The Spanish Invasion of St. Simon's

In its failure, the 1740 expedition against St. Augustine accomplished the opposite of its intended purpose.
Stirred up like a nest of enraged hornets, the Spanish began a two year process of assembling a force
of ships and men capable of driving the English from the Southeast. Their first goal was to capture
St. Simons on which sat Georgia's main outpost to the south, Fort Frederica. If they succeeded in
capturing this stronghold and Georgia's leader, Oglethorpe, who resided on St. Simons most of the
time, the rest of the colony would fall easily. South Carolina would be next.

The leaders of the two colonies knew some sort of retaliation for the failed expedition would be
attempted and began making half-hearted preparations to counter it. The day long-dreaded by them
arrived on June 22nd. A Spanish fleet suddenly appeared off St. Simon's Island. The fleet
had attacked British positions on Amelia and Cumberland Islands on its way up from St. Augustine.

Accounts in some history books of the ensuing invasion of St. Simons accuse South Carolina
of dragging their feet in sending adequate and timely aid to help repel the Spanish. These
accusations were based primarily on the same accusation made by Oglethorpe in a letter
e wrote after the enemy had been repulsed. Gleanings from the journals of the South Carolina
Governor and Council and the South Carolina Commons House of Assembly and day-by-day
reports from the "South Carolina Gazette's" weekly issues refute this charge as well as providing
a good thumbnail chronology of the historic encounter.

Two letters written to the South Carolina government by Major Alexander Heron, one of Oglethorpe's officers,
and recorded in the July 4, 1742 session of the Governor and Council Journal, give a vivid picture
 the battle zone's rampant confusion:

"His Honor the Lieut. Govr. produced several Letters he had just now received from Georgia giving
an Account of the Spaniards having made an Incursion on that Colony. One from Major Heron dated
Camp at St. Simons 25th June 1742 Vizt

"Sir
  For these five or six days several Spanish Vessels have been lurking above
Fort William St. Andrews and this place.  Last night about 7 oclock five
Galleys came into Cumberland Sound and engaged the General who was passing 70
or 80 Soldiers, Indians and others to the relief of Fort William and St.
Andrews both of which places I hear before this are fallen into their Hands.
As to the General God Almighty knows what's come of him and the people with
him for we have not seen nor heard from him since the five galleys engaged him
in my sight as I stood ready to pass to St. Andrews with 100 men and 25
Indians.  He hath no chance of being safe without he get to the main.  I
seeing the communication quite cut off by the above 5 gallies made the
speediest retreat I could to strengthen this place in which I shall make the
best defence I am capable of.  The Masters of vessels now in our Harbor have
at my request agreed to go on board Captn. Thompson's Ship which is a Vessel
of Force and our prize in order to make the best defence they can upon water
and I have faced a Battery of 3 Guns about half a mile up this reach to the
westward and shall make the best use I can of the 3 Eighteen pounders in the
Fort which may give them great disturbance in passing.  the Enemy have a very
considerable Fleet now off the North point of Cumberland as our Bar is very
good.  We may expect the large Vessels as well as the small ones here at
furthest by tomorrow.  I shall not easily quit this place well knowing that if
we are overpowered here they will soon fall upon you but I would beg of you as
well for the good of His Majesty's Service as your own good to send all
possible and speedy assistance to him who is in haste Sir,
           our most obedient
		and humble Servt.                                                                            
Alexander Heron
                                                         	

"June 25th. 8 o'clock at night
Sir
  Since writing this morning the general is safe arrived having fought his way
thro' five Galleys supported by seven more.  I sent Ensign Cadogan this
Afternoon to discover the Enemy.  He's now returned having seen 15 Sail of
Spanish Vessels at Anchor under the North point of Cumberland about 12 miles
from this the General has reinforced Fort William and we are still in
possession of it.  He has brought with him from Cumberland upwards of 100 men
by Sea in Walker's schooner so that we are much stronger and our men in better
spirits than when I wrote you in the morning and if we had two Men of War I
make no doubt of turning the scale on our side but it must be soon or I fear
the consequence may be bad.  I have no more to add but am Sir
                                                                              
Your very humble Servant
                                                                              
Alexander Heron
N. B. There is another Boat returned with 52 men & only one killed and one
wounded"

The "Gazette's" June 28-July 4 issue reported that on June 26th, the number of
Spanish vessels off St. Simon's had increased to thirteen, and row boats were observ
landing 900 to 1000 men on Cumberland Island. In a letter read in the July 4th session,
Oglethorpe apprised the Council of the urgency of the situation and of the consequence
to Georgia and the Carolinas if the invaders were not repelled.

