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Memorial from the Officers of the Eastern Regiments in the County of Lincoln


The Memorial from the Officers of the Eastern Regiment in the County of Lincoln read, and committed to Mr˙ Rice, Colonel Orne, and Colonel Davis, with such as the honourable Board shall join.

August 14, 1775: Read and concurred, and Joseph Palmer and Jabez Fisher are joined.

To the Honourable the Great and General Court, assembled at WATERTOWN:

The Memorial of the Officers of the Eastern Regiment of Militia, in the County of Lincoln, in Council met at Booth-Bay, August 2, 1775, humbly sheweth: That in the night, between the 20th and 21st of July ultimo, the Colonel of said Regiment received information by express that a Frigate, with four Transport Ships and three Sloops, were arrived at Long-Island, in Penobscot-Bay, and taking on board fuel and provisions for General Gage' s Army. That the Colonel immediately despatched orders to the proper officers to meet him at St˙ George' s, with a third part of each Company under his command; in consequence of which the several Companies of each Regiment marched the next day. That on their arrival off said place of rendezvous, it was found that certain persons, not under their command, had gone to Camden, the place of continent nearest to said island. That fearing the effects of this incident, the body marched after them with all possible expedition; but as soon as they reached Camden they had certain intelligence that, by means of said persons, the enemy had already received notice of the approach and designs of the Militia, and in consequence thereof had moved from the land out of the reach of their arms. That a council was immediately called, in which it was judged impracticable to execute the plan hitherto adopted against the foe thus alarmed; nor was any other way of defeating their intentions now in the power of the Militia, but that of cutting off their communications with the main, preventing any ill-disposed persons from finding them supplies, and themselves from making any secure lodgment on shore — that as Fort Pownall stood contiguous to good navigation for Ships of any burden, it was untenable by any force we could throw into it — as it was just at hand to the present station of the enemy; unapproachable by us if once they shall get possession; so situated as to command the settlements on the River and Bay; and, with the assistance of a few men and one or two small armed vessels, capable of distressing the inhabitants of the greatest part of the eastern country, so as to oblige them to abandon their abodes or act the tory to the uttermost; it was therefore judged to be the most alluring bait, and, at the same time the easiest prey the foe could find in these parts — and as a letter from Mr˙ Winslow, who conducts their said fleet, to the Committee of St˙ George' s, together with a pretended certificate from some Selectmen in Boston, intimates a design of returning for more cargoes, it seemed highly probable that their factors would tarry at said fort, under protection of the marines now on board said frigate, to prepare matters for this or any other fleet, on like errand, against their return. It was therefore unanimously judged necessary for the publick safety that said Fort Pownall be immediately destroyed. That the Militia marched for said place without delay, and on their way were overtaken by two officers of Colonel McCobb' s Regiment, informing that part of said Regiment, under command of Lieutenant Colonel Harnden, was on the march to join them; but as there was no prospect of an opportunity of coming to action with the enemy, this Regiment being so far ahead of them, and being now about two hundred and seventy strong, was thought sufficient


to accomplish every purpose now attainable; and inasmuch as they came without boats, and your petitioners had not boats enough for the body now with thorn, their continuing their march was judged needless and inconvenient, and thereupon they returned. That your petitioners, proceeding on their march to Fort Pownall, took two sloops which they found in the employ of carrying necessaries to Boston, with a protection from Admiral Graves. Intelligence was received of several others in the same circumstances at Majabigwaduce, whereupon a party was despatched thither, which took a sloop loading for Nantucket, together with another sloop and schooner just come from Boston, and bound thither again, with protection from the Admiral. The rest of said Regiment meanwhile went forward, and after assisting Colonel Goldthwait in removing his effects out of said Fort to the Chapel, and saving what shot, lead and old iron they could, burnt the building to the ground, and then brought off a barge belonging to the Colony, which had been employed in the service of the Fort. That your petitioners then reconnoitred the bay, and found the enemy' s fleet to remove from place to place sundry times, and to take such posts as made it evident their design was rather to avoid than intercept them. That finding their provisions all spent, and themselves in a country where the necessities of the inhabitants forbid the hope of any supply from them, your petitioners were obliged to return home: accordingly the vessels abovementioned were brought to sail, and arrived safe in Townsend Harbour, in this Town, on Tuesday, the first of this instant. That on their return, your petitioners find that they would have been supplied with provisions from the Town of Bristol, had not one of the aforesaid persons, by whose means the enemy was alarmed from Camden, prevented their sending them, after part was put on board of the vessels to convey them to your petitioners. That soon after their arrival, your petitioners met in council to deliberate on what might be proper to be done with the vessels now in custody, and the persons who commanded them; and a regard for the publick safety induced your petitioners to order them to be hauled up, stripped, and kept under a constant guard till the pleasure of the honourable Court is known — except the schooner, which, for particular reasons, your petitioners have delivered to Major Andrew Reed, of this Town, to be employed in defence of this coast, and in suppressing trade with the enemy, until the orders of the Legislature concerning her shall have been received. The masters of said vessels appeared to your petitioners to have offended rather out of ignorance than ill intent, and therefore were dismissed — Nitthan Phillips, Peleg Cruger, and Jonathan Carleton, then sick on shore and incapable of being removed, excepted, who were by plenary evidence found guilty of having made it their business for some time past to supply the King' s Troops with wood, live stock, and whatever other provisions they could procure: and therefore your petitioners judged it not for the safety of the Colony, and especially the eastern country, to suffer said persons to go at large. Your petitioners have for that reason referred them to the sentence of the honourable Court, and for that purpose do now send the two former to your Honours by the escort of Major Edward Emerson, an officer of said Regiment, who has been with your petitioners through the whole of the expedition here narrated, and to whom your petitioners can safely refer the honourable Court for a particular account of every circumstance attending it. Your petitioners pray that the honourable Court would take order respecting the premises, and on the first signification of your Honours' pleasure, the said sloops, schooner, boat, &c˙, shall forthwith be disposed of agreeably thereunto. And your petitioners, as in duty bound, shall ever pray.

Signed in behalf and per order of the Officers of the Eastern Regiment, in the County of Lincoln.