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The armament was conducted by Captain Pringle, and the fleet navigated by 700 prime seamen, of whom 200' were volunteers from the transports, who after having rivalled those belonging to the fhips of war in all the toils of preparation, now boldly and freely joined with them in the danger of the expedition.--. The guns were ferved by detachments of men and officers belonging to the corps of artillery. No equipa ment of the kind was ever better appointed, or more àmply furnished with all kinds of provisions for the intended expedition. The force of the provincials up, on the Lakes was in no respect equal to that which was sent against them, either with regard to the goodness of the vessels, the number of
furniture of war, or weight of metal. Though the colonists were senfible of the necesity of preserving the dominion of the lakes, and assisted in that design with the criginal force in their hands, with a great advantage in point of time for its increafe, their 'intentions in that respect vere counter-acted by many effential, and some ins surmountable deficiencies. They wanted timber, fhip-builders, artillery, and all the materials necessary for such an equipment.
Carpenters, and all others. concerned in thip-building, were fully employed at the fea-ports in conftru&ting and fitting out privateers, whilst the remoteness and the difficulty of the come munication, rendered the supply of bulky materials extremely tedious.
Considering the difficulties they had to combat, the colonifts discovered a great degree of ingenuity, forecast, and assiduity, and shewed as much spirit and per: feverence as their enemies had employed against them. Their fleecamounted to fifteen vessels of different kinds, confisting of two fchooners, one floop, one cutter,
three gallios, and eight gondalas. The principal mounted twelve fix and four pounders. They were eommanded by Benedict Arnold, who had now to support, upon a new element, the reputation he had gained by a Canada expedition. And, considering the disadvantages he had to combat, gained as much hopour as a fea officer, as he had done as a general of
a land army.
: Upon the 11th of October, General Carleton proceeded up the Lake, and discovered the enemy's fleet drawn up with great judgment, being posted in a very advantageous situation, and forming a strong line to defend the passage between the island Volicour and the western main. They had at first placed themselves with so much skill behind the island, that their fituation was only discovered by accident. Had not the royal fquadron discovered their fituation in due time, they woald left them behind ; an event, provided it had happened, that would have been attended with the most serious consequences. It has been said that the appearance of a three malted ship upon the Lakes threw the provincials into the utmost confusion. It does not appear however that a matter of such public nature fhould have been so long concealed from them. The confusion of the colonists at the fight of the King's troops was at that time very common stile, and constantly affirmed by the friends of the ministry. The King's forces found in experience that they had more to do than merely to cross the Eakes. A severe battle enfued, and was vigorously maintained on both fides; but the wind proving unfavourable, so that the fhip Inflexible, and some other vessels of force, could not be worked up to the enemy, the weight of the acsion fell upon the schooner Carleton, and the gun.
boats, which they sustained with great firmness. Such amazing efforts of resolution were displayed, it was said, by both men and officers, as received the ap, plause of the commanders. This plainly supposes that as so much praise was thought due to the British superior force, that the provincials had not behaved as cowards, but muft have made a stout resistance. The detachment from the corps of artillery was highly distinguifhed, and performed the moft essential service in the gun-boats. But the same impediments still continuing, Captain Pringle, with the consent of the General, thought it necessary for the present to Avithdraw those that were engaged from the action. At the approach of night he brought the whole fleet to anchor in a line, and as near as pofsible to the enemy, in order to prevent their retreat.
The King's forces had not much to boast of in this action, though the Americans suffered severely, having one of their best schooners burnt, and a gondola, carrying three or four guns sunk. It is reasonable to suppose that their oth er vefsels fuffered in some proportion. They were sensible of their inferiority, and took the opportunity of the night of endeavouring to escape under the protection of Crown Point: Arnold planned and executed this delign with great ability, and so far succeeded that they were out of sight next morning.The chace was however continued without intermif. hion, both on that and the following day, and the wind at last changing, which had been at first favour. able to the Americans, became otherwise, so that they were overtaken, and brought to action a few leagues from Crown Point, about the middle of the day, upon the 13th of O&ober,