The British are coming, the British are coming!
Excerpted from "The History of Martha's Vineyard: how we got to where we are;" by Arthur R. Railton. "Grey's Raid: An Attack or a Shopping Expedition?" published in association with the Martha's Vineyard Museum by Commonwealth Editions.
It was getting late in the day. To have livestock from all over the Island delivered to Holmes Hole by 2 pm the next day must have seemed an impossibility to Colonel Norton. During the night he was able to have Grey's orders delivered to his five captains: "You are hereby ordered to muster your company of Militia by Day Light tomorrow morning & Collect all the oxon & Sheep in your Destrect and Bring them with your armes, acutorment & Ammunition to home's hole harbour By two oClock tomorrow, there to Receive further orders."
It must have been a frantic night on the Vineyard as the militiamen rode from house to house arousing residents and ordering them to drive their animals to Holmes Hole. No numbers were given; the order simply said, "Collect all the oxon & Sheep," and get them to Holmes Hole by 2 pm.
A number of years later, while seeking restitution for the livestock taken by Grey, Beriah Norton described in detail his meeting aboard the Carisfort:
"On General Grey's arrival...I was one that immediately waited upon him, and I solemnly affirm that he did not at the time suggest in my hearing any intention of punishing the Inhabitants by military exactions... He required that they should deliver up their arms (which were the same they had formerly used as a Militia under the King's Government) and this was instantly complied with.
He also required a large quantity of Stock, Cattle and Sheep, these were also immediately collected at the landing, persons were appointed to take an invoice of them and appraise them and every formality of a contract was observed, nor was there during General Grey's continuance there a single circumstance which resembled depredation of Enemies or levying a contribution upon the Inhabitants...."