Journal of Observations, 26 March - 8 April 1780

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    Peter Timothy Journal Journal of Observations from the 26th March 1780 Sunday March 26. Hurdles were carried all Day, in great Abundance near Linings Caussey and plank and Plank and boards to Elias Horrys Landing. At 10, a Heavy Cannon was dragged from the Brick-Yard Landing to Linings and at 12 on this, the first upon a Field Carriage, the latter slung, each drawn by about 100 Men, and 8 Sling Carts went for more. A Removal of Tents began, from back to front of Linings House and some were pitched at E. Horrys a Victualles came from the E. full to Leeward, and bore away for Stono. A Brig appeared afterwards, one of the Frigates that arrived off the Bar yesterday, slipt and gave chase. It proved a tender and she with a pilot-boat, were employed in re-sounding the Bar, no alteration among the Shipping within. This Day many Officers and men tryed those Hurdles that had been laid on the Marsh, From the collection of Hurdles and heavy Cannon, at Linings and the Camp removing nearer to Horrys, inferr that the Enemy means to cross from Horrys to Gibbess on the Neck, when they have every thing ready, a Sail appears late in the E. Monday, March 27. The Sail in Sight last night, was Tucker from St. Eustasius. He came in at the North Bar, by getting In the Channel within the Rattle Snake, Daniel In the Brig Polly, and Stone in the Sloop Sally came out With him. The largest Frigate arrived Saturday, went off in the Night. Daniel and Stone came in Sight and were chased by the Galatea, they turned towards George Town and escaped. The Ship James was sunk in the Harbor. The Frigate that chased yesterday made Sail and went to the S ward, in the Evening she returned with a Snow that I took to be a Packet-Boat. Rode to Gibbess today With the Governor, while there, saw another heavy Cannon dragged to just behind the Hurdles of which Reckoned 22 Piles and were viewed with Spy-Glasses. Till 4 in the afternoon, scarce any Soldiers appeared any where, whence supposed some Movement. The Enemys fourth Galley, from the Bar, is at Wappoo-Cut. From
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    3 to 4 reckoned upwards of 30 boats, who had come thro Wappo Cut, among them a very Long one with a large Union Flag, they neither went to the Brick Yard Landing, nor came thro the Creek, but they lay skulking in the Marsh of the Winding nearest to us, I expected they would steal up Ashley River in the Night. At 5, there were Plenty of People and many Sailors at Wappoo, the Guards were all relieved, and seemed doubled, Pikes and Spears were issued to the different Batteries and tents pitch in Different Parts Half, past 4, another heavy Cannon dragged as before. So late as Half past 5, Lord Cornwallis attended as usual and seeming to confer with a particular Officer, came to the Batteries at Wappoo, and went off again at past 5. More Tents have been this day removed from back to front of Linings. Not a Ship in the Fleet has altered her Situation. This day Col. Hamilton of the N. Carolina Loyalists, a Doct Smith, and 7 British Light Horse, were brought in Prisoners, taken Yesterday at the Governors Stono Plantation. There was a Skirmish in which the Enemy lost 7 killed, we had none killed and only one wounded. The Col. rode to the Generals with his Side-arms on. The Skirmish was between Baylor and Blands, and the Enemys Calvary, who had crossed a causey over which their Infantry could not follow to them more than 2 abreast. Tuesday March 28 This morning early found the Galatea re-anchored off the Bar, from her fruitless Chase. The Guards at Wappoo are still numerous, and also the Pickets, they are every where. The Boats as I supposed, slipt up the Ashley-River last Night, and got unmolested, into Old-Town Creek, about 40 of them in 2 Divisions. The Brig Nancy was sunk across the Harbour. None of the Men of War have moved. At 8, and at 12, two more heavy Cannon dragged to Linings. The whole Camp there now removed in front of the House near the Hurdles. No less than 19 Waggons together, most of them disencumbered of the bodies (as if to carry Boats) cross from Linings to the Brick Yard. At 12, saw 30 Companies or Divisions of Troops march from back of Linings Westward. The large Ship, which came with the largest Frigate Saturday, got ashore at 2 oClock on her second attempt to come
