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Title: A Journal of the Expedition to Carthagena, with Notes

Dubious author: T. Smollett

active 1741 Thomas Wentworth

Release date: August 31, 2011 [eBook #37276]
Most recently updated: January 8, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Jane Hyland and the Online Distributed
Proofreading Team at









In Answer to a late Pamphlet;

An ACCOUNT of the

Qui statuit aliquid, parte inaudita altera,
Æquum licet statuerit, haud æquus suit.

Senec. Med.


Printed for J. ROBERTS, in Warwick-Lane.

[Pg i]


The following Sheets contain an Answer to a Pamphlet, which appeared on the Close of the last Session of Parliament, and is entitled, An Account of the Expedition to Carthagena.

To set that whole Transaction in the most clear Light, the Author has laid before the Publick an exact and faithful Journal of the most material Occurrences, not only during the Troops being on Shore in the Neighbourhood of Carthagena, but from the Time of the Fleet's sailing from Jamaica; the Period from which the Author of the Pamphlet begins his Relation.

The Notes are (as far as it was practicable) placed in the same Order with those in the Pamphlet; to which References are made, that the Reader may (if he pleases to take that Trouble) compare each Note with the Answer to it.[Pg ii]

Several Facts will be here found to be placed in a very different Light from the same Facts, as they are described in the Pamphlet, and others to be rejected, as absolutely false and groundless; but the Author flatters himself, that he has advanced nothing which is not founded upon Truth, and such as can be supported by living Evidences, or by authentick Records, whenever his Antagonist shall be pleased to lay aside his Mask; otherwise, no Notice will be taken of any Reply, which may hereafter be published.

[Pg 3]

January the 10th, 1740.

It was resolved in the principal Council of War[1] held at Spanish Town in Jamaica, that the whole Fleet should proceed to Windward, to observe the Motions of the Squadron under the Command of the Marquis d'Antin; and that Capt. Dandridge should be sent before in the Wolf Sloop to get Intelligence.

No Time having been lost in preparing to put to Sea; January the 22d, Sir Chaloner Ogle sailed with his Division out of Port-Royal Harbour; Commodore Lestock the 26th, and Vice-Admiral Vernon the 28th: The three Squadrons, having join'd January the 31st, made Cape Tiberon, on the Coast of Hispaniola, February the 7th; the same Day Captain Dandridge came into the Fleet. February the 8th, the Admiral made a Signal for General and Flag Officers, and communicated to them the Report he had received from Captain Dandridge,[2] viz. "That he had, January the 30th, look'd into Port-Lewis, where he had seen nineteen Ships of War; that one of them carried a Flag at the Main-top-mast Head, and another a broad Pendant;" which Report being taken into Consideration, it was resolved to steer directly to the Isle of Vache; where the Fleet arrived February the 12th, and cast Anchor at about two Leagues to the Westward of Port-Lewis.

[Pg 4]

The same Day Captain Laws was sent in the Spence Sloop a-fresh to reconnoitre the Harbour of Port-Lewis, who return'd in a few Hours with a Report, "That he had there counted sixteen Ships of War, and that one of them carried a broad Pendant."

February the 13th, the Admiral, accompany'd by the General, went in his Barge into the Bay between the Isle of Vache and Hispaniola, where there was found sufficient Depth of Water for the large Ships, and good Anchorage for the Transports. February the 14th, a French Officer came off with a Message; but the Admiral declining to see him 'till late in the Evening, he return'd without having deliver'd it.

The Admiral went further up the Bay to a small Kay (Island) with an Intention to reconnoitre the French Fleet, and was there join'd by the General, who perceiving it to be impossible thence to look into the Harbour, desired, that he might in Person go in with the Spence Sloop, and that Captain Knowles, being a good Draughts-Man, might accompany him; to which the Admiral consented.

As soon as the Sloop open'd the Harbour, Capt. Laws declared, that the Ships there lying at Anchor were French Men of War, and pointed to one, as having a white Flag at the Main-top-mast-Head; but the General, not being fully satisfied, order'd the Sloop to stand within Gun-shot, when it appeared, that the Ships in View were Merchant-men, most of them unrig'd; excepting one Frigate of forty Guns, whose Main-top-mast-Head lying in a Line with the white Gable-End of an House, occasioned the Mistake about the Flag.

February the 15th, Captain Boscawen and Captain Knowles were sent with a Message to the French Governor; the Purport of which was, that the Admiral not being on board his Ship, when an Officer came off to speak to him, he had not seen him, but[Pg 5] now sends to know what he had to offer; that the Fleet was forced by strong Breezes into the Bay; that he desires Leave to Wood and Water: They return'd with a very polite Answer, and brought an Account of the Marquiss d'Antin's being sail'd for Europe.

Capt. Renton came into the Fleet, and confirm'd the Report, "That the Marquis d'Antin sail'd with his Squadron for Europe, January the 26th."

February the 16th, the principal Council of War being assembled, it was resolved, that the Fleet, after having taken in Wood and Water at Iros, Tiberon and Donna-Maria Bays, should thence proceed directly to Carthagena.

February the 17th, the Fleet sailed from the Isle of Vache, and the Day following came to an Anchor in Iros, Tiberon and Donna-Maria Bays.

Seven Days having been employ'd in taking in Wood and Water; Detachments from the American Regiment, and from the Negroes, were daily sent on Shore to cut Fascines and Pickets.

February the 25th, the Weymouth, the Experiment, and the Spence Sloop, were order'd a-head, under the Command of Capt. Knowles, to sound Punto-Canoa Bay, which lies about two Leagues to the Windward of Carthagena.

February the 26th, the whole Fleet got under Sail, and came to an Anchor in Punto-Canoa Bay, March the 4th.

March the 5th, a general Council of War composed of the four principal Officers of the Army, and of the four principal Officers of the Navy, was held for settling the Shares of Plunder; but no Scheme could be then formed for attacking the Town, "from the Want of proper Intelligence."[3]

[Pg 6]

March the 6th, the General, accompany'd by some of the principal Land Officers, went on Board the Lyon Man of War to reconnoitre the Town, the Coast adjoining, the Forts on Tierra Bomba, &c. but did not return to the Fleet before the 8th in the Morning: The Lyon having lost her Main-Mast by the great Swell of the Sea. The Weymouth, the Dunkirk, the Experiment, and the Spence Sloop, were order'd to the Mouth of the Harbour, for taking the Soundings, and for getting Information how near the large Ships could approach for battering the Forts on Tierra Bomba.

March the 8th, a general Council of War being assembled, and having received, and carefully weighed, the Reports of the General Officers, and of the Captains of the Dunkirk and Weymouth, it was unanimously resolved, that Sir Chaloner Ogle should the next Morning fall down with his Division to the Mouth of the Harbour, and batter the Forts, St. Philip, St. Jago, &c.

The General afterwards assembled a Council of War, composed of Land Officers; when a Disposition was made for landing the Troops.

March the 9th, in the Morning, Sir Chaloner Ogle, accompany'd by the General, proceeded, with his Division, to the Attack of the Forts: Three eighty Gun Ships; the Norfolk, Capt. Graves; the Shrewsbury, Capt. Townshend; and the Russel, Capt. Norris, were order'd to batter those of St. Philip and St. Jago: Which Service they perform'd very gallantly, having, before the Evening, drove the Enemy from their Guns, and forced there, to retire out of the Forts.[Pg 7]

About Two, the General and Sir Chaloner Ogle went on board the Norfolk, and afterwards the Russel, for the better reconnoitring the Enemy, and viewing the Ground where the Troops were proposed to be landed.

The Loss on board the Norfolk and the Russel was not very considerable, but the Shrewsbury suffered much more; for having received a Shot in her Cable, she drove so far, as to open the whole Fire of the Castle of Boca-Chica, &c. to which she lay exposed till the Night gave her an Opportunity of removing to a safer Birth. As there were no Guns either in Fort Chambra, or on what was called the Fascine Battery, the Princess-Amelia, and the Litchfield met with no Opposition.

About Five, Sir Chaloner Ogle made a Signal for landing the Troops, which was repeated by the Admiral, who lay then with his Squadron at about a League's Distance.

As soon as the Grenadiers appeared, the General joined them, with an Intention to have landed immediately; but the three principal Officers, and two of the Companies, being still wanting, he order'd the Boats to lie under the Cover of the Russel and the Norfolk, there to wait their Arrival: They were in a short Time joined by the Lieutenant Colonel and Major, and one Company; but Col. Wynyard, "who was detain'd with his Company of Grenadiers, on board the Strumbulo Fire-Ship, from the want of Boats," being still absent, the Landing was further post-pon'd to about Seven, when they were, without Opposition, put on Shore on the Strand, to the Left of Fort St. Philip, under the Command of Lieutenant Col. Cochrane: After having seen them in Possession of the Forts, the General returned and went on board a Vessel, which lay near the Shore, and there passed the rest of the Night.[Pg 8]

In the Disposition for Landing, the Grenadiers were to have been sustained by a Brigade, commanded by Brig. Guise, and Col. Wolfe, who themselves join'd the General; but the Brigade did not come down till the Day following, being prevented by the strong Breezes.[4]

The same Evening the Bomb Ketches began to fire upon the Castle.

March the 10th, as soon as the Day appeared, the General went on Shore, and gave Orders for forming the Grenadiers upon the Beach, for covering the landing of the rest of the Troops; which not being compleated till late in the Evening, the whole lay that Night upon their Arms.

March the 11th, the Negroes, Tools, and Tents being put on Shore; the Ground was clear'd, the Tents pitch'd, and the Troops under cover the same Evening.[5]

[Pg 9]

Two Coupures or Lines were begun into the Woods; one for cutting off the Communication of the Castle of Boca-Chica with the City, the other for opening a way to the Skirts of the Wood, for the erecting a Battery; which last was this Day advanced 500 Yards.

Mr. Moor, the principal Engineer, landed in the Night; the Ordnance Ship, on which he was embarked, having been drove to Leeward.

March the 12th, a Mortar Battery was begun, between the Forts St. Phillip and St. Jago; and the Coupure leading to the Castle, was carried on to the Skirts of the Wood, but that for cutting off the Communication, was discontinued by the Advice of the principal Engineer.[6]

[Pg 10]

All the Negroes, and as many Soldiers as could be spared, from their other Duty, were employed in cutting Fascines and Pickets. A Traverse was raised in the Coupure leading to Boca-Chica, and an Epaulement was thrown up for the covering the Workmen, which were to be employed in raising the great Gun-Battery.

March the 13th, A Defence was made of Casks filled with Sand, to cover the Mortar Battery from the Enemy's Fire; this Evening, (not the 17th, as the Author is pleased to alledge, Page the 10th,) it was finished, and began to play upon the Castle.[7]

The Bomb-Ketches likewise continued to throw their Shells, and it was observed that several of them did not take place in the Castle. The Ground was traced out for the great Gun-Battery.[8]

[Pg 11]

The Coupure leading to the Castle of Boca-Chica, was enlarged. A Lieutenant Colonel's Guard was mounted to cover the Workmen to be employed on the great Gun-Battery.

The Enemy fired very smartly, both Yesterday and this Day, and killed several Men in the Camp.[9]

[Pg 12]

March the 14th, the Works were carried on with all the Expedition our Circumstances would admit of; but were much retarded, not only from the Heat of the Climate, which renders Europeans almost unable to support the least Fatigue, but from the Negroes throwing down their Loads, and working Tools, whenever a Shot came near them. These Difficulties having been represented to a Council of War by the principal Engineer, signifying at the same time, that an Addition of 1600 Men to the Forces then on Shore was wanting, to enable him to push on his Works with Vigour, a Demand was made of that Number of Soldiers to be landed from the Fleet, which the Admiral was pleased to refuse, alledging, that we could have no Occasion for them.