"Sir
  Pursuant to the advices I gave you the Spaniards are come up.  They
attempted Fort William on Cumberland but were repulsed by Captn. Dunbar who
commanded there in the Schooner and Fort.  They then run in at St. Andrews
sound with 11 Sail.  I myself with two Boats broke my way thro' them and put |
a reinforcement of Provisions and Men into Fort William and left a Boat there
being supported by Major Heron who was upon the land on Jekyl but he cold not
follow me with three Boats that were with him so supported us by land.  The
engagement was very hot.  How many the Spaniards have lost we know not.  But
we have not lost one man and I returned to this place from Fort William by
Sea.

"They landed this morning on Cumberland. If we had two 20 Gun Ships they would be
all prisoners there since as long as we keep Fort William they can have no succour from
St. Augustine. We must decide it very soon. I have lined this River with what Craft and Men
I have. If we should be defeated and they take Fort William and Frederica I know nothing can
stop them on this side of Virginia for they certainly have a correspondence with the Negroes
and they have a very large body of Men and fine Craft with good Guns. I am Sir Your humble
Servant James Oglethorpe N. B. Major Heron seeing nothing but Fire and Smoke round us
thought we were lost and upon that wrote you."

Immediately upon receiving first word of the Spanish assault on St. Simon's, the South Carolina
government began assembling assistance. The most urgent needs were ships and men.
The king's four men-of-war on the Carolina station, which were not under direct control of the
province, were to go to Georgia's aid. In fact, the Flamborough had already headed down that
way. Other than South Carolina's two new half-gallies, the Beaufort, which had left earlier in
company with the Flamborough, and the Charles Town, which was still in the process of being
fitted out, South Carolina had only the brig Carolina, a recently captured Spanish snow Juan
Batista, and the Ranger, a schooner under hire. Providing adequate men on short notice to go
on the vessels would prove difficult.

In addition, an embargo was immediately placed on all mercantile shipping within the colony's
several ports and harbors, and a letter written asking the commander of His Majesty's men-of-war
on the Virginia station to send ships.

On July 5th, 32 Spanish vessels sailed into the harbor. After a heavy exchange of fire with Oglethorpe
and a garrison of men from Fort Frederica, they anchored four miles from Frederica and began landing troops. The General proposed that troops under his command begin drawing up into the fort to make their stand there. He then ordered his three vessels,
the ship Success, the captured Spanish sloop Kingston, and the schooner Norfolk, to sail for Charles
Town to advise Lieutenant Governor Bull and the commander of His Majesty's ships of the "scituation"
and to seek assistance.

On July 6th, Oglethorpe and his men straggled into Fort Frederica at daybreak bringing their wounded
on horseback. None were killed. In spite of the number of enemy vessels having grown to 36, optimism—
at least that which was voiced aloud—reigned. The fort's tabby walls contained several 18 pounders,
provisions enough for almost 12 months, and "men in very good heart." Besides, it was thought that
with the path leading to the fort being too narrow to admit more than two men abreast, an enemy would
not attempt a land attack.

Most importantly, they knew they had an effective leader in Oglethorpe. He immediately started preparing
for defense of the fort. Scouts were sent out. Lost and broken arms and equipment were replaced.
ompanies were paraded. Meanwhile, in a speech to the House, Bull made an impassioned plea for
their advice and assistance to "enable me to send such succors for the relief of Georgia as may be
ufficient to disappoint the designs and attempts of His Majesty's enemies against these frontier provinces"
and the House's "readiness to make a proper provision for the expences that will necessarily arise thereby."

On July 7th, responding to Bull's speech, a committee of both South Carolina houses decided that as
the man-of-war Flamborough and the Beaufort galley left on June 30th, men-of-war Swift and Hawk
were dispatched on July 4th; and as the Success lately arrived from England was a ship of force, any
more larger vessels would not be necessary. Instead, heavily manned smaller vessels would be more
capable of acting against enemy's gallies and smaller vessels on the rivers and shallow waters.

