10.31.2014

British Captain Alexander to Captain Barrie in the Chesapeake

CAPTAIN THOMAS ALEXANDER, R.N., TO CAPTAIN ROBERT BARRIE, R.N.
His Majesty's Bomb Vessel Devastation, off Poplar Island in the Chesapeake
October 31st 1814.
Sir,
In obedience to your Order of yesterday, I this Morning proceeded to Parkers Point, with the Boats, and detachment of Royal Marines you did me the honor to place under my Command; on finding the Houses deserted, I made dispositions for driving in Lieut. Frazer of the R.M. and Lieut. Alexander of the R.N. in advance with the Skirmishers.

On reconnoitering, I perceived the Enemy to be in considerable Force in Cavalry, therefore directed Captain Cole (Royal Marines) to bring up the Main Body, to support the advance, and the favorable position we had taken up, induced me to throw the Skirmishers forward, to entice the Enemy to make a Charge, which I am happy to say had the effect, but the steady and gallant reception, which I felt confident they would meet with from the Royal Marines, who threw in a destructive volley, put them to flight, leaving two Killed, two Prisoners, and twenty Horses with their accoutrements etc. in our possession.

I only regret a body of Infantry (chiefly Militia) from eight Hundred, to one Thousand with field Pieces, supported this Squadron, in their attack, or I have not a doubt, from the gallant Intrepidity of the detachment, the whole destruction of this Squadron, consisting of one hundred & fourteen would have been effected.

Perceiving the Enemy’s intention to cut us from the Beach, his very superior Force, the difficulty I experienced in Landing, the Shoal water not admitting the Boats to approach sufficiently near to cover us from their field Pieces, I judged it prudent to embark, which I am happy to say was effected without the loss of a Man, under the judicious arrangement of Lieut. Fitzmorris of the Dragon.

…Considering the Force we were opposed to, I feel great satisfaction [in] stating our loss to be trifling, three Seamen two Marines missing, and I only hope the Service performed by the detachment under [my] orders, will meet your approbation. I have the honor to be Sir, 

Your obedient humble Servt.
Thos Alexander Commander

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