Author Archives: steward672014

Were Terrorists Buried with Pigs in the Philippines, and Was Pershing Involved?

There have been many responses to President Trump’s recent tweet and previous comments regarding John J. Pershing’s supposed treatment of Muslim terrorists in the Philippines during the early part of the twentieth century:

Several fact-checking sites have weighed in on the truthfulness of the tweet.  Politifact gave his Tweet the lowest Truth-O-Meter™ rating of “Pants on Fire!”

While, Snopes rated it as “False.”

On the other hand, Daniel Greenfield, at Frontpage Mag, has written a number of articles castigating the press over sloppy and lazy reporting in ignoring the evidence of pig burials.

Then, there is also President Trump’s rally speech in South Carolina in 2016 where he mentions an incident in which Pershing dips 50 bullets in pig’s blood, has his men shoot 49 terrorists, and lets the 50th man go to tell the rest.

While there is no proof that Pershing executed Muslim terrorists with bullets dipped in pig’s blood, there is little doubt, as described below in contemporary newspaper accounts, that the practice of burying dead Muslim terrorists with a pig was carried out by the U.S. military in Philippines early last century.  The most recent fact-checking on Pershing in the Philippines focuses on the period when Gen. Pershing was Governor of Moro Province after 1909.  Pershing had also served in the Philippines from 1899 to 1903, and there was an episode in March 1902 where Pershing, a captain in the 15th Cavalry, may have been present when a body was buried with a pig.

A photo of Capt. Pershing from this period:


Pershing photograph, link,

In December 1903 American newspapers began to quote an article from the Manila Cable News of disturbances beginning in October on the island of Jolo due to the unorthodox burial methods of Lt. Col. Alexander Rodgers of the 15th Cavalry. [Jolo is southwest of Mindanao.]

The 15th Cavalry, a new regiment, was raised and organized at the Presidio of San Francisco in February 1901.  It was then immediately sent to the Philippines where it was stationed mostly in the south, on Mindanao and nearby islands until 1903.


American Cavalry in the Philippines, 1901


Copy of Bauan, Batangas after fight Troop K 1st Cav Nov 12 1901



This article is from the New York World:

The World (NY), “Wood’s Latest Laurels Due to Pig,” December 8, 1903, pp. 1, 2. “…The Manila Cable News, of Oct. 30, a copy of which was received at the War Department to-day, is authority for the statement that the recent outbreak on the hitherto peaceful island of Jolo was due to the fact that a Mahometan Moro was buried with a pig by order of Lt. Col. Rodgers, of the Fifteenth Cavalry which has just been relieved from garrison duty at the city of Jolo.”

“It charges that the facts were suppressed by the press censor established at Zamboanga by Gen. Wood, and that while Gen. Wood was kept fully informed his reports to Washington were withheld through fear that they would influence the elections.” (Bold in the original.)

“The story as published in the Cable News is that a Juramentado (a man who has taken an oath to kill a Christian) was shot to death on the streets of Jolo after partly disemboweling a member of B Troop, Fifteenth Cavalry.  One of the bullets went through the fanatic’s body and killed the chief bugler of the squadron.”




“Col. Rodgers, with a desire to teach the natives a lesson, ordered the body of the fanatic buried with a pig, which is the greatest insult that can be offered to the pork-hating Mahometans.  They believe that to be defiled in any way by the touch of pork bars them from heaven.”

“The event was widely advertised, and 2,000 Moros, all armed and ugly but quiet, assembled on the plain outside of Jolo.  In the morning the bugler was buried with full military honors.”

“At noon the body of the Juramentado was thrown into a trench over which stood a derrick.”

“A hog was hauled up on the derrick and its throat cut, the blood running down over the body of the fanatic.  The hog was left hanging above the grave all the afternoon.  At sunset its carcass was lowered into the trench, placed alongside the body of the fanatic and both were covered over.”

“During the proceedings a dismounted squadron of cavalry and a battalion of the Seventeenth Infantry guarded the grave.  Each soldier carried 200 rounds of ammunition and a conflict with the sullen Moros, who swarmed over the plain, was momentarily expected.”

“No detail, however, barbaric which it was though would impress their savage minds was omitted from the ceremony.” (Bold in the original.)

“After the troops withdrew the Moros closed in about the city and practically laid siege to it.  They grew more and more aggressive and Gen. Wood finally sent an expedition against them.  The bloody engagements between Nov. 12 and 16 resulted and the Moros were scattered, according to Gen. Wood’s report.”

“This version of the immediate cause of the trouble was subsequently denied and it was to get at the facts that Gen. Wade went to Jolo.”


This action by Lt. Col. Rodgers, later colonel of the 6th Cavalry, caused an uprising, and an article in the Scientific American from 1904 describes the aftermath:

[There is an error in the article where it mentions that the American soldiers wounded and killed in the city of Jolo were from the 17th Infantry.  Rather, they were a trooper and bugler from the 15th Cavalry.]


An article in the New York Times later in December 1903 describes how Col. William M. Wallace, commander of the 15th Cavalry, rather than Rodgers was the officer who had ordered the burial of the body with a pig:

New York Times. “Buried Pig with Moros. / Col. Wallace, who Devised Punishment to Prevent Religious Murders, Is in Washington.” December 22, 1903, p. 5.

“Washington, D.C., Dec. 21. Col. Wallace, with headquarter and four troops of the Fifteenth Cavalry, arrived here yesterday and will constitute the garrison at Fort Myer.  The regiment has been for two years in the Philippines, and has had hard service among the Moros.”

“Col. Wallace is in fact the author of a practice that for a time promised to bring a general war with the Moros.  He instituted the plan of burying a pig in the grave with slain Moros as a punishment.  The natives, who are Mohammedans, regard this as the worst form of insult, and when it is done to a Juramentado they were thrown into a rage that was uncontrollable.  The Mohammedan believes that if his body comes into contact with sort after burial his soul is thereby contaminated and so tainted that he cannot enter seventh heaven.  To the surviving relatives the thought was simply horrible.  Col. Wallace, in the course of conversation, told how the pig-burial punishment of the Moros began.”