The committee recommended that 100 men and officers be immediately raised and that the Charles
Town and other small craft be equipped for dispatching to assist Oglethorpe.

Colonial history, one on which the continued existence of the lower colonies hinged, was unfolding in the
wilds and marshes of St. Simons. The "Gazette" gave a vivid account of this engagement in its July 12-19 issue:

  "On the 7th, about 10 o'Clock in the Forenoon, the Rangers who had been on
the Scout came,   chas'd in by the Spaniards, giving an Account that the Enemy
was within a Mile of this Place, where they had killed one Small.  The General
leap'd on the first Horse he met with, and immediately marched the Highland
Company . . . and order'd Sixty from the Guard to follow, he himself galloped
with the Indians to the Place, which was just within the Woods, about a Mile
from hence,  where  he found Capt. Sebastian Saintio and Capt. Mageleeto with
One Hundred and Twenty Spanish troops and Forty-five Yamasee Indians; Capt.
Grey with his Chickasaws, Capt. Jones with his Tomobetaus, Tooanobowi with his
Creeks, and the General with Six  Highlanders who out-ran the Rest,
immediately charged them; Capt. Mageleeto was  kill'd,  Capt. Sebastian
Saintio taken, and the Spaniards entirely defeated, Two of which the General
took Prisoners with his own Hands; Capt. Mageleeto shot Tooanobowi in the
right Arm as he rushed in upon him, but Tooanobowi drawing his Pistol with his
left Hand, shot him thro' the Head.  The General pursued the Chase for near a
Mile when he halted at an advantageous Piece of Ground, stayed 'till the Guard
came up, and posting the highlanders on the right, and the Guard on the left
side of the Road, hid in a Wood,  with a large Savannah or Meadow in their
Front,  over which the Enemy must pass to came to Frederica; this being done,
the General return'd and ordered the Regiment, Rangers and Companies of Boat
Men to march; whilst they were preparing we hear'd Platoons firing, upon which
the General immediately remounted, rode toward the Place and met Three
Platoons coming back in great Disorder, who gave him an Account that they had
been broke by the Spaniards who were extremely numerous, notwithstanding which
he rallied them, and rode on; and  to his great Satisfaction found Lieutenant
Southerland with the Platoon of the Regiment under his Command, and Lieutenant
Mackay with the Highlanders, had entirely defeated the Spaniards, consisting
of Two Companies of Grenadiers making 100 Men, and 200 Foot; Don Antonio
Barbara, who commanded them, was Prisoner but mortally wounded, they also took
the Drum and several other Grenadiers.

"The General having order'd all the troops to march from Frederica,  as soon
as they arrived he pursued the Enemy Four Miles.  In the Two Actions there was
one Captain,  One Corporal and  sixteen Spaniards taken, and about 100 killed;
the rest are dispersed into the Woods, for the  general halted all Night at a
Pass through the Marshes, over which they must go in their Return to their
Camp, and thereby intercepted  them, the Indians are out hunting after them in
the Woods, and every Hour bring in Scalps."

A party of Indians sent out before daybreak of July 8th by the General reported that the Spanish had
retreated to Fort St. Simon's and had "all retired into the ruins of the fort, under the cannon of their men
of war." According to accounts in Kenneth Coleman's "Colonial Georgia - a History" and Robert Preston
Brooks' "History of Georgia," quoting sources other than South Carolina colonial records and the "Gazette,"
a planned night assault on the Spanish camp was aborted when a Frenchman, who was part of the General's
force, suddenly deserted and warned the Spanish. Thinking quickly, Oglethorpe released a Spanish prisoner
with a note to the Frenchman giving him instructions on how to lead the Spanish into an ambush, and if he
failed to do so, to try to keep them on the island a few more days until an expected large British naval force
arrived. As hoped, the letter was discovered by Spanish officers.

On July 9th, Oglethorpe wrote Captain Charles Hardy of the man-of-war Rye that he wanted his vessels
Norfolk and Success to return; that his people had defended themselves bravely and defeated the Spaniards
in two actions, but could not hold out longer if not supported, therefore he desired speedy assistance against
an enemy numbering 1000; and that if Hardy and the Rye appeared off the bar, the enemy would surrender.

