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ordered their usual allowance of Rum.

'iih. Calm till 11 o'clock A. M. ^Master of the horse Sloop
came on board to signitie the distress for want of forage.
Gave him a note to the Commissary General. Latitude
(at noon) 38^ 8' 30'' Very sultry and close, sea rather
smooth. Remark — the losing 1h miles is safely accounted
for, by the observation of the current of yesterday. Every
night lately a threatening horizon at the S. W. At 5 F. M.
the fleet went about, we laid what we conjectured to be our
coui-se. The wind E. by S. our course now S. by East about
4 Knots. Continued this course all night. At 5| P. M. the
fleet discovered the land.^

Sth. Weather fine. Still steering the Same course, the
wind this day about S. W. course about S. S. E. A Strong
current setting to the Southwest at 6 & 7 A. 'SL At | past
11 a surprising strong current setting in Southerly. Lati-
tude (at noon) 37° 49' and sounded in 34 Fathoms. The
breeze steady and our course South at noon. The fleet sailed
this course all this night two Knots and a half. This night
excessive heat.

m. Wind W. by S.— Course S. by W ., a fresh Breeze all
the morning. At 7 A. M. observed a South current with a
small swell from the windward. Latitude (at ISToon) 37° 7'
Course South, somewhat westerly, sailing about 3 Knots.
The fleet veiy well together. At 7 P. M. the Fleet tacked
and steered all night from W. by X. to W. IST. West.
Weather very pleasant all this day, it being much cooler.
Heavy swell most of this nigbt. At 12 at night blew hard.

10/A. Sunday. Wind W.^S. W. weather fine. About 6
A. M. the Fleet tacked and stood S., at 4 this rr]orning before
we tacked until 6 the fleet stood about 2:n'. West. Latitude
(at Xoon) 36^ 52' being 8 miles to the Southward of Cape
Henry. Still steering South and supposed to be about 25
leagues from the land. The Horse Vessels in general lying

' They were seen from the land, and were off the Sinapuxent. Vide OflS-
cial Letters of Washington, vol. ii. p. 143.



Journal of Ccptaln Juhn Montrisor. 403

too for Food from the forage vessel they being much dis-
tressed. At Ql P. M. the fleet tacked and steered W. X. W.
the Same S. "Wester prevailing— The Fleet continued this
course all night at 1 Knot per hour.

llih. Wind still at S. W. Course W. X. W. Weather
fine but very hot, sailing about 2J Knots — observed a cur-
rent setting Southerly. Latitude (at Xoon) 37-^ beincr the
latitude of Cape Henry. Xo soundings at 4 P. M. Sailed
ail night about a W.. X. "V\^ course going about 3^ knots.
The otheers put to great shifts for want of fresh provisions,
rowing about from ship to ship for relief. Our ship spruncr
a leak, making four inches of water every four hours' watch.
Our fresh water on board became very otfensive.

V2th. Wind as usual S. W. Course W. X. W.— weather
fine but a hazy horizon. Small Swell ; obsSrred a ^-entle
current. Could smell the land, the fragrance of the pines in
particular at 6| this morning. The Ships of war hoisted
their Colours, supposed for seeing the land. The water
Changed very visibly. A sfnall flock of sand larks passed.
Fleet scattered. Sounded at 11 o'clock A. M. in 18 Fathoms,
supposed to be 12 leagues from land. Latitude (at Xoon)
37^ 31'. Gained 50 miles westing this last 24 hours to 12
o'clock this day. Weather somewhat cooler but very hot
yet. The heat of the Sun here feels more like an artificial
than a genial heat, and the heat of this night Insupportable.
The wind this night from S. W. to W. S. West. Sailing
one time with another about 2 Knots & |. At 3| P. M. dis-
covered the land from the !Mast head and at 7 the fleet
tacked and stood off. At five P. M. could observe the land
from the deck.

13^/i. Wind W. S. West. Course S. observed at 7 A. M.
a current running southerly. A disagreeable swell from the
Southward. ' Weather fine air somewhat cooler. The fleet
at sea three weeks this morning. Latitude (at Xoon) 37° 5'
30". Sailing this last 12 hours at about IJ Knots. Signals
at 12 o'clock this day and the Fleet tacked and Continued
their course towards the land this night, sailing at about 3|



•40-4 Journal of Captain John JIontrt6or.

