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themselves in the line wherever they could the soonest, without having regard to their ordinary posts. The English had the advantage of the wind, and were standing for Grenada, under the persuasion that Macartney still held out. Their transports were far astern of their rear. The French were under the wind, and standing upon the opposite tack. The British admiral was eager to come to close action, from a confidence that he could thus put the French fleet to rout, and recover the island. On the other hand, the count d’Estaing, who by the reduction of Grenada had attained his principal object, was in no disposition to hazard anew a point already decided. His intention was, therefore, to avoid a decisive engagement, and to confine himself to the preservation of his new acquisition. With these different views, the two admirals advanced to the encounter. Only fifteen of the French ships were able at first to take part in the action, the others having been forced to leeward by the violence of the currents. Vice-admiral Barrington, who commanded the British rear, advanced with three ships, the Prince of Wales, the Boyne and the Sultan, and closed with the van of the enemy. A warm engagement ensued, but the three English ships, not being supported in time by the rest of their division, and having to contend with a much superior force, were extremely damaged, especially in their sails and rigging. Such is the ordinary effect of the manner of firing of the French in naval battles; and in this, they levelled from a good distance and under the wind, which also contributed to raise their shot higher. Barrington was wounded. Meanwhile, the rest of the British squadron joined him; and on his part, d' Estaing had rallied those of his ships which had not been able at first to form in a line with the fifteen that commenced the action. The English still continued to push their way towards Grenada, while their transports kept on their left towards the open sea, their line of battle covering them from the French fleet. The two armaments being thus drawn out on opposite tacks, the battle continued till they were entirely passed each other. But the English ships having arrived in chase, and consequently rather in disorder, whereas the French, as later from port, and in better condition, had more command of their movements, and had kept their distances better, it followed that some of the first had to endure the whole weight of fire from many or from all of the second. Among those that suffered the most were the Grafton, the Cornwall, and the Lion. The last was so shattered as to be very near going to the bottom ; and the Monmouth, having ventured singly to arrest the progress of the French van, in order to bring on a close action, had been left little better than a wreck. Meanwhile, the head of the British van, continuing its course, was arrived at the mouth of St. George's harbor. But the French colors that waved on the fort, and the fire of the batteries, no longer permitted admiral Byron to doubt of the capture of the island. Convinced, that in the present state of his fleet he could not hope for success against so great a superiority of force, he directed captain Barker, who had charge of the transports, to alter his course and make the best of his way to Antigua or St. Christophers. In order to protect him from the pursuit of the enemy, he stood with his fleet to the northward. But the three ships, the Grafton, Coruwall and Lion, from their disabled condition, not only remained far astern, but fell so fast to the leeward that it was to be feared they would be cut off by the French. The count d'Estaing, having observed their situation, had in effect put his ships about and steered to the south, in order to effect what Byron apprehended, that is, to intercept them. But, to defeat this design, the British admiral instantly changed his tack, and steered again to the southward. While the hostile fleets thus manoeuvred in sight of each other, the Lion bore away, with what sail she had left, to the west, and in a few days arrived at Jamaica. D’ Estaing might easily have seized her; but he chose not to disperse his fleet, for fear of falling to leeward of Grenada, whether it was his intent to return for moorings. The Grafton and Cornwall found means to rejoin their admiral before the French could reach them. The Monmouth, no longer able to keep the sea, was sent with all despatch to Antigua. The two fleets continued in sight the one of the other, till night, the English still plying to windward, in order to cover the retreat of the transports. The inseriority of their force, and the condition of their ships, deterred them from renewing the engagement. The French remained to leeward, without attempting to disquiet them, whether by reason of this position, or because their admiral thought it imprudent to run new risks. He might claim a victory for what he had already achieved, and he had probably motives for avoiding decisive actions. The following morning he came to anchor in the road of St. Georges, amidst the acclamations of the soldiers and of the French inhabitants, who had been spectators of the action. The British transports, one only excepted, which fell into the hands of the enemy, all arrived in safety at St. Christophers. Admiral Byron, after remaining a few days longer at sea, repaired to the same island, for the purpose of refitting his ships, which were grievously damaged. The British lost in this engagement one hundred and eighty-three killed, and three hundred and forty-six wounded. The loss of the French was more considerable, owing as well to the mode of firing of the English, as to the great number both of sailors and land forces with which their ships were crowded. Besides many officers of note, they had about two hundred men killed, and the number of their wounded amounted to nearly eight hundred. The news of the battle of Grenada was welcomed in France with great demonstrations of joy. According to the usage observed on

occasion of important victories, the king wrote to the archbishop of Paris, directing that a Te Deum should be sung in the metropolitan church. The count d’Estaing pretended, in effect, to have been victorious; he alleged in his favor that he had kept his lights burning during all the nights subsequent to the engagement; that Byron had for several hours refused to renew it, though all the while he had the advantage of the wind; that the British had made no movement to preserve the Lion, when retiring with difficulty towards the west; that the French fleet had captured one of the enemy's ships, conquered Grenada, and baffled the project of Byron for its recovery; and, finally, that it had secured the empire of the sea in the West Indies. It is indeed true, that the British admiral, in consequence of the disabled condition of his fleet, had sound it necessary to take shelter at St. Christophers, where he was decided to remain until the enemy should become weaker, or himself stronger. His retreat spread consternation among the inhabitants of all the British islands, who had not for a long time, nor perhaps ever before, seen the French masters at sea. A short time after the action, d' Estaing, having repaired his ships, set sail afresh, and paraded with his whole force in sight of St. Christophers. Byron lay safely moored in the harbor of Basse Terre; the French admiral sought in vain to draw him out to combat. Finding him obstinate in his immobility, he shaped his course for St. Domingo, where he assembled the merchantmen of the different islands, and despatched them for Europe, under convoy of three ships of the line and three frigates. In this state of things, there being much of the season for operations still unexpired, the count d’Estaing deliberated upon the course to be pursued, with most advantage to the interests of his sovereign. But in the meantime, he received letters from America, advising him of the extreme dissatisfaction with which the republicans observed that the alliance with France had hitherto produced nothing, upon the American continent, that corresponded either to the greatness of their ally, or to the general expectation of the Americans. It was represented to the French admiral that the enormous expenses incurred in the expedition of Rhode Island, had been worse than fruitless; that the zeal with which the French fleet had been equipped and victualled by the Bostonians, had produced no better effect than its immediate desertion of their coasts upon distant expeditions; that the benefits of the alliance were a nullity for the Americans, since the loss of Savannah and all Georgia, which had resulted from the retirement of the French, was not compensated by the recovery of Philadelphia, even throwing that event into the scale, as an indirect consequence of their cooperation, and supposing that the American arms would not otherwise have compelled the British to abandon that capital; that the occupation of Georgia by the enemy was fraught with consequences still more alarming, since it opened him an easy WOL. II, 28

