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a spark lighting upon one of the cartridges on the quarter deck of the Serapis, and communicated fire from one to another with such fatal effect, that nearly all the men abaft the mainmast were blown up, and the guns rendered entirely useless. While this terrible engagement lasted between the Serapis and the Bon Homme Richard, the Pallas and the Countess of Scarborough also had an action of near two hour's continuance, which resulted in the capture of the latter. On the 3d of October, Commodore Jones entered the Texel with his prizes, and the remnant of his little squadron, having taken and ransomed during his cruize, prizes to the amount of forty thousand pounds sterling. A singular incident occurred just before the Serapis struck, which shows Jones’s character in a strong light. A report had been spread between decks that Jones and some of the principal officers were killed and that the ship was sinking. This alarmed the crew so much, that some of the non-commissioned officers were deputed to go on deck and sue for quarters. Jones discovered them in the act of fulfilling their mission, and ordered them in his usual peremptory tone to be shot. They all escaped below but the gunner, who being unfortunately the last man, a pistol which Jones threw at him struck him on the head and fractured his skull; the poor fellow lay in this deplorable condition until after the action, when his skull was trepanned, and he recovered. The cry for quarters produced something like a cessation of hostilities for a moment, and the captain of the Serapis demanded of Jones if he had struck; but the latter replied by pointing to his shattered flag still waving, and the fight was renewed with redoubled fury.
The Bon Homme Richard had upwards of 300 men killed and wounded, and the Serapis 137 killed and 76 wounded. It was not until after several applications repeated with considerable heat by Jones, that the Dutch Admiral would permit his entering the Texel with his squadron and prizes; and his compliance in the end produced a remonstrance from Sir Joseph Yorke, the British Ambassadour at the Hague, who demanded
from the States General a surrender of the prizes, on the plea that Jones was a pirate ; and threatened se
rious consequences in case of a refusal. Their high mightinesses replied that they would “ in no respect whatever pretend to judge of the loyalty or illegality of the actions of those who have on the open sea, taken any vessels which do not belong to this country, and bring them into any of the ports of this republick; that they only open their ports to them to give them shelter from storms or other disasters, and oblige them to put to sea again with their prizes, without unloading or disposing of their cargoes, but letting them remain exactly as when they arrived ; and that they are not authorized to pass judgment, either on these prizes or the person of Paul Jones.” Sir Joseph Yorke was compelled for the present to be satisfied with this reply.
Let us now return to the military operations of the South.
Events of 1780—Sir Henry Clinton evacuates Rhode Island, and prepares an expedition to the South-The British fleet arrive at JWorth Edisto, and disembark the army—Rencontre between the British and .dmerican Cavalry—Sir Henry appears before Charleston.—Situation of General Lincoln.—Earl of 'aithness wounded in a sirmish.-Charleston is summoned to surrender, and the summons rejected—The enemy's batteries are opened—Dangerous situation of Lincoln-Terms of capitulation offered by Lincoln and rejected—Movements of the Cavalry—Surprise of Lieutenant Colonel Washington at Monk's Cormer.—Success of Lieutenant Colonel White against a foraging party of the enemy—Disappointment, and discomfiture at Lenew's ferry—Sir Henry again demands the surrender of Charleston, which is given up, and Lincoln and his army become prisoners of war. Terms of capitulation, and dinerican loss—Treachery and punishment of Colonel Hamilton Ballendine—Route and butchery of an American party at Warhaw by Lieutenant Colonel Tarleton.— Measures of Sir Henry Clinton to secure the submission of South Carolina-He sails for .New Pork-Lord Cornwallis succeeds to the command—Manifestations of revolt against the Itoyal. Authority in South CarolinaThe Baron de Kalb and Major General Gates arrive in .North Carolina—Two battalions of militia leave the enemy, and rejoin the American standard-General Gates advances towards Camden—Skirnish of Brigadier General Sumpter—Gates and Cornwallis meet between Clermont and Camden.—Battle and defeat of Gates—Losses of the American army—Surprise and discomfiture of General Sumpter—Retreat of the remnant of the American army to Salisbury and Hillsborough.-Their wretched condition.
The news of the Count D'Estaing's arrival on the coast of Georgia, had given considerable alarm to Sir Henry Clinton for the safety of New York, and determined him to withdraw the forces which had been
so long idle in Rhode Island, to assist in his defensive measures. Orders were accordingly given for the evacuation of Newport, and the troops under Sir Robert Pigot marched for New York on the 27th October, 1779. The conduct of Sir Robert during his command on Rhode Island, had gained him the character of great humanity ; for he had permitted none of those predatory excursions which had occasioned so much misery in other quarters, nor were his troops suffered to commit any needless destruction or wanton cruelties upon their quitting Newport. The evacuation was made with the utmost regularity and discipline, and in a manner which did as much credit to the soldiers, for their exact obedience, as to General Pigot for the humanity which dictated his orders.
The intelligence of the repulse of the combined army from Savannah, and the subsequent departure of the Count D’Estaing's fleet from the American coast, having releived the fears of Sir Henry Clinton for the safety of New-York, he determined to give active employment to his army, which had been considerably reinforced by arrivals from Europe, by undertaking an expedition against South Carolina. With this view he committed the command of New York to Lieutenant General Knyphausen, and embarked himself with 7000 troops on board the fleet and transports, under the direction of Admiral Arbuthnot, on the 26th of December. The weather was so tempestuous and stormy during the passage, that several of the transports were lost, and very serious injury done to the whole. One of the ordnance ships, with all her stores, was sunk, and two or three fell into the hands of the Americans ; besides which nearly all the horses belonging to the expedition perished. The fleet in this VOL. II. 88
shattered condition, arrived at the Tybee on the last of January, where the damaged ships were repaired, and again putting to sea, the fleet and army arrived at North Edisto Sound, in South Carolina, on the 10th of February. They took immediate possession of John and James Islands, and on the 11th the army was disembarked. Sir Henry was now within thirty miles of Charleston, where General Lincoln lay with a force not exceeding two thousand regulars, and the militia of the town. In two days the town might have been his ; he had nothing to fear in his rear, and no difficulties in front which might not have been overcome as well in a few hours as in a month; but his approaches to the town were so slow and cautious that he did not accomplish the passage of Ashley river until the 29th of March, having been upwards of forty days marching a distance of thirty miles. During this whole period the enemy had met with little or no resistance, until the 27th, when a rencontre took place between a party of their horse, under Lieutenant Colonel Tarleton and the remnant of Baylor's Regiment of Cavalry, now under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Washington. The loss of horses which Sir Henry had suffered on the voyage, was soon supplied by others, which they found no difficulty in procuring after the army had landed. The rencontre ended advantageously for Washington, who drove the enemy back and took several prisoners, among whom was Lieutenant Colonel Hamilton of the Royal Regiment of North Carolina. The Assembly of South Carolina, being in session at the moment of the enemy's landing, clothed Governour Rutledge with full power to adopt any measures which he and his Council might deem necessary for