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    over the Bar, upon the W Breaker, where she still was at past 6 this Evening, tho the Admiral immediately sent 2 Cuts and an armed Brig and a Snow to her assistance. I Suspect that it is a Bomb-Vessel. The Gallies are still in Wappo Creek. Wednesday March 29 Reckoned 81 Sail behind Hutsons House. The Queen of France sunk across the Harbour. Tents and Huts Very numerous at Linings. Plank and Boards carried all day to Horrys Landing, and some work doing there. The Ship on the Bar, was got off in the Night, and is at anchor at Sea. The 3 Gallies still in Wappoo and the 4th in the Cut. The Shipping have not moved. In the Evening, far back of Linings saw a Body, like a large Schooner, carried along upon the high Land, imagine it an uncommon Size flat-bottom Boat. Thursday March 30 At Nine in the Morning, we had advice that The Enemy had crossed Ashley-River. Shipping remain as yesterday, But so hazy all Day, cant discover whether the Ship I thought a Bomb-Vessel has got in or not, 4 Boats were towing her When I saw her last, I am inclined to believe the Fleet wait for her coming in, this is her 3d attempt. The Bristol is sunk across the River. At 12 upwards of 50 came down Ashley River, and went into Old-Town Creek. At this Hour we had an Acct of Major Hyrne and your brave Son, being out reconnoiting, having met some of the Enemys advanced Light Infantry and that Major Hyrne was shot thro the Cheek. They retreated within the advance Breastwork Afterwards withdrew of it. The Enemy entered, but after our party got a couple of field Pieces, they attacked and rout the Enemy out of it again, with the Loss of Capt. Bowan of the N. Carolinians, and 5 of the same Corps wounded. Thus your son has cropt the first Flower in our Defence and Major Hyrne the first Thorn. [I saw him Last Night past and perfectly well, and I observed him all Day every where]. The Enemy must have lost several. The Hessian Jager who wounded Hyrne was found Dead In the Breast work, with the Majors Hat. There was popping the whole afternoon. 5 oClock, 2 more of
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    The Enemys Boats came down the Ashley River and went into Old-Town Creek. 6 oClock Saw the Enemy pitch some Tents on that Side of New Market intersected by a Marsh next to Enmouth, now called Rum-ney. past 6. Several Boats Came out of Old-Town Creek, to go up the River, Or cross to Gibbess. Never were 5 more hazy Days such that it was not expected I could see any Thing. Thursday March 31. Up at 4 oClock. An exceeding thick fog till now past 8. The Enemy begin to pitch Tents and erect huts at Outrebridges or Romney. They have two Gun-Boats at the Entrance of Old Town-Creek, where Linings Landing seems covered with Soldiers suppose loading the Boats. The Hurdles are all gone. Many horses now at Wappoo. Waggons continue moving between Linings and the Brick Yard. The 3 Gallies remain at the Entrance of Wappoo Creek. Many loaded Boats have crossed, without interruption To Gibbess. There is an appearance of more Tents in the Neck than there really are, by washed Linen hung out. Some of the crossing are loaded with Men and women, some with Hurdles others with Tents and others with empty Casks. The Ships towing yesterday lies astern of the Admiral. Many take a view of us From Elliss and Gadsdens, those Houses left standing seems to please them, But they seem shy of our Breastwork. We were reconnoited from Gadsdens by a Cavalcade. The Passing and repassing of Boats between Gibbess and Linings was so incessant the whole Day, it was impossible to reckon them, I counted more than 50. They began to carry Lumber from different places. In the Evening Light Infantry Levers and Hurdles are carried to Elliss. No material Alteration in the Situation of the Fleet. A Cut came in to Them. A Large Cannon dragged from Brick-Yard to Linings late in the Evening. And parties posted at Gadsdens and On the Hill. Saturday April 1. The Fleet not in the least damaged by a Squal last Night, none moved nor can. The Frigate and Galatia cannot Get in. Numbers of Boats pass and repass all day unmolested from and to Gibbess. The Still and another large House at Romney stripped in a few Hours and all the Materials carried off, the Triste was sunk, abundance of reconnoiting Parties all Day. A shot being fired, at one that came down the Road, they moved, the Gallies as they were, a large fleet brot down Wappoo, some appearance that theyll begin to-night to work
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    Sunday April 2 Early in the Morning saw 4 huge Boats with the Flat go from Wappoo up Ashley-River to Linings. Last night the Enemy completed a Redoubt W. of and adjoining the Road and crossed the Road with a Fence or Blind, so near, that our Shot hit both. They have also another Redoubt to the E. of the Road, and another more Eastward, not complete, with a Gut of communication between them all. Most of their Force seems to be at Linings, by the Encampment. The Intercourse between the Brick Yard Landing at Wappoo and Linings is incessant and considerable. The same by Boats between Linings and Gibbess. The Fleet remain as they were. More Boats are gathering in Wappoo. The 3 Gallies remain at the Entrance. Our naval Department is feeble and unfertile. Monday April 3 3 Gallies still at Entrance of Wappoo, a new Redoubt raised last night between Tho. Gadsdens line facing the Barracks. There has been much reconnoitering To-day, particularly at the Fence which has been impeded as well as the workers, by our Fire. 2/3ds of the Remainder of Fenwickes Wappoo Barn is stripped. The Comet Galley is thro the Cut. Boats at Wappoo are incessantly passing as before and very numerous. 