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'78i- At eight in the morning, the ten battering ships corals ' mandeded by admiral Don Buenventura Moreno, were put in motion, and proceeded to their several stations. Between nine and ten they came to an anchor, in a line from the old to the new Mole, parallel to the rock, and from looo'to 1200 yards distant. The admiral's ship was stationed opposite the king's bastion; and the others took their appointed places, successively and with great regularity, to the right and left of the admiral. The surrounding hills were covered with people, as though all Spain had assembled to behold the spectacle.

The cannonade and bombardment, on all sides and in all directions, from the isthmus, the sea, and the various works of the fortress, was tremendously magnificent beyond description. The prodigious showers of red-hot balls, of bombs and of carcasses, which filled the air, and were Without intermission thrown from the garrison, to every point of the various attacks, both by sea and land, astonished the commanders of the allied forces j who could not conceive how gen. Elliot had been able to construct and manage such a multitude of furnaces, as they deemed necessary for the heating of the quantity of shot thrown. The number of redl-hot balls, whieli only the battering ships received in the course of the day, was estimated at not less than 4000. The peninsula seemed at the same time to be overwhelmed in the torrents of fire, incessantly poured upon it.

- The battering ships were so well constructed for withstanding the combined powers of fire and artillery, that for several hours the continued showers of shells and hot shot with which they were assailed, were not capable of making any visible impression upon them. But about -> 2 two two o'clock the admiral's ship was observed to smoke. 1783, The fire, though kept under, during the day light, could not be thoroughly subdued. Aster a time, the Prince of Nassau's ship was discovered to be in the same condition. The disorder that took place in these two commanding ships, affected the whole line of attack; and by the evening the fire from the fortress had gained a decided superiority. This fire was continued with equal vigor through the night; and by one in the morning, the two first ships were in flames, and several others visibly on fire. Continual signals to the fleet were sufficiently expressive of their extreme distress and danger. AU means were used by the fleet to afford assistance: but as it was judged impossible to remove the battering ships, their endeavours were only directed to the bringing off the men. A great number of boats were accordingly employed, and much intrepidity was displayed in the attempts for this purpose.

Captain Curtis, to complete the general confusion and destruction, manned his twelve gun-boats with his marine brigade; and drew them up in such a manner as to flank the line of battering ships. Each of his boats carried a 24 or 18 pounder, and by its low fire and fixed aim, was not a little formidable. The battering ships were soon overwhelmed by the incessant fire from the garrison, and by that of the British gun-boats, raking the whole extent of their line. The scene was now wrought up to the highest point of calamity. The Spanish boats no longer dared to approach; but were compelled to abandon their ships and friends to the flames, or to the mercy and humanity of a heated enemy. Several of their boats and launches had been funk before

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I 7Sl' they submitted to this necessity. The day light at length appearing, two Spanish feluccas, which had not escaped with the others, attempted to get out of the danger i but a mot from a gun-boat having killed several men on board one of them, both were glad to surrender.

The horrors of the night were terrible; but the opening of the day disclosed a spectacle still more painful. Numbers of men were seen in the midst of the flames crying out for pity and help; others floating on pieces of timber, exposed to equal danger from the opposite element. Those in the {hips where the fire had made a less progress, expressed in their looks, gestures and words, the deepest distress and despair; and were equally urgent jn imploring assistance. The fire both from the garrison and gun-boats instantly ceased; and every danger was encountered by capt. Curtis and his marine brigade, in endeavouring to rescue the distressed enemy from surrounding destruction. In these efforts the boats were exposed to the peril arising from the continual discharge, on all sides of the artillery, as the guns became heated to a certain degree, and from the blowing up of the battering ships as the fire reached their magazines. A more striking instance of the ardor and boldness with which the marine brigade acted, needs not be given, than that of an officer and 2Q privates (all severely wounded) being dragged out from among the slain in the holds of the burning vessels, most of whom recovered in the hospital at Gibraltar.

Captain Curtis was repeatedly in the most imminent danger; particularly so when his pinnace was close to pne of the largest ships at the time she blew up: while every object was for a considerable while buried in

a thick

a thick cloud of smoke, gen. Elliot and the garrison 1781. suffered the most poignant distress, considering the fate of their friend as inevitable. Thirteen officers and 344 men were saved by the exertions of the brigade. It was happy, that the greater part of the troops and seamen had been removed, before capt. Curtis could make his

'attack with the gun boats. It is thought however that the enemy lost 1500 men, prisoners and wounded included, in their attack by sea. *

Admiral Don Moreno left his flag flying when he

.abandoned his ship, in which state it continued, till it

'was consumed or blown up with the vessel. Eight more ships blew up successively in the course of the day. The tenth was burnt by the British, theje being no possibility of preserving her for service. The loss sustained by the allies on the isthmus during the attack cannot be ascertained. The loss of the garrison was nearly con

'fined to the artillery corps and the marine brigade. From the 9th of August to the 17th of October, the whole number of non-commissioned officers and private men slain, amounted to sixty-five only, the wounded were 388, beside twelve commissioned officers.

Such was the signal and complete defensive victory, obtained by a comparatively handful of brave men, over the combined land and naval efforts of two great and powerful nations, who for the attainment of a favorite object, exceeded all former example, as well in the magnitude, as in the formidable nature of their preparations.

The allies were now compelled to rest their hopes of 1 recovering Gibraltar, on the reduction of the garrison to a surrender, through the mere failure of ammunition and provisions. But this was not to be effected, unless

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178*. they could defeat lord Howe, or at least prevent his throwing in the intended relief. Mean while his lordship met with much delay, through winds and weather, on his way to Gibraltar; which was rendered exceedingly irksome, by the anxiety that prevailed relative to the fortress, under a knowledge of the menaced attack. This anxiety was not removed till the fleet had arrived near the scene of action; when advice was also received, that the united fleets, consisting of 50 fail of three and two deckers, had taken their station in the bay of Gibraltar.

At this critical point of time, a violent gale of wind in the Straits, threw the combined fleets into the greatest

Q^ disorder, and exposed them to no small danger. It

to- happened in the. night of October the 10th; and during the storm a frigate and one ship of the line were driven ashore, a second lost her foremast and bowsprit, two more were driven out of the bay to the eastward, and many others suffered more or less damage. The St. Michael, a fine Spanish ship of 72 guns, was driven un"der the works of Gibraltar, where she ran aground and was taken by the boats of the garrison. Her commander, with 650 seamen and soldiers, became prisoners of war. The allies discovering the fate of the St. Michael, .threw a number of shells in hope of destroying her as she lay ashore. The British however gother off in three or four days, without her having suffered any essential damage.

11. On the morning that succeeded the storm, the British fleet entered the Straits, in a close line of battle a-head; and about ari hour after night, the van arriving off the bay of Gibraltar, an opportunity was afforded to the


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