When this burial occurred, sometime in September or October 1903, Captain Pershing had already set sail to American in June and so was not present.

Col. Wallace then tells how this type of burial was first tried in March 1902, also in Jolo.  At this time Col. Wallace was military governor of Jolo and Pershing, commander of the 1st Squadron of the 15th Cavalry, was also stationed on the island.

(See “Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy.”)

There seemed to be no overwhelming reaction among the populace to this type of burial until it was tried again by Col. Wallace a year and a half later.

The article continues.

“’It was in March a year ago,’ he said, ‘that we first had occasion to practice this form of punishment on the Moros to prevent the wild outbreaks of their Juramentados, who, protected by religious superstition, were allowed, when the spell of religious frenzy was on them, to run amuck in the streets and murder everybody in sight with their barongs.



“Convictions and punishment of these men seemed to have no effect.  In March of last year there occurred a more than usually atrocious slaughter.  Three of them, flourishing barongs and yelling like wild men, broke loose in the market place of Jolo and killed a man, woman, and a child.  The population was panic stricken.”

“I at once sent a squad of cavalrymen to the market place to arrest the lawbreakers.  Upon the approach of the soldiers the crazed fanatics came rushing at them and struck at them with their barongs.  In the mêlée that followed the soldiers, to protect themselves, killed all three of the Juramentados.  I had the bodies brought to the hospital and there placed them on display, calling on all Moros in the vicinity who cared to do so to come to see the bodies, my object being to identify them.”

“A great crowd gathered where the internment was to take place, and it was there that a dead hog, in plain view of the multitude, was lifted and placed in the grave in the midst of the three bodies, the Moro grave diggers themselves being required to do this, much to their horror.  News of the form of punishment adopted soon spread.  It passed from one tribe to another throughout the island, and was published in Chinese, Filipino, and Spanish in the newspapers.  There is every indication that the method had a wholesome effect, as it has not been necessary to use it again until apparently the latest instance.  I am informed that the same form of punishment was put into effect by the English at Singapore, and had equally effective results.”


With much circumstantial evidence, Pershing’s role in or the witnessing of a pig being buried with Juramentados in the Philippines certainly deserves more research for confirmation.  President Trump may have been incorrect about how execution/burial was done, but it was done.  There was an uprising related to it. And we know that two of his superior regimental officers were directly involved in this type of burial.  Only its efficacy is still open for question.

Art on eBay

I’ve just added a new illustration by Frank Patterson to eBay:






Here is the description:

Title: “Something for the Back Carrier–Sussex Coast about 1818”

Artist: Frank Patterson (1871–1952)

Medium: pen and ink on paper, attached to a board; signed lower left

Size: 19.5 x 14.5” (50 x 37 cm); sight: 16.75 x 11.25” (42.5 x 28.5 cm)

Date: c. 1910

Condition: generally clean; brown staining, especially to the center left margin, bleeding a little into the drawing; remains of an old mat at top and bottom margins; small 1” tear at center right, from the margin to about 1/4” into the drawing

Description: Striking night-time illustration of a gentleman paying a smuggler for some “refreshment” to carry away on his early type of bicycle, possibly a pedestrian curricle also known as a dandy horse.

From Wikipedia, “Frank Patterson was born in Portsmouth into a family of seafarers.  After completing his studies at Portsmouth School of Art he walked to London seeking fame and fortune. Producing pen and ink illustrations for books and magazines was the only way he could make a living. Most of his drawing was done with a Gillott 303 pen with a goose quill – “slapping in the pork”, to use his own expression.

Early in 1898 Frank and his wife Emily leased a derelict Elizabethan property near Billingshurst in West Sussex for an annual rent of nine-pence (3½p); it remained their home for the next 54 years. The house had no name so they called it Pear Tree Farm, a reference to the only recognisable tree.

His connection with Cycling Weekly magazine began in 1893 and continued until his death eventually serving under six editors. For this magazine and from 1925 for The Gazette, the Cyclists’ Touring Club magazine, he produced over 26,000 drawings and boasted that he never missed a deadline. He worked for other Temple Press magazines, drew Boer War pictures for The Illustrated London News, and illustrations for The Book of the Home and The House.

Patterson cycled until the age of 38 when he switched to walking after a leg injury. From then on he often worked from photographs and postcards provided by friends. In 1944, he was awarded the Bidlake Memorial Prize for ‘his joyous delineation of the pastime of cycling for 51 years, and the pleasure his work has given in particular to cyclists serving their country the world over during 1944’.  In 1950 his health began to deteriorate and on 17 July 1952 he died. At his own request his ashes were scattered at Pear Tree Farm.”

There is a nice youtube video of his work,











Art at Auction: Sir Gordon Drummond, G.C.B. by Agricola

Nye & Co. of Bloomfield, NJ, recently had an auction that included this unsigned painting, Lot 39,



The plate below the painting is hard to read but it says,”General Sir Gordon Drummond, G.C.B. D. 1854 / Robert McInnes, British / 1801-1886″

There is a short biography of General Drummond in “A Military History of Perthshire / 1660-1902” edited by the Marchioness of Tullibardine, pp. 486-492,

After page 486 is a reproduction of this painting:


But the painting is listed as not by Robert McInnes but by Filippe (Filippo) Agricola, 1776-1857,[].  Agricola worked mainly in Rome and usually painted religious pictures.  After General Drummond retired from the British army in 1816, he would often visit Italy so it must have been on one of these trips that he met the artist.

General Drummond’s daughter married the 2nd earl of Effingham in whose family it descended.  It is possible, though, that McInnes made this copy of the Agricola painting and the original is still in the Effingham family.  The book reproduction of the Agricola painting is not very good so as to make a close comparison difficult.

