Talk:Siege of Pensacola

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Thanks for getting this one started. What would you think about renaming it the Siege of Pensacola? — admin • talk  19:18, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

I don't have a particular opinion. I titled it "Battle of Pensacola" after the Wikipedia version. — dscossontalk  19:35, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I think it's more accurate (that's what FHQ tends to call it) and helps disambiguate. Will move. — admin • talk  19:37, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

You know, I had always heard it was Fort George that had its powder magazine detonated, but it was apparently the Queen's Redoubt to the northwest. — admin • talk  07:48, 18 March 2009 (CDT)

What yo ev'dence on that? I had got a source be sayin' othawise. — dscossontalk  14:49, 22 March 2009 (CDT)
Marley's Wars of America is where I got it. There were actually two redoubts on slightly higher ground to the northwest, the Queen's Redoubt and the Prince of Wales Redoubt, but I think maybe sometimes the whole string of fortifications was referred to collectively as "Fort George." If Marley's recount is accurate, that may explain the confusion. What's your source? — admin • talk  15:09, 22 March 2009 (CDT)
Quesada's History of Florida Forts repeats the Queen's Redoubt version as well. — admin • talk  15:15, 22 March 2009 (CDT)
Campbell, Richard L. "Historical Sketches of Colonial Florida". The Williams Publishing Co., Cleveland: 1892. You could be right, it could be referring to all defences as Fort George collectively. I'm also wary because of other errors and suspicious parts of the text (for instance, at one point it said there was an British redoubt named Waldeck). Here's what the source says on the explosion (p. 134 of the pdf):
A provincial colonel for infamous conduct—of what character we are uninformed—was drummed out of the Fort, instead of being, as prudence required, carefully kept within it during the siege. The man, as should have been expected, went to the Spaniards and informed them of the condition of the garrison and defenses, and especially of the angle in which the magazine was situated. That disclosure sealed the fate of Fort George. Thenceforward, that angle became the mark of every Spanish shot and shell. For three days and nights did those searching missiles beat upon it, until at last on the morning of May 8, there occurred an explosion that shook Gage Hill to its deep foundations as though once again in the throes of an earthquake. A yawning breach was made in the Fort. Fifty men were killed outright and as many more wounded fatally and otherwise.
Just wanted to make a note of it. This is a good source but looks to have some errors in it. — dscossontalk  15:38, 22 March 2009 (CDT)
Given the conflicting sources on the location of the magazine (I keep seeing sources which cite it as being in the Fort proper, but again they could be collectively referring to the British fortifications as Fort George) do you have any objection to changing the wording of the painting's caption from "...pour into the ruins of the Queen's Redoubt" to "...pour into the breach in British defenses" or something similar? — dscossontalk  16:39, 27 March 2009 (CDT)
Sure, that's fine with me. (Even though I'm confident it was the Queen's Redoubt. :) ) — admin • talk  18:03, 27 March 2009 (CDT)

Royal Artillery[edit]

Hi, have just read your blog, the magazine that was hit was definitely in the Queens Redoubt. The reason I know this is that I am a Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery and my unit was in the redoubt at the time. It is also mentioned in the Regimental history of the 16th Regiment of Foot and the Kings Royal Rifle Corps (60th of Foot) History. I have been at the Royal Artillery Archives in Woowich, London and the National Archives in Kew, London researching our unit history where again it is mentioned in various documents. Chris