Knots at W. & W. hy S. The intense heat and closeness hor-
rid, obliged now to lay on deck.

14/A. At 4| A. M., the fleet stood off from the Land.
Wind W. S. W. and Staid South. Water smooth. At 5|
A. M. the land was again discovered, but from the mast head
appearing in 2 points, one bearing N. W. by X. and the
other W. by S., the interval not to be observed. The heat
of this day (if possible) more insupportable than yesterday,
the pitch melting off the seams of the vessel. Observed "^a
gentle current supposed to be southerly. Latitude (at noon)
37° 2' 45" wind lessened. Weather somewhat pleasantef,
the air being more refreshing after the dreadful heat of last
night. The mornings by far more agreeable than the even-
ings and nights. At 9h A. ]M. a heavy gun was heard to
windward supposed by the sound to be from is'orfolk: in Vir-
ginia, as a signal gun, as the fleet must have been discovered
from the land, at 5 P. M. the 12 Inst.^ At 11 A. M. the Fleet
tacked and stood in for the land — Course W. by X. | Xorth.
Wind S. W. by S. | South. At 1 P. M. it fell cilm and
sounded in 14 Fathoms. ]S"o existing this afternoon between
decks, nor scarce any above. Several cannon were fired from
the distant shore during the afternoon and at 6 P. M. a larf^e
Smoak made on the Shore, supposed to be signals. Wind
sprung up and we steered S. W. by W. with our starboard
tacks on board. Began to breeze fresh at 61 P. M. water
continuing smooth. At 7 P. M. Could barely discover Cape
Charles from the deck, bearing W. by X. — 7 leagues, both
the Capes to be seen from the mast head. Instantly sounded
and found to be exactly in 13 Fathoms of water. Wind
continued pretty fair and we proceeded towards the entrance
of the bay until 11. This night when the Fleet anchored in
8| Fathoms sandy bottom and tide of ebb, running about 4
Knots. Another strange vessel in the Fleet which proved

■ The appearance of the fleet was not noticed on either the 12th or the
14th, or if so the fact was not commnnicated to Congress. Indeed, that
body do not seem to have heard of the fleet after the 4th. until they learned
on the 22d that it was advanced high up the bay of Chesapeake.



Journal of Captain John Montrlsor. 405

to be a sloop with some Gentlemen from ^s^orth Carolina who
had made their escape to prevent persecution.

Ibth At half past Five this morning, the Fleet weighed,
wind ahead. Both Capes to be seen from the decks. Wind
at W. by S.— weather fine, but very hot, water smooth. The
Capes rather low land. The sea here is coloured of a sap
green, but not lively. Our course to sea S. Easterly stretch-
ing out to get to windward up a shoal on the Xorth Side the
Entrance of the Buy. At ^ A. M. Fleet tacked again to
get into Chesapeak Bay. Latitude (at noon) 37^ 3'! Ebb
made full calm and the Fleet came to an anchor in 8^
Fathoms. At h past one P. IL the wind sprung up at South
and the Fleet weighed and sailed. The heat of this day
(although on Board) very horrid. At 12 this night came to
an anchor in 4 Fathoms of water on the Bank, the wind
heading and the Ebb running about 4 Knots. The bearings
from our anchorage as follows— Cape Charles Xorth l Eas^t
Cape Henry S. West by South.

