Britsh Major Robert Farmar's Journal of Siege of Pensacola
from the enemy's first appearance off.
A Journal of the Siege of Pensacola from the time the Enemy's fleet first appeared to the 10th. of May the day we surrendered to the arms of Spain.
1781 Friday March 9th. Appeared in sight a Spanish fleet consisting of 32 sail of vessels. The same night they landed a number of men on St. Rose Island.
N.B. About 12 o'clock at night Chiders brig got safe out bound for Jamaica.
Saturday 10th. The Spaniards took the Port Royals boat & crew of 9 men who went on shore at Rose Island for their Stock. Captain Roberts arrive this afternoon in a schooner which he took on Wednesday night last near Round Isle. She had on board Don Galvez's stock, etc., etc.
Sunday 11th. The enemy erected batteries on Rose Island which obliged the Mentor and Port Royal to quit their station. Some of their vessels attempted to come over the bar but put back. One of their men of war was struck as she was coming over, but got off again in about 20 minutes.
Monday 12th. From the fort at the cliffs they fired three shot at the enemy who were erecting a Battery on the point of Rose Island which obliged them to quit.
Tuesday 13th. Nothing extraordinary.
Wednesday 14th. The enemy ships towards night made a manouvre to the southwards.
Thursday 15th. The enemy ships remained the same as yesterday except a few which changed their berths towards night.
Friday 16th. The enemy remained the same as yesterday.
Saturday 17th. The enemy attempted to land at the mouth of the Perdido under cover of two row galleys--the number of Indians in sight prevented them. Three row galleys kept within the bar sounding the channel at which the Fort at the cliffs fired some shot.
Sunday 18th. The Mentor, Port Royal and the other vessels came up from their stations abreast of the town and Galvez's brig & three row galleys passed the fort at the cliffs & anchored under their Batteries on Rose Island.
Monday 19th. About 2 o'clock p.m. 22 sails of the enemy's vessels came over the bar and passed the fort at the cliffs without receiving any damage.
Tuesday 20th. Captain Stevens arrived with a party of Indians who informs us that yesterday they fell in with an enemy boat & crew consisting of eleven men ten of which were killed and one brought in prisoner who informs us that on their passage from the Havanah he saw an Englaish fleet, which was the fleet that sailed from here on the 25th Fed'y for England, but they being much to Windward they could not catch them after 24 hours chase.
About 5 o'clock p.m. Gen. Galvez sent a flag of truce to Genl. Campbell to the same purpose as Lord Albemarle sent at the siege of the Havana which was not to burn the shipping, King building, or town & threatened very much-Gen. Campbell's answer to which was that the threats of an enemy was not to be minded. About 8 o'clock at night the block house on Tartar Point was set on fire by out people as a signal of the enemy attempting to land.
Wednesday 21st. About 10 o'clock a.m. General Campbell sent colonel Dickson of the 16th reg't foot and Lieut. Gordon his aid de camp as flag of truce to Galvez-½ after 3 o'clock p.m. 2 brigs & 3 row galleys passed the fort at the cliffs. 9 o'clock at night the block house & the Blue Store at the cliffs was set on fire by our people.
Thursday 22d. The enemy landed on Tartar Point under cover of the Galvez brig & 2 row galleys about noon Gen. Galvez sent a flag of truce to General Campbell-4 o'clock p.m. 2 polacres and 3 small vessels passed the fort at the Cliffs.
Friday 23d. One o'clock p.m. a sloop came over the bar-4 o'clock 16 vessels passed the fort at the cliffs-about ½ after six o'clock the 16th & 60th. Regiments evacuated the town of Pensacola & took their stations at the Redoubts-the 16th the advanced, and the 60th the center one.
Saturday 24th. 9 o'clock a.m. the Spanish Admiral got under way & stood to the Eastward. Mr. Stephenson went a flag of truce from the Governor to the Don concerning the Town women & children-a large transport of the enemy struck on the 10 foot band as she was coming in.
