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Title: An Account of the expedition to Carthagena, with explanatory notes and observations
Author: Knowles, Charles, Sir, 1704?-1777
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "An Account of the expedition to Carthagena, with explanatory notes and observations" ***



[Price One Shilling.]

See the Plan of the City and Harbour of
_Carthagena_, published in the _LONDON_
MAGAZINE for _April_ 1740; which will
serve to give the Readers of this Pamphlet
a clearer Idea of its Contents.












_Ubi per socordiam vires, tempus, ingenium defluxere, naturæ
infirmitas accusatur: suam quique culpam actores ad negotia
transferunt._                                       SALLUST.

Printed for M. COOPER, at the _Globe_ in


Transcriber's Note: Minor typographical errors have been corrected
without note. Dialect spellings, contractions and discrepancies have
been retained. The footnotes are lettered from A to I, K to T and V to
Z. Subsequent footnotes repeat the lettering sequence, beginning with
an A.






It having been resolved in a general Council of War, held at _Spanish_
Town, to prevent, if possible, the _French_ Fleet joining the Enemy
before any Expedition should be undertaken by Land: the _Wolf_ Sloop,
Captain _Dandridge_, was dispatched up to _Port Louis_, to observe if
the Fleet was in that Port: And on the 22d of _January_, which was the
soonest the Fleet could be got ready for the Sea, Sir _Chaloner Ogle_
and his Division sailed out of _Port Royal_ Harbour; and two Days after
Mr. _Lestock_ and his Division; and on the _Monday_ following the
Admiral with the rest of the Squadron (leaving behind him the
_Falmouth_ and _Litchfield_ to bring up the Transports;) but the Land
Breeze failing, and a great Swell rolling down, obliged them to anchor
at the _Keys_ (where the _Augusta_ drove ashore, and beat off her
Rudder, and great part of her Keel.) On the 28th the Admiral weighed
Anchor, and plied up to Windward, and the 31st joined Sir _Chaloner
Ogle_ and Mr. _Lestock_ with their Divisions off _Port Morant_, and the
Day following was joined by the _Falmouth_, _Litchfield_, and
Transports. _February_ the 7th the Fleet made Cape _Tiberoon_ on the
Island _Hispaniola_, and off there was joined by the _Cumberland_,
Captain _Stewart_, from _Lisbon_, (who had been separated from the
Fleet in the Storm the 1st of _November_) and the next Day the _Wolf_
Sloop came into the Fleet[_A_] and brought with her a _French_ Sloop.
The 13th the Fleet anchored at the Isle of _Vache_, about two Leagues
to the Westward of _Port Louis_, where they stayed but four Days,
having gained Intelligence the _French_ Fleet was divided, and sailed
(the Marquis _D'Antin_ and twelve Sail being gone for _Old France_, and
Mr. _Rochefieulle_ and six Sail for _Petit Guavas_) upon which the
Fleet went and anchored in _Tiberoon_, _Donna Maria_, and _Irish_ Bays,
to Wood and Water; and on the 25th sailed from thence, when the
_Weymouth_, _Experiment_, and _Spence_ Sloop, were dispatched ahead
over to _Carthagena_, to sound _Punta Canoa_ Bay, for the safer
anchoring the Fleet, which arrived there the 5th of _March_ in the
Evening; and three Days after the same Ships, together with the
_Dunkirk_, were ordered by the Admiral down off _Boccachica_, to sound
and see if the Fleet might safely anchor there, and how near Ships
might come to batter the Forts of _St. Philip_ and _St. Jago_; and so
soon as the Admiral had received the Reports from the Commanders of
these Ships, a Council of War was held, wherein it was resolved to send
three eighty Gun Ships, the _Norfolk_, Captain _Graves_, the
_Shrewsbury_, Captain _Townsend_, and the _Russell_, Captain _Norris_,
to batter the Forts abovementioned; the _Princess Amelia_, Captain
_Hemmington_, to fire against the Fascine Battery, and the
_Litchfield_, Captain _Cleveland_, against the little Battery of
_Chamba_; (but these two last the Enemy had abandoned) and accordingly
the 9th in the Morning they weighed Anchor from _Punta Canoa_ Bay,
together with Sir _Chaloner Ogle_, and the rest of his Division, (he
being to command the Attack) and about two Hours afterwards, the
Admiral and the rest of the Fleet got under sail: At Noon the
_Norfolk_, _Russell_, and _Shrewsbury_ began to cannonade the Forts,
and in about three Hours time drove the Enemy from their Guns, and
obliged them to abandon their Forts[_B_]: Immediately on this Sir
_Chaloner Ogle_ made the Signal for landing the Troops, which was
repeated by the Admiral, who was just come to an Anchor, (a little to
the Eastward) and about five o'clock in the Evening, a Body of Troops
were landed without Opposition; but the General not thinking the Body
sufficient, (he landing with them) embarked again in the Boats, and
sent for more[_C_]. About eight o'Clock they landed again, and went and
took Possession of the Forts of _St. Philip_ and _St. Jago_, and about
nine the Bomb-ketches were carried in Shore, and began to play on the
Castle of _Boccachica_. The three next Days were spent in landing the
remainder of the Forces, the Baggage, _&c._[_D_] and by the 16th all
the Cannon, Mortars, and Ordnance Stores were landed[_E_]. But the
principal Engineer not arriving till the 15th, no Spot was pitched upon
for raising a Battery[_F_] against the Enemy, so that the clearing a
few Bushes away down by the Water Side, for to pitch their Tents, was
all the material Work the Army did for near a Week; and the Enemy was
contented to let them be pretty quiet, only now and then firing a Shot,
until they opened a Bomb-Battery of four Mortars and some Royals on the
17th[_G_], and then the Fascine Battery on the _Barradera_ Side annoyed
them greatly, and particularly the Camp, so that they were obliged to
remove it several Paces off.

