« AnteriorContinuar »
1813. light breeze and a strong current against her, captain
Hoste detached the boats under lieutenant Hood, with discretionary orders, either to attack the convoy or to wait till the Bacchante arrived. Lieutenant Hood took with him lieutenant Frank Gostling, acting lieutenant Edward Webb, lieutenants of marines Charles Holmes and William Haig, master's mate William Lee Rees, and midshipmen James Rowe, Thomas Edward Hoste, Francis George Farewell, the honourable William Waldegrave, Thomas William Langton, James MʻKean, and Samuel Richardson.
Lieutenant Hood found the enemy much stronger Hood than had been expected, consisting of seven large 10 gun- gun-boats, mounting each one long 18-pounder in boats , the bow, three smaller gun-vessels, with a 4-pounder
in the bow, and 14 sail of merchant vessels, four of which also had guns in the bow; and the shore astern of the vessels was lined with troops intrenched on the beach, having with them two fieldpieces. This,
This, “says captain Hoste," was the force opposed to a frigate's boats ; but no disparity of numbers could check the spirit of the brave officers and men employed on this service. The attack was determined on instantly, and executed with all the gallantry and spirit which men accustomed to danger and to despise it have so frequently shown; and never was there a finer display of it than on this occasion." The boats, as they advanced, were exposed to a heavy fire of grape and musketry; and it was not until they were fairly alongside the gunboats, that the crews of the latter slackened their fire: they were then driven from their vessels with great loss. The troops on the beach, stated by the prisoners to amount to 100 men, fled on the first fire, and their two field-pieces were destroyed by the british marines. In performing this very brilliant exploit, the boats of the Bacchante sustained a loss of two seamen and one marine killed, and five seamen and one marine wounded.
On the 22d of April, at daybreak, the brig-sloop
Weasel, cruising about four miles to the east-north- 1813. east of the island of Zirana, discovered and chased April. a convoy, close to the main land, making for the Weasel ports of Trau and Spalatro.
As the brig approached, the vessels separated in different direc- attacks tions, the greater part, with 10 gun-boats, bearing bogen up for the bay of Boscalina. These the Weasel continued to chase under all sail; and at 5 h. 30 m. A. M. they anchored in a line about a mile from the shore, hoisted french colours, and commenced firing at her. The wind blowing strong from the southeast, which was directly into the bay, the sails and rigging of the brig were considerably damaged before she could close. At 6. A, M., however, the Weasel anchored with springs, within pistol-shot of the gun-boats; and a furious action commenced. At the end of 20 minutes the latter cut their cables, ran closer in, and again opened their fire. This increased distance not suiting her carronades, the CapWeasel cut her cable, ran within half pistol-shot of three
, the gun-boats, and recommenced the action. Three drives large guns, at the distance of 30 yards from each sworen other, and 200 or 300 musketry, on the heights im- and mediately over the british brig, now united their fire to that of the gun-boats. The engagement continued in this way until 10 a. M.; when three of the gun-boats struck their colours, two were driven on shore, and one was sunk.
The remaining four gun-boats were now reinforced Re: by four more from the eastward; who anchored out- ing four side the Weasel, and commenced firing at her. Feine This obliged the brig to engage on both sides, but by four the outer gun-boats afterwards ran in and joined the more others; all of whom now placed themselves behind Weasel, a point of land, so that the Weasel could only see their masts from her deck. Here the gun-boats commenced a most destructive fire, their grape-shot striking the brig over the land in every part. At this time the Weasel's crew, originally short by the absence of several men in prizes, was so reduced, that she could with difficulty man four guns; the
1913, marines and a few of the seamen firing musketry, her
way until 3 P. M., when the gun-boats discontinued
The Weasel was now in a very critical situation: critical she was but a few yards from a lee-shore, almost
a complete wreck, with the whole of her running,
In addition to all this, the Weasel had already lost
25 men in killed and wounded. Captain Black, Black nevertheless, after dark, sent his boats, and de
stroyed, besides the gun-boats that had struck and boatle-gone on shore, eight of the convoy; the boats stroys bringing away some of the enemy's anchors, by vessels. the aid of which, the brig was enabled to warp
On the 23d, at daybreak, having warped herself again about a mile from the land, the Weasel was again
attacked by the gun-boats, who, taking a raking pogun sition, annoyed the brig much; especially as, her
last cable being half shot through and the wind battery blowing strong in, she could not venture to bring her shore. broadside to bear upon them. All this day and
night the Weasel continued warping out from the
afterwards it fell calm. At 5 P. M. the gun-boats, 1813. having got within range, received the contents of the brig's larboard broadside and sheered off ; but, Beats owing to the calm, the Weasel was unable to follow them up her advantage, and they effected their escape.