IQih, At 6 o'clock this morning the Fleet wei^-hed. Wind
still unfavorable W. X. W. and ^ A. M. the A^dmiral came
to an anchor, the tide of Ebb, running strons;. Weather
very fine but very hot. At 10 A. M. wind at X. W. The
Flood runs longest under Cape Henry. The Fleet though
very extensive may be said now to be all within the Cape.
Anchorage 9 Fathoms and very strong. Tide runnin<^ be-
tween 3 or 4 Knots. This Evening the packet from En-land
m 10 weeks and last from Xew York, in 14 days joined our
Fleet. This day we spared a Horse Sloop in Quarter Master
Genls Department, one But of Water or they must have
thrown their horses overboard. Delivered from the Schooner.
Latitude (at Xoon) 3G° 59' Cape Henry bore K W. by W.
Distance 2 leagues. Sounded then in 9 Fathoms water, on
hard sand. At U P. M. weighed X. X. E. and sailed up the
Bay of Cheasapeak and anchored at half -past 6 in 6 Fathoms
water on a muddy bottom. Wind N. X. East a hard gale of
wind came on as the night did and blew until i past ll%hen
a tempest came on, the whole continued with incessant sharp
lightning and loud thunder and continued till 2 next morn-



40G Journal of Captain John Montixsor.

ing with constant showers of rain. The timely getting into
Port and to an anchor was a most 'providential matter for the
Army and Fleet. Intrenched the Xarrows in Chesapeak
Bay nearly abreast of "Winter Harbour on the west side and
Kassawatting on tlie East, being about thirty miles to the
xTorthward of Cape Ilonry.

Sunday 11th. Wind South, the first instance during our
voyage of a wind aft. Fleet weighed at 6 A. M. with the tide
of Flood, water very smooth wind rather light — Sounded at

1 past 10 A. ]Sr. in 6^ Fathoms water on a blue, greasy,
gritty mud. "Weather rather hazy and foggy and intensely
sultry. The fleet well together. Tide runs here about 4
Knots. Xo wearing coats or waistcoats with any satisfaction.
This if possible the hottest day. Latitude (at noon) 37" 34',
this observation, horizon very hazy. At | past 12 fell calm
and the tide expended, the Fleet came to an anchor after
gaining about 5 leagues, in 6 Fathoms water and the same
kind of ground, as the last anchorage. This situation
opposite the Southernmost Entrance of Piawkatank River.
At night came on as usual a very hard gale of wind with
smart lightning and Thunder, continued the whole night.
The Ship rolling heavily.

18/A. Wind at :N'. W'. by X. J past 5 A. M. The tide of
Flood, the Fleet weighed and sailed. Weather very tine,
but hot. Kept the western shore principally on board. At
8 A. M. our galley fired a shot on shore, the enemy having
fired three cannon shot at her from Whicommico. Several
Small vessels seen there. Eemark. The climate here at this
season is from early in the morning until about 8 little air,
then light winds, at noon generally falls calm, about one or

2 P. M. Breezes up and continues pretty fresh but falls again
at Sunset almost calm and about dusk gathers in the Horizon
with flashes of beat lightning and then comes on squally
with sharper lightning and thunder and then blows violently
the greatest part of the night and so on. Passed the mouth
of the Piawkatank at 6 and the Rappahannock at 8 A. M.
At 12 at Xoon Sounded in 5 Fathoms hard sandy bottom,
and the Fleet put about towards the west shore, the wind



Journal of Captain John Montresor. -407

heading. Advices from Xcw York that the Fox Frigate
had been taken by the rebel Commodore Manly with 2 Rebel
Frigates each superior in force but retaken by his Majesty's
Ship Roebuck and another Frigate with the Commodore in
his ship but the other one called the Boston escaped. This
prize was carried into Xew York. The small craft in this
fleet in general are now much in want of provisions. The
Admiral made a signal for all masters of transports return-
ing them his thanks for their attention during the voyage.
Latitude (at noon) 37^ 56'. The Fleet came to an anchor
off the embouchere of the River Potowmack at I past 2 P.
M. in 10 Fathoms veiy muddy bottom, the tide of Ebb hav-
ing made. A very unsettled climate.

19//2. Wind E. X. E. at f past 7 A. M. The Fleet weighed
anchor the tide of Flood making. The fleet and army much
distressed for the want of fresh water, having been for some
time put to an allowance, but not so much so as the horse
vessels, having been obliged to throw numbers of their horses
overboard. The weather good and much cooler, or rather
less hot. Very considerable signal smokes made and con-
tinued most of this day by the Rebels on the Southernmost
end of Hooper's Island. Sea very smooth. Very heavy rain
most of this day with thunder and lightning and blowing
excessive hard and the Fleet carried sail to it and came to
an anchor in ten Fathoms water between the South end of
Barren Island and the River Patuxen — very muddy bottom.
Water far from being rough, notwithstanding the head wind.
Land on the west side of this Bay high and less on the East.
Those that form the Clifi's from Patuxen River to West river
are curious, the land all about very rough & hilly.