Art at Auction: “Mlle. de Calonne” by Louis Gustave Ricard

On Saturday, April 22, at Stair Galleries in Hudson, New York, there was an auction which included some very fine works on paper and paintings,

While previewing the auction, I came across Lot 185:

“FRENCH SCHOOL: PORTRAIT OF A BOY Oil on panel, unsigned, with an indistinctly inscribed label on the reverse and a label from the Collection of Georges Lutz. 16 1/4 x 13 in., 18 14 3/4 in. (frame). From the Camilla and Earl McGrath Collection.”

Below is the image without adjusting the exposure.


Below is the painting after adjustment.


In the edited version, it is clear that this is a painting of a girl.  Many times in 19th century paintings, especially with a lot of surface dirt, boys look like girls and vice versa. In this case, her collar looks like it could be a boy’s collar, and it’s hard to see her long hair.

On the reverse of the painting there are some possible clues:


The easiest label to read was the “Collection Georges Lutz.” Searching in Hathi Trust (a very good resource) I found an article by Marcel Nicolle entitled, “La Collection Georges Lutz,” from Revue De L’Art Ancien Et Moderne. Paris: [Impr. Georges Petit], 1897-1938, tome 11, Janvier a Juin, 1902, pages: 331-343]:;view=1up;seq=457

The article details M. Lutz’s excellent art collection which contained works by Boilly, Gericault, Corot, and this painting, “Mlle. de Calonne” by Louis Gustave Ricard (1823-1873), illustrated after page 336.

de calonne2

Here is the artist’s Wikipedia page,

Louis Gustave Ricard (1 September 1823 – 23 January 1873) was a French painter born in Marseille.

He studied first under Auber in his native town, and subsequently under Coignet in Paris. The formation of his masterly, distinguished style in portraiture was, however, due rather to ten years intelligent copying of the old masters at the Louvre and at the [Italian galleries, than to any school training. He was a master of technique, and his portraits about two hundred reveal an extraordinary insight into the character of his sitters. Nevertheless, for some time after his death his name was almost forgotten by the public, and it was only later that he has been conceded the position among the leading masters of the modern French school which is his due. A portrait of himself, and one of Alfred de Musset, were at the Luxembourg Gallery. Among his best-known works are the portrait of his mother, and those of the painters Fromentin, Heilbuth and Chaplin.


One of Ricard’s most famous paintings is of the Vicomtesse de Calonne, nee Joulia Hogay, wife of the publicist Alphonse Bernard, Vicomte de Calonne.  Presumably, this is the mother of Mlle. de Calonne, but there is little information about either of them on the internet.  Originally at the Louvre, the painting is now at the Musee d’Orsay,


(This image is from this website,

Marcel Nicoll wrote an article about this and another portrait of the vicomtesse in the same magazine in 1907, starting on page 37,

Perhaps the painting of Mlle. de Calonne will be heading back to France.



Articles of Capitulation, Minorca, 29 June 1756

Articles of Capitulation proposed by Lieutenant General Blakeney, for his Britannic Majesty’s 

Garrison of the Castle of St Philip, in the Island of Minorca.

Article l. That all acts of hostility shall cease, until the articles of capitulation are agreed upon and signed.

Answer. Granted.

Art. 2. That all honours of war shall be granted the garrison on their surrender; such as, to march out with their firelocks on their shoulders, drums beating, colours flying, twenty-four charges for each man, match lighted, four pieces of cannon, and two mortars, with twenty charges for each piece; a covered wagon for the governor, and four others for the garrison, which shall not be searched on any pretence.

Answer. The noble and vigorous defence which the English have made, having deserved all marks of esteem and veneration that every military person ought to shew to such actions; and Marechal Richelieu being desirous also to shew General Blakeney the regard due to the brave defence he has made, grants to the garrison all the honours of war that they can enjoy, under the circumstance of their going out for an embarkation, to wit, firelocks on their shoulders, drums beating, colours flying, twenty cartridges for each man, and also lighted match. He consents likewise, that Lieutenant-General Blakeney, and his garrison, shall carry away all the effects that shall belong to them, and that can be put into trunks. It would be useless to them to have covered wagons; there are none in the island j therefore they are refused.

Art. 3. That all the garrison, including all the subjects of his Britannic Majesty, as well civil as military, shall have all their baggage and effects secured, with liberty of removing and disposing of them as they shall think proper.

Answer. Granted, except to the natives of the island, upon condition, that all the lawful debts of the garrison to the Minorquins, who are to be considered as French subjects, shall be paid.

Art. 4. That the garrison, including the officers, artificers, soldiers, and other subjects of his Britannic Majesty, with their families, who shall be willing to leave the island, shall be provided with proper transport-vessels, and conducted to Gibraltar by the shortest and most direct navigation; that they shall be headed there immediately upon their arrival, at the expence of the Crown of France; and that they shall be supplied with provisions out of those that may be yet remaining in the place at the time of its surrender, as long as they shall remain in the island, and during their voyage at sea, and that in the same proportion as they receive at present.

Answer. Transport-vessels shall be furnished from among those which are in the pay of his Most Christian Majesty, and proper for the military and civil garrison of Fort St Philip, and their families. These vessels shall carry them by the safest navigation to Gibraltar, with the shortest delay possible, and shall land them immediately, upon condition, that, after their being landed, these ships shall be provided with sufficient passports, that they may not be molested on their return to the port of France they shall be bound for: And hostages shall be given for the safety os the transport-vessels and their crews, who shall embark in the first neutral ship that shall come to fetch them, after the said vessels shall be returned in the port of France.

The garrison shall also be supplied with provisions, as well during their stay in the island as for twelve days voyage, which shall be taken from those that shall be found in the Fort St Philip, and distributed on the footing that they have been usually furnished to the English garrison; and if more be wanted, it shall be furnished, paying for it as shall be agreed by commissaries on both sides.

Art. 5. That proper quarters shall be provided for the garrison, with an hospital sit for the sick and wounded, whilst the transports are getting ready, which shall not exceed a month, to be reckoned from the day of signing this capitulation; and with regard to those who shall not be in a condition to be transported, they shall stay; and care shall be taken of them till they are in a condition to be sent to Gibraltar by another opportunity.

