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have been in the power of those whose minds were not invigorated by some animating principle, to have gone through the fatigues, wearinesses, and watchings of such a tedious journey.
The first object of our forces, after passing the bar, was the back of a fort which had been lately erected, though not yet quite furnished nor rendered altogether complete, upon the south west point of Sullivan Iand. This fort commanded the passage to Charlestown, which lay farther west by fix miles distance; and though it had been but lately constructed, was properly confidered the key of that harbour. It was said that it was represented to our officers as in a more imperfect itate than it was found; but fuppofing it had been more perfect than it was, he could not imagine that a raw militia could have been able to have defended it any length of time against the great weight of metal and the force of fire from our ships, even excluding the co-operation of the land forces. So impartial were our people in their judgment concerning their own prowess, and the force and valour of their enemies. The colonists had considered the danger before they engaged in it, and knew the opinion which the British forces had of their courage ; they were determined for once to put the British intrepidity to trial, and shew them a specimen what a militia, animated by the spirit of liberty, could do.
Our troops were landed on Long Island, which lies nearer, and to the eastward of Sullivan's, being fepafated only by some fhoals, and a creek called the Breech, which are deemed passable at low water, the ford being represented to our people as only 18 inches in depth in that state. The Carolinians had posted some forces within a few pieces of cannon near
the north-east extremity of Sullivan's Island, at the distance of two miles from the fort, where they had thrown up works to prevent the paffage of the royal army over the breach. General Lee was encamped with a considerable body of forces upon the continent at the back and to the northward of the island, with which he had a communication open by a bridge of boats, and could by that means at any time march the whole or any part of his forces to support that pot which was opposed to our men's passage from Long Idand. The latter is a naked barning fand, where the troops suffered greatly from their exposure to the intense hear of the sun. Both the fleet and army were greatly distressed through the badness of the water: that which is found upon the sea coast of Carelina being very brackish. Nor were they in better condition with respect to the quantity or quality of their provisions. Tho' the greatest dispatch was necessary on account of these inconveniences, yet such delays occurred in carrying the design into execution, that it was near the end of the month before the attack on Sullivan's ifland took place; a season which was applied by the provincials with great diligence for compleating their works. Every thing being at length settled between the commanders by sea and land, the Thunderer bomb, covered by the armed fhip, took her slation in the morning, and began the attack by. throwing shells at the fort as the ficet advanced. About eleven o'clock the Bristol, Experiment, Active, and Solebay, brought up directly against the fort, and began a most furious and incessant cannonade. The Sphynx, Acteon, and Syren, were ordered to the westward, to take their station between the end of the land and Charlestown, with a design to explode the
works of the fort, and, if possible, to cut off the communication between the island and continent, which would of course cut off the retreat of the garrison, as well as all fuccours for its affistance. There was also another intention in this position of the ships, namely, to prevent any attempt of sending the thips to interrupt the attack. · This part of the design was rendered unfortunate by the strange unskilfulness of the pilot, who entangled the frigates in the fhoals called the Middle Grounds, where they all stuck faft; and tho' two of them were in lome time got off with danger and difficuliy, it was then too late, and they were in no condition to execute the intended service. The Acteon could not be got off, and was burnt by the officers and crew the next morning, to prevent her materials and stores from becoming a prey to the énemy.
Whilst a continued cannonade from the ships seemed sufficient to shake the firmness of the bravest foe, and daunt the courage of the bravest foldiers, the return made from the fort was equally terrible, and could not fail of calling for relpect, as well as of striking terror into every British seaman,
In the midst of that dreadful roar of artillery, they stood to their guns with the greatest firmness and cons stancy, and fired with such deliberation and coolness that they feldom missed their aimn. The ships suffered prodigiously; they were almost torn to pieces, and the slaughter was dreadíul. Scarcely was ever British valour put to so severe a trial, nor ever did our army in any engagement of the same nature, meet with lo sude an encounter. They began now to find that Sullivan fort was not so easily taken as they apprehended, and that the cowards in Carolina had chang
ed their character. The springs of the Bristol's cable were cut off by the shot, and the lay for some tiine exposed as a mark to the fire of the fort, and was mot terribly raked. Captain Morris, who had shewn much bravery, was covered wiih wounds, though he still kept his itation, and refused to retire, until his arm being skot off, he was carried away in á cordition that did not afford a poffibility of his recovery.The quarter-deck of the Bristol was once cleared of every person except the Commodore, who stood as lone a spectacle of firinness and intrepidity, which has been never excelled, and feldom equalled. The others on that deck were either carried down to have their wounds dreiled, or were killed in the confia. Captain Scott, of thę Experiment, had his own share of his danger or glory, who, besides the loss of an arm, received so
other wounds, that liis life was at firit despaired of. Our fleet thought once that they had filenced the fort, and concluded that the day was their own, and that the forces on shore might have taken possession thereof, but in this they were mistaken ; for this silence proceeded from the want of airmunition which the provincials had to carry from the continent. It feems indeed extraordinary that a detachment of land forces was not ready to take the advantage of the silence of the fort, and improve thuis opportunity. The reasons of this have never been fufficiently cleared up by any well-authenticated accounts : fome have blamed the commander in chief for not co-operating with the fleet, whilst others have attempted to shew that it was impoffible for the land forces to afford them any assistance. To set forth the bravery of our seamen, it was strongly asserted at home, that they drove the Americans from the fort ;
but this does not at all appear to have been the cafe.----- For the garrison received the thanks and praise of the Americans, as well as of General Lee, which is a proof that they did not believe that they abandoned the fort, deserted the guns, or were changed, though they might be, and certainly wcre, reinforced.
very severe and hot contest, the seamen looked often and impatiently towards the east to see the land forces advance from Long Island, to draw the rebels from the fort and entrenchments. In these hopes they were grievouly disappointed. What was the reason of this inaction of the land forces has neyer been fully explained. The papers published by au. thority are fo totally defective and unsatisfactory upon this point, that it is imposible to learn any thing from them to clear up this matter. Tlie Gazette upon this occasion is the most jarriag and inconsistent account that ever was given of any transaction of such a nature, and it is imposible to form any other conclufion from that paper, than that it was compass ed to throw mist and darkness upon the fubject.-From the day that the action at Bunker's-hill happen. ed till this present time, the method of literary compo. fition, as well as the art of war, seems to have forsak. on the British ministry and officers; for in their account of the various transactions of this unhallowed war, there appears to be nothing but confusion, inconfistency, and want of method,
The Gazette says, that the King's troops were stopped by an impracticable depth of water, where they expected to have passed almost dryshod. This is such an imputation upon the character of the offieers, and particularly the commander in chief, as fets