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Authentick and Particular Account of the Engagement at Cape Anne



Gloucester, August 13, 1775.

On the ninth instant, the Falcon, sloop-of-war, Captain Lindsey, hove in sight, and seemed to be in quest of two schooners from the West-Indies, bound to Salem, one of which he soon brought to; the other, taking the advantage of a fair wind, put into our harbour, but Lindsey, having made a prize of the first, pursued the second into the harbour, and brought the first with him. He anchored, and sent two barges, with fifteen men in each, armed with muskets and swivels; these were attended with a whale-boat, in which were the Lieutenant and six privates; their orders were to seize the loaded schooner, and bring her under the Falcon' s bow. The militia, and other inhabitants, were alarmed at this daring attempt, and prepared for a vigorous opposition. The barge men, under the command of the Lieutenant, boarded the schooner at the cabin windows, which provoked a smart fire from our people on the shore, by which three of the enemy were killed, and the Lieutenant wounded in the thigh, who thereupon returned to the man-of-war. Upon this Lindsey sent the other schooner and a small cutter he had, to attend him well armed, with orders to fire upon the damn' d rebels wherever they could see them, and that he would in the mean time cannonade the town; he immediately fired a broadside upon the thickest settlements, and stood himself, with diabolical pleasure, to see what havock his cannon might make. "Now," said he, "my boys, we will aim at the damn' d Presbyterian Church. Well, my brave fellows, one shot more, and the house of God will fall before you." While he was thus venting his hellish rage, and setting himself, as it were, against Heaven, the Almighty was on our side; not a ball struck or wounded an individual person, although they went through our houses in almost every direction, when filled with women and children. Under God, our little party at the water side performed wonders; for they soon made themselves masters of both the schooners, the cutter, the two barges, the boat, and every man in them, and all that pertained to them. In the action, which lasted several hours, we lost but one man, two others wounded, one of whom is since dead, the other very slightly wounded. We took of the men-of-war' s men thirty-five; several were wounded, and one since dead; twenty-four were sent to Head-Quarters; the remainder being impressed from this and the neighbouring towns, were permitted to return to their friends. Next day Captain Lindsey warped off with but half his men, never a prize boat nor tender, except a small skiff the wounded Lieutenant returned in.

To Mr˙ Isaiah Thomas, Worcester.