Wednesday, October 26

Lieutenant Hamiltons Log 23 October

It had been my ardent hope to slip into shore with the cutter under the cover of darkness to recover the Lieutenant and the Doctor and avoid the notice of the Americans. The cutter is far easier to bring in close and could make the return much quicker than then ships boat. Mind I have no military concern. No doubt Acasta could handle any colonial American ship encountered. My concern was of reputation. I wanted to avoid Acasta being named as agitating the Americans; that is without proper orders to do so.

A night rendezvous failing, we have had no choice but to stand in at midday and watch for our party or perhaps for their signal rocket.

This is a complex coastline with a network of hundreds of small islands in inlets and the lieutenant is without a proper horizon to fix his position. He is a competent officer however and the Doctor possess an uncommon intellect. I am sure the delay in their return has a harmless enough cause.

We have stood in these last 2 noons without success and without indecent. We shall try again tomorrow.

Weather clear. Winds a light northwest.

Tuesday, October 25

Lieutenants Hamiltons Log 21 October

Acasta stood off and on last night in the vicinity of the rendezvous point. The cutter was lowered and I took her in near shore about 8 cable length off Swan Island in Toothaker Bay. There is a narrow but deep enough channel for the cutter, but not so deep as to draw large ship traffic. We understand the the locals prefer the wider channel out of Jericho Bay to the south. That being said, we did have the discomfort of the close passing of what I believe were 2 fishing smacking in the predawn.

Our orders not being quite exact and not knowing what to expect I had taken a file of 8 marines and made the expedient of mounting 2 swivel guns in the event the Doctor and the Lieutenant might have angered their relatives.

Perhaps if was unfortunate that the smacks did not come closer after all as the wardroom would have enjoyed fresh fish pie for their dinner.

As dawn approached it became clear that the rendezvous was not going to occur so made our way back out to Acasta.

Acata is now sailing north northeast on apparent course toward Halifax.

At noon winds out of the Northwest, sky overcast, no observations.

Friday, October 21

A Report from the Field Part 4

Realizing our position, we returned to the notes from our original interview. The only name that was not mentioned by Miss Waterman that was mentioned by Miss Bosworth was that of Sgt. Baker.

We concentrated on the American Riflemen's camp, although many theories were examined, it was believed that Sgt. Baker was real and he was in fact our man.

We spent the remainder of the afternoon surveiling the American camp as they went about their business. We noted that every man wore a black haversack at his side. We were visited by Miss Bosworth, who again assured us that Sgt. Baker was in possession of our packet and that it was IN his haversack. She also informed us that his superior had ordered that Baker was not to be left un-escorted when he left camp.

Later that afternoon, Midshipman Raley and Mr. Campbell had to return to their duty elsewhere, and Lt. Ramsey and I were issued an invitation to dine at the Harmon Estates before the ball to take place that evening.

We cleaned up and made ourselves as presentable as possible for dinner and the ball.

Dinner was a lovely three course affair with the finest company, including Mr. Cooper of the American Rifflemen, still in his green uniform, right across the table from me.

We all departed company and Mr. Cooper excused himself to return briefly to the American camp. Lt. Ramsey and I noted that upon his return, he wore his rifleman's frock and was adjusting his newly retained black haversack at his side.

Why would he wear his haversack to a ball? We noted that he had gone all the way back to camp to fetch it. Lt. Ramsey and I looked about to espy the other riflemen, all were wearing their haversacks at the ball! As we stood by the exit to the great tent, one of the riflemen passed, I stopped him.

"Are you one of the American Riflemen?" asked I.

"Y-yes." he looked near panic.

"What's your name soldier?"

He replied that it was something that started with an A, but even then didn't sound terribly sure of himself. He was obviously nervous.

"Why are you wearing your haversack to a ball? That seems like a funny thing to wear to dance in." I queried.

"We were ordered to." answered he.

A scene from the Ball.
 In our minds, this only served to confirm that Sgt. Baker must surely be in possession of the packet and that the entire company had been ordered to wear their haversacks in order to avert our suspicion of only ONE man wearing his haversack to a ball. We would have been able to pick Baker out immediately had he been the only one.