3 Barges sound the Channel as high as the Bomb first came in 1776. 26 Vessels in the Channel. Some got out in the Haze yesterday, a sloop came, in to the Fleet and 2 ships and Brigs appear off where the Frigate and Galley still lie. Camp at Linings much lessened. Tuesday April 4. The Comet Galley is come to the Entrance of Wappoo and lays ahead of the other 3. Last night a Battery with 6, Embrasures was raised in front of Mrs. Haleys at Hampsted facing the Right of our Works, which has been fired upon the whole Day and the work interrupted. Till this Evening there was not the appearance of a regular Camp at Romney now there is. It must be at Gibbess, a Schooner and Barge of the Enemy came thro the Folly. Much Reconnoiting, a Redoubt appeared at Romney. Vessels are sent to Addisons for the Virginia Line. Waggons and Boats at Linings as before, Several Schooners and Boats come down Wappoo. The Ships Within have not moved. The Barge has been up Town Creek, and fired at the Camp and had several Shots returned, some of which hit her. The Frigate and Galatea go off S. wardly and met 38 sail all but a Schooner square rigged and I believe The Towey amoung them, yet there are still 81 sail at Hutsons. A Sally was intended but did not take Place. A Deserter Says Lord Clare was wounded in the Skirmish at their first Approach to Town and that theres a Reg. of British and 1 of Hesse on James Island. Wednesday April 5 Our Fire all night has prevented working on the Hampsted
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    Battery some Shells were also thrown and a fire kept up on the other Works. The 4 Gallies remain as they were, the Vessels from the Southward yesterday are at anchor off the Bar. A light Transport went out. The Towey went away to the Southward again. One Fire still continues to stop completing The Hampsted Battery and also interrupts the other works. A Barge has sailed up to where the Bomb in 1776 had her second Removal. The Intercourse by Boats and Waggons has not abated as this increased. The yellow Brig is gone out. The supposed Keppel and another armed Brig were gone before in the hazy weather. The Renown has heeled and careened. The Remainder of Fenwickes Barn is entirely taken down. Many Sailors at Wappoo much Company and Bustle there, assisted a cannonade from the Gallies. The Enemy improve their gut of Communication. Thursday, April 6. A new Redoubt appears this morning between the Western one and that on the Road Side raised during the Night. The Town was saluted with some 32 and 24 Shot Last Night from the Galley and 6 Gun Battery at Wappoo. One went thro Eycotts House and Mrs. Elfes, 2 were found in The Governors, 1 in Skirvings, 1 in Trezevants and 1 in Logans Garden, 1 wounded a soldier of the 3d Regiment 1 fell in the Battery commanded by Line and killed a Cat and 3 Rats in a House in Horlbecks Alley, yet the Gallies remain in the Entrance of Wappoo Creek. The Enemy have again worked upon and raised the Bank of their Gut of Communication in several Places. The Firing all night on the Hampsted Battery, has prevented its being completed. Boats and Waggons go as usual to this side of the River. Black ----------------- carry Lumber from Romney. The Batteries and Redoubts before our Lines are made with What was brought from [illegible] and other Places where we left it. They have mutton on board the Gallies, while we cant get Beef. There is now the appearance of a regular Encampment behind Harveys. Boats have moved much in this Fleet and each Ship of War has now astern. The Ships off the Bar, are still there. There has been every Morning a Sloop and Schooner advanced up the Channel ahead of the Fleet, they have now withdrawn to the Admiral. Abundance of Company at Wappoo [illegible] Mischief Friday April 7 There has been no movement in the Fleet, But the Sloop was again a-head this morning with 3 Boats Several Shots were again presented as Last Night, 1 killed Morrow, a Carpenter at the Old Jail in King Street, 5 went thro Mr. Fergusons House and Out Buildings, 1 went thro� General MacIntoshs Bed-Chamber (next to Fergusons) and killed 2 of his horses in the Yard, and three went thro [page torn] kitchen. Last night the Enemy cut a Trench across Hampsted, each Side of the Battery which our Fire has not suffered them to finish. A Man-of-Wars Cutter sailed into the Harbor