[_H_]This being represented to the Admiral, Orders were given for all
Boats of the Squadron to be ready at Midnight (manned and armed) to go
to surprize the _Barradera_ Battery, and the Command given to Captain
_Boscawen_[_I_], in which they happily succeeded, spiked up all the
Guns; burnt the Carriages, Platforms, and Guard-house; destroyed the
Magazine, and took several Prisoners[_K_]. The next Morning, as soon as
it was Day, the Enemy from _Boccachica_ began to fire warmly at the
Bomb-Battery, (as if they were angry at what happened the Night before)
though without doing them any particular Damage; and as they were
sensible of the Usefulness and advantageous Situation of this Battery,
they set busily about repairing some Part of it, and on the 20th had
built up some Embrazures and mounted two Guns, and fired them on the
Bomb-Battery again, which the Admiral observing, ordered the _Rippon_,
a sixty Gun ship, to go and anchor as near it, as possible, and keep
firing on it to prevent the Enemy's working on it any farther[_L_], so
that all the next Day the Army was in a State of Tranquillity, and on
_Sunday_ the 22d their grand Battery of twenty Guns being finished,
about eight o'Clock in the Morning began to play very briskly on the
Castle, as did the Bomb-Battery, and thirty or forty Cohorns and Royals
planted on the Platform behind the Cannon[_M_], which the Enemy
returned as briskly from the Castle, the four Ships[_N_] (Don _Blass_'s
in particular) _St. Joseph_'s, and some few Guns from the _Barradera_,
so that the Work was warm on both Sides. On the 23d the _Boyne_,
_Suffolk_, _Tilbury_, _Prince Frederick_, and _Hampton Court_, were
ordered in against _Boccachica_ to cannonade[_O_]; but the _Boyne_
having anchored so far to Leeward, as to lie exposed to the whole Fire
of the Enemy's Ships, and _St. Joseph_'s Battery, was much shattered,
and ordered off again that Night. The _Prince Frederick_ and _Hampton
Court_, sharing the Fire of the Enemy, that had been employed against
the _Boyne_, were also much shattered by Morning, when they were
likewise ordered to come off; the former having lost her Captain, and
both many Men killed and wounded. The _Suffolk_ and _Tilbury_ happening
to anchor well to the Northward, lay battering till the next Evening
(and with some Success, particularly against the Breach) when the
Admiral sent Orders for them to draw off. The Army now began to look on
the Breach as accessible, but the Guns in the _Barradera_ Battery,
being able to annoy them in their Attack, a Representation thereof was
made to the Admiral, who immediately directed the _Princess Amelia_,
_Litchfield_, and _Shoreham_, to go in, and anchor as nigh it as
possible, and sent the Boats of the Squadron again mann'd and arm'd,
under the Command of Captain _Watson_ to destroy it[_P_], which they
did effectually, and with scarce any Opposition; the greatest part of
the Guns in _Boccachica_ Castle being now dismounted, the Army thought
proper to entertain the Enemy's Ships, by widening five or six
Embrazures of their Battery, and playing some Guns on them, which the
Ships as civilly returned, 'till Night closed in, and firing ceased on
both Sides[_Q_]. The 25th in the Morning it was discovered, the Enemy
had been throwing up some Fascine Works on the Ramparts; however as
they had not moved away any Rubbish from the Breach, it was resolved
this Evening to attack it by Storm[_R_], and accordingly soon after
Sun-set a Body of Troops marched up and mounted the Breach
undiscovered, and quietly took Possession of the Castle, the Enemy
flying out at the Gate so soon as they saw the Troops on the Ramparts,
and heard their Huzza's. Those aboard their Ships were in the utmost
Consternation at such a sudden and successful Event, and with all
precipitate Surprize betook themselves to their Boats, setting Fire to
one of their Ships, and sinking two others. At the same time the Attack
was to be made on the Castle, (in order to divide the Enemy's Forces)
the Admiral had given Orders for the Attack of the Castle of _St.
Joseph_ by Boats, and sent them away under the Command of Captain
_Knowles_, who took Possession of it about ten a Clock at Night, the
Enemy abandoning it after firing some Guns: The Boats afterwards went
and took Possession of the _Galicia_, the _Spanish_ Admiral's Ship, and
then went to Work on cutting the Boom[_S_], and moving the _Galicia_
out of the Channel; and next Morning the Admiral in the _Princess
Caroline_, the _Worcester_, and some other Ships sailed into the
Harbour of _Carthagena_, and the whole Fleet and Transports continued
to sail and warp in as fast as conveniently they could. The Enemy
seeing the Admiral and several Ships got into the Harbour, began to
expect a Visit at _Castillo Grande_ soon, and as _Mancinilla_ Fort lay
opposite to it within Gun-shot, and was not capable of making any great
Defence, they thought proper to destroy it, lest we should take
Possession of it, and so batter the Castle. On the 28th the Admiral
being informed of two small Batteries that guarded the _Passa
Cavallos_[_T_], sent the _Weymouth_ and _Cruiser_ Sloop to demolish
them, and take all the Imbarkations and Canoes that were there; and
disposed the Fire-ships and small Frigates round the Harbour, to guard
every Pass and Creek, in order to cut off any Supplies going to the
Town. On the 30th the Rear-Admiral and several Ships turned up the
Harbour, and anchored a small Distance from _Castillo Grande_, where
the Enemy made a Shew of preparing to receive them;[_V_] and in order
to stop the Fleet here, had sunk seven Ships across the Channel, and
moored two of their Men of War, the _Conquestodore_ of sixty six Guns,
and the _Dragon_ of sixty. The 31st early in the Morning, Captain
_Knowles_ observed the enemy's two Men of War sunk, and not perceiving
any Men in the Castle went and acquainted Sir _Chaloner Ogle_, that it
was his Opinion the Enemy had abandoned _Castillo Grande_, who
immediately ordered him to weigh Anchor, and run in with his Ship, and
fire on it, which he did; and the Castle making no return, he sent his
Boats ashore, and took Possession of it, and hoisted the _English_
Flag: And on the Admiral's receiving Intelligence, he ordered a proper
Number of Forces to garison it[_W_]. The next Day Captain _Griffin_,
and Captain _Rentone_, were sent to see if it was possible to get past
the Enemy's Ships they had sunk, and finding the _Conquestodore_'s
Stern afloat, the _Burford_ warped up, and cut the Stern Moorings, and
hove her round, which opened a fair Channel, and the Bomb-Ketches, and
two twenty Gun Ships went through. By this Time the Admiral, and
greatest Part of the Squadron, were come up the Harbour. Mr. _Lestock_
and his Division was left at _Boccachica_, with Orders to reimbark the
Forces, and Cannon as fast as possible. The second in the Morning the
Bomb-Ketches began to play on the Town, and some of the Guns of
_Castillo Grande_, that were cleared, fired on a _French_ Ship that lay
up at the Head of the Harbour[_X_], upon which the Enemy set fire to
her, and she burned the greatest Part of the Day. Next Day the
_Weymouth_ getting through the Channel, the Town began to fire on her,
but without doing any material Damage. Great Part of the Transports
with the Troops being now come up the Harbour, this Night the
_Weymouth_, the three Fire-ships, and the _Cruiser_ Sloop, being
designed by the Admiral to cover the landing of the Forces, warped over
on the other Side the Harbour undiscovered by the Enemy, who in the
Morning, to shew their Resentment, gave them a Salvo of what Cannon
fronted that Way; (but firing through the Bushes did no Execution) the
_Cruiser_ Sloop drawing but little Water, warped up a Creek, and a
Party of the Enemy from a Breast-work they had thrown up, fired smartly
on her with their Musketry, but were quickly dislodged, a brisk fire,
chiefly with Grape Shot, having been kept all Night to scour the Woods.
About 5 o'Clock next Morning, being the 5th, the Forces were
landed[_Y_], and in their marching up from the Waterside had a small
Skirmish with some of the Enemy's Troops that had made a Lodgment in
the Woods, whom they soon put to Flight; and about a Mile further were
attacked a second Time, but the Enemy as soon shewed their Backs again.
Finding the Country open hereabouts, the Army did not chuse to make any
further Advances, so they pitched on a Place for encamping, and the
Evening sent a Party up to _La Papa_ to take Possession of that, if the
Enemy had abandoned it[_Z_]. In the mean while all possible Dispatch
was made in landing the Baggage, Provision, Cannon, Ammunition,
_&c._[_A_] which the Enemy surprisingly suffered, notwithstanding the
landing Place was within reach of the Guns of _St. Lazare_; yet they
fired but seldom, for it appeared afterwards their Attention was more
towards their own Safety, (or 'tis certain they might have done a great
deal of Mischief;) for whilst the Army were employed, and getting their
things ashore, the Enemy were as busy in making a Fascine Battery of
four Pieces of Cannon on the Brow of the Hill, and carrying on a Trench
(or Line) round the Foot of the Castle, which they completed in a very
short Time[_B_], quicker than the Army could make a Battery only for
three Mortars, and throw up a small Breast-work for their Advance
Guards. But no Care was yet taken to cut off the Communication between
Town and Country[_C_]. Complaints now began to be made, that the Number
of Sick was greatly increased in the Camp; upon which the Admiral
immediately supplied them with a Detachment of Lord _James Cavendish_
and Colonel _Bland_'s Regiments, that had remained aboard the Ships as
part of their Compliments, and a Body of such _Americans_ as were fit
for Duty[_D_]. Upon this Reinforcement, and the Apprehensions of the
rainy Seasons, which were daily expected, on the eighth in the
Afternoon a Land Council of War was held [_E_], wherein it was resolved
to attack the Castle and Trenches of _St. Lazare_, (without first
raising a Battery to make a Breach) and to this Resolution the Engineer
joined in Opinion[_F_]. Accordingly on the ninth in the Morning between
three and four o'Clock the Attack was made, and maintained very
resolutely on both Sides till between six and seven, when the Enemy
obliged the Forces to retreat after a considerable Loss of Officers and
Men[_G_]. After the Miscarriage of this Scheme (which was the occasion
of the Town's not being taken) the Army sickened surprisingly fast, and
those that were killed being esteemed the Flower of the Flock, the
General declared he was no longer in a Condition to defend himself,
much more to carry on a Siege against the Place, and hoped, if the
Admiral (who had ordered the _Weymouth_ to erect a Bomb-Battery, which
was finished and played in two Days) expected any Thing to be done, he
would order some Ships in to cannonade the Town[_H_], otherwise desired
these Things might be considered in a general Council of War, of Sea
and Land Officers, and accordingly on the 15th a Council of War was
held, who came to a Resolution (upon the General's Representation of
the bad State of the Army)[_I_], to have the Cannon and Forces
reimbarked with all convenient Speed, and the 17th in the Night the
Troops were accordingly[_K_] taken off the Shore.