March the 15th, the General, accompany'd by Mr. Moor and Capt. Knowles view'd the Works at the great Gun Battery, and passed the Skirts of[Pg 13] the Wood to reconnoitre the Castle, which had then received little or no visible Damage from the Shells.

March the 16th, all possible Diligence was used in cutting Fascines, sharpening Pickets, preparing Planks and timbers &c. for the Battery. The Artillery, and the greatest Part of the Stores, were by this Time landed,[10] of which Part was carried to the great Gun Battery.

March the 17th, the Parapet of the great Gun Battery was very near raised to the Embrasures.

A Representation was made to the Admiral from a Council of War of Land Officers, of the Necessity of driving the Enemy from their Fascine Battery, which, as it was seated on the other Side the Entry into the Harbour, could not be done without the Assistance of the Fleet, otherwise the Attack upon it would have been made by a Detachment from the Land Forces on Shore.

[Pg 14]

The same Day, it was resolved in a Council of War, composed of Sea Officers, to make an Attempt on the Fascine Battery with three hundred Sailors, and two hundred Soldiers, detach'd from those remaining on board the Fleet.

March the 18th, several of the Cannon were drawn up to the Battery, and mounted upon their Carriages.

The Enemy, having discovered our Workmen, began to fire briskly upon them from the Castle, with Stones, &c. A Party of the Enemy fired upon the Negroes, who were employed in the Woods in cutting Fascines; but did no other Damage than the interrupting their Work.

During the Night, the Fascine Battery was attack'd by 300 Sailors, and 200 Soldiers, who possessed themselves of it, with very little Opposition.[11]

[Pg 15]

March the 19th, an Epaulement was raised to the left of the great Gun Battery, to cover it from the Fire of the Enemy's Ships of War; twelve of the Platforms were finished. The Enemy were perceived to be at Work in repairing the Barradera Battery.[12]

March the 20th, the Wood began to be clear'd away before the great Gun Battery, and seven Pieces of Cannon were brought upon the Platforms.

March the 21st, nineteen Embrasures were finish'd, all the Cannon placed upon the Platforms, and the Wood was cut away, which cover'd the Battery from the View of the Castle.

March the 22d,[13] the Battery being finished, began early in the Morning to play upon the Castle, not only with the great Guns, but with forty small Mortars and Cohorns, which fired alternatively; the Enemy return'd the Fire very briskly from the Castle, the Fascine Battery, and the Shipping; but with no great Effect, excepting, that the Balls which miss'd the Battery, did some Damage in the Camp.

[Pg 16-17]

March the 23d, A Squadron of Men of War,[14] under the Command of Commodore Lestock, were order'd to cannonade the Castle of Boca-Chica, and the Enemy's Ships, which guarded the Mouth of the Harbour; but were obliged to drop their Anchors at so great a Distance, that their Shot had little or no Effect. After having suffer'd considerably from the Enemy's Fire, the Admiral sent them Orders to retire; tho' it was upon this Occasion enter'd in the Journals, and by Order, that the Breach was enlarg'd by the Fire from our Men of War; yet, in Fact, the Breach was not touch'd by one single Ball; such of the Shot as reach'd the Curtain, and the Face of the western Bastion, made little more than a slight Impression, and fell into the Ditch.

[Pg 18]

A continual Fire, and with good Effect, was kept from the great Gun Battery, which the Enemy return'd very briskly, and but with too much Success: Mr. Moor, the principal Engineer, having been mortally wounded, as he was attentively considering the Effect of the Shot from his Battery.

March the 24th, a Detachment from the Fleet, composed of Sailors and Soldiers, commanded by Capt. Watson, made a second Attempt on the Fascine Battery, and enter'd it without the least Opposition; destroy'd the Carriages, Platforms, &c. Early in the Morning the General visited all the advanced Guards and Batteries, and towards the Evening reconnoitred the Breach, which he not thinking to be yet practicable, signify'd the same by Letter to the Admiral, who had vehemently pressed the Attack. The great Gun Battery fired during the whole Night alternatively with round and Grape Shot.[15]

March the 25th, the Breach being enlarged, and reported practicable by an Engineer, who had been sent to reconnoitre: It was resolved in a Council of War to make the Attack the same Evening.

A Disposition having been prepared for that Purpose, and approved by the Council of War; at[Pg 19] about half an Hour after five the Troops advanced towards the Fort. The Forlorn-Hope consisted of a Serjeant, and twelve Grenadiers, who were immediately followed by thirty Voluntiers; next march'd 260 Grenadiers (the whole then remaining) under the Command of Lieutenant-Colonel Macloud, and afterwards Colonel Daniel at the Head of a Detachment of 500 Men, who had under his Direction some small Parties, carrying Scaling Ladders, broad Axes, Pick-axes and Spades, to be in Readiness in case of need: The whole was sustained by 500 Men, under the Command of Lieutenant Colonel Cochrane; and Brigadier Blakeney, the Brigadier of the Day, had the Direction of the Attack. Upon a Signal, which was, the Firing of three Bombs from the Mortar Battery, a Volley of round Shot was pour'd in upon the Breach, from the great Gun Battery, and was immediately followed by a second of Grape Shot, which obliging the Centinels upon the Walls to put themselves under Cover, probably occasioned their not having perceived the Troops, when they first began to move to the Attack; but some time before they reach'd the Foot of the Walls, the Drums in the Fort beat to Arms, the Top of the Breach was man'd, the Ships began to fire with Grape Shot, and several Shots were made from Fort St. Joseph, tho' without doing any other Execution, than the killing of one Man. The Commandant of the Fort being at that time on board one of the Ships, the Garrison fell into Confusion, and fled with Precipitation out of the Gate, as soon as the Grenadiers began to mount the Breach.[16]

[Pg 20]

Soon after our Troops were in Possession of the Castle, the Africa and St. Carlos were sunk; and the St. Philip being set on Fire (whether by the Enemy, or the red-hot Balls from the great Gun Battery, is uncertain) blew up very near to the Walls of the Castle; but without doing any Damage. When the Troops were moving towards the Breach, some arm'd Boats from the Fleet, commanded by Capt. Knowles, were perceived rowing towards the Mangroves; on what Design[Pg 21][17] was altogether a Secret to the General, he having not received the least Intimation of it. They had on board a Party of Soldiers and Sailors, who being landed on the Barradera Side, marched (the former leading the Way) to the Shore, the nearest to Fort St. Joseph; when it was resolved to pass thro' the Water, and to make an Attempt upon it; but the Men, who were sent in to sound, not finding it practicable, and being discovered, the Enemy began to fire upon the Party with Grape Shot, which obliged them to retire under the Cover of the Bushes. The Commandant then proposed, that the Centinel should be civilly desired to admit them into the Fort; but the rest of the Officers not much depending on his Complaisance, advised the making a general Attack upon it with all the Boats; in Answer to which, it was alledged, that as three of the Enemy's Ships of War were already destroyed, and as Fort St. Joseph lay under the Fire of the Castle, of which our Troops were then in Possession, such an Attempt would be quite unnecessary, as that Fort must on Course fall into our Hands: It was therefore resolved to go on board the nearest Ships, and there to wait for fresh Orders from the Admiral, which being come, the Commandant, in a short time, row'd towards the Fort, which he found abandoned, and enter'd it without the least Opposition.

As soon as we had possessed ourselves of the Gate of the Castle, and that the Guards were[Pg 22] posted, the General ordered out a Party of Harrison's Grenadiers, with the proper Tools, under the Command of Mr. Blane the Engineer, and of Mr. Bennett (who first enter'd the Breach) to cut the End of the Boom adjoining to the Castle, which they did effectually about nine; and it was the Want of a Boat only that prevented the Landmen's seizing the Galicia, on board of which Capt. Knowles rowed about twelve, and afterwards order'd a Party of Sailors to cut the other End of the Boom.

March the 26th, the General issued out the proper Orders, for reimbarking the Troops, Artillery, &c. in which Commodore Lestock, who remained with his Squadron at the Entrance into the Lagoon, was directed to be assisting.

March the 27th, the great Surf of the Sea prevented the Boats from coming into Shore, and retarded the Imbarkation of the Troops, &c. A Road was made from the grand Battery to Boca-Chica, for the more commodious Conveyance of the large Cannon. The Admiral's Ship, and some other Ships of War, having warped thro' the Channel, began to move up the Harbour.

March the 28th, Harrison's and Wentworth's Regiments, being order'd to strike their Tents, and to go on board their Transports, were prevented by the Surge of the Sea, and obliged to pitch them again near the Walls of the Castle. The Weymouth, and the Cruizer Sloop, were sent to demolish two little Batteries on the Passa-Cavallos,[18] which they performed without Oppo[Pg 23]sition, and likewise seized or destroyed such small Craft, as they found upon the Lagoon.

March the 29th, the two old Regiments, and some of the Stores, were put on board. All the Artillery and the Materials, which had been employed for erecting the great Battery, were placed upon the Shore in Readiness for Embarkation.

March the 30th, Colonels Wolfe and Robinson's Regiments embark'd, and all possible Diligence was used in getting on board the Stores and Artillery.

A general Council of War was held on board the Admiral's Ship, wherein it was resolved to land the troops as soon as should be practicable, "for the cutting off the Communication of the Town with the Country on the Land Side; and that the Artillery should be embark'd with all possible Expedition to proceed after them." It was also resolved, "that such Numbers of Soldiers, as the General should judge would be wanting for that Service, should be landed from the Fleet."

The Council of War, on this Occasion, might probably think it unnecessary to make any mention of what Share the King's Ships were to take in the Attack of the City, as it is believed, that not one of the Members could have the least Room to doubt of the Admiral's ordering in some large Men of War to batter the Town, as soon as the Channel should be laid open for their Admittance into the Surgidero; a Circumstance so much taken for granted, before we were in Possession of Boca-Chica Castle, that it was confidently affirmed (and by no inconsiderable Persons in the Navy) "that, after a Way should be laid open for the Ships into the Harbour, the Assistance of the Land Forces would be no longer wanted." The Russel, which had on[Pg 24] board Sir Chaloner Ogle; the Weymouth, &c. turn'd up the Harbour, and cast Anchor not far from Castillo Grande.

March the 31st, Colonels Lowther and Wynyard's Regiments embark'd. The Cannon and Stores continued to be put on board.

The Enemy seem'd to prepare for a vigorous Defence, by their having sunk the seven Galleons in the Channel leading to the Surgidero, and moor'd two large Men of War at the Entrance of it, which last having been likewise sunk during the Night, and Castillo Grande in all Appearance abandoned; Sir Chaloner Ogle order'd Captain Knowles, in the Weymouth, to stand in within Gun-shot, and to fire upon it; which being done for some time, without any Return, Boats were sent ashore, and the Castle was enter'd without Opposition; of which the Admiral having Notice, he order'd one hundred of the Soldiers, who were on board the King's Ships to remain there in Garrison.[19]

Capt. Laws was dispatched to England in the Spence Sloop, with an Account of the taking of Boca-Chica Castle; notwithstanding the Instances used by both the General, and Sir Chaloner Ogle, to postpone sending, till it should be known, what would be the Success against the City; which, considering the Strength of the Enemy, that our Troops began to sicken, and that the rainy Season was then begun; could by no thinking Man be look'd upon to be otherwise, than doubtful.

[Pg 25]

April the 1st, Colonels Moreton, and Grant's Regiments embarked. Captains Griffin and Renton being sent to reconnoitre the Channel; and observing that the Stern of the Conquestador was afloat, they found Means to heave her round, and thereby opened a Passage for the Bomb-Vessels, and two twenty Gun-Ships. The Transports got through the Channel, and began to move up the Lagoon, but the Ordnance Ships still remained at the Entrance into the Harbour, the Artillery and the Stores being not yet all put on board.