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    round Cummings and came to the usual Landing Place at Fort Johnson, I suppose to examine our obstruction at Favorable time of the Night. The Communication by Boasts and Waggons rather increased than diminishes. They have brought over mounted field pieces and horses from Linings to Gibbess this afternoon, and they have dragged Boat across from Gibbess on Ashley to Romney on Cooper River. At noon, the 2-Gun Battery at Wappoo fired at [illegible] on Charleston but did no Harm. This Evening Genl Woodford and his Troops arrived. The Men of Wars Netting it now appears crammed and they have put up distinguishing marks at their Mast Heads, we have had notices since but this is the first one. They have A large Cannon mounted at Romney. The Enemys works before our Lines have been fired at Night and Day Since they were first begun. April 8. Saturday This short notice I have had this Evening after an anxious and fatiguing Day and to be up early in the morning hardly allowed me Time to send you these short notes, but if we both live you shall have them as they are more full. This days however you shall have. 6 oClock. morning calm, small rain 7 oClock. Little Wind S.E. The Gallies have not moved out of Wappoo Creek. The Men of War within the Barn have each 3 Boats astern, anchors in those of the Renown, Roebuck, and Romulus. No small Vessel as usual a-head of them, no work done last night only the Communication continued from the Battery at Hampsted to the next Redoubt and the Bank along the Trenches raised in several Places. 8 oClock. Many Officers viewing our Works or Town from Shubricks, Burrows, Romney etc. Almost calm. The Fleet arrived 2 days since, still at anchor off the Bar and great Intercourse by Boats between Linings and Gibbess. 9 oClock. Some alterations are making at the 6-Gun Battery at Wappoo, and many Hands employed. Our Shots have reached the Gallies far beyond. They seem To be lowering the Embrasures and raising the Mortars The Wind springs up S. of E. with Rain. The Piazza and Wharf at Romney (whither the Boats were transported yesterday) are crowded with Officers. A large Gang of Blacks carry Lumber from Romney Westward. 10 oClock. The Piazza and Wharf are still crowded with Officers and other are viewing from Shubricks. Upwards of 50 Horses are now at Wappoo, as if they had been hard rode. These Officers, alike mounted, and I believe the same that came the Evening before last at Wappoo before the Mischief began, are there now.
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    half past 10. By attending, watching, have at last Caught a boat going off from the wharf at Romney. 11 oClock. They were to work on the 6-Gun Battery at Wappoo tho not finished. Several covered Waggons go from the Brick-Yard to Linings where (at Linings) to the Left of the House a Strong Redoubt is raising and another to the Right near the Landing where the Cannon and Waggons constantly go. Wind at S.E. and Rain. Many Boats are moving in the Windings of Wappoo-Creek Marshes, but none Come beyond the Brick-Yard. 12 oClock. the hind most of the 3 Frigates advanced of the Fleet (supposed the Delaware) has come forward without making Sail and come above where any was before. The Tops of three Frigates and the other Men of War are now stuffed, as to give me Notice, that they are not on their Departure. The Ship I suspected to be a Bomb, is under Sail. The Camilla has changed her Place and the armed Sloop has dropt astern of the whole Fleet. There is a Cut among them with a Pennant that loosens her Sails and does everything that is done by the Men of War, she is next to the Admiral and the suspected Bomb next. Wappoo is now full of officers Sauntering sailors and very genteel-dressed children and Ladies. 1 oClock. The supposed Delaware has worked still further up Channel and the other Ships seem to have done the same without a Sail set. The Redoubt to the Left of Linings landing now complete, and the other nearly so. Rain has deprived me of any further View of the Fleet. Can just discover that the Head most Frigate has 3 boats astern, with an anchor in one. 2 oClock. Cant see the Shipping for the Rain, But perceive that the Soldiers in the Battery and Trenches on Hampsted Hill, show themselves with unusual Confidence. Their Camp at Romney has not been crowed To-day, nor do many appear any where. The work is not Resumed at the 6-Gun Battery. The horses from Wappoo, are now all driven up to Linings. 3 oClock. The Men of War with sailing and rowing Boats a-head of each continue warping up the Channel and 3 sailing Boats are considerably a-head of them exploring the Way. past 3. The Frigates are advancing fast. 40 minutes past. Four of the Frigates are under Sail, and the other Men of War have loosed their Topsails and are following except the Perseus and Camilla 50 Min. past. The head most Frigate has set Top- gallant Sails and the Rest drop their Top-sails on the Case that the Admiral may pass them and head. 4 oClock. The Admiral has passed all the Frigates, and a Fire commences from Fort Moultrie. There Was a light breeze at S. a little W.
