Ervin, Sara Sullivan. South Carolinians in the Revolution: With Service Records and Miscellaneous Data, (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1965.)
Lewis, James A. Neptune's Militia: The Frigate South Carolina during the American Revolution, (Kent, OH: The Kent State University Press, 1999.)
Moss, Bobby Gilmer. Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution, (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1983.)
Navey, William, copier and indexer. "South Carolina - Federal Pension Report - 1835", (USGenWeb Archives, posted - March 9, 1999.)
Revill, Janie, copier. Copy of the Original Index Book: Showing the Revolutionary Claims Filed In South Carolina Between August 20, 1783 and August 31, 1786, (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1969.)
Wates, Wylma Anne, editor. Stub Entries to Indents: Issued in Payment of Claims Against South Carolina Growing Out of the Revolution, Books C-F, (Columbia, SC: South Carolina Archives Department, 1957.)
Pension Application of George Fisher S46036
The writer of this blog realized that the post concerning George Fisher, "'...To Sail the Deep Blue Sea, in Defiance of the British Crown...': George Fisher, 'Captain's Steward', on board the Frigate South Carolina: Information Collected on the Life and Services of Another 'Old Countryman'" and dated "06/27/2017", was getting quite lengthy and needed to be subdivided into shorter posts. Thus, the writer of this blog decided to make those "breaks" at logical places in the narrative of the frigate South Carolina. One of these logical places presented itself in the "Pension Application of George Fisher S46036" when Commodore Alexander Gillon was requested and accepted the position of naval commander of the Spanish expedition against British-held Nassau, New Providence during the spring of 1782. The appearance of the frigate South Carolina in Havana, Cuba's harbor and her time in that foreign port from her entry on January 12, 1782 until the departure of the invasion fleet on April 27, 1782 would place Commodore Alexander Gillon in a category which he alone occupies among American patriot naval commanders of the American Revolution - that of participating in the invasion and seizure of a foreign colony.
(Note: This post has been a long time in the writing for many reasons. First, this post addresses the efforts, activities and strategic plans of not only an entity outside the United States of America but, also addresses an actual empire - the empire of Spain. Spain had vast interests in the New World that were far reaching, to say the least. Yet, Spain, too, was having to deal with the forces of revolutionary change that were beginning to stir in her far-flung American holdings. So, Spain needed to be careful in assisting a revolutionary movement in overthrowing a monarchical regime which ruled British North America. Second, there are numerous Spanish personalities that act out their parts on the stage of world events at this period in time. Many of these are great men on a scale of comparison with our own Founding Fathers in that their plans and designs were functioning on a majestically massive scale. These designs were directed toward not only defeating Great Britain in the Caribbean Sea area but, of shutting her out of operations here in this hemisphere once and for all. The writer of this blog therefore feels it is only right to fully address these different personalities, plans and events in their own set of posts focusing on the Spanish role played in the American Revolution. The role of the frigate South Carolina is a very real presence in these events but, actually only a small, convenient part played in the overall scheme of Spanish-driven events. Thus, the writer of this blog will focus on the perception of events as seen through the eyes of George Fisher, "Captain's Steward" of the frigate South Carolina as she sailed into Havana Cuba's harbor on January 12, 1782.)
The "Pension Application of George Fisher S46036" as cited in this set of posts on George Fisher, "Captain's Steward", has already stated that:
"April 10, 1782 - [We] Arrived at the Havannah [Havana, Cuba] and sold our prize for 91,500 Dollars."
The previous post on George Fisher addressed the intricacies and negotiations that passed between Commodore Alexander Gillon of South Carolina and Juan Manuel de Cagigal, Captain-General of Cuba in order for both parties to arrive at a mutually agreeable conclusion. As stated in the previous post, this mutually agreeable conclusion was indeed reached and plans moved forward for the future invasion of New Providence.
(Note: the readership of this blog will have noticed that the dates given in Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, and those provided by George Fisher are now slightly differing by 1-2 days, usually with George Fisher's given dates being slightly earlier than those given in Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia. For instance, George Fisher's pension application has the frigate South Carolina arriving in Havana, Cuba's harbor on April 10, 1782 while Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, page 52, has the firgate arriving in Havana, Cuba on April 12, 1782. But, in some instances, like the date of the launch of the invasion fleet towards New Providence, the dates given are reversed, with George Fisher's dates being later than the dates given in Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia.)
