raising the
negro regiments required. Such regiments might also partly compose the
garrisons of Gibraltar, Malta, Cyprus, Aden, and Ceylon. There is,
indeed, no reason, except the hatred of the Hindoo for the negro, why
such regiments might not serve in India. As the negro would never
coalesce with the natives of India, a new and entirely reliable force,
indifferent to tropical heat, and not requiring a vast retinue of
camp-followers, would be always at hand. Of course, negro battalions
could never be employed in cold latitudes, for the negro suffers from
cold in a manner which is incomprehensible even to Europeans who have
passed the best part of their lives in the tropics. Instead of being
braced by and deriving activity from the cold, he becomes languid and
inert; and nothing but the rays of the sun can arouse him to any
exertion. Even in West Africa, during the Harmattan season, natives may
be observed in the early morning, hugging their scanty clothing around
them and shivering with cold; while the ill-fated expedition to New
Orleans showed what deadly havoc an inclement climate will play with
negro troops.

Next, as to the men of whom these negro regiments would be composed. It
is too much the custom in Great Britain, in describing a man of colour,
to consider that all has been said that is necessary when he is called a
negro; yet there are as many nationalities, and as many types of the
African race, as there are of the Caucasian. No one would imagine that a
European was sufficiently described by the title of "white man." It
would be asked if the individual in question were an Englishman,
German, Frenchman, and so on; and the same kind of classification is
necessary for the negro. On the western coast of Africa, the portion of
the African continent from which North and South America and the West
Indies obtained their negro population, there are at least twenty
different varieties of the African race, distinct from each other in
features and even in colour; and these are again subdivided into several
hundred nations or tribes, each of which possesses a language, manners,
and customs of its own.

In the days of the slave-trade, the slave-dealers adopted certain
arbitrary designations to denote from what portion of the coast their
wares were obtained. For instance, slaves shipped from Sierra Leone and
the rivers to the north and east of that peninsula, and who were
principally Timmanees, Kossus, Acoos, Mendis, Foulahs, and Jolloffs,
were called Mandingoes, from the dominant tribe of that name which
supplied the slave-market. Negroes from the Gold Coast kingdoms of
Ashanti, Fanti, Assin, Akim, Wassaw, Aquapim, Ahanta, and Accra were
denominated Koromantyns, or Coromantees, a corruption of Cormantine, the
name of a fort some sixteen miles to the east of Cape Coast Castle, and
which was the earliest British slave-station on the Gold Coast.
Similarly, slaves from the tribes inhabiting the Slave Coast, that is to
say, Awoonahs, Agbosomehs, Flohows, Popos, Dahomans, Egbas, and Yorubas,
were all termed Papaws; while those from the numerous petty states of
the Niger delta, where the lowest type of the negro is to be found, were
known as Eboes.

Thousands of men of these tribes, and others too numerous to mention,
were carried across the Atlantic and scattered at hap-hazard all over
the West India Islands. At first tribal distinctions were maintained,
but in the course of years, in each island they gradually disappeared
and were forgotten; until at the present day a West India negro does not
describe himself as a Kossu or a Koromantyn, but as a Jamaican, a
Barbadian, an Antiguan, etc. It would naturally be supposed that as the
West India Islands all received their slave population in the same
manner, and that as in each there was the same original diversity of
nationalities, subsequently blended together by intermarriages and
community of wants and language, a West India negro of the present
generation from any one island would be hardly distinguishable from one
from any other. Nothing, however, would be further from the truth. Since
the abolition of slavery, the conditions of life in the various islands
have been so different--in some the dense population necessitating daily
labour for an existence, while in others large uncultivated stretches of
wood and mountain have afforded squatting grounds for the majority of
the black population--that, in conjunction with diversity of climate,
each group of islands is now populated with a race of negroes morally
distinct _per se_. The difference between a negro born and bred in
Barbados and one born and bred in Jamaica is as great as between an
American and an Englishman, and the clannish spirit of the negro tends
to increase that difference. At the present time the negro of Jamaica
does not care to enlist in the 2nd West India Regiment, which is largely
recruited in Barbados; and, in the same way, the Barbadian declines to
serve in the 1st West India Regiment, because it is almost entirely
composed of Jamaicans.

While the negroes of the West Indies have thus lost all their tribal
peculiarities in the natural course of progress and civilisation, those
of West Africa have remained at a standstill; and there is to-day as
much difference between the hideous and debased Eboe and the stately and
dignified Mandingo, between the docile Fanti and the bloodthirsty
Ashanti, as there was one hundred and fifty years ago. Civilising
influences have made this contrast between the Africans and their West
India descendants still more striking. The latter have, since the
abolition of slavery, been living independent lives, in close contact
with civilisation, and enjoying all the rights of manhood under British
laws. From their earliest infancy they have known no language but the
English, and no religion but Christianity; while the former are still
barbarians, grovelling in fetishism, cursed with slavery, ignorant,
debased, and wantonly cruel. The West India negro has so much contempt
for his African cousin, that he invariably speaks of him by the
ignominious title of "bushman." In fact, the former considers himself in
every respect an Englishman, and the anecdote of the West India negro,
who, being rather roughly jolted by a Frenchman on board a mail steamer,
turned round to him and ejaculated, "I think you forget that we beat you
at Waterloo," is no exaggeration.

Just as the negro races of West Africa are distinct from one another,
and the West India negro from all, so are the coloured inhabitants of
both those parts of the world entirely distinct from the Kaffir tribes
of South Africa; and a coalition between Galeka or Zulu inhabitants and
West India troops would be as impossible as the fraternisation of a
Territorial battalion with the natives of India. Apart, however, from
the fact that negro troops could always be safely employed alone outside
the colony in which they were bred, history has shown that the fidelity
of West India soldiers is beyond question. Indeed it would be difficult
to say what stronger ties there could be than those of sentiment,
language, and religion, and the association from childhood with British
manners, customs, laws, and modes of thought. When to these are added
discipline, the habit of obedience, and that well-known affection for
their officers and their regiment which is so particularly an attribute
of the West India soldier, it must be acknowledged that the guarantees
of fidelity are, with the single exception of race, at least as good as
those of the linesmen.

In India, the native army consists of men hostile to us by tradition,
creed, and race, who consider their food defiled if even the shadow of a
British officer should chance to fall across it, and assuredly it would
be as safe a proceeding to garrison our colonies with English negroes as
to garrison India with such men. Yet that is done at the present day,
and excites no remark.

The English-speaking negro of the West Indies is most excellent material
for a soldier. He is docile, patient, brave, and faithful, and for an
officer who knows how to gain his affection--an easy matter, requiring
only justness, good temper, and an ear ready to listen patiently to any
tale of real or imaginary grievance--he will do anything. Of course they
are not perfect; they have their faults, like all soldiers, and when
they chance to be commanded by an officer who is unnecessarily harsh, or
who speaks roughly to them, they manifest their displeasure by passive
obedience and a stubborn sullenness. English soldiers, on the other
hand, under such circumstances, proceed to acts of insubordination, and
it is for military judges to say which mode of expression they prefer.

The West African negro does not appear to such advantage as a soldier.
Although all the specimens, with the exception of the Sierra Leone
negro, possess the first necessary qualification of personal courage,
they are dull and stupid, and cannot be transformed into intelligent
soldiers. It may be wondered why the Sierra Leonean, who alone among the
West Africans is an English-speaking negro, should be worse than his
more barbarian neighbours; but I believe the solution may be found in
the fact that the large proportion of slaves landed in former days at
Sierra Leone from captured slavers were so-called Eboes, from the tribes
of the Niger delta; which tribes all ethnologists are agreed in
describing as among the lowest of the African races, and which, it may
be remarked, are even at the present day addicted to cannibalism. The
West African soldier is a mere machine, who mechanically obeys orders,
and never ventures, under any circumstances, to act or think for
himself. Should an African be placed on sentry, he fulfils to the letter
the orders read to him by the non-commissioned officer who posts him,
but frequently entirely ignores their spirit. Sometimes this is
productive of amusing incidents. For instance, some years ago, among the
orders for the sentry posted at Government House, Sierra Leone, was one
to the effect that no one was to be permitted to leave the premises
after dark carrying a parcel. This order had been issued at the request
of the Governor, to prevent pilfering on the part of his servants. One
evening the Governor was coming out of his house with a small
despatch-box, when, to his surprise, he was stopped by the sentry, an
old African.

"But I'm the Governor," said the astonished administrator, "and I had
that order made myself. You mustn't stop me."

"Me no care if you be Gubnor or not," replied the imperturbable African.
"The corporal gib de order, and you no can pass." And Her Majesty's
representative had to turn back and leave his despatch-box at home.

The greatest objection to the African, however, is the strange fact that
no amount of care or attention on the part of his instructors can ever
make him a good or even a fair shot. In the 1st West India Regiment
there are still a few Africans remaining, most of whom have from twelve
to eighteen years' service; and who have annually expended their rounds
without hitting the target more than once or twice during the whole
musketry course. Give these men a rifle rested on a tripod, and tell
them to align the sights upon some given mark, and they cannot do it.
They will frequently aim a foot or two to the right or left of an object
only a few yards distant. Every possible plan has been tried to make
them improve, but all have equally failed; and, in consequence, Africans
are not now enlisted. Still, although on account of this failing,
African troops could never, in these days of long-range firing, meet
Europeans in the field, a battalion of Africans would be quite good
enough for bush fighting against an enemy like the Ashanti, a still
worse marksman, and worse armed; or against tribes armed with the spear
or assegai.

Of course one reason of the African's dulness is that until he enlists,
that is until he is from twenty-four to thirty years of age, he has
never exercised his mind in any way; and the long years of mental
idleness have produced a sluggishness which makes it extremely difficult
for him to acquire anything new that requires thought. After enlisting,
he picks up a species of unintelligible English, but that is the most
that he can do. It is pitiful to see these men, some of them now old,
struggling day after day, according to regulation, in the regimental
school, to learn their letters. It is to them the greatest punishment
that could be inflicted, and though they attend school for years, they
rarely succeed in doing more than master the alphabet.

In former days, whenever the cargo of a captured slaver was landed at
Sierra Leone, a party from the garrison used to be admitted to the
Liberated African Yard for the purpose of seeking recruits amongst the
slaves. Many of the latter, pleased with the brilliant uniform, and
talked over by the recruiting party, who were men specially selected for
this duty on account of their knowledge of African languages, offered
themselves as recruits. If medically fit, they were invariably accepted,
though it must have been well known that they could not possibly have
had any idea of the nature of the engagement into which they were
entering. Some fifteen or twenty recruits being thus obtained, they were
given high-sounding names, such as Mark Antony, Scipio Africanus, etc.,
their own barbaric appellations being too unpronounceable, and then
marched down in a body to the cathedral to be baptised. Some might be
Mohammedans, and the majority certainly believers in fetish, but the
form of requiring their assent to a change in their religion was never
gone through; and the following Sunday they were marched into church as
a matter of course, along with their Christian comrades. Although thus
nominally christianised, they still remained at heart believers in
fetish, for it is a remarkable fact that no adult West African has ever
become a bonâ-fide convert, and the missionaries have long since given
up attempting to proselytise grown persons, reserving all their efforts
for children. Holding, as they did, in great dread all fetish, or obeah,
practices; usually someone amongst them, more cunning than the rest,
professed an acquaintance with the supposed diabolical ritual; and
gained influence with, and extorted money from, his more timid comrades.
Officers now in the 1st West India Regiment can remember the time when,
there being many Africans in the regiment, the feathers of parrots or
scraps of rags might be found in the neighbourhood of the orderly room.
Whenever this was the case, it was known that an African was about to be
brought before his commanding officer for some neglect of duty or breach
of discipline; and these fetishes had been placed there to induce the
colonel to deal leniently with the offender. Ridiculous as this practice
must seem to every educated person, it sometimes produced the most
serious effects upon the credulous Africans; and I have heard old
officers speak of instances, which came within their own knowledge, of
soldiers who, having found old bones, broken pieces of calabashes, or
glass, placed on their beds, immediately resigned themselves to death,
saying that "fetish was thrown upon them," and in nine cases out of
twelve, so certain were they that it was impossible to escape the coming
doom, they positively frightened or worried themselves to death. The
professors of fetishism likewise drove a good trade in amulets which
rendered the wearer invulnerable. On one occasion at Sierra Leone, a
young African who had been recently enlisted displayed with much pride a
gri-gri or amulet which he wore on his wrist, and which, he asserted,
rendered him invulnerable. His West India comrades laughed at him; and
the African, indignant at the doubt thrown upon the efficacy of his
charm, drew his knife, and, before he could be stopped, plunged it into
his thigh to prove that he spoke the truth. His eyes were opened,
unfortunately, too late; for though he was at once removed to the
hospital, he died from the effects of this self-inflicted wound. In West
India regiments the practice of fetish was made a military crime, and
was severely punished. Sufferers or imaginary sufferers from fetishism,
however, rarely complained to their officers, for they believed that the
occult art practised by the professor was superior to any power held by
man, and consequently, culprits were but seldom detected. With the
disappearance of Africans from West India regiments, the offence of
fetishism has, however, also disappeared.

Military crime in West India regiments is of comparatively rare
occurrence. Even when the 3rd West India Regiment was in existence,
there was less in the three negro regiments than in one of the Line;
while drunkenness is confined to the few black sheep who will be found
in every body of men. Riots or disturbances between West India soldiers
and the inhabitants of the towns in which they are quartered are unheard
of, and in every garrison they receive the highest praise for their
unvarying good and quiet behaviour. In fact they are merry,
good-tempered, and orderly men, who do not wish to interfere with
anyone; and, owing to their temperate habits, they are not led into the
commission of offences by the influence of drink. Of course, the popular
idea in Great Britain of the negro is that he is a person who commonly
wears a dilapidated tall hat, cotton garments of brilliant hue, carries
a banjo or concertina, and indulges in extraordinary cachinnations at
the smallest pretext; but this is as far from the truth as the creature
of imagination in the opposite extreme, evoked by the vivid fancy of
Mrs. Beecher Stowe.

The bravery of the West India soldier in action has often been tested,
and as long as an officer remains alive to lead not a man will flinch.
His favourite weapon is the bayonet; and the principal difficulty with
him in action is to hold him back, so anxious is he to close with his
enemy. It is unnecessary here to refer to individual acts of gallantry
performed by soldiers of the 1st West India Regiment, they being fully
set forth in the following history; but of such performed by soldiers of
other West India regiments the two following now occur to me.

Private Samuel Hodge, a pioneer of the 3rd West India Regiment, was
awarded the Victoria Cross for conspicuous bravery at the storming of
the Mohammedan stockade at Tubarcolong (the White Man's Well), on the
River Gambia, on the 30th of May, 1866. Under a heavy fire from the
concealed enemy, by which one officer was killed and an officer and
thirteen men severely wounded, Hodge, and another pioneer named Boswell,
chopped and tore away with their hands the logs of wood forming the
stockade, Boswell falling nobly just as an opening was effected. Again,
in 1873, during the Ashanti War--when it was reported, on the 5th of
December, by natives at Yancoomassie Assin that the Ashanti army had
retired across the Prah--two soldiers of the 2nd West India Regiment
volunteered to go on alone to the river and ascertain if the report were
true. On their return they reported all clear to the Prah; and said they
had written their names on a piece of paper and posted it up. Six days
later, when the advanced party of the expeditionary force marched into
Prahsu, this paper was found fastened to a tree on the banks of the
river. At the time that this voluntary act was performed it must be
remembered that, on the 27th of November, the British and their allies
had met with a serious repulse at Faisowah, through pressing too closely
upon the retiring Ashantis; that this repulse was considered both by the
Ashantis and by our native allies as a set-off against the failure of
the attack on Abracampa; that the Houssa levy was in a state of panic,
and no reliable information as to the position of the enemy was
obtainable. It was under such circumstances that these two men advanced
nearly sixteen miles into an (to them) unknown tract of solitary
forest, to follow up an enemy that never spared life, and whose
whereabouts was doubtful.

Other qualifications apart, however, West India troops have proved
themselves of the very greatest value on active service in tropical
climates from the very fact that, being natives of the tropics, they can
undergo fatigue and exposure that would be fatal to European soldiers.
In campaigns in which both the West India and the European soldier are
employed, all the hard and unpleasant work is thrown upon the former,
and the publication in general orders of the thanks of the officer in
command of the force is the only acknowledgment he receives; for
newspaper correspondents, naturally anxious to swell the circulation of
the journals they represent, while giving the most minute details of the
doings of the white soldier, leave out in the cold his black comrade,
who has few friends among the reading public of Great Britain.
Occasionally, facts are even misrepresented. For instance, the defence
of Fommanah, on the 2nd of February, 1874, which was really effected by
a detachment of the 1st West India Regiment, was, in an account
telegraphed to one London daily paper, attributed to the 23rd Regiment,
of which corps there were only six or seven men in the place, and those
in hospital.

On the last occasion on which West India troops served with Line
battalions, namely in the Ashanti War of 1873-74, West India soldiers
daily marched twice and even three times the distance traversed by the
white troops; and, south of the Prah, searched the country for miles on
both sides of the line of advance, in search of carriers. It is not too
much to say, that if the two West India regiments had not been on the
Gold Coast, no advance on Coomassie would, that year, have been
possible. In December, 1873, the transport broke down; there was a
deadlock along the road; each half-battalion of the European troops was
detained in the camp it occupied, and the 23rd Regiment had to be
re-embarked for want of carriers. The fate of the expedition was
trembling in the balance, and the control officers were unanimous in
declaring that a further advance was impossible, and that the troops in
front would have to return by forced marches. Prior to this, the want of
transport had been felt to such an extent that the West India soldiers
had been placed on half rations; a step, however, which was not followed
by any diminution of work, which remained as hard as ever. In this
emergency the two West India regiments, with the 42nd--to whom all
honour be due--volunteered to carry supplies, in addition to their arms,
accoutrements, and ammunition. They acted as carriers for several days,
and moved such quantities of provisions to the front that the pressure
was removed and a further advance made possible. Even if more carriers
had been obtained from the already ransacked native villages, they could
not have arrived in time, for the rainy season was fast approaching and
the delay of a fortnight would have been fatal.

There was a peculiar irony of fate in the expedition being thus relieved
of its most pressing difficulties through the exertions of the West
India regiments. It had been Sir Garnet Wolseley's original intention to
take into Ashanti territory only the Rifle Brigade, the 23rd, and the
1st and 2nd West India Regiments; and, on the arrival of the hired
transport, _Sarmatian_, he wrote, on the 15th of December, that he did
not propose landing the 42nd. In the course of the next three days,
however, he changed his views, and, in his letter of the 18th December,
gave as his reason: "I find that the one great obstacle to the
employment of a third battalion of English troops, viz., the difficulty
of transport, is as great in the case of a West India regiment. The West
India soldier has the same rations as the European soldier, and a West
India regiment requires, man for man, exactly the same amount of
transport as a European regiment." The 42nd, therefore, was to be landed
and taken to the front, while the 1st West India Regiment was to remain
at Cape Coast Castle and Elmina as a reserve. Afterwards, when the
transport failed, it was found that the West India soldier could do the
work of the European on half rations, and carry his own supplies as

West India regiments at the present day labour under many disadvantages.
Owing to the two battalions having to furnish garrisons for colonies
which really require three, they are alternately for one period of three
years divided into three detachments, and for the next period of three
years into six. No lieutenant-colonel of a West India regiment can ever
see the whole of his regiment together. The largest number that, under
present circumstances, he can ever have under him at any one station is
four companies; and the most he can have under his actual command at any
one time is six companies on board a troopship. Thus in a regiment there
are sometimes three, and sometimes six, officers vested with the power
of an officer commanding a detachment; and however conscientiously they
may endeavour to follow out a regimental system, every individual has
naturally a different manner of dealing with men, and a certain amount
of homogeneousness is lost to the regiment as a whole.

Endless correspondence is entailed, and sometimes questions have to
remain open for months, until answers can be received from distant
detachments. In small garrisons, also, drill becomes a mere farce; for,
after the clerks, employed men, and men on guard and in hospital are
deducted, there are perhaps only a dozen men or so left for parade. In
spite of all these drawbacks the regiments still maintain a wonderful
efficiency, and afford another proof of the soldierlike qualities of the
West India negro.

Another disadvantage is that a West India regiment is never seen in
England, the British public knows nothing of such regiments, has no
friends, relatives, or acquaintances in their ranks, and consequently
takes no interest in them. Yet they are a remarkably fine body of men,
and a picked battalion of the Guards would look small beside them if
brigaded with them in Hyde Park. So little is known, that I have
sometimes been asked if the officers of West India regiments are also
black, and it is with a view to making the regiment to which I have the
honour to belong better known to the public at large, that the following
history has been written. There has been no attempt at descriptive
writing, facts being merely collected from official documents, so that
the authenticity of the narrative may be unquestionable.

In order that the earlier chapters may be the more readily understood,
it may be as well to state that, with the 1st West India Regiment, which
was called into existence in the _London Gazette_ of the 2nd of May,
1795, were incorporated two other corps; of which one, the Carolina
Corps, had been in existence since 1779, while the other--Malcolm's, or
the Royal Rangers--had been raised in January or February, 1795. It is
from the Carolina Corps that the 1st West India Regiment derives the
Carolina laurel, borne on the crest of the regiment.



In the autumn of 1778, during the War of the American Independence, the
British commanders in North America determined to make another attempt
for the royal cause in the Southern States of Georgia and South
Carolina, which, since the failure of Lord Cornwallis at the siege of
Charlestown in July, 1776, had been allowed to remain unmolested. With
this view they despatched Colonel Campbell, in November, from New York,
with the 71st Regiment, two battalions of Hessians, three of Loyal
Provincials,[1] and a detachment of Artillery, the whole amounting to
about 3500, to make an attempt upon the town of Savannah, the capital of
Georgia. Arriving off the mouth of the Savannah River on the 23rd of
December, Colonel Campbell was so rapidly successful, that, by the
middle of January, not only was Savannah in his hands, but Georgia
itself was entirely cleared of American troops.

It was about this time that the South Carolina Regiment, the oldest
branch of the 1st West India Regiment, was raised. Numerous royalists
joined the British camp and were formed into various corps;[2] and the
South Carolina Regiment is first mentioned as taking part in the action
at Briar Creek on the 3rd of March, 1779,[3] the corps then being,
according to Major-General Prevost's despatch, about 100 strong. The
action at Briar Creek occurred as follows:

In the early part of 1779, General Prevost's[4] force was distributed in
posts along the frontier of Georgia; Hudson's Ferry, twenty-four miles
above Savannah, being the upper extremity of the chain. Watching these
posts was the American general, Lincoln, with the main body of the
American Army of the South, at Purrysburgh, about twenty miles above
Savannah, and General Ashe, who was posted with about 2000 of the
Militia of North and South Carolina and Georgia, at Briar Creek, near
the point where it falls into the Savannah River.

General Ashe's position appeared most secure, his left being covered by
the Savannah with its marshes, and his front by Briar Creek, which was
about twenty feet broad, and unfordable at that point and for several
miles above it; nevertheless, General Prevost determined to surprise
him. For the purpose of amusing General Lincoln, he made a show of an
intention to pass the river; and, in order to occupy the attention of
Ashe, he ordered a party to appear in his front, on the opposite side of
Briar Creek. Meanwhile General Prevost, with 900 chosen men, made an
extensive circuit, passed Briar Creek fifteen miles above the American
position, gained their rear unperceived, and was almost in their camp
before they discovered his approach. The surprise was as complete as
could be wished. Whole regiments fled without firing a shot, and numbers
without even attempting to seize their arms; they ran in their confusion
into the marsh, and swam across the river, in which numbers of them were
drowned. The Continental troops, under General Elbert, and a regiment of
North Carolina Militia, alone offered resistance; but they were not long
able to maintain the unequal conflict, and, being overpowered, were
compelled to surrender. The Americans lost from 300 to 400 men, and
seven pieces of cannon. The British lost five men killed, and one
officer and ten men wounded.

After this success, the British and American forces remained on opposite
sides of the River Savannah, until the end of April, when General
Lincoln, thinking the swollen state of the river and the inundation of
the marshes was sufficient protection for the lower districts, withdrew
his forces further inland, leaving General Moultrie with 1000 men at
Black Swamp. By this movement Lincoln left Charlestown exposed to the
British. General Prevost at once took advantage of this, and, on the
29th of April, suddenly crossed the river, near Purrysburgh, with 2500
men, among whom was the South Carolina Regiment, which had been
considerably increased by accessions of loyalists and freed negroes.

General Prevost advanced rapidly into the country, the militia under
Moultrie, who had considered the swamps impassable, offering but a
feeble resistance, and retiring hastily, destroying the bridges in their
rear. On the 11th of May, the British force crossed the Ashley River a
few miles above Charlestown, and, advancing along the neck formed by the
Ashley and Cooper Rivers, established itself at a little more than
cannon-shot from the city. A continued succession of skirmishes took
place on that day and the ensuing night, and on the following morning
Charlestown was summoned to surrender.

Negotiations were broken off in the evening, much to the disappointment
of the British general, who had been led to suppose that a large
proportion of the inhabitants were favourable to the royal cause, and
that the city would fall easily into his hands. He now found himself in
a dangerous predicament. He was without siege guns, before lines
defended by a considerable force of artillery, and flanked by shipping;
he was involved in a labyrinth of creeks and rivers, where a defeat
would have been fatal, and General Lincoln with a force equal, if not
superior to his own, was fast approaching for the relief of the city.
Taking all this into consideration, General Prevost prudently struck
camp that night, and, under cover of the darkness, the direct line of
retreat on Savannah being closed, returned to the south side of the
Ashley River. From thence the army passed to the islands of St. James
and St. John, lying to the southward of Charlestown harbour, and
commencing that succession of islands and creeks which extends along the
coast from Charlestown to Savannah.

In these islands the army awaited supplies from New York, of which it
was much in need; and, on the arrival of two frigates, it commenced to
move to the island of Port Royal, which at the same time would afford
good quarters for the troops during the intense heats, and, from its
vicinity to Savannah, and its excellent harbour, was the best position
that could be chosen for covering Georgia.

Directly General Lincoln discovered what was taking place, he advanced
to attack. St. John's Island is separated from the mainland by a narrow
inlet, called Stono River, and communication between the mainland and
the island was kept up by a ferry. On the mainland, at this ferry,
General Prevost had established a post, consisting of three redoubts,
joined by lines of communication; and, to cover the movement of the army
to Port Royal Island, he here posted Lieutenant-Colonel Maitland with
the 1st Battalion of the 71st Regiment, a weak battalion of Hessians,
the North Carolina Regiment, and the South Carolina Regiment, amounting
in the whole to about 800 men.

On the 20th of June, General Lincoln made a determined attempt to force
the passage, attacking with a force variously estimated at from 1200 to
5000 men and eight guns. Lieutenant-Colonel Maitland's advanced posts,
consisting of the South Carolina Regiment, were some distance in front
of his works; and a smart firing between them and the Americans gave him
the first warning of the approach of the enemy. He instantly sent out
two companies of the 71st from his right to ascertain the force of the
assailants. The Highlanders had proceeded only a quarter of a mile when
they met the outposts retiring before the enemy. A fierce conflict
ensued. Instead of retreating before superior numbers, the Highlanders
persisted in the unequal combat till all their officers were either
killed or wounded, of the two companies eleven men only returned to the
garrison; and the British force was sadly diminished, and its safety
consequently imperilled by this mistaken valour.

The whole American line now advanced to within three hundred yards of
the works, and a general engagement began, which was maintained with
much courage and steadiness on both sides. At length the regiment of
Hessians on the British left gave way, and the Americans, in spite of
the obstinate resistance of the two Carolina regiments, were on the
point of entering the works, when a judicious flank movement of the
remainder of the 71st checked the advance; and General Lincoln,
apprehensive of the arrival of British reinforcements from the island,
drew off his men, and retired in good order, taking his wounded with

The battle lasted upwards of an hour. The British had 3 officers and 19
rank and file killed, and 4 officers and 85 rank and file wounded. The
South Carolina Regiment had Major William Campbell and 1 sergeant
killed, 1 captain, 1 sergeant, and 3 rank and file wounded.[5] The
Americans lost 5 officers and 35 men killed, 19 officers and 120 men

Three days after the battle, the British troops evacuated the post at
Stono Ferry, and also the island of St. John, passing along the coast
from island to island till they reached Beaufort in the island of Port
Royal. Here General Prevost left a garrison under the command of
Lieutenant-Colonel Maitland, and proceeded with the remainder of his
force, with which was the South Carolina Regiment, to the town of

The heat had now become too intense for active service; and the care of
the officers was employed in preserving their men from the fevers of the
season, and keeping them in a condition for service next campaign, which
was expected to open in October.


[Footnote 1: De Lancey's Corps, the New York Volunteers, and Skinner's

[Footnote 2: "Annual Register," 1779, Beatson's "Memoirs," Gordon's
"History of the American War," etc. etc.]

[Footnote 3: Beatson's "Naval and Military Memoirs," vol. iv. p. 492.]

[Footnote 4: Major-General Prevost had come from Florida and assumed
command in January.]

[Footnote 5: "Return of the killed, wounded, and missing at the repulse
of the Rebels at Stono Ferry, South Carolina, June 20th, 1779."]



At the opening of the next campaign, although General Prevost had been
obliged to retire from Charlestown and to abandon the upper parts of
Georgia, yet, so long as he kept possession of the town of Savannah and
maintained a post at Port Royal Island, South Carolina was exposed to
incursions. The Americans, therefore, pressed the French admiral, Count
D'Estaing, to repair to the Savannah River, hoping, by his aid, to drive
the British from Georgia. D'Estaing, in compliance, sailed from Cape
François, in St. Domingo; and with twenty-two sail of the line and a
number of smaller vessels, having 4800 French regular troops on board
and several hundred black troops from the West Indies, appeared off the
Savannah so unexpectedly that the _Experiment_, a British fifty-gun
ship, fell into his hands. On the appearance of the French fleet, on
September 9th, General Prevost immediately called in all his outposts
in Georgia, sent orders to Lieutenant-Colonel Maitland, at Port Royal,
to rejoin him at once, and exerted himself to strengthen the defences of
the town of Savannah.

For the first three or four days after the arrival of the fleet, the
French were employed in moving their troops through the Ossabaw Inlet to
Beaulieu, about thirteen miles above the town of Savannah. On the 15th
of September, the French, with a party of American light horse, attacked
the British outposts, and General Prevost withdrew all his force into
his works.

On the 16th, D'Estaing summoned the place to surrender.
Lieutenant-Colonel Maitland's force had not yet arrived, the works were
still incomplete, and General Prevost was desirous of gaining time; he
consequently requested a suspension of hostilities for twenty-four hours.
This was granted, and in that critical interval Lieutenant-Colonel
Maitland, by the most extraordinary efforts--for one of General
Prevost's messengers had fallen into the hands of the enemy, who had at
once seized all the principal lines of communication--arrived with the
garrison of Port Royal, and entered the town. Encouraged by this
accession of strength, General Prevost now informed Count D'Estaing that
he was resolved to defend the place to the last extremity. On the 17th,
D'Estaing had been joined by General Lincoln with some 3000 men, which,
with the French troops, raised the total besieging force to something
over 8000. The besieged did not exceed 3000.

The enemy spent several days in bringing up guns and stores from the
fleet, and on the 23rd the besieging army broke ground before the town.
On the 1st of October, they had advanced to within 300 yards of the
British works. On the morning of the 4th of October, several batteries,
mounting thirty-three pieces of heavy cannon and nine mortars, with a
floating battery of sixteen guns on the river, opened fire on the town.
For several days they played incessantly on the garrison, and there was
continued skirmishing between the negroes of the Carolina regiments and
the enemy.[6]

On the morning of the 9th of October, the enemy, under a furious
cannonade, advanced to storm in three columns, with a force of 3000
French under D'Estaing in person, and 1500 Americans under Lincoln.
General Prevost, in his despatch to Lord George Germain, dated Savannah,
November 1st, 1779, says: "However, the principal attack, composed of
the flower of the French and rebel armies, and led by D'Estaing in
person, with all the principal officers of either, was made upon our
right. Under cover of the hollow, they advanced in three columns; but
having taken a wider circuit than they needed, and gone deeper in the
bog, they neither came so early as they intended nor, I believe, in the
same order. The attack, however, was very spirited, and for some time
obstinately persevered in, particularly on the Ebenezer Road Redoubt.
Two stand of colours were actually planted, and several of the
assailants killed upon the parapet; but they met with so determined a
resistance, and the fire of three seamen batteries, taking them in
almost every direction, was so severe, that they were thrown into some
disorder, at least at a stand; and at this most critical moment, Major
Glasier, of the 60th, with the 60th Grenadiers and the Marines,
advancing rapidly from the lines, charged (it may be said) with a degree
of fury; in an instant the ditches of the redoubt and a battery to its
right in rear were cleared.... Lieutenant-Colonel de Porbeck, of
Weissenbach's, being field officer of the day of the right wing, and,
being in the redoubt when the attack began, had an opportunity, which he
well improved, to signalise himself in a most gallant manner; and it is
but justice to mention to your lordships the troops who defended it.
They were part of the South Carolina Royalists, the Light Dragoons
(dismounted), and the battalion men of the 4th 60th, in all about 100
men, commanded (by a special order) by Captain James, of the Dragoons
(Lieutenant 71st), a good and gallant officer, and who nobly fell with
his sword in the body of the third he had killed with his own hand."

After their repulse from the Ebenezer Redoubt, the enemy retired, and, a
few days afterwards, the siege was raised, the Americans crossing the
Savannah at Zubly's Ferry and taking up a position in South Carolina,
while the French embarked in their fleet and sailed away. During the
assault the French lost 700 and the Americans 240 killed. The British
loss was 55, four of whom belonged to the South Carolina Regiment, who
were killed in the redoubt, where also Captain Henry, of that corps, was

According to the "Journal of the Siege of Savannah," p. 39, the garrison
of the redoubt in the Ebenezer Road was as follows:

    28 Dismounted Dragoons.
    28 Battalion men of the 60th Regiment.
    54 South Carolina Regiment.

In the same work is the following: "Two rebel standards were once fixed
on the redoubt in the Ebenezer Road; one of them was carried off again,
and the other, which belonged to the 2nd Carolina Regiment, was taken.
After the retreat of the enemy from our right, 270 men, chiefly French,
were found dead; upwards of 80 of whom lay in the ditch and on the
parapet of the redoubt, and 93 were within our abattis."

The strength of the South Carolina Regiment at the termination of the
siege was: 1 colonel (Colonel Innes), 1 major, 4 captains, 7
lieutenants, 3 ensigns, 15 sergeants, 7 drummers, and 216 rank and file.

Nothing of note took place in Georgia and South Carolina till January,
1780, when Sir Henry Clinton arrived in the Savannah River with a force
destined for the reduction of Charlestown. He had sailed from New York
on the 26th of December, 1779, and, having experienced bad weather, put
into the Savannah to repair damages. Sir H. Clinton selected a portion
of General Prevost's force at Savannah to take part in the coming
operations, and among the corps so selected was the South Carolina
Regiment, which is shown in the return of troops at the capture of
Charlestown as "joined from Savannah."

On the 10th of February, the armament sailed to North Edisto, where the
troops disembarked, taking possession of the island of St. John next day
without opposition. On the 29th of March, the army reached Ashley River
and crossed it ten miles above Charlestown; then, the artillery and
stores having been brought over, Sir H. Clinton marched down Charlestown
Neck, and, on the night of the 1st of April, broke ground at 800 yards
from the American works. The garrison of the city consisted of 2000
regular troops, 1000 North Carolina Militia, and the male inhabitants of
the place.

On the 9th of April, the first parallel was finished, and the batteries
opened fire; and Charlestown finally capitulated, after an uneventful
siege, on the 12th of May. In the "Return of the killed and wounded"
during the siege, the South Carolina Regiment is shown as having had
three rank and file wounded.

Sir H. Clinton sailed from Charlestown on the 5th of June, leaving Lord
Cornwallis in command. The latter meditated an expedition into North
Carolina, and, for the preservation of South Carolina during his absence
with the main body of the troops, he established a chain of posts along
the frontier. One of these posts was at Ninety-six, and for its defence
was detailed the South Carolina Regiment, under Colonel Innes, with
Allen's corps, "the 16th and three other companies of Light
Infantry."[7] Lieutenant-Colonel Balfour was then in command of the
post, but was soon after relieved by Lieutenant-Colonel Cruger.

The garrison of Ninety-six remained undisturbed till September, 1780,
when, Lord Cornwallis having moved into North Carolina and occupied
Charlotte, Georgia was almost denuded of troops; and an American leader,
Colonel Clarke, took advantage of this to attack the British post at
Augusta. Lieutenant-Colonel Brown, who commanded there with 150 men,
finding the town untenable, retired towards an eminence on the banks of
the Savannah, named Garden Hill, and sent intelligence of his situation
to Ninety-six. Lieutenant-Colonel Cruger, with the 16th and the South
Carolina Regiment, at once marched to his relief. Colonel Clarke, who
had captured the British guns and was besieging the garrison of Garden
Hill, upon being informed of Cruger's approach raised the siege, and,
abandoning the guns which he had taken, retreated so hurriedly that,
though pursued for some distance, he effected his escape.

In the spring of 1781, Lord Cornwallis had again invaded North Carolina,
and, having defeated the American general, Greene, at Guildford Court
House, had continued his march towards Virginia, expecting the enemy to
make every effort to prevent the army entering that state. General
Greene, however, allowed Lord Cornwallis to pass on, and then, having
assembled a considerable body of troops, made a sudden descent upon the
British posts in South Carolina, where Lord Rawdon had been left in
command. These posts were in a line from Charlestown by the way of
Camden and Ninety-six, to Augusta in Georgia. Camden was the most
important, and there Lord Rawdon had taken post with 900 men.

On the 20th of April, 1781, General Greene appeared before Camden, which
was a village situated on a plain, covered on the south by the Wateree,
a river which higher up is called the Catawba; and below, after its
confluence with the Congaree from the south, assumes the name of the
Santee. On the east of it flowed Pinetree Creek; on the northern and
western sides it was defended by a strong chain of redoubts, six in
number, extending from the river to the creek. Lord Rawdon's force was
so small that the approach of Greene to Camden necessitated the
abandonment of the ferry on the Wateree, "although the South Carolina
Regiment was on its way to join him from Ninety-six, and that was its
direct course; he had, however, taken his measures so well as to secure
the passage of that regiment upon its arrival three days after."[8]

General Greene, whose force amounted to 1200 men, determined to await
reinforcements before attacking, and on the 24th of April he retired to
Hobkerk's Hill, an eminence about a mile north of Camden, on the road to
the Waxhaws. Here Lord Rawdon resolved to attack him, and on the morning
of the 25th, with 900 men, he marched from Camden, and, by making a
circuit, and keeping close to the edge of the swamp, under cover of the
woods, he gained the left flank of the Americans, where the hill was
most accessible, undiscovered.

The alarm was given, while the Americans were at breakfast, by the
firing of the outposts, and at this critical moment a reinforcement of
American militia arrived. So confident was General Greene of success
that he ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Washington, with his cavalry, to turn
the right flank of the British and to charge them in the rear, while
bodies of infantry were to assail them in front and on both flanks.

The American advanced parties were driven in by the British after a
sharp skirmish, and Lord Rawdon advanced steadily to attack the main
body of the enemy. The 63rd Regiment, with the volunteers of Ireland,
formed his right; the King's American Regiment, with Robertson's corps,
composed his left; the New York volunteers were in the centre. The South
Carolina Regiment and the cavalry were in the rear and formed a

Such was the impetuosity of the British that, in the face of a
destructive discharge of grape, they gained the summit of the hill and
pierced the American centre. The militia fell into confusion, their
officers were unable to rally them, and General Greene ordered a
retreat. The pursuit was continued for nearly three miles. The Americans
halted for the night at Saunders' Creek, about four miles from Hobkerk's
Hill, and next day proceeded to Rugeley Mills, about twelve miles from
Camden. After the engagement the British returned to Camden. The
American loss was 300; the British lost 258 out of about 900 who were on
the field.


[Footnote 6: "The True History of the Siege of Savannah," published

[Footnote 7: "The Campaigns of 1780 and 1781, in the Southern Provinces
of North America," by Lieutenant-Colonel Tarleton, London, 1787.]

[Footnote 8: Tarleton, p. 461.]

[Footnote 9: "Martial Register," vol. iii. p. 110.]



Lord Rawdon was not in a position to follow up his success at Hobkerk's
Hill, and on the 3rd of May, 1781, Greene passed the Wateree, and
occupied such positions as to prevent the garrison at Camden obtaining
supplies. Generals Marion and Lee were also posted at Nelson's Ferry, to
prevent Colonel Watson, who was advancing with 400 men, from joining
Lord Rawdon, and Watson was obliged to alter his route. He marched down
the north side of the Santee, crossed it near its mouth, with incredible
labour advanced up its southern bank, recrossed it above the encampment
of Marion and Lee, and arrived safely with his detachment at Camden on
the 7th of May.

Thus reinforced, Lord Rawdon determined to attack Greene, and, on the
night of the 8th, marched from Camden with his whole force. Greene, who
had been informed of this movement, passed the Wateree and took up a
strong position behind Saunders' Creek. Lord Rawdon followed him and
drove in his outposts, but, finding the position was too strong for his
small force, he returned to Camden.

Camden being too far advanced a post for Lord Rawdon to hold with the
few troops at his disposal, he evacuated it on the 10th of May, and
retired by Nelson's Ferry to the south of the Santee, and afterwards to
Monk's Corner. In the meantime, attacks were made on the British posts
in Georgia, Augusta itself being taken on the 5th of June, while the
post of Ninety-six in South Carolina was closely invested by General
Greene with the main American army in the Southern States.

About this time, a change took place in the South Carolina Regiment.
Lord Rawdon, in a letter to Lieutenant-General Earl Cornwallis, dated
Charlestown, June 5th, 1781, speaks of the difficulty which he has
experienced in the formation of cavalry, and goes on to say that the
inhabitants of Charlestown having subscribed 3000 guineas for a corps of
dragoons, out of compliment to those gentlemen "I have ordered the South
Carolina Regiment to be converted into cavalry, and I have the prospect
of their being mounted and completely appointed in a few days."

On the 3rd of June, Lord Rawdon had received considerable reinforcements
from England, and on the 9th he left Charlestown with about 2000 men,
including the South Carolina Regiment in its new capacity, for the
relief of Ninety-six. In their rapid progress over the whole extent of
South Carolina, through a wild country and under a burning sun, the
sufferings of the troops were severe, but they advanced with celerity to
the assistance of their comrades. On the 11th of June, General Greene
received notice of Lord Rawdon's march, and immediately sent Sumpter
with the whole of the cavalry to keep in front of the British army and
retard its progress. Lord Rawdon, however, passed Sumpter a little below
the junction of the Saluda and Broad Rivers, and that officer was never
able to regain his front.

In the meantime, the Americans were pushing hard the garrison of
Ninety-six; they were nearly reduced to extremities, and in a few days
must have surrendered; but the rapid advance of Lord Rawdon left Greene
no alternative but to storm or raise the siege. On the 18th of June, he
made a furious assault upon the place; but, after a desperate conflict
of nearly an hour, was compelled to retire. Next day he retreated,
crossing the Saluda on the 20th, and encamping at Little River.

On the morning of the 21st, Lord Rawdon arrived at Ninety-six, and the
same evening set out in pursuit of Greene, who, however, retreated; and
Rawdon, despairing of overtaking him, returned to Ninety-six. He now
found it necessary to evacuate that position and contract his posts;
and, having destroyed the works, he marched towards the Congaree. There,
on the 1st of July, while out foraging, two officers and forty dragoons
of the South Carolina Regiment were surrounded and taken prisoners by
Lee's Legion. This blow sadly crippled Lord Rawdon, who was much in need
of cavalry, and two days later he retreated to Orangeburgh.

The summer heats now coming on, Lord Rawdon proceeded to England on sick
leave, leaving Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart in command of the troops in
South Carolina and Georgia. The new commander at once proceeded with the
army to the Congaree, and formed an encampment near its junction with
the Wateree.

Towards the end of August, while Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart was expecting
a convoy of provisions from Charlestown, he received information that
General Greene, who had been reinforced and was now at the head of 2500
men, was moving towards Friday's Ferry on the Congaree. The American
cavalry was so numerous and enterprising that the expected convoy, then
at Martin's, fifty-six miles from the British camp, would inevitably
fall into their hands unless protected by an escort of at least 400 men;
and Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart's force being too small to admit of so
considerable a body being detached without risk, he determined to
retreat by slow marches to Eutaw Springs, about sixty miles north of
Charlestown, and meet the convoy on the way.

General Greene followed the retiring British, and, on the 7th of
September, arrived within seven miles of Eutaw Springs. Being there
reinforced by General Marion and his corps, he resolved to attack next
day. At six in the morning, two deserters from the American army entered
the British camp, and informed Stuart of the approach of the enemy; but
little credit was given to their report. At that time Major Coffin, with
140 infantry and 50 of the South Carolina Regiment, was out foraging for
roots and vegetables--the army having neither corn nor bread--in the
direction in which the Americans were advancing. About four miles from
the camp at Eutaw, that party was attacked by the American advanced
guard and driven in with loss. Their return convinced Colonel Stuart of
the approach of the enemy, and the British army was soon drawn up
obliquely across the road on the height near Eutaw Springs.

The firing began between two and three miles from the British camp. The
British light parties were driven in on their main body, and the first
line of the Americans attacked with great impetuosity. For a short time
the conflicting ranks were intermingled, and the officers fought hand to
hand. At that critical moment, General Lee, who had turned the left
flank of the British, charged them in the rear. They were broken and
driven off the field, their guns falling into the hands of the
Americans, who eagerly pressed on their retreating adversaries.

At this crisis, Colonel Stuart ordered a strong detachment to take post
in a large three-storey brick house, which was in rear of the army on
the right, while another occupied an adjoining palisaded garden, and
some close underwood. The Americans made the most desperate efforts to
dislodge them from their posts; but every attack was met with determined
courage. Four pieces of artillery were brought to bear on the house, but
made no impression on its solid walls, from which a close and
destructive fire was kept up, as well as from the adjoining enclosure.
Almost all the gunners were killed and wounded; and the guns had been
pushed so near the house that they could not be brought off. Colonel
Washington attempted to turn the British right, and charge them in rear;
but his horse was shot under him, and he was wounded and made prisoner.
After every attempt to dislodge the British from their position had
failed, General Greene drew off his men, and retired to the ground which
he had left in the morning. This conflict had lasted nearly four hours.
The Americans lost 555, the British 693. The British kept their ground
during the night, and next day began to retreat. About fourteen miles
from the field of battle, Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart was met by a
reinforcement, under Major McArthur, marching from Charlestown to his
assistance. Thus strengthened, he proceeded to Monk's Corner.

Eutaw Springs was the last engagement of importance in the southern
provinces. The British soon retreated to a position on Charlestown Neck,
and confined their operations to the defence of the posts in that
vicinity; while in Georgia, the British force was concentrated at
Savannah. The surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, in October,
1781, and the subsequent peace negotiations, put an end to the
hostilities in America.

Lieutenant-Colonel Tarleton says: "It is impossible to do justice to the
spirit, patience, and invincible fortitude displayed by the commanders,
officers, and soldiers during these dreadful campaigns in the Carolinas.
They had not only to contend with men, and these by no means deficient
in bravery and enterprise, but they encountered and surmounted
difficulties and fatigues from the climate and the country, which would
appear insuperable in theory and almost incredible in the relation. They
displayed military and, we may add, moral virtues far above all praise.
During renewed successions of forced marches, under the rage of a
burning sun and in a climate at that season peculiarly inimical to man,
they were frequently, when sinking under the most excessive fatigue, not
only destitute of every comfort but almost of every necessary which
seems essential to existence. During the greater part of the time they
were totally destitute of bread, and the country afforded no vegetables
for a substitute. Salt at length failed, and their only resources were
water and the wild cattle which they found in the woods. About fifty
men, in this last expedition, sunk under the vigour of their exertions
and perished through mere fatigue."

At the cessation of hostilities, the South Carolina Regiment and the
Loyal American Rangers were removed to Jamaica, and as they are shown in
the Jamaica Almanack for 1782 as being then in the island, they
presumably arrived there about December, 1781. The South Carolina
Regiment was probably dismounted, as it is shown as being stationed at
Fort Augusta in Kingston harbour. At this time, the reinforcing of the
West India Islands by provincial corps was considered most important,
and in a letter to Sir Guy Carleton we find the following: "The object
of reinforcing those islands is so important, that His Majesty wishes to
have it understood that every provincial corps embarking for the West
Indies shall immediately be put upon the British Establishment." It was,
probably, on some such understanding that the two corps above mentioned
proceeded from South Carolina; but the promise, if made, was never
fulfilled, and neither of the two ever appeared in any Army List. The
following is the list of officers of the South Carolina Regiment given
in the Jamaica Almanack:

    Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant--CAPTAIN LORD CHARLES
    MONTAGU, 88th Regiment.

    Major--JAMES BALMER.



    J. CARDEN.
    -- ODONNELL.
    A. CLERK.
    J. PETRIE.
    -- SMITH.


    W. SPLAIN.
    -- BELL.
    -- SMITH.
    J. KENT.
    -- FARQUHAR.
    -- THOMAS.

The South Carolina Regiment remained in Jamaica until the general
disbandment of the provincial corps in 1783. The lieutenant-colonel
commandant was given an independent company, and the whites, both
officers and men, were pacified with grants of land. The black troopers,
however, were a source of difficulty. These troopers, some of whom were
originally free, while some had been purchased by the British
Government, were in those days of slavery something of a "white
elephant" in a large slave-holding colony like Jamaica. The planters,
fearful of the consequences of the example to their slaves of a free
body of negroes who had served as soldiers, agitated for their removal
from the island, but, on the other hand, no other island was willing to
receive them. There is no trace of how the difficulty was finally
settled, but in a letter, dated War Office, June 15th, 1783, signed R.
Fitzpatrick, and addressed to Major-General Campbell, commanding in
Jamaica, the receipt of his letter concerning the disbandment of the
provincial troops in the island is acknowledged, and the removal of "the
blacks of the South Carolina Regiment" to the Leeward command approved

Some time, then, in September, 1783, the black troopers were removed to
the Leeward Islands, and in the "Monthly Return of His Majesty's Forces
in the Leeward and Charibee Islands, under the command of
Lieutenant-General Edward Mathew," we find them formed into a corps,
with a body of black artificers, who had served in South Carolina at the
sieges of Charlestown and Ninety-six, and thirty-three black pioneers
who had been included in the surrender of Yorktown. The following is the
state of this corps:


    A. Captains.
    B. 1st Lieutenants.
    C. 2nd Lieutenants.
    D. Sergeants Present.
    E. Drummers and Trumpeters Present.
    F. Present, fit for duty.
    G. Sick in Quarters.
    H. Sick in Hospital.
    I. On Command.
    J. Total.
    K. Total of the Whole.

    |            |                | Officers  |   |   |  Effective Rank   |   |
    |            |                | Present.  |   |   |    and File.      |   |
    |Where       |                +---+---+---+   |   +-------------------+   |
    |Stationed.  | Companies.     | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K |
    |Grenada     | Capt. Mackrill | 1 | - | - |  3| 1 | 25| 7 | 10| 23| 65| 70|
    |St. Vincent | Capt. Anderson | 1 | - | 1 | 14| 5 | 46| 4 |  -|138|188|209|
    |Grenada     | Capt. Millar   | 1 | - | - |  3| - | 19| 4 |  4| 19| 46| 50|
    |            | Total          | 3 | - | 1 | 20| 6 | 90| 15| 14|180|299|329|

The officers of this corps were, according to Bryan Edwards, vol. i. p.
386, taken from the regular army, and the companies were commanded by
lieutenants of regulars, having captains' rank. Artificers, it may be as
well to observe, were sappers and miners. The Royal Engineers at about
this date consisted of various companies of Artificers; later on they
were called Sappers and Miners; and, finally, Royal Engineers.