Oglethorpe's ruse with the note to the Frenchman apparently worked. On July 13th, the Spanish began
evacuation. However, according to information furnished to the "Gazette" and published in its July 19-26
issue, their departure was prompted by more than the ruse. The Flamborough, Swift and Hawk men-of-war
nd the Beaufort galley appeared off the bar of St. Simon's and upon sight of them "the Spaniards betook
emselves to their vessels with the utmost confusion, and left the General again master of the island." Seeing
that the enemy fleet had increased to 52 vessels, a force much too superior for their few number to contend
with, the four vessels sailed for Charles Town. Their report raised concerns that the Spaniards would have
the time and opportunity to escape before an adequate fleet to challenge them could be ready and on the scene.

Although the July 12-19 issue of the "Gazette" reported that the man-of-war Rye, in the company of the Charles
Town had departed on the 10th., no vessels had gotten underway since the 4th. The Council gave all attention
to the reason for this delay, a lack of sufficient sailors to man them. Lingering animosity over the failed
St. Augustine expedition was one reason cited for the difficulty in recruiting men, according to the Governor
and Council journal:

  "Captn. Lyford having been sent for attended and assured His Honor the
Lieut. Govr. that the Charles Town Galley should be ready to sail tomorrow at
Noon. . . .
It was agreed that the Captains of the vessels taken into the Service of this
Government do immediately return a List to his Honor the Lieut. Governor of
the number of men which they have already entered into the Service and that a
press warrant be issued to some Officers to be appointed to impress 42 Seamen
to be immediately put on board His Majesty's Ship Rye to enable her to proceed
to join  Captain Hamar  and the Sloops of War in the defence of Georgia and
this  province. . . .

  "The Commanders of vessels at present employed in the Government service
attended at the Board among whom Captn. Barratt who has the command of the
Privateer Snow prize said he had enlisted 60 volunteers into the Service and
was promised 100 more.

  "Captn. Lyford of the Charles Town galley said he got but nine Volunteers.
Caleb Davis who commands Genl. Oglethorpe's schooner said he had got Eighteen
Men.

"His Honor having asked those Captains the reason why those Sailors and
Volunteers do not enter so briskly on this present Emergency they answered
that some declined going into any of the vessels belonging to Georgia to be
under Genl. Oglethorpe's pay nor the command of Col. Vanderdussen and others
thought the Enemy would proceed no further than Frederica. . . .

  ". . . It was resolved that the Charles Town Galley belonging to this
Government be forthwith manned and equipped and sent with the utmost
expedition from hence to Georgia to get Intelligence about affairs there and
particularly about the Flambro Man of War and the other two Man of War Sloops
that are probably on that Coast. . . ."

A greater concern than that of the Spanish fleet escaping arose on July 14th. Intelligence was
received that an invasion attempt would be made against South Carolina. A report that a large
Spanish galley was hovering off Charles Town's bar seemed to confirm the intelligence. Lieutenant
Governor Bull ordered the Charles Town galley, now under the command of William Lyford Sr., and
the Norfolk, commanded by David Cutler Braddock, to be "forthwith" completely manned and equipped
o go in search of the enemy vessel.

According to entries in the Governor and Council journal for the session of July 15th, the Council
ddressed several matters concerning getting vessels ready and on their way:

  "An Order was issued to David Cutler Braddock to receive on board the
Schooner Norfolk for the present Expedition against the Spanish Galley off the
Bar  40 Muskets,  40 Cartouche Boxe flled.  40 Grenades  200lb weight of
powder  40 pistols  40 cutlasses  40 Launches   & 40 Swivel Guns. . . .

  ". . . that Captn. Hardy with the Rye when his complement of men is complete
which is hoped will be very soon repair thither with Captain Thompson's Ship
and the General's Schooners the Charles Town Galley and whatever other vessels
shall be in readiness.

  "The Captains Murray Thompson   Lyford and Chapman being sent for waited on
his Honor accordingly.  The first gave an account that that he had got 35 men
Thompson 30  Lyford 30  Chapman 35 and Capt Barratt had about 60 in all 200
Seamen.  They then withdrew. . . .

