While the Glasgow escaped, she did not get off scot free. She was badly cut up in the hull, had ten shot through her mainmast, fifty-two through her mizzen staysail, one hundred and ten through her mainsail, and eighty-eight through her foresail. Her royal yards were carried away, many of her spars badly wounded, and her rigging cut to pieces. This catalogue tells the story. The Americans in their excitement and inexperience had fired high, and their shot had gone over their mark. The British defense had been a most gallant one, and the first attack between the ships of the two navies had been a decided triumph for the English.
Paul Jones’ conduct in the main battery of the Alfred had been entirely satisfactory to his superior officers. He, with the other officers of that ship, was commended, and subsequent events showed that he still held the confidence of the commodore.
THE CRUISE OF THE PROVIDENCE.
The British fleet having left Newport in the interim,长沙桑拿会所全套 on the 24th of April, 1776, the American squadron got under way from New London for Providence, Rhode Island. The ships were in bad condition; sickness had broken out among their crews, and no less than two hundred and two men out of a total of perhaps eight hundred and fifty–at best an insufficient complement–were left ill at New London. Their places were in a measure supplied by one hundred and seventy soldiers, lent to the squadron by General Washington, who had happened to pass through New London, en route to New York, on the day after Hopkins’ arrival. There was a pleasant interview between the two commanders, and it was then that Jones caught his first glimpse of the great leader.
The voyage to New London was made without incident, except that the unfortunate Alfred grounded off Fisher’s Island, and had to lighten 长沙桑拿论坛贴吧 ship before she could be floated. This delayed her passage so that she did not arrive at Newport until the 28th of April. The health of the squadron was not appreciably bettered by the change, for over one hundred additional men
fell ill. Many of the seamen had been enlisted for the cruise only, and they now received their discharge, so that the crews of the already undermanned ships were so depleted from these causes that it would be impossible for them to put to sea. Washington, who was hard pressed for men, and had troubles of his own, demanded the immediate return to New York of the soldiers he had lent to the fleet. The captain of the
Providence being under orders for a court-martial for his conduct, on the 10th of May Hopkins appointed John Paul Jones to the command of the Providence.
The appointment is an evidence 长沙桑拿论坛 of the esteem in which Jones was held by his commanding officer, and is a testimony to the confidence which was felt in his ability and skill; for he alone, out of all the officers in the squadron, was chosen for important sea service at this time. Having no blank commissions by him, Hopkins made out the new commission on the back of Jones’ original commission as first lieutenant. It is a matter of interest to note that he was the first officer promoted to command rank from a lieutenancy in the American navy. His first orders directed him to take Washington’s borrowed men to New York. After spending a brief time in hurriedly overhauling the brig and preparing her for the voyage, Jones set sail for New York, which he reached on the 18th of May, after thirty-six hours. Having returned the men, Jones remained at New York in 长沙桑拿论坛吧 accordance with his orders until he could enlist a crew, which he presently succeeded in doing. Thereafter, under supplemental orders, he ran over to New London, took on board such of the men left there who were sufficiently recovered to be able to resume their duties, and came back and reported with them to the commander-in-chief at Providence. He had performed his duties, routine though they were, expeditiously and properly.
He now received instructions thoroughly to overhaul and fit the Providence for active cruising. She was hove down, had her bottom scraped, and was entirely refitted and provisioned under Jones’s skillful and practical direction. Her crew was exercised constantly at small arms and great guns, and every effort made to put her in first-class condition. In spite of the limited means at hand, she became a 长沙桑拿夕阳休闲会所 model little war vessel. On June 10th a sloop of war belonging to the enemy appeared off the bay, and in obedience to a signal from the commodore Jones made sail to engage. Before he caught sight of the vessel she sought safety in flight. On the 13th of June the Providence was ordered to Newburyport, Massachusetts, to convoy a number of merchant vessels loaded with coal for Philadelphia. Before entering upon this important duty, however, Jones was directed to accompany the tender Fly, loaded with cannon, toward New York, and, after seeing her safely into the Sound, convoy some merchant vessels from Stonington to Newport.
There were a number of the enemy’s war vessels cruising in these frequented waters, and the carrying out of Jones’ simple orders was by no means an easy task; but by address and skill, and that careful 长沙桑拿场子推荐 watchfulness which even then formed a part of his character, he succeeded in executing all his duties without losing a single vessel under his charge. He had one or two exciting encounters with English war ships, the details of which are unfortunately not preserved. In one instance, by boldly interposing the Providence between the British frigate Cerberus and a colonial brigantine loaded with military stores from Hispaniola, he diverted the attention of the frigate to his own vessel, and drew her away from the pursuit of the helpless merchantman, which thereby effected her escape. Then the Providence, a swift little brig admirably handled, easily succeeded in shaking off her pursuer, although she had allowed the frigate to come within gunshot range. The brigantine whose escape Jones had thus assured was purchased into the naval 长沙桑拿微信 service and renamed the Hampden.
