Imágenes de páginas

injure a man on board of her. What loss the Nep- 1806. tuno sustained is not stated in the official account ; but it was probably severe. The brig was the Virgine-de-Solidad, of 14 long 12 and 8 pounders, and 78 men, and the xebec, the Vives, of 12 long 8 and 6 pounders, and 65 men, both national vessels. The two latter escaping, their loss in the action, if any, could not be ascertained.

The five settees were about three miles off when the Neptuno was deserted by her two consorts. On observing the circumstance, the former returned towards the shore, and entered the port of Denia. This action between the Halcyon and the above three armed vessels was one of considerable gallantry on the part of captain Pearse, and must have inspired the Spaniards, if further confirmation were wanted, with a very high opinion of the prowess of british seamen.


In the autumn of 1805 a small british squadron, Purpose composed of three 64-gun ships, one 50-gun ship, expediand four frigates and sloops, under the orders of them for commodore sir Home Popham, having in charge a Cape. fleet of transports and indiamen, containing about 5000 troops, commanded by major-general sir David Baird, sailed from England, or rather, the ships of war having assembled there from different points, from the island of Madeira, for the real but concealed purpose of reducing the Cape of Good Hope. That squadron consisted of the gun-ship Diadem

commodore sir Home Popham..


Josias Rowley.

George Byng 50 Diomede

Joseph Edmonds. gun-frig. 38 Leda.

Robert Honyman. 32 Narcissus..

Ross Donnelly.
Brig-sloop Espoir, and gun-brig Encounter.





Having touched at St.-Salvador for refreshments, Jan.

the expedition sailed again on the 26th of November, and on the 4th of January, in the evening, reached

the preconcerted anchorage, to the westward of Its ar- Robben island. It was now too late to do more rivalat than take a superficial view of Blaw-berg bay, where island. it was proposed to land the main body of the army,

and, by means of the Leda frigate and a part of the transports, make a demonstration off Green island; which latter service was ably executed by captain Honyman.

On the 5th, at 3 A. M., the troops were put in cles to the boats and assembled alongside the brig-sloop

Espoir, captain William King ; but the surf ran so tion. high that a landing was deemed impracticable, and

the troops returned to their ships. Sir Home Popham, accompanied by sir David Baird, then embarked in the Espoir, and closely examined the whole coast from Craig's tower to Lospard's bay, but could not discover any part where a boat could land without extreme danger. The probability that some of the french squadrons, known to be at sea, would arrive

with reinforcements rendered it highly important bay.

that the disembarkation should be effected as speedily as possible. It was therefore resolved, notwithstanding the difficulty which the troops would experience in advancing, to land them at Saldanha bay. With this object in view, the transports containing the 38th regiment, the cavalry ships, and a proportion of artillery, under the orders of brigadiergeneral Beresford, preceded by the Espoir and escorted by the Diomede, sailed for that destination.

Just as the Diomede had weighed the westerly their wind began to abate; and on the morning of the 6th,

it ing.

appearing that the surf during the night had considerably subsided, measures were taken to land the remainder of the troops at the spot originally

The Diadem, Leda, and Encounter then stationed themselves in a situation to render the most effectual assistance, and the boats of the

Detachment to Sal. danha

Troops effect



fixed upon.

Raisonable and Belliqueux, containing two regiments 1806. and some field-pieces, rendezvoused alongside the Jan. two first-named ships. At that moment the gun-brig Protector, lieutenant sir George Morat Keith, bt., joined the squadron, and was placed by captain Rowley, an officer of great local experience, to the northward, so as to cross the fire of the Encounter, and more effectually cover the landing of the troops. Captain Downman, at the same time, stood in with a light transport brig drawing only six feet, to run her on shore as a breakwater.

Owing to these excellent arrangements, and the absence of any obstruction on the part of the enemy, the greater part of the troops effected their landing in the course of the afternoon; but unfortunately not without a serious casualty, 35 men of the 93d regiment being lost owing to the upsetting of a boat, occasioned by the eagerness of the troops to get on shore, whereby the line of beach became extended further than was prudent. The surf increasing considerably as the day shut in, the remainder of the troops were not landed until the morning of the 7th.

