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I thought myself ripe for it, I sat down to writing, and being a swift penman, 1 could finish an hour and a quarter's discourse, with rapid speaking, in about four hours' time. This manner of studying sermons cost me, 'tis true, a great deal of time, perhaps a week or fortnight for a sermon, and sometimes more; but I had this advantage by it, that there was a greater stock laid up in my memory for future use, and I found it easy to deliver my discourses memoriter; and by the full and clear view I had of my subject, I could correct the phraseology in my delivery. 1 kept indeed my notes open, and turned over the leaves as though I had read them, yet rarely casting my eye upon my notes, unless for the chapter and verse of a text which I quoted. When I was settled in the ministry, I found this method too operose, yet when called to special public services, if I had time, I practised it; only penning head by head as I meditated on them. Observing also that the aged Mr. Samuel Cheever, with whom I settled, very much failed in his memory, (for he was wholly a memoriter preacher) I thought I might be reduced to his circumstances if I lived to old age, and therefore betook myself to reading my notes; and 1 find the advantage of it, since it hath pleased God to spare me to a great old age.
In June, 1704, the church at Yarmouth sent for me to assist their pastor, the Rev. Mr. John Cotton, who was taken off from public service by a paralytic disorder; and having spent two months with them, I returned home. They fetched me again to them in July, 1705, where I preached to them some time; but having galled my right hand by some hard labor I was not used to, it turned to an ulcerous sore, insomuch that a probe put in at the roots of my fore and middle finger, the inside of my hand, it would come out at the middle of the back of my hand; which made me fear the loss of the use of it. For which reason I determined to return to Boston, to get my hand cured. Accordingly I took my passage on board a coaster the middle of September, and falling in with a number of shallops that were catching mackerel, I, who loved the sport, could not resist the temptation of hauling the line with my sore hand; by which means the salt water so rinsed and cleansed the ulcer, that when I showed it to the doctor at Boston, and let him know what had happened by the way, he told me I had cured the sore; and with some innocent salves to the orifices, it soon became well. Thus kindly did Divine Providence deal with me, when I thought my danger had been very great. I returned to Yarmouth again, according to my promise, at their desire, in November. The February following, Mr. Cotton died, and then the church and people proceeded to invite me to a settlement among them. There was but one man who withheld his vote from me; and even the Quakers in the town, of which there were several, were approving of it; the reverend ministers also in the neighborhood seemed to be pleased with it. I wrote to my honored father about it, and he seemed to be backward in consenting to the motion, partly because of the distance of about 85 miles, and partly, (what he saw into further than I did,) that it would not be a comfortable settlement to me. So I put a stop to their proceedings, and returned home the latter end of March following, 170*.
My constant preaching went on as usual. In October, 1705, the Rev. Mr. Colman first invited me into his pulpit; I preached from 2 Corinthians, iv. 17. In the week time after it, the good gentleman, meeting me, carried me to dine with him; after dinner, he took me into his study, and told me, with great tenderness, the reason why he had not asked me to his pulpit long before, was because some of the chief of his people had esteemed me but as a mimic and tool of the Mathers, whom they were displeased with, and desired he would not invite me to preach among them; but they had now been with him, and with tears confessed their unjust thoughts of me, and said they would never trust to idle reports more, even for my sake, and desired him to improve me as often as he pleased. Mr. Colman then opened his heart to me, acquainted me with a very great part of his travels in England, his familiar converse with the famous Philomela, and showed me several of his poetical compositions; and from this time became a kind father, and intimate and fast friend to me, as long as he lived.
In the spring of 1707, I was appointed by Governor Dudley one of the chaplains to the army, which was sent to Port Royal, (now Annapolis,) to reduce that fort, and with it Acadie, or Nova Scotia, to obedience to the crown of England, under the command of Col. John March, of Newbury, as General; having under him two regiments, the first red, Col. Francis Wainwright, Lieut. Col. Samuel Appleton, both of Ipswich, Major Shadrach Walton, of Piscataqua, with nine companies; Capt. Holmes of the grenadiers, of Boston, 1st, Capt. Gridley of Boston, 2d, Capt. Boyenton of Topsfield, 3d, Capt. Burrill of Lynn, 4th, Capt. Putnam of Salem, 5th, Capt. March, of Newbury, 6th, Capt. Freeman, of Harwich, 7th, Capt. Kent, of Newbury, 3th, Capt. Williamson. The other regiment, the blue, Col. Winthrop Hilton, of Exeter, Lieut.