While in Havana, Cuba's harbor, Commodore Gillon had to recruit new seamen and marines, resupply the ship, prepare her for an action the nature of which they had yet to participate in, as well as attend, for "diplomatic" reasons, numerous dinner parties and social balls given in his honor. George Fisher's pension application addresses none of these other concerns, though important for the life and continued functioning of the frigate South Carolina. Instead, the text of his pension application states next that:
"April 27, 1782 - [We] left the Havannah and took under our convoy fleet of sixty two sail with 2030 Land troops on board, John Manuel Cazagan [sic, Juan Manuel de Cagigal y Monserrat] Governor of Cuba took command of the troops and Commodore Gillan [Gillon] of the fleet.".
(Note: Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, page 67, gives a date of April 22, 1782 as the departure of the invasion fleet from Havana, Cuba headed towards New Providence.)
The following passage, taken from Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, pages 66-67, is somewhat lengthy but, rather accurately describes the joint Hispano-American convoy that set off towards New Providence on April 22, 1782:
"The heart of the convoy was Spanish, of course, consisting of some forty-four to forty-six transports. Five of these were rated as "frigates", the biggest of them be slightly over three hundred tons and manned by thirty to thirty-five men. (To illustrate the wide range of sizes that fell into the frigate class, the South Carolina displaced 1,355 tons and carried 450 men at this point.) All the other ships were much smaller, thirteen being described as mere launches (lanchas) and gunboats (canoneras). The vast majority had crews of less than twenty sailors; nine sailed with less than ten hands. As small as many of these vessels were, a majority came from Spain and not Cuba. Several vessels were assigned special duties such as carrying gunpowder, spare weapons, siege artillery, food, or serving as hospital ships. A large number of the participating Spanish ships normally carried guns, but, it is likely that these were landed in order to make space for the troops being ferried. Although there is no supporting evidence, these transports almost surely drew a stipend from the Havana treasury, making their owners' motivation for joining the expedition no different than those of the Americans. In total tonnage this was a modest endeavor, totaling some 7,743 tons; however in raw number of ships - approximately sixty - the expedition was impressive.
The captain-general scraped together an army numbering 2,095 soldiers and 155 officers from garrison troops in Havana plus units not yet transported to Cape Francois. The largest segment of soldiers came from three veteran regiments - Guadalajara, Espana, and Corona of New Spain. To these Cagigal added scattered units from the artillery, light infantry, and the Pardo and Moreno companies, permanently stationed in the Cuban capital. While all these groups brought their own officers, the captain-general found cause to attach additional officers from a horde of regiments, who were for one reason or another available. In the aggregate these were veteran soldiers and officers, with military experience going back to the defense of Havana against the British in 1762, the 1775 assault on Algiers, the siege of Gibraltar starting in 1779, and service against the British and Indians along the Gulf Coast in 1781. Although small in size, the quality of the army was high.
When Bernardo de Galvez appointed Cagigal to lead the New Providence expedition, he made it clear that the operation had to be accomplished quickly, that it could not delay in any way preparations for the Jamaican invasion unfolding in St. Dominigue, and that most participants had to join Galvez in Cape Francois immediately thereafter. Indeed, the speed factor so concerned Galvez that he ultimately issued orders canceling the expedition, from fear that Gillon and Cagigal would never finish in time to help him. Fortunately for the two men, this order failed to reach Cuba in time. On April 22, 1782, Gillon and Cagigal left Havana to attack Nassau.".
(Note: According to the footnote section of Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, note 8, page 191, the following pertinent information appears concerning the number of Spanish troops involved in the invasion of New Providence:
"As with the number of ships, sources do not agree on the exact total of soldiers. The count in the text [as given above] is taken from Gillon's directives in assigning troops and officers to various transports. Below is a Spanish count of troops:
Unit Name: Soldiers:
Regiment of Guadalajara 668
Regiment of Espana 594
Regiment of Corona of New Spain 326
Artillery Units and Support Staff 140
Light Infantry 50
Pardo and Moreno Companies 202
In no case did the Spaniards commit an entire regiment to the expedition. Guadalajara and Espana were at battalion strength, Corona and the rest each amounted to several companies or less.".)