Sgt. Baker's only card to play was that we did not yet know what he looked like.

After the ball, we returned to the Harmon Estate for a bit of an after party, wherein Lt. Ramsey caught my eye and raised his glass.

Quietly, so that others around us would not hear above the din, he said in way of a covert toast, "To King, Country and the success of our mission!"

Wednesday, October 19

Lieutenant Hamilton's Log October 18

Weather clear and brisk.

Noon observations 43 47" N 68 17" W. This puts Acasta just to the north and east of Matinicus islands. We will cursie here to stay in positon to retrieve the doctor and lieutenant.


It was one of the greatest sea battles in British history and gave birth to a legend. Off the coast of Spain's Cape Trafalgar Peninsula, the British Fleet, led by Lord Horatio Nelson, took on a combined French and Spanish force to determine who would be the master of the waves. England's very existence was at stake for France's Napoleon Bonaparte was poised to send his powerful army across the English Channel to conquer the island. The only obstacle standing in his way was the British fleet.

The battle commenced on October 21, 1805 with Nelson's famous words signaled to his fleet: "England expects that every man will do his duty." Nelson had devised an unorthodox battle plan that called for his ships to attack the enemy broadside in two parallel lines, break into the enemy's formation and blast his opponents at close quarters.

 As Nelson watched from the deck of the HMS Victory the battle soon turned into a confused melee of combat between individual ships. The fighting was at such close quarters that the Victory became entangled with the French ship Redoubtable. Locked together in a deadly ballet, each ship blasted its enemy at point-blank range. From his perch in the upper rigging of the Redoubtable, a French sharpshooter took aim at a prized target on the deck of the Victory, fired and sent a musket ball into Nelson's left shoulder. Continuing its journey, the bullet tore a path through the Admiral's upper body before smashing into his lower back. It was a mortal wound.

Nelson was carried below decks while the battle raged on. He lived long enough to hear the news of the Redoubtable's surrender and of his fleet's victory after four and one-half hours of combat.

Dr. William Beatty was a physician aboard the Victory and attended Nelson as he lay dying. The doctor published his account soon after the battle. We join his story as Nelson and the Captain of the Victory observe the battle from the ship's quarter deck:

"Lord Nelson and Captain Hardy walked the quarter-deck in conversation for some time after this, while the enemy kept up an incessant raking fire. A double-headed shot struck one of the parties of Marines drawn up on the poop, and killed eight of them; when his lordship, perceiving this, ordered Captain Adair, to disperse his men round the ship, that they might not suffer so much from being together. In a few minutes afterwards a shot struck the fore-brace-bits on the quarter-deck, and passed between Lord Nelson and Captain Hardy; a splinter from the bits bruising Captain Hardy's foot, and tearing the buckle from his shoe. They both instantly stopped; and were observed by the Officers on deck to survey each other with inquiring looks, each supposing the other to be wounded. His lordship then smiled, and said: 'This is too warm work, Hardy, to last long;' and declared that 'through all the battles he had been in, he had never witnessed more cool courage than was displayed by the Victory's crew on this occasion.'

. . . About fifteen minutes past one o'clock, which was in the heat of the engagement, he was walking the middle of the quarter-deck with Captain Hardy, and in the act of turning near the hatchway with his face towards the stern of the Victory, when the fatal ball was fired from the enemy's mizzen-top. . .

The ball struck the epaulette on his left shoulder, and penetrated his chest. He fell with his face on the deck. Captain Hardy, who was on his right (the side furthest from the enemy) and advanced some steps before his lordship, on turning round, saw the Sergeant Major of Marines with two seamen raising him from the deck; where he had fallen on the same spot on which, a little before, his secretary had breathed his last, with whose blood his lordship's clothes were much soiled. Captain Hardy expressed a hope that he was not severely wounded; to which the gallant Chief replied: 'They have done for me at last, Hardy.' - 'I hope not,' answered Captain Hardy. 'Yes,' replied his lordship; 'my backbone is shot through.'

