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The conduct of Rodney was not merely unwarrantably rigorous, but evinced a cupidity of disposition, and an oppressive exercise of power, that was dishonorable to himself and his country; for he not only seized all the property which might be considered liable to capture by the laws of war, but declared all the private property on the island to be confiscated; and it was sold at public auction. The neighboring islands of St. Martin and Saba surrendered at discretion ; and the colonies of Demarara and Issiquibo, on the Spanish Main, and the French island of St. Bartholomew, were soon after added to the conquests of Admiral Rodney and General Vaughan. For the protection of the British commerce in the North Sea, and preventing the Dutch from receiving supplies of naval stores from the Baltic, a squadron, consisting of four ships of the line, and a fifty-four gun ship, was fitted out at Portsmouth, and placed under the command of Admiral Hyde Parker, who sailed early in June, 1781. About the middle of July, Admiral Zoutman and Commodore Kindsbergen sailed from the Texel, with a large convoy under their protection, destined for the Baltic. Their force consisted of eight ships of the line, ten frigates, and five sloops of war. At this time, Admiral Parker was returning from Elsineur, with a great number of merchantmen; and, having been joined by several frigates and a ship of the line, his fleet consisted of five ships of the line, six frigates, and a ten gun cutter. The hostile fleets came in sight of each other the fifth of August, on the Dogger Bank. One of the Dutch ships of the line had returned to port, and was replaced by a frigate of forty-four guns. The British commander, having detached the merchant ships under his convoy, with instructions to keep their wind, and sent his frigates to protect them, threw out a signal to his squadron to chase. The Dutch also sent off their convoy, drew up in order of battle, and awaited the attack with great coolness. Admiral Parker, in the Fortitude, of seventy-four guns, ranging abreast of Admiral Zoutman's ship, the De Ruyter, of sixty-eight guns, the action commenced with the utmost fury on both sides. The cannonade continued without intermission, for nearly four hours. Some of the British ships fired twenty-five hundred shot each. In the beginning of the battle, the British fire was remarkably quick, while that of the Dutch was slow; but before the close the case was reversed. At length, the British ships were so unmanageable, in consequence of their shattered condition, that Admiral Parker found it impracticable to maintain the line of battle. The Dutch fleet was in a still worse condition, as some of the ships had received several shot under water; and both fleets lay to a considerable time, near each other. At last, the Dutch bore away for the Texel, and the British were not in a condition to follow them. This action was the most obstinate and sanguinary which had been fought during the war, and both sides claimed the victory. The Hollandia, of sixty-eight guns, went down, in the night after the engagement, so suddenly, that the wounded could not be removed. The slaughter in each squadron was very great; the British had four hundred and forty-three killed and wounded, and the Dutch nearly a thousand. In England, Admiral Parker's heroic conduct excited general commendation; but the neglect of the admiralty in not furnishing him with a larger force, produced great dissatisfaction. The king visited the Fortitude, and invited the admiral to dine with him, on board the royal yacht. The admiral availed himself of the occasion, in the presence of the first Lord of the Admiralty, of intimating his dissatisfaction, and his determination to retire from the navy, by saying to the king, that “he had grown too old for the service, and wished him younger officers and better ships;” and soon after resigned. This engagement produced great excitement and rejoicing in Holland. Doubt had been exchanged to confidence in their strength on the ocean. It was the first action, of any consequence, in which they had been engaged for nearly a quarter of a century. The valor displayed was equal to that of their ancestors, in the contests with the fleets of Cromwell, and Charles the Second. Admiral Zoutman and Commodore Kindsbergen were immediately promoted, and most of the other officers advanced or honorably noticed. Early in the spring, an expedition for the capture of the Cape of Good Hope, left England, under Commodore Johnstone. The naval force consisted of two ships of the line, one of fifty guns, and several frigates, sloops of war, fire and bomb-ships, and was accompanied by a number of Indiamen, transports, store and ordnance vessels, amounting, in the whole, to more than forty sail, having on board three thousand troops, commanded by General Meadows. The government of Holland, having received intelligence of the destination of that armament, and being alarmed at the exposed condition of all their eastern possessions, applied to France for assistance to protect them against the menaced attack from Great Britain; and, in conformity thereto, a squadron of five ships of the line, and a number of frigates, with a body of land forces, was fitted out at Brest, and placed under the command of Admiral Suffrein, who was directed to pursue and counteract the movements of Commodore Johnstone. Johnstone put into the Cape de Verd Islands, for water and fresh provisions, and, not being apprehensive of an attack in that position, the ships were anchored, without much order, in the open harbor of St. Jago; and a great number of the seamen and officers were on shore, when, on the morning of the sixteenth of April, the French squadron was discovered approaching the island. Signals were instantly made for unmooring, recalling the people on shore, and preparing for action. Suffrein, leaving his convoy, entered the harbor, each of