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Troup County, Georgia and Georgia
The Spanish Invasion of St. Simon's
Contributed to this web site by J. G. (Jerry) Braddock Sr.; Charleston, SC.
Author of Wooden Ships - Iron Men;
 Format by C. W. Barnum
Return to Georgia Military Index
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Continued from Page One The Spanish Invasion of St. Simon's "An Order was issued to David Cutler Braddock to receive on board the Schooner Norfolk for the present Expedition against the Spanish Galley off the Bar 40 Muskets, 40 Cartouche Boxe filed. 40 Grenades 200lb weight of powder 40 pistols 40 cutlasses 40 Launches and 40 Swivel Guns. . . . 

". . . that Captn. Hardy with the Rye when his complement of men is complete which is hoped will be very soon repair thither with Captain Thompson's Ship and the General's Schooners the Charles Town Galley and whatever other vessels shall be in readiness."  In his letter of July 16th, Lieutenant Governor William Bull informed Oglethorpe of South Carolina's support efforts: The entry in the South Carolina Governor and Council Journal further advised the progress each captain of the vessels being readied to send to Georgia's aid was making in acquiring a full crew for his ship. "Sir
Since my last of the 6th. inst. Capt. Davis Capt. Thompson and the Guard Schooner Prize Sloop arrived here and also Capt. Braddock from Port Royal and I have been endeavoring to enlist men and in order for your further assistance I have commissioned the following Captains to proceed with their vessels to your immediate relief (viz') Capt. Thompson Capt. Murray Capt. Lyford and Capt. Chapman so there will be a Ship a Snow a Brigantine a Sloop and the other Galley will be well fitted & manned and sent to your Assistance at the expence of this Government wch I hope will be ready in two days I have wrote to acquaint His Grace the Duke of Newcastle the Govr. of Jamaica General Wentworth and Admr. Vernon the Governor of Virginia and the Govr. Providence to acquaint them with the present situation of affairs And as I shall send you that relief wch I hope will be sufficient with His Majesty's Ships of War to defeat His Majys Enemies now invading you I have the Militia of this province under Arms and have disposed them in the most proper method for the defence thereof I am Sir,
Your most Obedt. humble Servant 
William Bull
To James Oglethorpe Esq.
p. s. Since I wrote the above Capt. Davis has offered to carry for your use 4 Nine and 2 Twelve pound Cannon with 50 rounds of Shot, Cartridge paper &c. for each Gun wch he is to take this morning 16th. 1742"  Departure of some vessels continued to be delayed by a shortage of men. In the Council session Bull took extreme measures: 
". . . Therefore all persons who are inclined to Enlist their Slaves in the said Service are hereby directed to return the names of such their Slaves to me in Charles Town in order to their being enlisted into the Service immediately. . . .  "His Honor the Lieut. Govr. communicated to the Board a Letter he had received from the Honble John Oatland dated George Town in Winyaw July 12th 1742 Wherein he acknowledges he had received from his Honor a Warrant for apprehending all Vagabonds Vagrants & Straggling Sailors to execute which he had wrote to several Justices in that neighbourhood and directed the Constables to take all such persons and that shall be wanting in either of them to promote so necessary a piece of Service." Still literally beating the bushes for sailors, the South Carolina government decided on July 17th to send immediately all vessels that were ready. The "Gazette" reported in its July 19-26 issue that several sailed that day, "one after another," to join the men-of-war off St. Simon's. One exception was the Beaufort, which was delayed a day in sailing. The vessels carried on board more than 600 men and 140 carriage and swivel guns. Word was received from Virginia on July 23rd that the 40-gun man-of-war South Sea-Castle was being dispatched from that station. On July 24th, the Council compiled a list of naval support sent to Georgia's aid:  On July 24th, the Council compiled a list of naval support sent to Georgia's aid that included four Royal Navy ships carrying 400 men and 84 guns and 8 ships sent at the expense of the South Carolina government carrying 602 men and 162 guns. After being delayed in departing Charles Town because of a fouled anchor, Captain Hardy arrived on July 26th on the Rye. Seeing that the enemy has departed, he ordered the provincial vessels home. Four of them, the Carolina, Juan Batista, Kingston, and the Norfolk, left immediately. Upon their arrival in Charles Town on July 30th, their commanders were ordered to lay their journals before the Council. The Council, who was of the opinion that the provincial vessels would join the men-of-war in pursuing and destroying the Spanish should they retreat, were surprised and furious that the vessels were ordered home. They instructed the commanders to keep their vessels in readiness. Oglethorpe had detained the Beaufort and Charles Town gallies when the other vessels departed. William Sr., who arrived with the Charles Town too late to engage the enemy, wrote a letter to the lieutenant governor on August 3rd complaining about being made to cool his heels at St. Simon's instead of coming home. The letter was read in the August 12th Council meeting: "Sir
This comes to acquaint you that on the 24th July in Latitude 30d 34m in 12 fathoms of water at 2 oclock in the afternoon I received orders from the Commander to take Ensign Eyres on board with a Letter to General Oglethorpe and to go to Egg Island sound at 10 oclock the same night I came to anchor in 4 fathoms of water about 2 leagues to the Southward of Egg Island In the morning by daylight I discovered a small Boat under the land, who was in search of the Genls. Schooner whom after I hailed told me Spaniards were gone away I sent Mr. Ayres immediately on shore and run with my Galley immediately into St. Simons to water and wait further orders from the Commander On the 26th I received a Letter from Gen. Oglethorpe strictly charging me not to go out and on the same day I received orders from the Commodore by Captain Thompson to make the best of my way to Charles Town I waited on the General shewed him my Instructions and likewise my orders from the Commodore and his reply was he could not answer letting me go, for he did not yet think himself safe but promised to let me go as soon as the Men of War were returned from their cruize off St. Augustine Capt Gibson arrived here the 30th July and at his arrival the General promised to the Volunteers on board Capt. Thompson's ship to send me away to carry them to Charles town. But Capt. Gibson sailing without acquainting the General put him in such a rage that he sent Capt. Davis on Board his Schooner to assist the commander at St. Simons that no Vessel or Boat should go out without his leave or orders I waited on the general the next day who told me he would not suffer me to go before the Men of War returned from their Cruize who as he tells me promised to call in here And am lying here with my people all in good health here but very much disheartened for being detained therefore I hope your Honor will advise with Genl. Oglethorpe concerning of dispatch home In case the Men of War should not call here As for a full account of the siege here I refer your Honor to the young Volunteers I am
Your Honors most obedient and humble Servant
William Lyford
St. Simons 3 Aug.. 1742
p. s. Aug. 4th. Captain Gibson last night arrived and gives an account of 9 Sail in at St. Juan's and since this news I believe everybody will be stopt."
On August 13th, a letter from Oglethorpe was read in the Council meeting. Either not knowing, or not fully appreciating the difficulties South Carolina met in adequately manning ships of the hodgepodge fleet they hastily assembled to send to his aid, Oglethorpe, his breath probably still hot from the fast and furious pace of chasing and being chased over land and water the last several days, voiced his displeasure at not receiving support until the threat was all but over:

"The Honorable John Fenwicke laid the following Letters which he received from Genl. Oglethorpe before His Honor the Lieut. Govr. and Council one dated at Frederica the 4th August . . .
By the Blessing of God upon His Majesty's Arms we have driven the Spaniards out of the Colony. After our defeating them two fights in the woods they retreated from the Island with such precipitation that they left behind them Cannon Shot and even Musket Bullets. In their retreat they assaulted Fort William as far as which place I followed them where they were also repulsed and from whence I sent out Boats after them as far as the River St. Johns. As their loss has been but small tho' their Terror is great. I expect when they have had a little recovered their freight that they will attempt something with better Conduct. I send you enclosed the Account of a Spanish prisoner whom we have released from their power. I do write to Mr. Bull because I find he took no kind of notice of the Early Accounts I gave him of this design and even spoke very slightly of those Intelligences upon which the safety of His Majesty's Subjects depended. Besides as he is oftener at his plantation than in Town Letters which go to you will be more immediately communicated to His Majesty's Council and Assembly without loss of time. I am, Sir
Your most obedient humble Servant
James Oglethorpe
p. s. Necessity will force the Spaniards soon to attempt something. They have a vast number of Men in St. Augustine and little to subsist on." The "Gazette's" August 9-16 issue reported that on the 13th, three men-of-war and several provincial vessels sailed:"Last Friday Capt. Frankland in his Majesty's Ship the Rose, together with the Flamborough and Swift Men of War, and Four of the Provincial Vessels (commanded by Captains Murray, Barrett, Chapman and Braddock) sailed over this Bar to cruize against the Spaniards. We hear that they are to touch at St. Simon's and be joined by our Gallies now there. No doubt the Rye and Hawk Men of war (which weighed anchor off this Bar and stood to the Southward just after Capt. Frankland arrived here) will meet with the Fleet and join also."