April the 2nd, The General, with the greatest Part of the Transports, came to an Anchor near Castillo Grande. The Bomb Ketches began early in the Morning to play upon the Town, but were placed at too great a Distance, for the Shells to do much Damage.

The Enemy set Fire to a French Ship, which lay at Anchor near the Walls.[20]

April the 3d, all the Cannon and Mortars were got on board; but the Carriages, &c. still remained upon the Shore. The Weymouth Man of War having passed the Channel, the Enemy fired upon her some random Shot; but she lay at too great a Distance to receive any Damage. Such Americans, as had served on Shore, as likewise the Negroes, imbarked this Day on their Transports.

[Pg 26]

April the 4th, a Council of War of Land Officers was held on board the Dorsetshire Transport, wherein it was resolved, that the Troops should be landed the 5th at Break of Day; for which a Disposition having been prepared by the General, and then laid before the Members, was by them unanimously approved of. The Weymouth, the Cruizer Sloop, and two or three Fireships, kept firing, during the Night, with Grapeshot into the Woods adjoining to where the Troops were to land.

April the 5th, the Troops, which were appointed first to land, amounting to about 1400 Men, under the Command of Brigadier Blakeney, rendezvous'd along Side of the Weymouth: At about five in the Morning, the General ordered Colonel Grant to move towards the Shore with the Grenadiers, who having landed[21] without Opposition, and being immediately followed by the rest of the Troops, the whole was formed in the Order for marching against the Enemy. After having waited a short time, in Expectation of the 200 American Soldiers, who were by the Disposition to have joined us with the working Tools; as likewise of the Negroes, and a Party of Matrosses, designed to attend eight Pattereroes; the General ordered the Grenadiers to enter the Wood, and Brigadier Blakeney to sustain them at the Head of the old Regiments. Having reach'd the End of the Defillée, with the Loss of only one Man, by the Fire of a straggling Party, they halted, and signify'd to the General, that the Enemy appeared; who immediately advanced to the Head of the Grenadiers, and passed the Defillée: Where having carefully reconnoitred the Disposition of the Enemy, he ordered The Grenadiers to march, and to dislodge them. The Enemy, (as it was afterwards reported by Deserters) consisted of about 700 Men, and were drawn up on the Strand, in such a manner, as to cover the Road leading to the City, where they seem'd determined to expect us; the Ground over which the Troops were to march, did not admit of much more than one large Plattoon in front; the Lagoon lying upon the left, and a thick Copse upon our right, into which the General ordered a Party of American Soldiers, to fall upon the Rear of any small Parties, which might be lodged there, to flank us upon our March. The Grenadiers moved forward with great Alacrity, and having, with very little Loss, received two Fires from the Enemy, the front Plattoon gave their Fire at about the distance of half musquet Shot, and immediately wheel'd to the Right and Left to make room for the next to advance, whence the Enemy judging that the whole Body gave way, expressed their Joy by a loud Huzza; but being soon convinced of their Mistake, by the Fire of the following Plattoons, they fell into Confusion and fled towards the City.

[Pg 27-29]

As soon as the proper Guards were posted, and the Troops put under Cover in the best manner which was practicable, in some Houses and Sheds adjoining to La Quinta; a Party was sent up the Hill to reconnoitre the Convent on La Popa, which they entered without Opposition, and made some Prisoners; an Officer's Guard was immediately ordered to take Possession of it.

April the 6th, the General accompany'd by Brigadier Guise, and the principal Engineer reconnoitred the City from the Convent of La Popa; and having at his Return assembled a Council of War, it was debated, whether the Fort should[Pg 30] not be attacked the following Night, before the Enemy should have finished some Works upon the Hill, "which they were then carrying on with the utmost Diligence;" but as no Stores were yet landed from the Ordnance Ships, it was found necessary to postpone the Attack. Two twelve Pounders, Three three Pounders with fifty rounds of Powder and Ball, and five rounds of Grape-Shot, were put on Shore in the Evening[22]. Some American Soldiers being landed from the Fleet, as likewise the Negroes and some working Tools, the Ground was begun to be cleared for the Encampment; but the excessive Heat not only retarded the Work, but proved fatal to most of the Europeans who were there employed.

April the 7th, The Council of War being reassembled, and having received the Report of the principal Engineer, and likewise taken into Consideration, the Intelligence given by Deserters and Prisoners; they were of Opinion, that the Fort ought not to be attempted without having first raised a Battery, for which the principal Engineer was ordered to pitch upon the proper Ground, to draw a Scheme for putting that Design in Execution; and, as soon as should be practicable, to lay it before the Council. This their Resolution was the same Day communicated to the Admiral, to which was added as their Opinion, that the Success would be much facilitated, "if the Bomb-Vessels were ordered to Fire upon Fort St. Lazar, and likewise if one of the large Ships of War was brought in to batter it." The Admiral returned an Answer the same Evening, in which "he strongly expressed his Dislike to our waiting for a Battery", and declared, "that if the Council of War still persisted in their Resolution to raise one against so paltry a Fort, he would answer for it, that if the Engineer did but compleat it, the Enemy would not wait a minute for the Cannon;" but to that part of their Resolution, wherein is represented the Expediency of bombarding the Fort, and of sending in a large Ship to fire upon it, the Admiral "was not pleased to give any direct Answer."

[Pg 31]

The Enemy continued to carry on their Works[23] upon the Hill, and brought some Pieces of Cannon to bear upon our advanced Guard, and upon the General's Quarters, but with very little Effect. The General signified to the Admiral by Letter, that he had endeavoured to cut off the Communication[24] of the City of Carthagena with the Country, by the neck of Land lying upon the Sea, but found that any Detachment sent thither, would be intirely in the Enemy's Power, as being at too great a distance from the Camp to be sustained, nor had he any Boats on the Lake, for the supplying them with Provisions and Water; and proposed that some small Man of War, should be sent for that Purpose to lie near the Shore: The Admiral signified in his Answer, that he would order in a Ship and a Sloop.

[Pg 32-33]

The Admiral was this Day pleased to put on Shore from the Men of War a further Detachment from the Americans;[25] but excepting 30 or 40, all that he would spare of Lord James Cavendish's, and Colonel Bland's Regiments, were already landed: Nor were these People sent on Shore, as the Author affirms in his Pamphlet, (Page 37) in consequence of any Representation made of the increasing Sickness, but of a demand of a Reinforcement from the Fleet; first made by the General, and afterwards by the Council of War, which was never fully complied with.

[Pg 34]

April the 8th, the Council of War being reassembled, it appear'd from the Report of the principal Engineer[26] that so large a Number of Men, and so much time would be wanting to cut thro' the Wood, and to raise a Battery, as in our Circumstances rendered it impracticable; the sickly Season was now come in, and the Water in the Cisterns began to grow low: There seeming therefore to be no Choice left, but either to make a bold Push for the surprising Fort St. Lazar, or to return on Board; it was resolved[27] to attempt it the next Morning, the scaling Ladders having been this Day put on Shore, and not before. What further determined the Council to come to this Resolution, was fresh Intelligence received from Deserters and Prisoners, confirm'd by the Observations of some of the Engineers, who had viewed the Fort very near, viz. That the Walls were not too high for our Ladders; nor was there any Ditch at the foot of them; (as had been before represented) that the Road leading up the Hill on the right was broad, and of an easy Ascent; and that there was a wooden Door on the left of the Fort, which might be forced without much Difficulty, and to which a Deserter offered himself as a Guide.

A further Motive, perhaps might be of Weight with some of the Members, viz. the Admiral's vehemently pressing the Attack "without a Breach," and his insisting that it was scarcely possible to miscarry in the Attempt. And in all probability, if the Attack had not been made, it might have been alledged and possibly credited at Home, that had the Experiment been tried, the City must have infallibly fallen into our Hands.

[Pg 35-36]

The rest of the Day was employed in preparing for the Attack: In the Evening the Council of War being reassembled, a Disposition for it was laid before them, which having been examined and approved, was by the Brigade Majors immediately communicated to all the principal Officers.

April the 9th, the Troops appointed for the Attack, were order'd to parade on the Strand, at two in the Morning;[28] where having formed, they advanced towards the Fort, and a little before Break of Day, began to mount the Hill. But that Division, which was, by Order, to have gone up an open, accessible Road, which lay upon the Right of the Fort, was in the dark, by a fatal Mistake (as it was said of the Guide) led up the Center, where the Ascent is very steep, and the Ground broken: Some of the most forward gained the Top, and pushed on to the Enemy's Entrenchments; but not being immediately sustained, by Reason of the great Difficulty found in mounting the Hill, and that the rest of the Plattoons advanced slowly with the Street firing, they were most of them killed or wounded.

[Pg 37-40]

Colonel Grant very gallantly mounted the Hill upon the Left; but having immediately received a mortal Wound, and the Guide, with several others, being kill'd; the Officer, the next in Command, advanced no further, but continued on the Side of the Hill, till they were ordered to retire.

As soon as the Day broke, and gave the General an Opportunity of viewing the Posture of the Assailants, and that of the Enemy, he sent a Message to Brigadier Guise, who commanded the Attack, signifying, that, if he could push forward, he should be sustained by 500 Men, who were accordingly ordered to advance; but it was then too late. The Troops were disheartened, and the Enemy's Numbers encreased every Instant, by pouring in fresh Men from the City, who had by that time assembled a Force upon the Hill equal, if not superior, to the Assailants. It was therefore found necessary to order a Retreat, which was made without further Loss, the five hundred Men abovementioned bringing up the Rear. The principal Engineer having proposed the raising a Breast-work at the advanced Guard, it was without Delay begun upon, and was in so great Forwardness by the next Morning, as to put the Men under Cover. A Cessation of Arms was agreed upon for a few Hours to bury the Dead.

April the 10th, The Sick and Wounded were sent on board; the Intrenchment at the advanced Guard was inlarged for the Reception of two Mortars, which were this Day conveyed thither.

The Troops were under great Difficulties, not only from the Sickness, which hourly encreased,[Pg 41] but from their Provisions not being regularly landed.

April the 11th, the two Mortars began to fire from the advanced Guard upon the Castle of St. Lazar, and with very good Effect.

A Council of War was assembled, composed of Land Officers, who having carefully inquired into the State of the Forces on Shore, found them to be so much diminished by Sickness, and by the late Loss; and those, who were return'd, as fit for Duty, so much exhausted by the excessive Heat, and by Fatigue, that without a considerable Reinforcement from the Fleet, it would not be possible to go on with the Enterprize: This their Resolution was immediately communicated to the Admiral.

April the 12th, the Sickness amongst the Troops still encreasing, several of the principal Officers were seized with it, and the Water in the Cisterns began to be very low. The Admiral return'd an Answer to the Resolution of the Council of War of yesterday; which having been taken into Consideration by the principal Land Officers, assembled for that Purpose, they observed with great Surprize, that no mention was made of any Reinforcement to be sent from the Fleet; of which, having taken the proper Notice in their Answer, they desired, that the Admiral would issue out his Directions for imbarking the Cannon, &c. concluding from his Silence in so material a Point, that no Reinforcement was to be expected. But no mention was at that time made of bringing in Ships to cannonade the Town; as the Manner, in which a former Proposal of that Nature had been answered, gave little Room to hope for Success in repeating of it: Tho' perhaps it may not be difficult to make appear, that our[Pg 42] great Ships lying unactive at a time when they might have been usefully employ'd,[29] was the principal Occasion of our not possessing ourselves of the City of Carthagena, and not the Miscarriage of the Attack of St. Lazar. For had we got Possession of it (as would probably have been the Case, if the Scheme for the Attack had been punctually executed) it does not follow, that the Town would have on Course surrender'd, or that they could have been compelled to it, without the Admirals assisting us with his whole Force; except we are to suppose, that the Spaniards, with a Garrison not inferior in Numbers to the Besiegers, would have tamely given it up into our Hands: for it is morally certain, that the Corps of Troops, which were then on Shore, must, by Sickness only, in a few Days have been reduced so low, as not to be able to bring off their Cannon.