Answer. The vessels being ready for the transporting the garrison, the providing quarters, as demanded, becomes unnecessary; they shall go out of the place with the least delay, in order to proceed to Gibraltar. And with regard to those who cannot be embarked immediately, they shall be permitted to remain in the island; and all the assistance they shall want shall be given them for their going to Gibraltar, when they shall be in a condition to be embarked. A state of them shall be drawn up, and the necessary passports shall be left, for a ship to go and return; and an hospital shall also be furnished for the lick and wounded, as shall be settled by the respective commissaries.

Art. 6. That the governor shall not be accountable for all the houses that shall have been burnt or destroyed during the siege.

Answer. Granted for the houses destroyed or burnt during the siege; but several effects, and titles of the admiralty-court, which have been carried into the fort, shall be restored, as well as the papers of the town-house, which have been carried away by the receiver, and the papers and titles relating to the ladings of the French merchant ships, which have also been retained.

Art. 7. When the garrison shall come out of the place, nobody shall be permitted to debauch the soldiers, to make them desert from their regiments; and their officers shall have access to them at all times.

Answer. No soldier shall be excited to desert; and the officers shall have an entire authority over them to the moment of their embarkation.

Art. 8. An exact discipline shall be observed on each side.
Answer. Granted.

Art. 9. That such of the inhabitants of the island as have joined the English for the defence of the place, shall have leave to remain, and to enjoy their goods and effects in the island without being molested.

Answer. General Blakeney and Marechal Richelieu cannot six or extend the authority of the Kings, their masters, over their subjectsit would be setting bounds to it, to oblige them to receive in their dominions those whom they should not think proper to have settled there.

Art. 10. That all prisoners of war shall be restored on each side.

Answer. All prisoners that have been made during the siege shall be restored on each side; so that when the French return those they have, the piquets, which were taken going to join the French fleet the day Admiral Byng appeared before Mahon, shall be restored.

Art. 11. That Mr. Cunningham, the engineer, who acted as a volunteer during the siege, shall have a passport, and leave to go wherever his affairs require.

Answer. Granted.

Art. 12. Upon the foregoing conditions, his Excellency the Lieutenant-General Governor consents, after the hostages shall have been exchanged for the faithful execution of the above articles, to deliver up the place to his Most Christian Majesty, with all the magazines, ammunition, cannon, and mortars, except those mentioned in the second article; and to point out to the engineers all the mines and subterraneous works. Done at the Castle of St Philip, the 28th of June 1756.

Answer. As soon as the foregoing articles shall have been signed, the French shall be put in possession of one of the gates of St Philip’s Castle, as well as of the Forts Marlborough and St Charles, upon the hostages being sent on both sides, for the faithful execution of the foregoing articles.

The staccado that is in the port shall be removed, and the going in and coming out shall be left open, at the disposition of the French, until the whole garrison has marched out; in the meantime the commissaries on both sides shall be employed : those on the part of his Excellency General Blakeney, in making an estimate of the effects in the military magazines, and others; and those on the part of his Excellency Marechal Richelieu, in receiving them; and to deliver to the English such part thereof as has been agreed upon. Plans shall also be delivered of the galleries, mines, and other subterraneous works. Done at St Philip, the 29th of June 1756.

Siege of Minorca, April to June 1756, 21 June to 29 June

June 21st. We cannot discover what work the Enemy are carrying on in Town, but we see them frequently pass and repass as if they were carrying Earth; they have moved some Guns from their ten Gun Battery; at night they fired Howitzers and ricochet shot; their Batteries are frequently on fire. The works done at the Argyle and Anstruther, again beat down, and the Battery silenced. Captain Hobby killed by a shell in the Castle.

June 22nd. The Enemy have not battered much this day or two, one of their Howitzer shells set fire to some of our 13 Inch shells on the N. West outward Ravelin, and 17 of them burst, but without hurting anybody; their fire and ours this night was as usual.  The Enemy worked hard last night, particularly behind the little parade in the Town; where it may very soon be expected that they will open a Battery. Our working parties employed again at the Argyle covered way, where the Embrazures are ordered to be masked, six Embrazures of the Enemy’s ten Gun Battery are now masked.

June 23rd. The Enemy seem to be very busy in Town, and preparing Batteries; they threw more shells in the night than usual; several Men killed and wounded in the night. The French Fleet in sight.  The besiegers are opening Embrazures in a work just in the front of the Tower by Major Innes’s House.  All the 32 Pounders that were on the Royal Battery are demolished except four, three of which are mounted in the covered way of Argyle, and one only of them remains at the Royal Battery.  The Guns are loaded with Grape shot during the night, and run out to the Embrazures, but drawn in again in the Morning, and the Embrazures masked.

June 24th. In the morning the Enemy began a very brisk and regular fire, which they continued all day from their Mortars and a prodigious number of shells were thrown into the works, particularly the Castle square; we very plainly saw three Batteries in the Town, with their Embrazures masked; which they opened about 12 o’clock, one by Water Tower of 4 Guns near Major Innes’s, another opposite Kane’s Fort, from whence they fired nine Guns successively, but the extent of their Battery and the number of its Embrazures does not yet appear; and the third near where Mr. Baker lived; from these they fired with great fury the whole Day as well as from their Howitzer and ricochet Battery’s; they Bombarded and Cannonaded so warmly, that we may conclude this Day’s firing to be the Hottest we had yet sustained. Our works were extremely battered, and the Enemy kept a constant fire with their Small Arms at our outworks and Embrazures. We threw many shells, but fired little with Cannon, Our Merlons being greatly destroyed. Three small parties of the Enemy came upon the Glacis in the night within 30 or 40 paces of the Palissadoes; and exchanged some Shot with out- Guards in the outward covered way, before the Queen’s Redoubt, Argyle and Anstruther.  The fire from the Enemy is now become so very heavy upon all the outworks in the front of the attack, that the Gunners are no longer able to stand to the few Guns still remaining; at least till the parapets and Merlons are repaired.