Captain Hardy ordered the seamen to carry the Admiral to the cockpit. . .

His lordship was laid upon a bed, stripped of his clothes, and covered with a sheet. While this was effecting, he said to Doctor Scott, "Doctor, I told you so. Doctor, I am gone;" and after a short pause he added in a low voice, "I have to leave Lady Hamilton, and my adopted daughter Horatia, as a legacy to my country." The surgeon then examined the wound, assuring his lordship that he would not put him to much pain in endeavoring to discover the course of the ball; which he soon found had penetrated deep into the chest, and had probably lodged in the spine. This being explained to his lordship, he replied, "he was confident his back was shot through."

The back was then examined externally, but without any injury being perceived; on which his lordship was requested by the surgeon to make him acquainted with all his sensations. He replied, that "he felt a gush of blood every minute within his breast: that he had no feeling in the lower part of his body: and that his breathing was difficult, and attended with very severe pain about that part of the spine where he was confident that the ball had struck; for," said he, "I felt it break my back." These symptoms, but more particularly the gush of blood which his lordship complained of, together with the state of his pulse, indicated to the surgeon the hopeless situation of the case; but till after the victory was ascertained and announced to his lordship, the true nature of his wound was concealed by the surgeon from all on board except only Captain Hardy, Doctor Scott, Mr. Burke, and Messrs. Smith and Westemburg the assistant surgeons.

The Victory's crew cheered whenever they observed an enemy's ship surrender. On one of these occasions, Lord Nelson anxiously inquired what was the cause of it; when Lieutenant Pasco, who lay wounded at some distance from his lordship, raised himself up, and told him that another ship had struck, which appeared to give him much satisfaction. He now felt an ardent thirst; and frequently called for drink, and to be fanned with paper, making use of these words: 'Fan, fan,' and 'Drink, drink.'

He evinced great solicitude for the event of the battle, and fears for the safety of his friend Captain Hardy. Doctor Scott and Mr. Burke used every argument they could suggest, to relieve his anxiety. Mr. Burke told him 'the enemy were decisively defeated, and that he hoped His lordship would still live to be himself the bearer of the joyful tidings to his country.' He replied, 'It is nonsense, Mr. Burke, to suppose I can live: my sufferings are great, but they will all be soon over.' Doctor Scott entreated his lordship 'not to despair of living,' and said 'he trusted that Divine Providence would restore him once more to his dear country and friends.' — 'Ah, Doctor!' replied lordship, 'it is all over; it is all over.'

The Death of Lord Nelson
An hour and ten minutes however elapsed, from the time of his lordship's being wounded, before Captain Hardy's first subsequent interview with him. . . They shook hands affectionately, and Lord Nelson said: 'Well, Hardy, how goes the battle? How goes the day with us?'- 'Very well, my Lord,' replied Captain Hardy. . . 'I am a dead man, Hardy. I am going fast: it will be all over with me soon. Come nearer to me. Pray let my dear Lady Hamilton [Lord Nelson's mistress] have my hair, and all other things belonging to me.' . . .Captain Hardy observed, that 'he hoped Mr. Beatty could yet hold out some prospect of life.' – 'Oh! no,' answered his lordship; 'it is impossible. My back is shot through. Beatty will tell you so.' Captain Hardy then returned on deck, and at parting shook hands again with his revered friend and commander.

His Lordship became speechless in about fifteen minutes after Captain Hardy left him. . . and when he had remained speechless about five minutes, his Lordship's steward went to the surgeon, who had been a short time occupied with the wounded in another part of the cockpit, and stated his apprehensions that his Lordship was dying. The surgeon immediately repaired to him, and found him on the verge of dissolution. He knelt down by his side, and took up his hand; which was cold, and the pulse gone from the wrist. On the surgeon's feeling his forehead, which was likewise cold, his Lordship opened his eyes, looked up, and shut them again. The surgeon again left him, and returned to the wounded who required his assistance; but was not absent five minutes before the Steward announced to him that 'he believed his Lordship had expired.' The surgeon returned, and found that the report was but too well founded: his Lordship had breathed his last, at thirty minutes past four o'clock; at which period Doctor Scott was in the act of rubbing his Lordship's breast, and Mr. Burke supporting the bed under his shoulders.