The commodore, with the Leda, Encounter, and Protector, and a division of transports containing the battering train, then proceeded to the head of Blaw-berg bay, and, by firing over the bank towards the Salt Pans, drove the enemy from an eligible position in that neighbourhood. On the morning of the 8th the british army, about 4000 strong, and formed into two brigades, with two howitzers and Army six light field-pieces, moved off towards the road that leads to Cape-town, and, having ascended the wards summit of the Blaw berg, or Blue mountain, and dis- town. lodged a party of the enemy's light troops there stationed, discovered the dutch main body, supposed to consist of about 5000 men, chiefly cavalry, with 23 pieces of cannon, under the command of lieutenant-general Janssens. These, after giving and

marches to




1806. returning a few rounds of cannon and musketry, Jan. retired from before the british bayonet; suffering a

loss in killed and wounded, as represented, of 700

men, while the loss on the part of the British general Jans- amounted to no more than 15 killed, 189 wounded,

and eight missing.

On the 9th general Baird reached Salt river, where be proposed encamping to await the arrival

of his battering train; but, a flag of truce arriving offers from the commanding officer of the town with offers to cap- to capitulate, the british troops, as agreed upon, took

possession of Fort Knocke. On the following morning, the 10th, articles of capitulation were signed, in due form, by lieutenant-colonel VanProphalow on the part of the Dutch, and by the general and commodore on the part of the British; and on the 12th the latter took possession of Capetown and its dependencies, on the several batteries

of which were mounted 113 pieces of brass, and 343 Sur-, pieces of iron ordnance. General Janssens, who of the after the battle of the 8th had retired to Hottentot colony. Holland's Kloof, a pass leading to the district of

Zwellendam, was at length induced to surrender upon terms, by which the conquest of the colony was completed, and its internal tranquillity secured; the British agreeing, that the dutch general and his army should not be considered as prisoners of war, and should be conveyed to Holland at the former's expense.

As is customary in combined operations of the lion. army

army and navy, a detachment of seamen and marines, under the appropriate designation of marine battalion, served on shore. The hardy seamen rendered themselves particularly useful in forwarding the supplies, and would have been still more so had the battering train accompanied the troops. The whole force thus employed was commanded by captain Byng; who had under him captain George Nicholas Hardinge, a passenger on board the Belliqueux,

Marine batta

on his way to join his ship the new teak-built 36-gun 1806. frigate Salsette, and lieutenants “Pigot, Graham, Sutherland, Mingay, and Pearce.”* Among those who rendered themselves extremely useful in the operations going on, were the following captains of the honourable company's ships: William Edmeades, Cape of the William-Pitt, John Cameron, of the Duchess-indiaof-Gordon, Henry Christopher, of the Sir-William-men. Pulteney, and James Moring, of the Comet.

On the 4th of March the french 40-gun frigate CapVolontaire, captain Bretel, whom we have already volonmentioned as one of the squadron of rear-admiral taire. Willaumez, on its way to the Cape,t deceived by the dutch colours on the forts and shipping, entered Table bay, and was captured by the british squadron, to the great joy of the 217 men of the Queen's and 54th regiments, whom the frigate · had on board as prisoners. The Volontaire, a fine frigate of 1084 tons, was immediately added to the british navy by the same name.

Having, between the 9th and 13th of April, been informed by, among others, the master of an american merchant vessel, that the inhabitants of MonteVideo and Buenos-Ayres were “so ridden by their government,” that they would offer no resistance to a british army, commodore sir Home Popham took sails

, upon himself, with the concurrence of major-general sir David Baird, to plan an expedition against those Plata. places. On that or the following day sir Home, with the Diadem, Raisonable, Diomede, Narcissus, and Encounter, vessels of war, and five sail of transports, having on board the 71st regiment, a small detachment of artillery, and a few dismounted dragoons, under the command of major-general Beresford, set sail from Table bay. On the 20th the squadron bore away for St.-Helena, and, upon arriving



for Rio de la

* When to the omission of the christian names, is added that of the ship to which the officer belongs, it is next to impossible to supply the deficiency.

† See p. 267.

« AnteriorContinuar »