[Pg 43]

April the 13th, great Numbers of Sick, both Officers and Soldiers, were sent on board the Transports.

A Council of War was assembled on Shore, who took into Consideration a Letter from the Admiral, in Answer to their late Representation, and resolved, to desire without Delay to meet the Sea Officers in a general Council of War; which being signified to the Admiral, it was agreed to assemble the Day following on board the Admiral's Ship.

April the 14th, the Council of War being assembled, the General laid before the Members the real State of the Troops,[30] and declared, that he deemed it to be impracticable to go on with the Enterprize, without Assistance from the Fleet. The principal Engineer being called in, and examined, signify'd to the Council of War, the Places which he thought would be the most proper for erecting Batteries; to which he added, that no less than a Fortnight would be required for raising them, considering the many interruptions which must be expected from the Enemy, and the Sickness hourly increasing amongst the Troops; and that 1500 Men would be wanting for the proper Reliefs for that Service only; he further declared it to be his Opinion, that with the Troops now on Shore, the Siege could not be undertaken with any Probability of Success.

The Admiral, without further Deliberation, going to put the Question, whether the Troops should be reimbark'd or not, Mr. Wentworth declared, that he could not give his Vote, till he should be informed what Assistance they were to expect from the Fleet; who, being interrupted by the Admiral with great Heat and Passion, and not with the most polite Language, made a proper Reply; to which the Admiral not being pleased to return any Answer, immediately left the Cabbin.

The Debate was afterwards decently carry'd on, and the General having repeated his Question, Sir Chaloner Ogle, and the other Sea Officers, who were Members of the Council of War, unanimously declared, that it would by no means, be adviseable to trust the Sailors on Shore, as they could be kept under no Command, and would soon disperse themselves in the Woods; to which Mr. Vernon (who sat in the Gallery within hearing) added aloud, that some of them would soon ramble into Carthagena.

[Pg 44-45]

The Admiral being returned to his Place at the Board, it was unanimously resolved to reimbark the Cannon and Land Forces with all possible Expedition.

The Admiral, as President, drew up the Resolution of the Council of War, when it was observable, that he carefully avoided making the least mention of Assistance having been demanded from the Fleet.

The Battery[31] of two ten inch Mortars, which was raised by Captain Knowles on the Shore near to his Ship, began this Morning to Fire upon Fort St. Lazar, but was placed at so great a Distance as to have little or no Effect.

April the 15th, the Cannon, Stores and heavy Baggage, were put on Board.

A Council of War of Land Officers being assembled, a Disposition was laid before them, for the Retreat,[32] which was approved of.

April the 16th, About Five in the Morning, the Galicia, commanded by Captain Hoare, began to canonade the Town with tolerable good Success; but he being exposed to a superior Fire, was obliged to cut her Cable; after having received several Shots in her Hull, had six Men killed, and 56 wounded, she drove upon a Shoal, and was there burnt by the Admiral's Order.

[Pg 46-47]

At Seven in the Evening, the Tents were struck, at Eight the Troops march'd from their Ground, and embarked in three Divisions on the Boats prepared to receive them. The Sickness amongst the Troops increased to so great a Degree, that any longer Continuance in that unhealthy Situation, seemed to threaten no less than their total Ruin; the General therefore, and the principal Land Officers, agreed to the Admiral's Proposal, for demolishing the Forts, &c. which commanded the Harbour; that being done, and Water taken in for the Voyage, the whole Fleet set sail for Jamaica.[Pg 48]


I Shall only here remark some Mistakes, which the Author of the Pamphlet has been guilty of in his Appendix, both with regard to the Circumstances of the City of Carthagena, and to the Conduct of the Officers of the Army, whom he has been pleased basely to asperse, without any Grounds whatsoever. And I do appeal to the Gentlemen of the Navy, for the Truth of what I have advanced; which must be so evident to every impartial Person, who was there present, and gave the least Attention to what passed, that I should not have employed one Moment's Time, in replying to a Pamphlet, made up of glaring Falsehoods, Facts misrepresented, and mean personal Reflections, to which the Author does not put his Name; was I not in Hopes, that by laying before the Publick an exact Account of the Transactions before Carthagena, in some Measure to remove (from those who cannot otherwise be informed of the Truth) the Prejudices which are so industriously propagated in that scurrilous Libel; not solely with a View to calumniate a few brave Men, who after many Hazards are return'd home to their native Country; but by invidious Distinctions, to set at variance the Army and the Navy, which[Pg 49] can have no other End but to obstruct his Majesty's Service, whenever the Fleet and Land Forces shall act in Conjunction.

As for the City itself (says the Author) Nature has fortified it against any Attempt by Sea, the Water shoaling near a League off, and being plentifully bounded with Rocks; besides the Sea is very seldom smooth, so that it is difficult at all times landing.

There are Pilots, who have been long accustomed to that Coast, who affirm that there is depth of Water sufficient for large Ships to anchor (even on that Side) near enough to batter the Town: The only Difficulty arises from the Swell of the Sea; but that much abates, whenever the Wind blows for any Time off Shore.

The Ravelin here mention'd can only subsist in the Author's Imagination; there is no other Defence between the two Bastions, (which are very distant from each other,) excepting a low Wall not flank'd; a Circumstance of which very good Use might be made, if upon the Swell's being abated, Boats could be sent in there to put Troops on Shore.

There were two large Men of War moored to defend the Entrance of Boca-grande, but that there was a Fascine Battery begun upon each Point, seems to be a Secret only known to the Author; for no Mention was made of any such during our Stay upon that Coast, nor upon reconnoitring that Entrance into the Harbour, could the least Traces of them be perceiv'd.

The little Fort de Chamba was not finish'd, nor had upon it one Gun; nor was there the least Appearance of one, on what the Author is pleased (Page 49.) to call a Fascine Battery of[Pg 50] twelve Guns: From same Fascines being placed in order upon the Shore, it was believed that the Enemy had Thoughts of erecting a Battery on that Place.

The Author's Description of Boca-Chica Castle, &c. seems to be tolerably exact, and I cannot omit to remark the justness of his Expression, when he mentions the Bomb Vessels being got near enough to divert the Town; for in Truth they were posted at so great a Distance, that they seem'd to be sent in with no other Intention.

That the City of Carthagena is to the Land-side, fortify'd by double Walls, and double Ditches, flank'd by strong Bastions, is an undoubted Truth; but I must dissent from what the Author alledges, of the Water at the Head of the Harbour, being shoal so far off, that Ships cannot come near enough to do Execution with their Guns. Experienced Pilots, and Masters of trading Vessels, who have been much conversant in that Harbour, do (and will when Occasion requires it) testify the contrary; but nothing can be a stronger Proof of there being sufficient depth of Water for our largest Ships, than that the Station of the Spanish Galleons, is very near the Walls, for the Convenience of taking in their Lading. It is well known, that Monsieur Ponti sent in his Men of War (amongst which was the Sceptre of eighty-four Guns) to batter the City, and with so good an Effect, as in a short Time to oblige them to surrender.

But a still more recent Proof of there being sufficient depth of Water, is the celebrated Admiral Vernon's having ordered in the Galicia, a Spanish Man of War of sixty-six Guns: This Vessel was fitted up for battering in a very extraordinary Manner: Merlons, or Cases, six Feet thick, rammed with Earth, or Sand, were formed between the Port-holes, which occasioned her drawing more Water, than any of our eighty Gun[Pg 51] Ships; notwithstanding, with her sixteen Guns mounted, only, she did considerable damage to the City, before she could be demolished.

That the Spaniards have no great Dependance upon this supposed Shoalness of the Water, is very evident from their having lately erected a Battery of forty large Pieces of Cannon, for the defence of the Town on the Side towards the Harbour; a very unnecessary Expence, if the Water is there so shoal as to prevent the near Approach of our large Men of War.

From the Author's own Description, the Fort of St. Lazar appears to be no such trifling Redoubt, as he would insinuate; had he approached near enough to take an exact View of it (which probably he did not) he must have observed that the Hill is near double the Height he mentions, and that the Eminence opposite to it (which, if Cannon could have been convey'd thither, was certainly a very proper Place for the erecting a Battery) is pretty much upon a Level with the Ground upon which the Castle stands.

That the Enemy began their Works upon the Hill, immediately after we were in Possession of Boca-Chica (if not upon the first Appearance of the Fleet,) is a Fact well known, both to the Army and to the Navy; nor was it in the power of the Former to interrupt their Progress till the proper Materials were landed; but how far that might have been done, by sending in two or three of his Majesty's large Ships, the Gentlemen of the Sea are the most proper Judges.[Pg 52]

That the Side of the Castle of St. Lazar, which is next the Town, could not be defenceless, must be evident to every Reader, from the Circumstance of its being next the Town, and consequently defended by all the Works on that Quarter, particularly by an Half-moon, which is erected about half Musket-Shot from it.

If the Enemy's Numbers (as the Author alledges, page 54.) amounted to 4000 Men, the Troops which were landed, and never exceeded 4350 Rank and File, could but have little Prospect of forcing them amidst their strong Fortifications; nor did the General and Principal Officers ever propose it to themselves, otherwise than by the help of the whole Force on board the Fleet, which was actually promised, as soon as a Passage should be opened for the Ships into the Harbour; how performed, the unhappy Issue but too plainly makes appear.

The Enemy's Engineers, Cannoniers, &c. acquitted themselves very well, and ours did the same, nor was there amongst them one single instance of Cowardice or Desertion; would the Author be pleased to put his Name to so base an Aspersion cast upon them, there are of the few surviving, who are well able to convince him of his Mistake.

It is roundly alledged, that excepting two Regiments, the whole body of Troops which came from England, were quite raw and undisciplined; how far this is a Fact known to every one, will appear, by minutely entering into their Circumstances.

As a Foundation for forming a Corps of Troops fit for immediate Service, his Majesty was pleased to direct a Draught to be made from the Foot Guards, of the best disciplined Corpo[Pg 53]rals and private Men, to be appointed Marine Serjeants, as likewise 300 private Centinels well instructed in the Use of their Arms, to be placed to every Marine Regiment, who were for that Purpose draughted from all the old Corps in Britain; by which Means each of the Marine Regiments was actually supply'd with a Number of well-disciplin'd Men, not much short of the Irish Corps before the Augmentation.

The Colonels of the six Regiments of Marines were old Officers, who had all (excepting one) served abroad in the last War.

Such were the greatest Part of the Lieutenant Colonels and Majors. The Captains were either Gentlemen of Service taken from the Half-Pay, or from the Independent Companies at Jamaica; such as had been long inured to the Climate of the West-Indies, or Subaltern Officers of long standing in the old Corps, whom his Majesty honour'd with the Command of Marine Companies. The first and second Lieutenants were either Ensigns taken out of the old Corps, Cadets, who had for some time carry'd Arms, or young Gentlemen, whose Quality and Interest very justly entituled them to Preferment. To these the Author has added a third imaginary Class, of 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. I call upon the Author to point out one single Man, who was sent out in those Corps, deserving of that Character; if he does not (as I am well assured he cannot) what Character he himself richly deserves, will easily occur to the Reader.

That few of the Inferior Officers had ever before served against an Enemy, is undoubtedly[Pg 54] Fact, nor after thirty Years Peace, could it possibly be otherwise; but their Behaviour during the Incampment in the Isle of Wight, evidently made it appear that they were not deficient in Discipline; nor when they came to face the Enemy, could the oldest, and most experienced Officers expose their Persons with greater Gallantry and Chearfulness.

That most of the Officers, who had served long and well, got themselves knock'd on the Head by teaching a young and raw Army, is in Fact false; for both old and young equally shared the Hazard and Fatigue; nor did one single Officer or Soldier loose his Life, excepting in the Performance of his own Duty.