    Dr. Beatty's account is found in: Beatty, William, The Death of Lord Nelson (1807); Adkins, Roy, Nelson's Trafalgar: the battle that changed the world (2005); Howarth, David A., Trafalgar: the Nelson touch (1969).

Text taken from: "The Death of Lord Nelson, 1805", EyeWitness to History, (2007).

Monday, October 17

A Report From the Field Part 3

Having decided that our best opportunity to take Mrs. Burns and the prize was during the American’s next engagement, we divided in order to keep our numbers small.  Midshipman Raley and Mr. Campbell went to view the actions being taken, down on the River, while The Doctor and I broke away back into the town in order to dine at the Ordinary and to make a few purchases, one of which was a lovely new telescoping glass that the Doctor had his eye on for some time.

Having used our time in leisure all the while excited with the anticipation of our coming victory we rendezvoused with Messers  Raley and Campbell within the first few volleys of the second engagement betwixt the King’s men and the Americans.  Spread out, we made our way to the American camp hoping to ensnare our quarry in an ambuscade.  But upon arrival in their camp we quickly ascertained that Mrs. Burns had not, as we assumed, planned to view the battle in support of her husband and his company, but instead she had retired to the town.

Making use of what time we had we marched at the double into town to search for Mrs. Burns where we found her inside one of the shop on the main road through town.  Instantly, we interviewed and demanded to see inside the basket that she carried.  We found the packet… no, on closer examination we only found a packet.  It seems that the latest fashion plates from England and France had just arrived and Mrs. Cooper had taken it upon herself to send copies to some of her friends.

Completely crestfallen at the existence of this damned unlucky development, we found a place to sit in order to reexamine our notes…

Lt. Hamilton's Log 17 October

These past 3 days we had experienced a foul east south east blow straight up the harbor channel with heavy rain and fogs keeping Acasta bottled up. On Saturday we had a slight break in the wind but was able to beat out no further that the lighthouse on McNabb’s Island before being blown back and forced to take shelter the that island’s lee.
Weather this morning broke fair and bright winds north northwest. We have attained the morning tide and are currently riding out at to the South East at 9 knots.
Noon observations, 44 31’ N 63 28’ W. This puts well clear of the Harbor mouth and clear of the shoals of the South East of McNabb.

Friday, October 14

A Report from the Field part 2

Midshipman Raley of the Terpsichore
We entered the American Camp and began our investigation. We asked about with several of the riflemen as to the whereabouts of Sgt. Baker... all the riflemen knew the gentleman we spoke of, but none could seem to agree on where he was.

On our way down the hill towards town, we spotted a gaggle of ladies coming down the hill towards us. Mrs. Birkenbach and Mrs. Burns were among them, Mrs. Burns carried a small basket under her arm. There, from the end of the basket I espied a packet peeking out!

The middle of the American Camp was no place to affect an arrest, so Lt. Ramsey, Midshipman Raley, Mr. Campbell and I adjourned to the Widow Black's Coffee House to make plans. We were now decided that Miss Bosworth had perhaps fed us the information about Sgt. Baker as a ruse to lead us away from the true culprit.

We played One and Thirty and partook of the widow's fines. We gambled and began to make plans in how we would each spend our shares of the prize money, even going so far as to divide it up in various ways accounting for Miss Bosworth's assistance or the lack thereof (with the mathematical aid from the widow Black herself.).

The Coffee House, click to enlarge
All the while we made plans to detain Mrs. Burns, deciding that the best way to take her with ease would be to do so during the afternoon engagement when the men were all away.