Sunday 25th. 9 o'clock a.m. The Indians brought in 23 horses belonging to the enemy and 2 scalps.
Monday 26th. 4 o'clock p.m. The enemy's fleet weighed anchor and took their stations between Moore & Sutton's Lagoons. We imagining that they meant to land, sent out a detachment of a hundred men under the command of captain Byrd who were joined by two hundred & fifty Indians under Captain Cameron.
Tuesday 27th. 7 o'clock a.m. Three of the Indians came from the mouth of Sutton's Lagoon who say that they saw a few of the enemy landed there, upon which the whole of the Indians went down to Neil's House where five boats of the enemy were attempting to land, but upon the Indians firing they retired to their shipping. 42 sails of the Spanish fleet took their station between Moor & Neil's houses.
Wednesday 28th. Arrived an express from the cliffs informing us that a schooner came from the westward and attempting to pass the fort she received a shot in her hull which occasioned her running aground on Rose Island.
Thursday 29th. About 9 o'clock a.m. some of the Indians came in and say that they had a brush yesterday afternoon the other side of Sutton's Lagoon with the enemy and drove in the picket three times upon which their grenadiers turned out and fired twice at them and retired. 4 of the Indians were wounded, one which is wounded in the neck with small shot. The Indians report that they killed and wounded a number of the enemy but could not get their hair on account of the enemy's troops turning out with a number of dragoons.
Mr. Roberts went to the cliffs in a boat in case an English fleet appeared off to pilot them in as we have every reason to expect a reinforcement with a strong convoy under Admiral Rowley.
Friday 30th. About 8 o'clock an advanced picquet under the command of Captain Kennedy of the Maryland Loyalists was obliged to retreat as the enemy was marching down upon them and began to fire their field pieces 10 o'clock Capt Kenedy's party marched down to Neil's meadows about a mile and a quarter from our works. About 2 o'clock the Indians went there also and attacked the main body of the enemy and kept up a very heavy fire until 5 o'clock at which time they were supported by Captain Johnstone with two field pieces and 1 howitzer, also by 50 negroes. Lieutenant Meggs went with 25 men of the 60th to cover the field pieces. On account of the heavy fire they received from Captain Johnstone, The Indians and Negroes they retired under cover of their shipping & galleys. ½ after 5 o'clock Capt. Johnstone & Lieut. Meggs returned. The Indians came in and brought with them 4 of the enemy's drums, 1 head and a number of scalps. The inhabitants of the Town say that they saw a shell from the howitzer fall in the midst of 13 boats full of men coming on shore, which made them return again to their ships. We have one Indian killed and 2 slightly wounded and one Negro wounded in the foot.
Saturday 31st. The enemy encamped in Neil's Meadow.
Sunday April 1st. The enemy was seen reconnoitering all round us. Mr. Roberts returned from the Cliffs having seen nothing.
Monday 2d. Found one of our soldiers dead who was killed by the enemy on the 30th March last, who we imagined had had deserted. The enemy this evening embarked all their troops.
Tuesday 3d. About 2 o'clock p.m. the enemy disembarked their grenadiers and dragoons. The Galvez brig went up the Bay, imagined to take all the vessels & goods she fell in with.
Wednesday 4th. Last night the enemy took possession of the Port Royal, which had on board about 100 Spanish prisoners-also 3 other ships and small crafts.
Thursday 5th. A schooner passed the fort at the cliffs and joined the enemy's fleet. By some people that came from up the bay we are informed that the Galvez brig has take the Polacre which was taken by the Mentor some time ago & 5 boats at Clarke's Plantation.
By Mr. Stephenson who came from the Spanish camp we are informed that it lies along Sutton Lagoon, having the Lagoon upon the rear and an intrenchment in front.
N.B. The Indians at night attacked both wings of the enemy's camp & kept them under arms the whole night
Friday 6th. Nothing extraordinary.
Saturday 7th. Nothing extraordinary.
Sunday 8th. Mr. Stephenson went as a flag to the Don.
