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Saturday, September 27, 2008

September 27. 1779
On the evening of the 24th instant our squadron engaged and took the British fifth rate Serapis, 44 guns, Captain Peirson and Countess of Scarborough, 20 guns, Captain Piercy. There were many dead and wounded on both sides including several of our friends from the Piscataqua region who were aboard the Poor Richard. After Alliance and Pallas engaged with the Countess of Scarborough she eventually struck to the Pallas. The Serapis struck to the Poor Richard at about 10PM after 2 hours of battle and after receiving three broadsides from Alliance. I fear that our broadsides took as heavy a toll on the Poor Richard as it did on the Serapis as they were locked together at the time. Captain Landy ordered us to fire despite warning to him that we were raking the Richard too. Both Poor Richard and Serapis were heavily damaged and on fire.

After the battle Mr. Bragg, our carpenter went on board Poor Richard with a number of men to extinguish the fires and repair her many leaks. We took 150 prisoners out of the Serapis while Mr. Buckley, Mr. Lynd and 40 men went to man her and Alliance took her in tow. In the morning we came up with the Poor Richard, Pallas, Vengeance and Countess of Scarborough and Captain Jones came on board of the Serapis. In the evening he returned to the Richard and finding her leaks steadily increasing ordered all of the wounded who were the only ones left aboard her to be moved to other ships. Our boats along with those of the other ships worked through the night to get the men and necessary things out of her. At 11 AM of the 26th instant the Poor Richard sank from the damage she received during the battle.

Today, Mr. Lynd came back on the Alliance, having been on Serapis since the 27th instant. He told of ill treatment given by Captain Jones to himself and others of the Alliance crew after trying but failing to get them to impeach Captain Landy’s character. He said that some of the Alliance’s crew were flogged on this account. Cap. Landy sent Mr. Robertson on board the Serapis desiring to bring back the remainder of our people since we have only 115 men to guard 226 prisoners in total from our earlier prizes plus our recent additions. Captain Jones refused this request. We are now making our way to Holland.

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