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under protection of a battery. Captain Dowers of the “ Ringdove," coming up first, stormed and carried the battery, and spiked the guns. In the evening the squadron was joined by the frigate « Freiga," 36, Captain Hayes, and “Sceptre,” 74, Captain Ballard, which last officer now assumed the command, and made preparations for an immediate a tack on the French frigates. The “ Blonde" was ordered to lead in, and to be followed by the “ Thetis ;” and both were to anchor abreast of the enemy, while the “ Hazard," “ Cygnet,” “Ringdove,” and “Elizabeth” were to take the armed boats of the squadron in tow, and engage. The French frigates were soon compelled to surrender, and the boats landing under a heavy fire, stormed and carried the fort. Captain Cameron was killed in this conflict, with 8 others, and 22 were wounded ; but poor Captain Shortland of the “ Junon," who had lost his right leg, and was otherwise wounded, was taken out of the captured frigates, and after five weeks of suffering expired. Commodore Roquebert, with “ La Renommée” and “La Clorinde," eventually reached the port of Brest in safety. On the 14th of December, the British frigate“ Melampus," 36, Captain Harker, cruising off Guadaloupe, captured, after a chase of 28 hours, and a slight resistance, the French corvette “Le Bearnais,” 16; and on the 17th, near the island of Santa Cruz, the British brig-sloop “ Rosamon," 18, captured “ La Papillon," 16, Captain de la Genelieu, after a similar chase, and with ut the slightest resistance: both prizes were added to the British navy.
A new naval tactic appears to have come into operation about this time. The isles of France and of Bourbon still remained to the French Empire; so that making these the base of operations, and remembering the success of the former cruise of M. de Linois against British commerce in those extensive and ill-watched seas, it was determined by the French Government to construct at Cherbourg a class of 40-gun frigates, with superior sailing qualities, which should put to sea, one by one, from different ports in Europe, and taking their chance of rounding the Cape of Good Hope, proceed to their cruising-grounds in the Indian Ocean. Accordingly, on the 12th of November in the past year, “ La Vénus,” Commodore Hamelin, and “ La Manche," Captain Breton, sailed from Cherbourg, “ La Bellone,” Captain Duperré, and - La Caroline," Lieutenant de Vaisseau Feretier, from Flushing, all going to sea for the first time, and all with extraordinary fortune reached the East Indian station unobserved and unhindered. On the 2nd of May, a small fleet of homeward-bound Indiamen quitted the Bengal river under the convoy of the “ Victor," 18, Captain Edward Stopford, and on the 24th, in foul weather, this convoy separated, only three of the largest vessels of the fleet remaining in company, viz. the “Streatham," Captain Dale, the “Europe,” Captain Gelston, and the “ Lord Keith,” Captain Campbell. The first two were armed with 20 guns, and the latter with 12, and their crews consisted partly of British or other European seamen, and partly of Lascars. On the 31st, this squadron saw a strange ship in the offing, which, at first,
they took for their convoy, but it soon proved to be the French frigate “La Caroline,” 40, who had heard from an American trader the exact amount of force, names, lading, and probable route of this fieet. The three Indiamen bore down on the French frigate, the “ Lord Keith” leading, followed by the “Europe.” The latter vessel was first selected as the antagonist of the frigate, and, before she could receive any assistance, was so efficiently punished, that “ La Caroline” left her to her fate, and fell upon the “Streatham,” with the same result, in the space of little more than an hour; when the “ Lord Keith," to avoid her otherwise inevitable fate, took advantage of a favourable moment, sailed away, and with good fortune reached England. “La Caroline" and her two richly-laden prizes then set sail, and on the 22nd of July anchored at the Isle de Bourbon; but they were all re-captured by the British fleet when that island was taken, as will be hereafter stated. On the 26th of July, the French frigates “ La Vénus” and “ La Manche," Commodore Hamelin, captured the Indiaman “ Orient,” Captain Harman, carrying despatches, and sent her away in security to the Isle of France. Having been joined by the corvette “La Créole," 14, a little French squadron was formed off the island of Sumatra
on the 10th of October, where they took possession of the settlement of Tappanooly, where they destroyed or confiscated all the property, public and private, carrying off everything they could, and then setting fire to the buildings, &c. On the 18th of November the same squadron came across the “ Windham," Captain Stewart, “ United Kingdom," Captain Parker Desterre, and “ Charlton," Captain Mortlock, all outward-bound Indiamen, armed with some 20 guns, and with crews partly European and partly Lascars. The “ Windham ” ran up to “ La Vénus,” and engaged her for two or three hours, but finding himself no match for a French frigate, Captain Stewart endeavoured to run. In the meanwhile, his consort had been captured, and accordingly, “ La Vénus” was quite at liberty to pursue the “ Windham," which she did, and on the 22nd, after a smart running fight, she was overtaken and captured. But, in making sail for the Isle of France, “La Vénus," with Captain Stewart on board, got separated from her consort, and was dismasted in a gale, when Captain Hamelin was obliged to apply to his prisoner to save his ship, and gave his frigate in charge to the British Captain and his crew, who, after the greatest exertions, safely weathered the storm, and carried her to the Isle of France, where she anchored on the 31st of December. “La Manche " had already arrived there with the “ United Kingdom” and “ Charlton," as prizes; but the “Windham ” had been re-captured on the 29th by the “Magicienne,” 36, Captain Lucius Curtis, and had been carried to the Cape of Good Hope, whither the French gorernor of the Isle of France, in reward for the good services of Captain Stewart and his crew, sent them in a cartel to rejoin their recovered ship..