This account addresses the efforts of Juan Manuel de Cagigal, Captain-General of Cuba, to put together the Spanish portion of the expedition. But, Commodore of the Navy of South Carolina, Alexander Gillon, also had his responsibilities concerning the expedition against and capture of New Providence. As indicated above, the responsibility for the land forces of the expedition lay with Captain-General de Cagigal. In like manner, the organizing duty for the sea forces lay with Commodore Gillon of South Carolina. George Fisher's pension application estimated the total size of the expedition at "...sixty two sail...". Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, page 67, estimated the total size of the accumulated expedition as being "...approximately sixty [sail or ships]...". Lewis's work, page 66, also states that the Spanish portion of the combined fleet was probably "...forty-four to forty-six transports...". This leaves a discrepancy of approximately fourteen to eighteen ships-of-war, almost all certainly privateers and of American origin, for which the patriot Commodore to account. Again, according to Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, pages 65-66, the following account of the efforts of Commodore Gillon is provided:
"While the two leaders worked together to create a convoy, they each also labored on separate parts. Gillon evidently concentrated on securing the armed escorts and Cagigal on finding the transport vessels. Ultimately, Gillon recruited a dozen to fifteen American merchantmen in the port of Havana to protect the expedition. The American merchant ships included two so-called "frigates", five or six brigantines, and the rest sloops and schooners. Most, but not all, were armed. The majority worked out of Philadelphia [PA] or Baltimore [MD], momentarily in Havana after delivering barrels of flour, a trade that thrived in the waning years of the war. In case the South Carolina ran into trouble or sank, Capt. James Montgomery of the brigantine Galvez was to take command. It is doubtful whether Cagigal and the Spaniards were consulted, or even knew, about this appointment.".
(Note: The reference to "...Capt. James Montgomery of the brigantine Galvez..." and that this individual was to take command of the seaborne portion of the expedition against New Providence if something happened to the frigate South Carolina, brings yet another sea captain into the scope of this overall blog. The information presented in this note-post is taken from the following sources:
Claghorn, Charles E. Naval Officers of the American Revolution: A Concise Biographical Dictionary, (Metuchen, NJ & London:
The Scarecrow Press, 1988.)
Heitman, Francis B. Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army: During the War of the Revolution, April, 1775 to December, 1783, (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1973.)
Jackson, John W. The Pennsylvania Navy, 1775-1781: The Defense of the Delaware, (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1974.)
Lewis, James A. Neptune's Militia: The Frigate South Carolina during the American Revolution, (Kent, OH: The Kent State University Press, 1999.)
Lincoln, Charles Henry. Naval Records of the American Revolution, 1775-1788, (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1906.)
These five short references to Captain James Montgomery indicate that he was a very seasoned veteran officer on both land and sea. According to Claghorn's work, Naval Officers of the American Revolution, pages 210-211, the following entry appears for Captain Montgomery:
James Montgomery of Pennsylvania - born 1810. A Captain of the Pennsylvania Navy. He was also a Captain in the Continental Army. On November 18, 1778 he commanded the sloop Queen of France with 10 guns and 30 men. On June 2, 1779, he was ordered to sail on the ship General Greene from Philadelphia to Cape Henlopen with Captains Harding and Tucker to destroy enemy privateers. On April 7, 1780 he commanded the brig George with 8 guns and 20 men and on December 21, 1781 [he] commanded the brigantine General Galvez with 8 guns and 30 men. In 1779 Montgomery took five prize vessels.
(Subnote: This is an incorrect birth date in that only naval officers of the American Revolution are included in this work and 1810 is well after the conclusion of this conflict. Possibly this should read "1710" but, he would have been over seventy years old when he assumed command of the brigantine Galvez in 1781. This is not altogether impossible, only highly unlikely.)
The entry given above confirms that James Montgomery was also an officer in the Continental Army. According to Heitman's work, Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army, page 397, there are at least four James Montgomery's cited as being officers in the Continental Army. Two of these officers are cited as being from Virginia and the one other James Montgomery from Pennsylvania died on August 26, 1777. The only remaining James Montgomery is cited in full below:
James Montgomery of Pennsylvania - On January 5, 1776, he became a 2nd Lieutenant in the 2nd Pennsylvania Battalion. On January 1, 1777, he became a 1st Lieutenant in the 3rd Pennsylvania Regiment of Foot. He resigned on September 1, 1777.