Wednesday, October 12

Lieutenant Hamilton's Log 12 October


I have ordered the Blue Peter up.
Acasta is re-provisioned and we do have 10 hours to catch the tide. However, after some visits ashore, I fear the crew may have been over socialized by the local …entertainments and thus slow to their duty. We will not miss the tide.
We have been ordered to cruise SSE keeping at least 100 leagues off shore. This I am sure in preparation for the restoration of the Doctor and the Lieutenant to Acasta form their personal trip.

A Report from the Field part 1

Miss Waterman, the Courier
At 10AM on Saturday morning we rendevoused with Mr. Midshipman Raley late of the Terpsichore and Able Seaman Mr Cambell of the same, who were to assist us in our mission. Shortly after, we encountered the courier, Miss Waterman and her travel companion Miss Bosworth.

I delivered my letter of condolence to Miss Bosworth, who was in mourning for her recently departed brother, and bid the ladies good morning. As they departed, we signaled Mr. Campbell to follow them. Mr. Campbell was our first card to play.

The letter to Miss Bosworth was the second card to play. It read as follows:

Miss Bosworth,

Please allow me to pass on to you the my most sincere condolences for the recent misfortune of your family.

Because I respect you and your unfortunate situation, I shall not mince words. It has been brought to my attention that the loss of your brother Thomas places your family in a delicate financial situation with your creditors back in England. Your Father owes a good deal to his creditors, Young & Erskine of Glasgow as well as loans from the Bank of England itself for the capital required to start his plantations here. You may not have been made aware, but with the harsh winter of '09 and last summer's drought, your Father's income from his exports has flagged and the creditors have begun to circle like vultures to collect their due.

I have been assigned by the Royal Navy to capture a treacherous Spy that is here in this country. It is the belief of the Navy that your friend Miss Emily Waterman, is in possession of a packet of papers that she is to pass off to the unknown Spy. It is the intent of the British Government to ferret out the identity of this Spy and place them under arrest.

Miss Bosworth in Mourning.
Your need not fear for the safety of your friend, Miss Waterman, it is our belief that she is being forced to act as courier against her will. The Navy's only concern is finding out the identity of the Agent she passes the sensitive packet on to.

If you are able to reveal to us the recipient of said packet and a successful arrest can be made, the packet returned with its contents intact, it is with great pleasure that I inform you that I have been authorized by the Admiralty Office in Whitehall on behalf of His Majesty to offer a settlement that they hope will be satisfactory to all parties concerned. In return for revealing identity of the recipient of the packet, the Crown will pay off your Father's hefty debts and give you an additional Fifty Pounds  for your cooperation.

It is my firm belief that Thomas would not have wanted to have left this mortal coil and endangered the future of his parents and dear sister. This simple act will ensure your family's well-being into the foreseeable future.

Know Miss, that I offer my best compliments to yourself and Family. If, in any of your affairs here, I can render you any acceptable service, I beg you will use that freedom with which I wish you to command, my dear,

Your affectionate and obedient servant,

etc, etc...

After a long half-hour of waiting for the packet to be delivered to the unknown American Spy, we left the British encampment to detain the courier and to begin our investigation.

We separated Miss Waterman and Miss Bosworth and questioned each of them alone.

Miss Waterman, when questioned about who she had seen in the past half hour, gave up the names of a series of ladies that she had seen that morning.

Mrs. Fast and Mrs. Cooper
Mrs. Birkenbach, and Mrs. Burns
A woman in yellow whom Miss Waterman could not remember the name of
Mr. Kannick and the Dubbelds

...and that her route took her through the Indian camp straight into the American camp, then back around down the main road to 96 Warehouse. The route was confirmed by our tail, Mr. Campbell.

Miss Bosworth gave up the same list of names, except that she stated that while they moved through the American camp, Miss Waterman passed the packet on to a fellow by the name of Sgt. Baker with the riflemen encamped there.

The Doctor, Mr. Campbell, Lt Ramsey on the hunt.
Could it have been so simple? Sgt. Baker of the American Rifle Company? We went to investigate, following the path taken by the two young ladies into the heart of the American Camp. be continued...