  "The Clerk was ordered to make out a List of the Vessels and the Commanders
of the Vessels to be employed in the Intended Expedition and is as follows
      Captn. Thompson of the Success   100 men
      Chapman a Sloop	             65
      Barratt  the prize Snow	      90
      Lyford the Charles Town Galley	50
      Davis the Walker Schooner	      100
      Murray in the Brigantine	       70
            In    all                   475"


  In his letter of July 16th, Lieutenant Governor William Bull informed
Oglethorpe of South Carolina's support efforts:

"Sir
  Since my last of the 6th. inst. Capt. Davis Capt. Thompson and the Guard
Schooner Prize Sloop arrived here and also Capt. Braddock from Port Royal and
I have been endeavoring to enlist men and in order for your further assistance
I have commissioned the following Captains to proceed with their vessels to
your immediate relief (viz') Capt. Thompson Capt. Murray Capt. Lyford and
Capt. Chapman so there will be a Ship a Snow a Brigantine a Sloop and the
other Galley will be well fitted & manned and sent to your Assistance at the
expence of this Government wch I hope will be ready in two days  I have wrote
to acquaint His Grace the Duke of Newcastle the Govr. of Jamaica General
Wentworth and Admr. Vernon the Governor of Virginia and the Govr. Providence
to acquaint them with the present situation of affairs  And as I shall send
you that relief wch I hope will be sufficient with His Majesty's Ships of War
to defeat His Majys Enemies now invading you  I have the Militia of this
province under Arms and have disposed them in the most proper method for the
defence thereof  I am
                                                                  Sir, Your
most Obedt. humble Servant
To James Oglethorpe Esq.
William Bull
p. s.  Since I wrote the above Capt. Davis has offered to carry for your use 4
Nine and 2 Twelve pound Cannon with 50 rounds of Shot, Cartridge paper &c. for
each Gun wch he is to take this morning 16th. 1742"

  Departure of some vessels continued to be delayed by a shortage of men. In
the Council session Bull took extreme measures:

  ". . . Therefore all persons who are inclined to Enlist their Slaves in the
said Service are hereby directed to return the names of such their Slaves to
me in Charles Town in order to their being enlisted into the Service
immediately. . . .

  "The following Captains of the Ships and Vessels employed in the Government
Service were sent for and gave in Fresh lists of what numbers of Men they had
enlisted and what number they wanted
                    Captain Barratt has 80 or 90, wants--
	               Chapman    40              25
	               Thompson   60              80
	               Lyford     36              17 (pt black & pt white)
                     Davis	      20            100
            In all Enlisted      236    wants  237

  "His Honor the Lieut. Govr. communicated to the Board a Letter he had
received from the Honble John Oatland dated George Town in Winyaw July 12th
1742
Wherein he acknowledges he had  received from his Honor a Warrant for
apprehending all Vagabonds Vagrants & Straggling Sailors to execute which he
had wrote to several Justices in that neighbourhood and directed the
Constables to take all such persons and that shall be wanting in either of
them to promote so necessary a piece of Service."

Still literally beating the bushes for sailors, the South Carolina government decided on July 17th
to send immediately all vessels that were ready. The "Gazette" reported in its July 19-26 issue that
several sailed that day, "one after another," to join the men-of-war off St. Simon's. One exception
was the Beaufort, which was delayed a day in sailing. The vessels carried on board more than 600
men and 140 carriage and swivel guns.

Word was received from Virginia on July 23rd that the 40-gun man-of-war South Sea-Castle was
being dispatched from that station. On July 24th, the Council compiled a list of naval support sent to
Georgia's aid:


  "List of the whole Naval Force sent from this province to the relief of
Georgia
                                                King's Ships of War

    The Rye Capt Hardy                  22 Great Guns   160 men
        Flamboro Capt Hamer             22		  150
        Swift Sloop Capt Bladwell        8 12 Swivel     90
        Hawk Sloop                       8    12         90
              
        Carriage Guns                    60 Swivel 24     400 Men 	

  "List of Ships and other Vessels fitted out and manned at the Charge of the
Government of South Carolina
		                                                                                                G. Guns    Swivel         Men
The Success  Captain Thompson	 22       12            110
Brig Carolina  Captain Murray      10       10           70
Prize Snow      Cpt Barrett        10       12 	          85
Cha: Town Galley  Capt Lyford       6       10 	          65
Beaufort  do     Capt Gibson        8       60
Schooner Ranger   Capt Davis       12       12            80
Sloop            Capt Chapman      10       10            82
Schooner         Capt Braddock      6       12            50
					                                                                            