The “ Victor," 18, Captain Edward Stopford, of whom mention has been made as far back as May, was cruising in the Bay of
Bengal on the 2nd of November, when he came across the French frigate “ La Bellevue,” Captain Duperré, who forth with chased her, and, after having mauled her considerably, obliged her to haul down her colours. On the 22nd the two vessels in company fell in with the Portuguese frigate “ Minerva,” 52, Captain Pinto, when an action ensued, and Captain Duperré had the skill and good fortune to capture her likewise, and with his two men-of-war prizes he anchored safely in Port Louis.
47. Boat ENGAGEMENTS. On the 15th of March, the British frigate “ Arethusa,” 38, Captain Mends, cruising off the north coast of Spain, detached her boats under Lieutenants Pearson, first of the ship, and Octavius Scott of the Marines, into the little bay of Lequito, which was defended by a detachment of French soldiers; there they destroyed more than 20 heavy guns in battery, and brought away prisoners, a sergeant and 20 men, and a small chaloupe laden with brandy. On the 16th the same party again landed, and found two chasse-marées laden with brandy aground four miles up the river Andera, which they captured from the French and restored to the Spaniards. On the 20th a party of seamen and marines of the same ship, under Lieutenants Elms, Steele, and Fennell, destroyed the guns at Baigno and the signal-posts, the small French force stationed in charge retiring as the British approached.
On the 23rd of April, Captain Jahleel Brenton, of the “Spartan,” 38, having the British frigates “ Amphion,” 32, Captain William Hoste, and “Mercury," 28, Hon. Captain Duncan, under him, in the Gulf of Venice, observed a number of vessels lying within the mole of Pesaro. Deeming it practicable to get possession of them, he anchored his three frigates within half a mile of the town and harbour, when he sent in the boats of the squadron under the orders of Lieutenants Willes, Philcott, and Baumgardt, together with a flag of truce to the Commandant, demanding the surrender of all the vessels. Receiving no reply to this demand, Brenton fired a shot over the town to give warning to the women and children, and then opened fire from all three frigates, which continued a short time, when several flags of truce were exhibited in the town, and Brenton ceased firing, and signalled Lieutenant Willes to pull into the harbour. Before dark, 13 vessels, deeply laden, were surrendered and brought off; several others were scuttled and sunk, and some were left aground. The Commandant and all the military had made their escape, and accordingly the castle was mined and blown up. The only casualty which occurred to the assailants was the life of one man, who, through his own negligence, was buried in the ruins. On the 2nd of May the “Spartan" and “Mercury" chased two vessels into the port of Cesenatico, which was defended by a battery and a castle. The boats were lowered in order to lead the frigates as close as the shallow water would permit, and the frigates thus got within grapeshot, when
Lieutenant Willes pushed ahead, landed his boats' crews, and took possession of the battery, turning its guns upon the castle and town, which were very soon deserted. 22 vessels, laden with corn, hemp, and iron, were brought off, and one which had been scuttled, burned. The castle and magazine were destroyed, and the guns spiked. All this was effected without a casualty Captain Brenton then proceeded to the Gulf of Fiume, where the French, he had heard, were fortifying the island of Lusin-piccolo. Colonel Pelharnie with a corps of Croatians, being in the vicinity, a proposal was made to them to co-operate in an attack, which being agreed to, the works were assaulted, and the enemy driven off, when an advance was immediately made on the castle, which, after enduring the fire of the “Spartan” all night, surrendered in the morning, and was delivered over to the troops of the Emperor of Austria.