June 25th. The Enemy kept a very hot fire the whole Day with their Cannon, Mortars and Small Arms on the outworks, and have so destroyed our Embrazures and Merlons, that we could play but very few Cannon against them; except the N. E. Ravelin, which bears upon the besiegers three and four Gun Batteries at the Water Tower by Major Innes’s; bat we played them pretty warmly with shells.  In the night they fired but little from their Mortars, but threw a vast number of Howitzer shells, and ricochet shot.  The Besiegers are heard drawing Carnages down from their ten Gun Battery into the Town. They have fired lately with smaller Cannon than formerly from that Battery, from whence it is imagined they have removed their heaviest Cannon from that, to the last made Battery in the Town.

June 26th. The Enemy kept a very warm fire this morning and so fast with their small Arms that they very soon silenced the Guns on the outer works, through the badness of the Embrasures and Merlons, which were almost destroyed.  We threw a great number of shells. For about two or three nights past, the Enemy have crept upon the Glacis near to the Palissadoes, a few at a time; where they have exchanged some shot with the Guards in the covered way and then stole back again. A Council of War was held this day at which all the Field Officers assisted, to concert as was said further means for the defence of the place, and was summoned to sit again tomorrow. A breach having been made in the left face of the Anstruther, thought to be a practicable one.

The besiegers fired incessantly the whole night from all their different Batteries of Cannon, Mortars, and Howitzers, and chiefly directed their fire at the N. W. Curtain and W. Bastion of the Castle, and at the W. Counter Guard, N. E. Ravelin, and the Anstruther; all which are very much buttered.

June 27th. The Enemy fired a great many Howitzers and ricochet Shot, and continual firing of Small Arms on the outward covered way, and the lunettes; the same was returned from the Garrison, with now and then a Cannon from the W. lunette, and other batteries; though in general they are almost silenced, and about Day break fired extremely fast from their Mortars, which they continued to do the whole Day; their Gun Batteries played very warmly, and they kept a Constant fire with their Small Arms on the Embrazures of the outworks. Major Godfrey of Cornwallis’s wounded in the Castle square by some stones thrown by the fall of a shell.  About 9 o’clock at night, the time our Guards marched into the covered way, they Cannonaded and Bombarded with great fury ; which they continued to do for above an hour; between 10 and 11 after having ceased firing for about an hour, they made a general Assault from all the Salient Angles of the Covered way with great intrepidity, as far as the S. W. lunette; the signal for which was 15 Guns fired on board their Fleet and four shells, two thrown from the Turks Mount, and two from the signal house into the sea, at the same time; and during most part of the night, a noise was heard in Town like the tinkling upon some Mortars. Our numbers not being sufficient to defend the outward covered way, the Guards agreeable to their Orders retired after having given them a few rounds, into the lunettes, &c. They attempted with boats armed and provided with scaling Ladders, to enter the harbour and St Stephen’s Cove, in order to storm Charles Fort and St Stephen’s Guard; and to second the attack of the Marlborough by attempting it at the Gorge, but they were repulsed; upon which those that had attacked Marlborough Fort retired likewise; they were also repulsed at the West, and Carolina’s lunette; but not before they had cut down several ranges of Palissadoes, and nailed up some Guns on the new Batteries near that work; they entered tho Queen’s Redoubt by scaling and at the Gorge, where they took Colonel Jefferys Prisoner; Lieut. Whitehead of Colonel Rich’s Regiment was killed defending the breach at the Queen’s Redoubt, which they mounted by the Ladders they had made use of to get into the Ditch. They possessed themselves of the Anstruther and Argyle upon the retreat of the Guards there, having landed a great many men in boats at the Royal Battery; We sprang a Mine at the Argyle with great success; for by it they lost the greatest part of two Companies of Grenadiers, and one of Volunteers, with their Officers, by their own confession. We threw a great many shells, as well as Carcasses to give light to our Troops. Our Guns were silent on most of the inner works, the Merlons and platforms being near totally destroyed; from the N. E. Ravelin, we fired grape pretty smartly upon them and with success, although it was dark. We sprang a Mine likewise at the Redoubt with some success.  The Council of War met again this day at 4 o’clock.

June 28th. About Day break the Enemy beat a Parly to bury their dead, and draw off their wounded, which stopped our fire. At that time we could plainly see their Troops (excepting those in possession of the Anstruther, Argyle, and Queen’s Redoubt) running away; their Officers using all their endeavours to make them advance, and our men made a furious fire upon them; during this parly they secured themselves, and augmented their numbers in the Queen’s Redoubt and Argyle fort, as well as in the subterraneans, as far as the Kane; they lost about a thousand men in this attack, and a great many Officers.  The parly continued this day, and at night both parties were allowed to work; which they did.  t must not be forgot that the sick and wounded men at Charles Fort, turned out for the defence of that place upon its being attacked, and some fired that had only the use of one Arm, during this cessation a Capitulation was proposed, and terms were sent to the Duke of Richelieu.

June 29th. The Enemy advanced their Lodgments on the Argyle and Queen’s Redoubt, and had now more men in the places they were in possession of, than we had in our whole inner works; they had also a Battery in Town completed with 12 Guns. This Day till 12 o’clock we expected an answer to the Terms of Capitulation; when there was an extraordinary Council of War called, at which were present all the Captains off Duty; the Question being put whether they thought the fortifications and Troops were in a condition to stand a second assault, it was the opinion of almost the whole, that they were not; and that honourable Terms of Capitulation should be desired.  About 6 o’clock the Capitulation was signed by both sides, and about 7 the Enemy took possession of the barriers and outworks.

Siege of Havana, 1762, Paintings at Auction

Important paintings of the Siege of Havana by Dominic Serres for the Keppel (Albemarle) family are coming up for sale at Sotheby’s in July.–4-views-of-havana.html


Dominic Serres, The Taking of the Havana by British Forces under the Command of the Earl of Albemarle, 14 August 1762. Estimate £800,000–1,200,000.


