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panies, each of an hundred centinels, with one captain, two lieutenants, one ensign, and four serjeants. When they form a battalion, or go upon service, the eldest or senior officer should command.
Regimenting of forces is subject to a great many inconveniences, and is of no use when the regiment is not all together, and serves in different places ; besides that, the state-major takes up all the spoil.
All the standing forces the French bave, in America, and all their militia are independent companies. When they draw into a battalion, the senior officer takes the right hand, and every other according to the seniority of their commission ; so that the service is performed as well as if they had colonels, lieutenant-colonels, and majors, and it saves the king a great sum of money.
Perhaps his Majesty may think it convenient to model after that manner the forces raised here in England, to be sent to the WestIndies, since, in a series of time, it would save a great sum of money, please very much the militia, and take off all occasions of dissatisfaction and murmurings about the division of spoil and plunder, which might then be all equally divided to the several companies, without distinction of standing and militia forces. The militia rever repines at the right hand and post of honour being taken by the standing forces, but cannot willingly see those, who are allowed pay, pretend to a greater share than they who have no salary, and endure commonly more hardship, and are usually put upon more difficult service.
The well-ordering of plunder, and justly and impartially dividing it, is of very great consequence; all our divisions and misunderstandings proceeded from thence.
At the taking of St. Christophers some were very busy about getting, hiding, securing, and transporting of plunder, whilst others were intent on service, and minded their duty, so that the division of the spoil and plunder was not justly made.
I would provide good arms and good powder; and, as most of those countries have store of horses, I would carry a great number of small ordinary saddles and bridles, to mount the greatest part of the forces, and make them dragoons, the most useful sort of troops.
People in those parts use, upon travelling in woods, or such like places, to carry along with them each man his pavilion to sleep under, and defend him from gnats, a most troublesome and intolerable insect, and of an extraordinary bigness in some places. This pavilion is made of thin canvas, in such a form that, being spread and supported upon some sticks planted in the ground, a man lies under it, the canvas falling like the curtains of a bed, and so leaves no room for gnats to get in. The inan has his fusee between his legs, and lies upon some grass or leaves, and in a march carries his pavilion like a shoulder-belt. Tents would never binder the gnats. This is the buccaneers fashion, and
by these means their incampments are soon made and soon raised.
Every soldier should have a good fusee with a bayonet of that surt, that he may fire off his fusee with the bayonet fixed; one pistol and a good sword, and one pavilion; to every four men I would give a brass pot, well tinned within, to dress victuals, and a good hatchet.
Of orunance I would carry eight brass guns, of eighteen, or at least twelve pounds bullet, some hollow bullets, and three or four mortar-pieces of the middle size; a great number of shells, some field pieces, store of hand granadoes, and all ingredients for carcases and fire-works, with a good quantity of the best gun-powder, together with all tools necessary for miners and pioneers.
Among the shipping I would have two bomb-ketches. Out of every ship may be drawn a sufficient number of people to serve the batteries, or any service a-shore for some time. These also to be ordered into independent companies.
Besides the forces to be sent from Europe, his Majesty may, out of all his dominions in America, without any danger or prejudice to them, draw a great number of brisk and active people, sending thither before-hand somebody that should carry them his commissions, and encourage them to go where the service should require, and list them to that purpose. The officers would instruct and exercise them in the mean while, until they should be ordered to march towards the rendezvous.
What I propose of the number of people, which may be drawn from every place, may be altered more or less, as the officer sent, and the governors of the respective places, shall judge for the best.
Such an army well governed, and wanting no necessaries, nor supplies of arms and amunition, may, under the command of good officers, conquer and subdue all the West Indies, and secure to England the greatest part of the riches of the world.
I observed before the ill effects of sharing the plunder, and the bad consequences of it; the remedy may be this. If his Majesty would give order that such plunder, as pieces of plate from churches, publick and private houses, sums of money out of publick houses, pigs of sili er, ingots of gold, slaves, coppers, mills for sugar, quantities of indigo, cotton, natto, cocoa, sugars, tobacco, hides, dying wood, &c. be all reserved for the king's use, and suffer nothing to be plundered but cloaths, linnen, and loose money, which may be also considerable. And if, out of the produce of the aforesaid goods retained and reserved, the king would be pleased to give such a gratuity as he may think fit to his standing forces, such perhaps as may amount to half pay, and whole pay to his militia, it would, I conceive, satisfy every body, and prevent disorders and murmurings. I reckon the number of people each colony may send, after this following manner :
His Majesty sending out a general pardon and amnesty to all Buccaneer-pyrates, would soon bring in a great number of them, of all nations. They agree well together against the Spaniards, would be fit for any service, and soon be at Jamaica.
The French may have in America, by what I could observe myself, and learn of others, men fit for service.