These two cited references to James Montgomery seem to indicate that he started his military career in the Continental Army and then resigned to pursue a naval commission. But, the Claghorn reference states that "...he was also a Captain in the Continental Army...". The Heitman entry immediately above states that he was a 2nd and 1st Lieutenant in the Pennsylvania Line but, states nothing about him rising to captain. Possibly, Claghorn meant to say that he was an officer in the Continental Army instead of specifically being "...a Captain in the Continental Army...". It is possible that between his rising to 1st Lieutenant on January 1, 1777 and his resignation on September 1, 1777, he could have been promoted to captain but, the text is silent on this issue.
Also, Jackson's work, The Pennsylvania Navy, page 336-337, states that James Montgomery was one of the original galley captains commissioned to defend the Delaware River. According to Jackson's work, page 336, these galleys "...were all commissioned between July 19 and September 29, 1775.". According to page 337, James Montgomery was:
"...appointed captain of the galley Ranger, August 31, 1775; to the galley Chatham, May 29, 1776; resigned to enter the Continental Navy, August 1, 1776; returned to command the [Pennsylvania] State privateer ship, General Greene, March 30, 1779; discharged October, 1779.".
It could appear that James Montgomery was initially a member of the Pennsylvania State Navy but, then resigned to seek his future in the Continental Army. Later, he must have changed his mind and returned to the state navy of Pennsylvania. This appears completely feasible except that the dates of his command of the galley Chatham and his time as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 2nd Pennsylvania Battalion overlap. This could be simply an issue of confusion of dates or possibly there are two James Montgomery's of Pennsylvania here, one in the Continental Army and the other in the Pennsylvania State Navy. Possibly, the Jackson reference immediately above should have said that he resigned to enter the Continental Army instead of the Continental Navy. No other sources refer to James Montgomery's entry into the Continental Navy. Also, Heitman's work, Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army, does not contain any other "James Montgomery" that could possibly fill the place of this man other than the one cited. The writer of this blog feels that there must be some confusion of dates here. Possibly, the Heitman dates are off by one year - the citation of "1776" should read "1777" and that of "1777" should be "1778". Only further research might possibly elucidate this issue.
It is well-documented that James Montgomery did indeed serve as the captain of the Pennsylvania State privateer "Ship" General Greene. According to Lincoln's work, Naval Records of the American Revolution, page 309, the following information is given concerning this ship-of-war:
"December 11, 1779 - General Greene. Pennsylvania Ship.
Guns: 14 Crew: 40
Master: James Montgomery [Philadelphia]
Bonders: George Henry, Philadelphia, and James Ash, Philadelphia.
Owners: George Henry and James Wharton & Co., Philadelphia.
Witnesses: Waters Sitton, James Trimble
(Subnote: The interesting point here is that both Claghorn and Jackson give different dates for James Montgomery being in command of the Pennsylvania "Ship" General Greene. Claghorn states that he was in command on June 2, 1779 and Jackson states that he was in command on March 30, 1779. That the Pennsylvania "Ship" General Greene was indeed a privateer is indicated by the execution of a "letter of marque" from the Continental Congress as cited above. This is born out by the fact that this information is contained within Lincoln's work, Naval Records, page 309, which is contained within the section of that work specifically allotted to the "Bonds of Letters of Marque". Since this is a collection of the records of the Continental Congress, the writer of this blog feels confident that this date should be the correct one.)
Claghorn's work, Naval Officers of the American Revolution, page 211, states that James Montgomery, in command of the Pennsylvania State "Ship" General Greene took five prize vessels during her cruise off Cape Henlopen in 1779. Jackson's work, The Pennsylvania Navy, pages 311-319, details the captures of each of these prizes.
According to Lincoln's work, Naval Records of the American Revolution, page 308, the following entry appears:
December 21, 1781 - General Galvez. Pennsylvania brigantine.
Guns: 8 Crew: 30
Master: James Montgomery [Philadelphia]
Mate: Charles Nuttle [Philadelphia]
Bonders: James Craig, Jr., Philadelphia, and John Patton, Philadelphia.