In this very gallant, and, considering the extrica- Her tion of the vessel from such a host of difficulties, loss. admirably conducted enterprise, the Weasel had her boatswain, (James Toby,) three seamen, and one marine killed, and her commander, badly wounded by a musket-ball through the right hand; but, with a modesty that did him honour, captain Black would not suffer the surgeon to insert his name in the official report. The brig's remaining wounded consisted of her first lieutenant, (Thomas Whaley, severely,) one master's mate, (William Simkin, severely,) one midshipman, (James Stewart,) 19 seamen, and two marines wounded. The loss sustained on the part of the french gun-boats, and at the batteries on shore, could not be ascertained, but must have been severe.
On the 2d of February, at daylight, Faro bearing Two south-south-east distant six miles, the british 18- bf gun ship-sloop Kingfisher, captain Ewell Tritton, Kingdiscovered several trabaccolos near Melara steering under to the southward. There being little wind, captain amer Tritton detached the cutter and pinnace, under take acting lieutenant George H. Palmer and Mr. John and Waller the gunner, to intercept the vessels. After vessels. a five hours' chase, the two boats succeeded in capturing one trabaccolo, and in running nine on shore near St.-Catharine's in the island of Corfu, five of which were totally destroyed. In executing this service, the two boats were exposed to a heavy fire of musketry from the heights and from a one-gun battery, and sustained a loss, in consequence, of two men killed and seven severely wounded.
On the 6th of January, at 2 P. M., a division of the boats of the 18-pounder 36-gun frigate Havannah, captain the honourable George Cadogan, placed
1813. under the orders of lieutenant William Hamley, Dec. attacked and carried the french gun-boat No. 8, of Boats one long 24-pounder and 35 men, although the vesof Ha- sel was prepared in every respect and was supported under by musketry from the shore to which she had been lieut. made fast. Lieutenant Hamley had no expectation ley of meeting an armed vessel, until, upon opening the take a creek in which the gun-boat lay, the boats were fired vessel. upon, and desired by the troops drawn up on the
beach to surrender. Three merchant vessels were taken at the same time; and the british loss amounted to one master's mate (Edward Percival) killed and two seamen wounded.
On the 22d of March the boats of the Havannah, presels under the same commanding officer, assisted by under lieutenant of marines William Hockly, captured,
under the town of Vasto, a large trabaccolo, mounting three long french 8-pounders, and destroyed a similar vessel laden with oil. On the 26th, lieutenant Hamley, assisted again by lieutenant Hockly, captured five armed trabaccolos and five feluccas laden with salt, near the town of Fortore. In both instances, the vessels were hauled aground, and were under the protection of a strong body of military and some guns on the beach. No greater loss, notwithstanding, was sustained by the British in either enterprise, than two men slightly wounded. On the 17th of June, in the morning, the boats of the same frigate, still commanded by lieutenant Hamley, landed and brought off, from under the town of Vasto and from the fire of eight guns, 10 sail of merchant vessels; and that with no greater loss than three men slightly wounded.
On the 21st of December, 1812, the british 38-gun Apollo
frigate Apollo, captain Bridges Watkinson Taylor, Weasel accompanied by the brig-sloop Weasel, chased a
trabaccolo under the protection of the tower of Bowen St.-Cataldo. As this tower was reputed to be the tower strongest between Brindisi and Otranto, captain of St. Taylor resolved to attempt its destruction. The taldo. boats of the two vessels were accordingly detached