July 28th and 29th
At day light the 28th we gave an alarm to the fort to discover their line of fire; but the greatest joy was given to the troops by the arrival of part of the North American forces under the convoy of the Intrepid, a 64 gun ship, though they had had the misfortune in the passage through the old streights to have a 40 gun ship of war
and six transport
s run a-shore and were lost; but happily all the people were saved, and encamped on those keys; for whom the Admiral dispatched away frigates very morning. 1400 men under Brigadier Burton were landed on the western side to reinforce those post under Col. Howe, scarce able before from sickness to defend themselves, had they been attacked regularly.
About two in the afternoon, our mines were successfully sprung (one only failed) and herein Col. Mackeller, the chief engineer shewed great skill. The Enemy either did not imagine it had effect, or else was not alert enough in defence of the breach made, and which Gen. Keppel ordered immediately to be stormed.
Our people entered the fort with coolness and intrepidity, that would alone have daunted a more resolute Enemy, and perhaps was the occasion of that feeble resistance we found; for they gave away on every side as our pople advanced.
The Marquis de Gonzalez, Commander of a men of war
and second in command in the fort, fell bravely endeavouring to animate and rally his people.
Don Luis de Velasco also Captain of the Reina man of war
, soon after shared the fame fate endeavouring to defend the colours of the Fort, round which he had made a breastwork, and had collected about 100 men, who soon fled and left him to that stroke he seemed to invite and wish for; for being shot through the breast he fell, offering his sword to the coquerors. Confusion and fright ensued , and as much slaughter; for near 400 of the enemy fell by the sword; as many more were taken prisoners to whom the soldiers had given quarter, though no ways obliged by the rules of war
This half hour determined the fall of this important fortification, with only the loss of 10 or 11 men on our side. English colours were soon flying on the fort, that were welcomed by the loud huzzas of all the rejoiced army and navy.
A parley enfused, and Don Luis de Velasco (not yet dead) was at his own request sent to breath out his last at the Havana
, when he expired a day later, leaving a name behind, and character that justly merited admiration and esteem from his opposites as respect and love from his confederates.