In February, 1789, all three companies of the "Black Corps of Dragoons,
Pioneers, and Artificers" were stationed in Grenada, and from that date
until June, 1793, they are shown in every monthly return, with a
strength varying from 279 to 268, and an increase of four first

In February, 1793, the news of the French declaration of war was
received in the West Indies, and orders were soon after transmitted from
England to the Commander-in-Chief in the Windward and Leeward Islands to
attempt the reduction of the French islands. Tobago was taken on the
17th of April without much trouble, the majority of the planters in that
island being English; and an attack on Martinique was next meditated.
The whole of the British force in the West Indies was known and
acknowledged to be inadequate to the reduction of that island; but such
representations had been spread throughout the army, concerning the
disaffection of the greater part of the inhabitants of all the French
islands towards the Republican Government lately established, as to
create a very general belief that the appearance of a British armament
before the capital of Martinique would alone produce an immediate
surrender. Major-General Bruce, on whom the chief command of the troops
had devolved, was assured by a deputation from the principal planters of
the island that "a body of 800 regular troops would be more than
sufficient to overcome all possible resistance."

These representations induced Major-General Bruce, in conjunction with
Admiral Gardner, to undertake an expedition; and the troops having been
embarked at Grenada in the men-of-war, the armament arrived off Cape
Navire, Martinique,[10] on the 11th of June, 1793. There the general met
the officer commanding the French Royalists, and, as the latter proposed
an attack upon the town of St. Pierre, the 21st Regiment was landed at
Cape Navire on the 14th, and there posted, to enable the Royalists to
concentrate in the neighbourhood of St. Pierre, where the remainder of
the British force joined them on the 16th. "The British troops consisted
of the Grenadiers, Light Infantry, and Marines from the fleet, with the
Black Carolina Corps, amounting in all to about 1100 men."[11] The
Royalists were said to number 800.

On the afternoon of the 17th, the enemy made an attack, but were driven
back by the pickets, with the loss of one officer and three men killed
on the part of the British. An attack on the two batteries which
defended St. Pierre was planned for the morning of the 18th, but failed,
owing to the want of discipline on the part of the Royalists.
Major-General Bruce says: "The morning of the 18th was the time fixed
for the attack, and we were to move forward in two columns, the one
consisting of the British troops, the other of the French Royalists; and
for this purpose the troops were put in motion before daybreak; but,
unfortunately, some alarm having taken place amongst the Royalists, they
began, in a mistake, firing on one another, and their commander being
severely wounded on the occasion, the whole body, refusing to submit to
any of the other officers, retired to the post from which they had

This conduct showed the general that no reliance could be placed on the
Royalists, and that the attack on St. Pierre, if carried out at all,
would have to be done by the British troops alone, whose numbers were
not equal to the task. He, consequently, ordered the troops to return to
their former positions, and on the 19th they re-embarked. As to have
left the Royalists in Martinique would only have been to leave them to
be massacred by the Republicans, those unfortunate people were embarked
on the 19th and 20th, and the 21st Regiment being taken on board at
Cape Navire on the 21st, the expedition returned to Grenada.

It may be wondered whence came the Black Carolina Corps mentioned by
Major-General Bruce, but it is evident that by that designation the
Black Corps of Dragoons, Pioneers, and Artificers was locally known; for
in the monthly return, dated May 1st, 1794, the "state" of the corps is
headed, "Return of the Black Carolina Corps," and the title, "Black
Corps of Dragoons, Pioneers, and Artificers" ceases, from that date, to
be used in any official document. The strength of the corps in that
return is 258 of all ranks.

The failure of Major-General Bruce's attempt on Martinique induced the
British Ministers to send out an armament under Sir Charles Grey for the
reduction of all the French West India Islands; and, until the arrival
of this force at Barbados, in January, 1794, the Black Carolina Corps
remained quietly in garrison at Grenada. The troops from the various
islands--and amongst them all three companies of that corps--were
collected at Barbados during the remainder of January, and, on the 4th
of February, the expeditionary force, 6085 strong, set sail from
Carlisle Bay. The army, in three divisions, landed at three separate
points in Martinique; the first at Gallion Bay, on the northern side of
the island, on the evening of the 5th of February; the second at Cape
Navire, nearly opposite on the south, on the 8th of February; and the
third at Trois Rivières, towards the south-east. The British were so
rapidly successful that, by the 17th of February, the whole of the
island, except the two fortresses of Bourbon and Fort Royal, were in
their hands. The services of the Black Carolina Corps up to that date
are not known in detail, but the return of killed and wounded shows the
Dragoons as having had one rank and file killed.

On the 20th of February, Forts Bourbon and Fort Royal were completely
invested, and the pioneers and artificers of the Carolina Corps were
busily engaged on the siege works. On the north-east side the army broke
ground on the 25th of February; and on the western side, towards La
Caste, fascine batteries were erected with all possible expedition. By
the 16th of March, the advanced batteries were pushed to within 500
yards of Fort Bourbon, and 200 yards of the enemy's nearest redoubt. On
the 20th of March, the fortress of Fort Royal was carried by Captain
Faulkner, of the _Zebra_; and General Rochambeau at once sent a flag
from Fort Bourbon offering to capitulate. The terms were accordingly
adjusted on the 23rd, and on the 25th, the garrison, reduced to 900 men,
marched out prisoners of war.

Martinique being now entirely conquered, Sir Charles Grey left there, as
a garrison under General Prescott, five regiments, and one company of
the Carolina Corps; and proceeded, on the 31st of March, with the
remainder of the force to the attack of St. Lucia. That island had no
means of defence against so considerable an invading force; and, on the
4th of April, the British colours were hoisted on the chief fortress of
Morne Fortune; the garrison, consisting of 300 men, having surrendered
on the same terms of capitulation that had been granted to General
Rochambeau. The 6th and 9th Regiments, with a company of the Carolina
Corps, being left as a garrison for St. Lucia, Sir Charles Grey returned
to Martinique, and commenced his preparations for an expedition to

Guadaloupe really consists of two islands, separated from each other by
a narrow arm of the sea, called La Rivière Salée, which is navigable for
vessels of fifty tons. The eastern island, or division, which is flat
and low-lying, is called Grandeterre; while the western, which is rugged
and mountainous, is named Basseterre.

On the 8th of April, the troops, with the remaining company of the
Carolina Corps, sailed from Fort Royal, Martinique; and, about one
o'clock in the morning of the 11th, a landing was effected at Grosier
Bay. Before daybreak on the 12th, the fort of La Fleur d'Épée was
carried by assault, and the greater part of the garrison put to the
sword. Fort St. Louis, the town of Point à Pitre, and a new battery upon
Islet à Cochon being afterwards abandoned, the possession of Grandeterre
was complete. The reduction of Basseterre was effected on the 21st of
the same month; and the company of the Carolina Corps, with other
troops, being left in garrison in Guadaloupe, the general returned to

The British, however, were not permitted to remain long in peaceable
possession of their most recent conquest; for on the 3rd of June, a
considerable French armament arrived off Point à Pitre. Fort Fleur
d'Épée was taken by storm, and the place not being tenable after this
loss, the British crossed over to Basseterre. Several prisoners were
taken by the French, and amongst them were some of the Carolina Corps,
for in the return of that corps for February, 1795, dated March 1st,
there is the following note: "Some of the corps are prisoners at Point à
Pitre, but their number cannot be ascertained." In a later return,
however, we find that they consisted of one sergeant and eight rank and

On the 2nd of July, the British made an ineffectual attempt to recover
Point à Pitre, and soon after established their head-quarters at
Berville, in Basseterre. The camp at Berville was invested in September,
and on the 6th of October it was compelled to capitulate. Thus the whole
of Guadaloupe, with the exception of Fort Matilda, situated above the
town of Basseterre, and which was still held by a British garrison, was
recovered by the French. At the surrender of Berville, 300 French
Royalists, who were in the British camp, were massacred by the orders of
Victor Hugues, the French commander.

Fort St. Charles, Basseterre, had been rechristened Fort Matilda by the
British on its surrender on the 21st of April, 1794, and against it
Victor Hugues now moved all his forces. The fort was commanded by
Lieutenant-General Prescott with a garrison of 610 men, including the
company of the Carolina Corps which had come to Guadaloupe. General
Prescott, in his despatch, dated "On board H.M.S. _Vanguard_, at sea,
December 11th, 1794," says: "To enter into a minute detail of the siege,
which commenced on the 14th of October, and terminated by evacuating it
on the 10th of December, would not only too much occupy your time, but
might be deemed equally unnecessary. It may be sufficient to remark that
on entering the fort I found it totally out of repair, the materials
composing the wall-work thereof being of the worst kind, and having
apparently but little lime to cement them properly. By the middle of
last month the works were very much injured by the daily and frequent
heavy fire of the enemy, and almost all the carriages of our guns
rendered useless. These were in general in a very decayed state, but
even the new ones for the brass mortars that were made during the siege
gave way from the almost incessant fire we kept up; so that upon the
whole, what from the nature of our defences and the small number of our
garrison, we were in a very unfit state to resist the very vigorous
exertions of our enemy, who began to prepare additional forces about the
20th of last month, but who, from a number of causes, and especially
from heavy and continued rains, could not open their new batteries till
the 6th of this month. On that day they began to fire from twenty-three
pieces of cannon, four of which were thirty-six-pounders, and the rest
twenty-four-pounders, and from eight mortars, two of thirteen inches and
two of ten. The fire was very heavy and continued all day and night, and
by it all the guns on the Gallion bastion were dismounted, and the
bastion itself a heap of ruins. Every day after this grew worse until
the 9th, on the evening of which day I went into the ditch accompanied
by the engineer, when we were both but too well convinced of the
tottering state of the works from the Gallion along the curtain, and
indeed the whole, from the east to the north-east. I could not hesitate
a moment about the necessity of evacuating the fort. I therefore sent
off immediately to Rear-Admiral Thompson, who commanded the detachment
of the squadron left for our protection, to acquaint him with the
necessity of evacuating the fort next evening, and to request that he
would have the boats ready to take off the garrison at seven o'clock. I
kept this my design a profound secret until half-past six o'clock of the
evening of the 10th, when I arranged the march of the garrison.... The
embarkation continued with little or no interruption, and was happily
completed about ten o'clock at night, without its being discovered by
the enemy, who continued firing as usual on the fort till two or three
o'clock on the morning of the 11th, as we could plainly perceive from
the ships. My satisfaction was great at having thus preserved my brave
garrison to their king and country."

During the siege of Fort Matilda, the Carolina Corps lost 1 killed and 3
wounded, 2 of whom afterwards died of their wounds. In the "State of the
Garrison of Fort Matilda, as embarked on the 10th of December, 1794,"
the strength of the company of the Carolina Corps is shown as 1 captain,
1 lieutenant, 4 sergeants, and 30 rank and file. After the evacuation,
this company was stationed at Martinique; so that at the close of the
year 1794, two companies were in that island, and one in St. Lucia.


[Footnote 10: See map.]

[Footnote 11: Major-General Bruce's despatch.]

[Footnote 12: See map.]



In the commencement of the year 1795, a new corps was raised in the West
Indies, which was sometimes called Malcolm's Corps, sometimes Malcolm's
Rangers, and at others the Royal Rangers. It first appears in the
"Monthly Return of His Majesty's Forces in the Windward, Leeward, and
Caribee Islands," dated the 1st of May, 1795, as follows:


    A: Capt. Commandant.
    B: Captains.
    C: 1st Lieutenants.
    D: 2nd Lieutenants.
    E: Sergeants Present.
    F: Drummers Present.
    G: Present fit for Duty.
    H: In Hospital.
    I: In Quarters.

    |             | Commissioned  |   |   |Effective Rank and File.|
    |             | Officers.     |   |   |                        |
    |             +---+---+---+---+   |   +-----+-----+----+-------+
    |             |   |   |   |   |   |   |     | Sick and |       |
    |  Stations.  |   |   |   |   |   |   |     | Wounded. |       |
    |             |   |   |   |   |   |   |     +-----+----+       |
    |             | A | B | C | D | E | F |  G  | H   | I  | Total.|
    | Martinico   | 1 | 2 | 2 | 2 | 8 | 4 | 149 | 28  | 27 |  204  |

This officer is mentioned by Bryan Edwards, vol. iii. p. 452:
"Lieutenant Malcolm, of the 41st Grenadiers, was appointed Town Major"
(of St. Pierre, Martinique, in 1794) "in consideration of his
distinguished conduct and active services at the head of a body of
riflemen, which was composed of two men selected from each company of
the 1st Battalion of Grenadiers. We shall have occasion to mention this
officer afterwards."

This body of riflemen, raised during the operations in Martinique, in
March, 1794, must, if the above statement of its formation be correct,
have been European, for there were no black troops employed in the
reduction of that island, except the Carolina Corps. The corps of
riflemen is not shown in any return, and it is probable that at the
termination of the active operations the men rejoined their respective
battalions. The Royal Rangers, shown in the return of the 1st of May,
1795, were black; for Sir John Vaughan, in a letter dated Martinique,
April 25th, 1795, which gives an account of the operations in St. Lucia
in that month, says: "The flank companies of the 9th Regiment and the
black corps under Captain Malcolm were the troops engaged." These Royal
Rangers, then, were almost certainly entirely distinct from the "body of
riflemen," and the success which had attended Captain Malcolm's efforts
with the first body probably led to his being employed in raising the
second, about February or March, 1795. In the month of April, 1795, one
company of this corps, numbering 121 of all ranks, was in St. Lucia,
and the other company, 112 strong, in Martinique.

Victor Hugues, having succeeded in ousting the British from Guadaloupe,
commenced, early in 1795, active measures for the recovery of the other
islands that had been wrested from France in the previous year, and the
plan which was first ripened appears to have been that against St.
Lucia.[13] "No official and scarcely any other accounts of the event are
to be found, but the invasion of this colony appears to have been
effected about the middle of February.... Nor can the strength of the
invading force be now ascertained. That force was probably few in
number, and stolen into the island in small bodies, and under cover of
the night. Aided, however, by an insurrection of the slaves, people of
colour, and democratical whites, it was sufficient to wrest from us the
whole of the colony, with the exception of the two posts of the Carenage
and the Morne Fortune."[14]

Affairs remained in this situation till about the middle of April, when
Brigadier-General Stewart resumed active operations, in the hope of
recovering the lost ground. On the 14th of that month, he suddenly
disembarked near Vieux Fort, with a force consisting of a portion of the
6th and 9th Regiments, the company of the Carolina Corps which had
remained in the island since its capture in 1794, and one company of the
new corps of Malcolm's Rangers; and, after two days' skirmishing, that
town was abandoned by the French on the 16th, and immediately taken
possession of by the British, the enemy falling back upon Souffriere,
their chief stronghold.

"Resolved to follow up his blow, General Stewart advanced against
Souffriere. Undismayed, however, by their recent defeats, the
Republicans had collected together a very formidable force, for the
defence of their main position. On his march, the British general was
suddenly attacked by a division which had been placed in ambush, and it
was not till after a severe struggle that the enemy were driven back."

Sir John Vaughan, in a despatch dated Martinique, April 25th, 1795,
says: "He was attacked by the enemy upon his march on the 20th instant,
who had formed an ambuscade. The flank companies of the 9th Regiment,
and the Black Corps under Captain Malcolm, were the troops engaged. The
enemy, after a severe conflict, were driven back. Captain Malcolm, and
Captain Nesbitt of the 9th, were wounded, after behaving in a most
gallant manner."

On the 22nd of April, the troops reached the neighbourhood of
Souffriere, near to which, on the mountainous ground, the attack was
made. The contest continued warmly for seven hours, and though the
greatest exertions were made by the British, they were finally compelled
to retreat to Choiseul, with a loss of 30 killed, 150 wounded, and 5
missing. In the four days' fighting between the 14th and the 22nd of
April, Malcolm's corps lost 48 out of a total of 121.[15] At Choiseul
the troops embarked and returned to Vieux Fort, and thence to Morne
Fortune and the Carenage, which General Stewart considered his force
strong enough to hold until the arrival of reinforcements.

Two months passed away without the occurrence of any event worthy of
notice. Sickness, in the meantime, was making great ravages amongst the
British, one-half of whose force was generally unfit for service. The
enemy, on the other hand, were daily gaining fresh accession of
strength. From Guadaloupe arms and other supplies were frequently
transmitted; and though some of the vessels fell into the hands of the
British cruisers, many more of them reached their destination in safety.
The French now began to act decisively. They first reduced Pigeon
Island, and, on the 17th of June, made themselves masters of the Vigie.
On this last post the communication between the Carenage and Morne
Fortune depended, and the enemy now prepared for a general assault upon
the latter. As, in the weak condition of the garrison, it would have
been imprudent to await the meditated attack, Brigadier-General Stewart
determined to evacuate the position; and, on the evening of the 18th,
the whole of the troops embarked on board H.M.S. _Experiment_,
undiscovered by the enemy, and proceeded to Martinique.


[Footnote 13: Bryan Edwards.]

[Footnote 14: See map.]

[Footnote 15: Return of the killed, wounded, and missing in the actions
on the following days, of the troops under the command of
Brigadier-General Stewart, in the island of St. Lucia.

       *       *       *       *       *

14th of April, 1795.

Royal Rangers--1 sergeant, 5 rank and file, wounded.

15th of April.

Royal Rangers--2 rank and file, killed; 1 sergeant, 4 rank and file,

20th of April.

Royal Rangers--6 rank and file, killed; 1 captain, 1 sergeant, and 18
rank and file, wounded.

22nd of April.

Carolina Corps--1 rank and file, wounded.

Royal Rangers--4 rank and file, killed; 5 rank and file, wounded.

Names of the Officers killed and wounded.

Captain Robert Malcolm, of the Royal Rangers, wounded.]



Some little time before the arrival, at Martinique, of the company of
Malcolm's Rangers from St. Lucia, the company of that corps which had
remained in the former island had been despatched, with the 3rd
Battalion of the 60th Regiment, to St. Vincent. Since the month of
March, 1795, that island had been devastated by a war between the
Caribs, assisted by the French, and the British garrison. This war had
been carried on with varying success, and the most horrible atrocities
on the part of the Caribs, until the end of May, when the
Commander-in-Chief, Sir John Vaughan, went over to St. Vincent from
Martinique, to satisfy himself as to the state and military wants of the
colony; and, finding the enemy strongly posted within a short distance
of the town of Kingston itself, immediately on his return to Martinique
despatched the above-mentioned reinforcement, which arrived at St.
Vincent in the beginning of June.

The principal position of the enemy was at the Vigie This post was
situated on a ridge, forming the south-west side of the valley of
Marriaqua, and consisted of three small eminences of different heights;
that nearest the sea, though the lowest, being the most extensive of
them all, and that to the fortifying of which they had paid the most

Lieutenant-Colonel Leighton, commanding the troops in St. Vincent, on
being reinforced, determined to carry into execution a long meditated
attack upon the Vigie. Accordingly, on the night of the 11th[16] of
June, the troops marched through the town, and halted about ten o'clock
at Warawarrow River, within four miles of the Vigie. The force was
composed of detachments from the 46th and 60th Regiments, the company of
Malcolm's Rangers, the St. Vincent Rangers, almost all the southern and
windward regiments of the militia, and a small party of artillery. At
Warawarrow River the troops were divided into three columns; and the
third was further divided into small bodies to hold the passes at Calder
Ridge, and prevent the escape of the enemy.

Just before daybreak, the westernmost redoubt, which overlooked the road
coming from Kingston, was attacked and carried almost without
opposition, the enemy retiring to their principal stronghold. The
grenadiers and Malcolm's Corps had in the meantime forced their way
through the bush on Ross Ridge, and being met by the light company,
which had kept along the road, the whole of the British advanced against
the third and strongest redoubt. At the upper end of the road a deep
trench had been dug, which obstacle for some little time delayed the
guns; but, by great exertions they were lifted up a bank eight or ten
feet in height, and then opened fire.

For some time the enemy returned the British fire with great spirit.
About eight o'clock, however, they beat a parley, and sent out a flag of
truce to propose terms, which were refused. The troops were now led to
the assault, and in a short time carried the works, which were defended
by the French from Guadaloupe, the Caribs having retired early in the
morning, and escaped to the windward portion of the island. "Never did
troops display greater gallantry than did the British, militia, and
rangers on this occasion."[17] The British killed and wounded amounted
to 30; 250 of the enemy are said to have fallen. In the redoubts were
taken three four-pounders and sixteen or seventeen swivels.

At the close of the action, Malcolm's and the St. Vincent Rangers were
sent out to scour the valley of Marriaqua, and destroy the huts of the
Caribs. This service they effectually accomplished before nightfall,
having killed and taken prisoners many of the fugitives, and driven the
remainder into Massirica.

A detachment of the 60th being left in the Vigie Lieutenant-Colonel
Leighton, on the morning of the 13th of June, marched with the remainder
of the troops, by several routes, towards the Carib district. So little
opposition was made to their march, the enemy constantly falling back
from ridge to ridge, that on the afternoon of the 16th they reached
Mount Young, from which the Caribs fled with such haste that they left
standing their houses, in all of which considerable quantities of corn
were found. This carelessness of the enemy provided the British with a
very welcome shelter. It was fortunate, also, that they had not
attempted to dispute the hills and passes; for, had they done so, the
troops would have suffered greatly, seven men, even as it was, having
expired on the march from fatigue alone.

As soon as Mount Young was in our possession, the troops were busily
employed in spreading devastation through the Carib district. In Grand
Sable and other parts of the country, many houses were burned, and more
than 200 pettiaugres and canoes destroyed. Several hundred slaves were
also sent out, under the protection of military detachments, to dig up
and destroy the provisions of the enemy. On the 4th of July, a
detachment of the 46th and Malcolm's Rangers took, after a sharp action,
the enemy's post at Chateaubellair, near Walliabon, with a loss of 14
killed and 39 wounded of the 46th, and 2 killed and several wounded of

The evacuation of St. Lucia by Brigadier-General Stewart was, however,
as far as St. Vincent was concerned, attended by fatal consequences.
The proximity of the former island enabled the French unceasingly to
pour in new reinforcements to their Carib allies in St. Vincent; and,
towards the end of August, a small British post which had been
established at Owia was surprised by a detachment from St. Lucia, and
the whole of the guns and large quantities of supplies captured.

Encouraged by this success, Victor Hugues resolved to endeavour to wrest
St. Vincent from the British, as he had already wrested Guadaloupe and
St. Lucia; and, in the middle of September, he landed in St. Lucia with
a force of some 800 men. These, embarked in four vessels, which escaped
the _Thorn_ and _Experiment_, the British ships of war on the station,
landed at Owia Bay, St. Vincent, on the morning of the 18th of
September; and the force of the enemy was now so vastly superior to that
of the British, that it became impossible for the latter to retain their
advanced positions.

Orders were at once sent to Lieutenant-Colonel Leighton to abandon Mount
Young without delay, and retire to the vicinity of Kingston. They were
carried into execution on the night of the 19th. Having destroyed their
supplies and left their lights burning in their huts as usual, to
deceive the enemy, the troops were silently put in motion. They reached
Biabou the next evening, and, bringing in the detachment which was there
quartered, reached Zion Hill on the 21st; being then distributed among
the posts in the neighbourhood.

The retreating British were speedily followed by the Caribs and French,
who drove off the cattle from several estates, and finally took up a
position on Fairbairn's Ridge, by which the communication was cut off
between Kingston and the Vigie. The detachment of the 60th at the latter
post being short of supplies, Lieutenant-Colonel Ritche, of the 60th,
with 200 of that corps and 150 of the St. Vincent Rangers, was detached
to escort the necessary stores. His division had nearly reached its
destination when it fell in with the enemy; a sharp action ensued,
victory was on the eve of declaring for the British, when, struck by an
unaccountable panic, they suddenly gave way and fled in all directions.
The supplies fell into the hands of the enemy, and a number of the mules
were killed.

The news of this terrible disaster spread dismay through Kingston, for
it was thought that the enemy would at once attack all the British
posts. It was resolved to at once abandon the Vigie; and to facilitate
this step, Brigadier-General Myers, with the 46th and Malcolm's Rangers,
marched from Dorsetshire Hill, and posted himself opposite the enemy, as
if threatening an attack. This movement had the desired effect. The
enemy called in all the detachments which invested the Vigie, and thus
enabled the officer commanding that post to retreat at night through
heavy rain to Calliaqua, and thence proceed to Kingston in boats.

While the troops were using the utmost exertion to strengthen the posts
in the neighbourhood of Kingston, an unexpected reinforcement arrived
from Martinique, on the 29th of September. It consisted of the 40th,
54th, 59th, and 2nd West India Regiments,[18] into which latter the St.
Vincent Rangers were at once drafted. Major-General Irving also came
over from Martinique to assume the command.

The first effect produced by the arrival of this succour, was the
retiring of the enemy from their advanced position on Fairbairn's Ridge
to the Vigie, where they now collected the whole of their strength. From
this post Major-General Irving determined to dislodge them; and, on the
night of the 1st of October, the troops marched for that purpose. One
column, consisting of 750 men, under Lieutenant-Colonel Strutt, marched
by the high road and took post upon Calder Ridge, on the east of the
Vigie, about three in the morning. A second column, consisting of 900
men, under Brigadier-General Myers, crossed the Warawarrow River, and
detached one party to proceed round by Calliaqua, and another to move up
the valley, and climb the heights near Joseph Dubuc's. With this last
force was Malcolm's Corps; and, to gain the point to which they were
directed, it was necessary to cross a deep rivulet and ascend a steep
hill covered with bushes and wood. In doing this it suffered a heavy
loss, both of officers and men, from the enemy, who fired upon it almost
in security under shelter of the bushes. The British, however, still
pressed on, and at length arrived on the top of the Marriaqua or Vigie
Ridge. During the ascent of the hill, Malcolm's Corps lost one man
killed and two wounded.

In the meantime, the remainder of the second column were struggling in
vain to reach the summit of the same ridge; at a point where the enemy
had strongly occupied a thick wood, and thrown up a small work. Though
the opposing forces were within fifty paces of each other, not an inch
of ground was won on either side. Firing commenced at seven in the
morning, and was kept up till nightfall. All this time the British were
exposed to a violent tropical downpour of rain, which rendered the
abrupt declivity so slippery that it was almost impossible to maintain a
foothold on it; and, finding he could make no impression on the enemy,
the general, about 7 p.m., gave orders for the troops to retire.

During the night, the enemy, from some unknown cause, abandoned the
Vigie, and that so hastily that they left behind them, undestroyed, both
guns and ammunition. They continued their retreat till they reached the
windward part of the island, and the British in their turn advanced. For
the remainder of the year, the troops were employed in circumscribing,
within as narrow limits as possible, the French and their Carib allies;
and, though great hardships were endured, no engagement worthy of note
took place.


[Footnote 16: Coke; Bryan Edwards says the 8th.]

[Footnote 17: Coke.]

[Footnote 18: See next chapter.]



The terrible mortality which thinned the ranks of the British troops in
the West Indies, induced the British Ministers to think of reinforcing
the army with men better calculated to resist the influence of the
climate. The West India Governors were instructed, therefore, in 1795,
to bring forward in their respective legislatures a project for raising
five black regiments, consisting of 500 men each, to become a permanent
branch of the military establishment. There were already several black
corps in existence, for Mr. Dundas, during a debate in the House of
Commons on the West India Expedition, on the 28th of April, 1795, said
that "the West India Army of Europeans and Creoles consisted of 3000
militia and 6000 blacks."[19]

These black corps were distributed amongst the various islands, and
were the Carolina Corps, Malcolm's or the Royal Rangers, the Island
Rangers (Martinique), the St. Vincent Rangers, the Black Rangers
(Grenada), Angus' Black Corps (Grenada), the Tobago Blacks, and the
Dominica Rangers. Some of them, notably the Carolina Corps, Malcolm's
Corps, and the St. Vincent Rangers,[20] were paid by the Imperial
Government, and were consequently Imperial troops; although none of the
corps appeared in any Army List, nor were appointments thereto and
promotions therein notified in the _London Gazette_.

The five black regiments, now proposed to be raised, were to be in
addition to those small black corps already in Imperial pay, and which
were to be blended into three permanent regiments. Consequently, in the
Army List dated March 11th, 1796, showing the state of the army in
1795,[21] we find the following eight corps, indexed under the heading
of "Regiments raised to serve in the West Indies:"

    Whyte's Regiment of Foot     (Carolina and Malcolm's Corps).
    Myers'       "       "       (St. Vincent Rangers).
    Keppell's    "       "       (probably the Dominica Rangers).
    Nicoll's     "       "       }
    Howe's       "       "       }
    Whitelock's  "       "       }(the five new regiments).
    Lewes'       "       "       }
    Skerrett's   "       "       }

Major-General Whyte's regiment was called into existence by the
_Gazette_ of the 2nd of May, 1795; Major-General John Whyte, from the
6th Foot, being appointed colonel. On the 20th of May, Major Leeds
Booth, from the 32nd Foot, was appointed lieutenant-colonel; and other
officers were rapidly gazetted to it. On the 8th of August, Captain
Robert Malcolm, of the 41st Foot, was promoted major in Whyte's
regiment. The following is the list of officers appointed to the
regiment in 1795:


    Rank.      Name.                 Rank in the Regt.         Army.

    Colonel    John Whyte            April 24, 1795    M.G., Feb. 26, 1795
    Lt.-Col.   Leeds Booth             May 20, 1795
    Major      Robert Malcolm          July 1, 1795    Lieut.-Col.,
                                                         Oct. 5, 1795
    Capts.     James Abercrombie         "      "      Major, March 1, 1794
               Edward Cotter             "      "
               Francis Costello          "      "
               Alan Hampden Pye          "      "
               Ralph Wilson              "      "
               Thomas Cunninghame        "      "
        (C.)   William Powell         Aug. 24, 1795
               Thomas Deane           Sept. 1, 1795

    Lieuts.    Ross Gillespie          July 1, 1795    Dec. 20, 1794
               Henry Maxwell             "      "      March 8, 1795
               David Butler              "      "
               Benjamin Chadwick         "      "
               James Reid                "      "
               James Stewart             "      "
               James Sutherland          "      "
               James Calder              "      "
               Andrew Coghlan         Aug. 24, 1795    Sept. 14, 1792
               Henry Goodinge         Sept. 1, 1795
               Thos. Page            Sept. 16, 1795
               (11 vacancies)
    Ensigns    William Graham          July 1, 1795
               James Cassidy              "     "
               -- McShee                  "     "
               -- Lightfoot               "     "
               -- M'Callum                "     "
               -- Froggart                "     "
               -- McLean                  "     "
               R.W. Atkins                "     "
               John Egan                  "     "
               James Reed                 "     "
    (Cornet)   W. Connor                  "     "
               -- Crump                   "     "
               John Morrison              "     "
               Donald M'Grace             "     "
               William Reid               "     "
               -- Dalton              Sept. 1, 1795
               Thomas Byrne               "     "
               C.B. Darley            Sept. 9, 1795
               Christ. Thos. Roberts   Oct. 5, 1795
    Adjutant   ..............
    Qrmr.      -- McWilliam           Nov. 18, 1795
    Surgeon    -- Bishop              June 10, 1795
    Chaplain   ..............

It was intended that each of these regiments raised for service in the
West Indies should have a cavalry troop, and in the _London Gazette_ are
the following:


    August 1, 1795     Lieutenant--Powell, from the 8th Foot, to be
                         Lieutenant of Cavalry.

    August 29          Lieutenant--Powell, Lieutenant of Cavalry, to be
                         Captain of Cavalry.

    July 11            Acting Adjutant--Connor, from Lieutenant-Colonel
                         McDonnel's regiment, to be Cornet.

But this idea was soon abandoned, and in 1797 the cavalry troop

The 1st West India Regiment (for so it was at once styled in the West
Indies, although in the Army List and the _London Gazette_, the
designation "Major-General Whyte's Regiment of Foot" was not
discontinued until February, 1798) first appears in the "Monthly Return
for the Windward, Leeward, and Caribee Islands," in September, 1795, as

    A: Colonel.
    B: Lieut.-Colonel.
    C: Majors.
    D: Captains.
    E: Lieutenants.
    F: Ensigns.
    G: Chaplain.
    H: Adjutant.
    I: Quarter-Master.
    J: Surgeon.
    K: Mate.
    L: Sergeants Present.
    M: Drummers Present.
    N: Present, fit for duty.
    O: Sick.
    P: Recruiting.
    Q: Total.

    |                 |         |  Officers Present.    |  |  |          |
    |                 |         +-------------+---------+  |  |Effective |
    |                 |         |Commissioned.| Staff.  |  |  |Rank&File.|
    |     Regiments   |Stations.+-------------+---------+  |  +----------+
    |     or Corps.   |         |A|B|C|D|E | F|G|H|I|J|K| L| M| N|O|P| Q |
    |Maj.-Gen. Whyte's|Martinico|-|-|-|3| 1| 5|-|-|1|-|-| 6| 6|43|4|4| 51|
    |                 |         | | | | |  |  | | | | | |  |  |  | | |   |
    |Brig.-Gen. Myers'|Martinico|1|-|-|2| 1| 1|-|-|1|-|-| 5| 6|41|5|5| 51|
    |                 |Total.   |1|-|-|5| 2| 6|-|-|2|-|-|11|12|84|9|9|102|

and the following note is, in the same Return, appended to the state of
the company of the "Black Carolina Corps," which was in Grenada; the
other two companies having remained in Martinique since their removal
there from St. Lucia at the end of April, 1795. "This corps has been
reformed, and fifty of the men, who were fit for service, have been
drafted into the 1st New West India Regiment. When the remainder of the
corps can be collected together, it is possible a few more may be found
fit for service."

Major-General Whyte's, or the 1st West India Regiment, remained at
Martinique, without any further accession to its strength than these
fifty men from the Carolina Corps, till December, 1795.

In the "Muster Roll of His Majesty's 1st West India Regiment of Foot,
for 183 days, from the 25th of June to the 24th of December, 1795,
inclusive," the list of officers is given as already shown. Captain
James Abercrombie, Lieutenants David Butler, Benjamin Chadwick, and
James Sutherland are shown as "drowned on passage," and the following
note is added: "Some few of the dates of enlistments and enrolments of
the non-commissioned officers and drummers may not probably be quite
exact, and some others may have been engaged in England not down on the
muster roll, all the regimental books, attestation papers, etc., having
been left in possession of the paymaster, Brevet-Major Abercrombie (no
adjutant at that time being appointed), who was lost in December or
January last on board the _Robert and William_ transport, No. 44, on
the voyage to this country." The non-commissioned officers and drummers
were Europeans, one sergeant and three corporals being shown as "sick
and absent in England" in this roll; and, in the next, a drummer is
similarly shown. The roll is signed by Leeds Booth, Lieutenant-Colonel;
Ed. S. Cotter, Captain and Paymaster; and Thomas Holbrook, Acting
Adjutant. The following is the proof table:

    A: Colonel.
    B: Lieut.-Colonel.
    C: Major.
    D: Captains.
    E: Lieutenants.
    F: Cornets.
    G: Ensigns.
    H. Adjutant.
    I. Chaplain.
    J. Quartermaster.
    K. Surgeon.
    L. Mate.
    M. Sergeants.
    N. Corporals.
    O. Drummers.
    P. Privates.

|              | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P |
|Present       | - | 1 | - | 1 | 1 | 1 |  5| - | - | 1 | - | - | 10| - | 12|  9|
|Absent        | 1 | - | 1 | 8 | 6 | - | 13| - | - | - | 1 | - |  7| 3 |  3| 27|
|Non-effective | - | - | - | 5 | 7 | - |  5| - | - | 1 | - | - |  5| 8 |  5| 13|
|  Total.      | 1 | 1 | 1 | 14| 14| 1 | 23| - | - | 2 | 1 | - | 22| 11| 20| 49|

Although it was intended that the privates of West India regiments
should be black, yet, apparently, white men were not prohibited from
serving in the ranks; for, in later muster rolls, two or three privates
are shown as "enrolled in England," and one of these is afterwards shown
as "transferred to 60th." A volunteer, David Scott, who joined 29th May,
1797, was also promoted ensign in November of that year. These
enrolments of Europeans only occur in the first three years of the
regiment's existence, and negro privates were available for promotion
to, at least, the rank of corporal very early; for a Private John
Lafontaine, who was promoted corporal, is shown in the muster roll
terminating December 24th, 1796, as "claimed as a slave." The pay of a
private in a West India regiment was then sixpence per diem.


[Footnote 19: In the Account of the Extraordinary Expenditure of the
Army, from 25th December, 1795, to 6th December, 1796, is the following:

    On account of pay for sundry black corps for the
      year 1795, raised for service in the West Indies     £10,120 12 9

    On account of ditto for the year 1796                   60,095 10 3
                                                           £70,216  3 0

[Footnote 20: "The military force in St. Vincent consists at present of
a regiment of infantry and a company of artillery, sent from England;
and a black corps raised in the country, but provided for, with the
former, on the British Establishment, and receiving no additional pay
from the island."--Bryan Edwards, vol. i. p. 428.]

[Footnote 21: The Army List for 1795 is dated January 1st.]



In January, 1796, the company of Malcolm's Royal Rangers that was at St.
Vincent was moved to St. Christopher; the other company still remained
at Martinique, and both, in April, 1796, were selected to take part in
the expedition to St. Lucia. "That island could then muster for its
defence about 2000 well-disciplined black soldiers, a number of less
effective blacks, and some hundred whites, who held positions both
naturally and artificially strong, and were plentifully supplied with
artillery, ammunition, and stores. The post on which the Republicans
chiefly confided for their defence was that of Morne Fortune. It is
situated on the western side of the island, between the rivers of the
Carenage and the Grand Cul de Sac, which empty their waters into bays
bearing the same name. Difficult of access by nature, it had been
rendered still more so by various works. In aid of this they had also
fortified others of the mornes, or eminences, in its vicinity. The whole
of this position, embracing a considerable extent of ground, it was of
the utmost importance to invest closely, with as little delay as
possible, that the enemy might not escape into the rugged country of the
interior, and thus be in a condition to carry on a protracted and
harassing war, which experience had already more than once proved to be
highly detrimental to an unseasoned invading force.

"To accomplish this desirable purpose, the British general determined to
direct his troops on three points, two of them to the north, and the
third to the south of Morne Fortune. The first division was to land most
to the north, in Longueville Bay, covered by several vessels, which were
intended to silence the batteries on Pigeon Island. Choc Bay was the
spot where the centre division was to be put on shore; and the third was
to disembark at Ance la Raye, some distance to the southward of the
hostile post."[22]

The fleet with the troops destined for the attack of St. Lucia, under
Sir Ralph Abercromby, sailed from Carlisle Bay, Barbados, on the 22nd of
April, and anchored in Marin Bay, Martinique, on the evening of the
23rd, where Malcolm's Rangers joined the force, sailing for St. Lucia on
the 26th. The troops arrived off that island on the evening of the same
day, and 1700 men, under the command of Major-General Campbell,
composing the first division, were immediately landed in Longueville
Bay; without encountering any further opposition than a few shots from
the battery on Pigeon Island, the fire of which was speedily silenced by
that of the ships.

A strong current had driven the transports so far to the leeward that it
was not practicable to land the centre division till the following
morning. Major-General Campbell was meanwhile on his march, and his
progress was only feebly opposed by about 500 of the enemy, who
ultimately retired from Angier's Plantation to Morne Chabot, and allowed
him to effect a junction with the centre division. The current having
acted still more powerfully on the vessels which conveyed the third
division, under Brigadier-General Morshead, two or three days elapsed
before the disembarkation in Ance la Raye could be entirely executed.
The troops at length took up their appointed station, and thus held
Morne Fortune invested on its southern side.

To complete the investment on the northern quarter it was necessary to
obtain possession of Morne Chabot, which was one of the strongest posts
in the vicinity of Morne Fortune. At midnight of the 27th, therefore,
two columns, under Brigadier-Generals Moore and Hope, were despatched to
attack the Morne on two opposite sides; and, by this means, not only to
carry the position, but likewise to prevent the escape of the troops by
which it was defended. This plan, the complete success of which would
have materially diminished the strength of the Republican force, was in
part rendered abortive by a miscalculation of time. The column of
Brigadier-General Moore, consisting of seven companies of the 53rd
Regiment, 100 of Malcolm's Rangers, and 50 of Lowenstein's,[23] advanced
by the most circuitous route; while Brigadier-General Hope, with 350 men
of the 57th, 150 of Malcolm's Rangers, and 50 of Lowenstein's, took the
shorter road. Misinformed by the guides, Brigadier-General Moore's
column fell in, an hour and a half sooner than it had expected, with the
advanced picket of the enemy, who were thus put on their guard. At the
moment when they were discovered, the troops, in consequence of the
narrowness of the road, were marching in single file, and to halt them
was impossible. In this state of things their leader resolved not to
give his opponents time to recollect themselves, but to fall on them
with his single division. The spirit of the soldiers fully justified the
gallant resolution of their commander. Having been formed as speedily as
the ruggedness of the ground would admit of, they proceeded to the
assault. The Republicans made a stubborn resistance, but it was an
unavailing one, as they were finally driven from the Morne with
considerable loss. Nevertheless, as the second column did not arrive
till the combat was over, the fugitives succeeded in making good their
retreat. On the following day the victors also occupied Morne
Duchasseaux, which is situated in rear of Morne Fortune.

In the hope of obtaining some advantage to counterbalance this
misfortune, the enemy, on the 1st of May, made a brisk attack on the
advanced post of grenadiers commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel MacDonald,
of the 55th Regiment. They were, however, repulsed with much slaughter,
though not till forty or fifty men, and several officers, were killed or
wounded on the side of the British, among them being Captain Coghlan,
1st West India Regiment, attached to the 48th Regiment, who was wounded.

At the south side of the Morne Fortune the enemy had erected batteries,
which precluded any vessels from entering into the bay of the Grand Cul
de Sac. To open this bay to our fleet was an object of much importance,
as at present it was necessary to convey the artillery and stores from a
great distance, which could not be done without the previous labour of
opening roads through an almost impracticable country. It was,
therefore, resolved to make an attempt on these batteries. The principal
attack was to be conducted by Major-General Morshead, whose division, in
two columns, was to pass the river of the Grand Cul de Sac; the columns
of the right at Cools, and that of the left at the point where the
waters of the stream are discharged into the bay. To second this force,
Brigadier-General Hope, on the night of the 2nd of May, was to advance
from Morne Chabot with 350 men of the 42nd Regiment, the light company
of the 57th, and part of Malcolm's Rangers, the whole being supported by
the 55th Regiment, which was posted at Ferrands. A part of the squadron
was likewise to lend its assistance, by keeping up a cannonade on the
works of the enemy. Before the time arrived for putting this plan into
execution, Major-General Morshead was taken ill, and the command
devolved upon Brigadier-General Perryn. No change, however, took place
in the arrangements which had been formed.

"At dawn of day, the division under Brigadier-General Hope began to
accomplish its part of the service by carrying the battery Seche, which
was situated within a short distance of the works of Morne Fortune. The
assailants suffered so little in the assault, that they would scarcely
have had anything to regret, had it not been for the fall of the gallant
Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm.[24] On the south side of the Morne, and at
the extremity of the line of attack, Colonel Riddel, who led the column
of the left, made himself master of the battery of Chapuis, and
established himself there. Had the remainder of the project been as well
executed, the proposed object would have been completely attained.
Unfortunately, however, from some unexplained cause, the division which
was the connecting link of the whole, that which was entrusted to
Brigadier-General Perryn, did not perform its allotted part, by crossing
the river at Cools. The consequence of this was that the victorious
columns were left insulated, and would have been exposed to no trivial
danger, had the enemy felt a sufficient reliance upon their own strength
to incite them to act with the requisite promptitude and vigour.
Painful, therefore, as it was to retire before a routed foe, the British
troops were compelled to abandon the batteries which they had won, and
to fall back upon their original stations. The ships at the same time
returned to their former anchorage. Our loss on this occasion was 105
men; of whom only a very few were among the slain."

The Vigie was now the only post occupied by the enemy in the vicinity of
Morne Fortune, and this was attacked by the 31st Regiment on the night
of May 7th; the assault, however, being repulsed with a loss of 200 men.
The main position was now invested by regular siege works, and the task
which the British had to perform was attended with no small difficulty.
"The country itself was of the most inaccessible kind, the chain of
investment was ten miles in extent, all the roads that were necessary
were to be made, of carriages there were none, horses were scarce, and
the Republicans had been industrious in availing themselves of all the
natural obstacles to our progress, and in creating as many others as
their ingenuity could contrive." Malcolm's Corps rendered good service
on these works, and the men being better able to stand the fatigue and
exposure than Europeans, were constantly employed.

By May 16th, the first parallel was completed, and on the morning of the
24th, the 27th Regiment, supported by the 53rd and 57th, succeeded in
effecting a lodgment within 500 yards of the fort. The Governor,
acknowledging that further resistance was futile, demanded a suspension
of hostilities; terms of surrender were agreed upon, and on May 26th,
2000 men marched out as prisoners of war. One hundred pieces of
ordnance, ten vessels, and large stores of ammunition fell into the
hands of the British.

Sir Ralph Abercromby sailed from St. Lucia on the 4th of June to the
relief of Grenada and St. Vincent, leaving Brigadier-General Moore for
the pacification of the first island with the 31st, 44th, 38th, and 55th
Regiments, O'Meara's corps of Rangers,[25] and the German Yagers.


[Footnote 22: Bryan Edwards.]

[Footnote 23: Lowenstein's Rangers were Europeans. They were afterwards
drafted into the 60th.]

[Footnote 24: Return of killed, wounded, and missing, in the attack made
on the enemy's batteries, May 3rd, 1796. Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm's
Rangers: 3 rank and file, killed; 2 rank and file, wounded; 2 captains,
1 lieutenant, 7 rank and file, missing. Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm dead
of his wounds. The names of the officers of Malcolm's returned missing,
not known.]

[Footnote 25: Raised in 1796. This corps became the 12th West India
Regiment in 1799.]



Grenada, like St. Vincent, had been ravaged by the French and insurgent
slaves since March, 1795, and the relief of that island was one of the
first cares of Sir R. Abercromby. On leaving St. Lucia, the division of
the troops intended for Grenada was ordered to rendezvous at Cariacou,
one of the Grenadines; there Sir Ralph Abercromby met Major-General
Nicolls, then commanding in Grenada, and arranged with him the general
plan of operations. Before, however, those operations are described, it
will be necessary to go back to the month of March, 1796, when a company
of the Carolina Corps arrived in Grenada from Martinique, with
detachments from the 8th, 63rd, and 3rd Regiments, under Major-General

Shortly before the arrival of this reinforcement, the French and
insurgents had compelled the British to evacuate Pilot Hill, in the
neighbourhood of Grenville, and had taken up a strong position at Port
Royal. On the 23rd of March, Major-General Nicolls landed to the south
of Port Royal; during the night the guns were got in position, and at
daybreak opened on the enemy's works. The post occupied by the enemy was
a hill of very steep ascent, particularly towards the summit, upon which
a fort was constructed, and furnished with four six-pounders and some
swivels. The first object of the British commander was to gain a
position between the enemy and the open country, and thus leave them no
alternative but to surrender at discretion, or precipitate themselves
over a high cliff; but they had established themselves so strongly to
protect their right that this failed. In the meantime two large vessels
full of troops to reinforce the enemy arrived in the bay under Port
Royal, from Guadaloupe; and Brigadier-General Nicolls found it necessary
to storm the enemy's post without further delay. The troops employed in
this service were detachments from the 3rd, 29th, and 63rd Regiments,
under Brigadier-General Campbell; at the same time, 50 men of the 88th,
with the company of the Carolina Corps, Colonel Webster's Black Rangers,
and Angus' Black Corps, moved against the enemy's right flank, to
dislodge some strong parties which were posted on the heights.

Owing to the difficult nature of the ground, it was nearly two hours
before the latter column could reach the enemy, when a heavy fire
commenced on both sides. The ascent was steep and difficult, encumbered
with rocks and loose stones and covered with dense bush. From the summit
of the ridge the enemy poured in a destructive fire, to which the
British could only reply at a great disadvantage, and, after losing
heavily, the column commenced to retire. Observing this retrograde
movement, Major-General Nicolls sent the 8th Regiment in support and
ordered Brigadier-General Campbell to proceed to the assault of the

Repulsed at the first attempt the troops again pushed on, at length
gained the summit of the ridge, drove the enemy into their redoubt and
scrambled in after them through the embrasures. The enemy then fled in
all directions, some threw themselves down the precipices, whilst others
tried to escape down the hill through the thick underwood; but there was
so heavy a fire kept up on them from above by the British that they were
forced to attempt to escape along a valley, where they were charged by a
detachment of the 17th Light Dragoons, and cut to pieces. The British
loss consisted, in killed and wounded, of 110 Europeans and 40 of the
various black corps. The Carolina Corps lost one man killed and six

Affairs were thus situated when the fall of St. Lucia enabled Sir R.
Abercromby to send reinforcements to Grenada. The troops, with whom were
Malcolm's Rangers, disembarked at Palmiste, on the 9th June, while
Brigadier-General Campbell, with the troops already in the island,
advanced from the windward side to take the enemy in rear. Captain
Jossey, the commandant of the French troops at Goyave, near Palmiste,
seeing that resistance must be unavailing, surrendered that post, with
those of Mabouia and Dalincourt; but Fedon, the leader of the insurgent
slaves, who knew he could expect no mercy, retired at the head of about
300 men to two strong and almost unapproachable positions, called Morne
Quaquo and Ache's Camp, or Forêt Noir, in the mountains of the interior.

In these recesses he did not despair of being able to tire out his
pursuers; but Major-General Nicolls did not give him time to throw any
additional obstacles in the way of the troops. On the 18th of June he
despatched against him, from opposite quarters, two divisions, under
Brigadier-General Campbell and Count d'Heillemer; while
Lieutenant-Colonel Gledstanes was posted with the 57th Regiment at the
head of Grand Roy Valley, and the grenadiers of the 38th Regiment, with
the Carolina Corps and Malcolm's Rangers, advanced against a post which
the enemy had at the head of Beau Séjour Valley. The dispositions were
so admirably carried into effect, that the whole of the enemy's posts
were captured, nearly at the same moment, on the morning of the 19th.
"Many of the blacks were slain upon the spot, and the remainder were
promptly hunted down in the woods by detachments of the military. No
quarter was given to these ruffians, nor was any deserved by them, their
last efforts having been marked by a foul and wanton murder. When they
saw that their position at Morne Quaquo, which they had regarded as
impregnable, was on the eve of being forced, they led out twenty white
prisoners, stripped them, tied their hands behind them, and put them to
death. It was impossible, after having witnessed this act of baseness
and cruelty, that anything short of their extermination should satisfy
the victors."[26]

Fedon, and a number of his followers, escaped to the woods; what became
of the former was never known, but the black corps were employed up to
December, 1796, in hunting down and capturing the stragglers, and it was
not until the end of that month that peace was entirely restored to

Whyte's, or the 1st West India, Regiment had remained at Martinique
without any addition to its strength during the operations in St. Lucia
and Grenada. It had, however, according to the muster rolls for 1796,
transferred, on the 24th of March of that year, four sergeants and nine
corporals to Malcolm's Rangers, probably in anticipation of the speedy
drafting of the whole of that corps into its own ranks. In the Monthly
Returns of troops for March and April, 1796, Malcolm's Royal Rangers are
shown as "under orders for drafting into the 1st West India Regiment,"
and in the May Return the corps ceases to be shown separately, and has
no "state" of its own. As we have seen, however, it continued to act
separately in St. Lucia in April and May, and in Grenada from June to
December; and it was not until its return to Martinique on the 28th of
December, 1796, that the drafting was finally completed. Of the
Carolina Corps all the men fit for service were collected at Martinique,
the remainder being formed into an invalid company at Grenada. It may be
thought that the process of forming the 1st West India Regiment was
being carried on very slowly, but it was more rapid than that of any
other West India Regiment, except the 2nd; while the 3rd, even on the
24th of December, 1797, had no non-commissioned officers, no privates,
and only two drummers.