his ships firing on both sides as they passed. The Hannibal, of seventy-four guns, led the way, and when as near the British as she could fetch, dropped her anchor. Suffrein's own ship, the Heros, of the same force, took the next place, and the Artesien, of sixty-four guns, anchored astern of the Heros. The Vengeur and Sphynx, of sixty-four guns each, ranged up and down through the throng of ships, and fired on either side, at every one they passed. The ship of Commodore Johnstone, being too far advanced towards the head of the bay, he quitted her, and went on board another. The action lasted about an hour and a half. The captain of the Artesien, and many of the crew, having been killed, and the ship much injured, her cables were cut, and she went out of the harbor, and was soon followed by all the others. The Hannibal lost all her masts, and was towed out. Johnstone pursued, but the damage the Isis sustained, and the direction of the wind and currents, with the lateness of the day, prevented him from renewing the engagement. The French squadron proceeded to the Cape of Good Hope, where it arrived on the twenty-first of June, and landed a large body of troops. This fortunate relief, having frustrated the plan of Commodore Johnstone, he determined to attempt the capture of several homeward-bound Dutch East Indiamen, which were anchored in Soldanha Bay, about fourteen leagues to the northward of Cape-town. On his approach, the commanders of the ships cut their cables, run them on shore, and set them on fire ; but the boats of the squadron having been instantly manned, four of the ships were boarded, the flames extinguished, and saved from the general conflagration. Louis XVI., having engaged to co-operate with Spain in the recovery of Minorca, the Duke de Crillon, a distinguished French general, was taken into the service of that kingdom, and appointed to command the forces which were to be employed in the expedition; and Count de Guichen sailed from Brest, the last of June, with eighteen ships of the line, four of which carried one hundred and ten guns, to join the Spanish fleet and support the invasion. The island surrendered on the fifth of February. The combined fleets sailed from Cadiz, with ten thousand troops, before the end of July. The French had been reinforced by several ships of the line, and the Spanish fleet amounted to about thirty sail of the line, under Don Louis de Cordova. After the army had been landed, the combined fleets returned from the Mediterranean, to cruise in the British Channel. No intelligence of this movement was received, or was the design suspected in England, until the fleets appeared in the chops of the Channel, and had formed a line from Ushant to the Isles of Scilly. Under these unexpected circumstances, Admiral Darby, with twenty-one ships of the line, returned to Torbay, the latter part of August, and moored his squadron across the entrance, and there awaited orders from the Admiralty. As soon as the commanders of the combined fleets received information of Darby’s position, a council of war was held, on the question of attacking him. De Guichen contended earnestly for an immediate attack, and Don Vincent Doz, the third in rank of the Spanish admirals, supported this opinion, and offered to command the van division, and lead on the attack in his own ship ; but, as De Beusset, the next admiral in command under De Guichen, was opposed, as well as Don Louis de Cordova, and all the other flag officers, the attempt was abandoned. This is too commonly the result of all combined operations, not only when the fleets and armies of different nations are employed, but even when those of the same nation are required to act in concert; for the jealousies and rivalries as to the chief command, and the consequent inharmonious movements, generally render all such conjunct expeditions unsuccessful, if not disastrous and disgraceful to all the parties concerned in them. Whenever different fleets or armies, or naval and military forces, are to be employed to accomplish any object, the chief and absolute command must be invested in one officer. As there was an immense outward-bound fleet of merchant and other vessels, collected in the open harbor of Cork, destined for America and the West Indies, great apprehensions were entertained for its safety, and active measures were adopted for its protection. Admiral Darby's squadron, in Torbay, was reinforced to thirty sail; but the delay occasioned in collecting the ships from other ports, and adverse winds, prevented him from sailing until the middle of September. Before that time, however, the commanders of the combined fleets of France and Spain, in consequence of the great sickness which prevailed in each, and the impaired condition of many of the ships, had relinquished the project of intercepting the British convoy, and separated. That of France returned to Brest, and the Spanish to its own ports. Captain John Barry, who had acquired a high reputation for his intelligence and gallantry, was appointed to the command of the Alliance, of thirty-two guns, and sailed from Boston in February, 1781, for France, having on board Colonel John Laurens, who had been deputed to the court of Versailles, by Congress, to negotiate a loan, and procure munitions of war. On his return, he encountered the Atalanta, of sixteen guns, and the Trepassay, of fourteen, which were captured after a severe action of more than an hour. The enemy had forty-one men killed and wounded. Captain Barry received a grape-shot through his shoulder, and had eleven men killed and twenty-one wounded. A large French fleet was prepared at Brest, in the spring of 1781, under Count De Grasse, who was directed to proceed to the West Indies, and from thence to the coast of the United States, to co-operate with the combined armies under General Washington and Count Rochambeau. Sir George Rodney, having received information of the approach of the Count, detached Admirals