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also what and where their actions were from time to time, together with the manner of success.
In the whole written word of God may not be seen in any one instance, that ever he employed those of his people (in his intended work and service) which remain polluted in their sins and wickedness, but always first brought them, by some means or other, unto true humiliation and repentance; and this was sometimes performed by giving part of them over to be destroyed of their enemies; in which is seen, that, by God's permission, good is sometimes acted by means of the wicked. Good consequences may be drawn from bad subjects, as in the former sense; but that ever such should persevere in any good or godly work (as to the compleating thereof) is not only very improbable, but impossible, for that, which is divided against itself, cannot stand Human reason will
also tell us that any rare and curious piece of work cannot be performque ed by dull and unfit instruments.
But to return to the resolutions of the third and last query, that the hand of God hath been plainly and manifestly seen in opposition to their actions, doth not only appear in the manner of success, but also of proceeding, and that in so miraculous a manner, that scarcely any age may parallel. God indeed confounds the counsels of the high and mighty, and turneth their wisdom into mere foolishness. That an army so numerous, strong, and well provided should be so cowed out, beaten, and shamefully repulsed, by less than a handful of men in comparison, was certainly the work of God, and it is marvellous in our eyes. O that men could be sensible of the guilt of sin, and humble themselves by repentance, before destruction sweep them hence that they be no more seen; or that they could take ensample by the destruction of others to persist no longer in the ways of wickedness! But such were the obdurate hearts, and seared consciences of this people, that neither blessings nor cursings could mollify; the golden calf was already set up in their hearts, and, although Aaron were present with them, yet there wanted a Moses to destroy it, and supplicate the Almighty to avert his just judgments from a people that were so exceeding sinful.
Now follows the journal itself, wherein is described each proceeding and
action in due place as they happened with all things pertinent thereunto.) Whereby the judicious and impartial readers may, at leisure, give that solid und just construction of each particular matter, according as the justness or unjustness of the cause requireth, which probably (through haste, multiplicity of business, and a troubled spirit) 1 may not have so well performed in resolution to the former queries.
AFTER it was absolutely resolved to send an army into the WestIndies, preparations were accordingly made as well by land as sea. The generals appointed for both were his excellency Robert Venables, and the Right Honourable William Pen, men who had scen much of God's actings for his people, in going in and out before them to their delive rance, and crowning their endeavours with many glorious and triumphant victories. Divers good ships and frigates were allotted for this service, had they been but as well victualled and manned, and all seamen
that were willing to proceed in the service, received entertainment; but for want of a due complement, many fresh-water sailors, and others, were pressed. Drums were also beaten up for such voluntary soldiers as were willing to serve the commonwealth beyond sea; which gave encouragement to several who go by the name of Hectors, and knights of the blade, with common cheats, thieves, cutpurses, and such like lewd persons, who had long time lived by the sleight of hand, and dexterity of wit, and were now making a fair progress unto Newgate, from whence they were to proceed towards Tyburn; but, considering the dangerousness of that passage, very politickly directed their course another way, and became soldiers for the state. Some slothful and thievish servants likewise, to avoid the punishment of the law, and coveting a yet more idle life, followed after in the same path ; there were also drawn forth, out of most of the old standing regiments, such as were newly enlisted, to compleat the number. For those who were better principled, and knew what fighting was, were, as it should seem, reserved for a better purpose, some few only excepted, which were as a mixture of little wine with much water, the one losing its proper strength and vigour, and the other thereby little bettered. And thus went on the preparation by land, whilst the ships were rigging, victualling, and manning; the general rendezvous for the navy and army was at Portsmouth and thereabouts; where, by the tenth of November, 1654, most of the ships were arrived, and such proportions of victuals and other necessaries or. dered to be compleated, as cach vessel could converiently store; some that was defective was also exchanged, notwithstanding there remained much in the fleet. There likewise the sailors and soldiers received some wages for better encouragement before their departure.
