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Attack on Gloucester

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol I. Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

August 10. –Yesterday the Falcon sloop-of-war, under the command of Captain Lindzee, hove in sight of Gloucester, Cape Ann, 1 and seemed to be in quest of two schooners from the West Indies, bound to Salem, one of which he soon brought too; the other taking advantage of a fair wind, put into Gloucester harbor; but Lindzee having made a prize of the first, pursued the second into the harbor, 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 by a whale boat, in which was the lieutenant and six privates, with orders to seize the loaded schooner, and carry her under the Falcon’s bow. The militia and other inhabitants were alarmed at this dangerous 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 the 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 Lindzee sent the other schooner and a small cutter he had to attend him, well armed, with orders to fire upon the damned rebels, wherever they could see them, and that he would in the mean time cannonade. He immediately fired a broadside upon the thickest settlements, and stood with a diabolical pleasure to see what havoc his cannon might make. “Now,” said he, “my boys, we will aim at the damned 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 have 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 are wounded, and one since dead; twenty-four are sent to head-quarters. The remainder being impressed from this and the neighboring towns, are permitted to return to their friends. This morning Captain Lindzee warped off with but one-half of his men, with neither a prize boat nor tender, except a small skiff the wounded lieutenant returned in.

Among the prisoners taken, is one Budd, gunner of the Falcon sloop-of-war, who was some time ago at Machias with a number of others, and carried to Worcester, and upon being released from close confinement, took an opportunity of running off with a few of the Tory gentry, and got on board the Falcon  again. It is hoped this fellow, if re-taken, will be better secured. 2


1 Massachusetts.
2 Virginia Gazette, September 16.

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