No military event worthy of note took place in the year 1797, in which
the Carolina Corps or the 1st West India Regiment took part, except the
expedition to Porto Rico, in which the pioneers of the former corps were
engaged. Sir Ralph Abercromby, with a force of 3000 men, sailed from
Martinique on the 8th of April, and, after a delay at St. Christopher's,
for the purpose of procuring pilots and guides, reached Porto Rico on
the 17th and anchored off Cangrejos Point. Next day the troops
disembarked, and, after a slight skirmish with the enemy, took up a
position before the town. The siege continued for a fortnight without
the British making any appreciable progress, while the force of the
enemy, originally larger than that of the besiegers, was receiving
continual accessions from various parts of the island. Sir Ralph
Abercromby, therefore, determined to abandon the attempt, and the troops
were accordingly re-embarked on the 30th of April.

In March, 1797, one company of the Carolina Corps that was at
Martinique, 78 strong, was drafted into the 1st West India Regiment;
and, on the return of the expedition from Porto Rico, the remaining
company (Pioneer) was also drafted, and the Carolina Corps ceased to

The following is the list of the officers who were serving in the 1st
West India Regiment in 1797, and it may be observed that so many changes
had taken place that, out of 43 officers who were gazetted to the
regiment in 1795, only 22 were left in 1797:

    Rank.        Name.          Rank in Regiment.          Army.

    Colonel    John Whyte        April 24, 1795      M.-G., Feb. 26, 1795.
    Lt.-Col.   Leeds Booth         May 20, 1795
    Major      Charles Miller     Nov. 30, 1796
    Captains   Edward Cotter       July 1, 1795
               Francis Costello    July 1, 1795
               William Powell     Aug. 24, 1795
               A.A. Nunn           Feb. 2, 1797      November 17, 1795.
               Robert Brown        June 1, 1797      September 30, 1796.
               James Maitland     July 23, 1797
               James Stewart      July 24, 1797
    Lieuts.    William Graham     Nov. 30, 1796
               James Cassidy       Dec. 1, 1796
               -- M'Shee           Dec. 2, 1796
               -- Lightfoot        Dec. 3, 1796
               -- M'Callum         Dec. 4, 1796
               -- Froggart         Dec. 5, 1796
               -- M'Lean           Dec. 6, 1796
               John Egan           Dec. 8, 1796
               James Reed          Dec. 9, 1796
               W.J. Speed         Jan. 11, 1797
               -- Connor          March 1, 1797
               William Reid       March 2, 1796
               Thomas Byrne       March 3, 1796
               J.C. Roberts        July 1, 1796
               John C. M'Kay       July 2, 1796
    Ensigns    Donald M'Grace      July 1, 1795
               -- Dalton          Sept. 1, 1795
               C.B. Darley        Sept. 9, 1795
               -- Horsford         July 1, 1797
               David M'William     July 2, 1797
               Morgan O'Meara      July 3, 1797
               Charles Marraud     July 4, 1797
               Niel Campbell       July 5, 1797
    Adjutant   Thomas Holbrooke  April 17, 1796
    Qtrmastr.  -- M'William       Nov. 18, 1795
    Surgeon    John Lindsay       Dec. 25, 1796

During the active operations of the year 1796 the West India colonists
had offered no objection to the scheme of raising five new black
regiments, but, in 1797, when the question of providing for them was
brought before the various Legislatures, the plan met with the most
determined opposition. When, on the 17th of January, Governor Ricketts
communicated it to the House of Assembly in Barbados, and requested the
concurrence of that House, the Speaker, Sir John Gay Alleyne,
immediately rose and moved:

"That the design of five regiments, etc. (as expressed in the message),
will, as far as such a design is likely to affect this island, prove
rather the means of its destruction than its defence."

This resolution was carried, with two others, without a dissenting

"The Assembly of Jamaica was no less decided and unanimous in its
opposition to the measure. It refused to make any provision whatever
for the subsistence of the 6th West India Regiment, which was commanded
by Lieutenant-Colonel Whitelocke. In this decision it was sanctioned by
the general voice of the white population. Meetings were held in almost
every parish of the island, in all of which the scheme of raising black
corps was heavily censured, as being, in the first place, unnecessary,
the negroes being already compellable to serve in case of emergency;
and, in the second place, as being of a nature to produce ultimately,
and perhaps at no distant period, the most destructive effects to the
persons and the property of the colonial proprietors."[27]

The British ministers were reluctant to abandon that which appeared to
be a cheap and ready mode of recruiting in the western hemisphere, and
consequently persevered in their project, even increasing the number of
West India regiments in 1799 to twelve. That the fears of the colonists
were groundless time soon showed. In 1801, at St. Martin's, the 8th West
India Regiment, "composed of new negroes, who had never before faced a
foe, behaved with the utmost gallantry." In 1803, the 3rd West India
Regiment did good service at the capture of St. Lucia, as did the 6th at
the reduction of Surinam in 1804. In 1809, at the Saintes, where the 3rd
and 8th West India Regiments were engaged, "the black troops
distinguished themselves by their discipline and valour." How the 1st
West India Regiment remained true to its colours the succeeding chapters
will show.[28]


[Footnote 26: Bryan Edwards.]

[Footnote 27: Bryan Edwards.]

[Footnote 28: It is true that the 8th West India Regiment mutinied at
Dominica, in 1802, but it was under conditions which, to a certain
extent, extenuated it. For more than six months the men had been
defrauded of their pay. Being utterly uneducated and all new negroes,
they were ignorant of the proper methods of obtaining redress, and
consequently showed their resentment by violence.]



The 1st West India Regiment remained stationed at Fort Edward,
Martinique, during the whole of 1797, and up to the month of December,
1798; its strength at no time during this period being above 350 men. In
December, 1798, it was removed to St. Lucia, six companies being
quartered at Vieux Fort and two at Maboya, in the same island. The
strength then was 343, and the "state" shows 157 as wanting to complete
the establishment. The regiment remained at St. Lucia until July, 1801,
when it was moved to Port Royal, Martinique. In January, 1802, two
companies were detached to St. Vincent, and, in July, the remainder of
the regiment, with the exception of one company that remained in
Martinique, followed them to that island, from whence a company was soon
afterwards detached to Antigua. In October, these detachments rejoined
head-quarters, but, in April, 1803, two other companies were sent to
Grenada. In May, 1804, the regiment, with the exception of one company
at Grenada and another sent to St. Vincent, was moved to Dominica. In
this year the establishment of West India regiments was increased from
500 to 1000 men; and in December, 1804, the strength was 618.

The rupture of the Treaty of Amiens had, in 1803, led to fresh conflicts
in the West Indies, in which, however, the 1st West India Regiment had
taken no share; but in the spring of 1805, while it was still stationed
at Dominica, the light company being with the 46th Regiment at Morne
Bruce, and the remainder of the regiment (except the two detachments) at
Prince Rupert's, its turn for active service came.

On the 22nd of February of that year, the island was attacked by a
French combined naval and military force, under Admiral Missiessy and
General La Grange, which force had been despatched from France specially
for the reduction of Dominica. The enemy's flotilla consisted of the
following vessels:

    Majestueuse       120
    Magnanime          74
    Suffren            74
    Jemmappes          74
    Lion               74
    Armide             44
    Gloire             44
    Infatigable        44
    Lynx               16
    Actéon             16

The French regular troops employed were:

    26th Regiment                 1600
    2nd Battalion Piedmontese     2000
    Dismounted Cavalry             250
    Artillery                      250
    Detachments of Corps           500

Exclusive of the marines of the various ships.

The enemy's force sailed from Martinique on the afternoon of February
21st, 1805; and, flying the British flag, arrived off Dominica between 3
and 4 a.m. on February 22nd. The British commander-in-chief,
Brigadier-General Prevost, deceived by the colours of the ships, sent
the captain of the fort, an artillery officer, on board the
_Majestueuse_, to conduct the supposed British admiral and his fleet to
a safe anchorage.[29] Shortly afterwards the boats pushed off with the
troops, and the squadron changed its colours to French.

Directly this was perceived, the grenadier company of the 46th, with the
light company of the 1st West India Regiment (107 rank and file), under
Captain O'Connell, and a company of militia, marched from the garrison
at Morne Bruce to Point Michell, about three miles distant. At this spot
the enemy concentrated, and effected a landing under a heavy fire from
the fleet. Two thousand eight hundred troops having been landed at the
extremity of a cape within a short distance of Point Michell, they
advanced towards that place in column of subdivisions, the only
formation which the restricted space would admit, the point being
bounded by inaccessible heights on the right, and a broken and rugged
shore on the left.

The two companies of the 46th and the light company of the 1st West
India Regiment were posted behind the walls of some ruined buildings in
the village of Point Michell, which afforded excellent cover, and where
they were entirely sheltered from the fire of the enemy's shipping;
while the French had to advance on a narrow front, entirely exposed to
their fire.

The attack commenced about 5 a.m. Four times the enemy were led to the
assault, and as many times they were repulsed. At about 6.30 a.m. the
remainder of the 46th and some local militia arrived, and the struggle
continued; but not without loss on our side, Major Nunn and Captain
O'Connell, 1st West India Regiment, being wounded, the former mortally,
and four men killed. At last, the enemy, finding all his endeavours to
force the position were ineffectual, landed the remainder of his troops
to leeward of the town of Roseau, on the British right, and attacked
Fort Daniel, a small redoubt mounting a six-pounder gun, and defended by
2 artillerymen, and 1 sergeant and 5 men of the 1st West India Regiment.
These were all made prisoners in the work, which the enemy had attacked
with 500 men. Brigadier-General Prevost then retired with the militia to
the heights of Woodbridge Estate; and, the British right being now
turned, the regulars, some 200 in number, who had been so gallantly
defending the left, retired to effect a junction with the garrison at
Fort Rupert, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Broughton, 1st West India
Regiment. This was effected by Captain O'Connell, although wounded, in
four days, by the mountain paths, while Brigadier-General Prevost
arrived at the same place by the Carib Trail.[30]

In the meantime the town of Roseau had been set on fire, and the whole
of it destroyed, except a few small houses belonging to free negroes.
The French, after blowing up the fortifications, embarking some guns and
spiking others, re-embarked; taking with them such of their prisoners as
were regulars, and levying a contribution of £5500 upon the inhabitants,
and on February 27th the force set sail for Guadaloupe.

The French in their attack on Point Michell had lost over 300 men, and
in selecting that spot for landing they had displayed a most astonishing
ignorance of the locality, for, if a force had at once been put ashore
between Point Michell and Fort Young at Roseau, the British could hardly
have ventured upon a serious defence. The loss sustained by the British
regulars was 21 killed, 21 wounded, and 8 prisoners. The loss of the
militia is not stated, but was considerable, the French accounts fixing
it at 200.

The following despatch addressed to Earl Camden, K.G., one of His
Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, by Lieutenant-General Sir
William Myers, Bart., commanding the troops in the Windward and Leeward
Islands, gives the official account of this affair:

                                          "BARBADOES, _March 9th, 1805_.

    "MY LORD,

    "I have the honour to enclose to your Lordship a copy of a despatch
    from Brigadier-General Prevost, dated Dominica, 1st of March, 1805.
    The details contained therein are so highly reputable to the
    Brigadier-General and the small portion of troops employed against
    so numerous an enemy, that I have great satisfaction in recommending
    that their gallant exertions may be laid before His Majesty.

    "The zeal and talent manifested by the Brigadier-General upon this
    occasion, it is my duty to present for the Royal consideration, and
    at the same time I beg to be permitted to express the high sense I
    entertain of the distinguished bravery of His Majesty's troops and
    the militia of the colony employed on that service.

    "The vigorous resistance which the enemy have experienced, and the
    loss which they have sustained in this attack, must evince to him,
    that however inferior our numbers were on this occasion, British
    troops are not to be hostilely approached with impunity; and had not
    the town of Roseau been accidentally destroyed by fire, we should
    have little to regret, and much to exult in.

    "Your Lordship will perceive by the Returns that our loss in men,
    compared to that of the enemy, is but trifling; but I have sincerely
    to lament that of Major Nunn, of the 1st West India Regiment, whose
    wound is reported to be of a dangerous kind; he is an excellent man,
    and a meritorious officer.

                                             "I have, etc.,
                                                 (Signed) "W. MYERS,

    "Copy".               "HEAD QUARTERS, PRINCE RUPERT'S,
                                "DOMINICA, _March 1st, 1805_.

    "About an hour before the dawn of day on the 22nd ultimo, an alarm
    was fired from Scot's Head, and soon after a cluster of ships was
    discovered off Roseau. As our light increased, I made out five large
    ships, three frigates, two brigs, and small craft under British
    colours, a ship of three decks carrying a flag at the mizen. The
    frigates ranging too close to Fort Young, I ordered them to be fired
    on, and soon after nineteen large barges, full of troops, appeared
    coming from the lee of the other ships, attended and protected by an
    armed schooner, full of men, and seven other boats carrying
    carronades. The English flag was lowered, and that of the French

    "A landing was immediately attempted on my left flank, between the
    town of Roseau and the post of Cachecrow. The light infantry of the
    1st West India Regiment were the first to march to support Captain
    Smart's company of militia, which throughout the day behaved with
    great gallantry; it was immediately supported by the grenadiers of
    the 46th Regiment. The first boats were beat off, but the schooner
    and one of the brigs coming close on shore to cover the landing,
    compelled our troops to occupy a better position in a defile leading
    to the town. At this moment I brought up the grenadiers of the St.
    George's Regiment of militia, and soon after the remainder of the
    46th Regiment, and gave over to Major Nunn these brave troops with
    orders not to yield to the enemy one inch of ground. Two
    field-pieces (an amuzette and a six-pounder) were brought into
    action for their support under the command of Sergeant Creed of the
    46th Regiment, manned by additional gunners and sailors. These guns,
    and a twenty-four-pounder from Melville battery, shook the French
    advancing column by the execution they did.

    "I sent two companies of St. George's Militia, under the command of
    Lieutenant-Colonel Constable, and a company of the 46th, to prevent
    the enemy from getting into the rear of the position occupied by
    Major Nunn.

    "On my return I found the _Majestueuse_, of 120 guns, lying opposite
    to Fort Young, pouring into the town and batteries her broadsides,
    followed by the other seventy-fours and frigates doing the same.

    "Some artillery, several captains of merchantmen with their sailors,
    and the militia artillery, manned five twenty-four-pounders and
    three eighteens at the fort, and five twenty-fours at Melville
    battery, and returned an uninterrupted fire; from the first post
    red-hot shot were thrown. At about 10 o'clock, a.m., Major Nunn,
    most unfortunately for His Majesty's service, whilst faithfully
    executing the order I had given him, was wounded, I fear mortally.

    "This did not discourage the brave fellows. Captain O'Connell, of
    the 1st West India Regiment, received the command and a wound almost
    at the same time; however, the last circumstance could not induce
    him to give up the honour of the first, and he continued on the
    field animating his men and resisting the repeated charges of the
    enemy until about one o'clock, when he obliged them to retire from
    their position with great slaughter. It is impossible for me to do
    justice to the merit of that officer; you will, I doubt not,
    favourably report his conduct to His Majesty, and at the same time
    that of Captain James of the 46th Regiment, and Captain Archibald
    Campbell, who commanded the grenadiers of that corps.

    "Foiled and beat off on the left, the right flank was attempted, and
    a considerable force was landed near Morne Daniel. The regulars, not
    exceeding 200, employed on the left in opposing the advance of three
    columns, consisting of upwards of 2000 men, could afford me no
    reinforcement; I had only the right wing of the St. George's
    Regiment of militia to oppose them, of about a hundred men. They
    attacked with spirit, but unfortunately the frigates had stood in so
    close to the shore to protect this disembarkation, that after
    receiving a destructive fire, they fell back and occupied the
    heights of Woodbridge Estate. Then it was that a column of the enemy
    marched up to Morne Daniel, and stormed the redoubt defended by a
    small detachment, which, after an obstinate resistance, they
    carried. On my left, Captain O'Connell was gaining ground,
    notwithstanding a fresh supply of troops and several field-pieces,
    which had been brought on shore by the enemy. I now observed a large
    column climbing the mountains to get in his rear.

    "The town, which had been for some time in flames, was only
    protected by a light howitzer and a six-pounder to the right,
    supported by part of the light company of the St. George's Regiment.
    The enemy's large ships in Woodbridge Bay, out of the reach of my
    guns, my right flank gained, and my retreat to Prince Rupert's
    almost cut off, I determined on one attempt to keep the sovereignty
    of the island, which the excellent troops I had, warranted. I
    ordered the militia to remain at the posts, except such as were
    inclined to encounter more hardships and severe service; and Captain
    O'Connell, with the 46th Regiment, under the command of Captain
    James, and the light company of the 1st West India Regiment, were
    directed to make a forced march to Prince Rupert's. I then allowed
    the President to enter into terms for the town of Roseau; and then
    demanded from the French general that private property should be
    respected, and that no wanton or disgraceful pillage should be
    allowed; this done, only attended by Brigade-Major Prevost, and
    Deputy Quartermaster-General Hopley, of the militia forces, I
    crossed the island, and in twenty-four hours, with the aid of the
    inhabitants and the exertions of the Caribs, I got to this garrison
    on the 23rd. After four days' continued march through the most
    difficult country, I might almost say, existing, Captain O'Connell
    joined me at Prince Rupert's, himself wounded, and bringing in his
    wounded, with a few of the Royal Artillery, and the precious
    remainder of the 46th and the 1st West India Light Company.

    "I had no sooner got to the fort than I ordered cattle to be driven
    in, and took measures for getting a store of water from the river
    and the bay. I found my signals to Lieutenant-Colonel Charles
    Broughton, of the 1st West India Regiment, made from Roseau soon
    after the enemy had landed, had been received, and that in
    consequence he had made the most judicious arrangements his garrison
    would allow for the defence of this important post.

    "On the 25th, I received the summons[31] I have now the honour to
    transmit, from General of Division La Grange, and without delay sent
    the reply[32] you will find accompanying it.

    "On the 27th the enemy's cruisers hovered about the Head; however,
    the _Centaur's_ tender, _Vigilante_, came in and was saved by our
    guns. I landed Mr. Henderson, her commander, and crew, to assist in
    the defence we were prepared to make.

    "As far as can be collected, the enemy had about 4000 men on board,
    and the whole of their force was compelled to disembark before they
    gained one inch of ground.

    "I entrust this despatch to Captain O'Connell, to whom I beg to
    refer you. His services entitle him to consideration. I am much
    indebted to the zeal and discernment of Fort-Adjutant Gualy, who was
    very accessary to the due execution of my orders.

    "I cannot pass unnoticed the very soldierlike conduct of Lieutenant
    Wallis, of the 46th Regiment, to whom I had entrusted the post of
    Cachecrow, or Scot's Head. On perceiving our retreat he spiked his
    guns, destroyed his ammunition, and immediately commenced his march
    to join me at Prince Rupert's with his detachment. Nor that of
    Lieutenant Schaw of the same corps, who acted as an officer of
    artillery and behaved with uncommon coolness and judgment while on
    the battery, and great presence of mind in securing the retreat of
    the additional gunners belonging to the 46th Regiment. On the 27th,
    after levying a contribution on Roseau, the enemy re-embarked, and
    hovered that day and the next about this post. This morning, the
    French fleet is seen off the south end of Guadaloupe, under easy

    "Our loss--you will perceive by the returns I have the honour to
    transmit--was inconsiderable when compared with that of the enemy,
    which included several officers of rank and about 300 others.

                                           "I have, etc.,
                                           (Signed)      "GEORGE PREVOST.

    "Lieutenant-General Sir William Myers,
          "Bart., etc., etc., etc.

    "P.S.--As I find I cannot spare Captain O'Connell from the duty of
    this garrison, I must refer you to the master of a neutral vessel,
    who has engaged to deliver this despatch."

       *       *       *       *       *

Extract from Minutes of the House of Assembly, Dominica, dated Roseau,
2nd May, 1805:

"Resolved, that the Committee of Public Assembly be instructed to write
to England for a monument to be erected to the memory of Major Nunn, of
the 1st West India Regiment, who gallantly fell on Feb. 22nd, 1805.

"Resolved, that the thanks of this House be presented to Captain
O'Connell, of the 1st West India Regiment, and that the sum of one
hundred guineas be appropriated for the purchase of a sword for him.

"Resolved, that the thanks of this House be presented to the officers,
non-commissioned officers, and privates of the 1st West India Regiment,
for their gallant conduct on the same occasion."

Similar sentiments were expressed, and conveyed to the regiment, at a
meeting held on May 23rd, 1805, at the London Tavern, Lord Penrhyn

Captain O'Connell was promoted to Major, 5th West India Regiment, and
Lieutenant Winkler to Captain, vice O'Connell.

Return of the killed and wounded in the actions of the 22nd of February,
1805, at Point Michell, Morne Daniel, and Roseau, in the island of

1st West India Regiment--9 rank and file, killed; 1 field officer, 1
captain, and 8 rank and file, wounded.

For its services on this occasion the 1st West India Regiment was
permitted to inscribe the word "Dominica" on its colours.


[Footnote 29: This does not appear in Brigadier-General Prevost's
letter, but is mentioned in that of General La Grange.]

[Footnote 30: "During a continued march of four days, through an
exceedingly difficult country, that brave officer (Captain O'Connell)
did not leave behind even one of his wounded men."--BRYAN EDWARDS.]

[Footnote 31: A summons to surrender.]

[Footnote 32: A refusal.]



In 1806, Dominica was visited by a terrific hurricane, from which the
1st West India Regiment suffered some loss. On the afternoon of the 9th
of September the sky became totally overcast, and masses of clouds
gathered over the island. About 7 p.m. a tremendous thunderstorm
commenced, accompanied by violent gusts of wind, which increased in
strength, until by 10 p.m., every vessel in the harbour, to the number
of sixteen, was either sunk or driven ashore. The rain fell in such
torrents that the whole of the barracks on Morne Bruce, where a
company-of the 1st West India Regiment was stationed, and nearly the
whole of those on Morne Cabot, were carried away, and three men of the
1st West India Regiment were killed, and several injured. Every house
from the River Mohaut to Prince Rupert's was overthrown, and the town of
Portsmouth was laid in ruins. In Roseau, 131 persons were killed or
wounded, the greatest mischief being there caused by the overflowing of
the river, which inundated the town in all directions, every house which
obstructed its passage being swept away by the torrent. "No pen," says a
witness of the scene, "can paint the horrors of that dreadful night! The
tremendous noise occasioned by the wind and rain--the roaring of the
waters, together with the shock of an earthquake, which was sensibly
felt about midnight--the shrieks of the poor sufferers crying out for
assistance--the terror of those who in their houses heard them, and
dared not open a door or window to give succour, and who momentarily
expected to share the same fate, formed a scene which can hardly be
conceived, and is still more difficult to be described."

The regiment remained stationed at Dominica until the month of April,
1807, when it was removed to Barbados, with the exception of four
companies which had been detached to Grenada and Tobago, and which soon
after rejoined head-quarters at Barbados.

In this year also, the establishment of West India regiments was
augmented by a second lieutenant-colonel, Major Samuel Huskisson, from
the 8th Foot, being appointed the second lieutenant-colonel of the 1st
West India Regiment by the _Gazette_ of the 2nd of June.

A war having broken out with Denmark, the British Ministers, early in
September, 1807, sent out orders to the Commander of the Forces in the
West Indies, to reduce the Danish islands of St. John, St. Thomas and
Saint Croix, and the 1st West India Regiment, with the other troops
stationed at Barbados, embarked in men-of-war under General Bowyer, on
the 15th of December, to proceed on this duty. On the 19th of December
the expedition reached Sandy Point, Saint Christopher's, and receiving
some troops from that garrison, sailed again the same day; arriving at
St. Thomas, where it was joined by reinforcements from Antigua and
Grenada, on the 21st. A summons to surrender was at once sent to the
Governor, Von Scholten, the terms of which he accepted next day, and
surrendered the islands of St. Thomas and St. John with their
dependencies. A small garrison of the 70th Regiment being left at St.
Thomas, the 1st division of the troops, in which was included the 1st
West India Regiment, sailed on the evening of the 23rd for Saint Croix.
The expedition arrived off the town of Frederickstadt on the 24th; and
the Governor having capitulated on the 25th, the troops were landed, and
the forts and batteries taken possession of, a royal salute being fired
as the British colours were hoisted. Next night, the garrison and town
of Christianstadt, on the other side of the island, were also occupied.
The 1st West India Regiment during this expedition was commanded by
Major Nathaniel Blackwell; and after the surrender of Saint Croix, it at
once returned to Barbados. In January, 1808, three companies were
detached from Barbados to Antigua, and one to Tobago; the detachment at
Antigua rejoining head-quarters in October of the same year.

The next service seen by the regiment was at Marie-Galante,[33] in 1808.
Deseada and Marie-Galante, the former a few miles to the north-east, and
the latter a few miles to the south-east of Guadaloupe, had been
captured by Captain Selby and a naval force in March, 1808. Deseada, the
French Governor of Guadaloupe allowed to remain unmolested; but
Marie-Galante was so good a privateer station, and its loss also brought
the British so much more nearly in contact with him, that he determined
to try to recover it.

The attempt was made on the 23rd of August, by Colonel Cambriel, who,
with about 200 men in seventeen boats stole over from Guadaloupe and
landed near Grand Bourg. They were preparing to attack the battery when
they were espied from the _Circe_; thirty of whose seamen hurried on
shore, threw themselves into the battery before the French could reach
it, and gave them such a warm reception as to compel them to retreat.
The enemy's boats were seized by the _Circe_, and the escape of the
French being thus cut off, they retired to the centre of the island.
Intelligence of their landing was forwarded to General Beckwith, at
Barbados, who lost no time in sending Lieutenant-Colonel Blackwell[34]
with three companies of the 1st West India Regiment against them.

The following is Lieutenant-Colonel Blackwell's report to General

                                         "GRAND BOURG, MARIE-GALANTE,
                                     "_Sept. 4th, 1808_.


    "I have the honour to inform you that the troops which you were
    pleased to place under my command arrived here, in H.M. Ship
    _Captain_, on the 29th of August; and finding from Captain Pigot,
    commander of this island, that the French troops were strongly
    posted within three miles of Grand Bourg, I was immediately landed
    with the three companies of the 1st West India Regiment; and having
    obtained an increase of my force, of about 140 marines, and some
    sailors, together with a six-pounder, from the army schooner
    _Maria_, I lost no time in fulfilling the instructions I received
    from you.

    "I have now much satisfaction in reporting, that after a pursuit of
    the enemy for five days and nights, and having during that period
    had four engagements with him, in each of which he was repulsed, and
    obliged to make most precipitate retreat, leaving behind him arms,
    ammunition, etc., at every different post that had been attacked,
    and at one place in particular, nine mariners (who had been taken
    prisoners on the first landing of the enemy), and at another, a
    brass six-pounder, which had only arrived from Guadaloupe two days,
    and which was found spiked; by constantly marching and harassing
    him, we found, on coming within one hundred yards of his front
    yesterday morning, that he was willing to surrender, and sending out
    a flag of truce, I granted the following terms: 'That the French
    troops might march out from the ground they then occupied with the
    honours of war, but that they should lay down their arms in front of
    the troops, and surrender themselves as prisoners of war, and that
    all prisoners taken since their arrival in the island should be
    immediately returned.' I was, however, much astonished to find that
    Colonel Cambriel, who had commanded the army, was not present when
    they surrendered, but I have since understood that he had quitted it
    the morning previous, and had returned to Guadaloupe, but I have
    some reason to imagine he is still in this island.

    "The field-piece I had taken from the army schooner became useless
    after the first day, from the tract of the country the enemy led us
    over; I therefore sent it back to Grand Bourg, and at the same time
    I directed fifty marines to occupy the post of Delosses, three miles
    from town, which kept up the communication with the interior of the

    "In our several attacks, it gives me pleasure to say that we have
    had only two privates wounded, one of them since dead. The loss on
    the part of the enemy I have not ascertained, but imagine it to have
    been considerable. I am sorry to mention to you that a gentleman
    from Antigua, of the name of Brown, being a prisoner of war, was in
    rear of the enemy's picket when attacked on the evening of the 2nd
    instant, and received a mortal wound. The force which has been
    brought from Guadaloupe I have not yet exactly found out, but from
    all accounts must have been above 200 rank and file.

    "From the return I send herewith, you will find that 162 privates
    have laid down their arms, and there are at present many who have
    been sick dispersed through the country. The inhabitants that joined
    were very considerable. I believe their number amounted to from four
    to five hundred....

    "I have likewise to return my best thanks to all the officers,
    non-commissioned officers, and privates who were under my command,
    for the cheerfulness with which they went through the long and
    harassing marches, and I think it is a duty incumbent upon me to
    mention to you their extreme good conduct since they have been in
    the field.

    "I have the honour to be, etc.,
      (Signed)      "NATH. BLACKWELL,
                  "Lieut.-Colonel 4th W.I. Regiment."

    "Return of prisoners who surrendered on the 3rd of September, 1808: 4
    captains, 8 lieutenants, 162 rank and file, 1 staff.

    "Return of arms, ammunition, and accoutrements taken and destroyed from
    30th August to 3rd September: 1 field-piece, 450 firelocks, 200 belts
    and pouches, and 24 kegs of ball-cartridge.

    "Ammunition for field-piece not ascertained."

On this occasion was captured the drum-major's staff of the French 26th
Regiment (now in the possession of the 1st West India Regiment), bearing
the motto: "La République Française une et indivisible. Battalion
26me," and surmounted by the cap of Liberty.

Of the companies of the regiment employed on this service, one was the
grenadier company under Captain Cassidy, another the light company under
Captain Winkler, and the third a battalion company under Lieutenant
Nixon. On the return of the detachment to Barbados it was formed up on a
garrison parade at St. Ann's on the right of the regiment; and
Lieutenant-General Beckwith, after thanking Lieutenant-Colonel Blackwell
and the officers and men engaged for their meritorious exertions,
presented the former with a sword.


[Footnote 33: See map of Guadaloupe.]

[Footnote 34: Major Nathaniel Blackwell, 1st West India Regiment, was,
by the _Gazette_ of May 24th, 1808, promoted Lieutenant-Colonel of the
4th West India Regiment, for his services at the reduction of the Danish
West India Islands. At this time he had not yet joined his new corps.]



The 1st West India Regiment continued doing duty at Barbados until
January 27th, 1809, when eight companies joined the expedition against
the Island of Martinique.

The interception, in the summer of 1808, of some despatches from the
Governor of Martinique to the French Ministry asking for supplies and
additional troops, and describing the condition of the island as almost
defenceless, first directed the attention of the British Government to
the reduction of this French colony. Preparations for the attack began
at Barbados in November, 1808, the expedition assembled at Carlisle Bay,
Barbados, in January, 1809, and on the 28th of that month the force
sailed for Martinique.

The expeditionary force was under the command of Lieutenant-General
Beckwith, and consisted of two divisions, each of two brigades, the 1st
Division being commanded by Lieutenant-General Sir George Prevost, and
the 2nd Division by Major-General Maitland. The 1st West India Regiment
was included in the 1st Division. Six battalion companies, with the 13th
and 8th Regiments, formed the 2nd Brigade under Brigadier-General
Colville; while the grenadier company (Captain Winkler), with the 7th,
23rd, and a light battalion, in which latter was the light company, 1st
West India Regiment, formed the 1st Brigade, under Brigadier-General

On the 30th of January the expedition arrived off the Island of
Martinique, and on the evening of the 31st the troops disembarked, the
1st Division landing at Malgré Tout, Bay Robert, and the 2nd near St.
Luce and Point Solomon on the opposite side of the island.

The 1st Division marched the same night to De Manceaux Estate. The roads
were in a wretched condition from the rains, and the horses being done
up from the length of time which they had been on board ship, the troops
were obliged to drag the guns themselves. After a short rest the force
continued its march to Papin's, which it reached at midnight. Here the
main body of the 1st Division halted for the night, while the grenadier
company of the 1st West India Regiment, with the 7th Regiment, pushed on
to the heights on De Bork's Estate.

On the day following they were joined by the 23rd and the light
infantry battalion, and advanced to the heights of Morne Bruno, the
French skirmishers falling back slowly before them, while keeping up a
smart fire. From this point the grenadier company, 1st West India
Regiment, advanced with the 7th, the 23rd being in support, against the
French position on the heights of Desfourneaux.

The enemy, under General De Hondelot, were well placed on the crest of
the ridge, with a mountain torrent in their front, and a strong force of
artillery drawn up on their left flank. The flank companies of the 7th
were ordered to turn the French right, while the light battalion, with
which was the light company, 1st West India Regiment, moved against his
left, and the grenadiers of the 1st West India Regiment, with the
remainder of the 7th, advanced against the centre. The troops rushed
forward, fording the stream under a heavy fire, and attacking the enemy,
who was greatly superior in numbers, with the bayonet, drove him from
his position.

From this point, with the co-operation of the 2nd Brigade, the French
were beaten back to the heights of Surirey, where they made a determined
stand, but by a brilliant charge, the British carried the hill, and
forced them to take shelter under the guns of their redoubts.[36]

The troops encamped for the night on the position which they had won,
while the enemy took up a second position, strengthened by two redoubts
connected by an entrenchment.

Next morning, February 2nd, the British made a movement to turn the
French right, and, being much annoyed by the enemy's advanced redoubt,
the light battalion and the 7th Regiment were ordered to take it. They
were repulsed with considerable loss, but, on the following night, the
2nd division of the British having come up, the enemy abandoned the work
and spiked the guns, retiring with all his force to Fort Bourbon, or

While the 1st Division had thus been engaged at Morne Bruno and Surirey,
the 2nd had been equally successful. Upon landing at St. Luce, a
detachment of the Royal York Rangers took possession of the battery at
Point Solomon, on the south side of Fort Royal Bay, thus securing a safe
anchorage for the fleet. The same corps then pushed on and invested
Pigeon Island, a small fortified island which commanded the anchorage in
the upper part of the bay, and which had to be captured before any
attempt could be made against the formidable fortresses of Bourbon and
Fort République. Batteries were erected on Morne Vanier, from which
Pigeon Island was shelled with such success that the garrison

The way being now open for the fleet, preparations were commenced for
the capture of Fort Bourbon. It was decided to attempt to take the place
by storm, and on February 4th, the 1st Division, which, under Sir
George Prevost, had marched over from Surirey, advanced to the assault,
the grenadier companies forming the "forlorn hope." The fire from the
enemy's guns was, however, so heavy and well-directed that the attempt
failed, notwithstanding the most conspicuous gallantry on the part of
the British, and the troops retired with a loss of 330 killed and
wounded, the grenadier company of the 1st West India Regiment having
suffered heavily.

General Villaret, the French commander, supposing Fort Bourbon to be
impregnable, abandoned Fort République, leaving in it 4 mortars and 38
heavy guns, and collected his entire force, some 3000 in number, in Fort
Bourbon. Being well supplied with food and ammunition, he resolved
quietly to wait in the citadel; confident that the British army would
gradually melt away from the sickness caused by the heavy rains, which
had now set in and fell incessantly. On the 7th February a British force
entered by night the abandoned Fort République; and, though the work was
furiously bombarded from Fort Bourbon, in two days the guns which had
been left in the fort were unspiked and the fire returned. In the
meantime other batteries had been in course of construction, and by
February 18th Fort Bourbon was completely invested.

The enemy were then summoned to surrender, but General Villaret
declaring that he would rather bury himself under the ruins of the
citadel, the bombardment commenced. The British batteries, six in
number, opened fire simultaneously at 3.30 p.m. on Sunday, February
19th, and the fire was hotly returned. At Colville's battery, where were
four companies of the 1st West India Regiment, the brushwood in front of
the guns was set on fire, and was only extinguished with much
difficulty, and a terrific fire was kept up on both sides. On February
20th the enemy ceased firing during the whole day, recommencing again on
February 21st; but on the 22nd a shell from our batteries having blown
up the magazine, the enemy sent out terms of capitulation. These were
rejected, but on the 24th the place surrendered; the garrison, 2700 in
number, became prisoners of war, and three eagles remained as trophies
in the British hands.

The following general orders were issued during this brilliant campaign:

1. Morne Bruno, February 3rd, 1809.--"The benefit the advanced corps,
under Lieutenant-General Sir George Prevost, have produced to His
Majesty's service, from the gallant and successful attack made upon
Morne Bruno and the heights of Surirey, on the 1st instant, by the 1st
Brigade of the army and the light battalion, under Brigadier-General
Hoghton, demands from the Commander of the Forces a reiteration of his
acknowledgments, and his assurance to the brigadier-general, and to the
commanding officer of the Royal Fusiliers, of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers,
and of the light battalion, also to the officers, non-commissioned
officers, and soldiers of those regiments, that he will not fail to lay
their meritorious exertions before the King. The exertions of all the
corps engaged yesterday were conspicuous; and, although the state of the
works possessed by the enemy did not admit of their being carried by the
bayonet, which rendered it the general's duty to direct the corps
employed to retire, they manifested a spirit and determination which,
when tempered by less impetuosity, will lead to the happiest results."

2. February 27th, 1809.--"The grenadier company, with a detachment of
the battalion of the 1st West India Regiment, who were engaged with the
enemy both on the 1st and 2nd of February, 1809, having been omitted to
be mentioned in the general orders of February 3rd, referring to those
operations, the Commander of the Forces takes the present occasion to
acknowledge their services. From the day of the regiment landing, to
that of the enemy's surrender, it served with the greatest credit under
all the disadvantages to which a West India regiment is exposed. The
hard and severe work is generally performed by them, which the European
soldiers could not undergo from the climate."

During this campaign the 1st West India Regiment was commanded by
Lieutenant-Colonel Tolley; and, in token of its services, it was
permitted to retain two brass side-drums and five battle-axes, which it
had captured from the enemy.

The 1st West India Regiment continued to serve in Martinique till the
17th of May, 1809, when the head-quarters and six companies were removed
to the Island of Trinidad. There they remained until the month of
December following, when an expedition was formed for the reduction of

Since the expulsion of the British in 1794, that island had enjoyed a
period of tranquility; its armament had been considerably increased
under successive governors, slavery had been re-established, and its
harbours swarmed with privateers, which preyed upon British commerce.
The incessant annoyance and loss to our trade caused by these vessels,
was a strong incentive for a descent upon the island. Added to this, it
was a colony of considerable importance to France; the mother country
depending, in a great measure, upon it for colonial produce.

The British army was assembled at Prince Rupert's Bay, Dominica, where,
on the 22nd of January, 1810, the flank companies of the 1st West India
Regiment joined. The force was under the command of Lieutenant-General
Sir George Beckwith, and was thus composed:


                                {Light Companies of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th,
    3rd Brigade--Brig.-General  {  6th, and 8th West India Regiments    500
      Maclean                   {90th Foot                              500
                                {8th West India Regiment                400

                                {Battalion made up of 13th and 63rd
    4th Brigade--Brig.-General  {  Regiments                            600
      Skinner                   {York Light Infantry Volunteers         200
                                {4th West India Regiment                400


                                {Light infantry                         500
    1st Brigade--Brig.-General  {15th Foot                              300
      Harcourt                  {3rd West India Regiment                400

                                {Grenadiers of the 1st, 4th, and 8th
    2nd Brigade--Brig.-General  {  West India Regiments                 300
      Barrow                    {25th Foot                              600
                                {6th West India Regiment                350


                                {Grenadiers                             300
    5th Brigade--Brig.-General  {Royal York Rangers                     900
      Wale                      {Royal Artillery                        300
                                {Military Artificers                    100

On the 23rd of January the fleet sailed from Dominica, the 2nd Division
being ordered to proceed to the Saintes, to prepare for disembarking
near Basseterre, while the 1st Division and the Reserve made for the
north-eastern quarter of that part of Guadaloupe which is called

The light infantry battalion of the 3rd Brigade effected its landing at
9 a.m. on the 28th of January, without opposition, at the Bay of St.
Marie; and immediately possessed itself of the heights, so as to cover
the disembarkation of the remainder of the 1st Division and the Reserve.
The whole of the troops were landed about half-an-hour after noon, and
the light infantry battalion was ordered forward as the advance guard of
the division. It reached the village of Marigot about sunset, and
crossing the river (called Rivière des Pères Blancs), halted in the
mountains in the most advantageous position for maintaining itself
during the night. The remainder of the division encamped at Marigot.
The troops had marched this day with three days' cooked provisions in
their havresacks. The Reserve remained at St. Marie to cover the landing
of munitions and supplies.

On the 29th of January, the troops were under arms an hour before
daylight, and the light battalion, being again pushed to the front,
reached Bannaniers by sunset. There the division encamped for the night,
while the light companies of the 1st and 3rd West India Regiments were
ordered to possess themselves of the strong pass of Lacasse, above the
British position.

On the same day, the 29th, the 2nd Division, after making a feint of
disembarking at Trois Rivières to draw off the attention of the enemy,
proceeded in the ships to the western side of the island.

On the 30th of January, at daybreak, the 1st Division again advanced.
Between 9 and 10 a.m. the light battalion, which was still leading,
descended the heights on the side of Trois Rivières, and coming up with
the rear of a detachment of the enemy, dispersed it after a short
conflict. Pursuing its march it reached the open ground, or savannah, at
Loriols Trois Rivières about 11 a.m., and there halted to allow the
column to come up.

The enemy's position was now in front, and consisted of a line of
redoubts and entrenchments on the commanding heights of Petrizel.
Major-General Hislop at once made his dispositions for an attack on the
following morning; the light battalion moving to the left, and the 4th
Brigade, with the remainder of the 3rd, extending along the heights to
the right. In the execution of this order, the light battalion,
advancing along the high road towards the enemy's position, alarmed him
to such a degree as to induce him to open fire from all his batteries
and entrenched lines, not only from Petrizel, but also from his post at
Dolé; from which he kept up for some time an incessant fire, without
doing any other injury than killing one man, and wounding another. The
troops took up their positions in the meantime without further
inconvenience. Towards the close of the evening numbers of the enemy
were seen ascending the mountains above their works at Petrizel. The
heat this day had been excessive, and the country through which the
troops marched exceedingly difficult, the strong pass of Trou au Chien
lying in their way. The night closed in with heavy rain.

On the 31st, at daylight, not a soul was to be seen near the enemy's
works; and, it having been ascertained that they were evacuated, the
light company of the 1st West India Regiment was ordered to march at
noon and take possession.

The 1st Division remained halted during the 1st of February, and on the
2nd, the light battalion, as advanced guard of the 4th Brigade, was
ordered to march, by a very difficult ascent, to the centre of the
Palmiste heights; while the remainder of the 3rd Brigade moved to the
right of the same heights, by an easier route. The troops bivouacked on
the heights for the night.

While these operations had been going on, the 2nd Division had, at 10
a.m. on the 30th of January, disembarked at a bay to the northward of
the village of Les Vieux Habitans and about three leagues to the north
of the town of Basseterre. The troops gained the heights above the
village after a slight skirmish, and encamped on the ground for the
night. During the two succeeding days the 2nd Division was employed in
bringing up guns to a height near Post Bellair.

By the combined movements of the two divisions, General Ernouf, the
French commander, was now, by the night of the 2nd of February, hemmed
in at the extremity of the island between the sea and the British army.
He had judiciously chosen his position, which was naturally strong, and
which he had strengthened by all the artificial means in his power. He
was posted on heights, his left supported by the mountains of Matouba,
and every accessible point of his line covered by abattis and stockaded
redoubts. In his front was a river, the passage of which, exceedingly
difficult in itself, was rendered much more so by a detachment of troops
stationed behind abattis. The ground also, between the river and the
heights, was bushy and full of rugged rocks, and of course highly
unfavourable to the march of the assailants.

It was on the 3rd of February that the British troops were put in motion
to dislodge him from his advantageous position. The 1st Division, soon
after dawn, descended the north side of Palmiste, passed the river
Gallion, and under a heavy fire from a battery at the bridge of Vozière,
formed on the opposite heights, taking up a position so as to intercept
the communication between the town of Basseterre and the enemy's camp.
The 2nd Division had, during the night of the 2nd, pushed forward the
grenadiers of the 2nd Brigade and a detachment of the 6th West India
Regiment to occupy the ridge Beaupère St. Louis, on the upper part of
which the strong post of Bellair was situated. On the morning of the 3rd
the enemy perceived what had been done, and moved out in force to
dislodge the British. The 1st Brigade was immediately ordered up in
support; but, before it could gain the heights, a smart action had taken
place, and it only arrived in time to complete the defeat of the enemy.
In this engagement the grenadier company of the 1st West India Regiment
lost 2 rank and file killed, Captain Cassidy and 9 rank and file
wounded. During the remainder of the day the troops of the 2nd Division
were moved up to Bellair, and the whole army remained on the ground
during the night.

Next morning, the 4th, the British advanced to the final assault of the
position. The 1st Division was charged with the operations on the right,
while the task of turning the left was entrusted to Brigadier-General
Wale with the Reserve. At dawn of day the light company of the 1st West
India Regiment and the York Light Infantry were ordered to advance to
the enemy's post at the bridge of Vozière. For some time they were
unseen, but a picket of the enemy, moving along the opposite side of the
ravine, discovered them; and, opening fire, a general discharge soon
followed, in the face of which the British rushed forward and carried
the work. Almost at the same moment, Brigadier-General Wale, who, with
the Reserve, had forded the Gallion River, and under a heavy fire
ascended the heights, carried the enemy's works on the left; and General
Ernouf's situation had become so critical, that he at once hoisted flags
of truce in the works which he still retained at Matouba.

On the 5th of February, the terms of capitulation were signed, the
French marching out with military honours, and becoming prisoners of
war. The British loss was 52 officers and men killed, 250 wounded, and 7
missing. The French lost 600 killed, and 2000 prisoners. Captain H.
Downie, of the 1st West India Regiment, was mentioned in despatches for
gallantry at the storming of the work at the bridge of Vozière.

The following general order was published, dated Beau Vallon,
Guadaloupe, 6th Feb., 1810: "The enemy are now prisoners of war, to be
sent to England, and not to serve until duly exchanged. Thus through the
exertions and general co-operation of the fleet and the army, has been
effected the important conquest of this colony in nine days from the
landing of the 1st Division. The Commander of the Forces returns his
public thanks to the officers of all ranks for their meritorious
exertions, and to the non-commissioned officers and soldiers for the
cheerfulness with which they have undergone the fatigues of a march,
difficult in its nature, through the strongest country in the world, and
the spirit which they have manifested upon all occasions to close with
the enemy."

In this campaign, it may be observed, all the hard work had fallen to
the lot of the 1st Division, and especially to that of the light
infantry battalion of the 3rd Brigade, which had, by forced marches,
moved across the whole breadth of the island, from St. Marie to the
neighbourhood of Basseterre, over a wild and broken country, in six

For their services at the capture of Guadaloupe, Captains Cassidy and
Winkler were appointed brigade-majors at Trinidad and Grenada
respectively; and the words "Martinique" and "Guadaloupe" were inscribed
on the colours of the regiment, "as a mark of royal favour and
approbation of its gallant conduct at the capture of those islands in
1809 and 1810."

On the completion of this service the flank companies rejoined
head-quarters at Trinidad, as did the two companies detached at
Martinique and the two at Barbados. The whole regiment was then
stationed in Trinidad, seven companies being at St. Joseph's and three
at Orange Grove. This arrangement lasted until March, 1814, when the
head-quarters and four companies were moved to Martinique, four
companies to St. Lucia, and two to Dominica.


[Footnote 35: This island had been restored to France by the Treaty of

[Footnote 36: The grenadier company of the 1st West India Regiment lost
1 rank and file, killed; 1 drummer, 18 rank and file, wounded; 1
subaltern, missing.]



In July, 1814, the 1st West India Regiment was removed to Guadaloupe,
except two companies detached to St. Martin's and Marie-Galante, and
remained so stationed until it was selected to take part in the
expedition to New Orleans.

In June, 1812, the United States of America had declared war against
Great Britain, Washington had been captured by the British on July 24th,
1813, and the war had been carried on with varying success until towards
the close of the year 1814. In October of that year an expedition to New
Orleans was decided upon; the force was to rendezvous at Negril Bay,
Jamaica, and for that place the 1st West India Regiment embarked at
Point à Prène, Guadaloupe, on November 14th, 1814. Lieutenant-Colonel
Whitby, who had for the first time joined the regiment on the previous
day, was then in command.

The assembly of the fleet, and the concentration of troops at a point
so near to their own coast, had aroused the suspicions of the Americans;
and the treachery of an official in the garrison office at Jamaica
enabled them to receive positive information as to the aim and
destination of the expedition. This official communicated the
intelligence to an American trader residing in Kingston, and the latter
at once sailed in a coasting schooner for Pensacola; where General
Jackson, who commanded the United States army of the South, was on the
point of marching to the relief of St. Mary's, then being attacked by a
naval force under Rear-Admiral Cockburn. The American general, upon
learning of the proposed expedition, at once marched to the Mississippi,
concentrated a force of 13,000 men in and around New Orleans, and threw
up works on either side of the river to defend the passage in the
neighbourhood of the town.

On the 26th of November, 1814, the British fleet, under the command of
Vice-Admiral Sir A. Cochrane, having on board a force of some 5000 men
under Major-General Keane, sailed from Negril Bay and arrived off the
Chandeleur Islands near the entrance of Lake Borgne, on December 10th.

"To reduce the forts which command the navigation of the Mississippi was
regarded as a task too difficult to be attempted, and for any ships to
pass without their reduction seemed impossible. Trusting, therefore,
that the object of the enterprise was unknown to the Americans, Sir
Alexander Cochrane and General Keane determined to effect a landing
somewhere on the banks of Lake Borgne, and pushing directly on, to take
possession of the town before any effectual preparation could be made
for its defence. With this view the troops were removed from the larger
into the lighter vessels, and these, under convoy of such gun-brigs as
the shallowness of the water would float, began on the 13th to enter
Lake Borgne."[37]

The Americans, however, being well acquainted with what was taking
place, opposed the passage of the lake with five large cutters, each
armed with six heavy guns, and these were immediately attacked by the
smaller craft of the British. Avoiding a serious engagement, they
retired into the shoal water where they could only be attacked by boats,
and owing to the delay in getting together a sufficiently powerful
flotilla, it was not till the 15th that they were captured, and the
navigation of the lake cleared. The vessels of a lighter draught having
all run aground in a vain endeavour to pass up the lake, the troops were
embarked in boats to carry them up to Pine Island, a distance of thirty

"To be confined for so long a time as the prosecution of this voyage
would require, in one posture, was of itself no very agreeable prospect;
but the confinement was but a trifling misery when compared with that
which arose from the change in the weather. Instead of a constant
bracing frost, heavy rains, such as an inhabitant of England cannot
dream of, and against which no cloak could furnish protection, began. In
the midst of these were the troops embarked in their new and straitened
transports, and each division, after an exposure of ten hours, landed
upon a small desert spot of earth, called Pine Island, where it was
determined to collect the whole army, previous to its crossing over to
the main.

"Than this spot it is scarcely possible to imagine any place more
completely wretched. It was a swamp, containing a small space of firm
ground at one end, and almost wholly unadorned with trees of any sort or
description. The interior was the resort of waterfowl; and the pools and
creeks with which it was intercepted abounded in dormant alligators.