Siege of Minorca April to June 1756, 11 June to 20 June

June 11th. The Enemy threw a great number of Shells and Howitzers last night; their Howitzers were mostly directed to the Queen’s Redoubt, pitching between that and Kane’s lunette, some by the West lunette towards the Castle; they battered as tho day before and their fire was returned with equal spirit.  In the afternoon our fascine Battery was on fire, but was soon extinguished; the Enemy made a great fire upon us, while it was on fire. The French Fleet off the Harbour, saw 20 sail. The most constant of the Besiegers fire is from their ten, and from their six Gun Batteries; their five gun battery is exposed to a much superior fire from the Castle, the Queen’s Redoubt and the three 32 Prs which are now mounted on the Anstruther that they are rendered almost incapable of firing from it. The Anstruther and Argyle, Queen’s Redoubt, Kane’s lunette, West lunette, the outward and inward N. W. Ravelins, the W. Counter Guard, the N. W. Curtain with the N. and W. Bastions of the Castle, being at present the front of the attack are consequently the places that have suffered most by the Enemy’s fire.

June 12th. The Enemy’s fire and our return was as smart as the day before. Our new fascine battery set on fire twice, but extinguished without much loss. The Besiegers did not fire from their five Gun Battery after 9 o’clock this morning. They fire frequently from their Battery on the Phillipit side during the night, but from 110 other; several men killed and wounded.

June 13th. The Enemy’s fire to day somewhat abated, and they threw but few shells the first part of the night, but played pretty briskly with their Howitzers. They fired some shot from the other side the water, and some ricochet from Stanhope’s Tower. The French Fleet in sight to the West. A 13 Inch shell fell through the light hole into the Grand communication between the main ditch and Princes line, and burst in the midst of the Guards which paraded there, without hurting anybody; firing of Small Arms at each other all night. The besiegers began to Cannonade very early this morning, and fired very briskly from all their Batteries, except the 5 Gun Battery, from whence however they fire a gun now and then.

June 14th. A little before Day, a Deserter came in from the Enemy of the Regiment De Talaru, the only part of whose intelligence that can be credited, is, that two more Regiments were arrived from Franco since their last disembarkation. He says that near 2,500 of their Army are either killed or wounded; their fire not so violent as two Days ago; in the afternoon another Deserter was sent in from Marlborough Fort, who appeared to be out of his senses; our fire as warm as usual.

June 15th. The Enemy’s fire still less than usual, and few shells were thrown by them in the night; they however fired pretty smartly from their Howitzers, and threw pieces of shells out of their Mortars; we kept a very brisk fire on that part of the Town where they were heard at work, and where it is imagined they are constructing a Battery.  Lieut. Armstrong died this morning of his wounds. One face of the West Bastion, and N. W. Curtain of the Castle, are so battered by the Enemy’s six and ten Gun Batteries, that the Guns of them are drawn back, and the parapet thickened inwards; the same is likewise done to the N. W. face of the Queen’s Redoubt, and the direction of two of the Embrazures altered, in order to bear on the Enemy’s five Gun Battery.  The besiegers have removed three of their Mortars to the right of Stanhope’s Tower, from whence they frequently throw shells to the Marlborough, which returns upon them a smart fire from two 9 Prs that bear upon them; and upon their ricochet Battery near Stanhope’s Tower.

June 16th. The Enemy fired Howitzers and ricochet shot, but threw not many shells in the Night; our return was as warm as usual. Lieut. Francis of Cornwallis’s Regiment had his arm broke by the Splinter of a shell, while on Guard at St Stephens, and had it cut off; and Lieut. Young of the Fusiliers wounded in the Leg in the Castle square, while on Guard there.  The Enemy fire very little from their five Gun Battery, however they frequently work at it during the night; for several days past they have fired a great deal of Mitraille.

June 17th. This morning the Enemy opened a battery of three Guns, at the same place where they had before shewn three Embrazures, that were destroyed by the heavy fire of the Argyle, namely a little to the right of their gabionade near Major Innes’s.  The Enemy fire again so warmly from their five Gun Battery, that the Gunners cannot stand upon the Argyle and Anstruther; firing of Small Arms from the Enemy all night; some fascines set on fire at the West lunette, at the extinguishing of which we had three or four men killed by the Enemy, who kept a constant fire on us from every part. It having been found that the quantity of Wine and aquadent provided for the Troops, was insufficient to answer the present allowance of a pint per Day of the former to each Man; and two drams per Day of the latter, to the Men on Duty. The allowance of Wine was reduced to half a pint, a Man, and a Dram only to the Gunners while on the Battery. The Enemy very busy pulling down houses in the Town, behind the little Parade, where it is supposed they will soon have a Battery. In consideration of the scarcity of Officers, which was become Greater, by sickness and accidents, a Subaltern was taken from the Queen’s redoubt. Within these last 24 Hours, we have had the misfortune to lose several Men by Small Arms.

June 18th.  We manned the Guns on the N. E. Ravelin, and silenced the Enemy’s 3 Gun Battery; they poured us in a great many shells and Howitzers in the night, which we returned as warmly. It appears that the besiegers during the night had carried on a single row of Gabions from the Left of their Gabionade, near their 3 Gun Battery, towards the water side.

June 19th We took away our Men from tho N. E. Ravelin, and mounted four 32 Prs on Argyle’s covered way, but the Enemy soon destroyed the Merlons of that work, and silenced the Guns; they gave us a great many Howitzers shells and ricochet shot in the night, for some time past they have fired small shot at the Embrazures, getting into Cellars and Houses were they are not easily seen, and firing through small holes at every one who shew their heads above the parapet.  The working party employed in repairing the Argyle and Anstruther. Yesterday the besiegers brought two Guns to fire upon the N. E. Ravelin; but to no effect.

June 20th. The Enemy’s fire from their Gun Batteries not so great as usual, they have been heard hard at work every night in the Town where we imagined they are about something of consequence; we have thrown them a great number of Shells in the night; and fired grape shot often on the Town to annoy them; they have given us few shells in the night, but fired smartly their Howitzers and ricochet shot.  The working party still employed at the Argyle and Anstruther. The besiegers for some days past have been straitened for want of Ammunition; it is imagined they are now landing a fresh supply; as several of their people are seen passing and repassing to the Cove on Capo Mola side with hand barrows.  Last night the Embrazures of the Argyle covered way were repaired, and this morning we fired about 12 or 14 Rounds from them; but were again obliged to desist from the same cause as the Day before.