The coal fleet had assembled at Boston instead of Newburyport, and in pursuance of his original orders Jones brought them safely to the capes of the Delaware on the 1st of August. The run to Philadelphia was soon made, and Hopkins’ appointment, under which he was acting, was ratified by the Congress, and the commission of captain was given him, dated the 8th of August, 1776.
Hitherto Jones, like all the others engaged in the war, had been a subject of England, a colonist in rebellion against the crown. By the Declaration of Independence he had become a citizen of the United States engaged in maintaining the independence and securing the liberty of his adopted country. The change was most agreeable to him. It added a dignity and value to his commission which could not fail to be acceptable to a man of his temperament. It was pleasant to him also to have the confidence of his commander-in-chief, which had been shown in the appointment to the command of the Providence, justified by the government in the commission which had been issued to him.
Jones had made choice of his course of action in the struggle between kingdom and colony deliberately, not carried away by any enthusiasm of the moment, but moved by the most generous sentiments of liberty and independence. He had much at stake, and he was embarked in that particular profession fraught with peculiar dangers not incident to the life of a soldier. It must have been, therefore, with the greatest satisfaction that he perceived opportunities opening before him in that cause to which he had devoted himself, and in that service of which he was a master. A foreigner with but scant acquaintance and little influence in America, he had to make his way by sheer merit. The value of what has been subsequently called “a political pull” with the Congress was as well known then as it is now, and nearly as much used, too. He practically had none. Nevertheless, his foot was already upon that ladder upon which he intended to mount to the highest round eventually. He was not destined to realize his ambition, however, without a heartbreaking struggle against uncalled-for restraint, and a continued protest against active injustice which tried his very soul.
It was first proposed by the Marine Committee that he return to New England and assume command of the Hampden, but he wisely preferred to remain in the Providence for the time being. He thoroughly knew the ship and the crew, over which he had gained that ascendency he always enjoyed with those who sailed under his command. Not so much by mistaken kindness or indulgence did he win the devotion of his men–for he was ever a stern and severe, though by no means a merciless, disciplinarian–but because of his undoubted courage, brilliant seamanship, splendid audacity, and uniform success. There is an attraction about these qualities which is exercised perhaps more powerfully upon seamen than upon any other class. The profession of a sailor is one in which immediate decision, address, resource, and courage are more in evidence than in any other. The seaman in an emergency has but little time for reflection, and in the hour of peril, when the demand is made upon him, he must choose the right course instantly–as it were by instinct.
With large discretion in his orders, which were practically to cruise at pleasure and destroy the enemy’s commerce, the Providence left the Delaware on the 21st of August. In the first week of the cruise she captured the brigs Sea Nymph, Favorite, and Britannia; the first two laden with rum, sugar, etc., and the last a whaler. These rich prizes were all manned and sent in.
On the morning of the 1st of September, being in the latitude of the Bermudas, five vessels were sighted to leeward. The sea was moderately smooth, with a fresh breeze blowing at the time, and the Providence immediately ran off toward the strangers to investigate. It appeared to the observers on Jones’ brig that the largest was an East Indiaman and the others ordinary merchant vessels. They were in error, however, in their conclusions, for a nearer approach disclosed the fact that the supposed East Indiaman was a frigate of twenty-eight guns, called the Solebay. Jones immediately hauled his wind and clapped on sail. The frigate, which had endeavored to conceal her force with the hope of enticing the Providence under her guns, at once made sail in pursuit. The Providence was a smart goer, and so was the Solebay. The two vessels settled down for a long chase. On the wind it became painfully evident that the frigate had the heels of the brig. With burning anxiety Jones and his officers saw the latter gradually closing with them. Shot from her bow-chasers, as she came within range, rushed through the air at the little American sloop of war, which now hoisted her colors and returned the fire. Seeing this, the Solebay set an American ensign, and fired one or two guns to leeward in token of amity, but Jones was not to be taken in by any transparent ruse of this character. He held on, grimly determined. As the Solebay drew nearer she ceased firing, confident in her ability to capture the chase, for which, indeed, there appeared no escape.
An ordinary seaman, even though a brave man, would probably have given up the game in his mind, though his devotion to duty would have compelled him to continue the fight until actually overhauled, but Jones had no idea of being captured then. Already a plan of escape had developed in his fertile brain. Communicating his intentions to his officers, he completed his preparations, and only awaited the favorable moment for action. The Solebay had crept up to within one hundred yards of the lee quarter of the Providence. If the frigate yawed and delivered a broadside the brig would be sunk or crippled and captured. Now was the time, if ever, to put his plan in operation. If the maneuver failed, it would be all up with the Americans. As usual, Jones boldly staked all on the issue of the moment. As a preliminary the helm had been put slightly a-weather, and the brig allowed to fall off to leeward a little, so bringing the Solebay almost dead astern–if anything, a little to windward. In anticipation of close action, as Jones had imagined, the English captain had loaded his guns with grape shot, which, of course, would only be effective at short range. Should the Englishman get the Providence under his broadside, a well-aimed discharge of grape would clear her decks and enable him to capture the handsome brig without appreciably damaging her.