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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 22, Pages 757-758


New Bern, 4th July, 1778.
Eve of 3d year of Independency.

Dear Sir:

By a person very lately from Charles Town we are informed that two English privateers who have Captured many Merchant Vessels on our Coast have been lately taken and brought into Charles Town, One of those Pirates was commanded by Captain Osbourn, I believe, from Jamaica fitted out. The Captain of the other I have heard his Name, but it has slipt my memory. The manner of their being taken was as follows: They were seen off the Bar some days Cruising, at the same time a Twenty Gun Boston Ship lying in the Harbour 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 purposed; 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 which seemed to stand for Charles Town

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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 necessity to strike, and being near the inlet was in a few hours brought to an Anchor in Charles Town Harbour.

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

Government having applied to Capt. Smidly, of the Connecticut State Ship Defence, to proceed on a cruize against some British Privateers on this 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 Tonyirs Revenge, Capt. Peter Bachop carrying 12 Guns & 72 men, and the Sloop Ranger, Capt. Osburn, of 8 Guns and 36 men both Privateers fitted out at St. Augustine. The Sloop Active of 12 Guns, Capt. Powel belonging to Liverpool, escaped while the prisoners taken on Board of Bachop were leaving. The Defence her Consort and prizes are all arrived; Commadore Gillison, Capt. Robertson, Capt. McQueen, with several makers of Vessels and others went Volunteers on the Cruise.

In celebration of this day great numbers of Guns have been fired at Stanly Wharf and Mr. Ellis’ ship three Different firings from each from early in the morning, mid day & evening and Liquor given to the populace. Stanly 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 letter or packet for you, or should send them. The newspapers are now sent. My family is in health, and hope yours is the same, with compliments to Mrs. and Miss Caswell.

From your excellency’s most obedient servant,