Nothing remained now but to get the Fleet and Transports ready for Sea,
and to demolish the Castles and Fortifications already taken, which
last was effectually done by blowing them up, and by the 12th of _May_
the whole Fleet and Forces had taken leave of _Carthagena_.


In order more fully and clearly to form a Judgment of the foregoing
Expedition, it may not be improper to subjoin this Narrative of the
Enemy's Situation, Strength, and Disposition at _Carthagena_, as the
Fleet and Forces found them on their Arrival there: And in order to
carry it on agreeable to the Advances that were made, begin with a
_Disposition_ of _Punta Canoa_ Bay, where the Fleet first anchored.
This Bay is about five Miles to the North West of the City of
_Carthagena_, but not an extraordinary good anchoring Place, as the
Water is shoal a great Way off the Shore, and the Coast pretty strait,
that Ships are not much sheltered with the Point of Land, from the
Violence of the Breezes that generally blow. In the Bottom of this Bay
is an Entrance into the great Lake of _Jesea_, (called the _Boquilla_)
where the Enemy had a small Fascine Battery of four Pieces of Cannon,
and kept a Guard; but upon the Fleet's Arrival, (and during the Time
they continued to lie there) a considerable Number of the Enemy's
Forces, both Horse and Foot, kept constantly there, expecting a
Descent. The next Place of Note was the _Cruizes_, where the Enemy kept
a Guard ordinarily of a hundred Men: This Place is about half Way from
the _Boquilla_ to the Town, and guards a narrow Creek or Pass from the
Town to the Lake, called _Passa de Juan D'Ingola_, through which
Supplies come in Canoes from the other Side of the Lake to the Town: As
for the City itself, Nature has fortified that against any Attempt by
Sea, the Water shoaling near a League off, and the Shore being
plentifully bounded with Rocks; besides, the Sea is very seldom smooth,
so that it is difficult at all Times landing. However, as the Enemy
knew the Bravery of those they had to deal with, they began to wall
this Side of the Town, and make a Ravelin in the Middle, there being
already a strong Bastion at each End. _Bocca Grande_ being the next
Place the Enemy suspected an Attempt might be designed, had posted two
of their Men of War, the _Conquestodore_ of sixty six Guns, and the
_Dragon_ of sixty to guard it, and began two Fascine Batteries, one on
each Point of the Entrance. This Passage, called _Bocca Grande_, was
formerly the principal Entrance into the Harbour, but by Storms, and
the Force of the Sea, a Bank was thrown up, which quite closed the
Entrance, and then it was called _Bocca Serrada_; but as strange
Revolutions are frequent in these Countries, within these few Years
this Passage has broke out again, and there is now nine or ten Foot
Water in it. About three Miles below this, on the Island of _Terra
Bomba_, was a small Fort of four Guns, called _Battery de Chamba_; and
half a Mile further, a Fascine Battery of twelve Guns, (both of these
the Enemy had abandoned.) The next Places of Defence were the Forts of
_St. Philip_ and _St. Jago_, one of seven Guns, the other of fifteen,
which served as Redoubts to the Castle of _Boccachica_. One of these
Forts was built on the Rock _Ponti_ landed on, and probably to prevent
any one's landing there again, (especially so easily as he did.) The
Castle of _Boccachica_ was the Enemy's chief Dependance, as it guarded
the Entrance into the Harbour. It is a regular Square, with four
Bastions well built, and was capable of making a stout Defence if well
garisoned, and would have been much stronger had the Glacis and
Counterscarp been finished. There was mounted in it eighty two Guns,
and three Mortars, and the Enemy had cleared three or four hundred
Yards of the Woods round it, to prevent Approaches being made
undiscovered, (as _Ponti_ did in 1697.) On the other Side the Harbour's
Mouth was a Fascine Battery of fifteen Guns, called the _Barradera_;
and in a small Bay a back of that, another Battery of four Guns; and
facing the Entrance of the Harbour, on a small flat Island, stood _St.
Joseph_'s Fort of twenty one Guns: From this Fort to _Boccachica_
Castle a Boom and Cables were fixed across, fastened with three large
Anchors at each End; and just within the Boom was moored in a Line four
Men of War, the _Galicia_ of sixty six Guns, (aboard which was the
Admiral Don _Blass D'Leso_,) the _Africa_ and _St. Carlos_, each of
sixty six Guns, and the _St. Philip_ of seventy Guns, which spread the
Width of the Harbour's Mouth, that there was not room for a Ship either
to pass a head or a stern of them, so that it was impossible for
shipping to force an Entrance into the Harbour; and had the Enemy here
made a Defence equal to the admirable Disposition they had formed, it
must have been a difficult Task for the Fleet to have got in, even
after _Boccachica_ Castle was taken. About four or five Miles from
hence is a Creek, or Passage, that parts the Grand _Baru_ from the Main
called _Passa Cavallos_, through which there is Water enough for small
Vessels: This Pass the Enemy had defended with two Fascine Batteries,
one of eight Guns, the other of four, as well to protect their own
Imbarkations that come this Way with Provisions from _Tolu_, and the
River _Sina_, as to prevent any Attempts being made this Way. The next
place of Defence was _Castillo Grande_, which is about eight Miles up
the Harbour. This Castle is a regular Square with four Bastions, strong
and well built, and defended to the Land by a wet Ditch and Glacis
proper, and one Face towards the Sea has a Raveline, and a double Line
of Guns. This Castle can mount sixty one Guns, though there was but
fifty seven in it. Opposite to this was a Horse-shoe Battery of twelve
Guns, called _Mancinilla_; and in the Middle between these two Forts is
a large Shoal with not above two or three Foot Water on it, which
divides the Channel into two: In each of these Passages were Ships sunk
across, to prevent, if possible, the Fleet's getting by; for that Part
of the Harbour above these Castles is a perfect Bason, and seems rather
like one Harbour within another, so that if some of the Ships could not
have got past to have covered the Troops landing (where they did) they
must have marched several Miles, and been greatly exposed; besides, it
would have been excessively difficult transporting the Cannon, neither
could the Bomb-Ketches have got near enough this Way to have diverted
the Town; so that the Intent of this Disposition was exceeding good,
had it been effectually executed, (but Fear made the Enemy work in too
much Hurry.) Near three Miles further up the Harbour, on two flat sandy
Islands, or Keys, stands the famous City of _Carthagena_, and _Himani_,
called its Suburbs, which are both irregular Figures, but well
fortified to the Land with strong Bastions at proper Distances, and
Lakes and Morasses running round them; and the Water at the Head of the
Harbour shoal so far off, that Ships cannot come near enough to do any
material Execution with their Guns, which adds much to its Strength.