Monday 9th. As one the artillery was firing one of the 24 pounders for the morning gun it burst, but did not hurt anybody. About 5 o'clock p.m. a brig passed the fort at the cliffs and joined the enemy fleet. John & Alex'r McGilliverays came in with 70 Creek along with them.
Tuesday 10th. One of the Waldeck who was taken at Baton Rouge and had inlisted in the Reg't of Louisiana deserted and came and joined his regiment. He says that the enemy are where bad off for provisions & men only get 1 pound of meat per day.
Wednesday 11th. Nothing extraordinary.
Thursday 12th. The enemy was seen reconnoitering upon the opposite Hills. A few Indians went out and had a skirmish with them. As Lieut Pinhorn was going out he received a shot in the head. They fired several shot at the enemy from the fort and the advanced redoubt. A grape shot from the fort killed one of the Waldeck centries and wounded a sergeant. The Indians brought in a couple of Spanish muskets. One of the frigates and a Scow went down and laid abreast Rose Island. 8 o'clock p.m. Lieut Pinhorn died of his wound.
Friday 13th. The enemy encamped upon the opposite hills and seen throwing up a breast work before their camp. The frigate came up again. A Polacre passed the fort at the cliffs and joined the enemy's fleet.
Saturday 14th. Nothing extraordinary.
N.B. B. James & A Frazer arrived with about 90 Choctaws.
Monday 16th. Nothing extraordinary.
1781 Friday March 9th. Appeared in sight a Spanish fleet consisting of 32 sail of vessels. The same night they landed a number of men on St. Rose Island.
Tuesday 17th. Last night about eight o'clock a sergeant of the regiment of Flanders deserted from the enemy who confirms all that the Waldeck said that the enemy is very bad off for provisions-and that Galvez for slightly wounded on Thursday last. 11 o'clock a.m. an express arrived from St. Augustine with duplicate of the letters that were received some time ago informing us that Lord Cornwallis had an engagement with the Rebels at Hillsborrough, North Carolina, and had killed 3000 of the Rebels. A party of the Creeks that came with the express took a boat belonging to the enemy at Deer Point-they killed 3 of the crew and took one prisoner.
N.B. This afternoon five Negroes took a Spaniard at Gull Point.
Wednesday 18th. Yesterday afternoon the inhabitants took a Spaniard upon Mr. Stephenson's wharf. About 9 o'clock a.m. a Polacre came from the eastward and a brig from the westward passed the fort at the cliffs and joined the enemy fleet and about 5 o'clock the enemy began to fire a feu de joy.
N.B. Early this morning began to erect a mortar battery inside the abbattis at the advanced redoubt.
Thursday 19th. Mes'r Faver and a party of Indians went and laid close to the enemy's camp and this morning they had a skirmish with the Spaniards. The Indians brought in with them a scalp. One of the Indians got wounded in the thigh. This morning about 8 o'clock the Creeks brought the prisoner which they took in the boat at Deer Point. About 11 o'clock there appeared in the offang 7 vessels consisting of six ships and a brig the largest ship of which got aground but got off again. They fired several guns hoisted signals, and stood off and on.
Friday 20th. About ½ after 4 o'clock p.m. the brig kept off & on the bar. 5 o'clock 3 row galleys went down and anchored under their batteries at Rose Island-the brig stood to the eastward.
Saturday 21st. Early this morning the three row galleys got over the bar and stood along Rose Island to the eastward about eleven o'clock on of the row galleys came in over the bar. 1 o'clock four vessels seen in the offang. About 4 o'clock Mr. Colbert arrived from the cliffs and informs us that the vessels in the offang consist of 7 line of battle ships, 9 frigates, and a few brigs, sloops, etc. and that the ship that got aground yesterday afternoon was obliged to throw her guns overboard as two of their carriages and number of casks came ashore at the cliffs which upon examining they proved to be either French or Spanish. 4 o'clock a sloop came over the bar from the fleet outside and joined the enemy's fleet.