What an Heap of Billingsgate does the Author employ (pag. 56.) to vilify the American Regiment? The Officers (he affirms) were in particular composed of Blacksmiths, Taylors, and all the Banditti that the Country affords. Had he been so candid as to have informed himself of those Gentlemens true Characters, he would have known, that the Field Officers were all Men of long Service, named by his Majesty, and sent from Britain: That the Companies were chiefly raised by the Interest, and at the Charge of their respective Captains; of whom some were Members of the Assemblies in the Provinces where they resided; others liv'd upon their own Plantations, and had Commands in the Militia; and some few of them had been concerned in Traffick. His Majesty was pleased to send to North-America thirty young Gentlemen, under the Direction of Brigadier Blakeney, who were to serve in that Corps as Lieutenants; they had carried Arms either in the old Corps at home, or in the Scotish Regiments in the Dutch Service, and were[Pg 55] most of them Cadets of good Families in North Britain.

The rest of the Subaltern Officers were recommended by the Governors, and by the Gentlemen of the first Rank in the Provinces where the Companies were raised; and were either younger Sons of the principal Families, bred to no particular Profession, or such of them as had been brought up to the Law, to Merchandize, or who had served at Sea.

It is certain, that the greatest Part of the private Soldiers, who were inlisted in North-America, were either Irish (and many of those suspected to be Papists) or English, who had been under a Necessity of quitting their Native Country. As the Levy was made in Haste, there was neither Time for strictly examining into their respective Circumstances, nor for their being well-disciplin'd before they joined the Army; whence it became in a great Measure, necessary to employ them chiefly on board the Fleet.

Tho' this infamous Libel appears to be levell'd against that Corps of Land Forces in general, yet the Author is pleased more eminently to distinguish the Engineers, &c. belonging to the Train; he very roundly affirms, that worse never bore the Name, nor could be pick'd out of all Europe.

The principal Engineer (Mr. Moor) was deservedly esteemed for his Bravery, his Capacity and Skill in his Profession; the Battery, on which he was killed, viewing the Effects of the Shot thro' an Embrasure, was well constructed, and fully answered the End for which it was raised: He had served with Applause in the Defence of Gibraltar, one of the principal Fortresses in Europe, which was attacked by an Army of 40,000 Men, composed of the best Troops in[Pg 56] Spain, and batter'd by 100 Pieces of large Cannon; yet this Army was by the gallant Defence of the Garrison obliged to retire, after having been almost totally ruin'd at this simple Siege, as the Author of the Pamphlet is pleased to stile it.

Mr. Armstrong, the Gentleman who succeeded as principal Engineer on the Death of Mr. Moor, had all the Experience, which could possibly be acquired in Time of Peace, having been continually employ'd during sixteen Years in the different Works about this Kingdom; nor could any Person whatsoever perform his Duty, with greater Attention, or more chearfully expose his Person, whenever he thought his Presence could in any wise contribute to the publick Service.

It is certain, that no more than two of the Sub-Engineers had ever served in the Face of an Enemy; which surely ought not to be imputed to them as a Fault, when, after so long a Peace, few or none so qualified were remaining: But nothing had been omitted by those Gentlemen to repair their Want of Experience both by their Application to the Study of their Profession at home, and by visiting the Fortifications in Foreign Parts; and when on real Service, it was very evident that they spared no Endeavours to make up that Deficiency by their Diligence and gallant Behaviour: Nor is there the least Room to doubt, but that the few who have returned from that fatal Expedition, will, whenever they shall be called upon, be found qualified to do effectual Service to their Country.

Colonel Watson's Merit and long Services very justly entituled him to the Command of the Train on the late Expedition; nor did his Age (as the Author insinuates) ever prevent his Attendance upon his Duty; in the Performance of which he[Pg 57] lost his Life by a Shot which glanced from a Tree, at some Distance from the Battery.

His Successor, a brave blunt Soldier (who can never be pardoned for boldly speaking the Truth) was so far from being rendered unfit for his Duty, that no Man attended it with more Diligence; from the first Opening the Battery before Boca-Chica, he scarcely ever left it, even for necessary Refreshment, till the Castle was taken.

Who could be so proper to be inlisted for Cannoniers, Bombardiers, &c. as Country Fellows? but those Country Fellows (as the Author is pleased to call them) were disciplin'd Men, capable of doing their Duty; in which they wanted no Aid, till Death and Sickness had reduced them so low, that it was necessary they should be reinforced both from the Army and the Fleet. The extraordinary Conference mentioned by the Author (page 56.) to have been held between the General and them, I can safely affirm, has not the least Foundation.

That many of the Bomb-Shells broke in the Air, from some Defect in their Fusees, or never broke at all, is undoubtedly Fact; which probably was occasioned by Damage they had received at Sea, and which could not be repaired, as we had neither Time nor Convenience for it, before their being wanted for Service. The Grenado-Shells were of the same Sort, of the very same Dimensions with those usually issued out from the Office of Ordnance; nor was there ever before the least mention made of their having been deficient. The Reason given for their not breaking is no great Proof of the Author's Skill, as an Engineer; for it is well known, that one single Ounce of Gunpowder is sufficient (if pro[Pg 58]perly confined) to rend in Pieces a Stone weighting several Tuns.

The eight twenty-four Pounders, put on board for the Use of the Expedition, were all landed at Boca-Chica fit for Service, and were there actually made use of upon the Battery, where two of them were rendered unserviceable.

One hundred Baulks, and three hundred Battery Planks, were by an Order from the Board of Ordnance, bearing date, May 1740, issued out of the Stores, and imbark'd for the Use of the Expedition; but Lord Cathcart, having after the Imbarkation of the Troops, been informed that no further Supply could be had in the West-Indies, tho' the contrary had been represented to the Board of Ordnance; He applied for an Addition of one hundred Baulks, and 300 Planks, which were put on board before the Fleet sailed; as were likewise 4050 Hand-bills, his Lordship deeming the 1000 already provided not to be sufficient.

Upon the whole, nothing could more demonstrate the Goodness of this Army, than the Service they performed, not only amidst the almost insuperable Difficulties, which arose from the Climate, but labouring under the utmost Distresses and Discouragements from a Quarter, whence the Reverse ought justly to have been expected. Were the Instruments imploy'd on the late Expedition such as the Author of the Pamphlet is pleased to describe, there would be no great Difficulty in accounting for its Miscarriage; the which, Lord Cathcart (had he lived) could probably not have prevented: but as it does, I think, evidently appear, that what the Author has advanced to the Prejudice of the Land Forces, is false and groundless, and that they[Pg 59] performed whatever was possible for them to do in their Situation, our Misfortunes are to be ascribed to some other Cause; they were, without Doubt, principally occasioned by the Climate. What further may have contributed, nothing would set in a more clear Light, than an exact and faithful Account of every Transaction, not only during the Time of the Troops lying before Carthagena, but to that of their being recalled. Such an Account cannot but be very acceptable to all those who had a Share in that unfortunate Expedition, and had no other End in View but the publick Service. And, I am well assured, to none more than to the Gentleman, on whom the Command devolved by the Death of Lord Cathcart, who has all possible Reason to desire, that his whole Conduct may undergo the strictest Scrutiny.

I cannot conclude without remarking, as something extraordinary, the Justice done by the Author in his last Paragraph to the common Soldiers; but which is surely no less due to the Officers, who led them on, and by following whose brave Example, they gave evident Proofs, that they wanted not for Courage and Resolution becoming Englishmen.



[1] The principal Council of War, consisted of the two eldest Officers of the Army, of the two eldest Officers of the Navy, and of the Governor of Jamaica, whenever he could be present. It was the Province of this Council to determine what Enterprizes should be undertaken.

[2] Vide Note (a) in the late Pamphlet, entituled, An Account of the Expedition to Carthagena.

[3] Upon its being first debated, whether an Attempt should be made on Carthagena, the General declared, that, as he was a Stranger in those Seas, he had no Knowledge of the then present State of that City; and that he should join with the Admiral in his Opinion; not doubting of his being well inform'd of every Circumstance relating to the Entry into the Harbour, the Strength of the Garrison, &c.

[4] In relating this Transaction (vide P. 7. note Letter c) the very candid Author of the Account of the Siege of Carthagena, is pleas'd to affirm, that the General landed with a Body of 800 Grenadiers, but not thinking them sufficient, reimbark'd, and sent for more: There was not the least Step taken, which could give Colour for such an Assertion; excepting that Capt. Dennet, who commanded General Harrison's Grenadiers, being apprehensive, that the General would give those of his own Regiment the Honour of landing first, push'd forward without Orders, and leaped on Shore with five or six Men: which the General perceiving, and that the rest of the Boats began to move in Confusion towards the Beach; he order'd those who had landed, (who were only Dennet, and the few Men abovementioned) to reimbark, and with the rest of the Boats to lay along-side of the Norfolk and Russel, there to wait for the Arrival of the Companies, which were still wanting: Nor, had all the Companies of Grenadiers, been compleat to a Man, could they have exceeded 648 Officers included: but that was far from being the Case; for not only Robinson's Grenadiers were then absent, having been separated from the Fleet, but the rest were at that Time so far reduced by Sickness, as not to amount to 400 Men, as it will appear from the Adjutant's Books.

[5] Had the Author of the Account, (vide Note d,) been present on Shore, where probably he was not, he might have observed that all possible Diligence was used, to put the Men under Cover; and if he is in any wise capable of judging of military Operations at Land, he must have known that the Camp could not have been so properly formed in any other Place, for carrying on the Attack on the Castle of Boca-Chica; nor, if advanced higher into the Woods, could it have been supplied with Water, or the Tents pitch'd on that rocky Soil, which will not admit of the driving down a Tent Pin; but setting aside that Difficulty, how the Tents could have been pitch'd without cutting down the Trees, from whose Shade, as the Author alledges, the Soldiers would have been so much benefited, I really do not comprehend; nor would they have been less exposed to the Enemy's Shot, excepting they had incamped out of the Reach of it, which could not have answered the End proposed by their Landing.

[6] Mr. Moor was of Opinion, that if an Opening should be made through the Wood from the Camp to the Lagoon, where the Enemy's Ships of War lay at Anchor, it might be a means of directing their fire: That the Admiral sollicited the General to continue this Coupure, is, I believe, true; but that it would have answer'd the Purposes mention'd in the latter part of the Note (f) in the Pamphlet, is not so evident. As the Enemy was in Possession of the Lagoon, they would not surely send Succours cross the Boca-Grande, (where Ships were posted to observe their Motions) thence with Hazard to pass the Tierra Bomba; which Succours could be conveyed by the way of the Harbour, without Danger or Interruption: nor could that Coupure be of the least Use to enable us to observe what passed in the Harbour, of which we daily received Accounts from the abovementioned Ships, or from our small Parties; nor, if there was Danger to be apprehended from the Enemy's Incursions, (which there was not) could this Coupure have prevented them, as it was not much less than 1000 Paces from the Castle of Boca-Chica.

[7] The Communication between the Mortar-Battery and the Camp (vide Letter g in the Pamphlet) was covered from the Shot of the Castle by a rising Ground, nor was one Man killed during the whole Time in passing between that and the Camp, nor did one single Shot take Place in it from the Fascine Battery, from which it was in great Measure secured by its natural Situation, which was help'd by a Parapet. Several of the Bombs most certainly broke in the Air, without any Effect; which was possibly occasioned by the splitting of the Fuzees, in driving them into the Shells. Nor (notwithstanding what the Author is pleased to advance) did we suffer much from those thrown by the Enemy; one of which fell near the Mortar-Battery, and killed 6 or 7 Men; a few took Place in the Artillery-Park, (whither they were chiefly directed) damaged some Casks of working Tools, and two or three Carriages; but the greatest Part of them were either extinguished by falling into the Water, or buried themselves so deep in the Sand, as to break without any ill Effect whatsoever.

