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Captain Hatton' s Report to the Council of Safety


Captain HATTER' S Report to the Council of Safety, of the occurrences which took place on board of the Sloop COMMERCE, CLEMENT LEMPRIERE, esq˙, Commander, in taking the Powder from Captain LOFTHOUSE, off AUGUSTINE Bar; and of the return voyage to CHARLESTOWN with the Powder.

1775. July 24. — Our voyage towards New-Orleans commenced.

July 25. — Took on board our stores of provisions, &c.

July 26.— Sailed over the bar, with the wind at N˙ E. and rain. At 6 P˙ M˙ anchored at South-Edisto.

July 27. — Fresh gales, with thunder squalls, and a great deal of lightning; weighed, and sailed up Port-Royal Creek, where we anchored.

July 28. — It continued to blow hard, with rain. We got through Port-Royal Creek, and came to at the Town, and landed our stores, in order to clean.

July 29. — We hauled on shore, and cleaned, and in the evening hauled her off again.

July 30. — Took on board our stores, and got ready to sail; fell down the river a little.

July 31. — Sailed from Port-Royal, with the wind at south, and turned down to Jenkins' s Landing.

August 1. — Got under way, and turned through Skull Creek, and came to at Callaboge.

August 2. — Sailed out of Tybee, with the wind at south;


turned to windward; at meridian observed in latitude 31° 45' .

August 3. — Still plying to windward, with the wind at south; latitude observed 31° 28' .

August 4. — Fine settled weather, wind southerly, beating to windward; latitude observed 31° 09' .

August 5. — Fresh breeze and thunder squalls, wind southerly; latitude observed 30° 51' .

August 6. — Fine settled weather, with fresh gales; latitude observed 29° 55' .

August 7. — Made the Matanzas at night; came to under the fort, in seven fathoms water, and rode all night, At 6 A˙ M˙ got under way, and run down towards the bar of Augustine, where we saw a sail at anchor off the bar. We ran down to her, and hailed her, and found her to be the Brigantine Betsy, commanded by Captain Alvere Lofthouse, from London. We boarded her with our sloop, and upon strict search found on board of her a large quantity of gunpowder, of which we took one hundred and eleven barrels, one half barrel, and thirty small kegs. Said vessel had on board of her twelve soldiers from the shore, eight seamen, the Captain, two mates, and steward, which was in number twenty-three men; and our number was twenty-one whites and five blacks. Our situation was such on this occasion, that we thought it most prudent to bribe the men, which we did with one hundred Pounds currency; and the Captain accepted a draft for one thousand Pounds sterling, for the powder, drawn on Mr˙ John Edwards, of Charlestown; and at half past 11 A˙ M˙, after spiking up two pieces of cannon that were mounted on board said brigantine, we re-embarked our men, and made sail with a light air at E˙ N˙ E. The wind veered to the northward. At 4 P˙ M˙ we passed the River St˙ John' s, and passed a small boat stretching to the southward.

August 8. — Turning to the windward, with the wind at N˙ E˙, squally, with rain; latitude observed 31° 26' .

August 9. — Fresh gales at N˙ E˙, plying to windward with all sail set, and a growing sea; latitude observed 31° 50.'

August 10. — Light breezes of wind; set squaresail and topsail, and made Tybee Tower, and we steered in at it through Skull Creek, and came to in Port-Royal Creek; latitude observed 31° 50' . Got under sail, and at 10 A˙ M˙, came to at Port-Royal, and despatched away an express to Charlestown; and at 3 P˙ M˙, we landed the powder.

August 11. — Fine settled weather, with the wind to the westward.

August 12. — Showery, and thunder squalls. At anchor at Port-Royal.

August 13. — Showery weather.

August 14. — Showery weather.

August 15. — Showery and thunder squalls. An express from Charlestown arrived, with an account of the Governour' s sloop being in pursuit of us.

August 16. — Squally weather, with a great deal of rain. Sundry companies of Militia and Light-Infantry came to Town from the different islands, to guard the gunpowder.

August 17. — Squally weather. Our express arrived from Charlestown, and brought with him a detachment of Artillery, in order to escort the gunpowder to Charlestown.

August 18. — Received on board of the Success ninety-one barrels of powder, and got in readiness to sail. At 10 A˙ M. Captain Cattell arrived in Town with sixty men of the Provincials, and offered to join us to protect the gunpowder, which we accepted of.

August 19. — Got all in readiness to sail, and at meridian we weighed anchor and sailed through Port-Royal Creek, and run down as low as Morgan' s Island, when we came to with our small squadron, consisting of nine sail, and rode all night.

August 20. — At 6 A˙ M˙ we got under way, and sailed down towards Otter Island, and fell down to Soulh-Edisto Inlet, to wait the flood. At 11 A˙ M˙ we weighed, and towed up towards Fenwick' s Bluff, when we came to to wait the tide and water the vessel, in company with the different detachments. At midnight got under way again, and towed up.

August 21. — Towed up to Block Island, and down to Slan' s Bluff, where we waited the tide, and cooked


provisions. At 4 P˙ M˙ we run down to White Point, and came to to wait tide to New-Cut.

August 22. — Got under way, and towed up and through New-Cut, and down to Wappoo, and there waited tide to come through. At 4 P˙ M˙ we got under way, and run into the Cut and towed through, and came to anchor in Ashley River, and lay all the night.

August 23. — Got under way, and towed up Cummings' s Creek, and at 6 A˙ M˙ we came to the Bluff, where we landed ninety-one barrels of gunpowder.