Sunday 22d. About 6 o'clock a.m. a deserter came from the enemy who say that they are very bad off for provisions-a man only get three ounces of beans per day. About 12 o'clock we observed about 5 or 600 of the enemy on a hill within the distance of 300 yards from the advanced Reboubt and fire five guns at them. They then retreated there was immediately some cracker and Indians pursued them also a detachment from the 60th & Provincials Reg't and the command of Capt. Byrd who when they got upon the ground found that the enemy had retired to their camp. As Mr. Gordon aid du campt General Campbell was reconnoitering he got from one Simon's people who found it the plan of the enemy's works and the manner they mean to attack us. The advanced redoubt is their chief object finding this we imagine the engineer was killed by one of the cannon shot as the tree that he was standing was struck and near it a great quantity of blood. About 4 o'clock some small vessels passed the Cliffs and joined the enemy fleet. The enemy seen disembarking several hundred men at Sutton Lagoon.
Monday 23d. 12 o'clock at night 40 Rank & file of the 60th under the command of Capt. Byrd and 100 Indians went in front of the advanced redoubts about 300 yards.
N.B. Two of Waldecks killed by some Indians as they were cutting branches of trees for abbatis.
Tuesday 24th. Between 7 & 8 o'clock a body of about 300 of the enemy was seen advancing upon which the Indians went and their fire made the Indians retire upon which Capt. Byrd with the 60th advanced within 70 yards of them and gave them a volley upon which they retreated very precipitately. 1 of the 60th slightly wounded in the leg 8 o'clock Capt. Kearney with 50 Provincians and Captain Johnstone with 2 Howitzers & 2 field pieces went to his support ½ after 8 o'clock Capt. Byrd with his party and the artillery came in. 2 o'clock p.m. a brig came between Neil's & Christie house and fired two guns at the fort at which the fort and Waldeck and Provincians Redoubts fired several shot. 3 o'clock Capt. Johnstone with one howitzer and a party of the Waldecks went upon the beach and began to fire from the howitzer upon which the brig retired. About 5 o'clock Capt. Kearney with his party had a brush with the enemy who was endeavoring to gain the height-but then retired: he took one prisoner belonging to the Irish brigade. Dawes arrived from Carolina, who brings account that Lord Cornwallis had totally defeated the Rebels at Guildford Killed 2000 of them, and taken a number of cannon stores prisoners upon the news of which at 8 o'clock we fired a feu de joy.
Wednesday 25th. About 7 o'clock a.m. the advanced picquet had a skirmish with the enemy and beat them off. We had one of the Provincials dangerously wounded.
Thursday 26th. We are informed by Mr. Stephenson who went as a flag truce from the to the Gen. Galvez's that the fleet on the outside consists of 11 Spanish and 4 French line of battle ships and a few frigates. Early this morning two field pieces and 50 men of the 16 & 60 Regt. Went out as an advanced picquet under the command of Lieut. Carrigue and Ward. About 4 o'clock p.m. the enemy advanced with their field pieces but was drove back by the picquet the advanced redoubt fired several shot at them and the center fired one. finished the counter battery on the left wing and began on the right wing of the A. Redoubt.
Friday 27th. Capt. Kennedy went with 50 Provincials relieved Lt. Carrigue at 8 o'clock; between 10 & 11 o'clock the enemy was seen advancing with their field pieces. Some of the Indians got away upon their back and began to fire from their field pieces & from our and kept up a fire till 2 o'clock. they fired several howitzers and shot from the advanced redoubts. 2 o'clock p.m. Colvertson a half breed arrived with 54 Chickasaws with him. The Indians came about 2 o'clock and brought a great number of scalps, firelocks and bayonets. One of the interpreter says that 3 shells from the howitzer burst in the center of a column and that the enemy had a party of men to carry off the dead & wounded.