20M. Wind at West at I past 5 this morning. The fleet
weighed, blowing very fresh, the tide of Ebb, about 9 A. :Nr.
the flood made, the tides here lessened considerably in their
strength. The fleet 28 days from Sandy Hook. Weather
cool and pleasant this morning, but by noon sultry and light
breezes. Abreast of the Xorth End of James's Island, three
miles in 11 Fathoms and muddy bottom. Very unsteady
weather in this climate. The fleet well together after the



403



Journal of Captain John Montrcsor.



Gale of yesterday evening. Several horses thrown overboard
from the diiferent Transports. The Admiral fires mornino-
and evening guns. Weather squally, rained very hard most
of the afternoon and lightning and thunder. At 6 P. M.
the Fleet came to an anchor off of Poplar Island, the tide
being spent, anchor in 8 Fathoms & a half very muddy.
It's remarkable in this Bay the multitude of crabs that swim
nearly to the surface of the wateK. The Fleet caught thou-
sands.

list. Fair wind, all the morning and a fine tide. At
5 o'clock the Fleet weighed, weather very clear and water
smooth. At 7 A. M. Came abreast of Annapolis, the Capital
of [Maryland and on the River Severn. The rebels had 2
flags flying on 2 forts, one on Horn's Point and one on Green-
berry Point to command the entrance of the Harbour, besides
the works at the Point of the Town. Several of our fleet
damaged during our voyage by Lightning, some men Killed
and several Ilorses.

22nd. Weighed anchor at 4 this morning. Course North-
erly. Anchored at i past 6 A. M. "Weighed anchor again
at 2 P. ]M. with a pretty Breeze Southerly, course northerly,
tho' against a strong tide, but the wind freshened and Con-
tinued until 7 this evening when we came to an anchor.
Tides run here about 3 Knots and rise near 5 feet. Xono
came off to the Fleet except 2 Pilots and a few blacks.
Water sufficiently fresh for all uses. Anchored at Sassafras
Eiver between the mouth of and the Elk in 3 Fathoms, bot-
tom very holding, being a mixture of mud and clay and 4
miles South of the mouth of the River Elk. Hard Rain
this evening with lightning and thunder. The Inhabitants
mostly about their Plantations and in general unarmed.
Several of our people in the Fleet on shore, some at Xewtown
on Chester River.

2Zrd. At 7 this morning I attended Sir Wm. Howe and
Lord Howe with my armed Schooner, an armed Sloop and a
Galley to the mouths of the Rivers Rappahannock and the
Elk and Turkey Point, the different vessels and Boats attend-
ing, sounding the Channel. The whole returned in the



hf>



?.R (



Jounial of Captain John Jlonlrisor. 409

afternoon to the fleet. George Ford, principal tenant of
Pasoosy Island came otT to oiler his Services to snpply the
Troops and Fleet with Stock ^tc. — after which the militia.
A hard squall with vciy heavy rain and sharp lightning and
thmider which continued from 8 till 12 this night and the
Avhole night distressingly hot and close.

Sundai/ '2bth. lyiis day August 2oth 1777 hnided at head of
Elk. This morning at i- past 9 the Van of the Fleet, came
to an anchor opposite Cecil Court house and Elk Ferry and
in half an hour after the Flat Bottomed Boats made good
their landing at the Ferry House called Elk Ferry in the
Province of ^Maryland, the rebels consisting only of 4 Com-
panies militia under a Colonel Rumsey^ fleil without tiring a
shot. The troops hutted with Rails and Indian Corn Stocks,
no Baggage or Camp Equipage admitted. Came on about 10
this night a heavy storm of Rain, Lightning and Thunder.
The wind being Southerly brought up the Fleet a short time
after the landing. The Army Surprisingly healthy after so
long a voyage and in such a climate — the return of the sick
are about Four to each Battalion, very little fresh stock col-
lected, and imperfect accounts of the situation of the Enemy.
Inhabitants in numbers and well dressed at Cecil Court
House Point. Troops landed with sixty Rounds per man.