                     *      *      *      *      *

About a Quarter of a Mile from the Gate of _Himani_, on a pretty high
Eminence, stands the Castle (or Redoubt) of _St. Lazare_, which in
itself is but trifling, but its Situation very advantageous, and by
some new Works lately thrown up much strengthened. This Redoubt
overlooks all the Town, but has a Brow of a Hill (about four hundred
Yards from it) that overlooks it as much, and entirely commands it,
where would have been a proper Place to have raised a Battery, which
the Enemy full well knew, for they constantly kept a Guard there, to
observe the Army's Motions. As it was this famous Castle put an End to
the Siege of _Carthagena_, a particular Description of it may not be

                     *      *      *      *      *

The Hill it stands on is about fifty or sixty Foot high, naturally
steep, but made more so by the Earth out of the Trenches and Lines
being thrown over the Brow. The Castle is a Square of about fifty Foot,
with three Demi-Bastions, two Guns in each Face, one in each Flank, and
three in each Curtain. When the Army first landed, there was no
material Works about the Castle, but a Fascine Battery, of five Guns at
the North End of the Hill, facing the Brow of the commanding Hill
abovementioned; but whilst they were encamping, _&c._ the Enemy cut
Lines round the Foot of the Castle, and erected another Fascine-Battery
on the South Brow of the Hill, and brought four Guns out of the North
Battery, and mounted in this, as it commanded the Ascent of the Hill
best; these Lines ran in Traverses, and communicated from Battery to
Battery, and were a better Defence, and much stronger, than all the
other Works together. After the Attack, the Enemy being able to judge
where their Foible lay, mounted two Guns in the Lines, against the
angular Point of one of the Bastions (which was not defended) where the
Troops ascended the Hill, and to the South Part of the Hill lengthened
their Lines, and made a Stair-case up the Hill, to the Fascine-Battery,
and a Breast-work cross the Road, from the Foot of the Hill down to the
Water-side, which effectually blocked themselves up, and was a Security
against the Army's making a second Attack, and coming at them the right
Way, as they might have done at first, had they taken the Guide's
Advice. The Side next the Town is quite defenceless, and the Way into
the Castle up a Ladder, on that Side, which draws up, like a Bridge.

                     *      *      *      *      *

From the several Examinations of Deserters it appeared, the Number of
the Enemy did not exceed four thousand, (regular Forces, Seamen,
Militia, Blacks, and Indians included) and daily Experience convinced
us of the Goodness of their Engineers, Bombardiers, and Gunners, as
Desertion and Cowardice convinced us of the Badness of others.

Having given an Account of the Enemy's Situation and Strength, it may
likewise be necessary to relate some Account of the State of the Army,
and what pretty Instruments and Materials they were furnished withal.
That the whole Body of the Troops, that came from _England_ (unless two
Regiments) were raw, new raised, undisciplined Men, is a Fact known to
every one; and the greatest Part of the Officers commanding them,
either young Gentlemen whose Quality or Interest entitled them to
Preferment, or abandoned Wretches of the Town, whose Prostitution had
made them useful on some dirty Occasion, and by Way of Reward were
provided for in the Army; but both these Sorts of Gentlemen had never
seen any Services, consequently, knew not properly how to act, or
command; so that the worthy old experienced Officers, who had served
long and well, underwent a continual Hardship, in teaching and
disciplining a young raw Army, at a Time when they were on Service, and
every one ought to have been Masters of their Trade, instead of having
it to learn; and thus, by more frequently exposing themselves, most of
them were knocked on the Head. As for the _American_ Troops, they were
in general many Degrees worse, but the Officers in particular, who were
composed of Blacksmiths, Taylors, Shoemakers, and all the Banditti that
Country affords, insomuch, that the other Parts of the Army held them
in scorn. And for Engineers, Bombardiers, and Gunners, worse never bore
the Name, or could be picked out of all _Europe_.

                     *      *      *      *      *

Amongst the ten Engineers, there was but one who ever saw a Siege (and
that was the simple Siege of _Gibraltar_) and he was killed at
_Boccachica_, in the midst of his own defenceless Works; so that the
rest may justly have been said to be left without a Head. As for the
Bombardiers and Gunners, the Colonel commanding the Train was in his
grand Climacterick, and consequently very unfit to be sent upon this
Expedition; but he, poor Gentleman, was soon dispatched (thanks to the
Ignorance of the Engineers) and his Successor took care to render
himself as unfit for Duty, by Excess of Drinking, as Old Age rendered
the other; and as to Inferiors of both Sorts, Bombardiers and
Cannoneers, many of them were Country Fellows, who told the General
they were provided for in the Train for voting for Mr. ---- and Mr.
such a one, _&c._ Out of these few that were good, by constant
Attendance and Duty's falling hard few were left, and indeed they had
not many Opportunities of shewing their Abilities, the Materials they
were provided withal being mostly bad; for two thirds of the
Bomb-Shells either broke short in the Air, or their Fusees went out,
and they never broke at all; nor were there one in three of the
Grenadoes would burst; the Shells were so thick, and the Cavity so
small, they would not hold Powder sufficient to crack them; nay, so
little Care was taken in providing and packing up proper Materials for
a Train of Artillery, that out of eight Pieces of
Battering-Cannon-Principals, one was found defective and unserviceable,
and the Expedition had like to have set forward, without a Plank or
Joist for Platforms for the Guns, or any Bill-Hooks to cut Fascines and
clear the Ground, had not Lord _Cathcart_ been informed these Things
were wanting, and wrote timely to have them supplied before the Fleet
sailed, which lay then at _St. Hellens_.

                     *      *      *      *      *

Upon the whole, the Service that has been performed best demonstrates
the Goodness of this Army: How much it has suffered, as well as the
Reputation of the Nation, by the Death of Lord _Cathcart_, the End of
the Expedition must resolve.

Thus much may be said in Behalf of the common Soldiers, though they
were raw and undisciplined, they wanted not for Courage and Resolution
becoming _Englishmen_.


                     *      *      *      *      *


[_A_] When Captain _Dandridge_, of the _Wolf_, came into the Fleet, he
acquainted the Admiral, that the Marquis _D'Antin_ and twelve Ships of
War were then in _Port Louis_, which was the Reason the Admiral pursued
his Course up to the Isle of _Vache_, where when the Fleet arrived, a
_French_ Officer coming on board the _Weymouth_, told, the Marquis
_D'Antin_ was gone Home: Upon the Admiral's being informed of this, he
sent Captain _Knowles_ up in the _Spence_ Sloop to reconnoitre, who
returned with Answer, that there was but one Ship of War in _Port
Louis_, and that the rest were all light Merchant Ships; however the
Admiral chose to be more certain, and having an Opportunity of sending
an Answer to the _French_ Officer's Message, the next Day sent Captain
_Knowles_ and Captain _Boscawen_ ashore to the Governor, who being
politely received, and satisfied with their Remarks, returned in the
Evening to the Admiral, and confirmed the foregoing Observation, who,
without loss of Time, carried the Fleet where they could best and
speediest be watered.

[_B_] This Success was obtained by the Loss only of six Men aboard the
_Norfolk_ and _Russell_, but the _Shrewsbury_'s Cable being shot
(before her other Anchor could be veered aground) she met with worse
Luck: She drove so far as to open the whole Fire of the Castle of
_Boccachica_, four of the Enemy's Ships of sixty and seventy Guns, that
were moored athwart the Harbour's Mouth, the Battery of St. _Joseph_,
and two Fascine Batteries, that were on the _Barradera_ Side; all this
Fire she lay singly exposed to till dark, when she took the Benefit of
the Land-Wind, and ran off, being greatly shattered in her Hull, Masts,
and Rigging, and a great many Men killed and wounded.