Siege of Minorca April to June 1756, 1 June to 10 June

June 1st.  The besiegers were heard to be very busy all night.  We still continually heard the Carriages in Town, and fired several vollies of shells to annoy the Enemy, as likewise Carcasses to give light upon the Glacis; their fire in the Night was very moderate; in the morning we found they had carried on a work of Gabions from the fives Court to Stanhope’s Tower, at which we fired the whole Day; they have filled up all the Embrazures excepting two of their battery near the burying Ground and those two they make no use of. Last night two Grenadiers of the Royal Welch Fusiliers deserted, and made their escape as is imagined by the Royal Battery.  We mounted 4 twelve pounders on the new Fascine Battery by the N. W. outward Ravelin.  Some of the Enemy’s Fleet off the Harbour.

June 2nd. We fired our Mortars last night upon the Enemy by signals given at the West lunette, directing when and where; a person being advanced for that purpose upon the Glacis, who by listening attentively could discover where the Enemy were at work.  We received from them a greater number of Shells than we had for several Days before, from their batteries in Town, near the burying Ground, Major Innes’s, Turks Mount, and Cape Mola, they likewise fired very briskly from 3 o’clock in the afternoon till about 9 o’clock at night, and gave us some shot in the night from Turks Mount. We gave them a very warm fire all night.  The Enemy’s fleet to the Eastward of Cape Mola. The Enemy very busy all night at work, notwithstanding our incessant fire upon them.

June 3rd. The Enemy fired ricochet shot this morning from Stanhope’s Tower, as likewise from their Howitzers near the same place, and played smartly with their shells from all sides, particularly in the afternoon; we gave them an equal return from our lunettes and inner works; they worked sometime this morning near Stanhope’s tower, but being interrupted by our shells, thought proper to leave off. Their fleet off the Harbour. The Enemy very busy all night at their new work by Stanhope’s tower, in spite of our constant fire.

June 4th. The Enemy continued their work last night near Stanhope’s tower, and it appears to be a battery they are constructing between that tower and the fives Court. They threw a great number of shells in the Day time, especially in the afternoon, but their fire was very moderate in the night, as was likewise ours.  The French fleet off the Harbour.

June 5th. The Enemy opened a battery of 10 Guns between Stanhope’s tower and the fives Court; from which they played with great fury, as they did from their other batteries the whole day; the heat of this fire was directed against the North Bastion of the Castle, the N. W. Curtain, the W. Counter Guard, and the Queen’s Redoubt; In the night they threw above 100 shells, several ricochet shot, and Howitzer Shells, by which they wounded some of the Piquet. We blew up some of their Ammunition at Stanhope’s tower, by a shell from the West lunette; they have thrown several shells at a ship we had rigged ready for sailing in St Stephen’s Cove, but to no effect. They renewed their fire from the Battery by the burying Ground with 6 Guns. Lieut. Armstrong of Lord Effingham’s much wounded on the top of the Castle from the New Battery; the Enemy’s fire very smart to Day.

June 6th. The Enemy began at Day break to Cannonade as smartly as yesterday, but did not continue it so long; they poured in among us a prodigious quantity of shells yesterday and today, one of which set fire to some of our own shells on the West Counter guard, which burst without wounding anybody but the Sentry, who was hurt by the shell that occasioned the accident; a third of their shot from their new Battery have gone over the Castle into the sea. We have abated our fire, making use only of our Mortars against their new Battery; and reserving our Guns against their nearer approach. Their Fleet off the Harbour. The Besiegers discontinued cannonading all night, and were employed in repairing their works which had suffered in the Day; several parties of the Besiegers were seen from the Marlborough, in and about the place called the King’s gardens, or Barranco.

June 7th. The Enemy were pulling down houses all night in the town, we fired Small Arms at them the whole time from the covered way; in the morning they opened a Battery below Mr. Boyd’s of five Guns against Anstruther and Argyle Fort, in that part of the Town opposite the salient Angle of the Queen’s Redoubt, and bearing upon the Argyle and Anstruther fort; from which Battery they have already disabled two of the 32 Prs and one 9 Pr at the Anstruther; we played them well with shells, and prepared some other Batteries against them; They fired the whole day from Stanhope’s Tower at the North Bastion, and Curtain of the Castle.  Our new Fascine Battery was opened this morning, but soon silenced by the fire of the Enemy’s ten Gun Battery, and a shell shot burst upon it, which disabled the Gun there; several men killed and wounded upon this Battery, for about an hour in the night, the Enemy fired small Arms as fast as they could, but for what reason we could not guess. The works a good deal damaged by the Enemy’s continual fire.

June 8th. Their Fleet off the Harbour the whole Day. The Enemy are observed to be at work in a large Cornfield, near Quarrantine Island on the Phillipit Shore. This morning we fired upon the besiegers five Gun Battery with 3 thirty two Pounders from the Argyle, two 18 Prs from the Queen’s Redoubt, and four Guns upon the top of the Castle; but two of the 32 Prs were soon silenced. We did this battery so much damage, that they could not fire from it the whole Day; several of our men killed and wounded, particularly four Sailors who were all wounded by a blind shell. The Enemy began in the morning to batter as before, but by noon we silenced four Guns of their last Battery; they continued firing from their other Batteries the whole Day, they threw but few shells in the part of the night, but fired continually from the houses near their battery with Small Arms; which fire our Guards in the covered way returned very smartly. There was a frequent discharge of Small Anus after the Guards took their posts in the covered way for several hours, at some single soldiers who kept firing at the sentrys from Windows, and from Corners of Streets.

