Amphitrite,* lying at Fort-Royal, the 18-gun ship-corvette Diligente at St. Pierre's, and the late British brig-sloop Carnation at Marin. The governor-general of the island was Vice-admiral Villaret-Joyeuse, the opponent of Lord Howe on the 1st of June.
Early on the morning of the 30th, one division of the troops, nearly 3000 in number, commanded by Major-general Frederick Maitland, landed, without opposition, at Sainte-Luce, under the superintendence of Captain Fable of the Belleisle ; and a detachment of 600 men, under Major Henderson of the York Rangers, landed at Cape Salomon, also without opposition. The appearance of the former in Marin, bay was the signal for the French to set fire to and destroy the Carnation. While these proceedings were going on upon the south-west or leeward coast of the island, a division of about 6500 men, commanded by Lieutenant-general Sir George Provost, disembarked, under the direction of Captain Philip Beaver of the 40-gun frigate Acasta, at Baie Robert on the north-east or windward coast, still without experiencing any opposition. The fact is, that the French governor-general had committed the great mistake of sending to each of the two points at which the British had landed, Baie Robert and Pointe Sainte-Luce, two of the four battalions of militia on the island, unaccompanied by troops of the line. The consequence was, that the militia, or " gardes nationales, " left the field to the enemy, and retired peaceably to their homes.
This traitorous conduct was partly the effect of a proclamation, addressed by the two British commanders in chief to the black or coloured population, of which, almost exclusively, the militia was composed. No copy of this proclamation accompanies the official letters : it is merely referred to in them. An enemy has an immense advantage, where the territory he is about to invade contains a slave population ; but there is a homely proverb about persons with glass windows, &c., which might be worth attending to by those who scruple not to resort to so barbarous, so unauthorized a mode of warfare, as that of inciting the slave, if not actually to murder, to betray his master.
The first meeting between the regular troops on each side was upon the heights of Desfourneaux and Surirey, on the 1st and 2d of February ; on each of which days the British forces, under the command, nominally of Lieutenant-general Sir George Provost, but really of Brigadier-general Hoghton, † were
† That Sir George took no personal share in the battles that ensued, his own letters, on a careful perusal of them, sufficiently prove. For instance: " I lost no time after this junction, and pushed forward (not himself, but) " the honourable Lieutenant-colonel Pakenham," &c. "'This movement I supported (not by leading his own division but) " by the light-infantry battalion under Brigadier-general Hoghton ;" who, in fact, did all that was done. On another occasion Sir George writes ; " Having yesterday evening reconnoitered the enemy's advanced picket, I decided upon attempting the surprise of it in the course of the night, and-gave directions accordingly to Major Pearson," &c..
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