[_C_] It was a Body of eight hundred Grenadiers that first landed, who,
during the Time that more Troops were sent for (which was upwards of
two Hours before they came) were kept in the Boats, within twenty Yards
of the Shore, and so closely crouded, scarce one Man could have used
his Arms, that had they had any Enemy to have dealt with, but dastardly
_Spaniards_, they must and would have been cut all to pieces.

[_D_] During the first three Days the Troops were ashore, they were
employed in no one Thing, no not so much as to clear the Ground for
their Encampment, but kept under Arms Night and Day (where, by the Heat
of the Sun, on a white burning Sand, they were scorched to Death, and
by the Inclemency of the Dews in the Night, they got Colds, so that
many of them fell sick) whereas had they been instantly employed to
have encamped and opened Ground in the Woods for that Purpose, they
would have been shaded by the Trees, freed from the burning Heat of the
Sand, and many of them preserved from the Enemy's Shot, that missed our

[_E_] In the first Place it must be observed, that there never was
Application made what particular Ordnance, Stores, _&c._ to land, or
any Scheme formed what Sort of Cannon might be necessary, or what
Quantity of Stores wanting, but the whole was landed, and a
considerable Part lost by being washed off the Beach by the Sea, and
several Carriages broke to pieces by the Enemy's Shot, and the rest
left in Heaps in the utmost Confusion; notwithstanding there were near
five hundred Seamen appointed for this Purpose; but those Officers,
whose Business it was to have formed an Artillery Park (though God
knows they called this so) and disposed of the Stores in a regular
Manner and Order, were----

[_F_] Such was the Knowledge of the Sub-Engineers, that not one of them
knew where to chuse out a Spot of Ground for raising a Battery, neither
had they prepared Fascines, Pickets, or any Materials, till their
Principal arrived (and after he had pitched on a Place, he made a
Demand of thirty thousand Fascines of twelve Foot long, twenty thousand
of nine Foot long, and forty thousand Pickets, whereas one thousand
five hundred Fascines built the Battery) who, _Vauban_ like, would not
begin to work, till all his Materials were on the Spot; and then, with
five hundred Seamen, two or three hundred Blacks, and as many Soldiers
as the General could spare for Pioneers, he was ten Days erecting a
Battery; and when it was done, it was parallel to neither Face nor
Curtain of the Fortification, and the Breach was made in the angular
Point of the Bastion, neither was there any safe Communication with it,
for no Trench was ever cut, or proposed, only a Path through the Woods,
and that almost in a strait Line; so that every Shot enfiladed it, and
killed twenty times the Number of Men going to and from the Battery,
that were killed every where else during the Siege; nor would the
Engineer be prevailed on (any more than the General) to cut off the
Communication from the Town to _Boccachica_ (by which they might have
prevented the Enemy from receiving any Succours by Land, seen all their
Motions in the Harbour, and hindered any Incursions from the Castle)
notwithstanding the Admiral frequently solicited the General and wrote
to him to have it done.

[_G_] This Thing, called a Bomb-Battery, was also a Mark of the Genius
and Understanding of the Engineers. It was a Platform, laid behind a
small rising Rock, open on all Sides, no Communication to it, either by
Trench, Epaulment, or any Security whatsoever, that the Enemy saw every
Man (from the Castle) that went in, or out, as they were obliged to
pass over high Ground, to come at the Battery, and then it lay quite
exposed to the _Barradera_ Battery; so that the Shot fired from thence
passed in at one End, and out at the other; and if they did no
Execution there, were sure to do some in the Camp. And as to the
Usefulness of it, and the Service that was performed by the excellent
bombardiers, every idle Spectator was a Judge; though it was oftentimes
observed, by Order, that not six Shells out of forty had done
Execution, and that, on the contrary, scarce one of forty of the
Enemy's ever missed.

[_H_] The Camp (it has been observed before) was pitched on a low Sand,
but being sheltered (as a direct Object) from the _Barradera_ Battery,
by the Rock that _St. Philip_ stood on, could not be seen, but lying in
the Line of Direction of the Shot fired from thence, at the famous
Bomb-Battery, was sure to be flanked by every Shot, which missed that,
and though it might be prudent to try Movings, on this Occasion, yet it
was a bad Example to the Soldiers, especially when the Chiefs moved off
first, and the Thing was done without regular and publick Orders;
besides the Time it took up at that Conjuncture (when more material
Works were in Hand, and the Army lessening every Day by Sickness, which
was not to be regained.) Whereas had the Encampment been formed at
first, a few Yards up in the Woods, none of the Enemy's Guns could have
been brought to bear on it, nor indeed would they have been able to
have discovered where it was; besides the great Advantage of Men's
being cool, and particularly after working; but, as it was placed,
instead of a cool Retreat, to retire to Rest, after being heated by the
warm Labour, their Tents were a hotter.

[_I_] The following Captains were also ordered upon this Expedition,
vix. Capt. _Watson_, _Coates_, _Lawrence_, _Coleby_, and _Laws_, and
all the Barges and Pinnaces of the Fleet. They went away from their
Ships about Midnight, and rowed pretty far to Leeward, to avoid being
seen, or the Noise of their Oars heard, and proposed landing in a small
sandy Bay, behind the _Barradera_ Battery, into which was a narrow
Channel, between two Reefs of Rocks, and a four Gun Battery on the
Strand, facing the Channel (both unknown to every Person there) which,
so soon as some of the Boats had got into the Channel, began to fire on
them; but the brave Tars landed, and rushed in at the Embrazures, and
took Possession of the Battery, before the Enemy could fire a second
Time. This firing alarmed the _Barradera_ Battery, and the Enemy turned
three Pieces of Canon on the Platform, which they fired with Grape
Shot, so soon as the Seamen advanced; but notwithstanding that, and the
Difficulties and Badness of the Road (which was through a Morass, and
where but one Man could walk abreast, and full of Stumps of Mangroves
each a Foot or more high, the Seamen attacked it; and, after a smart
though short Resistance, carried it, took nine Prisoners, spiked up
fifteen Guns (from eighteen to twenty four Pounders) burned the
Carriages, Platforms, Guard-houses, and Magazine; and it may with
Justice be allowed (from the many Difficulties that attended this
Action, in Regard to the advantageous Situation of the _Barradera_
Battery, the Boats being surprised with a four Gun Battery, just as
they were going to land, and no Person acquainted with the Place) as
bold and surprising an Enterprise, as is to be met with; and the
Consternation it put the Enemy in seems to confirm this Opinion; for
although _Boccachica_ Castle, and the Enemy's four Ships, were not more
than Musket Shot off, yet neither they, nor _St. Joseph_'s (which was
still nearer) ever fired a Shot. So that it seems as if they could not
believe the Thing, though they saw all in Flames. For this gallant
Action the Admiral rewarded every common Man with a Dollar apiece.

[_K_] The Success of this Action may be said to have given the Army
both Spirits and Pleasure (_pro tempore_) as it freed them from the
greatest Annoyance of their Camp, and gave them an Opportunity of
working quietly on their Battery.

[_L_] Because the Enemy made such quick Dispatch in repairing some Part
of the _Barradera_ Battery, mounting and firing some Pieces again, the
Army began to reflect, and say, the Battery was not effectually
destroyed, though hundreds of Men were seen constantly at work, and
Boats with Cannon, Stores, and Fascines, passing and repassing hourly,
both from _Boccachica_ and the Ships: But the Truth was, the Army was
not accustomed to work in that brisk Manner: No! Working was no Part of
their Trade. However, when the sixty Gun Ship went in against the
Battery, that the Enemy was obliged to bring their Guns to fire at her,
the Army cooled in their Resentments, and all was well, while the Enemy
was quiet.