"Upon this miserable desert the army was assembled, without tents or
huts, or any covering to shelter them from the inclemency of the
weather.... After having been exposed all day to the cold and pelting
rain, we landed upon a barren island, incapable of furnishing even fuel
enough to supply our fires. To add to our miseries, as night closed, the
rain generally ceased, and severe frosts set in, which, congealing our
wet clothes upon our bodies, left little animal warmth to keep the limbs
in a state of activity; and the consequence was, that many of the
wretched negroes, to whom frost and cold were altogether new, fell fast
asleep and perished before morning."

By December 21st the whole army was collected at Pine Island, and next
day it was formed into three brigades, the 1st West India Regiment with
the 21st and 44th Regiments composing the 2nd Brigade. The 1st West
India Regiment, which had left Negril Bay 500 strong, was now so reduced
by mortality and sickness that barely 400 men were in a condition to
take the field. The cold was intense, and, considering the latitude, 29°
N., almost incredible. It appears that when the regiment left Jamaica no
attempt was made to furnish the men with warm clothing, and their
sufferings from this cause, they being all natives of the tropics, can
be better imagined than described. During the voyage the regiment had
been much scattered in small craft, where the soldiers were obliged to
sleep on deck, exposed to the torrents of rain which fell by day and to
the frosts that came on at night; and, being unaccustomed to the
severity of an American winter, large numbers of them died from cold and
exposure, the 5th West India Regiment suffering equally with the 1st.

On December 22nd, the 1st Brigade (1600 strong) left Pine Island in
boats to proceed to Bayou Catalan, a small creek eighty miles distant,
which ran up from Lake Ponchartrain, through the middle of an extensive
swamp, to within ten miles of New Orleans. Next day it landed at the
mouth of the creek and advanced along an overgrown footpath on the
banks of a canal, its movements being concealed by the tall reeds of the
swamp. After being delayed by several small streams, it finally emerged
from the morass, and entering the cultivated portion of the district
took up a position across the main road from Proctorsville to New
Orleans, the Mississippi being on its left and the swamp on its right.

The exhausted troops, without any camp equipment, encamped for the night
on the position. They were not, however, allowed to enjoy a long period
of rest. Late in the evening a large schooner was observed stealing up
the river, until she arrived opposite the bivouac fires around which the
men were asleep; and before it could be ascertained whether she was a
friend or foe, a broadside of grape swept through the camp. Having no
artillery with them, and no means of attacking this formidable
adversary, the troops sheltered themselves behind a bank. The night was
as dark as pitch, and the only light to be seen was the flash of the
enemy's guns as he continued to pour broadside after broadside into the
camp. To add to the miseries of the condition of the British it began to
rain heavily, and the earth, barely raised above the level of the river,
became a vast puddle of slime, in which the soldiers were compelled to
lie down to avoid the iron showers of grape that tore through the air.

In the meantime the 2nd Brigade, with the 1st West India Regiment, had
embarked in the remainder of the boats from Pine Island, about ten
hours after the departure of the 1st Brigade, and after being exposed to
an incessant downpour of rain during the night of December 22nd, had
arrived at the mouth of the Bayou Catalan at nightfall on the 23rd. In
the stillness of the night the sound of the guns of the schooner as she
opened fire on the 1st Brigade were distinctly heard, and the troops,
stimulated to fresh exertions, hurried on to the assistance of their
comrades. As they drew nearer to the camp, the roll of musketry was
heard, for the enemy had brought up a force of 5000 men from New
Orleans, thinking to overwhelm the solitary 1st Brigade in the dark, and
had unexpectedly opened a semicircle of fire upon it. The 2nd Brigade
pushed on, and arrived just in time to prevent the Americans turning the
British right, which, owing to their local knowledge, they had partially
succeeded in doing. Coming up the canal bank, the 2nd Brigade in their
turn took the enemy in flank, and a hand-to-hand conflict took place
along the whole line, the British fighting with the energy of despair in
the darkness and depths of the wood, and trusting to the bayonet alone.
At last, about 3 a.m. on the 24th, the enemy retired, beaten off at all

The losses in the night's engagement, and the deaths from cold and
exposure that had occurred during the passage from Pine Island, had so
thinned the already attenuated ranks of the 1st West India Regiment,
that on the morning of the 24th, only 16 sergeants and 240 rank and
file were available for duty. The officers serving with them were Major
Weston, Captains Isles and Collins, Lieutenants McDonald, Morgan,
Miller, Magee, Pilkington, McKenzie, and Dalomel.

Notwithstanding the repulse which the Americans had experienced, the
schooner continued to annoy our troops. She had anchored in the river
beyond musket range, and, from that safe distance, continued to pour
round-shot and grape into the camp, which had been increased on the
evening of the 24th by the arrival of the 3rd Brigade, consisting of the
93rd and the 5th West India Regiment. On December 25th, Captain Collins,
1st West India Regiment, was killed by a shot from one of her guns, and
there were several other casualties in the regiment. On that day,
however, Sir Edward Pakenham, who had been sent out from England to
assume the command, arrived, bringing some guns with him. During the
night a battery was quietly thrown up opposite the schooner, and at
daybreak a heavy cannonade was opened on her with red-hot shot. Before
long she was set on fire, and blew up, while another vessel, which had
come to her assistance, was compelled to cut and run up the river.

The main obstacle to an advance being now removed, Sir Edward Pakenham
divided the army into two columns. The right column, commanded by
Major-General Gibbs, consisted of the 4th, 21st, 44th, and 1st West
India Regiments; the left, under Major-General Keane, was composed of
the 85th, 93rd, 95th, and 5th West India Regiments.

In the meantime the American general had occupied a position facing the
British, with the Mississippi on his right, and an impenetrable morass
on his left, covering New Orleans, and rendering an advance on that town
impossible, until his position had been carried by a front attack. The
ground thus occupied, about 1000 yards in breadth, had been fortified so
as to be almost impregnable. Three deep parallel ditches had been dug
across the whole front; in rear of these was a strong loop-holed
palisade, and several batteries had been erected so as to bring a
cross-fire to bear upon the level plain, across which the British would
have to advance to the assault. The right flank of the enemy was further
protected by a strong work thrown up on the right bank of the
Mississippi, which effectually prevented our gun-boats turning the
position, should they succeed in entering the river.

The night of December 26th was spent in continual alarms. Small bodies
of American riflemen would creep down upon the pickets under cover of
the darkness, and, firing upon the sentries, prevent the main body from
obtaining any sleep. "Scarcely had the troops lain down, when they were
aroused by sharp firing at the outposts, which lasted only till they
were in order, and then ceased; but as soon as they had dispersed, and
had once more addressed themselves to repose, the same cause of alarm
returned, and they were again called to their ranks. Thus was the night
spent in watching, or at best in broken and disturbed slumbers, than
which nothing is more trying, both to the health and spirits of an

At daybreak on the 27th, the pickets were withdrawn, and the British
formed in order of attack. The right column took post near the skirts of
the morass, throwing out skirmishers half-way across the plain to meet
the American riflemen, while the left column drew up upon the road. It
was a clear, frosty morning, and in this formation the troops advanced,
the enemy's skirmishers slowly falling back before them.

After an advance of about four miles the American position was sighted,
and the British were saluted by a heavy cannonade from the batteries and
shipping. "Scarce a ball passed over or fell short of its mark, but all
striking full into the midst of our ranks, occasioned terrible havoc.
The shrieks of the wounded, therefore, the crash of firelocks, and the
fall of such as were killed, caused at first some little confusion; and
what added to the panic was, that from the farm-houses beside which we
stood bright flames suddenly burst forth. The Americans, expecting this
attack, had filled them with combustibles for the purpose; and directing
against them one or two guns, loaded with red-hot shot, in an instant
set them on fire. The scene was altogether very sublime. A tremendous
cannonade mowed down our ranks, and deafened us with its roar; whilst
two large châteaux and their out-buildings almost scorched us with the
flames, and blinded us with the smoke which they emitted."

The troops having formed line, advanced to storm the enemy's works. The
right column, after a sharp and victorious skirmish with an advanced
body of the enemy, arrived at the edge of the marsh, through which it
endeavoured in vain to penetrate. At the same time the left column
reached the first ditch, or canal, and, being unable to cross it, there
halted, the men endeavouring to shelter themselves from the enemy's fire
in a wet ditch about knee-deep. The troops being unable to close with
the enemy, Sir Edward Pakenham ordered them to retire. This was effected
by battalions, the last corps moving off about noon; and by nightfall
the army was encamped about two miles from the former camping-ground,
and the same distance from the enemy's position.

The 28th, 29th, and 30th, were occupied in bringing up guns from the
fleet, on which duty the two West India Regiments and the seamen were
employed. Major Weston and Lieutenant Magee, 1st West India Regiment,
died from exposure and fatigue while engaged in this work.

During the night of the 31st, six batteries, mounting in all 30 pieces
of heavy cannon, were completed, at a distance of some 300 yards from
the American lines, and at dawn the artillery duel commenced. During the
whole of the day a heavy cannonade continued, till, towards evening,
the British ammunition began to fail, and the fire in consequence to
slacken. The fire of the Americans, on the other hand, increased; and,
landing a number of guns from their vessels, they soon compelled the
British to abandon their works. The enemy made no attempt to secure the
guns, and during the night they were removed.

Sir Edward Pakenham now decided to send a portion of his force across
the river to attack the fort on the right bank and turn its guns upon
the main position, whilst the remainder should at the same time make a
general assault along the whole entrenchment. "But before this plan
could be put into execution, it would be necessary to cut a canal across
the entire neck of land from the Bayo de Catiline to the river, of
sufficient depth and width to admit of boats being brought up from the
lake. Upon this arduous undertaking were the troops immediately
employed. Being divided into four companies, they laboured by turns, day
and night.... The fatigue undergone during the prosecution of this
attempt no words can sufficiently describe; yet it was pursued without
repining, and at length, by unremitting exertions, they succeeded in
effecting their purpose by the 6th of January."

On January 1st H.M.S. _Vengeur_ arrived off the Chandeleur Islands with
a convoy of transports, containing the 7th and 43rd Regiments, under
Major-General Lambert, and these two battalions, each 800 strong, joined
the army on the evening of January 6th. Next day the final arrangements
were made. Colonel Thornton, with the 85th, the marines, and a body of
seamen, in all 1400 men, were to cross the river immediately after dark,
seize the batteries on the right bank, and at daylight commence firing
on the enemy's line, which at the same moment was to be attacked by the
remainder of the army. Major-General Keane, with the 95th, the light
battalion, and the 1st and 5th[38] West India Regiments, was to attack
the enemy's right, Major-General Gibbs, with the 4th, 21st, 44th, and
93rd, force the left, whilst Major-General Lambert was to hold the 7th
and 43rd in reserve.

In accordance with this scheme, Colonel Thornton at nightfall moved his
force down to the brink of the river, but no boats had arrived. Hour
after hour elapsed, and then at last only a sufficient number to
transport 350 men made their appearance. With this small force Colonel
Thornton determined to make the attempt, and pushed off. The loss of
time which had occurred was however fatal, for day began to break before
the boats had crossed the river, and though the troops carried the
batteries by assault, after a short but obstinate resistance, the alarm
had already been carried to the main body of the enemy, and they were
thoroughly prepared for defence.

The capture of the works on the right bank had, however, really made the
front attack upon the American lines unnecessary; for the passage of the
river now being clear, the armed boats from the canal could have passed
up the stream and taken the whole of the position in rear. Had this been
done, the American general would inevitably have been obliged to abandon
his defences, falling back upon New Orleans, and we should have obtained
possession of his formidable position without the loss of a man.
Major-General Pakenham, however, still persevered in his original
intention, and ordered the assault to take place.

There had been so much mismanagement, that the advance, which should
have taken place at dawn, did not commence till some time after
daylight. The officer, whose duty it was to have prepared fascines for
the purpose of filling the ditches, had neglected his work; and, at 2
a.m., the hour at which he had been directed to have them ready, not one
was made.[39] Eventually an insufficient number were got together, but
"the 44th, which was appointed to carry them, had either misunderstood
or neglected their orders, and now headed the column of attack, without
any means being provided for crossing the enemy's ditch, or scaling his

"The indignation of our brave leader on this occasion may be imagined,
but cannot be described. Galloping towards Colonel Mullens, who led the
44th, he commanded him instantly to return for the fascines and ladders,
but the opportunity of planting them was lost; and, though they were
brought up, it was only to be scattered over the field by the frightened
bearers, for our troops were by this time visible to the enemy. A
dreadful fire was accordingly opened upon them, and they were mowed down
by hundreds while they stood waiting for orders."

The word being given to advance, the other regiments rushed on to the
assault. On reaching the first ditch a horrible scene of carnage ensued;
the few fascines that were thrown down floated away; there were no
ladders, and the men, crowding to the edge of the ditch in the hope of
closing with the enemy, fell in heaps. Many threw themselves into the
water, and endeavoured to struggle across, but were shot down, or
drowned. On the right, Major-General Keane's column had, though reduced
to half its strength, succeeded in passing the ditches near their
junction with the marsh, and pushed on desperately to the palisade. But
to scale this obstacle without ladders was no easy matter. Some few,
indeed, by climbing upon their comrades' shoulders succeeded in entering
the works, but only to be at once shot down; while those who remained
outside were exposed to a flanking fire that swept them down by scores.
The two West India regiments distinguished themselves by their desperate
valour, so much so, indeed, as to win encomiums from the American
general, Jackson.

On the left there had been a slight success, the 21st Regiment having
stormed and taken a three-gun battery; but they were not supported, and
the enemy, forcing their way into the work, retook it with great
slaughter. In vain was the most obstinate courage displayed, the British
were beaten off at all points.

"Sir Edward saw how things were going, and did all that a general could
do to rally his broken troops. Riding towards the 44th, which had
returned to the ground, but in great disorder, he called out to Colonel
Mullens to advance; but that officer had disappeared, and was not to be
found. He therefore prepared to lead them himself, and had put himself
at their head for that purpose, when he received a slight wound in the
knee from a musket-ball, which killed his horse. Mounting another, he
again headed the 44th, when a second ball took effect more fatally, and
he dropped lifeless into the arms of his aide-de-camp."

Major-Generals Keane and Gibb were, almost at the same moment, borne off
the field severely wounded. "All was now confusion and dismay. Without
leaders, ignorant of what was to be done, the troops first halted and
then began to retire; till finally the retreat was changed into a
flight, and they quitted the ground in the utmost disorder. But the
retreat was covered in gallant style by the reserve. Making a forward
motion, the 7th and 43rd presented the appearance of a renewed attack,
by which the enemy were so much awed that they did not venture beyond
their lines in pursuit of the fugitives."

The British loss in this action was over 1000 killed; while the
Americans stated their total loss to be 8 killed and 14 wounded. The 1st
West India Regiment had 5 rank and file killed, 2 sergeants and 16 rank
and file wounded. The following officers were wounded: Captain Isles,
Lieutenants McDonald and Morgan, Ensigns Miller and Pilkington; and all,
with the exception of Ensign Miller, severely so. Lieutenants McKenzie
and Dalomel, the only remaining officers of the regiment with the
expedition, were publicly thanked by Major-General Lambert for the
courage which they had displayed, and the able manner in which they had
withdrawn the remnant of their corps from the enemy's palisades.

The capture of New Orleans being now despaired of in the shattered
condition of the force, a retreat was determined upon. As it was
impossible, without great risk, to return to the fleet by the route by
which the army had come--there not being sufficient boats to embark more
than a third of the force at a time--it was decided to make a road from
the firm ground to the water's edge, a distance of many miles, through
the very centre of a morass, where human foot had never before trodden.
The difficulties experienced in making this road were immense. Sometimes
for miles together no firm soil could be found, nor trees to furnish
brushwood, and all that could be done was to lay down bundles of reeds
on the morass. Nor were the enemy idle; there was constant skirmishing
at the outposts, and a continual fire was kept up on the camp from a
six-gun battery mounted on the bank of the river.

After nine days' incessant toil the road was completed; the sick and
wounded were first removed, then the baggage and stores, and on January
17th, the infantry alone remained in the camp. On the evening of the
18th it also began its retreat. Leaving the camp-fires burning as if no
movement were taking place, battalion after battalion stole away in the
darkness in the most profound silence. Marching all night over the
fragile road of reeds, through which the men sank knee-deep into the
mud, the army reached the borders of the lake at dawn. Boats were in
readiness, and regiment after regiment embarked and set sail for the
fleet, the only loss being the capture of a boat containing two officers
and forty men of the 14th Light Dragoons.

After remaining a few days at the Chandeleur Islands, the naval
commander decided, in concert with Major-General Lambert, to make an
attack on Mobile, and the fleet accordingly proceeded to that place. On
February 12th, Fort Bowyer, which commanded the entrance to the harbour,
surrendered, and a British garrison being left in the citadel, the fleet
retired to Isle Dauphin, West Florida. Hostilities were then terminated
by a treaty of peace, and the 1st West India Regiment returned to
Barbados, where early in March, Brigade-Majors Cassidy and Winkler
rejoined from the West India staff. The former succeeded to the
majority, vice Weston, deceased.[40]


[Footnote 37: "The Campaigns of the British Army at Washington and New
Orleans," by an Officer.]

[Footnote 38: According to Major-General Lambert's despatch to Earl
Bathurst, the 5th West India Regiment was to cross the river with
Colonel Thornton.]

[Footnote 39: This officer was afterwards dismissed the service.]

[Footnote 40: The British force employed in this expedition has been
thus estimated:

    14th Dragoons                           295
    Royal Artillery                         570
    Sappers and Miners                       98
    4th Foot                                747
    21st Foot                               800
    44th Foot                               427
    85th Foot                               298
    93rd Foot                               775
    95th Foot                               276
    1st and 5th West India Regiments       1040
    Seamen and Marines                     1200
    Staff Corps                              57
    7th Foot   }  arrived on January 6th  { 750
    43rd Foot  }                          { 820

Out of the ten officers who accompanied the regiment on this ill-fated
expedition one was killed, two died from exposure, and five were



A few months after the disastrous expedition to New Orleans, and while
the 1st West India Regiment was still stationed at Barbados, an
expedition was formed by Lieutenant-General Sir James Leith, commanding
the forces in the Windward and Leeward Islands, against the Island of
Guadaloupe, the Governor of which, Admiral Comte de Linois, a staunch
Bonapartist, had thrown off his allegiance to Louis XVIII., when the
news of the escape of Napoleon from Elba had reached the West Indies,
and had, on June 18th, 1815, proclaimed the latter Emperor. On the
formation of this expedition, Captain Winkler, 1st West India Regiment,
was appointed to the staff.

The fleet with the troops from Barbados, among whom were 400 picked men
of the 1st West India Regiment, under Major Cassidy, attached to the 2nd
Brigade, commanded by Major-General Murray, sailed from Carlisle Bay,
Barbados, on the 31st of July, while other troops from St. Lucia,
Martinique, and Dominica, rendezvoused at the Saintes. The force from
Barbados anchored in the Bay of St. Louis, Marie-Galante, on the 2nd of
August; but it was not until the night of the 7th that the troops from
the Leeward were all assembled at the Saintes.

The internal state of Guadaloupe and the season were both so critical
that Sir James Leith determined to attack at once; and on the morning of
the 8th the whole fleet stood towards the Ance St. Sauveur. It was the
intention of the general to attack in three columns, each of one
brigade, but the scarcity of boats and the heavy surf necessitated that
each brigade, should disembark in succession.

A portion of the 1st Brigade being landed without opposition at Ance St.
Sauveur, and ordered to drive the enemy from the broken ground and
ravines about Trou au Chien and Petit Carbet, the fleet dropped down to
Grand Ance, where the principal attack was to be made. There, after the
enemy's batteries had been silenced by the fleet, the 2nd Brigade, with
the remainder of the 1st, were landed; and after a short but sharp
skirmish with a body of the enemy, advanced with the bayonet and drove
him from his position at Petrizel. The approach of night put an end to
further advance, and the troops bivouacked on the ground they had won.

Next morning, the 9th, at daybreak, the troops advanced in two columns.
The 1st Brigade moved upon and occupied Dolé, while the 2nd Brigade
marched by difficult mountain paths upon the left of Morne Palmiste, by
Petrizel, and by this turning movement compelled the enemy to withdraw
his posts and retreat to Morne Palmiste by noon. While this had been
taking place the 3rd Brigade had disembarked in the vicinity of Bailiff,
to leeward of Basseterre, and after a short struggle had occupied that

In the afternoon of the 9th, the 1st and 2nd Brigades converged upon
Morne Palmiste, and clambering up the rugged and bush-covered heights,
compelled the enemy, after the exchange of a few shots, to evacuate his
works and retire to Morne Houel, where he had eight guns in position.

While the British were still occupying the defences on Morne Palmiste,
intelligence was brought to Sir James Leith that the French Commander of
Grandeterre, with the whole of his available force, was moving in rear
of the 1st and 2nd Brigades to endeavour to form a junction with the
main body of the enemy at Morne Houel. The detachment of the 1st West
India Regiment was at once despatched to reinforce the rear-guard, and
to occupy in force all the passes of the Gallion, a river running
through a formidable ravine at the foot of Morne Palmiste. The troops
from Grandeterre being thus cut off, endeavoured to form a junction by
unfrequented paths through the woods; but, being met at every point by
the skirmishers of the 1st West India Regiment, who searched the woods
in every direction, they were compelled to abandon the attempt and
retire at dusk.

The night closed in with torrents of rain, and the British, having been
told off in columns in readiness to attack the formidable position of
Morne Houel at daybreak next morning, bivouacked on the ground, without
shelter, and drenched to the skin. About 11 p.m., the Comte de Linois
sent a messenger to propose terms of surrender; but nothing being
definitely settled, the troops were put in motion at daybreak on the
10th. As they drew near to the works, however, the French hoisted the
British flag on Morne Houel in token of surrender, and the position was
occupied without resistance. This success put an end to the active

The British loss in this, the third invasion of Guadaloupe, amounted to
16 killed and 40 wounded. The 1st West India Regiment suffered no loss.

The following general order was issued, dated Head-Quarters, Government
House, Basseterre, Guadaloupe, 10th August, 1815: "The Commander of the
Forces congratulates the army on the conquest of Guadaloupe being
accomplished, and desires the generals and other officers, and the
troops employed on that important service, to accept his best thanks for
the gallant, zealous, and active manner in which they have compelled the
enemy to surrender.

"It is certainly a matter of gratifying reflection to the troops
employed, not only that a colony of such importance should be placed
under the British flag, but that the exertions of the army have, in two
days, defeated all the preparations and force of the enemy; thus
sheltering the peaceable inhabitants from a formidable and sanguinary
system of revolutionary violence which had been practised against their
persons and property, and which threatened the entire destruction of
social order.

"Lieutenant-General Sir James Leith will not fail to represent the
steadiness and good conduct of the troops to H.R.H. the

Guadaloupe, however, was not at once reduced to a state of tranquility.
A number of French soldiers, who had deserted previous to the surrender
of the island, took refuge in the woods, whence they carried on a
desultory and ferocious war against the British posts. The 1st West
India Regiment, being composed of men better able to support the
hardships of a guerilla war, carried on in a country naturally
difficult, during the height of the tropical rains, was continually
employed against these insurgent bands, and several men were killed and
wounded in unknown and forgotten skirmishes.

Major Cassidy and Captain Winkler were each presented with a sword of
honour by the major-general; and the order of the Fleur de Lys was
transmitted to them by Louis XVIII., for their services in Guadaloupe.

Major Cassidy and the detachment of the 1st West India Regiment,
remained in Guadaloupe until the 10th of October, 1815, on which day
they embarked for Barbados, arriving at that island on the 26th. The
regiment being then very much below its strength, on account of the
heavy losses which it had sustained during the expedition to New
Orleans, it was determined to transfer the majority of the privates who
remained to the 3rd, 4th, 6th and 8th West India Regiments, and reform
the regiment from a body of some 700 American negroes, who, in the late
war with the United States, had served with the British, and had been
temporarily organised as Colonial Marines.

On the 14th of December, the skeleton of the regiment embarked in H.M.S.
_Niobe_ for Bermuda, where the Colonial Marines were then stationed, and
arrived at St. George's on the 9th of January, 1816. It was only then
discovered that the number of men with whom it was intended to reform
the regiment, did not exceed 400; most of whom were of but poor
physique, and, moreover, unwilling to engage. At first the authorities
determined to force these men to enlist, but ultimately the whole plan
was abandoned; and the skeleton of the regiment left Bermuda on the 18th
of March to return to the West Indies. It arrived at Barbados on the 1st
of April; and the men who had already been transferred being sent back
to it, the corps was completed with drafts from the late disbanded
Bombor Regiment.

This was effected in time to enable the 1st West India Regiment to take
a very active part in the suppression of an alarming insurrection of
slaves, which broke out suddenly at Barbados on Easter Sunday, the 14th
of April, 1816. "The revolt broke out in St. Philip's parish, shortly
after sunset, and it extended, in the two following days, to the
parishes of Christ Church, St. John and St. George. A conflagration upon
a high ridge of copse-wood called Bishop's Hill, in the parish of St.
Philip's, was the first signal. Shortly after, the canes upon eight or
nine of the surrounding estates were set on fire. Some few of the rebels
were furnished with fire-arms, and a scanty supply of ammunition, and
the remainder were armed with swords, bludgeons, and such rude weapons
as they had been able to procure. Their approach was announced by the
beating of drums, the blowing of shells, and other discordant sounds.
They demolished the houses of the overseers, destroyed the sugar works,
and fired the canes.... Sixty estates were more or less damaged, many of
them to a considerable amount."[41]

As soon as the news reached Bridgetown, martial law was proclaimed, the
1st West India Regiment was at once ordered to march, and the militia of
the island were called out. Major Cassidy, who was in command of the 1st
West India Regiment, found the rebels occupying a position on the
heights of Christ Church, on Grazett's Estate, a dense mob of half-armed
slaves crowning the summits of the low hills. He endeavoured to parley
with them, but without success; and an advance being ordered, the 1st
West India Regiment stormed the heights, and at the point of the bayonet
drove the rebels from their position. Not a shot was fired by the
regiment on this occasion, Major Cassidy being anxious to save bloodshed
as much as possible; but a large body of the slaves offered a furious
resistance, closing with and aiming blows at the soldiers with their
rude weapons, and endeavouring to wrench the muskets from their hands,
so that a considerable number of the insurgents were thus killed and
wounded. This resistance only lasted for a few minutes, and the slaves,
broken and dispirited, fled in all directions; only to be hunted down
and fired upon by the militia all over the disaffected portions of the
island. The 1st West India Regiment took no part in the pursuit and the
capture or slaughter of the fugitives, this duty being left to the
European militia, who, if the author of "Remarks on the Insurrection in
Barbados"[42] may be believed, were guilty of many excesses.

By the planters this revolt was attributed to the introduction of the
Slave Registry Bill into the British Parliament, and it was discovered
that several free men of colour, who had for several months previous
attended nocturnal meetings of slaves on the estates where the
insurrection began, had told the slaves that a law was being passed in
England to make them free, and that as the King was giving them their
freedom the King's troops would not be employed against them.

Amongst other articles taken from the rebels by the 1st West India
Regiment was a flag bearing the figure of a general officer (supposed to
be intended for the King), placing a crown in the hands of a negro who
had a white woman on his arm. Beneath these figures was the following
motto: "Brittanie are happy to assist all such friends as
endeavourance." In the struggle on Christ Church heights the regiment
lost one man killed and seventeen wounded.

The following general order was issued, dated August 26th, 1816:
"Colonel Codd, in communicating the following letters conveying the
thanks of the Members in Council and House of Assembly at Barbados to
himself and the officers, non-commissioned officers, and men employed
during the late insurrection of slaves, feels it his duty to specify the
commanding officer and corps whose good conduct on that occasion he has
already reported in his official despatch to the Commander of the
Forces, namely, Major Cassidy and the 1st West India Regiment."

In November, 1816, the regiment was removed from Barbados and
distributed amongst the following islands:

    Head-quarters. The Grenadier, Light, and 1 Company at Antigua = 3
                                  2 Companies at St. Christopher  = 2
                                  1 Company at Montserrat         = 1
                                  2 Companies at St. Lucia        = 2
                                  2 Companies at Dominica         = 2

Lieutenant-Colonel Whitby commanded at head-quarters.

Nothing of note occurred till October, 1817, when, on the 21st of that
month the Island of St. Lucia was visited with a most violent hurricane
in which the Governor, Major-General Seymour, was so severely injured
that he died a few days afterwards; and Brevet-Major Burdett, 1st West
India Regiment (then commanding the garrison), together with his wife,
child, and servants, was killed by the fall of his house and buried
under its ruins. The distress that the troops endured was great. The
whole of the buildings on Morne Fortune and Pigeon Island, with the
exception of the magazine and tanks, were levelled with the ground, and
the fragments, together with the men's clothing and equipment, carried
off by the wind to the woods about Morne Fortune. The hurricane had
struck the island so rapidly that, although an order to evacuate the
barracks was given at once, the men had barely time to escape from the
buildings before they fell with a crash. The town of Castries was laid
in ruins, and twelve vessels that were in harbour were driven ashore.
When the hurricane abated, the killed and wounded were moved under the
parapet of Fort Charlotte and temporary shelter erected from the ruins.

In January, 1819, when Lieutenant-Colonel J.M. Clifton retired, the
second lieutenant-colonelcy in the regiment was abolished. In May of
that year the head-quarters and three companies were moved to Barbados,
two companies remaining at Antigua, two at St. Lucia, two at Dominica,
and one at Tobago.


[Footnote 41: Bryan Edwards.]

[Footnote 42: Published in London in 1816.]



On the 25th of October, 1821, the establishment of the 1st West India
Regiment was reduced from ten to eight companies, which were thus

    Head-quarters and 3 Companies at Barbados.
                      1 Company at Demerara.
                      1    "    "  St. Lucia.
                      1    "    "  Dominica.
                      1    "    "  Antigua.
                      1    "    "  Tobago.

No change took place in this distribution until 1823, when the light
company rejoined the head-quarters at Barbados, from Tobago.

In August, 1823, an alarming insurrection broke out among the slaves in
the district of Mahaica, on the east coast of Demerara. The first notice
of the impending rising was communicated, on the morning of the 18th of
August, by a mulatto servant, to Mr. Simpson, of Plantation Reduit (now
Plantation Ogle), a place distant some six miles from Georgetown. The
servant stated that all the negroes on the coast plantations would rise
that night; and Mr. Simpson at once proceeded with the intelligence to
Georgetown, warning the various planters at their habitations _en
route_. The Governor appeared to doubt the reliability of the
information, but called out a troop of burgher horse, and proceeded with
a portion of it to Plantation Reduit. There a considerable body of
negroes, armed with cutlasses, sticks, and a few muskets, was met; and,
after a short parley with them, which led to no result, the Governor
returned at once to Georgetown, and called upon the officer commanding
the troops for assistance.

A detachment of the 21st Regiment, and No. 8 Company of the 1st West
India Regiment, the whole being under the command of Captain Stewart, of
the latter corps, at once marched up the coast; while the militia of
Georgetown was called out and patrolled the town. A body of the rebels,
who had with them as prisoners several Europeans, was met near
Wittenburg Plantation. On the approach of the troops the slaves opened a
desultory fire, which did no damage, and a volley being returned, they
dispersed in all directions. The force under Captain Stewart then
proceeded further up the coast, encountering and dispersing other
parties of slaves.

Next day, the 19th of August, martial law was proclaimed, for nearly all
the negroes employed upon the coast estates had risen and were
overrunning the country, capturing every European they met. Continually
dispersed by the troops, they reassembled again, and, after being
repulsed by a detachment of the 21st in an attack upon the post of
Mahaica, a body of some 2000 of the better-armed slaves collected
together and began to advance on Georgetown. By this time another
detachment of the 21st Regiment had come up from Georgetown, under the
command of Lieutenant-Colonel Leahy of that corps, who joined the troops
already in the field, and moved with his whole force against this more
formidable body of insurgents. Proceeding past pillaged houses and
destroyed bridges, the troops at last fell in with the rebels, and
Lieutenant-Colonel Leahy, after reading a proclamation that had been
issued by the Governor, warned them that if they did not disperse the
men would open fire. After waiting for some time, the order to advance
was given, and the slaves at once commenced firing. This was returned by
the troops, and after a conflict of a few minutes' duration the rebels
fled in all directions.

This was the last occasion on which the slaves assembled in any
considerable force, but a constant skirmishing was kept up along the
whole line of the coast; and two companies of the 1st West India
Regiment, which were despatched from Barbados when the news of the
insurrection reached there, and arrived at Demerara on the 26th of
September, were actively employed in assisting to restore tranquility
in the colony and in the apprehension of the ringleaders of the
rebellion. Captain Chads, Lieutenants Strong and Lynch, and Ensign
Brennan were the officers who were serving with these two companies.

The following general order was published, dated Head-quarters, Camp
House, 17th December, 1823:

"Major-General Murray has great satisfaction in communicating to the
troops and militia within this colony the following extracts from
letters from Lord Bathurst, and the Commander of the Forces, Sir Henry
Ward, the former conveying the approbation of His Majesty, and the
latter that of His Royal Highness, the Commander-in-Chief, for their
conduct during the late insurrection. The Commander-in-Chief takes this
opportunity of again returning his thanks to the officers and troops for
the uniform support he has received from the former, and for the good
conduct of the latter, during the late operations; by these means alone
have those services been accomplished which have occasioned His
Majesty's flattering marks of approbation."

Extract (No. 1) of a letter from the Right Honourable Lord Bathurst, to
His Excellency Sir John Murray:

                              "Downing Street, 23rd October, 1823.

    "I have received your several despatches, as per margin, reciting
    the series of events that had occurred from the first intimation
    received by you on the 18th of August last, of a disposition towards
    insurrectionary movements on the part of the slave population in
    the District of Mahaica, and concluding with an account of the
    general termination of the revolt, which had yielded to the prompt
    and judicious measures of remonstrance and resistance offered by
    you, and which you represent to have been so admirably enforced by
    the civil and military authorities under your command. With respect
    to those measures, I have laid them before His Majesty, and they
    have received his most gracious approbation, which you will convey
    to the officers, both civil and military, who have so distinguished
    themselves on this occasion."

Extract (No. 2) of a letter from His Royal Highness the
Commander-in-Chief, to Sir Henry Ward, K.C.B., commanding the Windward
and Leeward Islands:

    "I have received your further despatch reporting to His Lordship the
    issue of this revolt, so satisfactorily and judiciously terminated
    by the prompt and vigorous measures taken by Major-General Murray,
    and the exemplary zeal, discipline and good conduct of the 21st
    Regiment, the 1st West India Regiment, and the Militia, which
    entitle officers and men to the greatest credit."

Ensign Miles, of the 1st West India Regiment, the only officer serving
with No. 8 Company under Captain Stewart, died a few days after the
termination of the rebellion, of fever produced by fatigue and exposure
in hunting down the rebel leaders.

In February, 1824, the Court of Policy passed a vote of thanks, and
conferred a gift of 200 guineas on the regiment, to be expended in the
purchase of plate, as a mark of the high estimation in which the
inhabitants of the colony held the services of Captain Stewart and his

                                           "KING'S HOUSE, DEMERARA,
                                                "_19th July, 1824_.


    "I have the honour to enclose to you for the information of Captain
    Stewart and the detachment of the 1st West India Regiment, which
    served with so much credit to itself under his command during the
    late revolt in this Colony, the accompanying resolution of the
    Honourable Court of Policy, expressive of the sense entertained by
    the Court of that officer's conduct, and that of the officers and
    men placed under him during that distressing period.

                                          "I have, etc.,
                                                "JOHN MURRAY,

    "To Major Capadose,
    "Commanding Detachment, 1st West India Regiment."

    "Extract from the Minutes of the Proceedings of the Honourable Court of
    Policy of the Colony and dependant Districts of Demerara and Essequibo,
    at an extraordinary and adjourned meeting held at the Court House,
    George Town, Demerara, on Tuesday, the 13th of January, 1824.

    "The Court of Policy, feeling anxious to mark its sense of the eminent
    service performed, in the late unhappy revolt, by the troops composing
    the garrison, as well as by the Militia of the United Colonies, take
    the opportunity afforded it by the cessation of Martial Law, to express
    its highest approbation of, and to return its warmest thanks to His
    Excellency the Commander-in-Chief for the able and judicious measures
    adopted by him, which succeeded in putting a speedy termination to a
    Revolt, in its nature most serious and alarming....

    "The steady and soldierlike conduct of the detachment of the 1st West
    India Regiment commanded by Captain Stewart, the Court cannot too
    highly estimate; and it begs, as a testimony of its lasting regard, to
    be allowed to present to the Mess, through Captain Stewart, the sum of
    two hundred guineas, to be laid out in plate."

    On the 25th of October, 1824, the three companies stationed at Demerara
    were removed to Barbados, where they arrived on the 2nd of November.
    The following brigade order was published at Demerara prior to the
    embarkation of the detachment:

    "The detachment of the 1st West India Regiment under Major Capadose,
    will embark on board the _Sovereign_ at half-past six on Monday
    morning, the 25th instant, and the transport will proceed to Barbados
    with the evening tide of that day.

    "The Major-General commanding the district cannot allow these excellent
    troops to embark without expressing to them his approbation of their
    excellent conduct and discipline, and his cordial wishes for their
    health and good fortune. The unremitting attention of Major Capadose in
    the command of the detachment, and of Brevet-Major Gillard, Captain
    Hemsworth, and Lieutenant Strong, in that of their respective outposts,
    have given the Major-General unqualified satisfaction, and he requests
    those officers to accept his thanks."

The distribution of the regiment was now as follows: 5 companies at
Barbados, 1 at St. Lucia, 1 at Dominica, and 1 at Antigua, and this was
continued till the 21st of February, 1825, when the head-quarters, with
4 companies, embarked on board the _Sovereign_ transport, and proceeded
to the Island of Trinidad, to relieve the 3rd West India Regiment,
ordered to be disbanded. The head-quarters landed at Port of Spain,
Trinidad, on February 23rd, and were quartered at Orange Grove Barracks,
being removed to San Josef Barracks on May 1st, 1828.

In April, 1826, a second lieutenant-colonelcy was re-established in the
regiment, Major Henry Capadose being promoted Lieutenant-Colonel,
without purchase, on the 22nd of that month.



In 1826, owing to the difficulty found in obtaining a sufficiency of
recruits in the West Indies, it was decided to send a company of the 1st
West India Regiment to Sierra Leone, there to be stationed as a
recruiting company, the recruits to be sent to the head-quarters of the
regiment as opportunities occurred. The recruiting company embarked at
Trinidad on the 17th of April, 1826, in the _Duke of York_ brigantine,
and proceeded to Dominica, where it was transhipped to the _Jupiter_
transport. Captain Myers proceeded in charge of it to England, where it
was inspected by Major-General Sir James Lyon, and it finally arrived at
Sierra Leone on August 16th, 1826. Captain Myers having obtained sick
leave in England, Captain Stewart, Lieutenant Brennan, and Ensign
Russell, were the officers who had charge of the company.

The recruiting was so successfully carried on, that on July 9th, 1827,
73 recruits joined the head-quarters of the regiment at Trinidad; on
December 27th, 1828, 182; and on February 28th, 1829, 39; the last being
volunteers from the Royal African Corps. In 1829, Captain Evans and
Lieutenant Montgomery proceeded to Sierra Leone to join the recruiting

The recruiting company continued being occupied with its peace duties
until the year 1831, when the Barra War broke out. Towards the end of
September, 1831, the Lieutenant-Governor of the Gambia Settlements sent
an urgent despatch for assistance to the Governor of Sierra Leone. The
news arrived at the latter place on October 1st, and on the 4th a force
under Captain Stewart, 1st West India Regiment, consisting of
detachments from the recruiting companies of the 1st and 2nd West India
Regiments, from the Sierra Leone Militia, and from the Royal African
Corps, sailed for the Gambia in H.M. brig _Plumper_, and the _Parmilia_
transport. The events which led to this movement were as follows:

In August, 1831, disturbances having occurred amongst the Mandingoes[43]
living in the neighbourhood of Fort Bullen, Barra Point, Ensign Fearon,
of the Royal African Corps, by direction of Lieutenant-Governor Rendall,
had proceeded with thirty men of his corps and a few pensioners, on the
night of August 22nd, to the stockaded town of Essaw, or Yahassu, the
capital of Barra, to demand hostages from the king. At Essaw this small
force was attacked by a large body of Mandingoes, and compelled to
retire to Fort Bullen, to which place the victorious Mandingoes
advanced, completely investing it on the land side. The day following,
Ensign Fearon, having lost twenty-three men out of his little force,
evacuated the work, which was in an almost defenceless condition, and
retired across the river to the town of Bathurst. After this defeat the
chiefs of the neighbouring Mohammedan towns sent large contingents of
men to the King of Barra; several thousand armed natives were collected
at a distance of three miles only from Bathurst, and that settlement was
in such imminent danger that the Lieutenant-Governor was compelled to
send to Sierra Leone for assistance.

On November 9th the reinforcements arrived in the Gambia, and found Fort
Bullen still in the hands of the natives, who fortunately had confined
themselves to making mere demonstrations, instead of falling upon the
settlement, which lay entirely at their mercy. On the morning of
November 11th a landing was effected at Barra Point by the force,
consisting of 451 of all ranks, under cover of a heavy fire from H.M.
brig _Plumper_ (Lieutenant Cresey), the _Parmilia_ transport, and an
armed colonial schooner. The enemy, estimated at from 2500 to 3000
strong, were skilfully covered from the fire of the shipping by the
entrenchments which they had thrown up, and from which, as well as from
the shelter of the dense bush and high grass, they poured in a heavy
and well-sustained fire upon the troops who were landing in their front.
Notwithstanding all disadvantages, however, the British pushed on, and,
after an hour's hard fighting, during which the enemy contested every
inch of ground, they succeeded in driving them from their entrenchments
at the point of the bayonet, and pursued them for some distance through
the bush. The British loss in this action was 2 killed, 3 officers[44]
and 47 men wounded.

The next few days were occupied in landing the guns, and placing Fort
Bullen in a state of defence; and at daybreak on the morning of November
17th the entire force marched to the attack of Essaw, the king's town,
leaving the crew of H.M. brig _Plumper_, under Lieutenant Cresey, in
charge of Fort Bullen.

On approaching the vicinity of the town the troops deployed into line,
and, the guns having been brought to the front, a heavy fire was opened
on the stockade. This was kept up for five hours, and was as vigorously
returned by the enemy from their defences, with artillery and small
arms. The rockets were brought to bear as soon as possible, and the
first one thrown set fire to a house in the town; but the buildings
being principally composed of "swish," and the natives having taken the
precaution of removing the thatched roofs of the greater number, the
rockets produced but little effect, as they could do no injury to the
walls. Towards noon some of the enemy were observed leaving the rear of
the town, and shortly afterwards a very superior force of natives
appeared in the bush on the British right, threatening an attack in
flank. A second body was also observed making a lengthened detour on the
left, apparently with the intention of attacking the British rear. The
men's ammunition being almost exhausted, and the artillery fire, though
well sustained, having produced no effect upon the strong stockades
which surrounded the town, it was deemed prudent to retire, and the
force was accordingly withdrawn to Benty Point, having suffered a loss
during the day of 11 killed and 59 wounded. Lieutenant Leigh, of the
Sierra Leone militia, and 5 men subsequently died of their wounds.

On December 7th, Lieutenant-Colonel Hingston, Royal African Corps,
arrived with reinforcements and assumed the command. Immediately upon
this accession to the British strength, the King of Barra notified his
desire to open negotiations, and, terms being proposed which he
accepted, a treaty was finally concluded and signed at Fort Bullen on
January 4th, 1832. The detachment of the recruiting company, 1st West
India Regiment, returned to Sierra Leone on the conclusion of the war.

In the West Indies, the detachment of the 1st West India Regiment
stationed at Barbados, had, in 1831, suffered from a violent hurricane
which visited that island on the 10th of August of that year. The
barracks and hospitals at St. Ann's were completely ruined, 36 men of
various corps were killed, and a commissariat officer, with three of his
children, and his entire household, entombed in the ruins of his house.

An officer of the garrison, who gives an account of this hurricane,[45]
says: "Describe the appearance of our barracks, I really cannot. This I
can say, in truth, that in no part of the world, a more beautiful range
of buildings, or on a more liberal scale or appropriate site, could have
been found. The establishment was complete in all respects for every
branch of a small army. It was the depôt of our West India military
possessions. Well--in two hours during this awful night almost every
building in the garrison was destroyed.... What a moment was that, when,
thanks be to Heaven, the gale in some degree abated. The officers crept
out one after the other, and the scene that followed can be compared
only to that which one sees and feels after an action--who has
escaped?--who is dead?... The first person I found wounded was Mrs.
Brocklass, the lady of an officer of the 1st West India Regiment, who,
with three fine children, finding the roof over them falling, hastened
from under it. She had the misfortune to be knocked down by some
shingles, received a blow on the head, and had two or three ribs broken;
the children fortunately escaped: her husband was on duty in a most
perilous situation.... The huts which were the quarters of the married
people of the 1st West India Regiment were blown to pieces, and four men
and one woman severely injured. The north building of the men's new
barracks accommodated the left wing of the 36th Regiment, besides which
a detachment of the 1st West India Regiment was quartered on the ground
floor. None of the latter were hurt, but two men of the 36th were
killed. The greater part of the spacious galleries was carried away,
some of the arches that supported them fell, and many were very much
broken. None of the roof remains that will ever be of service."

Towards the end of the year 1832, numerous complaints were made by
native traders who were in the habit of trading to the Sherbro and the
adjacent territories, that they were molested and their goods plundered
by a marauding party of Mohammedan Acoos, who had established themselves
in the vicinity of the Ribbie River. These Acoos were liberated
Africans, that is, slaves who had been set free from captured slavers at
Freetown, Sierra Leone, and had, contrary to the regulations then in
force, clandestinely left the Colony.

A party of volunteers, having been despatched to gather information
concerning these rebels, ascertained that they had been joined by other
parties of marauders, and had established themselves at a place called
Cobolo, on the northern bank of the Kates, or Ribbie River. The manager
of the Waterloo District also reported various outrages and depredations
committed by this band.

On December 13th, 1832, the Hastings company of volunteers, with that of
Waterloo, marched from the village of Waterloo towards Cobolo, distant
by road some thirty miles, with orders to capture and bring in the
leaders of the rebels. Next morning, as this force was approaching
Cobolo, the Acoos, who were concealed in the bush, fired upon the head
of the column, and the volunteers at once, and without firing a shot,
turned and ran in the greatest confusion; nor did they recover from
their panic till they had reached Waterloo. The Acoos pursued the
fugitives for some little distance, and killed seven of their number.

The rising, originally trivial, had now, through the shameful behaviour
of the volunteers, become serious. The news of the defeat spread with
great rapidity among the unruly tribes on the frontier of the Colony;
and a Mohammedan priest, proclaiming himself a prophet, placed himself
at the head of the movement. The Governor acted with promptitude; and
recognising the great danger of delay, despatched, on December 17th, all
the available men from the garrison of Sierra Leone, under
Lieut.-Colonel Hingston, Royal African Corps. The recruiting company of
the 1st West India Regiment accompanied the force, under the command of
Lieut. W. Montgomery, 1st West India Regiment.

The troops proceeded to Waterloo in boats, and were there joined by the
Wellington company of the Sierra Leone militia, and the Hastings company
of volunteers. At the same time, H.M. brig _Charybdis_ (Lieut. Crawford)
was sent with the York company of volunteers to the mouth of the Ribbie
River, with orders for the seamen and marines to ascend the river in
boats, co-operate with Lieut.-Colonel Hingston's column, and cut off the
retreat of the rebels.

Lieut.-Colonel Hingston's force marched from Waterloo on December 18th,
and, halting for the night at Bangowilli, about twenty miles from the
former village, advanced towards Cobolo next morning at daybreak. The
march was unusually fatiguing, and for many miles the troops had to move
through rush beds and mangrove swamps, frequently up to the hips in mud
and water. On emerging upon the dry ground near Cobolo the report of
fire-arms was heard in front, and scouts being thrown forward, it was
learned that the Kossoos, which tribe had suffered most from the
predatory propensities of the rebels, had taken up arms and were then
engaged in attacking Cobolo. The troops at once pushed on, and a few
minutes after their arrival on the scene, the Acoos, completely routed,
fled in all directions, many being killed and a great number drowned
while endeavouring to escape across a neighbouring creek.

The British force remained at Cobolo for four days, daily sending out
small parties in pursuit of the dispersed rebels. By one of these
parties Oji Corri, the leader of the movement, was shot down; and the
rebellion being at an end the troops returned to Freetown, Sierra Leone,
on December 28th; a detachment of the 2nd West India Regiment, under
Lieutenant Lardner, being left at Waterloo to watch the movements of the
Mohammedan Acoos in the neighbouring villages.

Lieutenant Montgomery, 1st West India Regiment, died at Freetown of
fever, on April 9th, 1833, and this event left the recruiting company
without an officer of the corps until the arrival in Sierra Leone of
Captain Hughes on November 29th, 1834.

In the West Indies one company had been removed from the head-quarters
at Trinidad to Tortola in May, 1834, and this detachment was, in
January, 1836, moved to St. Vincent.


[Footnote 43: The Mandingoes are a warlike Mohammedan tribe, inhabiting
the territory inland from the Gambia River to Sierra Leone.]

[Footnote 44: Captain Berwick, Royal African Corps; Lieutenant Lardner,
2nd West India Regiment; and Captain Hughes, Gambia Militia.]

[Footnote 45: An account of the fatal hurricane by which Barbados
suffered in 1831, published at Bridgetown, Barbados, 1831.


"Return of the men killed and wounded during the late hurricane, 15th
August, 1831:

"Killed--Henry Read, private.

"Wounded--4 privates.

    (Signed) "H. BROCKLASS, Lieut., 1st W.I. Regt."




On April 1st, 1836, the 1st West India Regiment was increased from eight
to ten companies, and recruits being obtained with difficulty, the
Government commenced the injudicious practice of enrolling the slaves,
disembarked from captured slavers, in the West India regiments. In
September of that year the slaves from two slavers which had been
captured off Grenada by H.M.S. _Vestal_, 112 in number, were drafted
into the 1st West India Regiment. Similarly, in January, 1837, 109; on
May 20th, 112; and on May 21st, 93 slaves, recently disembarked from
slavers captured by H.M.S. _Griffon_ and _Harpy_, were sent to the
regiment. Thus, in the years 1836-7, 426 such slaves were received, 314
of them in the year 1837 alone.

The formality of asking these men whether they were willing to serve was
never gone through, many of them did so unwillingly; and it must be
remembered that they were all savages in the strictest sense of the
word, entirely unacquainted with civilisation, and with no knowledge of
the English language. The majority of them were natives of the Congo and
of Great and Little Popo, two towns on the western frontier of Dahomey;
and it may be here remarked that the negroes of these districts have
maintained their reputation for ultra-barbarism even to the present day.

The only result to be anticipated from such a wholesale drafting of
savages into a regiment was a mutiny, and every inducement to mutiny
appears to have been afforded them. Instead of dividing them
proportionately between the head-quarters and the detachments, they were
nearly all kept at the former; and but three weeks before the actual
rising, as if to further remove all check, 100 rank and file, all old
soldiers, were sent from Trinidad and distributed between St. Lucia and
Dominica. Thus, on June 18th, 1837, the day of the mutiny, with the
exception of the band, officers servants, and mess-waiters, all the men
at San Josef's barracks, Trinidad, were slaver recruits. The ringleader
of the movement was one Dâaga, or Donald Stewart, and the following
account of him, and of the mutiny, is taken from Kingsley's "At Last":

"Donald Stewart, or rather Dâaga, was the adopted son of Madershee, the
old and childless king of the tribe called Paupaus,[46] a race that
inhabit a tract of country bordering on that of the Yarrabas.[47] These
races are constantly at war with each other.

