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fort, which were given to me immediately, and then took possession of Fort Nassau. In it there were forty cannon mounted, and well located for our reception, with round, langridge, and canister shot. All this was accomplished without firing a single shot from our side. We found in this fort a great quantity of shot and shells, with fifteen brass mortars; but the grand article, powder, the Governour sent off the night before, viz: one hundred and fifty casks. Immediately after we were in the fort, I sent for the Governour, and made him prisoner until the Commodore arrived, which was soon after. We remained at Providence till we got all the stores on board the fleet, and then took our departure, the 17th of March. We have brought with us from Providence the Governour, his Secretary, and one Mr. Irving, Receiver-General of his Majestys Customs, who belongs to South-Carolina.
On the 4th instant, we made the east end of Long-Island, and discovered the Columbus (who had parted with us the night before) to windward, with a schooner of six guns, one of Captain Wallaces tenders, which she had taken that morning. We made Block-Island in the afternoon, when the Commodore ordered the brig to stand in for Rhode-Island, to see if any more of the fleet were out, and join us the next morning; which was accordingly done, but without seeing any vessel except a New-York sloop, which Captain Biddle brought to the fleet, and after her papers were examined, she was released. At daylight we discovered a brigantine to leeward; we made sail, and soon came up with her, and, after a few shots, took her. She proved to be a bomb brigantine belonging to Wallaces fleet, mounting eight guns and two howitzers, commanded by one Snead, a Lieutenant in the Navy. We continued to cruise all day within sight of Block-Island, and in the evening took a brigantine and sloop from New-York, and have brought them into port with us, not being satisfied as to their clearances. At sunset we were twelve sail in all, and had a very pleasant evening. At twelve oclock went to bed, and at half past one was awakened by the cry of all hands to quarters. We were soon ready for action; the main body of my company, with my First Lieutenant, was placed in the barge on the main-deck, the remaining part, with my Second Lieutenant and myself, on the quarter-deck. We soon discovered a large ship standing directly for us. The Cabot was foremost of the fleet, our ship close after, not more than one hundred yards behind, but to windward withal. When the brigantine came close up, she was hailed by the ship, which we then learned was the Glasgow man-of-war; the brigantine immediately fired her broadside, and instantly received a return of twofold, which, owing to the weight of metal, damaged her so much in her hull and rigging, as obliged her to retire for a while to refit. Our ship then came up, (not having it in our power to fire a shot before without hurting the brigantine,) and engaged her side by side for three glasses, as hot as possibly could be on both sides. The first broadside she fired, my Second Lieutenant fell dead close by my side; he was shot by a musket-ball through the head. In him I have lost a worthy officer, sincere friend and companion, that was beloved by all the ships company. Unfortunately for us, our tiller-rope and main-brace were shot away soon after the firing began, which caused the ship to broach to, and gave the enemy an opportunity of raking fore and aft. The battle continued till daylight, at which time the Glasgow made all the sail she could crowd, and stood in for Newport; and our rigging was so much hurt, that we could not make sail in time to come up with her again. At sunrise, the Commodore made the signal to give over the chase, he not thinking it prudent to risk our prizes near the land, lest the whole fleet should come out of the harbour. The Glasgow continued firing signal guns the whole day after.
In the action I lost three of my people out of twelve that were on the quarter-deck, and two others, who were in the barge, were slightly wounded. Captain Hopkins, of the Cabot, is wounded, his Master killed, and the Second Lieutenant of Marines wounded, and since dead. Upon the whole, it was a very hot engagement, in which our ship and the brig were much damaged; but we have this consolation, that the enemy is full as badly off; for by several expresses from Rhode-Island, we are assured that it was with much difficulty she got into port, both pumps going. We are now, thank God, in harbour, and shall stay some time to refit.
GEORGE DASHIELL TO MARYLAND COUNCIL OF SAFETY.
April 11, 1776.
GENTLEMEN: I took the liberty, some time since, of informing you of a Company of Militia, in the First Battalion of this Province, being dissatisfied with the appointment of their commissioned officers, whereupon the Captain (George Wailes) resigned his commission, and the company elected by ballot their officers, a certificate of which was transmitted to the Council; but in answer, I was informed that the Council did not think it regular to issue new commissions until those issued by Convention were returned to them. I beg leave to inform you, that upon Captain Wailess resignation, he delivered me his commission, and that I have by some means or other misplaced it, and have not been able to lay my hands on it since. But as Mr. Wailes is not in possession of the commission issued by Convention, I hope its not being returned to the Council will be no obstacle to their issuing a new one for the gentleman who was returned in the certificate. Mr. Wilson, who was appointed Ensign to that company, has likewise resigned; his commission I have enclosed.
I have the honour to be, gentlemen, your most obedient humble servant,
To the Honourable the Council of Safety of Maryland.
MARYLAND COUNCIL OF SAFETY TO CAPTAIN HINDMAN.
SIR: We shall send the arms and ammunition to Chester-town to-morrow, or the day following, with directions to Messrs. Smith and Hands (who are now there) to distribute them agreeable to our instructions, and to see that no preference is given therein. We are, &c.
To Captain James Hindman.
JOHN GIBSON TO PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
Philadelphia, April 11, 1776.
SIR: I had the honour to receive your letter of this day, informing me the honourable Congress had appointed me Auditor-General of the Publick Accounts, with a salary of one thousand sixty-six and two-thirds dollars per annum.
I beg leave to thank you and that honourable body for the honour they have conferred upon me; and accepting of the charge, to assure the Congress my best abilities shall be exerted in their service, in this and every other of their commands.
I have the honour to be, with the most profound respect, sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,
To the Honourable John Hancock.
LANCASTER (PENNSYLVANIA) COMMITTEE TO PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
Lancaster, April 11, 1776.
GENTLEMEN: The officers of the Seventh and Twenty-Sixth Regiments, with those of the Royal Emigrants, and Captain Chace, of the Navy, having been lately removed from hence by order of the Committee of Safety, under the direction of the honourable the Congress, to the towns of York and Carlisle, in this Province, without having it in their power (as we have reason to believe in respect to some of them) to discharge the moneys due for their lodgings and diet at the house where they lodged and messed in this town; and the persons who have demands against those gentlemen for these articles, having laid their accounts before this Committee, and requested the assistance of the Committee in procuring them their moneys, we are obliged to trouble the honourable the Congress with a state of the demands and accounts of these persons, and request their direction in the matter, that these creditors of the officers (some of whom, especially those whose claims are the greatest, are not in the most easy circumstances) may have their demands adjusted and paid.
This Committee, gentlemen, are in some sort interested in this affair. The officers, when brought to this town by Captain Mott, were placed by him in the houses of Messrs. Matthias Slough and Adam Reigart, whose accounts, we understand, have been transmitted to Congress, and are