[8] Fascines and Pickets (vide the beginning of the Note f) had not only been cut during the Fleet's watering at Hispaniola, but after our landing on Tierra Bomba, all possible Diligence was daily used, to compleat the Number required for erecting the Batteries. Nothing can be more absurd than to imagine that so skilful an Engineer, as was Mr. Moor, could be so widely mistaken as to the Quantity. As soon as the Ground was cleared, and proper Works thrown up to cover the Workmen, he began with such Materials as were ready, and had from the Fleet no other Assistance than 18 Carpenters for laying the Platforms; the Seamen were employed, (and that was properly their Province) in landing the Stores and Cannon; in getting the latter up to the Battery, and they afterwards assisted in firing of it; (most of the Gunners being at that time either Dead, or disabled by Sickness) besides 150 of them were for one or two Days employed to cut Fascines, but were so ungovernable as to be of little Service.

How far the Author may be qualified to judge of the Knowledge of the Sub-Engineers, Time may discover; was Mr. Moor still living, he could well answer for the Construction of his Battery. He rais'd it not exactly parallel to the Face where the Breach was made, for a very powerful Reason: to prevent its being flank'd from the Barradera Battery, and by that means preserved the Lives of a great many Men, who must otherwise have been lost. It is not improbable, that the Author believ'd the Line of Communication, between the great Gun-Battery and the Camp, to have been expos'd to the Enemy's Shot, and therefore never came near it; or he must have known that it was neither enfiladed from the Castle, nor the Shipping, and that the few Men who were killed there, fell by Shot which glanced from the Trees, and did not exceed 7 or 8 during the whole Time the Troops lay before the Castle. (vide Note b)

[9] The Troops were certainly annoyed in their Camp by the Enemy's Cannon, and particularly by the Fascine Battery: an Inconvenience which, in their Circumstances, was absolutely necessary to be supported, as by their removing to so great a Distance, as to be out of the reach of their Shot, the great Gun-Battery must have been expos'd to be insulted, which would at least have for some Time retarded the taking of the Castle, if not oblig'd us to retire.

The base Insinuation relating to the Troops being moved without regular Orders, is absolutely groundless: The Independants from Jamaica, not arriving till after the Camp was formed, they were ordered to clear the Ground upon the Left, and there to pitch their Tents; where 200 Americans, and part of Lord James Cavendish's and of Col. Bland's Regiments, joined them from the Fleet. To make the more Room for the Artillery-Park, Harrison's Regiment was, by Order, removed to the same Ground; as afterwards were those Regiments, which were the most exposed to the Fire from the Fascine Battery, and had suffered greatly in their Tents, Arms, &c. Nor, till then, did any of the General Officers remove to the new Encampment; which was indeed in some Measure covered by a Rock from the Fire of the Fascine Battery, but was not the less exposed to that from the Shipping and the Castle, by which Lieutenant Col. Sandford and several others there lost their Lives.

[10] Nothing can be more false than what the Author of the Pamphlet asserts in his Note (e) of no Application having been made, nor any particular Scheme form'd for landing the Cannon and Stores. March the 10th, the Day after the Grenadiers had taken Possession of the two Forts, the General went in Person on board the Admiral to concert Measures with him for putting on Shore the Cannon, Ammunition, &c. and was by him, the Admiral, informed, that a Captain of a Man of War appointed for that Service, was gone on board the Ordnance Ships to give the proper Directions; the General, without Delay, order'd his Barge to row thither, and signify'd to the said Captain (who is since dead) both the Quantity and Species of Stores proper to be landed; and at the same time particularly mentioned to him the Inconvenience which would attend the putting on Shore more than were necessary for present Service. Notwithstanding (probably from the Want of Time and Means for sorting the Stores, &c.) whatever first came to hand, was thrown into the Boats, sent to Shore, and confusedly cast upon the Beach. Whence they were removed by Matrosses and Soldiers appointed for that Service, and secured in the best Manner our Circumstances would admit of; but (excepting that some of the Powder received Damage from its having been placed by the Sailors upon the Shore within the Reach of the Surf of the Sea) none of the Stores were wash'd away, which indeed might possibly have happen'd, if timely Care had not been taken to prevent it.

[11] This bold and surprising Enterprize (as the Author of the Pamphlet is pleased to stile it in his Note i) seems to be celebrated with all the Rhetorick he is Master of: It is observable, that he makes no mention of the two hundred Soldiers, who were detached on the same Occasion, which possibly he may have forgot; as likewise, that, tho' by the Admiral's Disposition, the Soldiers were posted in the Rear; when landed, they were called for to advance, and a Lane made for their passing towards the Front, which probably might be occasioned by their being armed more properly than the Sailors, for returning the Fire of the Enemy's small Arms. I cannot, without doing Injustice to Capt. Washington, the Honourable Mr. Murray, and to the rest of the Land Officers, who were detach'd on this Occasion, join with the Author in passing over their gallant Behaviour in Silence; nor would I be wanting in the Praises due to Capt. Boscawen, Capt. Watson, Capt. Coates, &c. who commanded the Sailors, who, as they have ever done, performed their Duty with great Bravery and Resolution, and particularly Lieutenant, now Captain Forrest, who, with the foremost, enter'd the Battery Sword in Hand; the Enemy having fled with Precipitation into the Woods, and the Soldiers being posted upon the Avenues, the Seamen set about spiking the Guns, destroying the Carriages, and tearing up the Platforms; but one of them having imprudently put Fire to the Guard House, they were discovered by the Enemy, and consequently exposed to the Fire from the Castle, &c. the Commandant therefore thought it advisable to retire, before the Battery could be effectually demolish'd.

[12] Two or three Boats were observed to pass between the Castle and the Barradera Battery (not hundreds of Men as the Author alledges in Note l) who carry'd People sufficient so far to repair the Damage, which had been done, as in a short time to renew the Fire; an evident Proof both to the Army, and to the Navy, that the Battery had not been effectually demolish'd.

That the Army had work'd to some purpose (tho' the Author insinuates the contrary) plainly appears from their having made two Coupures thro' the Woods, cut the Fascines and Pickets, raised the Battery, and conveyed thither the Stores and Ammunition; in which last they had some Assistance from the Sailors, and not a great deal from the Negroes. Had the Army the least Room for Resentment before, the sixty Gun Ship was sent in to interrupt the Enemy's repairing the Fascine Battery, any Thing she perform'd, could by no Means cool it; for the fired at so great a Distance, as to give the Enemy very little Disturbance.

[13] The Author of the Pamphlet, in his extraordinary Note, Letter (m) mentions, five hundred Sailors to have been employed in erecting the Battery, tho' in Fact the Navy contributed to it, only 18 Carpenters. He adds, that, "as more Time and Men were employed in it than were necessary, much Execution may be expected therefrom." What more could be expected from it, than forcing the Enemy to abandon the Castle? "but the Engineers could not out-do themselves; they erected the Battery in a Wood." They might not out-do themselves, but they certainly did perfectly well; for by erecting their Battery under the Cover of the Wood, many Mens Lives were saved, and the Work was carried on without the Enemy's being able to interrupt their Progress.

He is likewise pleased to condemn them for not clearing more Ground than was necessary; a Circumstance, which, I should think, rather deserves his Approbation, as they avoided, improperly, to fatigue the Workmen, but this Caution, it seems was used, that the Enemy might not see the Army; if such a Sight would have given the Enemy any Satisfaction, I much doubt; or whether it would have answer'd to have obliged them at the Expence of cutting down 600 or 700 Paces of thick Wood, which intercepted their View of the Camp; but that the Army did not decline either then, or on any other Occasion, to look the Enemy in the Face, there have been too evident Proofs. No Man, who saw the Position of the Battery, could have the least Room to doubt of its bearing upon the Castle, as soon as a narrow Screen of Wood, which cover'd it, should be cut away. What is alledged, that no Guns could be brought to bear upon the Enemies Shipping, is absolutely false; there were no less than seven, of which two were thought sufficient for that Purpose, which fir'd red hot Balls, and did good Execution. It is most certain, that if no Epaulment had been thrown up, the Battery might have been rak'd, which was easily foreseen, and timely prevented. The Sailors behaved well, and would have done better, had they been more under Direction; but they did no more than their Duty, either in assisting to erect the Battery, in which they had but a very small Share, or in firing of it, as they were expressly order'd so to do by his Majesty. Without all Doubt it was Mr. Moor's Intention to batter the western Face of the Bastion, and to beat down its Defences, which was evident, not only from the Construction, but from the Effect of the Battery. I must own I cannot but admire at the Author's Conclusion, that the Success was owing to Chance, because, if the Enemy had cleared more Ground round the Castle, the Undertaking would have been more difficult. I readily join with him, that it would have been so; tho' in the Beginning of this Note, the Engineers are condemn'd for making the best Advantage of the Wood, which the Enemy had so imprudently left standing. "The Engineers could by no Means out-do themselves; the Battery was constructed in a Wood."

[14] In the Note, Letter (o), it is alledged, that the Admiral sent in these Ships to oblige the General; The Truth of the Fact is this; The Ground over which the Troops were to march to attack the Breach, being flank'd both from Fort St. Joseph, and from the Fascine Battery, it was, March the 22d, resolved in a Council of War, composed of Land Officers, to represent that Circumstance to the Admiral, and that they deem'd the Breach could not be attempted, without great Loss, from the Fire of Fort St. Joseph, and the Fascine Battery, if some Means could not be used by the Fleet to divert their Fire. The Day following, the Admiral signify'd to the General by Letter, "That he had formed a Plan for bringing in the Men of War to make a general Attack on the Enemy's Forts and Batteries"; to which he adds, "that nothing but the Necessity of the Case can justify us in these Resolutions, as it is against our Judgment, as Seamen." After the Opening of the great Gun Battery, the Castle Guns, which bore upon the Camp, were soon silenced; but it was apparent, even to Land-Men, that our Men of War could do little or no Damage to those of the Enemy's Shipping, which, at that time, began to be made very uneasy by the red-hot Balls from the great Gun Battery.

[15] It may be remark'd (Vide n. q.) though perhaps not as a Thing very extraordinary, that either the Author of the Pamphlet was, at that time on board, securely asleep in his Bed, or that he knowingly avers what is absolutely false; for that Night the Battery was, by particular Order, fired, both with Grape and round Shot, alternatively, and without any other Intermission, than was necessary to cool the Guns; for, it having been observed, that the Enemy was raising a Fascine Work behind the Breach, all possible Care was taken to retard its Progress during the Night.

[16] The Author's being mistaken as to some Circumstances relating to the Attack, (Vide his Note r) is easily to be excused; for, if he saw it at all, it must probably have been at a great Distance through a Spying Glass; but, as he is pleased in the latter Part of his Note to reassume his favourite Topick, the throwing out scurrilous Reflections upon the Land Forces, I cannot pass them over unobserved. This Success was undoubtedly, neither disagreeable to the Army, nor to the Navy; the former having undergone Hardships, such as no modern Soldiers, or Sailors, had been accustomed to, nor perhaps many in former Times; nor did the Army propose any Advantage in being possessed of an Island (as the Author insinuates) but imbarked on board their Transports with all possible Expedition, in order to proceed to the Attack of the City.

That so formidable a Fleet was employ'd to little other Purpose, but to attend upon the Army, and to convoy their Transports, was with Regret observed, both by the Officers of the Army, and of the Navy; but surely so ridiculous a Thought could never enter into any Man's Imagination, as that the Soldiers should march along the Shore, the Fleet within Call, crying out to them for Help, or that they could not find their Way into the Castle without a Sea Pilot to conduct them: A Story, which has not the least Foundation; Lieutenant Bennett, the Gentleman, who led the Forlorn-Hope, and Mr. Watson, the Engineer, who accompanied him, are still living, and can testify, that no Sea Pilot, no Spaniard, no Prisoner, was upon that Attack; and I am well assured, that no such Person was ever thought of by the General to be employ'd on that Occasion.