"Dâaga was just the man whom a savage, warlike, and depredatory tribe
would select for their chieftain, as the African negroes choose their
leaders with reference to their personal prowess. Dâaga stood six feet
six inches without shoes. Although scarcely muscular in proportion, yet
his frame indicated in a singular degree the union of irresistible
strength and activity.... He had a singular cast in his eyes, not quite
amounting to that obliquity of the visual organs denominated a squint,
but sufficient to give his features a peculiarly forbidding appearance;
his forehead, however, although small in proportion to his enormous
head, was remarkably compact and well formed. The whole head was
disproportioned, having the greater part of the brain behind the ears;
but the greatest peculiarity of this singular being was his voice. In
the course of my life I never heard such sounds uttered by human organs
as those formed by Dâaga. In ordinary conversation he appeared to me to
endeavour to soften his voice--it was a deep tenor: but when a little
excited by any passion (and this savage was the child of passion) his
voice sounded like the low growl of a lion, but when much excited it
could be compared to nothing so aptly as the notes of a gigantic brazen

"Dâaga having made a successful predatory expedition into the country
of the Yarrabas, returned with a number of prisoners of that nation.
These he, as usual, took bound and guarded towards the coast to sell to
the Portuguese. The interpreter, his countryman, called these Portuguese
'white gentlemen.' The white gentlemen proved themselves more than a
match for the black gentlemen; and the whole transaction between the
Portuguese and the Paupaus does credit to all concerned in this
gentlemanly traffic in human flesh.

"Dâaga sold his prisoners, and under pretence of paying him, he and his
Paupau guards were enticed on board a Portuguese vessel: they were
treacherously overpowered by the Christians, who bound them beside their
late prisoners, and the vessel sailed over 'the great salt water.'

"This transaction caused in the breast of the savage a deep hatred
against all white men; a hatred so intense that he frequently, during
and subsequent to the mutiny, declared he would eat the first white man
he killed; yet this cannibal was made to swear allegiance to our
sovereign on the Holy Evangelists, and was then called a British

"On the voyage the vessel on board which Dâaga had been entrapped was
captured by the British. He could not comprehend that his new captors
liberated him: he had been overreached and trepanned by one set of white
men, and he naturally looked on his second captors as more successful
rivals in the human, or rather inhuman, Guinea trade; therefore, this
event lessened not his hatred for white men in the abstract.

"I was informed by several of the Africans who came with him, that when,
during the voyage, they upbraided Dâaga with being the cause of their
capture, he pacified them by promising that when they should arrive in
white man's country he would repay their perfidy by attacking them in
the night. He further promised that if the Paupaus and Yarrabas would
follow him, he would fight his way back to Guinea. This account was
fully corroborated by many of the mutineers, especially those who were
shot with Dâaga; they all said the revolt never would have happened but
for Donald Stewart, as he was called by the officers; but Africans who
were not of his tribe called him Longa-longa, on account of his height.

"Such was the extraordinary man who led the mutiny I am about to relate.

"A quantity of captured Africans having been brought hither from the
islands of Grenada and Dominica, they were most imprudently induced to
enlist in the 1st West India Regiment. True it is, we have been told
they did this voluntarily; but it may be asked, if they had any will in
the matter, how could they understand the duties to be imposed on them
by becoming soldiers, or how comprehend the nature of an oath of
allegiance, without which they could not, legally speaking, be
considered soldiers? I attended the whole of the trials of these men,
and well know how difficult it was to make them comprehend any idea
which was at all new to them by means of the best interpreters

"To the African savage, while being drilled into the duties of a
soldier, many things seem absolute tyranny which would appear to a
civilised man a mere necessary restraint. To keep the restless body of
an African negro in a position to which he has not been accustomed; to
cramp his splay feet, with his great toes standing out, into European
shoes made for feet of a different form; to place a collar round his
neck, which is called a stock, and which to him is cruel torture; above
all, to confine him every night to his barracks--are almost
insupportable. One unacquainted with the habits of the negro cannot
conceive with what abhorrence he looks on having his disposition to
nocturnal rambles checked by barrack regulations.

"Formerly the 'King's man,' as the black soldier loved to call himself,
looked (not without reason) contemptuously on the planter's slave,
although he himself was after all but a slave to the State; but these
recruits were enlisted shortly after a number of their recently imported
countrymen were wandering freely over the country, working either as
free labourers, or settling, to use an apt American phrase, as
squatters; and to assert that the recruit, while under military
probation, is better off than the free Trinidad labourer, who goes where
he lists and earns as much in one day as will keep him for three days,
is an absurdity. Accordingly, we find that Lieutenant-Colonel Bush, who
commanded the 1st West India Regiment, thought that the mutiny was
mainly owing to the ill-advice of their civil, or, we should rather say,
unmilitary countrymen. This, to a certain degree, was the fact; but, by
the declaration of Dâaga and many of his countrymen, it is evident that
the seeds of the mutiny were sown on the passage from Africa.

"It has been asserted that the recruits were driven to mutiny by hard
treatment of their commanding officers. There seems not the slightest
truth in this assertion; they were treated with fully as much kindness
as their situation would admit of, and their chief was peculiarly a
favourite of Colonel Bush and the officers, notwithstanding Dâaga's
violent and ferocious temper often caused complaints to be brought
against him.

"On the night of the 17th of June, 1837, the people of San Josef were
kept awake by the recruits, about 280 in number, singing the war-song of
the Paupaus. This wild song consisted of a short air and chorus. The
tone was, although wild, not inharmonious, and the words rather
euphonious. As near as our alphabet can convey them, they ran thus:

    Au fey
    Oluu werrei
    Au lay.

which may be rendered almost literally by the following couplet:

    "Air by the chief: 'Come to plunder, come to slay.'
    "Chorus by followers: 'We are ready to obey.'

"About three o'clock in the morning, their war-song (highly
characteristic of a predatory tribe) became very loud, and they
commenced uttering their war-cry. This is different to what we conceive
the Indian war-whoop to be; it seems to be a kind of imitation of the
growl of wild beasts, and has a most thrilling effect.

"Fire was now set to a quantity of huts built for the accommodation of
African soldiers to the northward of the barracks, as well as to the
house of a poor black woman called Dalrymple. These burnt briskly,
throwing a dismal glare over the barracks and picturesque town of San
Josef, and overpowering the light of the full moon, which illumined a
cloudless sky. The mutineers made a rush at the barrack-room and seized
on the muskets and fusees in the racks. Their leader, Dâaga, and a
daring Yarraba named Ogston, instantly charged their pieces--the former
of these had a quantity of ball cartridges, loose powder, and ounce and
pistol balls, in a kind of gray worsted cap. He must have provided
himself with these before the mutiny. How he became possessed of them,
especially the pistol balls, I never could learn; probably he was
supplied by his unmilitary countrymen; pistol balls are never given to
infantry. Previous to this Dâaga and three others made a rush at the
regimental store-room, in which was deposited a quantity of powder. An
old African soldier, named Charles Dixon, interfered to stop them, on
which Maurice Ogston, the Yarraba chief, who had armed himself with a
sergeant's sword, cut down the faithful African. When down, Dâaga said
in English, 'Ah, you old soldier, you knock down.' Dixon was not Dâaga's
countryman, hence he could not speak to him in his own language. The
Paupau then levelled his musket and shot the fallen soldier, who groaned
and died. The war-yells, or rather growls, of the Paupaus and Yarrabas
now became awfully thrilling as they helped themselves to cartridges;
most of them were fortunately blank, or without ball. Never was a
premeditated mutiny so wild and ill-planned. Their chief, Dâaga, and
Ogston, seem to have had little command of the subordinates, and the
whole acted more like a set of wild beasts who had broken their cages,
than men resolved on war.

"At this period, had a rush been made at the officers' quarters by one
half (they were more than 200 in number), and the other half surrounded
the building, not one could have escaped. Instead of this they continued
to shout their war-song, and howl their war-notes; they loaded their
pieces with ball cartridge or blank cartridge and small stones, and
commenced firing at the long range of white buildings in which Colonel
Bush and his officers slept. They wasted so much ammunition on this
useless display of fury that the buildings were completely riddled. A
few of the old soldiers opposed them and were wounded, but it
fortunately happened that they were, to an inconceivable degree,
ignorant of the right use of fire-arms--holding their muskets in their
hands when they discharged them, without allowing the butt-end to rest
against their shoulders or any part of their bodies.[48] This fact
accounts for the comparatively little mischief they did in proportion to
the quantity of ammunition thrown away.

"The officers[49] and sergeant-major[50] escaped at the back of the
building, while Colonel Bush and Adjutant Bentley came down a little
hill. The colonel commanded the mutineers to lay down their arms, and
was answered by an irregular discharge of balls, which rattled amongst
the leaves of a tree under which he and the adjutant were standing. On
this Colonel Bush desired Mr. Bentley to make the best of his way to St.
James's Barracks[51] for all the disposable force of the 89th Regiment.
The officers made good their retreat, and the adjutant got into the
stable where his horse was. He saddled and bridled the animal while the
shots were coming into the stable, without either man or beast getting
injured. The officer mounted, but had to make his way through the
mutineers before he could get into San Josef, the barracks standing on
an eminence above the little town. On seeing the adjutant mounted, the
mutineers set up a thrilling howl, and commenced firing at him. He
discerned the gigantic figure of Dâaga (alias Donald Stewart), with his
musket at the trail: he spurred his horse through the midst of them;
they were grouped, but not in line. On looking back he saw Dâaga aiming
at him; he stooped his head beside his horse's neck, and effectually
sheltered himself from about fifty shots aimed at him. In this position
he rode furiously down a steep hill leading from the barracks to the
church, and was out of danger. His escape appears extraordinary: but he
got safe to town, and thence to St. James's, and in a short time,
considering it is eleven miles distant, brought out a strong detachment
of European troops; these, however, did not arrive till the affair was

"In the meantime a part of the officers' quarters was bravely defended
by two old African soldiers, Sergeant Merry and Corporal Plague. The
latter stood in the gallery near the room in which were the colours; he
was ineffectually fired at by some hundreds, yet he kept his post, shot
two of the mutineers, and, it is said, wounded a third. Such is the
difference between a man acquainted with the use of fire-arms and those
who handle them as mops are held.

"In the meantime Colonel Bush got to a police station above the
barracks, and got muskets and a few cartridges from a discharged
African soldier who was in the police establishment. Being joined by the
policeman, Corporal Craven, and Ensign Pogson, they concealed themselves
on an eminence above, and, as the mutineers (about 100 in number)
approached, the fire of muskets opened on them from the little ambush.
The little party fired separately, loading as fast as they discharged
their pieces; they succeeded in making the mutineers change their route.

"It is wonderful what little courage the savages in general showed
against the colonel and his little party, who absolutely beat them,
although but a twenty-fifth of their number, and at their own tactics,
_i.e._ bush fighting.

"A body of mutineers now made towards the road to Maraccas, when the
colonel and his three assistants contrived to get behind a silk-cotton
tree, and recommenced firing on them. The Africans hesitated, and set
forward, when the little party continued to fire on them; they set up a
yell, and retreated down the hill.

"A part of the mutineers now concealed themselves in the bushes about
San Josef Barracks. These men, after the affair was over, joined Colonel
Bush, and, with a mixture of cunning and effrontery, smiled as though
nothing had happened, and as though they were glad to see him; although,
in general, they each had several shirts and pairs of trousers on,
preparatory for a start to Guinea, by way of Band de l'Est.

"In the meantime the San Josef militia were assembled to the number of
forty. Major Giuseppi and Captain and Adjutant Rousseau, of the second
division of militia forces, took command of them. They were in want of
flints, powder, and balls; to obtain these they were obliged to break
open a merchant's store; however, the adjutant so judiciously
distributed his little force as to hinder the mutineers from entering
the town or obtaining access to the militia arsenal, wherein there was a
quantity of arms. Major Chadds and several old African soldiers joined
the militia, and were by them supplied with arms.

"A good deal of skirmishing occurred between the militia and detached
parties of the mutineers, which uniformly ended in the defeat of the
latter. At length Dâaga appeared to the right of a party of six at the
entrance of the town; they were challenged by the militia, and the
mutineers fired on them, but without effect. Only two of the militia
returned the fire, when all but Dâaga fled. He was deliberately
reloading his piece, when a militia-man, named Edmond Luce, leaped on
the gigantic chief, who would have easily beat him off, although the
former was a strong young man of colour, but Dâaga would not let go his
gun; and, in common with all the mutineers, he seemed to have no idea of
the use of the bayonet. Dâaga was dragging the militia-man away, when
Adjutant Rousseau came to his assistance, and placed a sword to Dâaga's
breast. Doctor Tardy and several others rushed on the tall negro, who
was soon, by the united efforts of several, thrown down and secured. It
was at this period that he repeatedly exclaimed, while he bit his own
shoulder, 'The first white man I catch after this I will eat him.'

"Meanwhile about sixteen of the mutineers, led by the daring Ogston,
took the road to Arima, in order, as they said, to commence their march
to Guinea; but fortunately the militia of that village, composed
principally of Spaniards, Indians, and Sambos, assembled. A few of these
met them and stopped their march. A kind of parley (if intercourse
carried on by signs could be so called) was carried on between the
parties. The mutineers made signs that they wished to go forward, while
the few militia-men endeavoured to detain them, expecting a
reinforcement momently. After a time the militia agreed to allow them to
approach the town; as they were advancing they were met by the
Commandant, Martin Sorzano, Esq., with sixteen more militia-men. The
Commandant judged it imprudent to allow the Africans to enter the town
with their muskets full-cocked, and poised ready to fire. An interpreter
was now procured, and the mutineers were told that if they would retire
to their barracks the gentlemen present would intercede for their
pardon. The negroes refused to accede to these terms; and while the
interpreter was addressing some, the rest tried to push forward. Some of
the militia opposed them by holding their muskets in a horizontal
position, on which one of the mutineers fired, and the militia returned
the fire. A mêlée commenced, in which fourteen mutineers were killed
and wounded. The fire of the Africans produced little effect: they soon
took to flight amid the woods which flanked the road. Twenty-eight of
them were taken, amongst whom was the Yarraba chief, Ogston. Six had
been killed, and six committed suicide by strangling and hanging
themselves in the woods. Only one man was wounded among the militia, and
he but slightly, from a small stone fired from a musket of one of the

"The quantity of ammunition expended by the mutineers, and the
comparatively little mischief done by them, was truly astonishing. It
shows how little they understood the use of fire-arms. Dixon was killed,
and several of the old African soldiers were wounded, but not one of the
officers was in the slightest degree hurt.

"I have never been able to get a correct account of the number of lives
this wild mutiny cost, but believe it was not less than forty, including
those slain by the militia at Arima, those shot at San Josef, those who
died of their wounds (and most of the wounded men died), the six who
committed suicide, the three who were shot by sentence of the
court-martial, and one who was shot while endeavouring to escape

"A good-looking young man, named Torrens, was brought as prisoner to the
presence of Colonel Bush. The colonel wished to speak to him, and
desired his guards to liberate him; on which the young savage shook his
sleeve, in which was a concealed razor, made a rush at the colonel, and
nearly succeeded in cutting his throat. He slashed the razor in all
directions until he made an opening; he rushed through this: and
notwithstanding that he was fired at, and, I believe, wounded, he
effected his escape, was subsequently retaken, and again made his escape
with Satchell, who after this was shot by a policeman.

"Torrens was retaken, tried, and recommended to mercy. Of this man's
fate I am unable to speak, not knowing how far the recommendation to
mercy was attended to.[52] In appearance he seemed the mildest and
best-looking of the mutineers, but his conduct was the most ferocious of
any. The whole of the mutineers were captured within one week of the
mutiny, save this man, who was taken a month after.

"On the 19th of July, Donald Stewart, otherwise Dâaga, was brought to a
court-martial. On the 21st, William Satchell was tried. On the 22nd, a
court-martial was held on Edward Coffin; and on the 24th one was held on
the Yarraba chief, Maurice Ogston, whose country name was, I believe,
Mawee. Torrens was tried on the 29th.

"The sentences of these courts-martial were unknown until the 14th of
August, having been sent to Barbados in order to be submitted to the
Commander-in-Chief. Lieutenant-General Whittingham, who approved of the
decision of the courts, which was that Donald Stewart (Dâaga), Maurice
Ogston, and Edward Coffin, should suffer death by being shot; and that
William Satchell should be transported beyond seas during the term of
his natural life. I am unacquainted with the sentence of Torrens.

"Donald Stewart, Maurice Ogston, and Edward Coffin were executed on the
16th of August, 1837, at San Josef Barracks. Nothing seemed to have been
neglected which could render the execution solemn and impressive; the
scenery and the weather gave additional awe to the melancholy
proceedings. Fronting the little eminence where the prisoners were shot
was the scene where their ill-concerted mutiny commenced. To the right
stood the long range of building on which they had expended much of
their ammunition for the purpose of destroying their officers. The rest
of the panorama was made up of an immense view of forest below them, and
upright masses of mountains above them. Over these, heavy bodies of mist
were slowly sailing, giving a sombre appearance to the primeval woods
which, in general, covered both mountains and plains. The atmosphere
indicated an inter-tropical morning during the rainy season, and the sun
shone resplendently between dense columns of clouds.

"At half-past seven o'clock the condemned men asked to be allowed to eat
a hearty meal, as they said persons about to be executed in Guinea were
always indulged with a good repast. It is remarkable that these unhappy
creatures ate most voraciously, even while they were being brought out
of their cell for execution.

"A little before the mournful procession commenced, the condemned men
were dressed from head to foot in white habiliments trimmed with black;
their arms were bound with cords. This is not usual in military
executions, but was deemed necessary on the present occasion. An attempt
to escape on the part of the condemned would have been productive of
much confusion, and was properly guarded against.

"The condemned men displayed no unmanly fear. On the contrary, they
steadily kept step to the Dead March which the band played; yet the
certainty of death threw a cadaverous and ghastly hue over their black
features, while their singular and appropriate costume, and the three
coffins being borne before them, altogether rendered it a frightful
picture; hence it was not to be wondered at that two European soldiers

"The mutineers marched abreast. The tall form and horrid looks of Dâaga
were almost appalling. The looks of Ogston were sullen, calm, and
determined; those of Coffin seemed to indicate resignation.

"At eight o'clock they arrived at the spot where three graves were dug;
here their coffins were deposited. The condemned men were made to face
to westward; three sides of a hollow square were formed, flanked on one
side by a detachment of the 89th Regiment and a party of artillery,
while the recruits, many of whom shared the guilt of the culprits, were
appropriately placed in the line opposite them. The firing party were a
little in advance of the recruits.

"The sentence of the courts-martial and other necessary documents having
been read by the fort adjutant, Mr. Meehan, the chaplain of the forces,
read some prayers appropriated for these melancholy occasions. The
clergyman then shook hands with the three men about to be sent into
another state of existence. Dâaga and Ogston coolly gave their hands;
Coffin wrang the chaplain's hand affectionately, saying, in tolerable
English, 'I am now done with the world.'

"The arms of the condemned men, as has been before stated, were bound,
but in such a manner as to allow them to bring their hands to their
heads. Their nightcaps were drawn over their eyes. Coffin allowed his to
remain, but Ogston and Dâaga pushed theirs up again. The former did this
calmly; the latter showed great wrath, seeming to think himself
insulted; and his deep, metallic voice sounded in anger above that of
the provost-marshal, as the latter gave the words, 'Ready! present!' But
at this instant his vociferous daring forsook him. As the men levelled
their muskets at him, with inconceivable rapidity he sprang bodily
round, still preserving his squatting posture, and received the fire
from behind; while the less noisy, but more brave, Ogston, looked the
firing-party full in the face as they discharged their fatal volley.

"In one instant all three fell dead, almost all the balls of the firing
party having taken effect.[53] The savage appearance and manner of Dâaga
excited awe. Admiration was felt for the calm bravery of Ogston, while
Edward Coffin's fate excited commiseration.

"There were many spectators of this dreadful scene, and amongst others a
great concourse of negroes. Most of these expressed their hopes that
after this terrible example the recruits would make good soldiers."

       *       *       *       *       *

The foregoing account is identical with that in the regimental records,
with the exception that the Yorubas are not in the latter credited with
so large a share in the mutiny. According to Colonel Bush's account, the
greater majority of the mutineers were Popos, Congos, and Eboes; the
Yorubas who took part in it being very few in number. On the other hand,
both Sergeant Merry and Corporal Plague, who defended the officers'
quarters against the recruits, were Yorubas.

It is, perhaps, needless to add, that after this no more wholesale
draftings of slaves into the regiment took place.


[Footnote 46: Now spelt Popos.]

[Footnote 47: The Yorubas are a warlike Mohammedan tribe living in and
around Lagos. The Houssa Constabulary is largely recruited from them.]

[Footnote 48: This is the manner in which West African savages usually
fire, and it is dictated by motives of sound prudence, for the
Birmingham muskets with which they are supplied by British traders are
so unsafe (the barrel not uncommonly being made of old iron piping), and
the charges of powder used are so immense, that the bursting of a piece
is looked upon as an ordinary occurrence; and when firing they like to
keep their muskets as far removed from their bodies as possible. The
majority of the mutineers fired in this manner, because, having been
less than three weeks in the regiment, they had not yet been drilled
with arms.]

[Footnote 49: All young ensigns just arrived from England to join the

[Footnote 50: Sergeant-Major D. Cantrell. He had been the first to give
the alarm.]

[Footnote 51: Eleven miles distant from San Josef.]

[Footnote 52: Torrens was sentenced to death, but, at the intercession
of Colonel Bush, the sentence was commuted to imprisonment for life.]

[Footnote 53: The firing party was furnished by the 1st West India



On the 7th of December, 1837, the head-quarters of the 1st West India
Regiment embarked at Trinidad for St. Lucia, leaving one company at St.
James' in the former island; and, after a detention of ten days in
quarantine at Pigeon Island, landed on the 24th of December at Gros
Islet, St. Lucia, and occupied Morne Fortune Barracks and Fort. The
detachments were stationed in Tobago, Demerara, and St. Vincent.

In the early part of the year 1839, the strength of the regiment being
very much above its establishment, owing to the large drafts of recruits
from Sierra Leone, Lieutenant-General Sir S.F. Whittingham issued an
order, dated February 1st, authorising an augmentation to twelve
companies. On the 1st of July of the same year the regiment was further
increased to thirteen companies, it being notified at the same time that
it was to be considered only a temporary arrangement, as the surplus
over 1000 men were eventually to form another corps.

On December 7th, 1839, the head-quarters of the regiment proceeded from
St. Lucia to Demerara, to relieve the 76th Regiment, which was suffering
heavily from the prevailing epidemic of yellow fever, arriving at the
latter colony, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Capadose, on
December 13th. The distribution of the regiment was then: Head-quarters
and 2 companies at Demerara, 3 companies at Barbados, 1 at Trinidad, 1
at Tobago, 1 at St. Lucia, 1 at St. Vincent, 1 at Grenada, 1 at
Dominica, and 1 at Antigua.

By Horse Guards order of the 1st of July, 1840, the Royal African Corps
and the three supernumerary companies of the 1st West India Regiment
were formed into one corps, and designated the 3rd West India Regiment;
the 1st West India Regiment remaining at the ordinary establishment of
ten companies.

New colours were presented to the regiment at Demerara on May 24th,

In September and October of the same year a violent epidemic of yellow
fever broke out in Demerara, and the mortality amongst the men of the
52nd Regiment was so alarming that that corps was moved to Berbice, and
the entire duties of the garrison fell upon the 1st West India Regiment.
The whole of the officers of the 52nd Regiment occupying the west wing
of the Georgetown Barracks fell victims to this dreadful scourge, as
did Captain French and Lieutenants de Winton and Archdale of the 1st
West India Regiment.

On the 11th of January, 1842, a detachment of the regiment, consisting
of two lieutenants (Bingham and Wieburg), two sergeants and twenty-seven
rank and file, left Georgetown, Demerara, by direction of the
Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies (Lord John Russell), to
proceed to Pirara, on the south-western frontier of British Guiana, and
expel a party of Brazilians who had for some time encroached on British
territory. The country through which the party had to pass was
unexplored and almost unknown, and the duties were most arduous. It was
intended to reach Pirara by ascending the Essequibo and Rypumani Rivers,
and, to effect this, a particular description of boat, locally called
_corials_, had to be built, each capable of holding eight men, including
the Indians who paddled. During the journey seventy-three rapids or
falls were crossed, in most instances the _corials_ being unladen and
the stores carried above the falls; and it was not until February 12th
that Lieutenant Bingham's party reached a point on the Rypumani, eleven
miles from Pirara. Next day they took possession of the village of
Pirara, which they found occupied by a detachment of Brazilian troops
who had been quietly sent over the border. Having selected and fortified
a position, and raised temporary shelter for his men, Lieutenant
Bingham--as the Brazilian commander declined to withdraw--despatched
Lieutenant Bush, 1st West India Regiment, who had accompanied the party
as a volunteer, to Georgetown for further instructions. That officer
arrived there on March 11th, and on April 19th he again started with a
small reinforcement under Ensign Stewart. This second party reached
Pirara on May 21st, and found the detachment all well, but half-starved,
as the Brazilians refused to sell them anything, and the stores had been
some time exhausted. However, on the arrival of the reinforcement the
Brazilian troops considered it advisable to withdraw across the
frontier; and, with the exception of a few occasional night forays made
by half-breeds and Indians in the pay of the Brazilians, the detachment
met with no further opposition.

In 1843 it was decided to make an alteration in the system under which
the West Coast of Africa was continuously garrisoned by the 3rd West
India Regiment, and to remove that corps to the West Indies. The West
African garrisons were to be composed of two companies from each of the
three West India regiments; and, in accordance with this scheme, two
companies of the 1st West India Regiment, under Captain L.S. O'Connor,
embarked at Barbados for Sierra Leone on March 22nd, 1843, arriving at
the latter place in the month of May of the same year. Early in 1844 the
3rd West India Regiment left West Africa for the Bahamas, and the two
companies of the 1st West India Regiment, with one of the 3rd West India
Regiment, composed the garrison of Sierra Leone, while that of the
Gambia consisted of two companies of the 2nd West India Regiment and
one of the 3rd. This arrangement was almost at once upset by the
necessity of furnishing a garrison for the Gold Coast, over which the
Crown had, in 1843, resumed jurisdiction, as it was suspected that the
Government of the merchants, which had been established at Cape Coast
Castle since 1831, connived at the maintenance of the slave trade; and,
in January, 1844, one captain, two subalterns, and 100 men of the 1st
West India Regiment left Sierra Leone for the Gold Coast.

In the same year, two companies of the regiment, under the command of
Captain Robeson, proceeded from Demerara to Jamaica, disembarking there
on June 1st. This was the first occasion on which any portion of the
corps was stationed in that island.

On the 25th of February, 1845, the head-quarters, with the Grenadier and
No. 8 Companies, embarked at Demerara in the _Princess Royal_ transport,
and sailed for Jamaica, to relieve the head-quarters of the 2nd West
India Regiment ordered to Nassau, disembarking at Port Royal on March
6th. The distribution of the regiment was then as follows: The
Grenadier, No. 1, No. 8, and the Light Company in Jamaica,[54] No. 5 at
Demerara, No. 2 at Trinidad, No. 3 at Dominica, No. 6 at Grenada, No. 4
at Sierra Leone, and No. 7 at Cape Coast Castle. During the last six
months of this year (1845) over 300 recruits joined the head-quarters
from West Africa.

In 1846, No. 5 Company was removed from Demerara to Tobago, and the
detachments at Dominica and Grenada rejoined head-quarters in Jamaica,
where No. 2 and No. 5 Companies also rejoined on the 16th of December,

In the beginning of the year 1848, the King of Appollonia, a state on
the western frontier of the Gold Coast Colony, closed the roads leading
to Cape Coast Castle, stopped all trade, and maltreated several British
subjects. Messengers were sent to him by the Lieutenant-Governor
demanding explanation and redress, with no other result than the
detention and imprisonment of the messengers; and matters were at last
brought to a crisis by the murder of the French Commandant of Assinee
and his boat's crew, the pillaging of Dutch canoes at Axim, and the
capture of some Dutch subjects.

The only force Mr. Winniett, the Lieutenant-Governor of the Gold Coast,
had at his disposal was No. 7 Company of the 1st West India Regiment,
then commanded by Lieutenant E.H. Bingham; but, with the assistance of
some influential merchants, he succeeded in raising an expeditionary
force of from 4000 to 5000 natives. On the 24th of March, 1848, the
Lieutenant-Governor marched, with half the native levies and the company
of the 1st West India Regiment, from Cape Coast Castle to the then Dutch
settlement of Axim, 120 miles distant from Cape Coast and about twenty
miles from Atemboo, or Attaambu, the King of Appollonia's chief town and
residence. By the 3rd of April the whole force was concentrated at Axim,
and on the 6th, at 5 a.m., it moved onwards towards Appollonia.

The country consisting of impenetrable forest, the force had to march
from Axim to Appollonia along the sandy beach; and there were the mouths
of two considerable rivers to be crossed. The first river, the Ancobra,
was reached at 6 a.m.; and, although a very heavy sea was breaking on
the bar, the passage of the stream was commenced in canoes, which had
been brought from Axim for that purpose. The first detachment consisted
of the native allies, and, as soon as the canoes gained mid-stream,
several hundred armed Appollonians appeared on the further bank, and
opened fire on them as they came within range. Several natives were
struck, and three of the canoes being upset the remainder returned to
the bank they had just left.

It being found impracticable to induce the native auxiliaries to make a
further attempt to force the passage, this duty devolved upon the
company of the 1st West India Regiment, which the Lieutenant-Governor
had originally intended holding in reserve; and, under cover of a fire
from two rocket-troughs, it crossed the river in the canoes, driving the
Appollonians, in spite of a smart resistance, into the bush. The
remainder of the force then passed over, several natives being drowned
in the surf during the passage; and at 10 a.m. they pushed on, reaching
the Appollonian village of Asantah about 1 p.m. This place was found to
be deserted, and here the force encamped for the night.

Next morning at daybreak a further advance was made, and about 6 a.m.
the Abmoussa River--or, rather, Lagoon--was reached. A very heavy and
dangerous surf was breaking on the bar, and the dense bush on the
further bank, which grew close down to the water's edge, was observed to
be full of armed men.

The company of the 1st West India Regiment was again called upon to lead
the way, and the men, embarking in the canoes, paddled out into the
breakers. A continued and furious fusillade was at once opened by the
concealed enemy upon the men, who were unable to reply, as their
attention was entirely occupied in keeping the canoes from capsizing.
Fortunately, the Appollonians fired wildly, and their powder was of bad
quality; for, although almost every man of the detachment was struck by
slugs or fragments of iron, only eleven were wounded, and those
slightly. A canoe was, however, unhappily upset, and two men beaten
against the rocks and drowned. The company formed up on landing, and
advanced steadily through the bush against the enemy, who offered but a
feeble resistance and soon retired altogether. One man was shot dead
while stepping ashore, an ambushed native firing at him at the distance
of a few feet only. The native allies now passed over, and the march was
continued. Parties of the enemy were observed hovering round the flanks,
but no attack was made, and at 3 p.m. a halt was ordered at the village
of Barcoo.

The force was here divided into two parts, of which one, consisting
entirely of natives, was to move through the bush and prevent the king
escaping inland; while the other, consisting of the company of the 1st
West India Regiment with the remainder of the native allies, was to
march along the beach and attack the town in front. This movement would
probably have been successful, had the division of natives performed the
duty allotted to them; but, being fired upon by some ambushed
Appollonians, they refused to proceed further, and when the company of
the 1st West India Regiment reached Atemboo, they found it entirely

The success which had so far attended the expedition, however, produced
such an effect upon the native mind that, on March 9th, the principal
chiefs of Appollonia came in to Atemboo to make submission; and, as it
was reported that the king was in hiding in the immediate neighbourhood,
parties were sent out in search of him. On the 18th his wives and family
were captured to the westward, near the old fort, and the day following,
a party of the 1st West India Regiment brought in a body of 121 men, all
heavily manacled with irons weighing from fifty to ninety pounds, and
who had been intended to be sacrificed at an approaching "custom." Two
of these men thus unexpectedly saved from a horrible death volunteered
to point out where the king was concealed, and some men of the regiment
being sent out under their guidance, succeeded in capturing him in his
hiding-place, in the midst of a mangrove swamp.

The object of the expedition being accomplished by the capture of the
king, the force moved back to Axim, on the 21st of March, and, on the
evening of the same day, the Lieutenant-Governor, with the captive king
and the company of the 1st West India Regiment, embarked on board the
merchant brig _Governor_, arriving at Cape Coast Castle on the 24th.

Lieutenant-Governor Winniett in his despatch says: "I cannot speak too
highly of the detachment of the 1st West India Regiment. During its
march of more than 120 miles, sometimes through very bad roads, and
under the powerful rays of the sun, the crossing of five rivers, and
other circumstances of disadvantage, no complaints were heard, neither
was a man seen in a state of intoxication during the campaign. Mr.
Bingham, the officer commanding the detachment, was most active in
executing all orders entrusted to his care, and I have great pleasure in
bringing him under your Lordship's notice."


[Footnote 54: The companies in Jamaica were detached thus: No. 1, No. 8,
and Grenadier Company at Up Park Camp. The Light Company between Port
Antonio and Montego Bay.]

[Footnote 55: The distribution in Jamaica then was:

    Grenadier, Light, No. 2,   } at Up Park Camp.
      and No. 5 Companies      }
                No. 1, at Spanish Town.
                No. 8, at Port Royal.
                No. 3, at Falmouth       }   To occupy posts vacated
                No. 6, at Lucea          }     by the 38th Regiment.




While No. 7 Company had thus been engaged on the Gold Coast, the
quinquennial relief for the West African garrisons had sailed from the
West Indies, No. 2 and No. 5 Companies, 1st West India Regiment, having
embarked at Jamaica on February 21st, 1848. They arrived at Sierra Leone
in April, and No. 5 Company being there landed to relieve No. 4, No. 2
proceeded to Cape Coast Castle to relieve No. 7. The two relieved
companies rejoined the head-quarters at Jamaica on July 2nd, 1848. No. 8
Company having been sent to Nassau in February, and the light company in
July, while No. 1 had been despatched to Honduras in May, the
distribution of the regiment in August, 1848, was as follows: 2
companies in West Africa, 2 at Nassau, 1 in Honduras, and 5 in Jamaica.

No. 1 Company had been sent to Honduras in reply to an urgent appeal for
a reinforcement from the Honduras Government, that colony being
threatened with the horrors of an Indian war. In 1847 a war broke out
between the Yucatecans and the Indians, and caused much anxiety to the
British colony, whose strict neutrality satisfied neither of the
contending parties. The Yucatecans, being driven out of the southern
portion of Yucatan, took refuge in our territory, and raids and
reprisals were frequent between them and the Santa Cruz Indians. In 1848
the town of Bacalar, situated on the shores of a lake, about twenty
miles from the northern frontier of British Honduras, was captured by
the Indians, and the fugitives, streaming into the colony, spread alarm
amongst the colonists. It was at this time that reinforcements were
applied for, and No. 1 Company, under Major Luke Smyth O'Connor,
despatched from Jamaica.

On arriving at Belize the company was at once moved up to the Hondo, and
towards the end of May a portion of it proceeded on escort duty with a
British commissioner to Bacalar to endeavour to arrange a peace. That
town had been the scene of the most frightful atrocities, and the
streets were found strewn with the dead bodies of men, women, and
children. Negotiations failing, the escort returned to the Hondo.

Collisions now became frequent between the Yucatecans and the Indians,
and our northern border became a rallying point for both sides. The
small British force was continually harassed by alarms and forced
marches taken to prevent violation of British territory, until towards
the close of 1848, it being rumoured that the Indians intended to cross
the Hondo and sack Belize, it was withdrawn from the north for the
protection of that town. Additional reinforcements were now asked for,
and on March 29th, 1849, No. 4 Company, under Captain Meehan, embarked
at Jamaica for Honduras.

In January, 1849, No. 1 Company had again advanced to the Hondo, and
were within a few miles of Chac Creek on that river, when the sanguinary
struggle between the Yucatecans and Indians took place. Hearing the
sound of firing the troops marched to the spot, and finding the Indians
employed in roasting the dead bodies of the defeated Yucatecans, were
only with the utmost difficulty restrained from attacking them. But the
most strict orders had been given for the preservation of British
neutrality, and nothing could be done. Indeed, the Indians were
themselves well aware of the advantages which they derived from our
neutrality, and were exceedingly careful not to come into contact with
the British; even going so far as on one occasion to shoot a chief and
flog six men, who had been accused of committing an outrage across the

In March, 1849, Major O'Connor visited Bacalar to endeavour to make
peace, but without success; and the two companies of the regiment
remained stationed on the Hondo, amid the same scenes of horror, until
February, 1852, when they rejoined head-quarters at Jamaica.

To return to the companies in West Africa. In September, 1848, Mr.
Winniett, the Lieutenant-Governor of the Gold Coast, received
instructions from the Secretary of State for the Colonies to proceed on
a mission to Coomassie, the capital of the Ashanti kingdom, for the
purpose of establishing friendly relations between Great Britain and
that power. Captain Powell, 1st West India Regiment, was then in command
of No. 2 Company, stationed at Cape Coast Castle, and he, with
forty-eight men of the regiment, accompanied the Lieutenant-Governor as
an escort.

The mission left Cape Coast Castle on the 28th of September, 1848,
crossed the River Prah on October 4th, and on the 8th reached the
village of Karsi, about two miles from Coomassie. There the party halted
to prepare for the entry into the capital, and, at noon, the King's
messengers having informed them that everything was in readiness for
their reception, they proceeded towards Coomassie.

Captain Powell says: "At a distance of about a mile from the town, a
party of messengers with gold-handled swords of office, arrived with the
king's compliments. After halting for a short time, we proceeded to the
entrance of the first street, and then formed in order of procession,
the escort leading. Presently a party of the king's linguists, with four
large state umbrellas, ensigns of chieftainship, came up to request us
to halt for a few minutes under the shade of a large banyan tree in the
street, to give the king a little more time to prepare to receive us.
After a brief delay of about twenty minutes, during which a large party
of the king's soldiers fired a salute about a hundred yards distant from
us, we moved on to the market-place, where the king and his chiefs were
seated under their large umbrellas, according to the custom of the
country on the reception of strangers of distinction. They, with their
numerous captains and attendants occupied three sides of a large square,
and formed a continuous line about 600 yards in length, and about ten
yards in depth. After we had passed along about three-fourths of the
line, we found the king surrounded by about twenty officers of his
household, and a large number of messengers with their gold-handled
swords and canes of office. Several very large umbrellas, consisting of
silk velvet of different colours, shaded him and his suite from the sun.
These umbrellas were surmounted by rude images, representing birds and
beasts, overlaid with gold; the king's chair was richly decorated with
gold; and the display of golden ornaments about his own person and those
of his suite was most magnificent. The lumps of gold adorning the wrists
of the King's attendants, and many of the principal chiefs, were so
large that they must have been quite fatiguing to the wearers. We
occupied about an hour in moving in procession from the banyan tree,
where we had rested on entering the town, to the end of the line
prepared for our reception; after which we proceeded to an open space
at some distance from the market-place, and there took our seats. At
3.15 p.m. the chiefs commenced moving in procession before us, and this
lasted until 6 p.m. Those whom we had first saluted in the market-place
passed us first. Each chief was preceded by his band of rude music,
consisting chiefly of drums and horns, followed by a body of soldiers
under arms, and shaded by a large umbrella. The king was preceded by
many of the officers of his household, and his messengers with the
gold-handled swords, etc. etc. When he came opposite the governor, and
received our military salute, he stopped, and approaching him took him
cordially by the hand. After the king, other chiefs, and a large body of
troops, passed in due order; and at 6 p.m. the ceremony closed."

At 9.30 a.m. on October 26th, 1848, the mission left Coomassie on its
return journey to the coast, and arrived at Cape Coast Castle on
November 4th. This was the first occasion on which a British Governor,
or a body of regular troops, had ever visited Coomassie.

In March, 1849, a further change took place in the distribution of the
regiment in the West Indies, No. 7 Company, under Captain R. Hughes,
proceeding to Nassau from Jamaica. There were thus the head-quarters and
3 companies in Jamaica, 3 in Nassau, 2 in Honduras, and 2 in West

In June, 1849; the Acting Governor of Sierra Leone found that the state
of affairs in Sherbro, a low-lying tract of country some seventy-five
miles to the southward of Sierra Leone, imperatively called upon the
British to take steps for putting an end to the war which for a long
time had been carried on between the rival chiefs of the Caulker family,
and had utterly paralysed trade. H.M.S. _Alert_ and _Adelaide_ were to
be employed, but as a military force was required to proceed with the
naval one, the under-mentioned force embarked in the Colonial steamer
_Pluto_ on the 18th of June: Captain Grange, Lieutenant Jones, and 45
men of the 1st West India Regiment, and 44 men of the 3rd West India
Regiment. The expedition arrived at Yawrey Bay, at the mouth of the
Cockboro River, on the 19th of June, when a stockaded fort was shelled
and destroyed by the _Adelaide_. The expedition then proceeded to
Bendoo, and after some delay, owing to the difficulty in inducing the
chiefs to come in, returned to Yawrey Bay on the 29th, where
negotiations were held and a treaty of peace between the Government and
rival chiefs signed. The detachments rejoined at Freetown, Sierra Leone,
on July 7th.

On the 29th of November, 1849, Lieutenant Tunstall and 34 men of No. 2
Company of the 1st West India Regiment, left Cape Coast Castle and
proceeded to Appollonia in canoes, in aid of the civil power. After an
absence of three weeks, during which they endured great hardships from
exposure and fatigue, they rejoined their detachment at Cape Coast.

In the beginning of the year 1850, the Rio Nunez was in such a disturbed
state as to necessitate the Governor of Sierra Leone taking steps for
the protection of British subjects there. Some influential chiefs of the
river having also besought the intervention of the Government to restore
peace, commissioners were appointed, and as war was actually being
carried on at the time, a military force was detailed to accompany them.
This force consisted of Lieutenant Searle and 33 men of the 1st West
India Regiment and Captain Prendergast and 34 men of the 3rd West India
Regiment, and it embarked in H.M.S. _Teazer_ on the 22nd of February,
1850. The _Teazer_ arrived at the Rio Nunez on the 24th, and proceeded
up the river to Ropass, a town some distance up the stream, where the
commissioners landed with the escort. A "palaver" was held at this place
on March 1st, the rival chieftains being attended by large bodies of
armed men, but no satisfactory arrangement was arrived at, and next day
the commissioners and troops proceeded to Walkariah, a town higher up
the river. Here matters were finally amicably settled, and the party
returned to Sierra Leone on March 9th.

In the West Indies there had been little change since 1849, except that
on the 13th of February, 1851, the head-quarters and two companies were
removed from Up Park Camp to Spanish Town; and a detachment consisting
of half a company, under Ensign Cave, was sent to Turk's Island in
December, 1851. This latter rejoined head-quarters in Jamaica in
January, 1852; and in February, No. 1 and No. 4 Companies, under Captain
Robeson, rejoined from Honduras. In the same year, however, they again
went on detachment: No. 1, under Captain Grange, to St. Christopher's,
and No. 4, under Lieutenant Imes, to Barbados. The distribution of the
regiment in September, 1852, was thus: the Grenadier, No. 3 and No. 6
Companies, at Jamaica; the Light, No. 7 and No. 8 Companies, at Nassau,
No. 4 at St. Christopher's, No. 1 at Barbados, No. 5 at Sierra Leone,
and No. 2 at Cape Coast Castle.

In February, 1852, Major L. Smyth O'Connor, 1st West India Regiment, had
arrived at Sierra Leone and assumed command of the troops in West
Africa, and finding in May that the company on the Gold Coast was
reduced by deaths to only 50 rank and file, he recommended that it
should be recalled to Sierra Leone, the Gold Coast Corps, then almost
completed, being quite sufficient for the garrison of the Gold Coast.

In September, 1852, Major O'Connor was appointed Governor of the Gambia,
and as by Horse Guards letter of September 20th, 1852, "it was
considered expedient that he should continue invested with the command
of the troops on the West Coast of Africa, and move the head-quarters
to the Gambia," this was done in October, 1852.

The War Office having approved of Major O'Connor's recommendation, No. 2
Company, 50 strong, arrived at Sierra Leone from Cape Coast Castle on
March 20th, 1853.



On March 23rd, 1853, No. 3 and No. 6 Companies, under Captain A.W.
Murray and Lieutenant Upton, embarked at Port Royal, Jamaica, in the
troopship _Resistance_, for the relief of the West African garrisons. On
May 17th, the _Resistance_ arrived at the Gambia with four out of the
six companies forming the relief for the detachments of the three West
India regiments, and reinforcements being urgently required for the
suppression of a hostile movement amongst the Mohammedans at Sabbajee,
they were landed.

On the 25th of May, Lieutenant-Colonel O'Connor prepared to take the
field with a force of 603 men, consisting of 463 of the 1st, 2nd, and
3rd West India Regiments, 35 pensioners, and 105 of the Gambia Militia.
A field battery, consisting of 2 six-pounder field-guns and 2 howitzers,
was also organised. On the 30th May, the brigade marched from Bathurst
to Josswung, a distance of eight miles, where a camp was formed; and on
June 1st, the force advanced to the attack of Sabbajee.[56]

Sabbajee was one of the oldest Marabout towns in Combo, and boasted the
possession of the largest mosque in that portion of Africa. The town,
more than a mile in circumference, was surrounded by a strong stockade,
double ditches, and outward abattis; and the inhabitants, who could
muster 3000 fighting men, were, from their predatory and warlike habits,
the dread of the surrounding country.

On approaching the town, a strong body of the enemy was observed
stationed round the mosque, while the stockade was lined with men. A
portion of the stockade presented the appearance of having been removed,
but had in reality only been laid lengthwise, so as to form a very
formidable obstacle; while a deep trench dug in rear was crowded with
men, who, in perfect security, could fire upon the advancing British,
should they fall into the trap which had been laid for them, and attempt
to carry the town at this point.

The force was drawn up in three divisions: the 1st West India Regiment,
under Captain A.W. Murray, forming the centre division; the 2nd West
India Regiment, under Captain Anderson, the right; and the 3rd West
India Regiment, under Captain Brabazon, the left. At about four hundred
yards from the stockade the field battery opened fire, and with such
precision that after a few rounds the roof of the mosque and those of
the adjacent houses were in flames. Observing the disorder caused
amongst the enemy by the burning of their sacred building,
Lieutenant-Colonel O'Connor determined to seize the opportunity, and

The right and left divisions extended in skirmishing order, the centre
remaining in column, and the whole advanced to the assault. The enemy
kept up a heavy fire from the loop-holes of their stockade, over which
the green flag was flying; but at the same moment the three divisions,
which had in advancing formed a crescent, rushed at the stockade at
three different points, and, clambering over, got at the enemy with the
bayonet. This was more than they could stand, and abandoning their
stockade, they fled down the streets and escaped through sally-ports in
the rear of the town.

A strong body of fanatics, however, still held the mosque, the fire in
the roof of which they had succeeded in extinguishing, and, amid the
beating of war-drums and cries of "Allah" from the priests, kept up a
smart fire upon the troops as they entered the large central square in
which the mosque stood. To have stormed the building would have involved
great sacrifice of life; the men, therefore, were directed to occupy the
houses enclosing the square, and open fire, until the rockets could be
brought into play.

The second rocket fired whizzed through the roof of the mosque, the
defenders of which, however, only increased their drumming and shouts of
defiance, for they were secure in their belief of the local tradition,
which said that the mosque was impregnable and indestructible. In a very
few minutes flames began to appear on the roof, and, though the enemy
worked hard to extinguish it, it rapidly increased, until the mosque was
untenable. Dozens of the fanatics blew out their brains rather than
surrender, while others threw themselves out of the windows and
passages, and rushed sword in hand, in a state of frenzy, upon the
British. The coolness and steadiness of the troops was, however, more
than a match for the mad rage of the Mandingoes, who were shot down one
after another, until the whole of the defenders of the mosque were
killed or made prisoners. The remainder of the enemy, who fled at the
storming of the stockade, had taken refuge in the neighbouring woods,
and, the object of the engagement being accomplished by the capture of
the town, they were not pursued.

The stockade and mosque being destroyed, the force left Sabbajee on June
4th, and returned to Josswung, where, by an arrangement with the King of
Combo, a portion of that kingdom, including the town of Sabbajee, was
ceded to the British.

The mosque was a singularly strong building, and for a day and a half
resisted every effort to pull it down, being eventually reduced to
ruins by blasting the walls with bags of gunpowder. It consisted of a
large central hall, with walls made of baked clay, three feet in
thickness, and an external corridor running round the whole
circumference of the inner apartment. The roof, conical in shape, was
supported by six masonry pillars.

As the Gambia was still in an unsettled state, Lieutenant-Colonel
O'Connor deemed it prudent to increase its garrison at the expense of
that of Sierra Leone. No. 6 Company of the 1st West India Regiment was
therefore detained at Bathurst, and on June 8th, No. 3 Company, under
Captain Murray, proceeded in the _Resistance_ to Sierra Leone. On
arriving at that station, on June 17th, Captain Murray assumed the
command of the troops.

No. 2 Company embarked at Sierra Leone for Jamaica on June 22nd,
arriving at Kingston on August 5th. On October 18th the _Resistance_
returned from the West Indies with the remaining companies destined for
the quinquennial relief, and No. 5 Company, embarking in her on October
22nd, reached Jamaica on November 25th. The West African garrisons were
now as follows: At the Gambia, one company of the 1st West India
Regiment, two of the 2nd, and one of the 3rd; at Sierra Leone, one of
the 1st West India Regiment, and one of the 3rd.

In the West Indies the following changes had taken place: Nos. 7 and 8
Companies had been moved in August from Nassau to Barbados and Dominica
respectively, and, in July, the light company had proceeded from Nassau
to Jamaica. In December, 1853, the distribution of the regiment was then
as follows: 4 companies at Jamaica, 2 at Barbados, 1 at Dominica, 1 at
St. Christopher's, 1 at Sierra Leone, and 1 at the Gambia.[57]

In September, 1854, the inhabitants of Christiansborg, a Danish
settlement on the Gold Coast four miles from Accra, which had been
recently purchased by the British, rose in rebellion against the
Colonial authorities. The only armed force then on the Gold Coast
consisted of the Gold Coast Artillery, recruited from amongst the Fanti
tribes, and this body the rebels blockaded in the Castle of Christiansborg.
On the outbreak of the rebellion, the Lieutenant-Governor of the Gold
Coast at once sent to Sierra Leone for assistance; and, on the 12th of
October, the following detachments embarked at Sierra Leone in H.M.S.
_Britomart_ and _Ferret_: Lieutenant Strachan and 33 men of the 1st West
India Regiment, Captain Rookes and 46 men of the 2nd West India
Regiment, Lieutenant Haneahan and 31 men of the 3rd West India Regiment.
From the Gambia were also despatched in the Colonial steamer _Dover_, on
the 24th of October: Ensign Anderson and 25 men of the 1st, Captain
Mockler and 70 men of the 2nd, and Lieutenant Hill and 23 men of the 3rd
West India Regiment.