2Q)th. Xo motion — no inhabitants having deserted their
liGuses and drove off their stock. Orders this evening fur
the Troops to march to-morrow morning at 3 o'clock. A
very heavy storm all this night of Thunder lightning and
Rain at Xorth East. The Shoalness of the Elk convinced
the Rebels that our fleet would never navigate it, but through
the great abilities of our Naval otlicers it was hapi)ily eflected
as the bottom was muddy and the ships on it were cutting
channels through it for each other.

21th. The storm continuing most of the morning the order
for marching was countermanded. The roads heavy and
the horses mere Carrion the soldiery not sufficiently refreshed

' Nathaniel Ramsay, of Maryland. A biographical sketcli of this officer,
by Mr. Isaac R. Pennypacker, will be fouud iu Johnson's Uibtory of Cecil
Co., Maryland, p. 537.



A odT



410 Journal of Captain Join Jlontnsor.

and great part of tlieir ammunition damaged, made it upon

the whole no delay. Our Galley up the Ellc fired at a boat

that had taken one of ours. Xo Inhabitants as yet came in.

A man of wars boat and midshipmen taken by the rebels,

the men being on Eiist shore for milk etc. The Gtdley fired

but could not recover them. This night cold. The Guards

I only had Sixteen thousand Cartridges damaged by the storm.

|- 2Sth. The Army moved between 3 and 4 this morning.

;| The weather extremely fine which dried the roads, which

;5 would have been otherwise impassible, the medium 12

,| Pounders proved to be most difficult to pass through the

• Sloughs. Two houses got on Fire after quitting the Quarters

■| but appeared to me to have been done on purpose. About

I 9 o'clock this morning our Army arrived at the Town of

\ Elk consisting of about 40 well built brick and stone houses,

\l our march hither about 7J miles. Very few shot exchanged

if this day with the Enemy. One thousand men under a

:; Colonel Paterson and the Philadelphia Light Horse fled from

J this Town on our approach, part to Gray's hill 2i miles be-

I? yond the Town, which the rebels likewise quitted, as we

[■, reached the summit we could observe them but not within

li- Cannon shot. Several of our men very irregular in pursuit

of fresh provisions, so as to fall in the Enemy's hands. The

,; rebels broke up the bridge at the End of the Town which

[ we soon repaired, in the mean time great part of the Army

forded the Creek in about 3 feet water on a gravelly bottom.

I "We took three or four prisoners. Part of the small craft

; with provisions, camp equipage, baggage and Stores reached

5 the head of Elk this evening from the Fleet at Elk Ferry.

I Very heavy dews fell after sunset. The Roads upon the

i whole this day may be said to be good. 23 of our Troops,

3 of which Hessians missing, supposed to be taken by the

Enemy plundering. The rebels were so precipitate this day

• as to leave some of their Store houses full, consisting of

. molasses, Indian Corn, Tobacco, Pitch, Tar and some Cordage

I and Flour. The Cattle was drove off excepting a few.

I Found fifteen of the rebel sloops and Schooners at Dk.

29th. "Weather delightful and cool especially the mornings



Journal of Captain John Montrcsor. 411

and evenings wliich are now rather cold. The Chasseurs
pushed a body of the rebel Infantry at daylight this morning.
Several of the Small craft arrived at the Lower landing with
provisions &c. This country abounding in Forage, Pasture
and vegetables, but the Inhabitants ilown. Large quantities
of apples green and Indian Corn which are in moderation
great refreshments to the Soldiery. This night Lt.-Gen.
Kuiphuysen with the Troops left at Elk Ferry, crossed the
Elk and encamped at Cecil Court house. 13 of our men
deserted from us, or taken by the Enemy when marauding.
A man came in from Philadelphia, that passed through the
Rebel country who assured us that they are posted at Brand}'-
wine with a considerable body at AVhite Clay Creek. About
four hundred men advanced to Iron hill about five and a half
miles from hence.