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    past 4. The Admiral has received and returned the Fire of Fort Moultrie and passed without any apparent Damage. A Frigate (supposed the Blonde) has also passed the Fort, after receiving and returning its Fire with the Loss of her Fore-top Mast. During this Time, the wind had risen to a good Breeze. 50 Min. past. The Admiral, having passed above Fort Johnson fired a Gun and hoisted a striped Flag At the Mizzen Peak. The other 44 Gun Ship has now also passed the Fort, after pretty smart Fire on both Side, but does not appear to be damaged, 55 Min. past. The Admirals Ship came to an Anchor near James Island, above Fort Johnson. 5 oClock. The Frigate with her Fore top-mast cut away did the same, and the 3 other Frigates had passed the Fort, firing and being fired at, as the other Ships, not damaged that we know. The Fire now commences between the Fort and the Renown. past 5. The 2d 44-Gun Ship and the 3 Frigates that have passed Fort Moultrie, now anchor Likewise below the Admiral and damaged Frigate. The Renown has now passed the Fort, so has the armed Sloop, the yellow painted Schooner, and two Transports, who both fired as well as the Man of War, but a third Transport got around. The Renowns Main-Yard or the Rigging about it, received some Damage, but all the other Ships came up seemingly unhurt. past 5. Every Ship has now come to Anchor, except the Transport ashore. They really make a most noble appearance, and I could not help admiring the Regularity and Intrepidity with which they approached, Engaged and passed Fort Moultrie it will Reflect great Honour upon the Admiral and all his Captain but tis Pity they are not Friends! 6 oClock. The Transport (ashore) has got off and into the Cove, But the Rain falling heavy can see no more. The Order in which The British Fleet advanced was as follows.
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    1.The supposed Roebuck, Admiral Arbuthnot leading 2.A Frigate, supposed the Blonde. 3.A 44-Gun Ship, supposed the Romulus. 4.A Frigate, said to have been the Delaware. 5.A low brown-sided Frigate, with a white Head. 6.A Frigate, supposed the Raleigh. 7.An armed Sloop 8.A Transport Ship, wearing a Pennant, but had no Head. 9.The yellow painted Scooner. 10.A Transport }without heads 11.Another Transport} this got aground. 12.A 50-Gun Ship, supposed the Renown. And here ends my History for the present. I must answer your last when I may more Conveniently. Your good Son is Well. We are all in high Spirits and the Horn-work is inclosing as a Citadel. I wish you every Thing that is good and desirable, and am with great Truth and Regard D. Sir Your most affect. and obedt. humble Servt. Peter Timothy You must do me the favor this Late very imperfect history. [Text in diagram:] Here nothing yet done. Redoubt between T. Gadsden’s and Cumings Point. Redoubt in front of Cannons Garden. Redoubt facing our Horn Work. The Road. Redoubt. Redoubt. Battery 6 Embrasures on Hampsted Hill facing Mazycks Point. The above is a Sketch of the works in Front of our Lines.
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    Sunday morning April 9, 1780 [Text in Laurens Handwriting] Mr. Timothy's Jounral from 26th March till 2nd April 1780
Journal of Observations, 26 March - 8 April 1780
Timothy, Peter
This account by Peter Timothy (1725 - 1782) entitled “Journal of Observations” describes in great detail the movements of the British Army and Navy from 26 March – 8 April 1780 during the siege of Charleston. Timothy wrote this account for Henry Laurens (1724-1792), who was in Philadelphia representing South Carolina in the Continental Congress. Prior to 1780, Timothy did not regularly correspond with Laurens. As the revolutionary fervor grew in the colonial capitol, divisions among the rebels created factions who were often at odds with each other over the levels and types of resistance to implement against the British authority. Within these divisions, Laurens was identified as a moderate while Timothy was active among the radicals and an outspoken representative of the Sons of Liberty. Timothy was one of several Charleston residents who frequently sent detailed accounts of the activities occurring in the colony.
South Carolina Historical Society Manuscripts
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Charleston (S.C.)--History--Siege, 1780
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