[_M_] This grand Affair having taken up near a Fortnight in raising,
and many more Men employed to work, than was necessary (for there were
five hundred Seamen, between two and three hundred Blacks, besides as
many Pioneers as could be spared out of the Army) much Execution may be
expected therefrom: But alas! the Engineers would by no Means outdo
themselves; the Battery was constructed in a Wood! and no more Ground
was cleared, than a Space necessary for so stupendous a Building (lest
the Enemy should see the Army!). For so great Caution was used, that
before the Wood in the Front of the Battery was cut down, it was a
Doubt, whether any Guns could be brought to bear on the Castle; and as
it was, no Guns could be brought to play on the Enemy's Shipping,
although it was expected they would instantly fire on the Battery, and
be capable of doing it the greatest Damage; (which they did) and had
not an Epaulment been thrown up at the East End, every Shot from the
Ships must have raked the Battery, and destroyed Numbers of Men. The
Army allowed the Tars behaved gallantly; for it must be remarked, they
had Seamen to fight the Guns in the Battery, as well as help to build
it. Whether the Engineers proposed to batter the angular Point of the
Bastion in Breach is Matter of Doubt, at the first laying out of their
Battery; (but infinite Reasons may be assigned for the Absurdity,
besides that great one, of having the Fire of two Flanks to destroy,
instead of one) however it is generally believed, it was Hap-hazard;
for the most impartial Judges in the Navy and Army agree, if the Enemy
had cut down eighty or an hundred Paces of the Woods further round the
Castle, the Undertaking would have been so difficult, as to have
shocked the Science of all the Engineers, if not quite disheartened
them, from so daring an Enterprise.

[_N_] The Position the Enemy had lain their Ships in, was beyond all
Doubt the most advantageous, could be formed by Man; both for opposing
any Attempt, that might be made by Shipping on the Entrance into the
Harbour; or annoy any Battery, that could be raised ashore; and as they
found no Battery against them, they failed not to play as briskly (as
_Spaniards_ will do when there is no body to hurt them) and did ten
times more Damage than the Castle.

[_O_] These Ships were ordered to cannonade purely to oblige the
General, who, because the Enemy's Ships fired at his Battery, desired
the Admiral would send Ships to cannonade the Castle, though there was
a Battery of twenty Guns to fire against five or six (for that was all
the Castle could bring to bear on the Battery) so they had their Masts
and Yards shot to pieces, and Numbers of Men killed and wounded,
without doing any other Damage than beating down the Rubbish; (which
the Battery would have done in half the Time, as being twice as near)
for they could not come to hurt the Enemy's Ships, nor did it divert
their Ships from firing at the Battery.

[_P_] So soon as the Enemy saw the Boats coming to Land, and these
Ships come to an Anchor close to the Battery, they deserted it, and
spiked up the Guns; but Captain _Watson_, and Captain _Coates_ marched
into it, and ripped up the Platforms, burned them and the Carriages,
and effectually demolished the Battery: The Enemy fired at them from
their Shipping, but with-out much Damage.

[_Q_] It may be remarked as something extraordinary, that although the
Army thought the Breach just practicable, they should entirely cease
firing, the Night before they intended the Attack; as it is a sort of
an established Rule in all regular Sieges, to keep firing in the Night,
to prevent the Enemy's removing the Rubbish, that is beat down in the
Day, which the Enemy would certainly have done, if they had been
sufficiently strong; for they began that Night a Counter-Battery of
Fascines on the Ramparts, in order to have disputed it longer, which if
they had had Time to have finished, and Numbers to have carried on both
Works together, (_viz._) moving the Rubbish from the Foot of the
Breach, and compleating these Counter-Batteries, they would have
rendered the Attack as difficult as from the Beginning.

[_R_] The Army having sent in the Night to reconnoitre the Breach, and
judging it surmountable, resolved this Evening to attack it, and after
having made their necessary Dispositions, sent off to acquaint the
Admiral with their Design, and that so soon as three Shells should be
thrown in the Evening by way of Signal, the Battery should begin to
fire warmly, till the Soldiers were almost at the Foot of the Breach,
and then to cease, and they rush in, which had the desired Effect; for
on the Battery's playing, the Enemy retired off their Ramparts, except
only one Centinel, and he hid himself behind some Fascines; that the
Troops mounted the Breach undiscovered, and were actually huzzaing on
the Ramparts, and hoisting the _English_ Flag, before the Enemy were
apprised of them; who made the best of their Way out of their Castle
Gate, excepting two, who were taken Prisoners; so that there was not a
Musket fired in Opposition, nor a Gun from any of the Enemy's Ships,
which is both astonishing and remarkable, as their Broadsides lay to
the Castle, and the Admiral (Don _Blass_) was aboard. But such was the
Panick they were in, that happy was he that could get first into a Boat
to save himself: (and the Don did not look behind him). Each Ship was
scuttled ready for sinking, and had a large square Plug in the Hole;
but the _St. Philip_'s People not readily getting them out, set fire to
her; the _Africa_ and _St. Carlos_ were sunk, as it was intended the
_Galicia_ should also, in order to prevent any Ship's getting through
the Channel, which (had the Scheme been effected) would have rendered
it difficult to pass, if practicable at all, without weighing some one
or other of the Ships. This Victory (it will readily be allowed) gave
the Army a great Share of Spirits, as it freed them from Hardships
(modern Gentlemen Soldiers are not used to) and gave them Possession of
an Island (as well as the Castle) in which the Enemy could not come to
disturb them, especially while they had got a Fleet of Ships of War to
attend on them; for, to their great Glory be it spoken, they could not
venture to move along Shore without Men of War to attend on them, as
they marched, and the constant Cry was, _Why don't you come to our
Assistance?_ Nay, so great a Liking had they to the Sea, that they
could not find their Way into the Castle, after the Breach was made,
without a Sea Pilot to conduct them; and what is worth Notice is, he
was a _Spaniard_, and a Prisoner; but the General imagined, he might be
as good a Pilot by Land, as by Sea, and so sent to the Admiral, to
desire he might shew the Troops the Way into the Castle.

[_S_] The Admiral's Scheme for Attacking _St. Joseph_'s had drawn all
the Attention of the Enemy that Way; for so soon as they saw the Boats
going to Land, their Ships began to fire pretty briskly, and _St.
Joseph_'s Battery fired also; but as the Bushes prevented their seeing
the Men, they did but little Harm. The Enemy sent several large Boats
full of Men from their Ships into the Battery, which is pretty plain
they did not expect _Boccachica_ would have been attacked at that Time,
or consequently they would not have sent them there. (Wherefore it is
evident, this Scheme facilitated the Army's becoming Masters of
_Boccachica_, and put an End to the Dispute sooner than was expected,
or could possibly have happened, had any Nation but pusillanimous
_Spaniards_ had the Defence of it; for had the Place been defended
equal to its Strength and excellent Disposition, both of the Ships and
Batteries, it would have been a difficult Task for the Fleet and Army
both to have rendered themselves Masters of it.) But so soon as they
saw the Castle taken, they made the best of their Way off, in what
Boats they could get, and abandoned St. _Joseph_'s likewise, leaving
only one drunken Man behind (who was to have blown it up) so soon as
the Boats had got Possession. Captain _Coates_ was left to command this
Fort, and the Captains _Knowles_ and _Watson_ went aboard the
_Galicia_, where they found the Captain of her, and about sixty Men,
whom they took Prisoners, and carried aboard of the Admiral, the rest
of the Crew having run away with the Boats, and prevented their
escaping and sinking their Ship, as was intended.

[_T_] _Passa Cavallos_ is a Creek, that parts the grand _Baru_ from the
Main, through which the Supplies of Provisions that come from _Tolu_
and _Sina_ must pass; and here the Enemy had erected two small
Batteries, one of four Guns, the other of eight, which were demolished
by the _Weymouth_ and _Cruiser_. The latter was sent up the Creek, to
bring away five or six _Sina_ Hulks (Vessels so called, as being dug
out of one solid Tree, and big enough ordinarily to carry twenty Tuns)
that lay there, which were very useful to the Fleet in watering.