[17] This Scheme (Vide Note s) if there was any, seems to have been contrived chiefly for a Pretext to give the Sailors the Credit of whatsoever should be performed by the Land Forces; the Troops were certainly moving to the Attack, if not in Possession of the Castle, at the time, when Capt. Knowles's Detachment could be first discovered by the Enemy; when it is not very probable, that they should lessen their Force by sending away large Boats full of Men (which I do not find were perceived by any body excepting the Author) to Fort St. Joseph; or give any Attention, but to the most pressing Danger: It is really true, that both the Ships and Fort St. Joseph fired, but at the Troops, not at the Boats from the Fleet, which, when they came to Land, were both out of the Enemy's Sight, and out of the Reach of their Guns.

[18] The Passa-Cavallos is the only Creek, thro' which Provisions can be conveyed into the Lagoon, and from thence to the City, with which all Communication was effectually cut off, as soon as the Fleet was in Possession of the Harbour.

[19] Capt. Knowles was appointed Governor of Castillo Grande; and to do him the more Honour (there could be no other End proposed, as there was no Possibility of the Enemies retaking of it) near 100 very useful Men of Lord James Cavendish's, and Colonel Bland's Regiments, were left in Garrison, and there continued till after the Troops reimbark'd, tho' of the Number required by the General to be landed (Vide Notes in the Pamphlet v, and w).

[20] The most apparent Reason for the Enemy's burning the French Ship, was their concluding, that she must otherwise fall into our Hands, when our Men of War advanced to the Head of the Harbour; for they could apprehend little Danger to her from the Fire of Castillo Grande, as it lies only within a large random Shot from the Place, where she lay at Anchor.

[21] The Author of the Pamphlet in his Note (y) is pleased to affirm, "That things were on this Occasion (as they had been throughout the whole) done without Order or Method; for notwithstanding the Army had been apprized of the Enemy's having made Lodgments along the Road; yet they landed without a Grenado Shell, or Field-Piece; and were likewise told the Road was even able to sustain the Weight of the heaviest Cannon." Here the Author, as has been his Method thro' his whole Pamphlet, boldly asserts, without the least Foundation; for, it is evident, both from the Resolutions of Councils of War, and from publick Orders, that no Step was taken here, nor indeed upon any other Occasion, without a Plan first laid down; and (where Time would admit of it) well consider'd, and approved by a Council of War.

It is very certain, that when Mr. Macpherson, the Guide, was conducting the Troops thro' the Defillée, he expressed no little Uneasiness on the Account of Lodgments, which he apprehended we should find upon our Route; but nothing of that Sort appeared, excepting, that a few Bushes were placed, in Order, in an Opening upon our right Flank, possibly with a Design to cover some small Party, who had retired into the Wood. But had our Landing been postponed, till the Arrival of Ordnance Ships from the Mouth of the Harbour, the Field-Pieces, Granado-Shells, &c. which were then on board them, might indeed have been wanting to force such Works, as the Enemy would probably have finished during that Delay; which was prevented by boldly pushing thro' the Defillées to La Quinta; the Post of which, the Army was to possess themselves, "for cutting off the Communication of the City with the Country, and for covering the Landing of the Artillery". As Loss of Time might, on this Occasion, have been attended with the worst Consequences, the General found it necessary to advance without the American Soldiers, Negroes, &c. which Disappointment cannot in any wise be attributed to the Officers of the Army, as the providing Boats for Landing the Forces was intirely under the Direction of the Navy.

Both our Motions, and those of the Enemy, might probably be seen from the Ships, their Masts being at that time crouded with Spectators; but what the Author alledges of the Execution they did upon the Enemy is not Fact. Whilst the Troops were moving along the Strand, some random Shots were made by the Weymouth, which killed one single Spanish Negro, and were very near taking Place amongst our most advanced People; but were so far from obliging the Enemy to disperse, that they did not make the least Movement, till after being push'd by our Grenadiers.

That it was the general Opinion, that the City would have fallen into our Hands the first Day we landed, had the Troops push'd forward, is so far from being true, that had they been suffer'd to advance further, not an Officer but must, and would have condemn'd the General for exposing them without the least Probability of Success.

The Object proposed on our first Landing was the taking Post at La Quinta; "there to cut off the City's Communication with the Country, to cover the Landing of the rest of the Forces, and of the Artillery; and to clear Ground for the Encampment," which was mark'd out that very Day; but the Tents could not be pitched without first cutting down a thick Copse Wood; which, as soon as the Negroes and Tools were landed, was done with all possible Expedition. To have advanced further, in our Circumstances, would have been not only acting inconsistently with the Rules of War, but of common Sense, for we were entirely Strangers to the Road leading to Carthagena; the Guide, Mr. Macpherson, having, as soon as the Enemy appeared, gone on board a Ship to view their Posture from the Main-top-mast-Head and did not return till the Affair was ended; we had neither Tools to throw up a Lodgment, nor Negroes to reconnoitre the Woods on our Flanks; besides, the Day advancing, the Heat was become so violent, that great Numbers must have fainted under the Fatigue.

From the Author's own Description of the Fort St. Lazar (Page 53.) it is far from appearing to be so despicable a Redoubt, as with any Prospect of Success, to be attempted in the open Day, without Scaling-Ladders, &c. nor can I conceive how a Body of 1400 Men, with only their Firelocks in their hands, could (supposing the Fort to be taken) afterwards force their Way cross a Draw-bridge, commanded by Cannon, into a City fortify'd with double Walls, and two broad Ditches filled with Water, flanked by regular Bastions, and defended by a Garrison more than double the Number of the Assailants; for the Body, which was drawn up on the Strand, was scarcely a fifth Part of the Garrison, and they fled thro' the Woods, where they could not be pursued, directly towards the City.

[22] The Stores and Ammunition which were landed at La Quinta, were carefully lodged in an House out of the Line of Fire, and a Guard put over them, (vide Note in the Pamphlet (a) page 34.) The brave Officer, there so unjustly reflected upon, wants no Advocate, and will be easily able to clear himself of the Aspersions cast upon him, whenever the Author of them shall be pleased to declare himself.

[23] It is certain (Note b.) that the Enemy were very diligent in preparing for their Defence, nor was it in the power of the Army to interrupt them one Instant sooner than the Attack was made, from the want of Scaling Ladders, &c. being landed: What Time they employed in compleating their Works, or whether they did ever compleat them, it is not possible for the Author of the Pamphlet to judge, tho' 'tis well known they were begun upon, from the Time of our being possessed of Boca-Chica, if not before; but if he had been pleased candidly to have informed himself, he would have observed that our Mortar Battery at the Advanced Guard (vide page 35.) play'd in 48 Hours after it was first begun upon; and that the Intrenchment there was finished in 18 Hours. I cannot but observe, that what the Author of the Pamphlet here affirms (vide Note b, page 36) seems quite contradictory to what he advances (page 54) in the Appendix; in the one Place, 'tis declared that the Enemy had thrown up Intrenchments round about the Foot of the Castle, stronger and of more Importance than the Castle it self: In the other, that the Castle on the Side of the Town was quite defenseless.

[24] The Communication of the city (vide Note 6 page 36) with the Country on that Side, where the Army was incamp'd, was effectually cut off the very Day they landed; nor did the General (as the Author alledges) want to be prevail'd upon to do the same on the Side next to the Sea, but found it impracticable without the Assistance of the Fleet, which was promised, and comply'd with, when it was too late.

The Author seems very careful to celebrate the great Attention given, to the preventing Supplies from entering the Town to Sea-ward; which was to be done without the least Difficulty or Hazard, particularly after the Fleet had got Admittance into the Lagoon: But passes over in Silence, that no less Attention was given to prevent Refreshments being conveyed to the Army; it was even refused to the General to admit of sending out two or three small Vessels, to catch Turtle for the use of the Sick and Wounded: If the Army complain'd heavily, it was not without Reason; for during our Stay before Carthagena, the Fleet was supplied with Turtle, fresh Beef, &c. which the Land Forces on Shore laboured under the greatest Difficulties, even from the want of their Salt Provisions, which were not regularly conveyed to them.

The Author, with his usual Regard to Truth, affirms that a drove of Cattle was thro' neglect suffered to pass into the City. The Instant, the General was apprised from the Officer at the Convent, that a drove of Cattle was seen moving towards the City, he ordered out a Party to intercept them, who march'd with all the Expedition which was possible in that hot Climate, but were not so fortunate as to come up with them; of which some Part had probably dispersed in the Woods, and others, (as we were afterwards informed,) got into the Town. 'Tis not to be imagined that Men so distressed from the want of fresh Provisions, (even by the Author's own Account,) would have omitted any thing in their Power, to get such a Prey into their Hands; nor was due Encouragement wanting, a Reward of a Pistole for each Beeve, being promis'd to the Captors. Two or three small Islands lie in the Lake at about 500 Paces from the Shore, upon the right of the Ground where we encamped; which being observed to be sometimes frequented by the Spaniards, Application was made for a Boat, to know for what End these People came there, and to search for Goods, Provisions, &c. which might be lodged there; this I presume gave occasion for the pretty Story form'd by the Author. What idle Tales might be propagated in the Camp (perhaps by the Author himself) relating to raising Batteries, I cannot say; but I am well assur'd no Man in his Senses believ'd them.

[25] As many of the American Soldiers were suspected to be Irish Papists (vide Note in the Pamphlet Letter (d) page 39) it was though adviseable both by the General and the Admiral, to employ them principally on Board the Fleet; but the Regiments which came from Europe, being now reduced low in their Numbers, made it absolutely necessary, that the Americans should be included in the Corps design'd for the Attempt on Carthagena.

This Reinforcement (as the Author stiles it) was only some Part of those Soldiers, which the General had required to be landed from the Fleet, and did not in Fact compleat the Troops on Shore, to numbers sufficient for proper Reliefs for the ordinary and extraordinary Duty; notwithstanding, had it been practicable to have victualled and sustained them, a Detachment had without doubt been made, even from the Numbers which were landed, to cut off the Communication on the Eastern Side of the City; the General having great Reason to expect a further Supply from the Admiral.

That the Author should be ignorant of what Guards were necessary, perhaps may not be look'd upon as a Thing very extraordinary; I shall, however, give here a Detail of them.

The City being garrison'd by at least 3500 Men; it was found necessary to post an advanc'd Guard of 500 Men at a large House upon the Road leading to it. The Picket-Guard consisted of 500 more, from whence was detached a Captain's Guard to the right of the Camp, where there was a Path leading towards the City. There were the Quarter-Guards, the Generals-Guard, those on the Ammunition, Provisions, and a Captain and fifty Men at the Convent; amounting in the whole to about 1300 Men, besides extraordinary Parties; and 600 American Soldiers, who were set apart to be ready to assist in landing Stores, cutting Fascines, or in any other Work, as occasion should require. Whether fewer Guards could have been employed in our Circumstances, or if 4350 Men, (the most which were landed, and those hourly diminishing by Death and Sickness) could afford sufficient Reliefs for the Guards abovementioned, I submit to any Judge of military Operations at Land to determine.

Had the Author's Curiosity led him to reconnoitre the Enemy's Guards, he might have observed a Body of 300 Men posted at the Foot of the Hill, on which is the Fort St. Lazar, and another of about fifty Men, advanced 300 Paces further, under some Cocoa-trees, which might easily have been sustained by the whole Garrison.