Hood and Drake, with seventeen sail of the line, to cruise off Fort Royal, in Martinico, for the purpose of intercepting him. On the twenty-eighth of April, he was discovered, with a numerous convoy, to the windward of Point Salines, when the signal was made for a general chase; and, during the night, such a disposition was made by the British admirals, as to enable them to close in with Fort Royal at daylight, with the design of preventing the enemy from entering the harbor. In the morning, however, the French fleet appeared to windward, in a line of battle abreast, and the convoy was close in with the land. An engagement soon after commenced, which lasted three hours. Five of the British ships were so much injured as to be unfit for service, and the Russel received so many shots between wind and water, that she was obliged to proceed to the island of St. Eustatia. The next day, the French com. mander endeavored to bring on a close engagement, but this was avoided by Admiral Hood, and in the night he bore away for Antigua. The French pursued in the morning, but were not enabled to come up with the British fleet during the day. Three days after the arrival of the Russel at St. Eustatia, Admiral Rod. ney and General Vaughan proceeded with three ships, and some land forces, to join Admiral Hood, for the purpose of protecting the British islands. On the twenty-third of May, a small French squadron, with about twelve hundred troops, appeared off Tobago, and the next day they were landed. The governor immediately sent a vessel to Admiral Rodney, who was at Barbadoes, to apprise him of his position. The admiral despatched Drake with six sail of the line, several frigates, and six or seven hundred soldiers, to the relief of the island. On his arrival, in the morning of the thirtieth, he discovered the fleet of Count De Grasse to leeward, and, as. certaining that it consisted of twenty-seven ships of the line, he hauled his wind and returned to Barbadoes. On the thirty-first, another body of twelve hundred men were landed at Tobago, and the governor surrendered to the Marquis De Bouille on the second of June, on which day, Admiral Rodney sailed from Barbadoes for his relief, with a fleet of twenty-one sail of the line. The day after his arrival off the island, the French fleet appeared, consisting of twenty-four sail of the line. The British ships cleared for action. De Grasse was to leeward, and ready for an engagement, but Rodney declined fighting, and the Count sailed for Martinico. Chevalier Ternay, the commander of the squadron which brought the French army to Newport, having died there, he was succeeded by Count De Barras; and, it having been decided that the future operations of the united land and naval forces of the United States and France, should be directed against Lord Cornwallis, in Virginia, De Barras sailed from Chesapeake Bay on the twenty-fifth of August, with the train of artillery and other munitions of war of the French army, where he expected to meet the fleet of Count De Grasse. That admiral having sailed, with a large convoy, from Martinico, on the fifth of July, arrived at Cape Francois by the middle of the month, where he was reinforced by five ships of the line. Early in August, he departed with a vast commercial fleet, destined for Europe; and, after proceeding with it until he considered it out of danger, he directed his course, with twenty-eight sail of the line, for Chesapeake Bay. The ultimate destination of De Grasse having been ascertained by the British cabinet, orders were sent to Sir George Rodney, to counteract the movements of the French fleet; who immediately sent Sir Samuel Hood, with fourteen sail of the line, and several frigates, to the American coast; and, at the same time, forwarded despatches to New York, to acquaint the British commanders of the army and navy, of the destination of Count De Grasse, and of Hood's squadron; but not having been received in time to enable those officers to take advantage of the information they contained, Sir Samuel was disappointed when he arrived off Chesapeake Bay, in not meeting Admiral Graves, with the ships from New York, and therefore proceeded to Sandy Hook, where he arrived on the twenty-eighth of August. The British commanders in New York having that day received information that De Barras had left New York, the combined squadrons sailed on the thirtieth, in pursuit. In the mean time, Count De Grasse had arrived in Chesapeake Bay, and after blockading York River, he took a position in James River, for the purpose of covering the boats of the fleet, which were to convey the Marquis de St. Simon, with thirty-three hundred troops, up that river, to form a junction with General La Fayette. Admiral Graves had not received any intelligence of the arrival of the French fleet, till it was dis. covered at anchor near Cape Henry, early in the morning of the fifth of September, amounting to twenty-four sail of the line. The French ships immediately slipped their cables and stood out to sea. The British fleet consisted of nineteen ships of the line, and two ships of fifty guns. Admiral Graves made the signal for the several ships to form the line as they came up. From various causes of delay, the action did not commence till four o'clock, and was then but partial, as only the van and a part of the British centre were able to approach near enough to engage with effect. As eighteen hundred of Count De Grasse's seamen, and ninety officers, were employed in transporting St. Simon's troops up James River, and it being very important to keep possession of Chesapeake Bay, he was more anxious to preserve his ships for the main object of the combined land and naval expedition, than to risk a close and vigorous action at that time. Admiral Drake, with the rear division, became the van, in consequence of the British fleet having tacked, and was closely engaged with the fore

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