Chris: Thanks, that's great information! — dscossontalk  15:34, 8 June 2009 (CDT)
Do any of you have much in the way of source material, in particular anything refering to 7 (Johnstones) Company, 4th Battalion Royal Artillery? Chris
Hi Chris. The January 1966 issue of the Florida Historical Quarterly has an article called "The Siege of Pensacola: An Order of Battle" by Albert W. Haarmann that lists the number of British prisoners taken by Spain from the following corps:
  • General staff, commissaries, etc.: 69
  • British 16th Regiment of Foot: 110
  • British 3rd Battalion, 60th (Royal Americans) Regiment of Foot: 133
  • British Royal Artillery: 36
  • British Royal Navy & related services: 246
  • German 3rd Regiment of Waldeck: 303
  • Provincial Pennsylvania Loyalists: 62
  • Provincial Maryland Loyalists: 135
  • Provincial Cavalry: 19
  • Total: 1,113
There's no specific mention of the battalion, but it gives as its source "a report by Bernardo de Galvez, Pensacola, May 26, 1781, in the Archivo General de Simancas, Guerra, Legajo 6913, Document No. 64. A photostat copy of this document is in the manuscripts division, Library of Congress." Maybe that would have more detailed info? Hope this helps; it's all I can find at this moment. Please let us know any details or other interesting information you discover. Cheers! — admin • talk  16:49, 9 June 2009 (CDT)

Thank you very much! Is the article in the journal quite a sizable one or does it just refer to the list of prisoners taken? Another source which you may be interested in is the issue of the London Gazette which contains the dispatch from Pensacola informing 'Horse Guards' of the fall of the city. This can be found at: http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/12232/pages/1 Also the report of the Governor and the articles of capitulation can be found at: http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/12214/pages/1

The London Gazette is a small but very old newspaper and traditionally it is where the military publish information such as this. It is also where information on promotions, awards for gallantry and commissioning were reported, and this is still true today. The archive they have on line is quite comprehensive and useful for research purposes. I am also trying to get electronic copies of the documents that I have found from this period. I would be more than happy to forward these to any interested parties, assuming I'm successful.

Chris: Here is a link to the Florida Historical Quarterly issue cited above so that you may read the article yourself: http://fulltext10.fcla.edu/DLData/SN/SN00154113/0044_003/44no3.pdf. Thanks again for all your info, it's very appreciated. We would love copies of anything you can get your hands on.— dscossontalk  18:08, 12 June 2009 (CDT)

Hello again, I have had a good look through the editions of the Florida Historical Quarterly that you mentioned. I found a mention of "Captain Johnstone a military gentleman of the council" in the list of homeowners recorded at the end of the siege of Pensacola in 1781. I think this is probably the commander of my unit (Captain William Johnstone). Do you know if there are any records that may show where where the individuals on this list may have lived? Chris

1778 map
Hi Chris. You know, we've had that list in our British Pensacola article, and I always just saw the name "Johnstone" and assumed it was George Johnstone, but he would have been long gone by 1781. I think you're probably right that it was your unit's William Johnstone, but unfortunately I don't have any specific information on where he might have lived. Perhaps within the walls of the Fort at Pensacola? That's where the barracks and officers' quarters were. The 1778 Purcell Plan may be the most detailed map we have from around that time. Hope that helps! If you have any other info on Captain Johnstone, we'd be glad to have it. Thanks! — admin • talk  08:28, 21 June 2009 (CDT)

Hello again, thank you for the map. The reason I thought he may have owned a property in the town itself is that the list of Residents didn't include any of the other senior officers. Because of this I wondered whether he had bought a house in the colony. Given that he was stationed there for several years he may have decided to invest in a local property? Oh well its a shame theres no records to tell us either way. With regards to the further information I promised I should be getting digital copies of the documents I found in the National Archives at Kew sometime next week. Also I have ordered a copy of some documents found in the Clements Library in the US.

I have found out that apparently the British flag that was flying over Pensacola during the siege is apparently in the Spanish Royal Artillery Museum in Spain. I don't know if they have any other items taken during the siege but I will try to find out.

        Thanks
             Chris
Hi Chris. There may be records in existence that would have details about Johnstone's residence and land-ownership, but I haven't stumbled upon them yet. Very interesting note about the Spanish Royal Artillery Museum. I'd be very grateful if you could share any digitized documents you receive. You can reach me at admin (at) pensapedia (dot) com. Thanks again for sharing your findings! — admin • talk  12:18, 9 July 2009 (CDT)

Hi again, I have gotten hold of a number of docs and maps. The size of the files makes it difficult to send them via email, if you could provided an address I will send them by post. Thanks

     Chris