On the eighteenth of December following, divers companies of soldiers were shipped, and the rear-admiral, having orders, set sail accordingly with his squadron the next day. Within two days after, followed the generals with the remainder of the fleet and land-army, consisting, in all, of about three-thousand men, divided into five regiments, besides commissioners, treasurers, and other officers of the states. The next rendezvous appointed was the island of Barbadoes, whither it pleased God to grant them a fair passage and safe arrival, and that within four days one of another; so that the whole fleet, being about thirty sail, one half being victuallers, were riding together in Castle-Bay by the first day of February, there remaining behind only two ships of the commonwealth's, the Great and Little Charity; which proved afterwards prejudicial to the army, in their proceeding, not only in respect of the proper signification of their names (which indeed, in that sense, were both wanting) but quality of their loading, the one being ordered to carry mortar-pieces, granado-shells, and store of other ammunition; and the other, horses with arms and furniture for horsemen; but, through what intent or policy they were left in England, more than an ordinary capacity cannot apprehend; and, although expedition be said to be the life of action, yet, through inconsiderate rashness, many a gallant design and action are merely overthrown.
Immediately after the arrival of the fleet, as aforesaid, the soldiers were all put on shore, and distributed into several quarters on the
island, where they had allowed such diet as the country afforded, which was none of the worst. The carpenters of each ship were ordered to set up those shallops, with expedition, which were brought over in. quarters out of England; and all the coopers were busied in trimming and fitting of water-casks. In the mean season, two frigates, with a commissioner and others, were dispatched to the islands of Christophers and Meaves, for the raising of as many voluntiers there, as were thought convenient; neither were the colonels and other officers at Barbadoes negligent in compleating their regiments and companies, and raising new; the islanders likewise contributed, of free-cost, to set forth a troop of gallant horse, for the furtherance of this service, the carcases whereof were afterwards, at the island of Hispaniola, either eaten, for want of other food, or there left behind, for the use of the enemy. During the abode of the fleet at Barbadoes, divers Dutch vessels (near twenty in number) were made prizes; whereof some were there found at anchor; others the frigates, that were a cruising at sea, brought in, and that in regard they presumed to traffick thither with such commodities, as were prohibited by the late articles of peace concluded betwixt both nations. The victuallers taken were employed to the use of the navy, and the vessels for transportation of soldiers.
It is also remarkable, that, in the mean time, there was an order for all boys, belonging to the fleet, although not supernumeraries, to be cancelled out of the states books, and, for the future, not to have allowance of diet, or wages, notwithstanding there was no care taken for their transportation homewards, or disposal otherwise; they, still remaining in the ships, became burthensome to those, on whom they had dependency, in participating of such victuals, as they had sparingly allowed for themselves. But the hand of providence, as it should seem, willing, in part, to ease them of their burthen, a shark-fish devoured at one time two youths, belonging to a States ship, as they were swimming near the vessel. All, that may be attributed to the good intent of this rigorous order, was for the better husbanding of vital provisions, and 10 prolong the time of victualling. But this, with other matters, if it be not treason to speak it, might have been more seasonably performed at home.
The new shallops being launched, and the feet furnished with fresh water, and other necessaries, were in' a readiness to depart; the fieldarmy was also drawn down and shipped, they being now so numerous, that each ship's share was as many as they could well carry.
March the thirty-first, they set sail from that island, and, within two days, passed betwixt the islands of Martinico and Sancta-Lucia, where they anchored that night; the day following, they weighed from thence, and, passing by the small islands of Dominico, Guardaloupe, Monserat, and Meaves, the sixth of April, came by the lee under Christophers, where those voluntary soldiers, that came off from that island and the next adjacent, were already shipped in prizes there taken, and waited only the motion of the fleet. The number of these were about thirteen-hundred, which, together with the other barbarians (viz. men of Barbadoes) compleated five thousand, besides women and children, whom, out of ill-gronnded confidence and high presumption, they had brought along with them; which made them seem rather as a people that went to inhabit some country already conquered, than to conquer. But for this, perhaps, they had too good a precedent.
What manner of soldiers these planters proved, may soon be imagined. For, if we look, with an impartial eye, upon the major part of those that came out of England, to be, as indeed they were, raw soldiers, vagabonds, robbers, and renegado servants, certainly these islanders must be the very scum of scums, and mere dregs of corruption, and such, upon whose endeavours it was impossible to expect a blessing.
But to return to the fleet, who now shaped their course towards the island of Hispaniola, conceiving it requisite to reduce that by the way, as well for the refreshment of the army, as to keep men in action until the long-expected arrival of more granado-shells and mortar-pieces, there being only one in the fleet, besides some wooden ones lately made, which were deemed unfit for so great an enterprise as was intended.
