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Bacon's Rebellion

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1676]        NARRATIVE OF THE COMMISSIONERS        133

of valour, courage and Resolution at their undertaking this at-
tacque and of the cause they defended who yet call themselves
the Loyall party, and yet dessert the Governour, and now
begin to importune him to quit the Towne. But wee cannot
give a better account, nor yet a truer (soe far as wee are in-
formed) of this action than what this Letter of Bacon’s relates:

From the Camp at SANDY BEACH, 
S’ber the 17th, 1676. 

Capt. Wm. Cookson1 and Capt. Ed’w Skewon:

Before wee drew up to James Towne a party of theirs fled before
us with all hast for Feare: with a small party of horse (being darke
in the Evening) wee rode up to the Point at Sandy Beach, and
sounded a Defiance which they answered, after which with some
difficulty for want of materialls we entrenched ourselves for that
night, our men with a great deal of Bravery ran up to their works
and fir’d Briskly and retreated without any losse.

      The next morning our men without the workes gave them some
Braves and contempts to try their mettle, upon w’ch they fir’d their
great guns with Small shott to cleere their workes, but our men
Recovered the workes, and wee are now entrenched very secure both
from the Shipps and Towne. Yesterday they made a Sally with
horse and Foote in the Van, the Forlorne being made up of such men
as they had compell’d to serve; they came up with a narrow Front,
and pressing very close upon one anothers shoulders that the For-
lorne might be their shelter; our men received them soe warmly
that they retired in great disorder, throwing downe theire armes,
left upon the Bay, as also their Drum and dead men, two of which
our men brought into our Trenches and Buried with severall of their armes. This day wee shewed them our Indian captives upon the
workes, the People come in from all parts most bravely, and wee are
Informed that great multitudes of men are up for us in the Isle of
Wight and Nancymond, and onely expect orders, as also all the
South side of the River over against us in great numbers. They
shew themselves such Pitifull cowards, contemptable as you would
admire2 them. It is said that Hubert Farrell3 is shot in the Belly,

     1Captain William Cookson was “condemned at my house and executed
when Bacon lay before Jamestown” (Berkeley’s report, Cal. St. P. Col., 1677-
1680, §308). His estate was confiscated. The name of Captain Edward
Skewon does not appear in any of the lists.

     2I. e., so contemptible that you would wonder at them.

     3 Captain Hubert Farrill was one of those named in Bacon’s Declaration
against the government. Later, in company with Ludwell and the elder Bacon,
he led a party of men against the insurgents quartered at the house of the latter
in York County under Major Whaly. There Farrill was killed. See pp. 89-92

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