THE TRINIDAD HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Publication No. 62.
Letter from Thomas Picton, Governor of Trinidad to His Excellency,
Source : Additional MSS. 36870. British Museum. Published
by the courtesy of the Trustets of the British Museum.
17th March, 1799.
As Lt: Genl: Bowyer will have communicated with Your
Excelly: my letter of the 28th Dec: 1798 containing so much
of my Dispatch to Mr. Secretary Dundas of the same date, as
to the state of the Island, and the means proposed to resist in
case of an attack it will not be necessary that I should again
trouble Your Excel: with the detail: but it is important that
you should be informed that our Chief Dependance here upon
the event of an attack, is upon the Garrisons of Grenada and
Tobago, and that the Officers Commanding His Majesty's
Forces in these Islands, hasten to pay immediate attention to
any applications circumstances might lay me under the
necessityof making to them for Reinforcements and assistance;
and they were directed to communicate in the first instance
with Fort Abercromby on the Bay of Las Cuevas, where they
would receive instructions and the necessary information
respecting the actual state of the Island. This fort which
communicates by a direct road with the interior of the Colony,
is peculiarly calculated to introduce succour in case of necessity
and should I eventually be compelled by a superior force to
abandon this Town, which is capable of very little if any
Defence, my retreat must be directed towards that point,
upon which I shall necessarily becomeDependant for Provisions.
Communications, Etc: Etc: It will therefore become an
object of the greatest consequence to send thither, upon the
first certainty of an attack, a liberal supply of these indispen-
sable articles from the nearest Islands.
I likewise think it my Duty to represent to your Excel:
that the 57th regiment (upon which rests the Chief reliance)
is composed generally of men, who from a length
of service in this country (being mostly moved over
from drafted Corps) have debilitated, broken down constitu-
tions and are consequently incapable of resisting any
considerable degree of Fatigue. The Qr: M: Genl: Col:
Gledstancs is well acquainted with the state of this Corps, and
can give Your Excel : accurate information respecting it.
I have the honour to be
(signed) TH: PICTON,
His Excel: Lt. Col. Commd.
Genl: Trigge etc: etc;
By the Lord St. Vincent.