Owners: James Craig, Jr., John Patton, Alexander Nesbitt, and others, Philadelphia.
Witness: James Trimble.
This was the patriot ship-of-war that was under the command of James Montgomery of Philadelphia when he became, voluntarily or involuntarily, a integral part of the seaborne invasion of New Providence. The readership can see from the official designation of the brigantine that the true, full name of this patriot ship was the General Galvez instead of simply the Galvez, which is the designation it receives in Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, page 66.
By any account, James Montgomery of Philadelphia, PA and commanding officer on board the Pennsylvania State privateer brigantine General Galvez, was an experienced, combat-hardened, trustworthy naval officer. It was an excellent choice on the part of Commodore Alexander Gillon to choose James Montgomery as a backup if something happened to the South Carolina State frigate South Carolina. But, in the concluding sentence of the paragraph on page 66 in Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, it is doubtful that any of the Spanish high command of the invasion of New Providence would have felt confident in being transferred from a 44-gun frigate to a 8-gun brigantine.)
In the "Pension Application of George Fisher S46036", George Fisher continued his account of the approach of the invasion fleet to New Providence:
"May 8, 1782 - [We] arrived with the fleet off the Island of New Providence.".
A complete description of the voyage from Havana, Cuba to New Providence is provided in Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, page 68, and explains the length of the total voyage and why it took so long for the invasion fleet to arrive at its intended destination:
"Contrary winds forced the expedition to take a week to clear the harbor of Havana. On April 30, the Commodore [Gillon] sailed past Matanzas. Once in the Gulf Stream, it took three days to sight the Biminis, sentinel islands marking the entrance to the Northwest Providence Channel. Turning east, the expedition approached New Providence. En route the convoy sighted and was, in turn, seen by numerous ships. Escorts captured three small vessels that had recently departed from Nassau. Intelligence from these prizes revealed that the colony had no immediate warning that it was about to be attacked. Because of the convoy's slow speed, the jittery Commodore seized some Spanish truce ships that tried to sail past the expedition heading for Charleston [SC]. On the evening of May 5,  New Providence was sighted. It had taken Gillon over two weeks of cautious sailing to reach the British colony.".
(Note: Again, note that Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, page 68, gives a date of May 5, 1782 for the sighting of New Providence while George Fisher gives a date of May 8, 1782 for the arrival of the invasion fleet off of New Providence.)
The expedition had reached it's intended destination and could now prepare the actual invasion of New Providence, a British-held, foreign colony. But, the situation was not that straight-forward. The best account of the events which transpired next are found in Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, page 68. This account is as follows:
"A threat much more explosive than whatever British opposition existed ashore now emerged within the expedition itself. The allies, led by Gillon and Cagigal, respectively, began to quarrel. So dangerous was this dispute initially that Gillon instructed all ships to remain at anchor off New Providence and await his orders before moving against the British ashore. Cagigal and the entire command of the Spanish army feared for a moment that the Commodore intended to hold them hostage aboard the South Carolina, which served as the expedition's flagship. With the Spanish army divided among several transports and Cagigal and his staff isolated on the frigate, Gillon and his Luxembourg marines could easily have done this if such had been he Commodore's wishes. The captain-general did manage to sneak the Spanish treasury officials who accompanied the expedition as paymasters off the frigate. To understand this surprising imbroglio, it is necessary to consider a variety of attitudes, personalities, and war experiences that came to bear upon the convoy off Nassau.".
The cause of the dispute was not singular or easy to comprehend but, Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, pages 68-72, specifically details the individual factors that went into the dispute and the manner in which these were manifested as an integral part of the overall dispute. There were disputes between the Spanish and American command structures that were supposed to cooperate in the invasion. There were disputes between the Spanish army and Spanish naval elements of the expedition. And, there were several personalities, both Spanish and American, that were of the type that personal conflict was a part of their nature. These individual factors will be addressed in detail in a future post dealing with the Spanish phase of the frigate South Carolina as she voyaged across the Atlantic Ocean towards her name-sake colony of South Carolina.