In its August 30-September 6 issue, the "Gazette" gave an account of the fleet's movements for the next several days:

"On Tuesday the 24th of August, our Fleet (join'd by the General's Guard- Schooner and Two Scout-Boats) consisting of 15 Sail, set sail from Fort William for the bar of Augustine.

"On the 26th, Twelve of the Fleet arrived in sight of the Place, and at 4 in the Afternoon anchor'd off the Bar. The Castle distant about Two Leagues.

"On the 27th, the Provincial Vessels received their Orders from the Commodore and some of them look'd into the Harbour, when they Descry'd 7 sails lying under the Castle, and 6 Half-Galleys just within the Bar.

"On Saturday the 28th, the Commodore having made the proper Signals for all the Boats, &c. belonging to the Fleet to be mann'd and arm'd, at 12 o'Clock the Beaufort, Gibson; the Charles-Town, Lyford; the Norfolk, Braddock; the Carolina, Murray, and the Kingston, Chapman, weighed Anchor and stood close in for the Bar, in Company with the General, then on board Mr. Demitree's Scout-Boat; at 4 in the Afternoon those Vessels began to fire at the Half- Galleys, but none of our Shot was perceiv'd to reach them except from Charles-Town and Beaufort Galleys, which had Nine-Pounders; in the Evening (the Spaniards retiring under the Castle) our Vessels were order'd to draw off, and the next Morning set sail for the Matansas, where they arrived in the Afternoon, and came to an Anchor.

"Two of the Spanish Galleys were so much damaged that the Enemy was obliged to hawl them on shore to stop their Leaks: On the other Hand, one of the Enemy's Shot breaking a Swivel Gun on Board the Scout-Boat commanded by Mr. Demitree, killed One Man, slightly wounded the General and Three Others, and broke Mr. Demitree's Thigh, who is now under the Care of a Surgeon, in this Town. "On Monday the 30th, they designed to land some Men to make Discoveries, but there being a Swell that Design could not be executed. The Fleet then left that Coast . . .

". . . On Saturday last (September 4) returned from the Cruize against the Spaniards, the Rose and Swift, Men of War, and Beaufort Galley. And on Sunday also the Charles-Town Galley, the Schooner Norfolk, and Sloop Kingston. The South-Sea-Castle is, we hear, returned to her Station; the Flamborough (in want of Provisions and Water) detain'd by the Change of Wind, with our other Vessels, near Edisto. And the Rye and Hawk Men of War are gone, with the General's Craft to St. Simon's."

The Spanish never again mustered a major threat against the lower colonies.  
Oglethorpe's letter

This image is the whole journal page of the July 4, 1742 session of the Governor and Council meeting--the session in which Heron's two letters and Oglethorpe's were presented. This page contains Heron's first letter.

End of Exhibit. The material presentation was edited for this format style. This webmaster is grateful to receive this data from Mr. Braddock . To learn more about this historic period please read his book, Wooden Ships - Iron Men