Saturday 28th. Last night two deserters from the Irish brigade who inform us that the Enemy had in the engagement yesterday 100 men killed and wounded. About ½ after 11 o'clock three deserters came from the enemy-one of them belonged to the 16 & one to the Provincials who inform the General that great number of them would desert if the General would forgive and agree upon a signal which was to fire three guns at 12 o'clock which was complied with 5 o'clock two vessels appeared off towards the eastward upon which some of the ships on the outside weighed anchor, and stood towards them. at sunset Colbert went with a party of Chickasaws with ammunition to the Cliffs.
Sunday 29th. The enemy early this morning was seen throwing up an entrenchment which they had begun last night. It is in length about 2 miles. About 1 o'clock p.m. our advanced picquet was obliged to retire near the advanced redoubt as the enemy had got some 9 and 12 pounders upon their flanks, fired from the fort and the two redoubts several shot and shells during the day & night at the enemy's works.
Monday 30th. About 2 o'clock this morning the enemy drove in our advanced picquet. 8 a.m. the Indians brought in a prisoner which they took close to the enemy work. it was with great difficulty they gave him up.
N.B. A French frigate came over the Bar and joined the enemy's fleet inside.
Tuesday May 1st. Kept up a fire from the fort and the two redoubts during the day & night at the enemy works, they cut out 7 embrasure and had 3 guns mounted.
Wednesday 2d. May. About 9 o'clock this morning the enemy hoisted their flag & open batteries of 6 24 lb and 2 mortars. They killed us one man & wounded five, but did no other material damage. Toward night the enemy's slackened considerable. At night we repaired the damage they did & made another maretim at the advanced redoubt.
N.B. Our people picked up a number of the enemy shot which 24 pounders and some shells that will not burst.
Thursday 3d. Last night the enemy was heard working in the fort of the advanced redoubt, about the distance of ½ a mile & this morning we fired at them now and then, but could not hurt as they were behind a hill. The enemy fired during the day 534 shot and 186 shells. they killed one man of the 16th & wound one of the seamen belonging to the Port Royal, and one man of the 16th. But did very little damage otherwise. At night we repaired the work at the advanced Redoubt and worked at the counter battery on the right wing.
N.B. Our people picked up today about 400 shot, some of which we returned the don.
P.S. Two Row galleys came and laid opposite the west end of the town.
Friday 4th. About 4 o'clock we began to fire upon the enemy from the advanced redoubt at their battery and the people at work in front. 12 o'clock 94 Provincials under the command of Major McDonald and Waldecks under the command of Lt. Col. De Horn to support them, stormed the works in front of the advanced redoubt, burnt their works and spiked six pieces of cannon 8 & 4 pounder the enemy had a great many killed wounded and taken prisoners, among which there are one Captain, 1 Lieut. Of the Irish brigade, and 1 Lieut of the Reg't of Majorca, 4 privates. We had 1 sergt. of the Provincials killed, and one man of the Light horse wounded. The Provincials brought in one drum, a number of muskets & swords. Ensign Ursel of the Waldeck was killed by a cannon ball and one private wounded. The enemy fired 171 shot and 37 shells during the day.
N.B. The Lieut. Of the Irish brigade died of his wounds and was buried with the honors of war. His name was Lt. O'Dun.
Saturday 5th. The enemy ships on the outside of Rose Island are gone off about six o'clock two deserters from the French train of artillery came in who inform that the enemy loss yesterday amounted to 30 killed among which is a Major of the Catalonia Volunteers, and that on Wednesday we dismounted one of their 24 pounders. the deserters have agreed to act with the artillery. The enemy fired during the day 85 shots and 43 shells we had no body hurt-kept firing from the advanced redoubt during the night shells and grape shot at the enemy working in their front. The enemy throwed a few shells at night.
N.B. One of the prisoners died of his wounds.
Sunday 6th. 2 ships of the enemy fleet on the outside appeared off and came to an anchor. Last night fell a very heavy rain, which wash some of the sand from the Barone of the fort and two redoubts about ½ after 9 o'clock the enemy began to fire from two mortars they had in their work in the front of the advanced redoubt the shot and shell fired from the enemy during the day amount to 563 shot and 206 shells. We have one Waldeck, one bombard'r & one sailor wounded by a shell. as one of the seamen belonging to the Port Royal was picking up the shot fired from the enemy a 24 lb ball struck him in the britch and buried itself in his flesh-he lived after it about five hours.