entrance into the Carolinas; that he was already established in the heart of America, and drew his sustenance thence; that meanwhile, the French commanders were cruising the West Indian seas, enriching themselves with the conquest of British possessions, and leaving the Americans to sustain by themselves the whole burthen of this desperate war; that it ought not therefore, to be wondered at, if the number of the discontented increased every day in proportion to the rapid dicinution of the partisans of France. These complaints were concluded with the most earnest instances and obsecrations that he would not abandon a faithful ally in the midst of surrounding perils. The count d’Estaing could not but listen to these representations, although he had received instructions from his court, to return immediately to Europe with the twelve ships of the line and four frigates which composed the fleet of Toulon. He was directed by the same instructions, to detach three sail of the line and two frigates, under the conduct of La Motte Piquet, for the station of St. Domingo, and to leave eight other ships of the line to winter at Martinico, under the command of the count de Grasse, who was to cooperate with the marquis de Bouille, for the reduction of other English islands. Such were then the intentions of the French ministers; their negotiations with the court of Spain were in full activity, and they wished the Americans to feel all their distress, in order to obtain in the treaty they were about forming with his catholic majesty, more favorable stipulations for each member of the family compact. But d' Estaing thought it better to obey the generous impulses of his heart, than the orders of the ministry. To deprive the Americans of all pretext for doubting the sincerity of his good dispositions towards them, he set sail with twenty-two sail of the line and eight frigates. He bad two objects in contemplation, both of the highest importance; but he could come to no decision until he had first advised with the generals of Congress. The first was the destruction of the force under general Prevost, and thus freeing the province of Georgia from the presence of the English, and South Carolina from the danger of their vicinity. The second was more decisive, and likely to be attended with more difficulties; and that was, to attack, conjointly with Washington, the British force at New York, by sea and land at the same time. The success of these two enterprises would have sufficed to put an end to the war upon the American continent. It was on the first of September that the count d' Estaing made his appearance upon the coasts of Georgia, with twenty ships of the hine. He had detached two to Charleston of South Carolina, to give notice of his arrival in those waters. It was totally unexpected to the English; their ship, the Experiment, of fifty guns, commanded by captain Wallace, was obliged, after a stubborn resistance, to surrender to the French. Three British frigates shared the like fate, as well as five transports loaded with provisions. This prize was highly acceptable to the victors, who were much in want of supplies. General Prevost was then at Savannah, with only a part of his troops; the remainder were still in their cantonments, on the island of Port Royal, near the coast of Carolina. At sight of so pressing a danger, he sent orders by express to colonel Maitland, who commanded in that island, to rejoin him with all possible celerity. He likewise recalled the detachment that occupied Sunbury. The vessels at anchor in the Savannah were removed higher up, to secure them from the fire of the enemy, or sunk to obstruct his passage. Other impediments for the same purpose were planted in the river. The British also destroyed the batteries they had erected in the island of Tybee, and compelled the blacks to work without intermission at the fortifications. The seamen, who had been put ashore, joined the land troops, and were especially employed for the service of the artillery. The news of d'Estaing's arrival excited transports of exultation at Charleston. General Lincoln immediately cominenced his march for Savannah at the head of a strong detachment. A great number of small craft were despatched to the French admiral, to facilitate the debarkation of troops upon the coast, which large vessels cannot approach very near. With the assistance of these light vessels, d’ Estaing, who had anchored off the bar which lies at the mouth of the Savannah, was enabled to land his troops at Beaulieu, about thirteen Iniles from the town of Savannah. At the same time his frigates were occupied in taking possession of the lower river, and of the different inlets; approaching as near to the town and lines as the circumstances of water and defence would admit. On the fifteenth of September, the French appeared under the walls of Savannah. They were accompanied by Pulaski's legion, who had made a forced march to join them. After some slight skirmishes, general Prevost contracted all his posts within the cover of the artillery on the works. Colonel Maitland not being yet arrived, the garrison, far from being sufficient for acting offensively, were scarcely competent to the defence of the works. D'Estaing imperiously summoned Prevost to surrender the place; he announced in high language, that he commanded the same troops, a detachment of whom had recently taken the Hospital Hill, in Grenada, by storm; that he owed it to his humanity to remind him of it, after which, it could not be imputed to him, if he should not be able to restrain the fury of his soldiers, in the event of a fruitless resistance. The Americans observed with extreme displeasure and jealousy, that the summons was made exclusively in the name of the king of France. General Prevost reflecting that his reenforcements had not yet joined him, and that his lines were still in a very imperfect state of defence, thought it prudent to gain all the time that was possible, by pretending a willingness to negotiate a capitulation. He accordingly

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