                                  84         78            602"



 

After being delayed in departing Charles Town because of a fouled anchor, Captain Hardy arrived on
July 26th on the Rye. Seeing that the enemy has departed, he ordered the provincial vessels home.
Four of them, the Carolina, Juan Batista, Kingston, and the Norfolk, left immediately. Upon their arrival in
Charles Town on July 30th, their commanders were ordered to lay their journals before the Council. The
Council, who was of the opinion that the provincial vessels would join the men-of-war in pursuing and
destroying the Spanish should they retreat, were surprised and furious that the vessels were ordered home.
They instructed the commanders to keep their vessels in readiness.

Oglethorpe had detained the Beaufort and Charles Town gallies when the other vessels departed. William Sr.,
who arrived with the Charles Town too late to engage the enemy, wrote a letter to the lieutenant governor on
August 3rd complaining about being made to cool his heels at St. Simon's instead of coming home. The
letter was read in the August 12th Council meeting:

"Sir
  This comes to acquaint you that on the 24th July in Latitude 30d 34m in 12
fathoms of water at 2 oclock in the afternoon  I received orders from the
Commander to take Ensign Eyres on board with a Letter to General Oglethorpe
and to go to Egg Island sound at 10 oclock the same night I came to anchor in
4 fathoms of water about 2 leagues to the Southward of Egg Island  In the
morning by daylight I discovered a small Boat under the land, who was in
search of the Genls. Schooner whom after I hailed told me Spaniards were gone
away  I sent Mr.  Ayres immediately on shore and run with my Galley
immediately into St. Simons to water and wait further orders from the
Commander  On the 26th I received a Letter from Gen. Oglethorpe strictly
charging me not to go out and on the same day I received orders from the
Commodore by Captain Thompson to make the best of my way to Charles Town  I
waited on the General shewed him my Instructions and likewise my orders from
the Commodore and his reply was he could not answer letting me go, for he did
not yet think himself safe but promised to let me go as soon as the Men of War
were returned from their cruize off St. Augustine  Capt Gibson arrived here
the 30th July and at his arrival the General promised to the Volunteers on
board Capt. Thompson's ship to send me away to carry them to Charles town.
But Capt. Gibson sailing without acquainting the General put him in such a
rage that he sent  Capt. Davis on Board his Schooner to assist the  commander
at St. Simons that no Vessel or Boat should go out without his leave or orders
I waited on the general the next day who told me he would not suffer me to go
before the Men of War returned from their Cruize who as he tells me promised
to call in here   And am lying here with my people all in good health here but
very much disheartened for being detained therefore I hope your Honor will
advise with Genl. Oglethorpe concerning of dispatch home In case the Men of
War should not call here  As for a full account of the siege here I refer your
Honor to the young Volunteers  I am
            Your Honors most obedient
               and humble Servant
            St. Simons 3 Aug.. 1742
            William Lyford
p. s. Aug. 4th. Captain Gibson last night arrived and gives an account of 9
Sail in at St. Juan's and since this news I believe everybody will be stopt."

On August 13th, a letter from Oglethorpe was read in the Council meeting. Either not knowing,
or not fully appreciating the difficulties South Carolina met in adequately manning ships of the
hodgepodge fleet they hastily assembled to send to his aid, Oglethorpe, his breath probably
still hot from the fast and furious pace of chasing and being chased over land and water the last
several days, voiced his displeasure at not receiving support until the threat was all but over:

  "The Honorable John Fenwicke laid the following Letters which he received
from Genl. Oglethorpe before His  Honor the Lieut. Govr. and Council  one
dated at  Frederica the 4th August . . .