The troops from Sierra Leone and the Gambia arrived at Christiansborg on
the 27th of October and the 7th of November respectively. Several small
skirmishes had taken place between the Gold Coast artillery and the
rebels without either side gaining any material advantage; but, on the
arrival of the reinforcement from Sierra Leone, the siege was raised,
and the natives retired inland to some villages on the plain behind
Christiansborg. There, like all undisciplined bodies, they gradually
melted away; the chiefs, finding their followers abandoning them, were
compelled to ask for terms; and directly negotiations were opened, the
detachments of the three West India regiments re-embarked to return to
Sierra Leone, sailing from Christiansborg on the 12th of November.


[Footnote 56: See map.]

[Footnote 57: This year, 1853, appears to have been particularly
unhealthy in the West Indies, to judge from the following inscription,
taken from an intramural monument in Kingston Cathedral Church:


Capt. Robt. Mostyn, 3rd W.I.R., died of yellow fever, at Nassau,
Bahamas, 23rd July, 1853, æt. 27.

Ensign John Alex. Gordon Pringle, 3rd W.I.R., died of yellow fever at
Kingston, Jamaica, 31st July, 1853, æt. 21.

Assist.-Surg. Walter William Harris, 1st W.I.R., attached to 3rd W.I.R.,
died at Up Park Camp, of yellow fever, 4th Aug., 1853, æt. 24.

Lieut. John Maryon Wilson, 3rd W.I.R., died at Up Park Camp, of yellow
fever, 13th Aug., 1853, æt. 22.

Eliza Chancellor Wilson, wife of the above, died at Up Park Camp, of
yellow fever, 5th Sept., 1853, æt. 22.

Cath. Elizabeth, wife of Lieut. Wm. Hen. Wilson Hawtayne, 3rd W.I.R.,
died of yellow fever at Nassau, Bahamas, 9th Aug., 1853, æt. 23.

Asst.-Surg. Gideon Jas. Wm. Griffith, 3rd W.I.R., died of yellow fever
at Lucia, 26th Aug., 1853, æt. 23.

Also, Selina Maria, wife of Capt. C.S.H. Hingston, 3rd W.I.R., died at
Up Park Camp, 11th April, 1854, æt. 23.

    Erected by the officers of the 1st and 3rd W.I. Regts.




The troops that had been despatched from Sierra Leone and the Gambia for
the relief of Christiansborg, returned to Sierra Leone, in H.M.S.
_Prometheus_, on the 25th of November, 1854, and in consequence of the
hostile attitude assumed by the chiefs of the Mellicourie and Scarcies
Rivers, and the outrages committed by natives on mercantile factories in
those rivers, the Governor of Sierra Leone decided to detain the
contingent which had been sent from the Gambia, in order to have a
sufficient force to overawe the chief of Malageah, the principal
offender, and compel him to sign a treaty of trade. With this view,
accordingly, detachments of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd West India Regiments,
numbering in all 401 officers and men, under the command of Captain
Rookes, 2nd West India Regiment, embarked in H.M.S. _Prometheus_ and
_Dover_, on the 2nd of December, and sailed for the Mellicourie River,
on which the town of Malageah is situated. The officers of the 1st West
India Regiment who accompanied the expedition were Captain R.D.
Fletcher, Lieutenant Connell, Lieutenant Strachan, and Ensign Anderson.

On December 4th, the expedition arrived off Malageah, and the
river-banks having been reconnoitred, Captain Heseltine, of H.M.S.
_Britomart_, who had been appointed diplomatic agent with powers to
negotiate, directed a landing to be made. The troops disembarked, and
meeting with no opposition, advanced on the town, seizing and occupying
the mosque and the king's house, while a second body took possession of
all the approaches to the town. By these means, a party of some 200
chiefs and Marabouts, who filled the mosque, were surrounded.

In the meantime, the 1st Division, under Captain R. D'Oyley Fletcher,
1st West India Regiment, had proceeded to a creek to the eastward of the
town, which they ascended in the boats of the _Britomart_, and then
crossing by bye-paths through the swamp and bush to the back of the
town, where they dispersed a body of 150 natives armed with rifles and
muskets, they joined the main body before the mosque.

Negotiations were opened by the diplomatic agent, and continued for
about half-an-hour; when, as it was noticed that the Marabouts were
gradually leaving the mosque and all going in one direction, a
reconnoitring party of ten men, under Lieutenant F.J. Connell, 1st West
India Regiment, was sent to the northern side of the town. Lieutenant
Connell, on reaching the town gate, found from 1800 to 2000 natives
armed with fire-arms, spears, bows and arrows, formed in a semicircle,
from eight to ten deep, facing the small picket that had been there
posted. The whole of the main body, with the seamen and marines, was at
once ordered up, and took up a position on the plateau to the north of
the town, facing the natives, while a detached party occupied the walls
and gates. At first there was a disposition on the part of the natives
to resist this movement, but it was so rapidly executed that they were
taken by surprise, and, losing cohesion, they soon after gradually

The king, Bamba Mima Lahi, now signified his desire to come to terms,
promised to comply with all demands, and to pay one thousand dollars as
a fine for his offences. The force accordingly re-embarked, the object
of the expedition having been effected without bloodshed, and returned
to Sierra Leone on December 6th. The following letter may be of

                                  "H.M.S. BRITOMART,
                                  "_Sierra Leone, December 6th, 1854._


    "In bringing back the troops that have been embarked on board the
    _Prometheus_ and landed at Malageah, and who, whilst afloat, have
    been under my command, I beg to bear testimony to their quiet,
    orderly, and zealous conduct, both afloat and ashore, where, had it
    not been for the above good qualities, collision would have been

    "To Captains Rookes, Mockler, and Fletcher, and the officers of the
    force, I beg to return my sincere thanks for their zealous and
    active co-operation; further comment on my part would be

                                 "A. HESELTINE,
                                    "Commander and Senior Naval Officer.

    "Lieutenant-Colonel Foster,
      "Commanding troops."

On the 14th of December, the Gambia contingent sailed for the Gambia in
the Colonial steamer _Dover_, and the garrison of Sierra Leone remained
at its ordinary strength of three companies.

In May, 1855, as the King of Malageah had not observed the stipulations
of the treaty that had been forced upon him, and had not paid the fine
of one thousand dollars, the Acting Governor of Sierra Leone, a
gentleman of colour, determined to take steps for his punishment. On the
21st of May, accordingly, he sent for Captain R. D'Oyley Fletcher, 1st
West India Regiment, who was then in command of the troops, and informed
him that it was his intention to send a force of 150 men, that very day,
to burn the town of Malageah, and, if possible, capture the king. He
added that the troops would proceed in H.M.S. _Teazer_, then lying in
the harbour.

Captain Fletcher, in reply, said that he could not approve of the
proposed arrangements; that since a force of 400 men had been deemed
necessary to extract a promise from the king, it was, to say the least,
injudicious to endeavour to force him to fulfil that promise with only
150 men. He stated that at the last expedition more than 2000 armed
natives had been seen, and he considered it inadvisable to proceed to
actual hostilities without a force proportionate to the duty to be
performed. He further suggested that the expedition should be delayed
for two or three days, so that the detachments of the 2nd West India
Regiment might be brought in from Waterloo and the Banana Islands, and
the whole garrison employed on the duty. The Acting Governor overruled
these objections, insinuated that Captain Fletcher was actuated by fears
for his personal safety, and finally peremptorily ordered the force he
had mentioned to embark.

In consequence, on the evening of May 21st, Captain Fletcher, Lieutenant
Strachan, Lieutenant Wylie, and 69 men of the 1st West India Regiment,
with Lieutenants Keir and Beazley and 79 men of the 3rd West India
Regiment, embarked on board the _Teazer_. Lieutenant Vincent, 2nd West
India Regiment, was attached to the 1st for duty, and
Deputy-Assistant-Commissary-General Frith and Surgeons Marchant and
Bradshaw accompanied the troops.

The _Teazer_ arrived off Benty Point, at the mouth of the Mellicourie
River, on the morning of May 22nd, and, after a delay of a few hours, in
consequence of the difficulty in crossing the bar, the expedition
arrived off Malageah.

Lieutenant-Commander Nicolas, of the _Teazer_, and Mr. Dillet, the
Acting Governor's private secretary, had been appointed commissioners,
and, by their direction, the troops disembarked about 10 a.m. A flag of
truce was flying on the king's house, and, as he showed a disposition to
come to terms, the commissioners determined to depart from their
instructions, and make an attempt to settle the affair without having
recourse to force. They accordingly informed the king that if he would
pay the fine his town would be spared; and they granted him one hour for
this purpose, warning him that if at the expiration of that time the
money was not forthcoming, the town would be shelled.

Two hours having passed without any communication having been received
from the king, the _Teazer_ at noon opened fire, and the troops advanced
on the town, covering their flanks with skirmishers. This advance would
have been unnecessary had the _Teazer_ been supplied with rockets; but
there being none, the men were obliged to set fire to the houses. It
would be difficult to imagine a worse-planned expedition.

The troops gained the central square of the town, and, in compliance
with the written instructions, set fire to the mosque, the king's house,
and other principal buildings; and ultimately the whole town appeared to
be in flames. The left division, under Lieutenant Vincent, was exposed
to a desultory fire, during the whole of these operations, from the
enemy concealed in the bush; and large numbers of natives were observed
gathering on the plateau to the north of the town. As it seemed
impossible that any portion of the town could escape the conflagration,
and as the heat from the burning buildings was intense, the troops
retired to the river bank, and embarked in the _Teazer's_ boats.
Scarcely had the seamen dipped their oars into the water, to pull out
into the stream, than a volley was poured into the boats from the dense
bush which grew close down to the edge of the water; and the ambushed
enemy then commenced firing rapidly, but fortunately with so little
precision that the troops succeeded in reaching mid-stream with a loss
of only five wounded.

The boats continued their course to the ship, and the troops
re-embarked. The town was still in flames, but they were gradually
subsiding, and before nightfall were entirely extinguished, leaving a
considerable portion of the town still unconsumed. The commissioners,
upon this, decided, as it was too late to land again that day, to drop
down the river as far as Benty Point for the night, and to return next
morning to complete the work of destruction. Captain Fletcher then
objected to any second landing being made, pointing out that the whole
country was now alarmed, and that the people of Malageah would be
reinforced by those of Fouricariah (a populous town further up the
river), and that quite enough had been done to punish the king. The
commissioners agreed with his views, but decided that their orders were
so peremptory that they could not, without running the risk of censure,
leave the river until the entire town had been destroyed.

At 5.30 a.m. on May 23rd, the _Teazer_ left Benty Point, and steaming up
the river, anchored off Malageah, in which the ruins were still
smouldering. The vessel was so ill-provided with munitions of war that
hardly any shell remained from the previous day. What little there was,
was thrown amongst the houses to endeavour to fire them, and the attempt
being unsuccessful, it became necessary to land the men. The dense bush
around the town having been well searched with grape and canister to
clear it of any lurking enemy, the troops, 135 in number, were landed on
the bank of the mangrove creek running inland towards the town, and no
enemy appearing, they advanced to set fire to the buildings that had
hitherto escaped destruction.

The advanced guard of thirty men, with whom were Lieutenant-Commander
Nicolas and Mr. Dillet, who had landed to point out which houses it was
most important to thoroughly destroy, had only advanced some two hundred
yards from the bank of the creek, when they were received with a
murderous discharge of musketry from the enemy concealed in the bush.
Almost the whole of the advanced party were shot down in this one
volley, twenty men being killed on the spot, and Lieutenant-Commander
Nicolas and Mr. Dillet severely wounded. The main body, seventy-five in
number, under Captain Fletcher, at once hurried up to prevent the
wounded falling into the hands of the barbarous natives, and behaved
with great gallantry, for though falling thick and fast under the
tremendous fire which the concealed enemy--to the number of several
hundreds--poured into them from a distance of ten or twelve yards, they
held their ground until the wounded had been safely conveyed to the

Scarcely had this been accomplished than the rear-guard of thirty men,
under Lieut. Keir, 3rd West India Regiment, was attacked by a large
number of natives who had moved through the bush, and actually succeeded
in cutting off our men from the boats. The enemy advanced with great
determination into the open, thinking to overwhelm this small party, and
they were only driven back into the bush by repeated volleys and a final
charge with the bayonet.

By this time fully one-third of the men who had landed having been
killed, and a great number wounded, the order was given to retire, which
was done steadily, the ground being contested inch by inch. At this time
Company Sergeant-Major Scanlan, of the 3rd West India Regiment, and six
men who were covering the retreat, fell, the former mortally wounded;
and some of the bolder of the natives, rushing out of their concealment,
seized Deputy-Assistant-Commissary Frith, and dragged him away into the
bush, where he was barbarously murdered in cold blood. Scanlan was
lying in the narrow path, his chest riddled with bullets, when the chief
fetish priest of the place, to encourage the natives to make further
efforts, sprang upon a ruined wall in front of him, and began dancing an
uncouth dance, accompanying it with savage yells and significant
gestures to the dying man. He paid dearly for his rashness, however, for
Scanlan, collecting his strength for a last supreme effort, seized his
loaded rifle, which was fortunately lying within reach, and discharged
it at the gesticulating savage, who threw up his arms and fell dead. The
next moment Scanlan was surrounded by a horde of infuriated barbarians,
and his body hacked into an undistinguishable mass.

The troops, sadly diminished in number, at last reached that portion of
the mangrove creek where they had left the boats. Of these there had
been originally but two, and one having at the commencement of the
action been used to convey Lieutenant-Commander Nicolas and Mr. Dillet,
under the charge of Surgeon Bradshaw, to the ship, one only remained for
the men to embark in. The tide having fallen, this was lying out near
the entrance of the creek, separated by an expanse of reeking mud from
the shore. The men, seeing their last chance of safety cut off, threw
themselves into the mud, in which many sank and were no more seen. Some
few, however, succeeded in floundering along, half wading and half
swimming, until they reached her, and climbed in. She was, however, so
riddled with bullets, that she filled and sank almost immediately.

Captain Fletcher, Lieutenant Wylie, Lieutenant Strachan, and Lieutenant
Vincent, with some thirty men, endeavoured to make a last stand upon a
small islet of mud and sand, near the left bank of the creek; but
Lieutenant Wylie was shot dead almost at once, and Lieutenant Vincent,
being shot through the body, jumped into the water, to endeavour to swim
to the ship. In a few seconds seventeen men had fallen out of this
devoted band, and the survivors, plunging into the creek, swam down
towards the river. The natives lined the banks in crowds, keeping up a
heavy fire upon the men in the water; and Captain Fletcher and
Lieutenant Strachan, who were the last to leave the shore, only reached
the _Teazer_ by a miracle, they having to swim more than half a mile to
reach her.

As the last of the survivors gained the vessel, the natives, between two
and three thousand in number, lined the banks of the river, brandishing
their weapons and uttering shouts of defiance; and the heads of several
of the killed, horribly mutilated, were held out towards the ship on
spears, amidst cries of exultation. All the ammunition for the
_Teazer's_ guns having already been expended in shelling the town and
clearing the bush, it was impossible to reply to the enemy, and the
vessel proceeded slowly down the river, returning to Sierra Leone next

The casualties of this day were as follows: The 1st West India Regiment,
out of 62 men who landed, lost 38 killed and 3 wounded. The 3rd West
India Regiment, out of 73 men who landed, lost 46 killed and 8 wounded.
Total, 95 killed and wounded, out of a force of 135 men.

The casualties amongst the officers were nearly equally heavy. Out of
the ten Europeans who were under fire, three, namely Lieutenant Wylie,
1st West India Regiment, D.A.C.G. Frith and C.S.M. Scanlan were killed;
and three, Lieutenant Vincent, 2nd West India Regiment,
Lieutenant-Commander Nicolas, and Mr. Dillet, severely wounded.

It was learned afterwards that the reason so large a force was assembled
at Malageah was that it was the time for the annual gathering of the
river tribes, to hear the laws read by the Alimani. This circumstance
ought of course to have been known to the Acting Governor, who was well
acquainted with the customs of the people. The Imperial Government held
him responsible for this defeat, and, in November, 1855, he was relieved
of his post, and charged "with having, when Acting Governor, on the 21st
of May, 1855, without authority, and upon insufficient grounds, sent an
expedition against the Moriah chiefs in the Mellicourie River, beyond
the Colony, with orders to burn or destroy the town of Malageah, planned
without foresight or judgment, disastrous in its termination, and
disgraceful to the British power," and was suspended from his office of
Queen's Advocate and from his seat at the Council Board.



The company of the 1st West India Regiment stationed at the Gambia was
the next to see active service, but fortunately under circumstances less
disastrous than had fallen to the lot of the company at Sierra Leone.

In June, 1855, the inhabitants of Sabbajee again began to exhibit signs
of lawlessness; and, early in July, an influential Mohammedan of that
town, named Fodi Osumanu, sent an armed party to the British settlement
at Josswung to seize a woman, whose husband he had already placed in
confinement in Sabbajee itself. In consequence of this outrage a warrant
was issued for the apprehension of Fodi Osumanu, and, as a precautionary
measure, the constables despatched to put the warrant in force were
accompanied by a small party of the 2nd West India Regiment, under
Lieutenant Armstrong, 3rd West India Regiment.

They arrived at Sabbajee on the morning of July 16th, and at first Fodi
Osumanu offered no opposition to his arrest; but, on gaining the central
square of the town, he endeavoured to break away from the police, and,
upon this signal, the Mandingoes rushed upon the British from every
street and alley. Nothing but the coolness and steadiness displayed by
both officers and men, saved the whole from destruction. Forming square,
they retreated steadily out of the town, repulsing the repeated attacks
of the natives, and retired in good order to Josswung, and thence to the
military post at Cape St. Mary's. In effecting this, two men were
killed, and the Queen's Advocate, Lieutenant Davis, 2nd West India
Regiment, and Lieutenant Armstrong were wounded, the latter so severely
as to render amputation of the right arm necessary.

Intelligence of this occurrence being carried to Bathurst in a few
hours, the Governor, Lieutenant-Colonel L. Smyth O'Connor, 1st West
India Regiment, at once called out all the available force of the
Colony; and, aware that every half-hour was of importance, as the
inhabitants of Sabbajee were receiving reinforcements from the
disaffected Mandingo towns of Jambool, Burnfut, and Cunju, and had
already burned and pillaged Josswung, he marched the same day. The force
consisted of 120 men of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd West India Regiments, with
120 of the Royal Gambia Militia; and, on arriving at Cape St. Mary's, on
the evening of July 16th, it was joined by 26 pensioners of the West
India regiments. The officers of the 1st West India Regiment present
were Lieutenant-Colonel O'Connor, Lieutenant E.F. Luke, and Lieutenant

Early next morning the whole force marched towards Sabbajee, meeting
with no resistance until it arrived at the wood of Bakkow. To reach
Sabbajee it was necessary to pass through this wood, a jungle of dense
tropical vegetation, only traversable by a single bush path some five
feet in breadth, and, before entering this defile, Colonel O'Connor
wisely ordered rockets to be thrown amongst the trees, with a view to
ascertaining if they covered any concealed enemy.

Hardly had the first rocket fallen than the wood appeared alive with
men, who, from every bush and tree, opened a destructive fire upon the
British. This was promptly and steadily replied to by the detachments of
the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd West India Regiments, which were in the van, and
the action became general. The militia were drawn up in two bodies, one
acting as a support to the regulars, and the other as a reserve; and the
latter, shortly after the commencement of the engagement, retreated
without orders, and without firing a shot. The party of militia in
support, as soon as they observed the flight of the reserve, fell back
hurriedly in great confusion, nor could their officers nor the Governor
himself succeed in stopping them, and both parties of militia retired
upon Cape St. Mary's, abandoning their wounded.

The detachments of the West India regiments still held their ground; but
at the end of half an hour, as it was manifestly impossible, with the
now greatly reduced numbers, to force the passage of the wood, and as
the enemy were observed extending in large numbers round both flanks so
as to threaten the line of retreat, the order was given to retire upon
Cape St. Mary's. This was effected in good order, the victorious natives
following the retreating force for more than two miles, and keeping up
an incessant fire. The combined detachments suffered in this affair a
loss of twenty-three killed and fifty-three wounded. Lieutenant-Colonel
O'Connor was himself severely wounded in the right arm and left

The news of this repulse was received with the greatest consternation at
Bathurst, which was entirely denuded of troops and quite at the mercy of
the rebellious Mandingoes. Preparations for defence were at once
undertaken, all the reliable natives, principally persons in the employ
of the Government or of the merchants, in all some 200 in number, were
armed, and a vessel was despatched to the neighbouring French settlement
of Goree to seek assistance. The Mandingoes, fortunately, made no
attempt to follow up their success, and the chiefs of British Combo
having volunteered their aid to the Government, a number of their men
were armed, and on July 29th some sharp skirmishing took place between
them and the Mandingoes in the neighbourhood of Bakkow, in which the
Combos lost twenty-five killed, but without reaping any success.

On the afternoon of July 30th, the French brig-of-war _Entreprenant_,
Captain Villeneuve, arrived, bringing with her eighty men, which was all
the disposable force the French Governor of Goree had at his command;
and all preparations being completed by the night of August 3rd, the
combined British and French force marched from Cape St. Mary's next
morning at daybreak. The French had brought with them three
twelve-pounder field-guns, which, with a 4-2/5-inch howitzer, and three
rocket-troughs in the possession of the British, were formed into a
battery under the command of Lieutenant Morel, of the French marine
artillery. The force was further increased by an irregular contingent of
some 600 loyal natives.

As on the former occasion, no opposition was encountered until arriving
at the wood of Bakkow, where the enemy showed in great force, and opened
a heavy fire from the shelter of the forest. The irregular contingent,
supported by the detachments of the 1st and 2nd West India Regiments,
replied to the enemy's fire in a most effective manner; but so
determined was the resistance, that the Mandingoes, when silenced in our
front, taking advantage of the cover afforded by the high grass and
clumps of monkey-bread trees, made repeated attacks on the flanks, and
even at one time threatened the rear. Shell and rockets were thrown
into the wood, and the village of Bakkow, which was occupied by the
enemy, was burned; but it was not until after two hours' obstinate
fighting, in the course of which the detachments of the 1st and 2nd West
India Regiment had four times to repulse flank attacks with the bayonet,
that the passage could be forced.

The wood being traversed, the force debouched upon the plain of
Sabbajee, a sandy level, covered with a scanty growth of Guinea grass
and dotted with clumps of dwarf palm. The guns were at once placed in
position for breaching the stockade, and fire was opened with wonderful
precision. A few rounds only had been expended, when a large body of
natives from the disaffected and neighbouring town of Burnfut made a
sudden and determined onslaught on our flank, charging furiously forward
with brandished scimetars. This was met by a party of French marines and
the detachments of the 1st and 2nd West India Regiments, who, after
firing a volley at a very close range, charged gallantly with the
bayonet and speedily routed the enemy, who took refuge in a neighbouring
copse. Being ordered to dislodge them from this cover, the detachments
of the 1st and 2nd West India Regiments advanced in skirmishing order,
and after a short but sharp conflict, drove them out on the further

After a bombardment of an hour and a half, seeing that the enemy
extinguished the thatched roofs of their houses as fast as they were
ignited, and that the ammunition was becoming exhausted,
Lieutenant-Colonel O'Connor determined to carry the stockade by storm.
The detachments of the West India regiments formed up in the centre, a
division of French marines being on either flank, and the whole dashed
forward to the assault in the face of a tremendous fire of musketry that
was opened throughout the entire length of the loop-holed stockade. In a
few seconds the troops were under the stockade, which was composed of
the stout trunks of trees, standing some eighteen feet high, and braced
on the inner side by cross-beams. A temporary check was here experienced
(the men having no ladders for escalading), during which the Mandingoes
kept up a close fire from their upper tier of loop-holes, while others
crouching in the ditch in rear hewed and cut at the feet and legs of the
troops through the apertures in the stockade on a level with the ground.
The check was, however, of short duration, for the British opened fire
on the enemy through their own loop-holes, and drove them back, while
others, clambering over the rough defences, effected an entrance.

After this, the Mandingoes offered but a feeble resistance, and soon
fled into the open from the further side of the town. Here they were
pursued and shot down by the irregular contingent, who had been sent to
cut off their retreat as soon as it was seen that the stockade was
carried. The enemy's loss during the assault was exceedingly heavy, the
ditch in rear of the stockade, and in which they were principally
sheltered, being full of dead. The loss of the combined force, exclusive
of irregulars, was seventeen killed and thirty-one wounded.

Inside the stockade the 1st West India Regiment captured two
kettledrums, of which one was a war-drum, and the other a death-drum,
that is to say, a drum that is only beaten when an execution is taking
place. These drums, consisting of polished hemispherical calabashes, of
a diameter of about thirty inches at the drum-head, are now in the
possession of the regiment.

The following letter, referring to these operations, which terminated
with the capture of Sabbajee, was published in general orders at the
Gambia, on the 26th of October, 1855:

                                                "HORSE GUARDS,
                                                "_Sept. 6th, 1855._


    "The General Commanding-in-Chief having had before him the
    despatches which were addressed to the Adjutant-General on July 30th
    and 6th ultimo, giving an account of the proceedings, from the 16th
    July to the 4th August last, of the force under your command against
    the Mohammedan rebel town of Sabbajee, which was eventually taken by
    assault at the point of the bayonet, I am directed to assure you of
    Lord Hardinge's satisfaction at the perusal of those despatches, and
    that he considers the gallantry and steadiness displayed by the
    troops on this occasion, and the judgment with which they were
    directed by you, to be deserving of high praise.

    "His Lordship further desired that the expression of his sentiments
    might be communicated accordingly to yourself and to all the troops

                                      "I have, &c.,

                                             (Signed) "C. YORKE,
                                                "Military Secretary.

    "Lieut.-Colonel O'Connor,
      "1st West India Regiment,
    "Commanding troops, Western Coast of Africa."

In the West Indies nothing of importance had occurred, and no change of
station had taken place, since December, 1853. In this year, however
(1855), No. 8 Company rejoined head-quarters at Jamaica from Dominica,
and No. 1 was moved from St. Christopher to Demerara. The distribution,
then, at the close of 1855, was: No. 2, No. 5, No. 8, the Grenadier and
Light Companies at Jamaica, No. 7 and No. 4 at Barbados, No. 1 at
Demerara, No. 3 at Sierra Leone, and No. 6 at the Gambia.


[Footnote 58: See map.]



In January, 1856, it was determined to make a further change in the mode
of garrisoning the settlements on the West Coast of Africa, and the
following letter was issued on the subject:

                                                "HORSE GUARDS,
                                                "_2nd January, 1856_.

    "In obedience to orders from the Secretary of State, War Department,
    the Field-Marshal Commanding-in-Chief is pleased to direct that
    instead of the detachments to the western coast of Africa being
    furnished, as at present, by two companies from each of the West
    India regiments, the settlements in that part will be garrisoned by
    a wing composed of six companies, to be furnished in succession by
    each of the West India regiments.

    "At the next relief the 1st West India Regiment will furnish six
    companies accordingly, each company made up and kept effective to
    100 rank and file, the force to be distributed as at present, viz.:

      "Gambia             3 Companies.
      "Sierra Leone       3 Companies.

    "The remaining four companies of the 1st West India Regiment will be
    stationed at Jamaica, as a depôt to receive and train recruits, and
    maintain the efficiency of the companies on the coast of Africa."

In anticipation of this change, and as recent events at the Gambia and
Sierra Leone had shown the necessity for an increase in the strength of
the detachments, No. 2 Company of the 1st West India Regiment, under
Captain W.J. Chamberlayne, embarked at Jamaica for Africa in the _Sir
George Pollock_ on February 19th, 1856. It arrived in the Gambia on
April 1st, and detachments to McCarthy's Island, 179 miles up the River
Gambia, and to Fort Bullen, were at once furnished from it.

No other change in the distribution of the regiment took place in this
year, with the exception that No. 5 Company, under Captain R. Hughes,
was moved from Jamaica to Barbados in December.

In January, 1857, No. 1 Company from Demerara, and Nos. 4 and 7 from
Barbados, embarked on board the troopship _Perseverance_, for Africa,
under the command of Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Clarke, and Captains
Hughes and Macauley, arriving at Sierra Leone on February 28th.

Nos. 1 and 7 Companies were there disembarked, and the _Perseverance_
then proceeded to the Gambia, where No. 4 Company was landed. In
accordance with the scheme that the remaining four companies of the
regiment should be stationed at Jamaica, No. 5 Company rejoined there
from Barbados on April 17th; but, two months later, the scheme was again
revised, and, on June 4th, the head-quarters and four companies embarked
for Nassau, New Providence, under Lieutenant-Colonel F.A. Wetherall.

The detachments on the West Coast of Africa were very much subdivided,
that of the Gambia furnishing garrisons for Fort Bullen, Cape St. Mary,
and McCarthy's Island; and that of Sierra Leone a garrison for Waterloo.
In April, 1857, the garrison of Fort Bullen was reinforced by No. 2
Company under Captain Chamberlayne from Bathurst, in consequence of
disturbances having broken out between the King of Barra and one of his
principal chiefs named Osumanu Sajji, and was withdrawn in May, on
tranquility being restored.

In August, 1858, the natives of Sherbro threatened to plunder the
British factories that had been established on Sherbro Island, and
stopped the trade, and for the protection of the lives and property of
the Consul and British subjects, a detachment of the 1st West India
Regiment, under Captain R. Hughes, proceeded in H.M.S. _Spitfire_ to
Sherbro Island on September 1st. They there landed and remained until
October 2nd, when, all fears of an attack being at an end, they
returned to Sierra Leone. In January, 1859, however, another attack was
threatened by the Mendis, and a detachment of the 1st West India
Regiment, under Captain Luke, was sent for the protection of the
factories in H.M.S. _Trident_ on January 15th, returning to Sierra Leone
on February 18th.

In September and October, 1858, Captain Luke, 1st West India Regiment,
who was then on leave of absence on the Gold Coast, served with the
expeditionary force against the rebel Krobo stronghold of Krobo Hill.
Captain Cochrane, Gold Coast Artillery, commanding the force, in
concluding his despatch of October 26th, 1858, says: "It is not too much
to say that all who have joined the expedition have done their best to
further its interests, but I beg especially to call your Excellency's
notice to the voluntary services of Captain F.H. Luke, of the 1st West
India Regiment, whose energy, zeal, and disinterestedness, have been
warmly commended by every officer here, and are deserving of honourable

In February, 1859, the town of Porto Lokkoh, distant some forty miles
from Sierra Leone, and on the Sierra Leone River, was burned and
pillaged by a body of Soosoos who had, for some time back, established
themselves at Kambia, on the Great Scarcies River. For previous outrages
committed by them, Kambia had been bombarded by a naval squadron under
Commodore Wise on February 1st, 1858, after which the Soosoos had
entrenched themselves in a stockaded work, or war fence, near Kambia.
There they had been suffered to remain, but the destruction of Porto
Lokkoh, the chief _entrepôt_ of the Sierra Leone trade, necessitated
further measures being taken against them.

Consequently, on March 20th, 1859, the Governor of Sierra Leone, Colonel
Stephen Hill, proceeded with a force of 203 men of the 1st West India
Regiment, under Major A.W. Murray, in H.M.S. _Vesuvius_, _Trident_, and
_Spitfire_, to the Great Scarcies River, where they arrived at daybreak
on the 22nd. The officers of the regiment serving with the expedition
were Major Murray, Brevet-Major Pratt, Lieutenants Fitzgerald, Mackay,
and Mawe, Ensigns Ormsby and Temple. Colonel Hill, in his despatch,

"The troops having landed to the right of the town, I formed the
detachment of the 1st West India Regiment, under Major Murray, into four
divisions; and the marines formed, under the command of Captain Hill,
2nd West India Regiment, A.D.C., another division. A party of the former
corps, acting as gunners, accompanied the Marine Artillery, who took
charge of two mountain howitzers.

"Having extended one division in skirmishing order, I advanced; and,
finding the first stockade deserted I passed on to the furthest one,
which was then occupied by the sailors of the second division of boats
under Commander Close. I then proceeded to the extreme left of all the
defences, and halted in clear ground to await the arrival of our native
allies. Shortly afterwards Commodore Wise sent to inform me that the
enemy, who had retired before us with some loss, were in the jungle to
our left at the head of some rocks, on which they could cross the river
at low water. I immediately extended two divisions of the 1st West India
Regiment as skirmishers, with the marines supporting one, and a division
of the 1st West India the other, leaving one division in reserve in
charge of the howitzers, after having first fired some rounds of shell
into the jungle.

"Our advance was most difficult, the bush being almost impenetrable.
However, we persevered, and, having reached a high point overlooking the
country around, and not seeing any enemy, I ordered a halt, and, after
some time, we retired unmolested, the Soosoos never having allowed us to
close with them. The Commodore then sent me a second message to the
effect that he had seen about 500 men, who had, on our advance, retired
across the river, over the rocks, and disappeared in the bush on the
opposite side.

"The detachment of the 1st West India Regiment, under Brevet-Major
Pratt, kept the ground during the night; and our allies having arrived,
and been placed in possession of the stockades, the troops were
re-embarked on the 24th, and we proceeded on our return to Sierra Leone,
where we arrived on the 26th.

"I have much pleasure in stating that all the officers and men under my
orders performed their duties in an exceedingly zealous and
satisfactory manner, exhibiting a cheerful obedience, and only anxious
to close with the enemy. None but those present could form a just
estimate of the difficulty attending our advance, and the consequent
physical exhaustion. The heat was intense; a great part of the jungle
had been fired, and the bushes and the high grass formed a network
through which we were obliged to cut our way."

On January 8th, 1860, the men of the companies of the 1st West India
Regiment stationed at Nassau specially distinguished themselves at an
alarming fire that there broke out at Fort Charlotte, and the following
Garrison Order was published on the subject:

"Lieutenant-Colonel Bourchier takes the earliest opportunity in his
power of expressing his thanks to Major R. D'O. Fletcher, the officers,
the non-commissioned officers, and the men of the 1st West India
Regiment, for the prompt manner in which they turned out and lent their
efforts to avert the extension of the late fire at Fort Charlotte.

"Such occasions as this test the discipline of a corps in a high degree,
the more so when, as in the present instance, the danger of an explosion
from the proximity of the flames to the magazine was imminent.

"Where all were zealous, the conduct of Ensign Bourke, 1st West India
Regiment, was most conspicuous, who, assisted by Company Sergeant-Major
Mason and a party of four men of the regiment, placed wet blankets on
the most exposed portion of the roof of the magazine, which was then
actually ignited; and it will be most gratifying to Lieutenant-Colonel
Bourchier to bring the circumstance under the notice of H.R.H. the
General Commanding-in-Chief."

At the Gambia nothing of moment had occurred since 1807, with the
exception that a violent epidemic of fever broke out at Bathurst in
September, 1859, to which one officer and several men of the regiment



The next active operations in which the 1st West India Regiment was
engaged, took place at the Gambia, where the King of Baddiboo, an
important Mohammedan state up the river, had in August and September,
1860, plundered the factories of several British traders, and afterwards
refused to pay compensation. The Governor of the Gambia, Colonel D'Arcy,
resolved to blockade the kingdom of Baddiboo, in the hope that the
enforced suspension of trade would compel the king to come to terms,
and, on October 10th, 1860, the gunners of the companies of the 1st West
India Regiment stationed at Bathurst embarked in the barque _Elm_ and
the schooner _Shamrock_, to close all the Baddiboo river ports. On
November 3rd additional gunners were sent in the schooner _Hope_, and
the blockade was strictly enforced, the natives not being allowed to
export any articles of produce or import anything.

While the blockade was still in force, the wing of the 2nd West India
Regiment, which had been wrecked in the troopship _Perseverance_ at
Maio, one of the Cape Verde Islands, while on its way to relieve the
wing of the 1st West India Regiment, arrived in West Africa in various
vessels, three companies at the Gambia and three at Sierra Leone; and as
in January, 1861, the blockade had manifestly failed in its object of
inducing the King of Baddiboo to indemnify the plundered merchants,
Governor D'Arcy determined to take advantage of the presence of an
unusual number of regular troops to organise a formidable expedition;
which step was rendered necessary from the fact that the numerous
Mohammedan tribes around the settlement and on the banks of the river
were narrowly watching events, and had, owing to the long delay in
punishing the King of Baddiboo, already commenced to show signs of

On January 12th, 1861, the hired transport _Avon_ arrived at the Gambia
to convey the wing of the 1st West India Regiment to the West Indies,
and Colonel D'Arcy proceeded in her to Sierra Leone to make arrangements
for the services of a portion of the garrison of that settlement. On
February 2nd, he returned to the Gambia in the _Avon_ with three
companies of the 1st West India Regiment and one of the 2nd West India

The expeditionary force now consisted of six companies of the 1st West
India Regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel A.W. Murray, and four of the
2nd West India Regiment, under Major W. Hill; the Gambia Militia were
called out, and the West India detachments at McCarthy's Island, Cape
St. Mary's, and Fort Bullen replaced by pensioners.

Everything being in readiness, the Governor decided to make one last
endeavour to arrive at a peaceful solution of the difficulty (although
the king's people had recently, on several occasions, fired on the
schooners blockading the river), and despatched H.M.S. _Torch_ with a
flag of truce to Swarra Cunda Creek. Commander Smith returned with the
intelligence that the natives had prepared stockaded earthworks, were
assembled in large numbers, and had refused to hold any communication
with the ship.

On February 15th, the expedition left Bathurst, and steaming up to
Swarra Cunda Creek, some forty miles up the river, anchored there for
the night. The troops were under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel
Murray, 1st West India Regiment, and were thus distributed:

The gunners of the 1st and 2nd West India Regiment on board H.M.S.

Nos. 1 and 7 Companies, 1st West India Regiment, on board the Colonial
steamer _Dover_.

Nos. 2 and 3 Companies, 1st West India Regiment, on the schooner

Nos. 4 and 7 Companies, 2nd West India Regiment, on the schooner

The _Dover_, after distributing her contingent amongst the other three
vessels lying in the creek, returned to Bathurst the same night to bring
up Nos. 4 and 6 Companies of the 1st West India Regiment and two
companies of the 2nd West India Regiment.

On February 16th, the whole force being collected, the _Torch_ and the
_Dover_ steamed up the creek to the trading landing-place of Swarra
Cunda, towing the schooners. The earthworks were observed to be full of
armed men, who shouted and brandished their weapons, amid a tremendous
beating of war-drums. The _Torch_ anchored about 180 yards from the
earthworks, the two schooners lying above her and the _Dover_ below, in
such positions as to be able to bring a cross-fire to bear. The
Governor, being still anxious to avoid bloodshed, hailed the enemy
through his interpreter, calling upon them to surrender. They replied
with yells of defiance, and were then informed that if they did not
abandon their works the ships would open fire in half-an-hour.

The half-hour having elapsed without any result, except a considerable
accession to the enemy's strength, fire was opened from the guns of the
_Torch_ and _Dover_, while the troops poured in a destructive storm of
musketry. The enemy replied with great spirit; and, although the
sixty-eight-pounder shell were crushing through the earthworks and
carrying away large portions of the parapets, some of the warriors
continued calmly up and down in full view on the most exposed portions
of the works, to encourage the others; and it was not until this
terrible fire of shell and musketry had lasted for three hours, that the
natives began to abandon their works, retiring even then very
gradually. This movement being observed, a landing was at once ordered;
and the boats, which had been collected together under cover of the
_Torch_, pulled in rapidly for the landing-place. Before, however, they
reached the shore, some 800 natives, who had occupied the extreme right
of the earthworks, which had not suffered from our fire as much as the
other portions, rushed down to oppose them.

The landing was effected in the teeth of all opposition, the troops
wading ashore and attacking the enemy with the bayonet. Colonel D'Arcy
in his despatch says:--"Nothing could exceed the gallantry of the
landing on the part of the officers and men of the 1st and 2nd West
India Regiments; and now commenced a smart skirmish with a numerous
enemy, in which our black soldiers evinced a gallantry and a
determination to close which I felt proud to witness."

While this stubborn and hand-to-hand conflict was at its height, a
shrill cry was suddenly heard in rear of the enemy, and at once, as if
by a preconcerted plan, those natives who were disputing the landing
broke and fled, while, at the same moment, a body of some 300 cavalry
debouched from the shelter of a clump of dwarf palms, and came down at
full gallop on the troops, who were already somewhat scattered in
pursuit of the retreating enemy. The men at once formed rallying
squares, and in a moment the Mandingo horsemen were amongst them,
brandishing their scimetars and discharging matchlocks and pistols. The
fire from the squares was so steady and well sustained, that, with one
exception, the enemy could effect nothing. They rode round and round the
squares for a few minutes, uttering shouts of defiance and endeavouring
to reach the men with their spears; and finally, a good many saddles
having been emptied, galloped off as rapidly as they had come, their
long robes streaming out behind in the wind. The one exception referred
to was that of a group of three men of the 1st West India Regiment and
two of the 2nd, who, having advanced too far in pursuit, had become
separated from their comrades, and, on the sudden appearance of the
cavalry, had not time to reach any of the squares. They stood back to
back, surrounded by the enemy, until overwhelmed by force of numbers and
ridden down, being afterwards found lying where they had stood,
surrounded by eleven dead Mandingoes whom they had shot or bayoneted.

This cavalry charge was the last hope of the enemy; and no sooner was it
repulsed than they withdrew in great disorder. The troops pursued for a
short distance, but as it was not deemed advisable to scatter the small
force, especially as the day was beginning to close, they were soon
recalled, and the men bivouacked on the ground they had so ably won, the
bivouac being so arranged that the guns of the _Torch_ could sweep the
front and one flank. Wells were dug, the dead buried, and the night
passed without further disturbance.

Next morning, the 17th, the Gambia Militia Artillery, with 400 native
allies, arrived and landed, and in the afternoon the 1st and 2nd West
India Regiments, under Lieutenant-Colonel Murray, after a short
resistance, took and destroyed the stockaded town of Carawan, situated
to the right of the position. Encouraged by this success, the native
allies and the Gambia Militia Artillery advanced to the town of Swarra
Cunda, to the left of the position, and finding it abandoned, destroyed
it also.

During the ensuing night, H.M.S. _Arrogant_, Commodore Edmonstone,
arrived in the Gambia River, and early next morning the _Dover_ brought
the Commodore, with a naval brigade of seamen and marines, up to Swarra
Cunda Creek. This unlooked-for accession of strength determined
Lieutenant-Colonel Murray to advance into the interior, and strike a
blow that would bring the war to a conclusion. Cattle were obtained for
the field-guns, which were then landed, and about noon on the 18th, the
force marched inland, four companies of the 1st West India Regiment
forming the right division, four of the 2nd West India Regiment the left
division, and two of the 1st the reserve, with the guns on the flanks.

The country through which the advance was made was a level sandy plain,
covered with tall grass, and dotted here and there with clumps of baobab
and dwarf palm. Occasionally a few clearings for the cultivation of the
ground nut were met, but as a rule the march was made through grass more
than waist high. The enemy showed in force, but made no serious
opposition to the advance; and, though large bodies of cavalry were
observed hanging about the flanks and rear, they showed no disposition
to close, and the towns of Kinty-Cunda and Sabba were destroyed without
loss on our side, and very small loss, if any, on the part of the enemy.

The 19th and 20th were devoted to changing the camping ground, and
arranging a plan of campaign against Indear, the king's town, in which
the shipping might be used as a base; but, on the afternoon of the
latter day, a slave-girl, who came into the camp to claim British
protection, reported that the king's warriors, having been largely
reinforced, had come down from Indear, and had erected a stockade on the
ruins of Sabba. Although it did not suit Lieut.-Colonel Murray's plans
to return to Sabba, he did not consider it advisable to leave this
unexpected challenge unanswered; and, on the morning of February 21st,
the force again marched for Sabba.

On approaching that town it was ascertained that a double stockade had
been built, which appeared to be full of armed men, while detached
parties were observed partially concealed in the long grass to the left
of the stockade, and facing our right. The troops were halted and formed
for attack, the Naval Brigade, consisting of seamen and marines from
H.M.S. _Arrogant_, _Falcon_, and _Torch_, being in the centre, four
companies of the 1st West India Regiment on the right, four of the 2nd
on the left, and two of the 1st in reserve. The howitzer battery at once
opened on the stockade, and, after a few rounds, the centre advanced to
within effective rifle range and commenced firing. Directly this
movement took place, the detached parties of Mandingoes on our right
approached skirmishing through the tall grass, and attacked the four
companies of the 1st West India Regiment, while large bodies of cavalry
simultaneously appeared on the left, threatening the flank of the 2nd
West India Regiment. While the 1st West India Regiment was hotly engaged
on the right, the field-guns of the Gambia Militia Artillery, under
Colonel D'Arcy, who was present as a volunteer and honorary colonel of
that corps, were hastily brought up, and opened fire on the stockade, to
breach it. As it was apparent that this would be a work of some time,
the timber of which the stockade was built being quite stout enough to
withstand for some time the fire of light guns, Lieutenant-Colonel
Murray directed the Commodore to storm. In an instant the seamen
extended, and, advancing at a sharp run, clambered over the stockades,
and, attacking the enemy with the bayonet, soon carried the place.
Acting in concert with this forward movement of the centre, the right
(1st West India Regiment) closed on the natives with whom they had been
engaged, and, cutting them off from the stockade, killed or wounded the
entire force on this side, with a loss to themselves of one officer
(Lieutenant Bourke) and twenty-two men severely wounded, besides slight
casualties. The cavalry on the left, seeing the turn affairs had taken,
withdrew without making any attack. The Naval Brigade lost Lieutenant
Hamilton, of the _Arrogant_, and three men killed, and twenty-two

Ensign Garsia, of the 1st West India Regiment, had a narrow escape.
Shortly before the Naval Brigade had advanced to storm, he had been
despatched by Lieutenant-Colonel Murray with an order to Major Hill,
commanding on the left, and, in crossing the front of the stockade under
a heavy fire, both he and his horse were shot and rolled over together,
Ensign Garsia being very severely wounded. While thus lying at a
distance of some seventy yards from the stockade, a Mohammedan, dressed
in yellow--a colour only assumed in this part of the world when the
wearer is engaged in some desperate enterprise--climbed over the
stockade and ran towards the wounded man with a drawn scimetar in his
hand. He escaped numerous shots that were fired at him, reached Ensign
Garsia, and had actually raised his scimetar to strike off his head,
when a wounded sailor, who was lying on the ground, shot him dead, with
his cry of exultation on his lips.

No sooner was the enemy dispersed and in full retreat, than messengers
arrived from the King of Jocardo, whose territory is separated from
Baddiboo by the Swarra Cunda Creek, begging an interview with the
Governor, and promising that, if he would grant a three days'
armistice, he would bring together all the chiefs of the Baddiboo towns,
who were now anxious for peace, but afraid to come in. The Governor
acceded to these terms, but, in case of negotiations failing,
Lieutenant-Colonel Murray proceeded with his preparations for an advance
on Indear on the morning of the 25th. On the 24th, the Governor received
another message from the King of Jocardo, begging him to extend the
armistice for another day, the distance to the different towns being so
great. This was granted, and at 6 a.m. on the 26th, the King of Baddiboo
came to terms, promising to pay a considerable sum to the Government as
a fine for his past misdemeanours, and leaving hostages in the
Governor's hands.

The officers of the 1st West India Regiment who took part in this
expedition were Lieutenant-Colonel A.W. Murray, Captains H. Anton, J.A.
Fraser, J. Fanning, and G.H. Duyer, Lieutenants A. Temple, J. Moffitt,
R. Brew, T. Edmunds, J. Bourke, and Ensigns M.C. Garsia and T.
Nicholson. Lieutenant-Colonel Murray was awarded the C.B. for his



The head-quarters and four companies of the 1st West India Regiment had
been removed from Nassau to Barbados in the hired transport _Avon_,
before that vessel sailed for West Africa, and on the 3rd of March,
1861, the six companies of the regiment embarked in her at the Gambia
for the West Indies. During the four years' tour of service which they
had just completed, five officers had fallen victims to the fatal West
African climate, Lieutenant Kenrick having died at Sierra Leone, in
August, 1857; Lieutenant Leggatt, in February, 1859; Brevet-Major Pratt,
in July, 1859; and Captain Owens, in July, 1860; while Lieutenant E.
Smith had died at the Gambia, in September, 1859.

On the arrival of the wing from West Africa, the regiment was
distributed in the West Indies as follows: The head-quarters, with Nos.
5, 7, and 8, the Grenadier and Light Companies at Barbados; Nos. 1 and 2
at St. Lucia; No. 3 at Trinidad; and Nos. 4 and 6 at Demerara. Towards
the close of the year the practice of selecting men for flank companies
was forbidden by Horse Guards General Order, and the grenadier and light
companies became Nos. 9 and 10.

The regiment remained thus stationed until December, 1862, when the
three existing West India Regiments were called upon to furnish two
companies each for the formation of a new 4th West India Regiment, and
Nos. 9 and 10 Companies of the 1st West India Regiment were transferred.
In the same month, No. 1 Company rejoined head-quarters from St. Lucia.
The establishment of the regiment was now eight instead of ten companies
as formerly.

On the 23rd of December, 1862, a detachment of three companies (Nos. 5, 7,
and 8) embarked in the troopship _Adventure_, under Lieutenant-Colonel
Macauley, and proceeded to Honduras, arriving there on January 3rd,
1863. A war of reprisals between the Santa Cruz and Ycaiché Indians was
then raging on the frontier, and the greatest vigilance was necessary to
prevent violation of British territory, the detachments of the regiment
at the outposts of Orange Walk and Corosal being continually employed.

In March, 1863, the whole of the southern side of Belize was destroyed
by fire, and the detachment of the 1st West India Regiment there
stationed received the thanks of the Legislative Assembly for the
assistance it had rendered in preventing the conflagration spreading, a
sum of $200 being voted for the men, "as an acknowledgment of the
valuable services rendered by them." In this, or the preceding year,
companies were designated alphabetically instead of numerically; No. 1
becoming "A," No. 2, "B," and so on.

On the 31st of October, 1863, A Company, with the head-quarters,
embarked at Barbados on board the troopship _Megæra_, which had arrived
the day before from Demerara with D and F Companies. The vessel then
proceeded to St. Lucia, where B Company was embarked, and all four went
to Nassau. The distribution of the regiment was then: 4 companies at
Nassau, 3 in Honduras, and 1 in Trinidad.

In 1863 occurred what is usually called the Second Ashanti War. It was
caused, as almost every Ashanti war or threat of invasion has been
caused, by the refusal of the Governor of the Gold Coast to surrender to
the Ashanti King fugitives who had sought British protection. In revenge
for this refusal an Ashanti force made a raid into the Protectorate, and
reinforcements were at once asked for by the Colonial Government. In
December, 1863, B Company, 1st West India Regiment, under Captain Bravo,
embarked at Nassau in H.M.S. _Barracouta_ for Jamaica, and proceeded,
towards the end of February, 1864, to Honduras, in the troopship
_Tamar_. There E and G Companies embarked, and all three, under the
command of Major Anton, sailed for Cape Coast Castle on the 2nd of
March, arriving there on the 9th of April. The officers of the regiment
serving with these companies were Major Anton, Captains Bravo and
Hopewell Smith, Lieutenants J.A. Smith, Gavin, Roberts, Smithwick,
Lowry, Barlow, Allinson, and Ensign Alt.

On the arrival of the detachment of the 1st West India Regiment at Cape
Coast Castle, the strength of the expeditionary force was as follows:

                                         Officers.         Men.
    1st West India Regiment                  11            300
    2nd West India Regiment                   6            170
    3rd West India Regiment                   6            170
    4th West India Regiment                  30            850
    5th West India Regiment                   4             10
                                            ---            ---
                                             57          1,500

The rainy season--the most unhealthy period of the year on the Gold
Coast--was then commencing, and the Government appear to have had some
idea of making an advance upon Coomassie at its close--about the month
of June or July. In order to have everything in readiness for the
forward movement, depôts of stores and munitions of war had been
established at Mansu and Prahsu, and at Swaidroo in Akim, detachments of
troops being stationed at these places for their protection. These
detachments the Colonel commanding the troops on the Gold Coast
determined to maintain during the rainy season, and it fell to the lot
of B and G Companies of the 1st West India Regiment to be detailed for
the fatal duty of relieving the detachment then encamped at Prahsu.

