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gain the upper Creeks from the English interest. They had also sent to buy provisions at New York, in order to have sufficient to maintain the troops, that they expected from the Havannah.
He received at the same time a letter from Don Carlos Dempsey, by the governor of Augustine's order, acquainting him that the Indians had fallen upon a post of theirs, called Picolata, and killed some of their men, and that he from thence seemed to conclude, that the Indians would not molest them unless they had some private countenance.
Upon these advices, to restrain the Indians, and prevent any pretence of a rupture upon their account with the Spaniards, Mr. Oglethorpe hastened the sending out of the marine - boats; and he also sent an express to hasten the independent company from Port Royal, and the man-of-war from Savannah.
On the 10th, in the evening, Ensign Delegal arrived with a detachment of thirty men of the independent company under his command, all active, willing young fellows; they had heard from Charlestown of the general report of the Spaniards' intention to dislodge us; Mr. Delegal had made them row night and day, relieving their oars with the soldiers, in order to come up time enough for service. Mr. Oglethorpe went immediately on board them, and for fear of losing time suffered none to land, but ordered provisions and English strong beer, to be carried on board and distributed amongst the soldiers. As also a present of wine to Ensign Delegal. They went forward with the same tide of ebb, and Mr. Oglethorpe went down with the scout boat, and posted them upon the east point of the island, which projects into the ocean, a pleasant and healthful place, open to the sea breezes. There is a beach of white sand for four or five miles long, so hard that horse races might be run upon it. It commands the entry of Jekyl sound, in such a manner that all ships that come in at this north entry, must pass within shot of the point, the channel lying under it, by reason of a shoal which runs off from Jekyl island. Having pitched upon the ground for a fort, Mr. Oglethorpe ordered a well to be dug, and found good water; after which he returned to Frederica.
On the 13th, in the evening, the marine boat and a periagua, with men and provisions for three months, together with arms, ammunition, and tools, sailed to the southward. On board her was Major Richard, with answers from Mr. Oglethorpe to the Captain General of Florida's letters, acquainting him that being greatly desirous to remove all occasions of uneasiness, upon his Excellency's frequent complaints of the incursions of the Indians into the Spanish dominions, Mr. Oglethorpe had sent down some armed boats to patrol the rivers which separate the King of Great Britain's dominions from those of Spain, to hinder any lawless persons from sheltering themselves in the British dominions, and from thence molesting his Catholic Majesty's subjects, and to restrain the English Indians from invading them. He returned him thanks for his civilities, and expressed his inclination for maintaining a good harmony between the subjects of both crowns; and that pursuant to his excellency's desire he has sent back Major Richard, together with an English gentleman to wait upon his excellency.
This body of men was commanded by Captain Hermsdorf, and under him by Mr. Horton, the latter of whom had orders to go with Major Richard to Augustine ; and Captain Hermsdorf had orders, after having fortified the parts which commanded the pass by water, to make the boats patrol up the river St. John, to prevent our friendly Indians from passing the rivers, and advise all they met to return to Mr. Oglethorpe at Frederica.
The 16th, we received advice from fort St. Andrews, that they had seen some ships out at sea. This day also returned some men whom Mr. Oglethorpe had sent to look out a way by land to the sea point, which they had found, and brought advice from Ensign Delegal, that he had already cast up a small entrenchment, mounted some cannon, and had seen some ships lying off and on, and as they thought, heard several guns fire at sea, but so very distant as not to be quite certain. We began to be apprehensive that the Hawk was intercepted, and the rather because a decked boat, which had been set out a month from Charlestown for this place, was not yet arrived ; and this was increased by an account from a sloop which came from the northward, that she had seen a large ship out at sea that seemed to make towards her, but she standing in for shoal water heard no more of her.
Upon this all hands were set to work upon the fortifications, Mr. Oglethorpe recalled several parties of Indians from the main, and kept them in the woods near the town. We cut down the small woods to the eastward, which hindered the town from seeing the Savannah, having before showed the inconveniency of it, for the people being tired of guards, to make them alert, he one day, in his return from viewing the sea coast, discovered a branch of the river that ended in the Savannah, and rowing up it landed with the men, and under the shelter of that wood, came to the farther end of the town without being discovered, having surprised the sentry that was without the wood, and sent him into the town crying the enemy was upon them. The men who were with Mr. Oglethorpe fired a volley, falling in with a Spanish cry, the people ran to the fort, the very women took arms to help the defence of the fort, and the whole colony was thoroughly alarmed.
One Walker, then sick of a fever, in his bower, which was nearest the wood, took up his musket, (which the people here were ordered to keep loaded by them) and being scarce able to stand, kneeling at his door upon one knee, he presented his piece at the first man he saw; at which Mr. Oglethorpe calling to him, he, in the surprise scarcely knew his voice, but hearing his own name called, he recovered his arms, and was glad to find they were friends; being asked what he intended to have done, he said, that thinking the town lost, he was resolved to die like a man with his arms in his hand, and to kill a Spaniard before he died.