"Sir
  By the Blessing of God upon His Majesty's Arms we have driven the Spaniards
out of the Colony.  After our defeating them two fights in the woods they
retreated from the Island with such precipitation that they left behind them
Cannon Shot and even Musket Bullets.  In their retreat they assaulted Fort
William as far as which place I followed them where they were also repulsed
and from whence I sent out Boats after them as far as the River St. Johns.  As
their loss has been but small tho' their Terror is great.  I expect when they
have had a little recovered their freight that they will attempt something
with better Conduct.  I send you enclosed the Account of a Spanish prisoner
whom we have released from their power.  I do write to Mr. Bull because I find
he took no kind of notice of the Early Accounts I gave him of this design and
even spoke very slightly of those Intelligences upon which the safety of His
Majesty's Subjects depended.  Besides as he is oftener at his plantation than
in Town Letters which go to you  will be more immediately communicated to His
Majesty's Council and Assembly without loss of time.  I am, Sir
Your most obedient
humble Servant
                                                                             
James Oglethorpe
p. s. Necessity will force the Spaniards soon to attempt something.  They have
a vast number of Men in St. Augustine and little to subsist on."

The "Gazette's" August 9-16 issue reported that on the 13th, three men-of- war and several
provincial vessels sailed:

  "Last Friday Capt. Frankland in his Majesty's Ship the Rose,  together with
the Flamborough and  Swift Men of War, and Four of the Provincial Vessels
(commanded by Captains Murray,  Barrett, Chapman and Braddock) sailed over
this Bar to cruize against the Spaniards. We hear that they are to touch at
St. Simon's and be joined by our Gallies now  there. No doubt the Rye and Hawk
Men of war (which weighed anchor off this Bar and stood to the Southward just
after Capt. Frankland arrived here) will meet with the Fleet and join also."

In its August 30-September 6 issue, the "Gazette" gave an account of the fleet's movements for
the next several days:

  "On Tuesday the 24th of August, our Fleet (join'd by the General's Guard-
Schooner and Two Scout-Boats) consisting of 15 Sail, set sail from Fort
William for the bar of Augustine.

  "On the 26th, Twelve of the Fleet arrived in sight of the Place, and at 4 in
the Afternoon anchor'd off  the  Bar.   The Castle distant about Two Leagues.

  "On the  27th,  the Provincial Vessels received their Orders from the
Commodore and some of them look'd into the Harbour,  when they Descry'd 7
sails lying under the Castle, and 6 Half-Galleys just within the Bar.

  "On Saturday the 28th, the Commodore having made the proper Signals for all
the Boats, &c. belonging to the Fleet to be mann'd and arm'd, at 12 o'Clock
the Beaufort, Gibson; the Charles-Town, Lyford; the Norfolk, Braddock; the
Carolina, Murray, and the Kingston, Chapman, weighed Anchor and stood close in
for the Bar, in Company with the General, then on board Mr. Demitree's Scout-
Boat; at 4 in the Afternoon those Vessels began to fire at the Half-Galleys,
but none of our Shot was perceiv'd to reach them except from Charles-Town and
Beaufort Galleys, which had Nine-Pounders;  in the Evening  (the Spaniards
retiring under the Castle) our Vessels were order'd to draw off, and the next
Morning set sail for the Matansas,  where they arrived in the Afternoon, and
came to an Anchor.

  "Two of the Spanish Galleys were so much damaged that the Enemy was obliged
to hawl them on shore to stop their Leaks: On the other Hand, one of the
Enemy's Shot breaking a Swivel Gun on Board the Scout-Boat commanded by Mr.
Demitree, killed One Man, slightly wounded the General and Three Others, and
broke Mr. Demitree's Thigh, who is now under the Care of a Surgeon, in this
Town.
On Monday the 30th, they designed to land some Men to make Discoveries, but
there being a Swell that Design could not be executed.  The Fleet then left
that Coast . . .

  ". . . On Saturday last [September 4] returned from the Cruize against the
Spaniards,  the Rose and Swift, Men of War, and Beaufort Galley.  And on
Sunday also the Charles-Town Galley,  the Schooner Norfolk, and Sloop
Kingston.  The South-Sea-Castle is, we hear, returned to her Station; the
Flamborough (in want of  Provisions and Water)  detain'd by the Change of
Wind, with our other Vessels, near Edisto.  And the Rye and Hawk Men of War
are gone, with the General's Craft to St. Simon's."

The Spanish never again mustered a major threat against the lower colonies.

Contributed by: J. G. (Jerry) Braddock Sr. Charleston, SC. Author of Wooden Ships - Iron Men .



The Military page Coordinators are   Margie Glover-Daniels and Chuck Pierce  and Gloria Holback 

  This site  was last updated 06/10/2004 09:32:38 AM CDT

The page is part of The Georgia GenWeb www.gagenweb.org