The Dutch may have also in all,
900 200 200 200 100 500
The Spaniards have not, in all America, by the best informations I
ne hundred thousand men ; and, perhaps, not near so many. They are dispersed into several places, very distant one from anotber. It is easily to be believed, if we rightly consider the disposition of the Spaniards in general, the barrenness of their women,
and the nature of the country, where they are for the most part settled.
New England and Virginia can afford some thousands of men more than I mention; Virginia especially, wbich has no troublesome neighbours to fear. Two-thirds of the inhabitants of NewEngland, all the people of Pescatway, Acadie, and Newfoundland, live and depend upon the fishing-trade; the best half of their ships go for Spain, Portugal, and the Streights; the rest are employed in voyages to the Southern Colonies; so that most of those people, if we have a war, will be at leisure, and may be very serviceable. In what I propose about the islands, an objection may arise, that they must keep their people to guard and defend themselves. But this may be remedied, by transporting thither good numbers of Scotch servants, engaged to serve, as usually, for so many years. The planters like them very well, and will freely entertain them. They will soon learn the use of their arms, and help to guard and defend the place.
When I consider the great inconveniences which I have observed to attend giving of the plunder to soldiers, the difficulties, or rather, the impossibilities of dividing it to their content and satisfaction, I cannot but urge and insist again, on what I had but hinted at before, That bis Majesty would be pleased to grant and send his commissions to all the officers to be raised, to encourage them the better; and to allow them all, officers and soldiers, such a pay as they may deserve, and esteem just; considering that they shall have, whilst upon service, all provisions and ammunitions found at the king's cbarge.
And the king may easily do it, providing in time good store of beef and pork from Ireland; of beef and pork, salt-fish, bisket and pease, from New-England ; and a ship or iwo loaded with salt, if possible, from France, being the best to preserve flesh and fish.
There is, in most parts of America, a vast number of cattle, wild and tame, of sheep, goats, and hogs, finding victuals for every body. Killing and destroying of cattle and stock should be strictly forbidden; and you may procure people, as butchers, and such like, whose whole business would be to dress and salt such meats. There is a so, in some places, a great quantity of manatees, or sea-cows, of turtles, and other sorts of fish. The islands, likewise, will furnish abundance of rum, lime-juice, and sugar, to make drink.
If the King would be pleased to send some few officers of the Miut in his fleet, with all things necessary for coining: They may coin the Spanish gold and silver that should fall into our hands, and the army might be paid with it. This way would make a large addition to the English coin, to the great and general benefit of the nation.
The taking of Canada may be easy enough, if we attack it at once, both by sea and land; and not as it was done lately, by very unskilful people. The keeping of Canada, and settling and fortifying that large island of Newfoundland, will hinder the French from fishing upon the great bank, and consequently diminish greatly, if not totally ruin their maritime power.
Martinico is the only place of strength the French have in America ; its Fort-Royal is impregnable any other way than by famine, but it may easily be bombarded, whereby you may ruin and burn the houses and buildings in it; and perhaps the very magazines and cisterns, after which they cannot subsist long, and will be forced to surrender.
Granada is of very little strength, having but few inhabitants : its fort is on the top of a hill, and was surprised and taken by one Erasmus, a single Dutch privateer. Its harbour is very large, and capable of holding many of the greatest ships. This island is not subject to hurricanes, its situation lying near Trinity island, and the Spanish coast; and those other places, by wbich most of the Spanish ships pass in going to the West-India plantations, make it very considerable.
It has many rivers of excellent water; the land is hilly about the harbour, and the north side; but, towards the south and west, very level ; cocoa trees, and the vanilio, grow there naturally.
In lieu of sending two regiments (as it is discoursed of) to Ja. maica, I would only draw deiachments from all the regiments here in England, and Ireland, perhaps, also, from Scotland ; model them all into independent companies, and give them commanders out of the reformed and half-pay officers.
The regiments, keeping all their officers, would soon recruit, and be filled again, with new soldiers, who would presently be disciplined ; and these independent companies would be as serviceable as if they were regimented, and be of less charge to the nation.
I would also propose to send these companies, as soon as possible, to the north continent of America : for example, two to Newfoundland, six to New-England, four to New York, and s. of all the other companies; it would make no great noise, and alarm no body, not being likely to be thought, or presumed to intend, farther than the defence of all those places. The transport from that northern continent, to the southward, is very easy, and may be done at any time, together with the provisions, all the parts of New-England having a great number of ships of their own.
The sending of two regiments to the island of Jamaica will cause many inconveniences. Jamaica is unhealthy, and many will be sick and die, before you can bring them to action. The northern parts of America are as healthy as England. Jamaica lies to the leeward of all the French colonies, so that it is very difficult and sometimes impossible, always very tedious, and long, to turn up to the windward; the winds are contrary, and the current is against you, very often so strong, that a brisk, favourable, westerly wind cannot make you overcome it.