Towards the end of the month of April these two companies, under
Captains Bravo and Hopewell Smith, started amidst continuous torrents
of rain on their march of seventy-four miles to the Prah. They had,
since their arrival, been encamped with E Company on the open space to
the west of the town known as the parade ground, there being no
accommodation for them in the Castle; and owing to the unsanitary
condition of the site and the want of proper shelter, had already begun
to suffer from the effects of the climate.

On arriving at the Prah they encamped at the ford of Prahsu, at a point
where the river, making a sudden bend, enclosed the encampment on three
sides. Here in the midst of a primeval forest, on the banks of a
pestilential stream, without proper shelter or proper food, they
remained for nearly three months. The sickness that ensued was almost
unparalleled. Before they had been a month encamped, four officers and
102 men were sick out of seven officers and 214 men who had marched out
of Cape Coast; and the hospital accommodation was so bad that the men
had to lie on the wet ground with pools of water under them. The rains
were unusually severe, the camp speedily became a swamp, the troops had
worse food than usual, and, above all, were compelled to remain
inactive. The small force had no means of communication with the coast,
and no expectation of a reinforcement; and, had the enemy made an
appearance, the troops were hardly in a fit state to defend themselves.
Day after day torrents of rain fell; it was impossible to light fires
for cooking purposes except under flimsy sheds of palm branches; and
night after night officers and men turned into their wretched and
dripping tents hungry and drenched to the skin. Neither was there any
occupation for the mind or body, and universal gloom and despondency set
in. It was no unusual thing for two funerals to take place in one day,
and the unfortunate soldiers saw their small force diminishing day by
day, apparently forgotten and neglected by the rest of the world.

By a general order published at Cape Coast Castle, on the 30th of May,
1864, the garrison at Prahsu was, on account of the sickness there
prevailing, reduced to 100 men; and on the 6th of June, G Company, under
Captain Hopewell Smith, marched from the Prah and proceeded to Anamaboe,
a village on the sea-coast some thirteen miles to the east of Cape Coast
Castle. B Company still continued to suffer severely, and on the 18th of
June, 57 men were in hospital out of a total strength of 100.

At last the Imperial Government resolved to put a stop to the waste of
life that was taking place, and sent out instructions to the Colonial
Government that all operations against the Ashantis were to cease, and
the troops to be withdrawn. The welcome intelligence reached Prahsu on
the 26th of June, but the work of burying the guns and destroying the
stores and ammunition, which had been collected there at such great
labour and expense that the Government did not care to incur it again
in their removal, occupied several days, and it was not until the 12th
of July that the detachment marched out of the deadly camp on the Prah.

On the 27th of July, the hired transport _Wambojeez_ arrived at Cape
Coast Castle, to remove the detachments of the 1st and 2nd West India
Regiments to the West Indies, and on the 30th they embarked. The day
before their embarkation the following general order was issued:

                                 "(General Order, No. 285.)

                                "BRIGADE OFFICE, CAPE COAST CASTLE,
                                             "_28th July, 1864_.

    "Paragraph 3.--The Lieutenant-Colonel commanding feels great
    pleasure in publishing, for the information of the officers and
    soldiers of the 1st and 2nd West India Regiments about to embark for
    the West Indies, the following handsome testimony of their
    soldierlike conduct while employed on the late expedition, by His
    Excellency Governor Pine, in which feelings and kind sentiments the
    Lieutenant-Colonel fully concurs, adding his own thanks to Major
    Anton and Captain Reece for the ready and cheerful manner in which
    they co-operated with him in carrying out the duties of the command,
    and to the officers and men under their respective orders.

    "It is a pleasing duty to the Lieutenant-Colonel to have to announce
    to these corps that, from the day they took the field until this
    hour, not a complaint has been brought by an inhabitant against any
    of the men, so excellent has the conduct of all been.

    "It is also gratifying to Lieutenant-Colonel Conran to see so few
    men on the sick list when about to embark, considering the large
    numbers that were reported sick on their return from the front."

                                  "GOVERNMENT HOUSE, CAPE COAST,
                                             "_27th July, 1864_.


    "On the eve of the departure of the detachments of the 1st and 2nd
    West India Regiments, which have been annexed to your command on my
    requisition since April last, I request that you will be pleased to
    permit me, through you, to record my thanks as Governor of these
    settlements for the services they have performed conjointly with
    yourself and regiment.

    "I feel that I have been the means of imposing upon Her Majesty's
    troops a laborious, ungracious, and apparently thankless duty; but
    my intentions and motives have been so fully, and I trust,
    satisfactorily discussed throughout Great Britain, that I dare hope
    that the officers and men will believe that I invited them to
    participate in a constitutional measure, which I felt convinced
    would add to their military reputation and honour.

    "To the decision of Her Majesty's Government as to its altered
    policy we are all compelled to bow, and it only remains for me to
    express my regret to every officer and man of the 1st and 2nd West
    India Regiments, for the natural and laudable disappointment which
    they have experienced in not being engaged in more active military
    operations, and to tender my heartfelt thanks for the prompt and
    ready obedience with which they responded to my call on behalf of
    our Royal Mistress, and for their patience and endurance under
    extraordinary trial.

    "Major Anton I have served with, and marked with admiration his
    display of fortitude, moral courage, and disinterested kindness
    during the fearful epidemic of 1859 in the Gambia. Captain Bravo, as
    second in command in the Gambia, was my esteemed friend, and enjoyed
    the respect of all who knew him.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "This hasty and imperfect notice I trust you will not deem unworthy
    of being communicated to the highest military authority, and I shall
    esteem myself fortunate indeed if I shall be instrumental in the
    remotest degree in their advancement.

                                    "I have, etc.,
                                        (Signed) "RICHARD PINE,
                           "Governor and Commander-in-Chief, Gold Coast.

    "The Hon. Colonel CONRAN,
    "Commanding the troops on the Gold Coast."

The _Wambojeez_ arrived at Barbados on the 3rd of September; there the
detachment of the 1st West India Regiment embarked by companies in
H.M.S. _Pylades_, _Greyhound_, and _Styx_, for Jamaica, and disembarked
at Port Royal on the 15th of September. H and C Companies rejoining at
Jamaica soon after from Honduras and Trinidad, the distribution of the
regiment was as follows: head-quarters and three companies at Nassau,
five companies in Jamaica.

    NOTE.--Out of the 11 officers and 300 non-commissioned officers and
    men who landed at Cape Coast Castle on the 9th April, only 6
    officers and 269 non-commissioned officers and men re-embarked on
    July 30th, 5 officers having been invalided, and 31 men having died
    during their short stay of three months and a half.



In October, 1865, a rebellion broke out amongst the black population of
Jamaica. On the 7th of that month, at the Petty Sessions at Morant Bay,
a prisoner, who had been convicted of an assault, was rescued from the
police, and on the 9th a warrant was issued for the apprehension of two
persons named Bogle and several others, who were stated to have taken an
active part in the riot of the 7th. Six policemen and two rural
constables proceeded, early on the morning of the 10th of October, to
execute this warrant at Stony Gut, about five miles from Morant Bay,
where Paul Bogle and some other of the alleged rioters lived. They found
Bogle in his yard, and told him that they had a warrant for his
apprehension. He desired to have the warrant read to him, which was
done. He then said that he would not go, and upon one of the policemen
proceeding to apprehend him, he cried out: "Help, here!" At the same
time, a man named Grant, who was with him, and who was addressed as
"Captain," called out, "Turn out, men." Almost immediately a body of
men, variously estimated at from 300 to 500, armed with cutlasses,
sticks, and pikes, rushed out from a chapel where Bogle was in the habit
of preaching, and from an adjoining cane-field, and attacked the

The police were, of course, overpowered. Some of them were severely
beaten. Three of their number were made prisoners and detained for
several hours, being ultimately only released upon their taking an oath
that they would "join their colour," and "cleave to the black."

So far, perhaps, the disturbances might have been considered to be
nothing more than an ordinary riot; but the proceedings of the rioters
on the following day soon put their intentions beyond all reasonable

On the 11th of October the Vestry, consisting of certain elected members
and magistrates, assembled in the court-house at Morant Bay about noon,
and proceeded with their ordinary business till between three and four
o'clock, when notice was given that a crowd of people was approaching.
The volunteers were hastily called together, and almost immediately
afterwards a body of men, armed with cutlasses, sticks, bayonets, and
muskets, after having attacked the police station and obtained
possession of such arms as were there deposited, were seen entering a
large open space facing the court-house, in front of which the
volunteers had been drawn up. The Custos, Baron Ketelhodt, went out to
the steps, and called to the people to know what they wanted. He
received no answer, and his cries of "Peace! peace!" were met by cries
from the crowd of "War!"

As the advancing mob drew near, the volunteers retired till they reached
the steps of the court-house. The Custos then began to read the Riot
Act. While he was in the act of reading it stones were thrown at the
volunteers, and Captain Hitchins, who commanded them, was struck in the
forehead. The captain, having received authority from the Custos, then
gave the word to fire. The order was obeyed, and some of the rioters
were seen to fall. The volunteers were soon overpowered, and the
court-house, in which refuge was sought, was set on fire. Many people
were barbarously murdered while trying to escape. Eighteen persons,
including the Custos, two sons of the rector, the Island Curate of Bath,
the Inspector of Police, the captain, two lieutenants, a sergeant, and
three privates of volunteers were killed. Thirty-one persons were

After this the town remained in possession of the rioters. The gaolers
were compelled to throw open the prison doors, and fifty-one prisoners
who were there confined were released. Several stores were attacked, and
from one of them a considerable quantity of gunpowder was taken. An
attempt was made to force the door of the magazine, where about 300
stand of arms were stored. Fortunately the endeavour was not successful.

Major-General L.S. O'Connor, commanding the troops in Jamaica, was
inspecting the left wing of the 1st West India Regiment, under Major
Anton, at Up Park Camp, on the morning of the 11th of October, when the
news of the riot at Stony Gut on the 10th arrived, with a requisition
from Governor Eyre for 100 men in aid of the civil power. In less than
an hour Captain Ross's company paraded and marched to Kingston, where
they embarked in H.M.S. _Wolverine_. Unfortunately, it not being
supposed that there was any necessity for urgency, the _Wolverine_ did
not leave Port Royal for Morant Bay until daybreak on the 12th. At about
noon on the 12th the news of the massacre of the magistrates reached
Port Royal, where Major-General O'Connor was inspecting the detachment
of the 1st West India Regiment, under Captain Luke. In two hours from
the receipt of the intelligence, the company embarked on board H.M.S.
_Onyx_, and landed at Morant Bay on the morning of the 13th.

Captain Ross, on arriving at Morant Bay, had found the town deserted by
all the Europeans, except Mr. Georges, who was severely wounded with
three musket balls in his leg. The bodies of the unfortunate
magistrates, many of which were barbarously mutilated, were buried by
this company. This duty performed, the men patrolled the roads in the
neighbourhood, and many ladies, whose husbands had been murdered or
taken prisoners, and who had fled with their children, on the approach
of the rioters, to bamboo thickets or other shelter, hearing the sound
of the bugles, came in for protection. Numbers of them had passed the
night in copses, from which, trembling with terror, they had seen their
houses pillaged.

On the 12th of October, large parties of the rebels, armed with guns and
cutlasses, marched in military order through Bath and other contiguous
districts. Stores were pillaged, and property taken or destroyed. Blue
Mountain Valley Estate, Amity Hall, Monklands, which is sixteen miles
from Morant Bay, and Hordley Estate, were all attacked by the
insurgents, the occupiers barely escaping with their lives. At Blue
Mountain Valley and Amity Hall, barbarous murders were perpetrated.

On the 13th of October, martial law was proclaimed throughout the county
of Surrey (except the county and city of Kingston), and Major-General
O'Connor immediately took steps to hem in the disturbed districts. On
the 15th of October, a detachment of the 1st West India Regiment was
sent to Port Antonio; and at mid-day, Captain Hole, of the 6th Regiment,
with 40 men of his own corps, and 60 of the 1st West India Regiment,
under Ensign Cullen, marched from that place to Manchioneal, twenty
miles eastward of Port Antonio. On the same day, 120 men of the 6th
Regiment, under Colonel Hobbs, occupied (as head-quarters) Monklands, in
the district of the Blue Mountain Valley, about sixteen miles from
Morant Bay. Captain Strachan's company of the 1st West India Regiment
proceeded to Spanish Town, whence Lieutenant Allinson, with 31 men, was
sent on to Linstead, where a repetition of the Morant Bay massacre was
apprehended. A detachment of the 6th was sent to Buff Bay to protect
some valuable sugar estates.

On the 13th and two succeeding days the insurgents continued their
course through Port Morant northward to Manchioneal, and on to Mulatto
River and Elmwood; the last of which places is situated in the most
northerly part of St. Thomas-in-the-East, where that parish abuts upon
Portland. As they advanced with the cry of "colour for colour" they were
joined by a considerable number of negroes, who readily assisted in the
work of plundering. The houses and stores were sacked. The intention
also of taking the lives of the whites was openly avowed, and diligent
search was made for particular individuals. But in each case the
imperilled person had timely notice, and sought safety in flight.

Elmwood was the point furthest from Morant Bay to which the disturbances
extended; the arrival of the troops at Port Antonio, on the 15th,
putting a stop to the further progress of the insurgents northwards.
Thus in the course of four days the rebels had spread over a tract of
country extending from White Horses, a few miles to the west of Morant
Bay, to Elmwood, at a distance of upwards of thirty miles to the
north-east of that place.

In the meantime, detachments of troops were rapidly converging upon the
disturbed districts. As the rebels were reported to be occupying Stony
Gut, an almost impregnable ravine three miles in length, a detachment of
the 6th Regiment was sent to dislodge them. Captain Luke, 1st West India
Regiment, by a rapid and judicious movement of his company towards Cuna
Cuna Gap, rescued from the hands of the insurgents upwards of eighty
Europeans and influential people of colour, who had, with their wives
and children, been in hiding for three or four days in the woods and
mountains, and conveyed them to a place of safety. Captain Hole moved
towards Bath from Manchioneal, and, in a despatch to Brigadier-General
Nelson, he mentions "a meritorious act of three privates of the 1st West
India Regiment deserving commendation. The three men got separated from
their party, and proceeded as far as the Plantain Garden River, where a
great number of rebels are lurking. The soldiers encountering the
rebels, shot several--among them three of the murderers of Mr. Hire--and
brought back with them two cartloads of plunder, among which was some of
Mr. Hire's clothing, and other property."

Kingston, as has been said, was exempted from martial law, and
consequently became the refuge of the most disaffected people. Arrests
were made hourly, and upwards of two hundred political prisoners were
confined in the military custody of the 1st West India Regiment at Up
Park Camp, which was under martial law. Threats were daily circulated
that the city would be fired in various places, and the streets were
patrolled by day and night. Sunday, the 22nd of October, was said to be
fixed for a massacre of the loyal inhabitants while at church, and such
universal panic prevailed, that every place of worship was on that day

The insurgents gradually dispersed as the troops advanced, numbers being
captured. On the 23rd of October, Paul Bogle, the ringleader, was taken;
and, on the 24th, was tried and hanged. On the same day, George William
Gordon, a coloured member of the House of Assembly, who had been tried
by a court-martial on the 21st, and found guilty of complicity in the
rebellion, was hanged at Morant Bay. All the insurgents taken in arms
were put to death, and the houses of those who were known to have taken
part in the insurrection were burned. By these vigorous measures all
outward signs of resistance were crushed, and the movement prevented
from becoming general; though reports were constantly received from
various parts of the island, of disloyalty and seditious intentions.

On the 29th of October, letters D and F Companies of the 1st West India
Regiment, with Major McBean, Captains Ormsby and Smithwick, Lieutenants
Lowry, Niven, Hill, and Bale, and Ensign Cole, arrived from Nassau.
Detachments were at once sent to Port Maria under Captain Ormsby, to
Savannah la Mar under Lieutenant Hill, and to Vere under Lieutenant
Bale. The 2nd West India Regiment, arriving from Barbados, was stationed
along the north-western coast of the island.

From evidence subsequently obtained it was evident that the rising had
been long planned, and that the outbreak at Morant Bay was premature. It
is clear that meetings took place, where bodies of men were drilled,
oaths administered, and the names of persons registered. The insurgents
were so confident of ultimate success that the crops were uninjured, and
the buildings for the most part preserved; they openly avowing that they
intended taking them for themselves, when the whites were expelled. The
rebels appear to have expected that the Maroons would join them, but
that people remained faithful to their allegiance, and assisted in the
suppression of the disturbances.

Although all the rebels in the field were taken or dispersed before the
end of October, the island was not entirely quiet for some time after;
and as late as the 14th of December, a detachment of the 1st West India
Regiment, under Captain Ross, was sent from Black River to Oxford
Estate, thirty miles distant, that place being reported to be

Major-General O'Connor, in his despatch reporting the restoration of
order, says: "The men employed in the field, exposed to the tropical
sun, heavy rains, constant and long marches by day and night, have all
(the 2nd 6th Regiment, and the 1st West India Regiment) highly
distinguished themselves by their patience, perseverance, and general
good conduct." He might have added that the fidelity of the black
soldiers of the 1st West India Regiment could hardly have been put to a
more crucial test. Nine-tenths of those men were Jamaicans, born and
bred, and in the work of suppressing the rebellion they were required to
hang, capture, and destroy the habitations of not only their countrymen
and friends, but, in many instances, of their near relatives. Yet in no
single case did any man hesitate to obey orders, nor was the loyalty of
any one soldier ever a matter for doubt.

Governor Eyre having, by his prompt and vigorous measures, saved the
colony of Jamaica from a repetition of those horrors which devastated
the French West India Islands in the early part of the century, was
subjected to a most vindictive and ungenerous attack on the part of the
Exeter Hall party in England. By that party the judicial executions of
the rebels were stigmatised as "atrocities," while the massacre at
Morant Bay and the murders of the planters were only spoken of as
"unfortunate occurrences." Owing to their clamour, a commission was sent
out from England to inquire into the state of affairs in the colony. The
commission arrived at the following conclusion: "That though the
original design for the overthrow of constituted authority was confined
to a small portion of the parish of St. Thomas-in-the-East, yet that the
disorder, in fact, spread with singular rapidity over an extensive tract
of country, and that such was the state of excitement prevailing in
other parts of the island, that had more than a momentary success been
obtained by the insurgents, their ultimate overthrow would have been
attended with a still more fearful loss of life and property."

Many of the disaffected negroes, finding that they were being backed up
by an influential party in England, preferred the most unfounded charges
against several of the officers who had been most active in the
suppression of the rebellion. Amongst others, Ensign Cullen, of the 1st
West India Regiment, was charged with having had three men wantonly shot
at Duckinfield Suspension Bridge, on the 21st of October, while on the
march from Manchioneal to Golden Grove; and Staff-Assistant-Surgeon
Morris, who had been in medical charge of Ensign Cullen's detachment,
was charged with shooting a fourth man.

After these charges had been allowed to hang over these officers' heads
for nearly a year, they were given an opportunity of clearing themselves
before a general court martial, which assembled at Up Park Camp on the
2nd of October, 1866, and terminated its proceedings on the 4th of
December. It is needless to say that both were acquitted.[59]

For the valuable and efficient services rendered by the regiment during
this rebellion, the House of Assembly in Jamaica voted the sum of £100
to be expended in plate.

In March, 1866, all being quiet in Jamaica, Captain Smithwick's company
returned to Nassau in H.M.S. _Sphynx_, being followed by Captain
Ormsby's company, in August, in H.M.S. _Barracouta_.


[Footnote 59: The following was the composition of the court:

    Lieutenant-Colonel R.T. Farren, C.B., Depôt Battalion--President.
    Major W.R. Williamson, 48th Regiment  }
      "   J.H. Campbell,   71st    "      }
    Captain F.D. Walters,  44th    "      }
       "    J.G. Day,      28th    "      }
       "    J.A. Barstow,  89th    "      }  Members.
       "    J.L. Seton,   102nd    "      }
       "    C.V. Oliver,   66th    "      }
       "    J.T. Ready,    66th    "      }
    Captain Maclean, Rifle Brigade--Officiating Judge Advocate.
    Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel C.F.J. Daniell, 28th Regiment--Prosecutor.



AFRICAN TOUR, 1866-70.

In August, 1866, it again became the turn of the 1st West India Regiment
to furnish a portion of the garrisons of the Western Coast of Africa.
The system of these garrisons had again been changed, and now consisted
of one battalion divided between Sierra Leone and the Gambia, and half a
battalion distributed between the Gold Coast and Lagos. At this time the
left wing of the 2nd West India Regiment was garrisoning the two latter
colonies, and the 1st West India Regiment was to garrison the two

On the 29th of August, 1866, four companies under Major Anton embarked
at Jamaica in H.M.S. _Simoom_, and proceeded to Africa; two being landed
at the Gambia on the 28th of September, and two at Sierra Leone on the
6th of October. The _Simoom_, returning to the West Indies, embarked the
remaining company at Jamaica in November; and proceeding to Nassau, the
head-quarters and three companies there stationed were also embarked,
the whole arriving at Sierra Leone, under Captain Bravo, on the 31st of
December. The distribution of the regiment now was: Head-quarters, with
A, B, D, E, F, and G Companies at Sierra Leone; C and H Companies at the
Gambia. Major Anton was in command at the latter station, and on the
25th of May, 1867, Lieutenant-Colonel Yonge arrived at Sierra Leone and
assumed command there.

In the beginning of August, 1867, a disturbance of a serious character
occurred on the Gold Coast at Mumford, a town situated half-way between
Cape Coast Castle and Accra; and Lieutenant H.F.S. Bolton, 1st West
India Regiment, who, being temporarily in the employ of the Colonial
Government, was Civil Commandant of the latter town, was despatched with
a party of the 2nd West India Regiment to establish order. The cause of
the disturbance was an old-standing quarrel between two of the native
companies at Mumford, and a conflict had taken place, resulting in a
large number of killed and wounded. On the arrival of the troops the
principal offenders were arrested, and order was restored.

Since the arrival of the regiment in Africa, small detachments had been
furnished from Sierra Leone to Sherbro, Songo-town, and the island of
Bulama, at the mouth of the Jeba River. In September, 1867, the troops
were withdrawn from the latter station.

In October, 1867, Lieutenant Bolton was employed in arresting some
recalcitrant chiefs at Pram-Pram, near Accra, Lieutenant Ness, 2nd West
India Regiment, with a detachment of that corps, acting under his
orders. The service was attended with considerable difficulty and some
danger, and the following general order was published on the subject,
dated Cape Coast Castle, January 15th, 1868:

"The officer commanding the troops has much gratification in publishing
in orders an extract of a letter received from the Horse Guards,
expressing the approval of His Royal Highness the Field-Marshal
Commanding-in-Chief, of the manner in which the difficult duties were
carried out by the officers and troops employed in the recent expedition
to Pram-Pram.

"'The attention of the Field-Marshal Commanding-in-Chief having been
drawn to a despatch, received at the Colonial Office, from the
Administrator-in-Chief of the West Africa settlements, containing a very
favourable account of the conduct of Lieutenant H.F.S. Bolton, of the
1st West India Regiment, and Lieutenant (now Captain) Ness, of the 4th
West India Regiment,[60] and of the troops under their command, on a
recent expedition to some chiefs at Pram-Pram and Ningo, on the Gold
Coast; I am directed to acquaint you that His Royal Highness considers
the report to be highly satisfactory, and I have to request that you
will express to the officers and troops employed on the service in
question, His Royal Highness's approval of the manner in which they
carried out the very difficult duties they had to perform.'"

On the 9th of August, 1868, at the request of the Governor-in-chief, the
garrison of the 2nd West India Regiment on the Gold Coast being much
below its allotted strength, E Company, 1st West India Regiment, 100
strong, proceeded to Cape Coast Castle, under Lieutenant C.J.L. Hill,
and, in consequence of this reduction of the Sierra Leone garrison, the
Songo-town detachment was withdrawn.

In January, 1869, a company under Captain K.R. Niven, with Ensign W.A.
Broome, was despatched to Sherbro Island for the protection of British
subjects, an invasion of that island being hourly expected. The presence
of the troops soon produced the desired effect, and the detachment
returned to Sierra Leone on the 27th of February.

In April, 1869, in consequence of the difficulty experienced by the
Colonial Government in arresting certain rebellious chiefs at the
Amissah River, about twenty miles to the east of Cape Coast Castle, the
police having been attacked and driven off, the Acting Administrator,
Mr. W.H. Simpson, applied for a military party to aid in establishing
the authority of the Government over the people of that place; and, on
the 7th of that month, Lieutenant E.G. Macdonald, 1st West India
Regiment, with twenty-five non-commissioned officers and men of letter
E Company, marched for Anamaboe, leaving that place next morning for
Amissah River. On arriving there the chiefs were captured with some
little difficulty, and the party returned to Cape Coast next day.

On the 1st of April, 1869, the 4th West India Regiment was disbanded,
and the three remaining West India regiments were each augmented by one
company; the detachment of the 4th West India Regiment at Jamaica being
formed into the ninth, or letter "I," Company of the 1st West India
Regiment. On the 30th of September, 1869, it embarked for Honduras in
the brigantine _W.N.Z._, under Major McAuley, arriving at its
destination on the 14th of October.

In May, 1869, the Gambia was visited by a severe epidemic of cholera.
Owing to the sanitary measures adopted by Major W.W.W. Johnston, 1st
West India Regiment, commanding the troops, the regiment escaped with
only eighteen deaths out of the 200 men there stationed between the 5th
of May and the 6th of June, the period when the epidemic was at its
height; while in the town there were more than 1500 deaths, out of a
population of some 5000.

In 1870 the three years' tour of service of the regiment on the West
Coast of Africa expired. The 3rd West India Regiment having been
disbanded, a considerable reduction in the West African garrisons became
necessary, and it was intended that the relief for the eight companies
of the 1st West India Regiment should consist of four companies of the
2nd. On the 24th of May, the head-quarters, with A, B, and F Companies,
under Captain Samson, embarked at Sierra Leone in H.M.S. _Orontes_,
which, proceeding to the Gambia, took on board the two companies there
on the 29th. The head-quarters, with the three companies from Sierra
Leone, landed at Jamaica on the 27th of June, and the _Orontes_ then
sailed for Nassau, where the two companies from the Gambia were
disembarked. On the return of the troopship to the West Coast of Africa
with the four companies of the 2nd West India Regiment, the company of
the 1st West India Regiment at Cape Coast Castle was embarked on the
24th of August, and the remaining two at Sierra Leone on the 27th. All
three proceeded to Jamaica, under the command of Captain J.A. Smith, and
landed at Kingston on the 3rd of October. The distribution of the
regiment was now as follows: head-quarters and six companies at Jamaica,
two at Nassau, and one at Honduras. On the 15th of November, F Company,
under Captain Butler, embarked at Jamaica for Honduras; thus making up
the detachment at that station to two companies.

During the West African tour of 1866-70, two officers succumbed to the
influence of the climate, Lieutenant Gavin having died at Sierra Leone
on the 22nd of February, 1869, and Lieutenant Maturin on the 7th of
December of the same year.


[Footnote 60: By the Gazette of September 25th, 1867, Lieutenant R.E.D.
Ness, 2nd West India Regiment, was promoted Captain, by purchase, in the
4th West India Regiment.]



On the 1st of September, 1872, a most determined attack was made by the
Ycaiché Indians on the outpost of Orange Walk, British Honduras, which
was garrisoned by thirty-eight men of the 1st West India Regiment, under
Lieutenant Joseph Graham Smith.

Orange Walk is situated on a deep and sluggish stream in the northern
district, named the New River,[61] at a distance of some thirty-three
miles from its mouth, and, in 1872, contained a population of about 1200
souls, the majority of whom were either Indians or Hispano-Indians, and
indifferent to British rule. The business portion of the town, and most
of the shops or stores, were on hilly ground, considerably above the
river-bed, and built here and there, without an attempt at order or
regularity. About midway between the river and this upper portion of the
town was the barrack, consisting of one large room, sixty feet by
thirty feet, the two ends of which were partitioned off, leaving the
central part for the men's quarters. The partitioned portion at the
south end was used as a guard-room. The walls of the building were
constructed of _pimentos_, or round straight sticks, varying from
half-an-inch to three inches in diameter, driven firmly into the ground,
in an upright position, as close together as possible, and held in their
places by pine-wood battens. The roof was composed of palm-leaves, or
"fan-thatch." The floor was boarded.

On the south-eastern side of the barrack, the ground fell towards the
river, which was about fifty yards distant. About ten yards from the
water's edge was a large quantity of logwood, packed in piles four feet
high, and some little distance from each other. Across the road, on the
southern side, were several native houses; to the east, and about forty
yards distant, was a group of four small buildings consisting of
commissariat stores and the officers' quarters; while the nearest
building on the north was the Roman Catholic Church, about eighty yards

How or when the invaders crossed the Rio Hondo, the northern boundary of
the colony, has not been ascertained; but it is a significant fact,
suggestive of strong suspicions against the loyalty of the Indian and
mixed Spanish-Indian population, whose small settlements were dotted
here and there on the line of march of the invaders, that no information
was conveyed, either to the district magistrate at Orange Walk, or to
the officer commanding the small detachment, that an enemy was at hand,
prepared, as the settlers must have known, to attack and plunder the

The Indians, consisting of about 180 braves, or fighting men, and 100
camp followers, led by Marcus Canul, chief of the Ycaiché, approached
the town about 8 a.m. on Sunday, the 1st of September. They were divided
into three sections, each of 60 men, and they entered the town at three
different points; one attacking the upper portion, and pillaging and
setting fire to the houses and stores, the other two marching directly
upon the barracks, but from opposite sides. Of these latter two, one
took up a position behind the stacks of logwood, thus commanding one
side and one end of the barrack; and the other established itself close
to the officers' quarters, under cover of a stone building, which
commanded the other side of the barrack and the end already commanded
from the stacks of logwood.

So sudden and unexpected was the attack, that Lieutenant Graham Smith
and Staff-Assistant-Surgeon Edge, who were both at the time having their
morning baths, barely had time to escape to the barracks; Lieutenant
Smith, with nothing on but his trousers, and Dr. Edge in a state of
nudity; while the first notice the men in the barrack had of the
approach of the enemy, was the shower of lead which rattled on the

Lieutenant Graham Smith says: "At about 8 a.m. on September 1st, I was
bathing, when I heard the report of a gun and the whizz of a bullet
along the road running past the south end of the barrack-room. I looked
out of the door of my house facing the barracks, and saw the corporal of
the old guard, which had just been relieved, running towards me. He
said, 'The Indians have come.' I repeated this to Dr. Edge, who was
living in the same quarters with me, then put on my trousers, ran across
to the barrack-room, and got the men under arms as quickly as possible."

Before Lieutenant Graham Smith had reached the barracks, the two
divisions of the enemy had taken up their respective positions, and were
pouring in unceasing discharges of ball, which penetrated the pimento
sticks and raked the building from end to end. The guard, the only men
who had ammunition in their possession, returned the fire, and at this
moment Lieutenant Smith arrived with Dr. Edge.

Sergeant Belizario, coming forward and asking for ammunition to serve
out, reminded Lieutenant Smith that he had left the key of the portable
magazine, in which the ammunition was kept, in his quarters. The open
space between his quarters and the barrack-room was swept with an
unceasing shower of lead; but there was no help for it, and the key had
to be fetched. Accompanied by Sergeant Belizario, Lieutenant Smith ran
over to his house, seized the key, and ran back. Most marvellously both
escaped injury, though the ground all around them was cut up by bullets.
The portable magazine was kept in the partitioned end that served as a
guard-room, and there was no door of communication between the central
portion, where the men lived, and this room. Sergeant Belizario
therefore ran out of the barrack-room, along the side of the building,
into the guard-room, and endeavoured to drag the portable magazine back
with him. He succeeded in moving it outside the guard-room and a little
way along the wall, but further he could not drag it. All this time he
was exposed to a heavy fire, and every musket-barrel from the stone
building on the eastern side of the barrack was pointed at his body.
Finding that all his efforts to move the magazine were fruitless,
Sergeant Belizario unlocked it, and, taking out the ammunition, passed
packet after packet to the men inside, through the opening under the
eaves left for ventilation, between the thatched roof and the top of the
pimento wall, till the magazine was emptied. This done, he returned to
the barrack-room. He seemed to have borne a charmed life, for he was
untouched, while the portable magazine was starred with the white
splashes of leaden bullets.

A hot fire was now opened by the soldiers, and Lieutenant Graham Smith,
taking a rifle, placed himself at the west door of the barracks to try
and pick off some of the most daring of the Indians. Whilst there he was
struck in the left side, and, at the same instant, Private Robert Lynch,
who was standing next him, fell dead, pierced by two shots.

Notwithstanding his wound, which was very severe, the ball penetrating
the left breast a little above the heart, and passing nearly through
him, finally lodging under the left shoulder-blade, Lieutenant Smith
continued directing and encouraging his men; and finding that the whole
interior was swept by the missiles of the enemy, against which the frail
pimento-sticks were no protection, he ordered the men to turn down their
cots, and, lying on their beds, to fire over the iron heads of the cots.
In this position they were tolerably well sheltered, though the Indians
were so close that several of the iron heads were shot through.

In this place it will be proper to refer to a soldier who, all this
time, was outside the barrack. This was Private Bidwell, who, when the
Indians arrived, had just been posted sentry on a commissariat store
close to the officers' quarters. The occupation of one of this group of
buildings cut him off from the barrack-room; so, after bayoneting one
Indian, he ran over to an enclosure belonging to Don Escalente, situated
to the north of the store. From the shelter of the fence of this
enclosure he fired into the Indians in the stone building till his ten
rounds of ammunition were exhausted. He then said to Don Escalente, "I
am going over to the barracks for more cartridges," and, before he could
be dissuaded, ran out from the shelter and endeavoured to cross the open
space to the barrack. On the way he received a mortal wound, but
succeeded in joining his comrades.

The Indians, impatient at the delay caused by the obstinate resistance
of the soldiers, now vacated the houses on the further side of the road,
opposite the southern end of the barracks, and set fire to the thatched
roofs, hoping to involve the barracks in a general conflagration. The
houses burned fiercely, and the flames spreading across the road, caught
a small kitchen situated not ten yards from the barracks. The Indians
raised yells of triumph, for they considered it certain that their foes
would now be driven from their shelter and then easily overpowered by
force of numbers. Indeed, it is difficult to understand how the dry
palm-thatch of the barracks did fail to ignite, but it did so fail, and
the kitchen, after blazing up violently for a few minutes, fell in and
burned itself out harmlessly.

By the destruction of these buildings the position of the soldiers was
improved, the Indians now having no cover immediately opposite the south
end of the barrack, and being compelled consequently to concentrate
behind the stacks of logwood. A party, however, of them made a circuit
and appeared on the north-west corner of the barrack, from whence they
commanded the road bounding the north side of the building.

After the firing had continued for an hour and a half, Mr. Price, and
another American gentleman from Tower Hill Rancho, about four miles from
the barracks, having heard what was taking place, mounted and rode
towards the scene of the conflict. Creeping up the river bank
unperceived through the thick woods, they suddenly rode into and fired
upon the Indians who were in rear of the stacks of logwood. The latter,
taken by surprise, and not knowing by what unexpected force they were
attacked, left their cover for a moment and appeared on the side nearest
to the barracks. The soldiers perceiving this movement, and thinking
that the Indians were going to attempt to rush the building, fixed
bayonets, and some ran to the doors to defend the entrances. Mr. Price
and his companion, taking advantage of this and the momentary surprise
of the Indians, rushed forward and threw themselves into the barracks.

The enemy's fire redoubled after this, and it was hotly kept up until
about half-past 1 o'clock; it then began to slacken, and by 2 o'clock
had ceased altogether. For some time no one stirred, it being suspected
that the cessation of the attack was only an Indian ruse; but after a
quarter of an hour had elapsed, Sergeant Belizario was sent out with a
party to reconnoitre. He reported that the enemy was in full retreat,
and was sent to follow them up and watch their movements. No pursuit
could be attempted. Lieutenant Graham Smith was, by this time, incapable
of further action, and out of the detachment of thirty-eight men, two
had been killed and fourteen severely wounded.

The attack lasted altogether six hours. The Indian loss was about fifty
killed; the number of their wounded could not, of course, be
ascertained, but amongst them was Marcus Canul himself, who was
mortally wounded, and died before recrossing the Hondo. Of the
civilians, the son of Don Escalente, a boy fourteen years of age, was
killed, and seventeen were wounded. While the Indians had been occupied
in their attack on the barracks, the European women and children had
escaped from the scene of the outrage and crossed the river in boats.
Thence they had made their way through the dense forest to the village
of San Estevan, about seven miles below Orange Walk. Over 300
bullet-holes were counted in the walls of the barrack-room, and in many
places the palmettos were shot away in patches.

On the morning following the attack, a rumour reached the barracks that
the Indians were again in force near the town, and preparing to renew
the attack. Every preparation for giving them a warm reception was made;
but Sergeant Belizario and a small party, who went out to reconnoitre,
found that the rumour was false, although several Indians were seen in
the bush and fired upon.

In the meantime the news of the invasion had reached Corosal and Belize,
and Captain F.B.P. White, with Lieutenant Bulger and twenty men, arrived
at Orange Walk at midnight on the 4th, being followed next day by a
further reinforcement of fifty-three officers and men, under Major
W.W.W. Johnston, but the Indians had already retired beyond the

A colonist, in a letter to _The Times_ on this affair, says:

"Concerning the conduct and proceedings of the military during and
subsequent to the late invasion and attack, I have nothing to say but
what redounds to their credit and high character as British soldiers;
and if medals and crosses were distributed among the dusky warriors of
Her Majesty's land forces in this part of her dominions as freely as
among other branches of the service, all I can say is that every one of
the brave fellows, who held with such determined valour and tenacity the
barracks at Orange Walk on that memorable Sunday morning against such
fearful odds, would be entitled to a medal at least."

The following general order was issued: "The Colonel commanding the
forces in the West Indies has received with much satisfaction an account
of the successful defence of the post of Orange Walk, British Honduras,
by a detachment of the 1st West India Regiment, under the command of
Lieutenant J. Graham Smith, against an assault of a large force of

"He has much pleasure in recording his high approbation of the gallant
conduct of Lieutenant Smith, who, severely wounded at the outset of the
attack, maintained the defence of his post, and retained command as long
as his strength enabled him to do so; it was then successfully
maintained under the direction of Staff-Assistant-Surgeon Edge, and
Sergeant Belizario, 1st West India Regiment, to whom also great praise
is due for their conduct and exertions; the gallant conduct of
Lance-Corporals Spencer and Stirling, Privates Hoffer, Maxwell,
Osborne, Murray, and W. Morris, has also been favourably mentioned.

"The Colonel commanding will have great pleasure in bringing the conduct
of these officers and soldiers to the favourable notice of His Royal
Highness the Field-Marshal Commanding-in-Chief, and also the judicious
and energetic measures taken by Major W.W.W. Johnston, 1st West India
Regiment, commanding the troops in British Honduras, who proceeded in
person to the post which had been assailed, and followed up the
retreating enemy."

In reply to the report made by Colonel Cox, C.B., commanding the troops,
the following letter was received, and ordered to be embodied in the
records of the regiment:

                                    "HORSE GUARDS, WAR OFFICE, S.W.,
                                            "_15th November, 1872_.


    "Having had the honour to receive and submit to the Field-Marshal
    Commanding-in-Chief, your letter of the 23rd September last, with
    its several enclosures, containing a detailed account of the
    exemplary and gallant conduct of a detachment of the 1st West India
    Regiment, in repelling an attack of Indians on the Orange Walk
    outpost of the Colony of British Honduras, together with a letter on
    the same subject addressed to this department by the officer
    commanding the 1st West India Regiment:

    "I have it in command to acquaint you that His Royal Highness, after
    consultation with the Secretary of State for War on the subject,
    has decided that the following recognition shall be at once made of
    the services of the officers and men employed on that occasion,

    "That Lieutenant Smith, late 1st West India Regiment, who was
    gazetted to the 57th Regiment in August last, shall be immediately
    promoted to a Company in the 97th Foot.

    "That Staff-Assistant-Surgeon Edge shall be promoted to the rank of
    Surgeon, as soon as he has qualified for the higher position, and a
    notification to this effect will be published in the London Gazette,

    "That Sergeant Edward Belizario shall receive the distinguished
    conduct medal, with an annuity of £10, to be given at once, in
    excess of the vote, until absorbed on the occurrence of a vacancy.

    "That Lance-Corporals Spencer and Stirling shall be granted the
    distinguished conduct medal without annuity, and promoted to the
    rank of Corporal, to be borne supernumerary till absorbed.

    "I am also to request that the men of the detachment specially named
    in the margin[62] may be commended for their good conduct, and the
    commanding officer of the regiment requested to record their claims,
    and give such recognition of them regimentally as may be possible
    from time to time.

    "That you will publish these, His Royal Highness's decisions, in
    your general orders.

    "And that a copy of this letter may be furnished to the officer
    commanding the 1st West India Regiment, for the purpose of being
    entered in the Regimental Records.

                                       "I have, etc.,
                                        (Signed) J.W. ARMSTRONG, D.A.G."

In consequence of the attack on Orange Walk, and on the application of
the Governor of Honduras, Captain Gardner, Lieutenant Bale, and fifty
men of the regiment, embarked at Jamaica, on the 25th of September, in
H.M.S. _Fly_, as a reinforcement for Honduras.


[Footnote 61: See Map.]

[Footnote 62: Privates Hoffer, Maxwell, S. Osborne, Murray, R.A. Morris,
and W. Tell.]



On the 9th of December, 1872, the King of Ashanti despatched from
Coomassie an army of 40,000 men to invade the British Protectorate on
the Gold Coast. This army crossed the Prah in three divisions on January
29th, 1873, and spread itself slowly over the country, ravaging as it
advanced. In August, 1870, the garrisons on the West Coast of Africa had
been reduced to four companies, two at Sierra Leone, and two at Cape
Coast. This reduction, no doubt, was one of the principal causes which
led to the invasion, for at that time there were only 160 soldiers of
the 2nd West India Regiment to defend 160 miles of territory.

In June, 1873, the head-quarters of the 2nd West India Regiment being
ordered from Demerara to Cape Coast Castle, A Company of the 1st West
India Regiment embarked at Kingston, Jamaica, on the 10th of that month,
and proceeded to Demerara to garrison that place. In September, the
native levies that had been raised on the Gold Coast to resist the
Ashantis being found utterly worthless, it was decided to send three
battalions from England and the 1st West India Regiment from Jamaica, to
invade in turn the Ashanti territory and dictate terms of peace at

On the 15th of November, the two companies (C and H) from Nassau, under
the command of Major Strachan, arrived at Jamaica, and, on the 3rd of
December, the head-quarters and five companies (B, C, E, G and H), under
the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Maxwell, embarked at Kingston on board
the hired transport _Manitoban_. Proceeding to Barbados, A Company, which
had been moved from Demerara, was embarked on the 9th of December, and the
same evening the regiment sailed for the Gold Coast, arriving at Cape Coast
Castle on the 27th, and disembarking on the 29th, 575 strong. The officers
serving with the expeditionary force were Lieutenant-Colonel Maxwell, Major
W.W.W. Johnston, Captains Sampson, Butler, Niven, J.A. Smith, Steward,
and Shearman, Lieutenants Allinson, C.J.L. Hill, Bale, Molony, Cole,
Bell, Clough, Elderton, Beale-Browne, and Barne, and Sub-Lieutenants
Harward, Spitta, Hughes, Burke, Edwardes, Tinkler, and Ellis.

The regiment on landing was encamped on Prospect and Connor's Hills, two
heights overlooking the town of Cape Coast, and Colonel Maxwell assumed
command of the garrison in the Castle.

Sir Garnet Wolseley having already driven the Ashantis out of the
Protectorate after the actions at Dunquah and Abracampa in November, and
having garrisoned the various stations between Cape Coast and the Prah,
had, a few days before the regiment landed, gone on to Prahsu with his
head-quarter staff. The _Himalaya_ and _Tamar_, with the 23rd Royal
Welsh Fusiliers and the 2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade, which had been
cruising about outside for sanitary reasons, now came into the
roadstead, where the _Sarmatian_, with the 42nd Highlanders, was already
lying, and everything was ready for the advance on Coomassie.

Accordingly, before daybreak on the 1st of January, the right
half-battalion of the Rifle Brigade landed and commenced its march to
the front, followed the next morning by the other half-battalion. On the
mornings of the 3rd and 4th the two half-battalions of the 42nd landed,
and passed to the front in a similar manner.

The Fantis had shown so much disinclination to act as carriers, and so
few had been obtained, that the advance of these two battalions had
exhausted all the available carriers, and there were none for the 23rd
Fusiliers. It was necessary to adopt stronger measures, unless the
expedition was to fall through, and on the 4th of January the 1st West
India Regiment was posted in a cordon of sentries around the town of
Cape Coast, while the armed police seized all the able-bodied men in the
town, except those employed as canoe-men. This step was entirely
successful, and on the morning of the 5th the right half-battalion of
the 23rd landed and marched to the front, being followed next morning by
C Company of the 1st West India Regiment.

The difficulty with the carriers had in the meantime increased instead
of diminishing. Numbers had deserted, abandoning their loads, and the
transport was almost in a moribund condition, the 23rd Regiment being
even re-embarked for want of carriers. Sir Garnet Wolseley in this
emergency called upon the West India regiments for assistance, saying
that the fate of the expedition was hanging in the balance; and in
response to his appeal, they both volunteered to carry supplies, in
addition to their arms, accoutrements, and ammunition.

Accordingly, on the 7th of January, the head-quarters of the regiment,
under Colonel Maxwell, with A and E Companies, marched to Inquabim, the
first stage; being followed the next morning by G and H Companies, under
Captain Butler; while B Company remained at Prospect Hill to furnish the
necessary garrison guards at Cape Coast Castle.

The head-quarters arrived at Dunquah on the 8th, where C Company had
been halted by Colonel Colley, who was in charge of the transport and
communications, and had already been actively engaged driving in
carriers and furnishing escorts for the convoys of provisions.

On the 9th, at 1.30 a.m., A Company, under Captain Shearman, paraded
and marched into the Ecumfie district for the purpose of driving in
carriers from that neighbourhood, and, at the same hour, the
head-quarters and E Company continued their march to Mansu, where they
arrived the same evening.

Provisions being now urgently required at the stations immediately in
front of Mansu, 78 men of E Company, being all that were available, and
140 of the 42nd Highlanders, started at three o'clock in the morning of
the 12th, as carriers, each man with a load of 50 lb. weight, besides
his arms and accoutrements. On the evening of the same day Captain
Butler, with H Company, arrived at Mansu.

The carriers continued deserting by whole tribes, and the need of them
had become so urgent, that orders were issued to shoot any attempting to
desert, while parties of the regiment were continually passing backwards
and forwards between Dunquah and Mansu as guards over the convoys. To
relieve the pressure, 94 men of G and C Companies left Dunquah on the
13th with ninety-four 50-lb. loads, and, reaching Mansu the same day,
started next morning at daybreak for the Prah.

On the 17th, Captain Butler marched with H Company to Essecooma, a place
about twenty miles due east from Mansu, to drive in carriers, and a
similar party was sent out next day from Dunquah, under Lieutenant
Roper, to Adjumaco and Essiaman.

During all these arduous duties, and since the 8th of January, so great
was the scarcity of provisions at the front, that the non-commissioned
officers and men of the regiment were placed upon half rations of salt
meat and biscuit, without the grocery ration.

On Sunday, the 18th of January, the transport being now in sufficient
order, owing to the number of carriers driven in from the surrounding
districts by the regiment, the advance of the army commenced, and the
head-quarters of the 42nd Regiment marched from Mansu; their left wing,
and 100 men of the 23rd Fusiliers, moving up from Yancoomassie Fanti,
and occupying their lines for the night. The Rifle Brigade moved
simultaneously to the front from the stations ahead.

Next morning, E Company, under Captain J.A. Smith, marched with the left
wing of the 42nd for the Prah, and G Company, under Captain Steward,
came up to Mansu from Dunquah, leaving A and C Companies, under Captains
Niven and Shearman, at Dunquah and the Adjumaco district.

On the 23rd, orders were received from the front by telegram, that the
head-quarters and 200 men were to march for the Prah at once, there to
receive further orders. Captain Butler, who had been ordered in with H
Company from Essecooma, two days before, arrived at Mansu the same
evening, and the next morning, the head-quarters and G Company marched
for the Prah, H Company following on the 25th. Halting at Sutah and
Yancoomassie Assin, the head-quarters arrived at Prahsu on the 27th,
and on the morning of the 28th, the 200 men required crossed the Prah
and marched to Essiaman. During this march the men had been obliged to
carry their _tentes d'abri_, blankets and waterproof sheets, and seventy
rounds of ball ammunition, in addition to their field kits and arms and
accoutrements. On arriving at Essiaman, E Company, which, under Captain
J.A. Smith, had crossed the Prah a day or two before, was found
occupying an important post at the cross roads.

A few minutes after reaching this village, urgent orders were received
to push on as quickly as possible to the summit of the Adansi Hills, and
again proceed to the front with all speed, leaving fifty men at
Fommanah, the capital of Adansi. On the 29th, the head-quarters were at
Accrofumu; on the 30th, they crossed the Adansi Hills, and halted at
Fommanah for the night, leaving E Company, under Captain Smith, at the
cross-roads at the foot of the hills, in accordance with later orders
that had been received, and Lieutenant Spitta with twenty-five men at
the summit. The men were now becoming much exhausted from their long
marches, marching, as they did, double stages every day. Their burdens
were unusually heavy for troops, and they were still kept on half

At Fommanah a very pressing letter was received from the chief of the
staff, asking at what hour next day the regiment might be expected to
join the head-quarters of the army at Insarfu, what numbers it could
put into the field, and whether the boxes of small-arm ammunition
ordered up from Prahsu had arrived with it. A considerable action was
considered imminent on the morrow.

At daylight on the morning of the 31st, the head-quarters marched to
Ahkankuassie, leaving Captain Steward and Lieutenant Hughes with fifty
men at Fommanah. At about eight o'clock the sound of heavy and sustained
musketry was heard, and the men, eager to join in the first battle
fought on Ashanti soil, pushed on. At Adadwasi a large number of
carriers, with reserve ammunition, who had halted there, frightened at
the sound of the firing, were found, and were at once taken on, arriving
at Insarfu about 1.30 p.m.

The firing, which had ceased for a short time, now recommenced, the
Ashantis making one of their favourite flank attacks on Quarman, the
next village in front. The situation appeared grave, the town being
crowded with terrified carriers and wounded men, and Lieutenant Hill
with a half-company was sent out to act with the 2nd West India Regiment
and skirmish.