A magazine for the powder was begun under one of the bastions, made of solid thick timber, with several feet of earth over it; a smith's forge also was getting up in the fort, the storehouse being raised and covered we began to bring in provisions, &c.
This house was flat roofed and covered with boards, to be laid over with turpentine, and above that a composition of tar and sand, the boards were already laid, but the tar and other things were not come from Carolina; notwithstanding that we thought it best to get every thing into the fort, particularly provisions, for fear of accidents.
I lay in the storehouse, but the rain came in between the boards, so that a good many of the stores were damaged, though we took all possible care to prevent it.
The 17th we landed some sheep which arrived the night before in a sloop from Carolina ; they were about forty,
bought for the use of the colony. Mr. Oglethorpe had ordered a pen to be made for them, to keep them in till they were acquainted with the place, the people appointed to do it and take care of them, thought they might spare the trouble of making a pen, and govern them as they do English sheep without it, but as soon as they were landed, they came with terrible complaints to Mr. Oglethorpe, that they were not sheep, but devils, that they had run directly into the woods, and were as wild as bucks. Mr. Oglethorpe taking some of the Indians and others, went himself, and with much difficulty brought up most of them, but some were lost. And this experience made them mind Mr. Oglethorpe's advice, who knew the nature of the country and the cattle. About this time the acre lots were run out, and each freeholder that desired to have them near the town had one, but those who were desirous of having more than one acre for their gardens were obliged to have it farther off the town, where they had five acres, which was part of the fifty acres promised to them; the remainder was to be in farm at something farther distance.
On the 18th the flies began to plague the horses so as to make them almost unserviceable. Mr. Oglethorpe had a stable made at the end of the town for them. There was a fence some time ago begun, designed to be carried all round the town by joint labor, but the alarms making it necessary to finish the fortifications, and put the place into a posture of defence (and for which there were scarce hands sufficient) the enclosure was obliged to be left unfinished, by which means most of the corn, and other things that had been planted, were destroyed by the cattle. The magazine for powder being finished, as also a lodgment bomb-proof in the hollow of another of the bastions, the smith's forge in a working order, the fort in a posture of defence, and provisions sufficient for the whole colony.
On the 25th Mr. Oglethorpe went down to St. Andrews in a scout boat, with some other boats, to see what farther works were necessary for that place, and also to have the entrance from the sea into Jekyl sound, better viewed and sounded.
On the 26th, advice came from Ensign Delegal, at the sea point, that he had discovered a ship at sea; Mr. Tanner went down in a scout boat to see what she was, but she
was stood out to sea, upon which he returned to the town.
“ The 29th, Mr. Oglethorpe returned from St. Andrews; in going down he had very bad weather, great storms of thunder, lightnings, wind, and rain. The scout boat was forced to take shelter amongst oyster banks, over against Jekyl island, where they rode out the night. They saw a fire upon that island, on which, notwithstanding the roughness of the weather, they rowed across the sound (which is three miles wide) with much difficulty, and could not gain the island till nine in the morning ; they found a creek which carried them up to the very heart of it, and there landing found a large field of rich ground, formerly cleared by the Indians. They saw the footsteps of a man where the fire had been ; Mr. Oglethorpe walked through the island, but could not make out the track : he went on to St. Andrews, and sent Ferguson's scout boat to Capt. Hermsdorf; he sent off another boat to sound; he ordered a ravelin to be added to the fort at St. Andrews, and also a palisade round the bottom of the hill. They saw some sails from St. Andrews, on which Mr. Oglethorpe immediately returned for Frederica, but by stress of weather was forced into Jekyl Island, blowing and raining very hard; however at last they rowed through it and got up to the town.” Mr. Tanner was sent down with Capt. Dymond's long boat to go out at Jekyl entry, to see what the sails were. At the same time another boat was sent down to go out at Cumberland entry, and see if any ships attempted to come in there, and to give notice thereof. Also Mr. Delegal was ordered to send over a party to view Jekyl island. Mr. Oglethorpe himself staid at Frederica, to take such measures as should be necessary for the defence of the whole, if these ships should not be friends, and land.
On the 30th, Mr. Tanner returned with an account that he reached Jekyl island in the evening, and saw a two mast vessel at an anchor off the bar, but being near night could make no farther discovery ; that this morning he went off with the tide of ebb being a dead calm, so that he could get near enough to discover what she was, without any danger of being intercepted by her; he afterwards took her to be the Hawk sloop, and the nearer he went to her, the better satisfied he was of it; he laid two buoys on the breaker