The dispute seems to have been settled between Commodore Alexander Gillon and Captain-General of Cuba Juan Manuel de Cagigal forthrightly and swiftly. According to Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, page 72:
"In all aspects, the last-minute confrontation between the two allies lasted less than twenty-four hours. It was Gillon who backed down and allowed a united front to be presented to the British. Why the mercurial Gillon relented in his demands is uncertain, but Cagigal and his staff had reached the point of discussing a landing of the entire Spanish army on a nearby island, fortifying themselves there, and writing an urgent appeal to Bernardo de Galvez at the Cape [Francois] for ships to take Gillon's place blockading the port. The Spanish command was also toying with the idea of holding two surrender ceremonies, one a bogus proceeding in which the American commodore could sign anything he wanted, and a second at which there would be no Americans present; just how tight-lipped the British would have been during these two functions can only be surmised. Gillon later claimed that the controversy ended when Cagigal verbally agreed to his requests, particularly those involving money.".
According to the "Pension Application of George Fisher S46036", chronologically, the following entry appears:
"May 10, 1782 - a capitulation agreed on between the Spanish Governor and Commadore Gillan [Commodore Gillon] on the one side, and John Maxwell Esqr. Governor of New Providence on the other, without troops being landed.".
After settling their "difficulties", the combined Spanish-American invasion fleet moved to securely invest New Providence on May 6, 1782. The British Governor of New Providence, John Maxwell, saw that there was no hope of successful resistance to the invasion fleet and also knew that there was among the residents of New Providence significant support for the rebel Cause. Thus, he "...notified the Spaniards on May 7  that he would surrender. He signed the capitulation agreement on May 8 .". The formerly British-held colony of New Providence was now in Spanish hands.
(Note: George Fisher's pension application gives May 10  as the actual surrender date of New Providence to the combined Spanish-American invasion force while Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, page 76, gives May 8  as the actual capitulation date.)
The capitulation agreements reached must have been very disappointing to Commodore Alexander Gillon. No British of Bahamian shipping was to be molested in the harbor of New Providence, so no prize money was forthcoming from the sale of these prize vessels. According to Lewis's work, Neptune's Militia, page 76:
"With relatively little property changing hands, and that mostly ashore in the form of weapons and public buildings, Gillon's prospects for booty disappeared. Whatever reward there might be for his participation in the expedition would have to come from the Spanish treasury back in Havana, a source of compensation no longer likely, given his spat with the captain-general. The Commodore no longer pushed his demands, but assisted the Spanish army by patrolling the sea lanes around Nassau looking for hostile privateers.
Nevertheless, he [Gillon] exacted a punishment of sorts for the misunderstandings that had occurred. Gillon informed Cagigal that he now planned to depart shortly for the United States and would not escort Cagigal's troops back to Havana or the Cape [Francois], where Bernardo de Galvez awaited their arrival at any moment. Moreover, he insisted that none of the American armed ships be impressed to perform this service against their will. Since all the major escort vessels except one had been American, the loss of these ships, particularly the South Carolina, would leave New Providence and any returning fleet open to attack from the smallest of armed ships, exactly the type of vessels that abounded in the waters of the Bahamas. All of the American privateers carried commercial cargoes from Havana and had never intended to return to Havana or to travel to the Cape [Francois] after the fall of Nassau anyway, nor had Cagigal expected them to do so. But the Spanish commander had counted upon the South Carolina remaining with the expedition to the end. Cagigal had no choice but to accept this unilateral change of plans, but neither he nor the American commodore could foresee what a heavy price Gillon's departure would exact on their careers.".
Commodore of the South Carolina Navy Alexander Gillon, as commanding officer on board the frigate South Carolina, had participated in an operation unlike any other American naval commander had participated in during the course of the American Revolution - the investment and subsequent surrender of a foreign-held colony. Not all had gone well during the operation and this would be reflected in the legal proceedings that embroiled the frigate South Carolina for decades after the capture of the patriot frigate on December 21, 1782. But, in mid-May 1782, Gillon must have had thoughts of home and hearth which he had not seen since his departure from South Carolina in August 1778. With Charleston, SC still in British hands, he would now sail into an uncertain future in America. Yet, George Fisher, "Captain's Steward" on board the frigate South Carolina, would still be faithfully recording these voyages as they brought him nearer his newly adopted home. To date, he had never yet set foot upon her soil.