[_V_] Between _Castillo Grande_ and _Mancinilla_ Fort is a large
Channel, that goes up as it were into another Harbour or large Bason;
in the Middle of the Channel is a Shoal, that divides it into two
Channels; on each Side the Shoal the Enemy had moored Ships, and sunk
them; and in the Channel next the Castle had moored two sixty Gun
Ships, the _Conquestodore_ and _Dragon_, and untiled their Houses in
the Castle, as if intended to defend it; but observing the Boats
sounding, and well knowing how near the Ships could lay their
Broadsides against it, they certainly judged right in abandoning it,
and sinking their Ships, as they must have lost many Men in defending
them, and those that had happened to have been left, after the Castle
and Ships had been taken, must have submitted to have been Prisoners;
for there was no Way of their escaping, either by Land or Water; and as
their Numbers were not great, it was best collecting them in one Body,
and at one Place, to make an Effort.

[_W_] Though this Castle was capable of making a pretty good Defence,
yet the above Reasons justify the Enemy in abandoning it. There was in
the Castle fifty seven Guns, which the Enemy had spiked up, and the
Powder they had thrown into the Cistern of Water, and spoiled, but most
of the Guns were got clear again, and the Castle was garisoned with one
hundred regular Troops, and about fifty Seamen.

[_X_] This _French_ Ship had been supplying the Enemy with Ammunition,
and had not had Time to get away, before the Place was invested; and
during the Siege of _Boccachica_ Castle, had been used as an Hospital
Ship, to receive the Enemy's wounded, and served to carry them to Town,
or fetch Ammunition, or Stores, from the Castle, as Occasion required,
and, to prevent her being destroyed by the _English_, the Enemy chose
rather to burn her.

[_Y_] All the Boats of the Fleet having been ordered to hold themselves
in Readiness for landing the Forces, each respective Transport was to
shew a Signal Light at Midnight, where the Boats went and received the
several Regiments according as directed, and from thence went and
rendezvoused aboard the _Weymouth_ till dawn of Day; and after her
scouring the Woods briskly with Grape-Shot, _&c._ at half an Hour past
four o'Clock in the Morning they were landed at a Place called
_Gratia_, formerly a Country House hired by the _South-Sea_ Factors,
and one _Mac Pherson_, who had also been in that Company's Service, and
was well acquainted with the Country, was their Guide. But, as
throughout the whole, Things were done without Order or Method, so they
went on still; for notwithstanding the Army had been apprised of the
Enemy's having made Lodgments along the Road, yet they landed without a
Grenado Shell, or a Field-Piece, and were likewise told, the Road was
even and able to sustain the Weight of the heaviest Cannon. However,
Providence continued to favour them better than their own Prudence
could have guided, and happily they were landed with the Loss only of
one Man, and two or three wounded, although some Parties of the Enemy
attacked them twice: At which Time the Ships proved of great Service,
as they could see every Motion the Enemy made, and fired among them
very successfully; for no sooner did they attempt to make a Stand and
draw up, than the Shot dispersed them, and swept off Numbers; so that
if the Army had vouchsafed to have pushed their Success, it is a
general received Opinion (even amongst themselves now) they might have
rendered themselves Masters of the Castle of _St. Lazare_ that Day
(even without Field-Pieces) for the whole Force of the Town was out
against them (as they were told by some Prisoners they took and some
Deserters) and very impolitically divided into several Bodies; and in
the Panick they were in, and each Party running different Ways, it
would have been no difficult Task, to have rendered themselves Masters
of that small Redoubt, if not succeeded in forcing the City Gates; for
what had they to do, but to follow the Enemy close at their Heels, and
slaughter them? Before they had got into the Town, the other must; for
when they were mixed in a Body amongst their Enemy, the Town dared not
venture to have fired, for fear of killing their own People; but
instead of making Use of any of these Advantages, they contented
themselves in taking Possession of the Ground the Enemy had left them
Masters of, and there posted their Advanced Guards, and retired with
the main Body behind _La Papa_ to encamp; and here almost as many Days
were spent in forming an Encampment, as at _Boccachica_.

[_Z_] _La Papa_ is a Convent, which stands on the Top of the highest
Hill, near _Carthagena_, and was a most advantageous Part for observing
the Enemy's Motions, as it overlooked the Town and Country for many
Leagues round about.

[_A_] Though it might have been expected from the Loss and Destruction
of Ordnance Stores at _Boccachica_, more Care would have been taken
here, yet, instead of that, the worthy Officer of the Train doubled his
Neglect, and Things were in much more Disorder and Confusion than they
were there, notwithstanding here was Choice of Ground to pitch upon for
an Artillery Park; but it was too much Trouble and Labour to move the
Stores from the Place where they were first put down in, at landing,
and required more Attendance than could be spared from the Bottle (and
it is a well known Proverb, _When the Shepherd's away, the Flock will
stray_,) so that out of two or three hundred Men, that were appointed
to attend this Service, it was well if thirty were found at Work.

[_B_] When the Army landed, there were scarce any Works worth Notice
round the Castle of _St. Lazare_, but a Fascine Battery of five Guns\
on the North Side of the Hill (which was built the Year before, when
Admiral _Vernan_ bombarded the Town) and was of no Service, but in Case
of Approaches being made that Way. But as the Enemy saw the Army
(disposed to Rest rather than Work) go on slowly, they took Occasion to
improve their Time, and with unwearied Diligence set to Work, and in
three Days Time completed a four Gun Battery, and entrenched themselves
in Lines round about the Foot of the Castle, which were stronger, and
of much more Importance, than the Castle itself, and drew those Guns
off the Fascine Battery on the North Port, and mounted them in this new
Battery, and saluted the Army frequently with them, whilst they were
working on their Bomb-Battery and Lodgment for their Advanced Guards.

[_C_] It has been remarked, that neither General nor Engineer could be
prevailed on to cut off the Communication, notwithstanding the Admiral
represented the Necessity thereof, as the most sure Means to distress
the Enemy, and had sent the _Dunkirk_ to anchor off the _Boguilla_, to
prevent any Embarkation bringing Supplies by Water, as he had done the
_Falmouth_ at the grand _Baru_, on the Outside of _Passa Cavallos_
(before the taking of _Boccachica_) which effectually prevented any
Refreshments coming to the Enemy from _Tolu_, and the River _Sina_,
their principal Markets; yet nothing was of Weight enough for its being
done here, although so very easy, and the Army were complaining
heavily, for want of Refreshments, and yet suffered Supplies daily to
go into the Town. The _Boguilla_ is the Mouth of the Lake (behind
_Carthagena_) that opens into the Sea, where the Enemy kept a Guard of
about an hundred Men, and was the only Way possibly they had left for
Supplies to come to them; and though fresh Provisions were scarce in
the Camp, and would have been exceedingly beneficial to the Sick, yet
so little Pains did the Army care to take to get it, that when the
General was acquainted, that a Drove of three or four hundred Head of
Oxen were going along the Strand, he did not dispatch a Party to
intercept them, or endeavour to cut them off, not in three Hours after
he had been informed of the Thing, and then the Cattle were going into
the Town. But so far were the Army from being disposed to cut off the
Communication on that Side, that they were continually forming Ideas of
the Enemy's coming that Way to attack them, and that they were actually
raising Batteries on some of the Islands in the Lake, to drive them out
of the Camp, and could not be convinced to the contrary, till the
Admiral ordered a large Canoe to be carried over Land, and launched
into the Lake, which was manned and armed, and an Officer of the
_Weymouth_ and a Land Officer sent in her round the Lake, to
reconnoitre; upon whose Return, those dreadful Apprehensions were

