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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Richard Cogdell to Richard Caswell
Cogdell, Richard, 1724-1787
July 04, 1778
Volume 13, Pages 185-187

[From Executive Letter Book.]

New Bern 4th July 1778. Eve of the 3d year of Indepe.

Dear Sir:

By a person very lately from Charles Town we are informed that two English Privateers who have captured many of our Merchant vessels on our coast, have been taken and brought into Charles Town, and one of those Privateers was commanded by Capt. Osborne, I believe from Jamaica fitted out. The Capt. of the

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other, I have heard his name, but it has slipt my memory. The manner of their being taken is as follows. They were seen off the Bar some days cruizing, at the same time a Twenty Gun Boston Ship was lying in the harbor of Charles Town, the Commander of which offered his service to go out and take those privateers provided the Inhabitants would man his ship, which they did, many Gentlemen of the Town were of the number, who went on board for the laudable purpose of enabling the Captain to execute the plan he proposed, at the same time fitted out a proper vessel and manned her also as a Tender to the ship. They proceeded in quest of the Pirates, in short time saw them, the Tender going pretty near, the two Pirates gave chase to the Tender, upon seeing the ship, they left the Tender and gave chase to the ship, seemed to stand for Charles Town Bar, her Ports all closed; the Privateers pursued the Chase, making all the sail they could until they run along side of the ship on each side when the ship opened her Ports and gave such a salute that the two Pirates were under the necessity to strike and being near the Inlet were in a few hours brought to an Anchor in Charles Town Harbor.

Since writing the foregoing account of the Privateers being taken, I have received a Charles Town paper wherein is mentioned the same account, under the Charles Town Head June 24th in the words following to wit.

Government having applied to Capt. Smedly of the Connecticut State, ship Defence, to proceed on a cruize against some British Privateers on the coast. Notwithstanding his vessel had lately arrived from the West Indies, and was then performing Quarantine, he readily complied, and in company with the Sloop Volant, Capt. Daniel, who offered his vessel for the service, sailed last Friday. Before night they took the sloop Tanyers Revenge, Capt. Peter Bachop carrying 12 Guns and 72 men, and the sloop Ranger, Capt. Osborne of 8 Guns and 35 men both Privateers fitted at St. Augustine. The Sloop Active of 12 Guns, Capt. Powell, belonging to Liverpool escaped while the prisoners taken on Board of Bachop were being secured. The Defence her consort and prizes are all arrived. Commodore Gillion, Capt. Robertson, Capt. McQueen with several Masters of vessels and others went Volunteers on the cruize.

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In celebration of this day great numbers of Guns have been fired, at Stanley's Wharf, and Mr. Ellis' ship three different firings from each from early in the morning midday and evening, and Liquor given to the populace. Stanley and Ellis seemed to vie with each other, in a contest who should do the most honor to the day, but Mr. Ellis had the most artillery.

The Post from the Northward brought no letters or Packets for you, or should have sent them, the Newspapers are now sent. My family are in health and hope yours are the same, with compliments to Mrs. & Miss Caswell.

I am your Excellency's mo. ob. Servt.