After a time, however, the musketry ceased, and the carriers, with the
reserve ammunition, were pushed on hurriedly under the escort of a
company of the Rifle Brigade, the 1st and 2nd West India Regiments being
directed to hold Insarfu. Scarcely had the carriers started than the
firing again commenced, the ambushed Ashantis having attacked the
convoy, which fell back upon Insarfu. After a short delay, a second
attempt was made to get the ammunition through to the front, and this
time it proved successful. It was now dark, and Captain Buckle, R.E.,
who had been killed that morning, was buried outside the town, the
firing party of the 1st West India Regiment being employed as
skirmishers to protect the funeral party, instead of in the usual

The next morning, orders were received for the 2nd West India Regiment
to proceed to Amoaful, and hold it until the return of the army from
Coomassie; while the 1st West India Regiment was directed to hold
Insarfu, in which was the 2nd field hospital with 120 wounded officers
and men. The work was arduous in the extreme, the men, when not on
sentry or patrol, being employed in clearing the thick bush round the
town, and endeavouring to strengthen the post. While the engagement at
Amoaful, Quarman, and Insarfu was going on, a party of the 1st West
India Regiment, which was escorting treasure from Fommanah to Dompoassi,
was fired upon by some ambushed Ashantis about one hundred yards from
the latter village. The escort promptly returned the fire, but the
carriers all dropped their loads and ran away. After firing a few
desultory shots the Ashantis retired, and the escort remained with the
scattered boxes of specie, which were too numerous for them to carry on
themselves. Fortunately the fugitive carriers, running headlong into
Fommanah, spread the alarm, and Captain North, of the 47th Regiment,
immediately marched with a party of the 1st West India Regiment, under
Lieutenant E. Hughes, and a few men of Russell's Regiment, to Dompoassi,
near which he found the treasure quite safe, it having, with the
exception of one box, which had been dropped by its bearer some three
hundred yards down the road, away from the rest, and where a turn in the
path hid it from sight, been collected together by the escort. No trace
was found of the enemy, and the party of the 1st West India Regiment
returned to Fommanah.

On the morning of the 2nd of February, the head-quarters of the army
advanced from Amoaful to march on Coomassie. There were, notwithstanding
the defeat on January 31st, still large numbers of Ashantis on the
flanks of the road, in the neighbourhood of Quarman and Insarfu. During
the day succeeding the battle, they concentrated lower down the road,
and, on the morning of the 2nd of February, made a desperate attempt to
sever our line of communications by attacking the post of Fommanah.

"The post was in command of Captain Steward, 1st West India Regiment,
who had a garrison of 1 officer and 38 non-commissioned officers and
men, 1st West India Regiment; and Lieutenant Grant, 6th Regiment, with
102 of the Mumford Company of Russell's Regiment. There were also
present two transport officers--Captain North, of the 47th Regiment, and
Captain Duncan, R.A.--three surgeons, and two control officers; and in
the palace, which was situated in the main street of the long straggling
town, and used as a hospital, were 24 European soldiers and sailors,
convalescents. The pickets had reported Ashantis in the neighbourhood
early in the morning, and had been reinforced; but the village was far
too large to be capable of defence by this small garrison; and when,
about 8.30 a.m., the place was attacked from all directions by the
enemy, they were able to penetrate into it. Captain North, in virtue of
his seniority, assumed the command, but while at the head of his men was
shot down in the street of the village, and was obliged by severe loss
of blood to hand over the command to Captain Duncan, R.A.

"The enemy, as has been said, penetrated into all the southern side of
the village, which they set on fire; meanwhile the sick from the
hospital were removed to the stockade at the north end of the village,
which was cleared as rapidly as possible, the houses being pulled down
by the troops and labourers acting under Colonel Colley's order.[63]

"At half-past two, Colonel Colley reported as follows: 'We have now
cleared the greater part of the village, preserving the hospital and
store enclosure. Difficult to judge of numbers of the Ashantis; they
attack on all sides, and occasional ones creep boldly into the village,
but generally keep under cover of the thick bush, which in places comes
close to the houses.' The firing ceased about 1 p.m.; but on a party
going down for water an hour later, they were hotly fired upon. No
further attack was made upon the post.

"This attack on Fommanah seriously interfered with the transport
arrangements. Hitherto, though a few shots had been fired at different
convoys, the panics and difficulties had always been overcome by the
energy of the transport officers; but the vigour and strength of this
attack frightened the carriers so thoroughly that it was impossible to
move them for some days." In this affair the 1st West India Regiment
lost one sergeant and five privates wounded, and Russell's irregulars
three men wounded.

The Ashantis, although repulsed, still remained in the neighbourhood of
Fommanah, and on February 3rd, an escort over a convoy of carriers,
consisting of a sergeant and three men of the 1st West India Regiment,
was fired upon between Dompoassi and Fommanah, the sergeant and one
private being wounded.

The European Brigade pushed on to Coomassie, after several days' hard
fighting, entered the Ashanti capital on the evening of the 4th of
February, burned it and marched out on the 6th, and arrived at Insarfu
on the downward journey on the 9th. Lieutenant-Colonel Johnston,
commanding the head-quarters of the 1st West India Regiment at Insarfu,
was directed to break up his post, burn the town as soon as all the
troops had passed through, and then to follow to Fommanah, where Sir
Garnet Wolseley intended remaining a few days, in order to endeavour to
arrange a treaty with the Ashantis.

The head-quarter staff left Fommanah on February 14th for Cape Coast,
and the European troops being ordered to push on, on account of the
commencement of the rains, the 1st West India Regiment was detailed to
relieve the 42nd as the rear-guard of the army. On it fell the duty of
destroying the fortified posts to the north of the Prah, and the removal
of the sick and wounded and stores. Carriers were still so scarce that
it was not until the 20th that Essiaman was cleared out and the stockade
destroyed, and the three rear companies of the regiment marched into the
bridge-head at Prahsu--which, during the advance to Coomassie, had been
held by C Company, under Captain Niven--on the 21st. On the 23rd they
crossed the Prah, and the bridge was then destroyed.

By the 27th of February all the European regiments had embarked for
England, the 2nd West India Regiment was under orders for the West
Indies, and upon the 1st West India Regiment fell the duty of
garrisoning the colony. Two hundred men were left at Prahsu, where a
strong redoubt had been constructed, fifty at Mansu, and the remainder
at Cape Coast. On the departure of Sir Garnet Wolseley, on the 4th of
March, Colonel Maxwell, of the 1st West India Regiment, administered the
government of the Gold Coast.

Previous to the departure of the General the following general order was

                                       "(General Order No. 43.)

                                        "HEAD-QUARTERS, CAPE COAST CASTLE,
                                                 "_3rd March, 1874_.

    "Before leaving for England the Major-General commanding wishes to
    convey to the soldiers of the 1st and 2nd West India Regiments his
    appreciation of their soldierlike qualities, and of the manner in
    which they have performed their duties during the recent campaign.
    Portions of the 2nd West India Regiment have been in every affair in
    the war, and the regiment generally has undergone fatigue and
    exposure in a most creditable manner.

    "When, owing to the desertion of carriers, the transport
    difficulties became serious, the men of both these regiments
    responded most cheerfully to the call made upon them, and, by daily
    carrying loads, helped to relieve the force from its most pressing

    "In saying 'good-bye,' the Major-General assures them he will always
    remember with pride and pleasure that he had the honour of
    commanding men whose loyalty to their Queen, and whose soldierlike
    qualities, have been so well proved in the war now happily at an

The rains having set in at the Prah, and much sickness prevailing, it
was decided to relieve the posts between that river and the coast. In
fact, the mortality that had occurred at Prahsu in 1864 showed that
West India troops should not be encamped there without urgent necessity;
and no such necessity now existed, as the King of Ashanti had agreed to
the treaty, which had been left unsettled up to Sir Garnet Wolseley's
departure. Captain J.A. Smith, with fifty men of the regiment, escorted
the Ashanti chiefs sent down by the king, and arrived at Cape Coast on
the 12th of March. On the 18th, H Company marched in from Prahsu, and
embarked on the 20th for Sierra Leone in the transport _Nebraska_, which
vessel also conveyed the 2nd West India Regiment to the West Indies. C
Company was the last withdrawn from the Prah, arriving at Cape Coast on
April 2nd.

It had been most disappointing to the two West India regiments to have
been prevented from entering Coomassie, within some twenty-five miles
from which their head-quarters were halted. West India regiments rarely
have opportunities of seeing active service elsewhere than on the West
Coast of Africa; and, although the duties assigned to them in the second
phase of the war were most important, holding, as they did, the detached
posts from the Prah up to the front, keeping open the communications,
protecting the convoys, sick and wounded, and constantly furnishing
patrols and escorts, yet they felt it rather hard to have been deprived,
in their solitary field for distinguishing themselves, of the honours of
fighting beside their European comrades at Amoaful and Ordahsu.

On the return of the regiment from the bush, the fatigues and exposures
of the campaign began to have their effect upon both officers and men.
In ordinary years, in times of peace, Europeans who are seasoned to
tropical service, can serve for twelve months in the deadly climate of
West Africa without suffering much loss; but any unusual exposure or
hardship is at once followed by an alarming increase of sickness. The
1st West India Regiment was the only corps which, after enduring all the
fatigues of a campaign in the most deadly climate in the world, did not
enjoy the advantage of a change to a healthier station. Added to this,
the season proved to be unusually unhealthy, and that variety of African
fever known as "bilious remittent," which can only be distinguished from
yellow fever by the fact of its not being contagious, broke out.
Sub-Lieutenant L. Burke succumbed to this scourge on March 1st,
Lieutenant T. Williams on April 9th, Lieutenant W.S. Elderton on May
10th, and Sub-Lieutenant E.W. Huntingford on June 12th, while
Lieutenant-Colonel Maxwell, Lieutenant Clough and Lieutenant Roper,
being invalided, died on passage to England, and Captain Butler after
arriving in England. In addition to these deaths, eight other officers
were invalided, and out of twenty-six officers who were serving with the
regiment on the 28th of February, only ten were left in West Africa on
the 30th of June.


[Footnote 63: Colonel Colley had arrived at the northern side of the
village, from Ahkankuassie, soon after the command had devolved upon
Captain Duncan.]



While the regiment had thus been engaged on the Gold Coast, the
detachment left at Orange Walk had, in January 1874, had a narrow escape
of a brush with the Santa Cruz Indians. On the 2nd of that month, in
accordance with a requisition from the magistrate at Orange Walk,
Captain F.B.P. White and Lieutenant J.R.H. Wilton, with forty men of the
1st West India Regiment, left that station about noon for Albion Island,
in the River Hondo, distant about twelve miles, to demand the
restitution of a woman who had been abducted by an armed party of Santa
Cruz Indians from a place called Douglas, in British territory. The
Hondo was reached about 4.30 p.m., and Captain White, finding a number
of Santa Cruz Indians cutting bush, as if for an encampment, on the
British side of the river, directed them to accompany him; and crossing
to the island in their boats, sent them to tell the chief that he had a
message to deliver to him.

On landing on Albion Island it was found that the public ball-room of
San Antonio, a large, open, shed-like building peculiar to these
Spanish-Indian towns, which was situated on a small hill, was occupied
by an armed force of the Indians, about seventy strong. Opposite to
them, on the nearest rising ground, the detachment was at once formed
up, partly covered by a chapel.

After some time the chief of the Santa Cruz came over to Captain White's
party, and inquired what was wanted of him; when he was told that no
message could be delivered to him as long as he had an armed party on
British soil, and that he must surrender his arms. After some little
discussion the chief agreed to do so, provided that they were returned
when his men left the island; and, on these terms, ten or eleven rifles
were brought in; but while this was being done, a trumpet sounded in the
public ball-room, and the Santa Cruz, quickly gathering together, began
to load their rifles. The chief, being asked for an explanation of this
sudden change, replied that his braves were only cleaning their guns,
but at the same moment a sub-chief came up, and loudly declared that the
Santa Cruz would not give up their arms.

The troops were rapidly posted in advantageous positions, and Captain
White then informed the chiefs that if their men would not lay down
their arms they must leave San Antonio at once, first handing over the
woman who had been abducted. Some discussion ensued, but Captain White
remaining firm, the chiefs agreed to go, and moved their men down to the
boats. At the last moment, however, it was discovered that the woman,
who was the cause of the expedition, was in one of the boats, and their
departure was stopped until she was landed, and given in charge of the

The Santa Cruz now refused to stir, but remained in their boats, which
were moored to the bank. It being feared that the Indians were only
delaying for reinforcements, thinking to overpower the British in the
darkness, Captain White sent Lieutenant Wilton with ten men to give them
a peremptory order to push off within a quarter of an hour. The Indians
received the message with laughter, asking, "What will you do, if we do
not go?" It was now rapidly becoming dark, and the country, wild and
savage in itself, was entirely strange to both officers and men. After
ten minutes had elapsed, without the Indians giving any sign of
departure, Captain White had the "close" sounded, drew in his sentries,
and descended towards the boats with fixed bayonets. Upon this the
Indians pushed off, and were soon lost to sight in the darkness. The
detachment remained under arms all night at San Antonio, and next
morning, it having been ascertained that the Indians had retired across
the frontier, the troops returned to Orange Walk.

The following letter was forwarded upon this subject:

                                            "HORSE GUARDS, WAR OFFICE,
                                                  "_17th March, 1874._


    "The Field-Marshal Commanding-in-Chief has perused the report which
    you forwarded to the Adjutant-General on the 29th of January, of the
    proceedings of the troops at Orange Walk, in British Honduras, who
    were called out in aid of the civil power against a band of Santa
    Cruz Indians in January last, and I am to request that you will
    cause Captain White, 1st West India Regiment, by whom they were
    commanded, to be informed that His Royal Highness considers that the
    discretion and firmness displayed by him in the performance of this
    difficult duty is very commendable to that officer.

                                            "I have, etc.,
                                                (Signed) "R.B. HAWLEY,
                                                    "Asst. Mil. Sec."

In July, 1874, the head-quarters of the regiment were moved from the
Gold Coast to Sierra Leone, one company being left in garrison at Cape
Coast Castle, and one at Elmina. As in June the two companies stationed
in Honduras had, with the one left in Jamaica, been removed to Demerara,
the distribution of the regiment in July, 1874, was: Head-quarters and
four companies (A, B, C, and H) at Sierra Leone, two (E and G) on the
Gold Coast, and three (D, F, and I) in Demerara.

In July, 1875, disturbances once more broke out in British Sherbro. The
inhabitants of the town of Mongray, on the river of the same name, in
that month made a raid upon Mamaiah, a town on the British frontier,
plundered several factories there, and carried off thirty-three British
subjects as slaves. Fresh outrages were committed later on, and, on the
8th of October, 1875, Lieutenant-Governor Rowe, C.M.G., with forty men
of the 1st West India Regiment, under Sub-Lieutenant G.V. Harrison, and
sixty armed police, left Sierra Leone in the colonial steamer _Lady of
the Lake_. The detachment was landed at Bendoo in Sherbro next day.
Negotiations were at once opened with the Mongray chiefs, resulting in
the surrender of the captives on the 15th, and on the 25th the party
returned to Sierra Leone.

Almost immediately after, fresh disturbances broke out in another
portion of Sherbro, on the Bargroo River, and, on the 15th of November,
Lieutenant-Governor Rowe left Freetown in the colonial steamer _Sir A.
Kennedy_, with Captain A.C. Allinson, Lieutenants J.H. Jones, and A.S.
Roberts, and ninety men of the 1st West India Regiment, fifty armed
police, a 4-2/5-inch howitzer, and a rocket-trough. The disturbance
arose from a raid of Mendis upon villages in British territory, thirteen
of which they plundered and destroyed, afterwards erecting a "war-fence"
at a place called Paytaycoomar, in British Sherbro. Here the Commandant
of Sherbro, Mr. Darnell Davis, attacked them with a few policemen, and
was repulsed with a loss of three killed and several wounded, himself

The expedition, on arriving at Sherbro, established a camp at Tyama
Woroo in Bargroo, and all preparations for an advance being completed by
the 27th of November, the troops marched on that day, occupying
Mosangrah on the 30th. On the 3rd of December, Lowarnar, a town to the
eastward, was entered, and on the 5th a move was made on the stockaded
town of Gundomar, which was abandoned by the enemy on the approach of
the force. The dead body of one of the captives taken from British
Sherbro, recently strangled, was found in the stockade, and the town was
accordingly burned.

On the 6th the force advanced on Moyamba, which was also found to be
evacuated by the enemy, and was burned. On the 9th the troops left
Moyamba and marched to Yahwi-yamah, which was also destroyed, with the
outlying stockaded villages of Mocorreh, Bettimah and Mangaymihoon. On
the 10th Modena was destroyed, and the force marched through Mowato and
Geeavar to Sennehoo, arriving there on the 16th. To this latter town
several of the chiefs came in to treat, bringing 212 of the captives
with them, and on the 18th a treaty of peace was arranged, the Mendis
promising to pay a fine of 10,000 bushels of rice. The troops returned
to Sierra Leone on the 24th of December.

The country through which the detachment of the 1st West India Regiment
had marched was most difficult. It consisted of dense forest, through
which the only advance could be made along narrow paths, wide enough
only for the passage of men in single file, and obstructed by fallen
trees, swamps, and unbridged streams. Numerous swamps, black and full of
malaria, had to be crossed, and, though the noon-day sun was excessively
hot, the nights, owing to excessive damp, were very cold. Heavy showers
of rain fell almost daily, and from sunset till an hour after sunrise
the whole country was buried in an impenetrable fog.

The stockades were of the same character as those found at Mongray, but
were here in some instances further fortified by mud walls, fifteen feet
high, and about twelve feet thick at the base. Inside the walls were
ditches about six feet wide and eight feet deep. In some of the towns,
machicoulis galleries had been constructed over the gates, and the
entrances further protected by semicircular mud bastions.

In March, 1877, the 1st West India Regiment was relieved on the West
Coast of Africa by the 2nd West India Regiment, E and G Companies
embarking in H.M.S. _Simoom_, at Cape Coast Castle, on the 24th of
February, and the head-quarters, with A, B, C, and H Companies, at
Sierra Leone on the 3rd of March. On arriving at the West Indies the
regiment was thus distributed: Head-quarters, with A, D, E, and I
Companies, at Jamaica, C and F at Honduras, G and H at Barbados, and B
at Nassau.

During its three years' tour of West African service the regiment had
suffered very heavy loss amongst the officers. In addition to the eight
deaths that occurred in 1874, directly after the Ashanti war, Captain W.
Cole died in Ireland of fever contracted on the Gold Coast;
Lieutenant-Colonel Strachan and Sub-Lieutenant Turner in England; and
Sub-Lieutenants S.B. Orr and G.V. Harrison at Sierra Leone in 1876.

The regiment remained without change in the West Indies until December,
1879, when the head-quarters and six companies embarked in H.M.S.
_Tamar_ for West Africa, leaving D, E, and I Companies at the depôt at
Demerara. The head-quarters and four companies disembarked at Sierra
Leone on the 17th of January, 1880, and the two remaining companies
proceeded to Cape Coast Castle.

In February, 1880, there being some slight disturbance in the
neighbourhood of the Ribbie River, a small party of the 1st West India
Regiment proceeded thither as an escort to the Governor, with
Lieutenants Madden and Tipping. The whole returned to Sierra Leone
without any casualty, after an absence of a few weeks.

On the 28th of January, 1881, news was received at Sierra Leone that the
Ashanti king, Mensah, had threatened an invasion of the Gold Coast
Colony, and a reinforcement was urgently demanded. In consequence,
Captain H.W. Pollard, 1st West India Regiment, commanding the troops on
the West Coast of Africa, despatched to Cape Coast Castle next day in
the mail steamer _Cameroon_ letter B Company, under Captain Ellis, and
letter H Company, under Lieutenant Garland. These two companies arrived
at their destination on the 2nd of February, and on the 9th the former
proceeded to Anamaboe. This rapid arrival of reinforcements induced the
king to repudiate the action of his envoys, but affairs were still in a
very critical situation, and much alarm prevailed in the colony. Early
in March, Lieutenant-Colonels Niven and Smith and Major White arrived
from England, bringing with them letter A Company from Sierra Leone. On
the 18th of March, five companies of the 2nd West India Regiment arrived
in the hired transport _Humber_. Negotiations were protracted till
April, when an embassy arrived from Coomassie, and the difficulty was
finally settled. On the 2nd of May, the head-quarters, with A, F, and G
Companies, returned to Sierra Leone, leaving B, C, and H at Cape Coast
Castle and Anamaboe. In February, 1882, C Company also proceeded to
Sierra Leone.

It was intended at the termination of the African tour of the regiment,
in January, 1883, to reduce the garrisons in West Africa from six to
three companies, and the steamship _Bolivar_ was chartered to carry out
the relief in two trips. That vessel, however, was wrecked off the
Cobbler's Reef, at Barbados, and H.M.S. _Tyne_ was sent in her place.
The latter embarked H Company at Cape Coast Castle on the 6th of
February, 1883, and F and G Companies at Sierra Leone on the 14th, all
three proceeding to Jamaica under the command of Major C.J.L. Hill. On
the return of the _Tyne_ to West Africa with three companies of the 2nd
West India Regiment, the head-quarters and remaining three companies of
the 1st West India Regiment, at Cape Coast Castle and Sierra Leone, were
embarked on the 1st and 11th of April respectively, and sailed for
Jamaica under the command of Captain Ellis, arriving at their
destination on the 28th of April. On the 5th of May, B, G, and F
Companies embarked in the _Tyne_, the first two for Honduras and the
third for Nassau. On the conclusion of the inter-island trooping, the
_Tyne_ proceeded with the head-quarters and three companies of the 2nd
West India Regiment to West Africa, the Government having, in
consequence of threatened complications with Ashanti, abandoned their
scheme of reducing the African garrisons.

The distribution of the 1st West India Regiment is now (May, 1883):
Head-quarters and three companies (A, C, and H) at Jamaica, two (B and
G) in Honduras, one (F) in Nassau, and three (D, E, and I) in Demerara.



    Major-General John Whyte                       24th April, 1795.
    Lord Charles Henry Somerset                    5th January, 1804.
    Sir Peregrine Maitland, K.C.B                  22nd February, 1830.
    Major-General the Hon. Sir Henry King, K.C.B.  19th July, 1834.
    Lieutenant-General Sir William Nicolay, K.C.H. 30th November, 1839.
    Lieutenant-General Sir Henry F. Bouverie,
      K.C.B., G.C.M.G                              13th May, 1842.
    Lieutenant-General Sir G.H. Bromley Way        21st November, 1843.
    General Sir George Thomas Napier, K.C.B.       29th February, 1844.
    Lieutenant-General Sir George Bowles, K.C.B.   9th September, 1855.
    General Sir Arthur Borton, K.C.B               2nd May, 1876.


    1. Leeds Booth             23rd May, 1795   { From Brevet-Major,
                                                { 32nd Foot.

    2. George Rutherford       30th Dec., 1797  { From Major, 27th Foot,
                                                { _vice_ Booth to 87th
                                                { Regiment.

    3. James Maitland          22nd April, 1803 { From 60th by purchase,
                                                { _vice_ Rutherford, who
                                                { retires.

    4. Alexander Cumine        20th March, 1804 { From 75th Foot, _vice_
                                                { Maitland, who exchanges.

    5. C.D. Broughton          21st April, 1804 { By purchase, _vice_
                                                { Cumine, who retires.

    6. Samuel Huskisson          2nd June, 1807 { From Major, 8th Foot,
                                                { without purchase, on
                                                { establishment of a second
                                                { Lieutenant-Colonelcy.

    7. Benjamin D'Urban        29th Sept., 1807 { From 9th Garrison
                                                { Battalion, _vice_
                                                { Huskisson, who exchanges.

    8. John Irving               9th Jan., 1808 { From 2nd West India
                                                { Regiment, _vice_ D'Urban,
                                                { who exchanges.

    9. George H. Duckworth      16th Jan., 1808 { From Major, 67th
                                                { Foot, by purchase, _vice_
                                                { Irving, who retires.

    10. Henry Tolley            27th Feb., 1808 { From Major, 71st
                                                { Foot, without purchase,
                                                { _vice_ Broughton,
                                                { cashiered.

    11. W.S. Wemyss             18th June, 1808 { From 48th Foot, _vice_
                                                { Duckworth, who exchanges.

    12. Joseph Morrison          2nd Dec., 1809 { From Major, 89th
                                                { Foot, with purchase
                                                { _vice_ Tolley, appointed
                                                { to 16th Foot.

    13. Jonathan Yates          21st July, 1810 { From Major, 47th
                                                { Foot, by purchase, _vice_
                                                { Wemyss, who retires.

    14. Clement Whitby            16 July, 1811 { From Major, 17th
                                                { Foot, with purchase,
                                                { _vice_ Morrison,
                                                { appointed to 89th Foot.

    15. J.M. Clifton           10th Sept., 1814 { Without purchase, _vice_
                                                { Yates, appointed to
                                                { 49th Foot.

(Lieutenant-Colonel Clifton retired, Jan. 23rd 1819, and the second
Lieutenant-Colonelcy was abolished.)

    16. James Cassidy           12th Dec., 1822 { By purchase, _vice_
                                                { Whitby, who retires.

    17. Francis Frye Brown      12th Jan., 1824 { From half-pay, 6th
                                                { West India Regiment,
                                                { _vice_ Cassidy, who
                                                { exchanges.

    18. Richard Doherty          6th Dec., 1827 { From half-pay, _vice_
                                                { Brown, who retires.

    19. William Bush            4th Sept., 1835 { From half-pay, _vice_
                                                { Doherty, appointed to
                                                { 89th Foot.

    20. Henry Capadose         22nd April, 1836 { Without purchase, on
                                                { re-establishment of a
                                                { second
                                                { Lieutenant-Colonelcy.

    21. Edward Rowley Hill       1st Jan., 1847 { Without purchase, _vice_
                                                { Bush, appointed
                                                { Inspecting Field Officer
                                                { of a recruiting district.

    22. Robert Hughes          14th April, 1848 { _Vice_ Capadose,
                                                { deceased.

    23. Fred. Aug. Wetherall      1st May, 1855 { From Major, 3rd West
                                                { India Regiment, by
                                                { purchase, _vice_ Hughes,
                                                { who retires.

    24. Luke Smyth O'Connor    21st Sept., 1855 { Without purchase, _vice_
                                                { Hill, appointed to a
                                                { Provisional Depôt
                                                { Battalion.

    25. Edward Last             24th Nov., 1857 { From Brevet
                                                { Lieutenant-Colonel, 99th
                                                { Foot, _vice_ Wetherall,
                                                { deceased.

    26. Henry Dunn O'Halloran  23rd March, 1858 { From Brevet
                                                { Lieutenant-Colonel,
                                                { Depôt Battalion, _vice_
                                                { Last, appointed to 21st
                                                { Foot.

    27. Augustus William Murray 16th March, 1860{ Without purchase, _vice_
                                                { O'Halloran, retired
                                                { upon full pay.

    28. Bowland Moffatt         4th March, 1862 { From half-pay, _vice_
                                                { O'Connor, who retires
                                                { upon half-pay.

    29. James Travers           4th March, 1862 { Without purchase, _vice_
                                                { Murray, who retires
                                                { upon half-pay on being
                                                { appointed
                                                { Deputy-Adjutant-General,
                                                { Windward and Leeward
                                                { Islands.

    30. James Shortall Macauley 29th July, 1862 { Without purchase, _vice_
                                                { Travers, retired on full
                                                { pay.

    31. William M'Bean          18th Dec., 1866 { By purchase, _vice_
                                                { Moffatt, who retires.

    32. G. Nigel K.A. Yonge     3rd April, 1867 { From half-pay, late
                                                { 67th Foot, _vice_
                                                { Macauley, who retires on
                                                { half-pay.

    33. Henry Anton              8th June, 1867 { Without purchase, _vice_
                                                { M'Bean, who retires.

    34. James Maxwell           17th Aug., 1870 { From half-pay, late
                                                { 34th Foot, _vice_ Yonge,
                                                { who retires on half-pay.

    35. J.M. M'Auley             4th Oct., 1871  _Vice_ Anton, deceased.

    36. W.W.W. Johnston         24th Dec., 1873 { _Vice_ M'Auley, who
                                                { retires.

    37. W.H.P.F. Strachan      15th April, 1874 { _Vice_ Maxwell, deceased.

    38. Knox Rowan Niven       24th March, 1877 { _Vice_ Strachan,
                                                { deceased.

    39. Joseph Alexander Smith  29th Jan., 1879 _Vice_ Johnston, retired.

    40. F.B.P. White            4th March, 1882 _Vice_ Niven, retired.


                      1795 (June).
    Head-quarters and 8 companies at Martinique.

                      1798 (December).
    Head-quarters and 6 companies at Morne Fortune, St. Lucia.
                      2 companies at Maboya, St. Lucia.

                      1801 (July).
    Head-quarters and 8 companies at Martinique.

                      1802 (January).
    Head-quarters and 6 companies at Martinique.
                      2 companies at St. Vincent.

                      1802 (July).
    Head-quarters and 6 companies at St. Vincent.
                      1 company at Martinique.
                      1 company at Antigua.

                      1802 (October).
    Head-quarters and 8 companies at St. Vincent.

                      1803 (April).
    Head-quarters and 6 companies at St. Vincent.
                      2 companies at Grenada.

                      1804 (May).
    Head-quarters and 6 companies at Dominica.
                      1 company at St. Vincent.
                      1 company at Grenada.

                      1807 (January).
    Head-quarters and 6 companies at Barbados.
                      3 companies at Grenada.
                      1 company at Tobago.

                      1807 (November).
    Head-quarters and 10 companies at Barbados.

                      1808 (January).
    Head-quarters and 6 companies at Barbados.
                      3 companies at Antigua.
                      1 company at Tobago.

                      1808 (October).
    Head-quarters and 9 companies at Barbados.
                      1 company at Tobago.

                      1809 (February).
    Head-quarters and 8 companies at Martinique.
                      2 companies at Barbados.

                      1809 (June).
    Head-quarters and 6 companies at Trinidad.
                      2 companies at Martinique.
                      2 companies at Barbados.

                      1809 (August).
    Head-quarters and 10 companies at Trinidad.

                      1814 (March).
    Head-quarters and 4 companies at Martinique.
                      4 companies at St. Lucia.
                      2 companies at Dominica.

                      1814 (July).
    Head-quarters and 8 companies at Guadaloupe.
                      1 company at Marie-Galante.
                      1 company at St. Martin's.

                      1814 (December).
    Head-quarters and 10 companies at New Orleans.

                      1815 (February).
    Head-quarters and 10 companies at Barbados.

                      1815 (August).
    Head-quarters and 6 companies at Barbados.
                      4 companies at Guadaloupe.

                      1815 (December).

                      1816 (March).
    Head-quarters and 10 companies at Barbados.

                      1816 (November).
    Head-quarters and 3 companies at Antigua.
                      1 company at Montserrat.
                      2 companies at St. Christopher's.
                      2 companies at St. Lucia.
                      2 companies at Dominica.

                      1819 (January).
    Head-quarters and 3 companies at Barbados.
                      2 companies at Antigua.
                      2 companies at St. Lucia.
                      2 companies at Dominica.
                      1 company at Tobago.

                      1821 (October).
    Head-quarters and 3 companies at Barbados.
                      1 company at Demerara.
                      1 company at Tobago.
                      1 company at St. Lucia.
                      1 company at Dominica.
                      1 company at Antigua.

                      1823 (May).
    Head-quarters and 4 companies at Barbados.
                      1 company at Demerara.
                      1 company at St. Lucia.
                      1 company at Dominica.
                      1 company at Antigua.

                      1823 (September).
    Head-quarters and 2 companies at Barbados.
                      3 companies at Demerara.
                      1 company at St. Lucia.
                      1 company at Dominica.
                      1 company at Antigua.

                      1824 (October).
    Head-quarters and 5 companies at Barbados.
                      1 company at St. Lucia.
                      1 company at Dominica.
                      1 company at Antigua.

                      1825 (February).
    Head-quarters and 4 companies at Trinidad.
                      1 company at Barbados.
                      1 company at St. Lucia.
                      1 company at Dominica.
                      1 company at Antigua.

                      1826 (February).
    Same as in 1825, with the addition of a recruiting company at Sierra

                      1827 (January).
    Head-quarters and 3 companies at Trinidad.
                      1 company at Barbados.
                      1 company at St. Lucia.
                      1 company at Dominica.
                      1 company at Antigua.
                      1 company at Grenada.
                      1 company at Sierra Leone.

                      1834 (May).
    Head-quarters and 2 companies at Trinidad.
                      1 company at Barbados.
                      1 company at St. Lucia.
                      1 company at Dominica.
                      1 company at Antigua.
                      1 company at Grenada.
                      1 company at Tortola.
                      1 company at Sierra Leone.

                      1837 (December).
    Head-quarters and 5 companies at St. Lucia.
                      1 company at Trinidad.
                      1 company at Tobago.
                      1 company at Demerara.
                      1 company at St. Vincent.
                      1 company at Sierra Leone.

                      1839 (December).
    Head-quarters and 2 companies at Demerara.
                      3 companies at Barbados.
                      1 company at Trinidad.
                      1 company at Tobago.
                      1 company at St. Lucia.
                      1 company at St. Vincent.
                      1 company at Grenada.
                      1 company at Dominica.
                      1 company at Antigua.
                      1 company at Sierra Leone.

                      1840 (September).
    Head-quarters and 2 companies at Demerara.
                      2 companies at Barbados.
                      1 company at Trinidad.
                      1 company at Tobago.
                      1 company at St. Vincent.
                      1 company at Grenada.
                      1 company at Dominica.
                      1 company at Sierra Leone.

                      1843 (November).
    Head-quarters and 5 companies at Demerara.
                      2 companies at Sierra Leone.
                      1 company at Grenada.
                      1 company at Tobago.
                      1 company at St. Vincent.

                      1844 (June).
    (Head-quarters) Grenadier, No. 8 and No. 5 at Demerara = 3 companies.
    Light and No. 1 at Jamaica      = 2
              No. 2 at Trinidad     = 1
              No. 3 at Dominica     = 1
              No. 4 at Sierra Leone = 1
              No. 6 at Grenada      = 1
              No. 7 at Cape Coast   = 1

                      1845 (March).
    (Head-quarters) Grenadier, Light, No. 1 and No. 8 at
                        Jamaica     = 4 companies.
              No. 5 at Demerara     = 1
              No. 2 at Trinidad     = 1
              No. 3 at Dominica     = 1
              No. 4 at Sierra Leone = 1
              No. 6 at Grenada      = 1
              No. 7 at Cape Coast   = 1

                      1846 (June).
    (Head-quarters) Grenadier, Light, Nos. 1, 3, 6, and 8 at
                        Jamaica     = 6 companies.
              No. 2 at Trinidad     = 1
              No. 4 at Sierra Leone = 1
              No. 5 at Tobago       = 1
              No. 7 at Cape Coast   = 1

                      1847 (December).
    (Head-quarters) Grenadier, Light, Nos. 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and
                  8 at Jamaica      = 8 companies.
              No. 4 at Sierra Leone = 1
              No. 7 at Cape Coast   = 1

                      1848 (August).
    (Head-quarters) Grenadier, Nos. 3, 4, 6, and 7 at
                      Jamaica       = 5 companies.
    Light and No. 8 at Nassau       = 2
              No. 1 at Honduras     = 1
              No. 5 at Sierra Leone = 1
              No. 2 at Cape Coast   = 1

                     1849 (March).
    (Head-quarters) Grenadier, No. 3 and No. 6 at
                              Jamaica  = 3 companies.
    Light, No. 7, and No. 8 at Nassau  = 3
           No. 1 and No. 4 at Honduras = 2
           No. 5 at Sierra Leone       = 1
           No. 2 at Cape Coast         = 1

                      1852 (September).
    (Head-quarters) Grenadier, No. 3, and No. 6 at
                              Jamaica  = 3 companies.
    Light, No. 7, and No. 8 at Nassau  = 3
           No. 1 at St. Christopher's  = 1
           No. 4 at Barbados           = 1
           No. 5 at Sierra Leone       = 1
           No. 2 at Cape Coast         = 1

                      1853 (December).
    (Head-quarters) Grenadier, Light, No. 2, and No. 5 at
                            Jamaica = 4 companies.
    No. 4 and No. 7 at Barbados     = 2
    No. 1 at St. Christopher's      = 1
              No. 8 at Dominica     = 1
              No. 3 at Sierra Leone = 1
              No. 6 at the Gambia   = 1

                      1855 (December).
    (Head-quarters) Grenadier, Light, Nos. 2, 5, and 8 at
                        Jamaica     = 5 companies.
    No. 4 and No. 7 at Barbados     = 2
              No. 1 at Demerara     = 1
              No. 3 at Sierra Leone = 1
              No. 6 at the Gambia   = 1

                      1856 (December).
    (Head-quarters) Grenadier, Light, and No. 8 at
                         Jamaica    = 3 companies.
    Nos. 4, 5, and 7 at Barbados    = 3
              No. 1 at Demerara     = 1
              No. 3 at Sierra Leone = 1
    No. 2 and No. 6 at the Gambia   = 2

                      1857 (June).
    (Head-quarters) Grenadier, Light, No. 5 and No. 8 at
                              Nassau = 4 companies.
    Nos. 1, 3, and 7 at Sierra Leone = 3
    Nos. 2, 4, and 6 at the Gambia   = 3

                      1861 (April).
    (Head-quarters) Grenadier, Light, Nos. 5, 7, and 8 at
                        Barbados = 5 companies.
    No. 4 and No. 6 at Demerara = 2
    No. 1 and No. 2 at St. Lucia = 2
              No. 3 at Trinidad  = 1

                      1862 (December).
    (Head-quarters) Grenadier, Light, and No. 1 at
                        Barbados  = 3 companies.
    Nos. 5, 7, and 8 at Honduras  = 3
    No. 4 and No. 6 at Demerara   = 2
              No. 2 at St. Lucia  = 1
              No. 3 at Trinidad   = 1

                      1863 (July).
    (Head-quarters) A at Barbados = 1 company.
                   B at St. Lucia = 1
                   C at Trinidad  = 1
          D and F at Demerara     = 2 companies.
          E, G, and H at Honduras = 3

                      1863 (November).
    (Head-quarters) A, B, D, and F at Nassau = 4 companies.
                     E, G, and H at Honduras = 3
                               C at Trinidad = 1

                      1864 (April).
    (Head-quarters) A, D, and F at Nassau    = 3 companies.
               B, E, and G on the Gold Coast = 3
                               C at Trinidad = 1
                               H in Honduras = 1

                      1864 (October).
    (Head-quarters) A, D, and F at Nassau    = 3 companies.
                B, C, E, G, and H in Jamaica = 5

                      1865 (November).
    (Head-quarters) A at Nassau              = 1 company.
    B, C, D, E, F, G, and H in Jamaica       = 7 companies.

                      1866 (August).
    (Head-quarters) A, D, and F at Nassau    = 3 companies.
             B, C, E, G, and H in Jamaica    = 5

                      1867 (January).
    (Head-quarters) A, B, E, F, D, and G at Sierra Leone = 6 companies.
                                   H and C at the Gambia = 2
                      1868 (August).
    (Head-quarters) A, B, D, F, and G at Sierra Leone = 5 companies.
                                C and H at the Gambia = 2
                                      E at Cape Coast = 1

                      1870 (November).
    (Head-quarters) A, B, D, E, and G in Jamaica      = 5 companies.
                                  C and H at Nassau   = 2
                                  F and I in Honduras = 2

                      1874 (January).
    (Head-quarters) A, B, C, E, G, and H on the Gold Coast = 6 companies.
                                       F and I in Honduras = 2
                                              D in Jamaica = 1

                      1874 (July).
    (Head-quarters) A, B, C, and H at Sierra Leone = 4 companies.
                           E and G at Cape Coast   = 2
                           D, F, and I at Demerara = 3

                      1877 (April).
    (Head-quarters) A, D, E, and I at Jamaica = 4 companies.
                          C and F in Honduras = 2
                          G and H in Barbados = 2
                                B at Nassau   = 1

                      1880 (February).
    (Head-quarters) A, B, H, and F at Sierra Leone = 4 companies.
                           C and G at Cape Coast   = 2
                           D, E, and I in Demerara = 3

                      1881 (March).
    (Head-quarters) A, C, G, and H at Cape Coast   = 4 companies.
                                 B at Anamaboe     = 1
                                 F at Sierra Leone = 1
                           D, E, and I in Demerara = 3

                      1881 (June).
    (Head-quarters) A, F, and G at Sierra Leone    = 3 companies.
                         B, C, and H at Cape Coast = 3
                         D, E, and I in Demerara   = 3

                      1882 (March).
    (Head-quarters) A, C, F, and G at Sierra Leone = 4 companies.
                           B and H at Cape Coast   = 2
                           D, E, and I in Demerara = 3

                      1883 (March).
    (Head-quarters) A and C at Sierra Leone = 2 companies.
                            B at Cape Coast = 1 company.
                    F, G, and H in Jamaica  = 3 companies.
                    D, E, and I in Demerara = 3

                      1883 (June).
    (Head-quarters) A, C, and H in Jamaica  = 3 companies.
                        B and G in Honduras = 2
                    D, E, and I in Demerara = 3
                              F at Nassau   = 1








    Abercrombie, J., 79, 82

    Allinson, A.C., 279, 290, 318, 337

    Alt, _Ensign_, 279

    Anderson, _Capt._, 52

    ----, _Ensign_, 234, 237

    Anton, H., 275, 278, 282, 284, 289, 298, 299, 346

    Archdale, _Lieut._, 210

    Atkins, R.W., 80


    Bale, J.E., 293, 316, 318

    Balmer, J., 50

    Barlow, E.H., 279

    Barne, W.C., 318

    Beale-Browne, G.E., 318

    Belizario, E. _Sergt._, 307, 308, 312, 313, 315

    Bell, _Ensign_, 51

    ----, T., 318

    Bentley, _Lieut._, 197

    Bidwell, _Pte._, 309

    Bingham, E.H., 210, 213, 217

    Bishop, _Surg._, 80

    Blackwell, N., 119, 120, 121, 123, 124

    Bolton, H.F.S., 299, 300

    Booth, Leeds, 79, 83, 99, 343

    Borton, _Sir_ A., 343

    Bourke, J., 263

    Bouverie, _Sir_ H.F., 343

    Bowles, _Sir_ G., 343

    Bravo, A., 278, 279, 284

    Brennan, _Ensign_, 173, 178

    Brew, R., 275

    Brocklass, H., 183

    Broome, W.A., 301

    Broughton, C.D., 107, 113, 344

    Brown, F.F., 345

    ----, R., 99

    Bulger, C.O., 312

    Burdett, G.S., 169

    Burke, L., 318, 332

    Bush, _Lieut._, 211

    ----, W., 194, 196, 197, 198, 199, 202, 203, 207, 345

    Butler, D., 79, 82

    ----, F. le B., 303, 318, 320, 321, 322, 332

    Byrne, T., 80, 99


    Calder, J., 79

    Campbell, N., 100

    ----, W., 32

    Cantrell, D. _Sergt. Major_, 197

    Capadose, H., 176, 177, 209, 345

    Carden, J., 50

    Cassidy, J., 80, 99, 124, 137, 139, 158, 161, 164, 165, 166, 167, 345

    Cave, _Ensign_, 226

    Chads, _Major_, 173, 200

    Chadwick, B., 79, 82

    Chamberlayne, W.J., 258, 259

    Clarke, _Bt. Lieut.-Col._, 258

    Clerk, A., 50

    Clifton, J.M., 344

    Clough, H.T., 318, 332

    Coffin, E. _Pte._, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207

    Coghlan, A., 80, 89

    Cole, W., 293, 318, 340

    Collins, F., 148

    ----, J.P., 50

    Connell, F.J., 237

    Connor, W., 80, 81, 99

    Costello, F., 79, 99

    Cotter, E., 79, 83, 99

    Craddock, H., 50

    Craven, _Corporal_, 199

    Crump, _Corporal_, 80

    Cullen, _Ensign_, 290, 296

    Cumine, A., 343

    Cunninghame, T., 79


    Dalomel, _Lieut._, 148, 157

    Dalton, _Lieut._, 80, 100

    Darley, C.B., 80, 100

    Deane, T., 79

    De Winton, _Lieut._, 210

    Dixon, C. _Pte._, 195, 202

    Doherty, R., 345

    Downie, H., 138

    Duckworth, G.H., 344

    D'Urban, B., 344

    Duyer, G.H., 275


    Edmunds, T., 275

    Edwardes, C.G.W.E., 318

    Egan, J., 80, 99

    Elderton, W.S., 318, 332

    Ellis, A.B., 318, 341, 342

    Evans, _Capt._, 179


    Fanning, J., 275

    Farquhar, _Ensign_, 51

    Fitzgerald, C.L., 261

    Fletcher, R. D'O., 237, 239, 240, 242, 244, 246, 263

    Fraser, J.A., 275

    French, _Capt._, 210

    Froggart, _Lieut._, 80, 99


    Gardner, D., 316

    Garland, V.J., 341

    Garsia, M.C., 274, 275

    Gavin, _Lieut._, 279, 303

    Gillard, _Bt. Major_, 177

    Gillespie, R., 79

    Goodinge, H., 80

    Graham, W., 80, 99

    Grange, _Capt._, 224


    Harris, W.W., 233

    Harrison, G.V., 337, 340

    Harward, _Sub. Lieut._, 318

    Hemsworth, G., 177

    Henderson, _Lieut._, 250

    Henry, _Capt._, 37

    Hill, C.J.L., 293, 301, 318, 324, 342

    ----, E.R., 345

    Hoffer, _Pte._, 314, 315

    Holbrook, T., 83, 100

    Horsford, T., 100

    Hughes, E., 318, 324, 326

    ----, R. _Lieut.-Col._, 187, 345

    ----, R., 223, 258, 259

    Huntingford, E.W., 332

    Huskisson, S., 118, 344


    Innes, _Colonel_, 37, 39

    Irving, J., 344

    Isles, E. Ellis, 148, 157


    Johnston, W.W.W., 302, 312, 318, 328, 346

    Jones, J.H., 337

    ----, _Lieut._, 224


    Kenrick, _Lieut._, 276

    Kent, J., 51

    King, _Sir_ H., 343


    Lafontaine, J. _Corporal_, 84

    Last, E., 345

    Leggatt, _Lieut._, 276

    Lightfoot, _Lieut._, 80, 99

    Lindsay, J., 100

    Lowe, W., 50

    Lowry, A.G., 279, 293

    Luke, E.F., 250, 260, 289, 292

    Lynch, _Lieut._, 173

    ----, R. _Pte._, 308


    Macauley, _Capt._, 258

    ----, J.S., 277, 346

    McAuley, J.M., 302, 346

    McBean, W., 293, 346

    M'Callum, _Ensign_, 80, 99

    M'Connell, D., 50

    McDonald, A., 148, 157

    Macdonald, E.G., 301

    M'Grace, D., 80, 100

    M'Kay, J.C., 99

    Mackay, _Lieut._, 261

    McKenzie, _Lieut._, 148, 157

    Mackrill, _Capt._, 52

    McLean, _Lieut._, 80, 99

    McShee, _Lieut._, 80, 99

    McWilliam, D., 100

    ----, _Lieut._, 80, 100

    Madden, G.C., 340

    Magee, _Lieut._, 148, 151

    Maitland, J., 99, 343

    ----, Sir P., 343

    Malcolm, R., 63, 64, 66, 79, 90

    Marraud, C., 100

    Marshall, R., 50

    Mason, _Sergt.-Major_, 263

    Maturin, _Lieut._, 303

    Mawe, T.G., 261

    Maxwell, H., 79

    ----, J., 318, 320, 329, 332, 346

    ----, _Pte._, 314, 315

    Meehan, _Capt._, 220

    Meighan, B., 51

    Merry, _Sergt._, 198, 207

    Miles, _Ensign_, 174

    Millar, _Capt._, 52

    Miller, C., 99

    ----, _Lieut._, 148, 157

    Moffatt, B., 346

    Moffitt, J., 275

    Molony, C.A., 318

    Montagu, C., 50

    ----, G.C., 50

    Montgomery, W., 179, 186, 187

    Morgan, _Lieut._, 148, 157

    Morris, W. or R.A. _Pte._, 314, 315

    Morrison, John, 80

    ----, Joseph, 344

    Murray, A.W., 228, 229, 232, 261, 266, 267, 271, 272, 273, 275, 346

    ----, _Pte._, 314, 315

    Myers, _Capt._, 178


    Napier, _Sir_ G. T, 343

    Nicholson, T., 275

    Nicolay, _Sir_ W., 343

    Niven, K.R., 293, 301, 318, 322, 329, 341, 346

    Nixon, L., 124

    Nunn, A.A., 99, 106, 109, 110, 111, 115


    O'Connell, _Capt._ 105, 106, 107, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116

    O'Connor, L.S., 211, 219, 220, 226, 227, 228, 230, 232, 249, 250,
      251, 256, 288, 289, 290, 294, 345

    Odonnell, _Lieut._, 50

    Ogston, M. _Pte._, 195 et seq.

    O'Halloran, H.D., 345

    Oliphant, W., 50

    O'Meara, M., 100

    Ormsby, W., 261, 293, 297

    Orr, S.B., 340

    Osborne, S. _Pte._, 314, 315

    Owens, _Capt._, 276


    Page, T., 80

    Palmer, R., 50

    Petrie, J., 50

    Pilkington, _Lieut._, 148, 157

    Plague, _Corporal_, 198, 207

    Pogson, _Ensign_, 199

    Pollard, H.W., 340

    Powell, _Capt._, 221

    ----, W., 79, 81, 99

    Pratt, _Bt. Major_, 261, 262, 276

    Prendergast, _Capt._, 225

    Pye, A.H., 79


    Rainford, M., 50

    Reed, J., 80, 99

    Reid, J., 79

    ----, W., 80, 99

    Roberts, A.S., 337

    ----, C.T., 80

    ----, J.C., 99

    ----, _Lieut._, 279

    Robeson, _Capt._, 212

    Roper, J., 321, 332

    Ross, W.J., 289

    Rudgley, H., 50

    Russell, _Ensign_, 178

    Rutherford, G., 343


    Samson, A.M.W., 303, 318

    Satchell, W. _Pte._, 202, 203, 204

    Scott, D., 83

    Shearman, F., 318, 321, 322

    Smith, E., 276

    ----, Hopewell, 279, 281

    ----, J.A., 279, 303, 318, 322, 323, 331, 341, 346

    ----, J.G., 304, 306, 307, 308, 309, 311, 313, 315

    ----, _Lieut._, 50

    ----, _Ensign_, 51

    Smithwick, W. FitzW., 279, 293, 297

    Somerset, _Lord_ C.H., 343

    Speed, W.J., 99

    Spencer, _Lce. Corpl._, 313, 315

    Spitta, H.H., 318, 323

    Splain, W., 51

    Steward, C.B., 318, 322, 324, 326

    Stewart, _Capt._, 171, 174, 175, 176, 178, 179

    ----, _Ensign_, 211

    ----, J., 79, 99

    Stirling, _Lce. Corpl._, 314, 315

    Strachan, W.H.P.F., 234, 237, 240, 246, 290, 318, 340, 346

    Strong, _Lieut._, 173, 177

    Sutherland, J., 79, 82


    Tell, W. _Pte._, 315

    Temple, A., 261, 275

    Thomas, _Ensign_, 51

    Tinkler, J., 318

    Tipping, C.W.G., 340

    Tolley, H., 131, 344

    Torrens, _Pte._, 202, 203

    Travers, J., 346

    Tunstall, _Lieut._, 224

    Turner, J.M.S., 340


    Upton, _Lieut._, 228


    Way, _Sir_ G.H.B., 343

    Wemyss, W.S., 344

    Weston, R., 148, 151

    Wetherall, F.A., 259

    Whitby, C., 141, 168, 344

    White, F.B.P., 312, 333, 334, 335, 336, 341, 346

    Whyte, J., 77, 99, 343

    Wieburg, _Lieut._, 210

    Williams, T., 332

    Wilson, R., 79

    Wilton, J.R.H., 333, 335

    Winkler, J., 116, 124, 126, 139, 158, 160, 164

    Wylie, _Lieut._, 240, 246, 247


    Yates, J., 344

    Yonge, G.N.K.A., 299, 346



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