Front Matter A Name to be Proud of Ready for Sea The King's Gift Why I am an Adventurer The Signal for Departure A Lad's Portion The Allotment of Land An Unexpected Delay Our Arrival at Cowes We Put to Sea The Dove Disappears A Second Tempest An Unseemly Christmas The Port of Barbadoes The Arrival of the Dove Under Sail Again The Land of America The Land Given by the King Fear of the Brown Men Where to Build the City Taking the Island A Voyage of Discovery Visiting the Indians An Unexpected Meeting Captain Fleet's Story An Indian Werowance Indian vs. English Claims Seeking a Place for the City The Bargain The Village of Yaocomico What the Indians Look Like Indian Weapons and Tools Landing the Goods Counting Our Blessings The Susquehanoughs A Land of Abundance Buying Cattle Storehouse and Fort A Visitor from Virginia A Talk with the Indians Running up the Colors Settling Down Master William Claiborne Lord Baltimore's Claims Stirring up the Indians Winning Back the Indians Busy Times Indian Women as Servants Making a Canoe A Boat of Bark Indian Money A Generous Harvest Trouble at Plymouth Strange Religious Service The Dance Begins An Odd Ceremony William Claiborne's War Settlement on Kent Island We Prepare for War The Army leaves St. Mary's In Command of the Guard A Flag of Truce Captain Fleet Repents The First Prize of War A Battle is Fought The Return of the Fleet William Claiborne's Flight The City of Saint Mary's A Cruel Murder Mystery Remains Unsolved Master George Evelin A Fatal Accident Preparing for Action Ready for a Man's Duty I Wear the Uniform My New Name On Board the Pinnance Indians in War Paint The Arrival at Kent Island The Capture of the Fort Butler and Smith Captives Back to Claiborne's Fort I am Assigned New Duties A Narrow Escape Words of Praise

Calvert of Maryland - James Otis

A Battle is Fought

Now as to what was done by Captain Cornwallis, and those who sailed with him:

Not until our fleet had come to the Pocomoke River, on the eastern shore of the bay, did they get sight of Claiborne's pinnace under command of Lieutenant Warren, when they found her ready for action, the crew standing at quarters, and the gunners with lighted matches in their hands, all of which went to show that the enemy had already seen our people.

I have heard it said by those who claim to know, that when Captain Cornwallis entered the Pocomoke River there was no thought in his mind that a battle would be fought, nor did he make ready to open fire, believing Lieutenant Warren would surrender as soon as he saw how much stronger than his force was ours.

It must have been a surprise when Claiborne's people discharged their cannon, and with such effect that one of our men was killed outright.

A man much less hot-headed than Captain Cornwallis would not have remained inactive after such provocation. As soon as our guns could be brought to bear upon Claiborne's pinnace, whose crew meanwhile were reloading with the utmost haste in order to fire another volley, the cannons on both our vessels were discharged, Lieutenant Warren being killed outright, as were three of his men.

The loss of life, together with the damage done the pinnace by our fire, was so great that Claiborne's followers had no stomach for further fighting, and before a second volley could be let off, they had surrendered.

[Illustration] from Calvert of Maryland by James Otis

It would have been well had they counted the cost before beginning the battle, for then would four lives have been saved, and surely they must have known that it would not be possible to prevail against us of the Province of Maryland, who were acting by license and under the authority of his Majesty the King. However, it was useless after the mischief had been done, to speak of how it might have been prevented.

The battle, short though it had been, was fought. The decks of the vessels were stained with blood, and whoever was the cause of such work must in due time pay the penalty.