[26] The principal Engineer Mr. Armstrong, (vide Note in the Pamphlet Letter (f) page 40) made a judicious and clear Report, of the Number of Men, and of the Time which would be wanting to erect a Battery: An Undertaking which he, and every intelligent Person, who was acquainted with the then Circumstances of the Troops on Shore, must foresee would be attended with insuperable Difficulties; he could not therefore honestly advise it.

[27] Of the nine Officers on the Council of War (vide note (c) in the Pamphlet page 39.) only two were against the Attack, without having first erected a Battery; nor was the least Objection made to it, on the Account of its not having been well reconnoitred, the contrary being very apparent; the Guides were Deserters (and no other could be had) who for their Security had been sent on Board the Admiral's Ships, and were by him, at the General's Desire, ordered on Shore, the Evening before the Attack.

[28] After having taken into Consideration (vide Pamphlet Note (g) page 40) what Hour would be the most proper for surprising the Enemy, and carefully weighed the Reports of Deserters, &c. it was resolved by the Council of War, that the Attack should be made a little before break of Day, a Time which has ever been look'd upon as the most proper for Surprizes, the Guards being then fatigued by their Watching, during the Night, and then most likely to be fallen asleep.

The Author of the Pamphlet, is here pleased to condemn the General for not attacking at two in the Morning; because the Guards at that Hour returned to their respective Homes, and went to Bed, where having composed themselves to Sleep, they could not easily be rouz'd to Fight. These extraordinary Guards being therefore (as the Author supposes) safely lodged in their Beds; with regard to them, it must have been matter of Indifference, whether the Attack was made at two, or five in the Morning. That these Arguments (if any such were used) were of no force with the General, I entirely agree with the Author: For surely no Man in his right Senses could imagine that the Patrols round an advanced Post, hourly in Danger of being insulted, should be suffered to retire at two in the Morning.

Colonel Grant was so far from having enter'd the Enemy's Trenches at the Foot of the Castle (as the Author alledges) with a Party of Grenadiers, and being there cut off from the Want of being sustained, that he received his Wound the Instant he reach'd the Top of the Hill. The Guide having been killed about the same time, was probably the Occasion, that Lieutenant-Colonel Hamon (who was the next in Command) advanced no farther, but remained on the Side of the Hill; where (when the Day broke) the Troops were exposed both to the Enemy's great and small Shot; which Misfortune ought not surely to be attributed to any Defect in the Disposition, but to unavoidable Accidents, by which in War the best concerted Schemes are frequently disappointed.

That the Grenado Shells were carried in Boxes in the Rear, and no lighted Match provided, will appear to be a palpable Falsehood from the Testimony of the Gentlemen of the Train, who delivered them out, and are still living. What might possibly give some Colour for this Assertion, was, the Grenadiers not carrying their Pouches in that excessive hot Climate; it was found necessary, that a Party of American Soldiers should receive the Grenados in Bags, and attend the Grenadiers with them to the Foot of the Hill; which was accordingly ordered, but in the dark, the Party, which had the Charge of the Shells, fell back into the Rear, and did not come up with them till after the Attack was begun.

As the Scaling Ladders could not be brought to the Foot of the Walls, nor the Wool Packs and working Tools be made use of, till we were in Possession of the Breast-work, they were carried in the Rear of the Troops, who were ordered to force it.

The Scaling Ladders were called for on the Right, and some of them got up the Hill; but Colonel Grant met his Fate too soon to be able to advance so far as to have the least Occasion for them on the Left; nor could the Officer the next in Command even have tried to make use of them, as the American Soldiers, who had the Charge of them (notwithstanding the utmost Endeavours of their Officers to prevent it) call them down, and either took up Firelocks, or put themselves under Cover from the Shot of the Enemy.

I cannot but add in Justice to the American Soldiers, who were commanded with Arms on that Occasion, that they were in no wise wanting to their Duty.

That the Admiral was neither by Letter, nor Message (as the Author boldly asserts) acquainted of the Resolution of the Council of War to attack the Fort the next Morning; the Admiral himself (to whom I appeal) knows to be absolutely false: It is certain, that the General was that Day too much employ'd to write a Letter in Form; but several Messages were carry'd by Capt. Knowles, and Mr. Macpherson, in Consequence of which Messages, two Guides were sent by the Admiral's own Order, and from his own Ship, to conduct the Forces to the Attack of the Fort the next Morning.

The Admiral had actually pressed the Attack, without making the least Offer of any Assistance from the Fleet, and appeared to be so far from thinking any such Assistance necessary, that he had not only declared the Troops on Shore to be more than sufficient for the Service they were upon; but had sent from the Fleet a Number of Soldiers, less by 650 than were required to be landed by the Council of War. Whence to me it is evident (contrary to what the Author affirms) that there was never any real Intention to sustain the Attack by a Body of Sailors: Otherwise so experienced a Commander, as is Admiral Vernon, could not have failed of giving timely Notice of such his Intention to the General. It is true, that at Break of Day, when the Troops were mounting the Hill, a Signal was made for manning the Boats, and for landing, which could at that time have answered no other End, but giving a Pretext for ascribing to the Sailors, a Share in the Honour of the Success, in Case the Castle had been taken.

There were kill'd at the Attack of Fort St. Lazar 179, (commissioned, Non-commissioned Officers and Soldiers) and 459 wounded, of whom many afterwards died; 16 were taken Prisoners, of which all (excepting six) had fallen wounded on the Top of the Hill; amongst whom were three Officers, who, tho' treated by the Spaniards with great Humanity, died in two or three Days.

I cannot but observe, what a pompous (but false) Account, the Author gives of our Loss; he roundly affirms, "That Numbers of Drums and Colours were left behind in the Retreat," of which there was not in Fact One; some few Firelocks belonging to the Soldiers, who fell upon the Top of the Hill, could not be brought off; and most of the Scaling Ladders, &c. which had been intrusted to the Care of the American Soldiers, remained upon the Ground. What Use the Enemy might make of them, I cannot say; but we, who could distinctly see with the naked Eye, what passed on the Hill of St. Lazar, could perceive nothing of what the Author mentions. It was never before alledged, that the Guide, who return'd, complained of his not having been followed by the Troops the Way he would have led them; but it is certain, that both the Officers and the Engineer, who were in the Front, complained of their having been mislead by the Guide. Had the contrary appeared, the Offenders could scarcely have escaped Censure; for the Instant before the Troops advanced to the Attack, the General in Person gave Directions to two of the principal Officers, who were to lead on the Grenadiers, to mount the Hill upon the Right, and to push at once into the Enemy's Works.

What the Author insinuates, that the Retreat was too long delayed, is without any Grounds whatsoever. The Moment it appeared there was no room to hope for Success, the Troops were directed to retire, which was done in so good Order, that the Enemy did not think it adviseable to advance one Step to give them the least Disturbance.

I cannot finish my Observations upon this long Note (g) without remarking that what palpable Falsehoods, and gross Misrepresentations, the Author herein aggravates our Loss at St. Lazar; such as the generous Spaniard (tho' as an Enemy authorized to do it by Custom) would be ashamed of; but in an Englishman it is a Crime, for which Language has not yet found a Name, and which nothing but the highest innate Malevolence, and the strongest Inveteracy against his Majesty's Land Forces, there employed, could have produced.

[29] I do not know what might be the Opinion of the Officers employed by the Admiral (Vide Note (h) page 44) to sound: But I am well assured, that experienced Pilots, who have sounded the whole Harbour of Carthagena in open Day-Light, do affirm, that large Ships can approach so near to the Walls, as easily to batter the Town; of which the Spaniards seem very sensible, from their having lately erected a Battery of forty Pieces of large Cannon, which commands the Bason, where the Galleons usually lie at Anchor.

The Galicia's being sent in had a quite contrary Effect from what the Author suggests; for not only the General, but every unprejudiced Man, both in the Army, and in the Fleet, was thereby convinced, that our large Ships could have got in near enough to batter the Town. For the Galicia being deeply loaden, by the Cases filled with Sand (which served no other End, but to blind the Men, when the Enemy's Shot took place) drew some Feet more Water, than our eighty Gun Ships, and yet lay near enough to the Walls of the Town to fire with very good Effect, tho' she had no more Guns mounted, than twelve eighteen Pounders, and four twelve Pounders.

I submit it to the Reader, tho' he be neither Soldier nor Sailor, to judge with what Prospect of Success a Vessel so armed, could be sent in singly to stand the Fire of all the Guns on that Side of the Town, of which the Event sufficiently proved to Absurdity, "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:" But if, instead of Galicia, some of his Majesty's eighty Gun Ships had been ordered in; there are (and those very good Judges) who affirm, that they could have approach'd near enough to have done effectual Service.

[30] The Author of the Pamphlet (in his Note i, page 45.) affirms, that from Thursday Morning to Friday Night, by the Accounts delivered in, and by the General's Report, the Troops on Shore had dwindled from 6645, to 3200. A base and palpable Falsehood! as it will evidently appear by the Return given in (April the 12th) by Mr. Wallis, Agent to the Transports, to Vice-Admiral Vernon, of the whole Number then victualled on Board, and on Shore, amounting at that time to 6645, in which Number were included all the Sick, the Women, the Negroes, and Men left in Boca-Chica and Castillo Grande, the Officers, with their Servants, and People of all Denominations belonging to the Land Forces, who received the King's Provisions, whether they were on Board, or on Shore.

The Adjutant's Books will shew, that the highest Number of Men landed at La Quinta never exceeded 4340 Rank and File, tho' repeated Demands were made from the General, and from the Council of War, for their Troops on Shore being compleated from the Fleet to 5000 Men, Rank and File. At the time of holding the General Council of War, they were, by Sickness, and the late Loss, reduced to 3569, feeble, and scarcely fit for the ordinary Duty; including 1140 American Soldiers, of whom 600 were employed upon no other Service, but on working Parties.

[31] It was raised 2600 Yards from the Fort, which is the utmost Distance those Mortars can throw a Shell, when their Chambers are quite filled with Powder; an Allowance only given for Proof, and never upon Service. Tho' appriz'd of this Circumstance by the Colonel of the Train, the Captain could not be prevailed upon to advance his Battery nearer, but (as it was expected) wasted above two hundred Shells, to little or no Purpose whatsoever.

N.B. This Battery was begun upon the 8th, but did not Fire before the 14th.

[32] The imbarking the Troops, (vide k) in the cool of the Evening, was not only approved by the General, but by the Council of War; who had but too justly deserved Censure, should they have unnecessarily exposed the Men, not only to the violent Heat of the Sun, but to the Enemy's Cannon, which commanded one of the Places of Imbarkation.

Had the Author's Apprehensions suffered him to go on Shore at the time of the Retreat, he might have observed that it was made without any Precipitation, and that neither Tents, Arms, working Tools, nor Baggage were left behind.

The General in Person brought up the Rear with his Guard, and having perceived, after the Troops had begun their March, that five Tents belonging to one of the American Battalions were left standing (for which their Lieutenant Colonel had undergone a severe Censure, if his Death had not prevented it) and likewise that some Arms and working Tools remained upon the Ground, he ordered them to be carried off by the Serjeant's Guard which came from La Popa, to which Lieutenant Forest, at the General's Request, added some Sailors, so that the whole Ground might be carefully searched to prevent any thing whatsoever from falling into the Hands of the Enemy. We having lost no Tents, none could (as the Author alledges) be pitched by the Enemy on the top of the Hill.

The Admiral having, (when a Flag of Truce was to be sent into the Vice-Roy) refused to admit of a particular Messenger from the General, I cannot say what idle Expressions might be then made use of to the Disadvantage of the Land Forces. If there were any such, possibly they did not loose in the Report; but if what the Enemy might throw out deserves repeating, it is well known that they frequently expressed their Astonishment, that so fine a Fleet should lie unactive within their very Harbour; and it was affirmed by Persons of Credit, that a Spanish Officer of Rank, who served in Carthagena, declared that they only waited for the coming in of our great Ships, to have surrendered.