Tuesday, October 11

Lieutenant Hamilton Personal Journal

In my cabin, throbbing head, blackened eye.
It started so well.
With the ship’s provisioning well underway I obtained three days of leave with permission to sleep off the ship.
The ward room had decided to go shares on livestock, wines, cheeses and other stuffs. I had volunteered, in light of my good fortune in the way of leave, to do the marketing.
After having been rowed ashore, I first headed for the markets on Water Front Street. Purchased 6 cases of port, 2 casks of Burgundy, and 2 casks of Claret. The three wheels of cheddar came quite dear, the merchant claimed privatizing.
The live stock acquisition was more arduous due to the seller being located across Barrington Street on the far side of the Governor’s house. There 2 pigs, 3 lambs, and a score of hen were gained and sent back to Acasta. Meals should be inordinately pleasing for the next few weeks aboard.
With these tasks complete, I was able to turn to my social duty’s as I had been invited that afternoon to tea at an old family friend’s home, the widow Murphy…..

Friday, October 7

From the Surgeon's Personal Log 5

We have arrived in the Indiana Territory after a good deal of rather exhausting covert travel in order to intercept our target who, we have discover'd, is still in possession of the packet. We hope to be able to surveil her whilst she makes contact with her counterpart. Then once the packet has been passed, we hope to be able to effect an arrest of the still unknown American agent.

There is a great row of shops nearby, and I should very much like to purchase a new telescope with greater magnification, if one is available.

It is our belief that there are Royal Naval officers encamped in the area and I have discussed with Lt. Ramsey the possibility of enlisting their aid in making the arrest. We will have to be careful, as there are several large encampments of American soldiers nearby as well, and neither of us is anxious to encounter them if we do not have to.

We are, each of us, arm'd with our service pistols and a few cartridges, and the red rocket, which MUST be saved for our return to the coast so we can signal the Acasta.

Thursday, October 6

Lieutenant Hamilton Log 6, October

The ship is well anchored in Halifax Harbor. I have made arrangements for the provisioning of the ship. We are especially short on fresh water and fire wood. We have also requested from the Naval yard various spars and booms for either replacement of losses or for spares along with various other items.
I also expect additional salted beef and rice, quantities and quality as yet unknown.
The doctor has requested I secure him a fresh supply of mercury as it is often the Captain’s decision to take the ship out of discipline at an extended anchorage such as this.

Tuesday, October 4

From the Surgeon's Personal Log 4

We have kept to the small villages and towns in an attempt to avoid unwanted attention as we move ever further inland.

I have discovered over the course of our travels that Lt. Ramsey (formerly un-named) has a terrible 'American' accent and his attempts at such cause raised eyebrows everywhere we may stop. Yesterday, we were nearly refused service at a tavern because the innkeep decided Mr. Ramsey sounded 'too English'.

This morning on the road we encountered a farmer who called out a greeting to us, and upon Lt. Ramsey's reply, the farmer eyed us with suspicion until we were out of sight.

The Lieutenant and I have discussed it quietly amongst ourselves and unanimously agreed that we do not like being this far from the ship.

Prize Money Chart

The share-out of prize-money is given below in its pre-1808 state.

(a) 1/8 Flag Officer
(b) 2/8 Captain(s)
(c) 1/8 Captains of Marines, Lieutenants, Masters, Surgeons
(d) 1/8 Lieutenants of Marines, Secretary to Flag Officer, Principal Warrant Officers, Chaplains.
(e) 1/8 Midshipmen, Inferior Warrant Officers, Principal Warrant Officer's Mates, Marine Sergeants
(f) 2/8 The Rest.

After 1808 the regulations were changed to give the following:

(a) 1/3 of the Captain's share
(b) 2/8 Captain(s)
(c) 1/8 Captains of Marines, Lieutenants, Masters, Surgeons
(d) 1/8 Lieutenants of Marines, Secretary to Flag Officer, Principal Warrant Officers, Chaplains.
(e) 4/8 Midshipmen, Inferior Warrant Officers, Principal Warrant Officer's Mates, Marine Sergeants
(f) 4/8 The Rest.