2>0th. Weather very pleasant — the wind as usual from W.
to South. Welch fusileers fired a few Platoons into a body
of rebels cavalry of about 200. The Jagers who are forward
fired two Cannon shot at some ofiicers with their escort, re-
connoiteriug. The Army remarkably healthy but the navy
sickly. This morning early ^lajor-General Gray with 2
Brigades marched from hence to join General Kniphuyseu
by the way of Elk Ferry. The Inhabitants say that this has
been as hot a summer as they have known.

Sunday 2>\$L Lt.-Geu'l Kuiphuysen marched easterly on
the neck into the Country, together with Generals Gray,
Agnew, and Sir William Ersklne in order to secure Cattle,
waggons and Horses, &c., the army lying in great want of
horses, owing to so long and unexpected a voyage hither both
as to their flesh and their numbers. Weather very fine but
intensely hot in the middle of the day, mornings and eve-
nings rather cool. A Skirmish this morning — a body of
rebels having appeared which the 23d Regt. attacked and
pushed, taking 3 prisoners — they having one Killed and 5
wounded. Two deserters came in from the Rebel Army.
The Command with Genl. Kuiphuysen taken 261 head
horned Cattle and 568 sheep and 100 horses. Picket of 5th



iti i|My



412 Journal of Caj-taln John Jlotdrtsor.

Regt. took 36 head Horned Cattle. A light horse deserter
Came in. Lost 5 more Royal Artillery's.

September IsL At daybreak this morning an outpost of the
rebels was attacked by 200 Rangers of AVcmys's Corps, they
•took the Commanding officer a tSaxon Raron, one lonitz and
his Lieutenant and 3 prisoners— Rilled 2 and wounded 1—
the rest consisting of 100 fled— this was effected without any
accident on our side. The middle of this day intensely hot,
more so than usual. ' Rain all this night but gentle. Two
Rebel Light Horse deserted to us but being too precipitate
two of our Rangers fired and both shot the same horse.

2nd. Morning wet and overcast and chilly. Two days
fresh provisions issued to the Army for the first time. Came
in, 1 rebel Light Horse and 2 deserters. All this Country
abounds with Forage. The Ldiabitants either fled or drove
off and scarce any Cattle to be seen. To this evening from
the time of our arrival at this Town the return of Sick from
.this Army is no less than Five hundred men._

3rtf. "Weather fine but cool early. At daybreak the whole
under march except 2 Brigades with Major-Geid. Grant took
the lower road to Christeen by the way of Rikin's Tavern,
in order to avoid Iron Hill. At this Tavern we were to be
joined by the Troops under General Kniphuysen but did not
perceive them. About a mile beyond the Country is close —
the woods within shot of the road, frequently in front and
flank and in projecting points towards the Road, here the
Rebels began to attack us, about 9 o'clock wnth a Continued
smart irregular fire for near two miles. The body of the
Rebels consisted of 120 men from 6 brigades making 720
men of what they call their regulars, together with 1000
militia and Philadelphia Light Horse, but the 720 men when
what were principally engaged they were opposed by the
Chasseurs and 1 Battalion of Light Infantry only the other
Battalion of Light Infantry which was sent to surround the
rebels through some mistake was led so far on our Right as
to find an impassable swamp between them and the Army,
which prevented this little spirited affair becoming so deci-
sive. The rebels left about 20 dead among which was a



Journal of Captain John Montixsor. 413

Captain of Lord Sterling's Rcg't. Wc had 3 men killed and
. 20 wounded, amongst which was Lieut. Haldane Engineer
and three more officers. The rebel Deserters since Come in,
say they lost 5 Captains. This body of the enemy was com-
manded by General Maxwell. From the Iit>u Hill the
waters of the Chesapeak and Delaware are seen. At 2 the
whole encamped. Head Quarters Aikin's Tavern. Lord
Cornwallis's to Goodie's Mill on the little Christeen where
the rebels had a post- this morning which we drove them
from. The Guards on Iron Hill, Dunop, the Hessian Grena-



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