June 9th.  The Enemy began as usual in the Morning to batter the Castle, and other works, and to fire ricochet Shot from Stanhope’s Tower. We discovered a Battery of eight Embrazures in a Corn field on the brow of the hill of Phillipit; they poured us in, a great number of shells, both in the day and night. The battery on the covered way of Argyle is silenced, and the Enemy’s fire from their five Gun Battery below Mr. Boyd’s, is so superior to ours that the Gunners cannot stand on the Battery.

June 10th. The Enemy opened a battery of 8 Guns in the Cornfield above Phillipit, and fired at the North face of the Queens’s redoubt, and works adjacent; they likewise battered the Castle and Argyle fort from their other batteries; they have lately fired small Arms at the Embrazures of the out works, while the Gunners are loading. A shell blew up the Ammunition Chest, on the South Counter Guard, the explosion of which shook the Castle like a small Earthquake. Their Fleet off.  The five Gun Battery below Mr. Boyd’s was silent to day. This morning the three Guns on the S.W. inner Ravelin were again fired, after having been silent for some time, that the platforms might be repaired.

Siege of Minorca April to June 1756: 20 May to 31 May 1756

May 21st. Two Deserters came in from the Enemy, one of the Royal Regiment, the other of the Royal Italians; one of them was drunk and would not own himself to be any more than a prisoner; the other informed us they had been lately reinforced, and were under Arms the day our Fleet appeared off; this night they threw many shells; their Fleet to the East.  These Deserters informed us that the Enemy are in search of our mines, but differ with regard to the spot where they are countermining; they likewise informed us, that there had been an engagement between the two Fleets, and that ours had been worsted; that the French Army now consists of near eighteen thousand. The Guards changed their hour of Mounting to three o’clock in the morning, in order that a greater number of Men, might be under Arms at the time when it is apprehended we are most liable to be attacked.

May 22nd. About sun set the Enemy fired a Feu de joye, and at the end of each fire gave us a general discharge from their Batteries of both Guns and Mortars; their small shot came into the works but did no harm; they threw very few shells at night. The Feu de joye was on account of the engagement between the French and English Fleets, the latter of which through the ill conduct of the Admiral was obliged to retreat and go back to Gibraltar; a very few of the English Ships were engaged, but they behaved extremely well.  The Enemy’s fleet in sight all day close at the back of Cape Mola, most of them with their boats astern.

May 23rd. The Enemy began to Bombard early in the Morning, fired smartly about daybreak, and continued the rest of the day as usual, they opened two more Embrazures at their Battery by the burying Ground to play on the Queen’s Redoubt, this Battery has now six Embrazures. The Enemy’s fleet in sight and very close in shore; the Enemy seen all this afternoon driving beasts into St Philips loaded with Fascines.

May 24th. The Enemy fire very moderate to day; their fleet before the harbour. They Cannonaded the Queens Redoubt with two Guns from the Battery near the Burying ground.

May 25th. The Enemy threw few shells in the Night, we fired a Carcass to their Battery, by the old burying ground, and gave them many shells; about day break they fired both their Cannon and Mortars, but not with great violence; in the Evening their Fleet stood to the Northward behind Cape Mola.  The Enemy’s Carriages heard between the Town Guard and burying ground, they are repairing and increasing that Battery.

May 26th. The Enemy threw a great many shells today, most of which burst in the Castle square; their fleet behind Cape Mola; we imagine the Enemy are carrying on a Battery behind a mount commonly called Turk’s Mount, a little above Marlborough fort towards the sea, by which we think they intend to oppose the entrance of any Ships into the harbour. They have added a great Quantity of Earth to their Battery near the burying Ground, they have five Guns at the burying Ground battery but fire very little from them, two of them bear upon the West face of the Queen’s Redoubt and have impaired it greatly.

May 27th. The Enemy threw but few shells in the night; we fired as usual, particularly on the Town. The Enemy’s fleet to the Eastward of Cape Mola.  For several days past the Enemy has given us very little annoyance, nor does it yet appear that they have made any great progress towards the acquisition of the place, or have proceeded with the vigour that might be apprehended from so formidable an Army, as we are informed they have invested the place with.

May 28th. The Enemy fired little in the night, and we kept a smart fire as usual; their Fleet appeared off the harbour, and we counted 27 Sail, but no addition of Men of War; several of the Ships parted from the Fleet in the afternoon, and went to the Eastward; it is imagined these Vessels have brought them either more Troops, or Stores. The Lieut. Governor had a dish of fish at his Table, killed by the explosion of a shell in the Water at St Stephen’s Cove.

May 29th. The Enemy were very quiet in the night, not firing at all and but little the whole day. In the morning their Fleet was so near the harbour, that several of their ships were in danger of being ashore near Turks Mount, it being almost calm, but they were towed off again. They fired several shot last night at a Vessel passing the Harbour’s mouth, which hoisted French Colours, but struck them upon their firing. They have now seven Mortars at their Battery by Major Innes’s; about seven o’clock this Evening they fired upon us from a ricochet battery of three Guns, and two Mortars which lie concealed behind a rocky part, a little to the right of Turks Mount, most of their shot went clean over the Castle. It does not appear they have much repaired their Battery near the burying ground.

May 30th. The Enemy threw very few shells last night, and fired in the morning Cannon from Turks Mount; we directed a Carcass and fire balls to their Battery, and gave them many shells and Cannon Shot; their smartest fire was in the morning, being pretty moderate the rest of the day; one of their shells set fire to half a barrel of Powder on Argyle fort, by which accident 40 Cohorn shells fired, and burst on the Battery, but hurt nobody. They fire very little from their Gun Battery by the burying Ground, four Embrazures of which are now filled up and the whole Battery very much damaged by our constant fire of Shot & Shells upon it.

May 31st. The Enemy fired little last night, but we heard a great many Carriages passing the back of the Town towards Stanhope’s Tower; we made a smart fire upon all parts of the Town; theirs was moderate today; some of our Shells, and a Carcass, being too near the Mortar, took fire on the top of the Castle, but nobody was hurt; their Fleet off the Harbour. The Genoese Vessel ordered to be lilted for sea.  It is discovered that the Enemy have collected a great Quantity of Earth, at the back of the fives Court near Stanhope’s Tower.