April the eighth, they passed by Santa Cruz, and the day following was ordered to be observed, throughout the fleet, as a day of humiliation, for the good success of the army; but one day was not effectual for the humbling of those, who had remained so many years obdurate in wickedness. The next island was that of St. John, and, having gained the length of the western end thereuf, the distance 10 Hispaniola was two and twenty leagues.
The colonels and other officers were now ordered to get their men in readiness to land; and, to augment the number, there was drawn forth a regiment of rugged sailors, whose manners argued them better fed, than either instructed in the principles of the Christian religion, or rudiments of martial discipline.
April the thirteenth, they came fair by the island, and plainly discovered the town of Domingo ; and, after some consultation had with the pretended pilots and guides, for the better landing and conduct of the army to the town, the land-general, with a squadron of ships, seventhousand foot-soldiers, a troop of horse, and three days provision of victuals, went farther to the leeward, and landed the day following in safety, some ten leagues to the westward of the town.
No sooner were they all landed, having nc opposition, but they began to promise to themselves mountains of gold. Nothing busied their minds and thoughts more, than the riches of the place. Their talk was all of the money, plate, and gallant plunder, they were like to have; but they were soon taken off from these vain hopes, proclamation being then made, in the head of the army, to this effect: “That, when they should enter into the town (not including the pleasure of God in the business) they should not plunder any money, plate, or jewels, neither kill any tame cattle, upon pain of death.'
Thus may be seen the avaricious intents of some (more than ordinary) men, who desire rather to heap up to themselves abundance of treasure, enjoy fair houses, rich plantations, and all things suitable thereunto, than to glorify God in their actions ; making the price of blood their inheritance, and that, before they know, whether they shall first obtain, or afterwards live to possess.
The chiefest part of the army, thus landed, gained but evil encouragement by the late proclamation. Yet, after some signals of discontents, on they marched, in a way that directed through woods of incredible thickness, receiving little or no opposition, except the excessive heat of the sun, and intolerable drought that oppressed them, having not had, in many miles march, one drop of water. Those, who took upon them to conduct the army in the most commodious ways and passages near water, proved but blind guides, and deceived them, so that some became exceeding faint, scarce able to march; others were necessitated to drink their own urine; and all in general so extremely weakened, that it was wonderful to behold.
The ships, that landed them, soon after turned up to windward unto the general, who continued with the fleet, plying to and again within view of the town; only one squadron was commanded into a bay, two leagues to the westward of the town of Domingo, whereinto a large fresh-water river disburtheneth itself. There the remnant of the army, being three regiments, were landed, and that within two days after the other; the place, appointed for conjunction of both parties, was at this river; notwithstanding, Colonel Bullard, with those regiments, without any farther order, marched towards the town, and, for want of water, soon retreated, performing not any thing worth the memory. By this time, the land-general, with the main body of the army came up, and, after some short refreshment at the river, proceeded also towards the town; but, before they came within three miles thereof, a small party of the enemy suddenly encountered the forlorn-hope, consisting of fivehundred men, and forced them to an unseemly retreat. The next regiment, with some others, seconding, were also repulsed, and the general himself, left in a lone condition, very hardly escaped. The body of the army coming up, the Spaniards at length retreated into a fort of theirs, not far distant from thence; and some, pursuing, were cut off with the great shot from the fort, which was situate near the sea-side, and commanded that passage through the wood to the town. In this exploit, some were lost on either part; but the greatest number were English, amongst which Captain Cox, the chief guide for that place, was one.
The general, taking into consideration the disability of the army at that time, and exceeding want of water amongst them (there being none betwixt that and the town, except in the former fort; which, as it was none of the strongest fortifications, being only a plain brick-wall, triangular, and without flankers, yet was it furnished with nine pieces of good ordnance, and about three-hundred desperate fellows to manage them; and there appeared little hopes, that those, who, even then, received so much damage by less than half that number, in the high-way, should now storm and take the place by sudden assault, without eminent loss to the whole army, being also unprovided of ladders and other necessaries for that purpose ;) whereupon a retreat was made unto the river in the bay, where they refreshed with water, and such provisions of victuals, as were daily brought on shore from the ships. Preparation was also inade for another march. A mortar-piece was landed, with granadoshells, and two small drakes; scaling ladders were likewise made, but never used; for, being too ponderous for carriage, they were sent by