Col. William Wanton, of Rhode Island, Major Spurr, of
Dorchester, Capt. Otis, of Scituate; the grenadiers, 1st, Capt. Nichols, of Reading, 2d, Capt. Frothingham, of Charlestown, 3d, Capt. Tileston, of Dorchester, 4th, Capt. Hunt, of Weymouth, 5th, Capt. Talbot, of Taunton, 6th, Capt. Cook, 7th, ('apt. Church, of Freetown, with 1076 soldiers under them. There were five chaplains to the army, viz. Mr. Daniel Epps, of Salem, Mr. Samuel Moody, of York, Mr. Samuel Hunt, itinerant at Dunstable, Mr. John Barnard, itinerant at Boston, Mr. William Allen, itinerant at Greenwich. The fleet consisted of the Deptford man-of-war, Capt. Charles Stukely, of 50 guns, 280 men; the Province galley, Capt. Cyprian Southack, 24 guns, 104 men; transports, Success galley, the store-ship, Capt. Eben. Wentworth, 14 guns, 28 men; Friendship, Capt. Jarvis, 4 guns, 10 men; the Abigail, Capt. Deering, 8 men; the Hannah and Mary, Capt. Gallop; the Randolph, Capt. Zach. Fowls, 9 men; the Abigail, Capt. Isa. Fowls, 10 men; the Friendship, Capt. Dennis, 8 men; a brig, Capt. Waters; sloops, the Richard and Sarah, Capt. Carr, 7 men; the Bathsheba, Capt. Cranson, 8 guns, of Rhode Island, 26 men; the Mary and Abigail, Capt. Newman, 5 men; the Henrietta, Capt. Phillips, 6 men; the Mary, Capt. Saunders, 5 men; the Sarah and Hannah, Capt. Winsley, 7 men; the Bonetta, Capt. Sacomb, 5 men; the man-of-war's tender, Capt. Cunningham, decked sloop; open sloops, tenders, the Success, Capt. Hilton, 2 men; the Charity, Capt. Hill, 2 men; the Adventure, Capt. Atkins, 2 men; the Speedwell, Capt. Carney, 3 men; the Success, Capt. Gardner, 3 men; the Endeavor, Capt. Lowell, 4 men; about 450 sailors. Beside tJiQse these wefl? Col* Redknap, engineer; bombardiers and cannoneers, 14; William Dudley, secretary of war; Capt. Lawrence and two tenders; doctors and mates, 7; commissaries, Arthur Jeffreys and two under him; field-marshals, two; armorers, two; the general's trumpeter and boy, two. So that the whole number of the forces consisted of about 1150 men.
The 13th of May the fleet came to sail, by sunrise, from Nantasket, with an easy south-west wind. In our passage we met with contrary winds and calms. May 17th, a council of war held on board the Deptford; ordered, that Col. Appleton should land on the north side Port Royal Basin, with his own company, and Major Spurr's, and Capt. Talbot's, and Burrill's, and Putnam's, and Hunt's, and Capt. Freeman's company, of Indians chiefly, about 320 men ; while the General, and the rest of the forces, about 750, should land on the south side. The 26th of May we came to anchor in the Basin, landed our men that afternoon, between 4 and 5 o'clock, under Col. Appleton, with whom I was, on the north side. It being so late ere we landed, we could not reach the place of our designed encampment, but after several hours travel, partly through hideous woods, and fallen trees across our way, which sometimes we climbed over, at other times crept under. At length we arrived where were two or three houses and barns, and at nine at night took up our quarters there. There also Capt. Freeman and his company of Indians, who flanked our left as we marched along, who also had a warm skirmish with about 40 or 50 French, came to us without the loss of a man. The 27th, early in the morning, began our march; came to a deep gully, where we were ambushed by about 60 French; lost two of our men; marching a little farther, we took two prisoners, and by noon came to the spot where we fixed our camp, almost north of the fort, little more than musket shot, over the north river. About half an hour after Col. Appleton landed on the north, General March, with about 750 men, landed on the south shore, but so far distant from the fort, by reason of the wind blowing in their teeth, that they were forced to encamp that night by the way. Early the 27th, in the morning, they set forward; were ambushed (at a place called Allen's Creek,) by the French Governor, Subercas, with near 300 men, who lay hid in the thick brush on the other side of the creek. Our army marched with trumpets sounding, drums beating, and colors flying, on upon the marsh between them and the creek; gave three huzzas. Then the enemy discharged, from their covert, their whole volley upton our t naked men. Our men pressed forward, and after a warm dispute, the enemy retreated up a hill which lay behind them. Our men passed the creek, and ascended the hill after them, the enemy all the while firing briskly upon them, till we had gained pretty near them, and then they turned their backs and fled down the other side of the hill to the fort. By all the fire from the ambush, and while we were gaining the hill, which lasted above an hour, through divine favor we lost not so much as one man, and had but five men wounded. Our army was too much fatigued to pursue them to the fort, but encamped in some houses at the foot of the hill; set a strong guard near the fort to prevent any surprise.
By some deserters who came from the fort to us, we learned that there were about 500 men in the fort, and 220 women and children, which rendered it likely, that upon a few bombs thrown into the fort, the cries of their wives and children would oblige them to surrender. The artillery therefore were ordered up to us. Redknap promised to see them sent the next day, but none came. Upon inquiry it was found that the engineer and captain of the man-of-war and Province galley had agreed in their sentiments, that it was morally impossible to send the artillery up to us, which must pass within command of the fort.
May 31. A council of war was held, in which it was unhappily agreed not to stay to break ground; but was dissented to by Col. Appleton, Capt. Otis and Boyenton. The reasons given were, the fort mounted 42 guns, some of 36 pounders, 500 men in it, our men unacquainted with attacking a fort, and no prospect of getting up the artillery ; and therefore the army should decamp, and go to Menis, and Seconneeto, and try what they could do there. But before they decamped, they concluded by the movement of Col. Hilton, and brave Col. Warton, to burn the church, the storehouse, and all the houses close by the north bastion of the fort.
When Col. Appleton went over to Col. March's camp, he took me along with him. After the council of war was over, General March meeting me took me aside, and said to me, "Doa't you smell a rat?" I, who knew not what he intended, answered, "No, sir." "Why," said he, "Col. Appleton is for staying to break ground, only to have his wages increased.?i I said, "Sir, I am a stranger to Col. Appleton's intentions and designs." He then said to me (somewhat roughly) "j .have heard you should say the artillery might be