N.B. The enemy kept up a very heavy fire which hurt our advanced redoubt very much and dismounted three pieces of cannon 12 & 9 pounder. The works we repaired at night and shett up the 2 embrasure fronting the enemy flank battery.
Monday 7th. About 6 o'clock a.m. a shell from the enemy's flank battery fell in a tent at the advance redoubt in which some men of the artillery were making fuses for the shells-a number of loaded shells & loose powder laying about, it blew up a box of powder & burst a shell which killed one man of the Waldeck train & wounded another. A deserted came in from the enemy. He is a German & belonged to the Reg't of Flanders. Informs us that the Dons are very bad off for provisions & that Don Galvez's & the French General do not agree-he told Galvez that if we did not surrender on the 8th. instant that he would withdraw his troops & vessels and go upon the expedition he was destined for, & he further says that a shell from us yesterday killed 1 Captain, 1 Lt. & 12 privates of the Catalonian volunteers. Yesterday one of the Pennsylvania Loyalists attempted to desert, but was taken and brought in by the Indians when he received 500 lashes and today about 12 o'clock he was drummed out of the regiment with his hand tied behind & large libel pinned to his breast with his crime. He was escorted close to the Spanish lines & left there to his fate, but he soon returned.
The whole of the Indians went out about ½ past 12 o'clock to endeavour to get upon the rear of the enemy's encampment, they would not suffer a white man to go with them, they returned in a short time with ten scalps. About 2 o'clock p.m. a shell from the enemy's flank battery came in at a window of one of the barrack rooms of the advanced redoubt which killed Lieut. Carroll & wounded Capt'n Forster of the 16th Reg't. Our fire from the advanced redoubt did the enemy a great deal of damage to their works in our front.
6 o'clock p.m. we imagine that their mortar beds in their front battery is hurt as they have not thrown any shells since 2 o'clock. about 8 o'clock Capt. Kearney with sixty of the Pennsylvania Loyalists took the command at the advanced redoubt & the 16th Reg't took position of their camp.
Tuesday 8th May. About 9 o'clock a.m. a shell from the enemy's front battery was thrown in at the door of the Magazine at the advanced redoubt, (as the men were receiving powder) which blew it up and killed forty seamen belonging to H.M. ships the Mentor & Port Royal & forty-five men of the Pennsylvania Loyalists were killed by the same explosion-there were a number of men wounded besides. Capt. Byrd with seventy men of the 60th regiment immediately went up to the advanced redoubt & brought off 2 field pieces & one howitzer & a number of the wounded men, but was obliged to retired as a great quantity of shell was laying about the filled.
10 o'clock the enemy took possession of the remains of the advanced redoubt & kept up from it a very heavy fire of small arms, & cannon from their flank battery upon the center redoubt, which wounded Lieut. Ward & 18 men of the 60th. reg't. & 12 seamen, a number of whom died of their wounds, as they were mostly wounded in the head.
About 2 o'clock p.m. hoisted a flag of truce from Fort George, & offered to surrender upon capitulation. Lieut. Meggs of the 60th Reg't went as a hostage from us, & we received Lieut. Kenny of the Reg't of Hibernians from the enemy.
Wednesday 9th May. All day settling terms.
Thursday 10th. About 5 o'clock p.m. we surrendered to the arms of Spain. The Spanish grenadiers under the command of Don Bernard de Galvez took possession of Fort George & the lines, & sixty French chasseurs of the center redoubt.
Friday 11th. The Corps under the command of Lieut. General Campbell incamped on the east side of the town.
June 1st. Embarked on board of the Spanish transports.
June 5th. Sailed from Pensacola.
June 20th. Arrived at the Havanna where we remained till the 30th to take provision & water when we sailed for N. York where we arrived upon the 12th July when the diff't corps were order to be cantoned in and about New Town L. Island.