On the 14th of June the British brig-sloop “Scout,” Captain Raitt, perceived a convoy of 14 or 15 sail of vessels coming round Cape Croisette. He immediately made sail in chase, but it falling calm he despatched the boats under Lieutenant Battersby. The vessels pushed for a harbour, into which they were followed by the boats, under a heavy fire of grape and musketry; but, notwithstanding, a party of men got to shore and immediately stormed and carried the battery, and attacked the enemy's ships, which got under the protection of some rocks. The guns were spiked, and seven vessels brought out. In the execution of this service, the British had 1 killed and 5 wounded. On the 14th of July the same officer, with a detachment of the “ Scout's" seamen and marines, landed and attacked a strong battery which commanded the port of Carri, which he carried without any loss and spiked the guns. The British frigate “ Topaze,” 36, Captain Griffiths, observed on the 31st of May 9 vessels in the road of Demata, under the fortress of Sta Maura, and, placing the boats under the orders of Lieutenant Hammond the Captain, ordered him to take them round outside the reef, and capture or destroy the ships. Notwithstanding a very formidable opposition, Lieutenant Hammond boarded and brought out the whole 9 vessels with only the loss of i killed and I wounded. On the 24th of August the “ Amphion," Captain Hoste, discovered lying in the port of Cortelazzo 6 Franco-Italian gun-boats with a convoy of merchant trabacculos. Captain Hoste having received from a fisherman a very correct account of the force and situation of the vessels and batteries, resolved to send in his boats. Crowding all sail the “ Amphion ” stood in shore, and anchored off the entrance of the Piavè, when the boats, under the orders of Lieutenants Phillott, Jones, and Moore of the Marines, landed a detachment of 70 men, who attacked the fort with so much vigour, that although surrounded by a ditch and chevaux-de-frise, it was carried in ten minutes, when, at the con. certed signal, the boats attacked and captured the 6 gun-boats. Two trabacculos with cargoes were taken, and 5 burned. One marine accidentally wounded by an explosion was the only casualty. On the 28th of July the “Excellent,” 74, Captain West, being at 308
anchor off Trieste, discovered an enemy's convoy creeping along under the shore, but as soon as they saw that they had been perceived, they took shelter in the port of Duin. All the boats were immediately lowered and placed under the command of Lieutenant Harper, covered by the brig-sloops “ Acorn,” 18, Captain Clephane, and “ Bustard,” Captain Barkland. These pushed through a heavy fire into the harbour, when Lieutenant Harper gallantly boarded and burned 6 gun-boats, which he brought away, together with 10 trabacculos laden with produce. The total casualties in this exploit were the master and 7 seamen and marines wounded.
The British frigate “ Mercury,” Hon. Captain Duncan, de tached her boats upon several successful expeditions of the same kind. Lieutenant Watkin Owen Pell was sent on the 1st of April to cut out 2 gun-boats, from the port of Rovigno, moored close under some heavy batteries. In the encounter the gun-boat “Leda" was carried and brought away ; but owing to a fog the other gunboat escaped, and the lieutenant, who had already lost a leg in the service, was severely wounded in two places. On the 15th of May the same frigate sent a boat's crew, under Lieutenant Gordon, into the town of Rotti, on the Gulf of Manfredonia, who landed and destroyed 7 trabacculos, but received some slight damage himself. On the 7th of September Lieutenants Pell, Gordon, and Whylock, of the Marines, went with the boats of the “ Mercury" into the harbour of Barletta, in the same gulf, and boarded and carried in very gallant style the French national schooner “La Pugliese," commanded by an Enseigne de Vaisseau. This was effected with such judgment and promptitude that it succeeded without any casualty, notwithstanding that the schooner nearly touched the mole, which was lined with musketry, and was under the fire of a castle mounting 8 guns, and of 2 armed feluccas.
Some exceedingly brave and enterprising exploits with boats occurred this year against Danish craft, in the Baltic Sea. On the 11th of May the British frigate “ Melpomene," Captain Peter Parker, chased a Danish man-of-war cutter of 6 guns on shore, at Hubio, in Jutland, and sent in her boats, under Lieutenants Plumridge and Rennie, to destroy her, which they did effectually, but with the casualties of Lieutenant Rennie and 5 men severely wounded. On the 15th the frigate “ Tartar," 32, Captain Baker, chased on shore, on the coast of Courland, á Danish privateer of 4 guns, and sent in her boats, under Lieutenants Sykes and Parker, who boarded the privateer without loss, and with her guns dislodged a party posted on shore for her protection. But before the Danes quitted the ship the rascally crew placed a lighted candle over the magazine, where lay several hundredweight of gunpowder. This was fortunately perceived by one of the British seamen when the slowmatch had already burned down to within an inch of the powder, so that in another minute all on board would have been blown to destruction. With wonderful presence of mind the daring man grasped the candle in his hand and prevented the catastrophe.