[_D_] From the first Sight of the _American_ troops they were despised,
and as many of them were _Irish_, (suspected Papists) were never
employed till now; but as Sickness encreased amongst the others (and
hourly Attacks expected from the Enemy) it was thought expedient to
have them ashore; and though it is most certain, there was scarce one
but knew what Opinion had been conceived of them, nay indeed told them,
that had not the Fellows been better than they were taken for, it was
enough to have exasperated them to have deserted. The other Soldiers of
Lord _James Cavendish_ and Col. _Bland_'s Regiments were as good Troops
as any on the Expedition; and after this Reinforcement, it was expected
the Communication would have been immediately cut off; (as it had been
suggested Numbers could not be spared before) but so far from that,
that the Army still complained, that they had not Men enough to relieve
their Guards; and indeed, according to the Number they mounted,
_Marlborough_'s Army would scarce have been sufficient; for the Advance
Guard consisted of five hundred Men, the Picket eight hundred, besides
several other Out-Guards of one hundred, and some fifty; whereas the
Enemy had but one Guard (that faced this Way) without their Work, and
that of seven Men only. Thus were the poor Wretches harassed.

[_E_] When the Council of War met, several of the general Officers and
Colonels dissented from this Resolution, as judging it too rash an
Undertaking, without a proper Breach being made first, or at least
before the Place had been well reconnoitred; but in order to solve this
last Difficulty, there were several Deserters that offered to go as
Guides, and three of the most intelligent were pitched upon.

[_F_] The principal Engineer being killed at _Boccachica_, his
Successor (being none of the most knowing in the Science) did not chuse
any Works should be taken in Hand, as they would expose his Ignorance;
so chearfully gave into that Opinion.

[_G_] After the Majority of the Council of War had determined on the
Attack, a proper Time was now the Question, as to which the Deserters
informed them, about two o'Clock in the Morning would be the best Time;
for the Guards from the Town that nightly patroled round the Foot of
the Hill would by that Time be returned and gone to their respective
Homes; because as Duty went hard (their Numbers being but it was
customary for them, as soon as they had performed their Rout, to go to
Bed;) and further observed, that when a _Spaniard_ has laid himself
down to sleep, it is no easy Task to raise him to fight; but these
Arguments were of no Force to the General; just before Day was his
Time; accordingly, about four o'Clock in the Morning the Attack began,
and a Party of Grenadiers, along with Colonel _Grant_, entered the
Trenches at the Foot of the Castle; but not being sustained, were cut
off, and Colonel _Grant_ shot through the Body. After this, instead of
rushing in, Sword in Hand, and mingling with the Enemy in the Trenches,
a full Stop was made, and the Men stood firing in Plotoons; those that
had Room, and could wheel off for others, did, but the greatest Part
stood and fired all their Ammunition away, while the Enemy (as it was
now Day-light, and they could take Aim) were mowing them down, like
Grass, with their Cannon, Musketry, and Grenadoes; notwithstanding
which, the Troops faced them like Lions, and wanted but to have been
led on, or told what they were to have done, and they certainly would
have taken the Place. But, instead of that, from the most excellent
Disposition that was made, no Officer attempted to lead them on, and
the Grenado Shells, that should have been in the Front, and distributed
among the Soldiers, were in Boxes in the Rear; nor was there one Length
of lighted Match among them. The Woolpacks and Scaling Ladders were
also in the Rear. But when Colonel _Grant_ entered the Trenches, such
Call was made for them, that some few were carried up the Hill; however
as he, poor Gentleman, fell, no body else tried to make Use of them;
and so amongst other Things they were left for the Enemy. As this
Scheme was but badly formed from the Beginning, (and indeed may be
properly called the General's own Scheme) so it as unfortunately ended;
for the Admiral not being acquainted with this Resolution of the
Council of War, (either by Letter or Message) had not an Opportunity of
acting in Conjunction with them, and assisting them with a Body of
Seamen, as it is evident he would have done; for as soon as he was
acquainted the Fort was attacked, and got up and saw the Troops at a
Stand, the Instant a Signal could be seen, (at Dawn of Day) he made one
for all the Boats in the Fleet manned and armed, and sent them with
orders to follow the General's Directions; but it was too late; before
they got ashore, the Troops were returned from the Attack.

Various are the Accounts of the Loss sustained in this Action; but it
is generally believed, there were upwards of one hundred Men killed,
and near two hundred wounded, thirty of whom were taken Prisoners,
Numbers of Arms, Colours, Drums, Woolpacks, Grenadoes, Pick-axes,
Shovels, Scaling Ladders, _&c._ were left behind in the Retreat, which
the Enemy arrogantly diverted themselves withal, for some Time, on the
Top of the Hill, taking Care to let the Army see them.

As when Faults are committed, the first Thing sought after is an
Excuse; so, not succeeding in this Attack, the Army now fell to blaming
the Guides, saying, they had led them the wrong Way; the Guides again
say, the Army would not follow them the Way they would have led them;
but had Reason alone been their Guide, sure they should have attacked
the Castle on the weakest Side; (for they all knew one Side was
defenceless) whereas they attacked it on the strongest Side, where the
Hill was most difficult of Access; and when they found themselves
repulsed, and at a Loss what to do, the speedier they had made their
Retreat, the smaller had been their Loss.

[_H_] The Admiral had sent several Officers in to sound, and try if
Ships might come near enough to batter, who all gave it, as their
Opinions, that there could not more than three Ships possibly anchor at
the upper End of the Harbour; and if they were laid but in a Foot Water
more than they drew, they would not be in a Point-Blank-Shot, and
consequently could do no material Execution; however, to convince the
General, that Ships could be of no manner of Service to him, the
Admiral caused the _Galicia_ (one of the _Spanish_ Ships) to be fitted
proper for battering, by forming, between each Port, Merlons (or Cases)
of six Foot thick, and filled with rammed Earth or Sand, and sent her
in to cannonade the Town; but it was soon found, she could not come
hear enough to do any Service; for the enemy had demolished her so, in
two or three Hours, that she would have sunk in half an Hour more, if
she had not been drawn off; and it may be established as a general
Rule, for Ships to go by, that unless they can come within half a
Musket or Pistol Shot of a Fortification, it will have the Advantage of
them, for the further you lye off, the more Guns they can bring to bear
against you; whereas, when you go so near, there can no more Guns annoy
you, than are mounted within the Length of your Ship; and the
Difference of Briskness in firing, betwixt a Ship and a Fort, is so
great, besides the Odds in Number of Guns, that it is impossible to
withstand a Ship long. After this Experiment the _Galicia_ was burned.

[_I_] After the famous Battle of _St. Lazare_, the Troops sickened very
fast, insomuch, that by Account delivered in (and the General's Report)
between _Thursday_ Morning and _Friday_ Night, they had dwindled away
from 6645 to 3200, and 1200 of these were _Americans_, and not esteemed
fit for Service.

[_K_] When the Council of War agreed to the Forces being embarked, the
General urged, that they might come off in the Night, lest the Enemy
should make a Sortie, so that the Boats were ordered ashore about nine
o'Clock, and from the Apprehensions they were in of the Enemy's being
at their Heels, many of them left their Baggage, and Numbers of them
their Tents and Arms, which the Enemy came the next Morning and picked
up. The Tents they pitched upon _St. Lazare_ Hill, and other Places,
where they might best be seen, and by a Flag of Truce that had Occasion
to pass the next Day, about Exchange of Prisoners, they failed not to
express their Astonishment at the precipitate Retreat of the Army. Thus
ended this famous Expedition, that was the greatest and most expensive
that ever entered the _American_ Seas, and which _Europe_ gazed on with
Admiration and Attention.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "An Account of the expedition to Carthagena, with explanatory notes and observations" ***

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