WILLIAMSBURG, April 7, 1776.
In sight of the capes of Virginia, April 7, 1776. Gentlemen, I have the pleasure to acquaint you, that at 1 p.m. this day, I fell in with the sloop Edward, belonging to the Liverpool frigate. She engaged us near two glasses. They killed two of our men, and wounded two more. We shattered her in a terrible manner, as you will see. We killed and wounded several of her crew. I shall give you a particular account of the powder and arms taken out of her, as well as my proceedings in general. I have the happiness to acquaint you, that all our people behaved with much courage. I am, gentlemen, your humble servant, JOHN BARRY.
Virginia Gazette (Purdie) April 26, 1776 Supplement
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The ship's boy kept time by using a half hour glass. Each time the sand ran out, he would turn the glass over and ring the appropriate number of bells. A "watch" is four hours (or 8 bells) in length.
Sources: Ency Britannica