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Nov.

of three guns from a height that commanded the 1808. fort; and, although these guns made no sensible impression on the fort, they succeeded in driving away the bomb-ship Lucifer, captain Robert Hall; which vessel had recently joined, and during the two pre- Slips ceding days had been throwing her shells, to obstruct driven the enemy in his works. Another battery, erected the nearer to the citadel, shortly afterwards compelled Coast the british 74 also to retire from the shore. The loss french sustained by the Excellent and Meteor, in these dif batteferent attacks, amounted to 21 seamen and marines wounded, but none killed.

On the following day, the 21st, the Excellent was arrival relieved by the 74-gun ship Fame, captain Richard Fame. Henry Alexander Bennett; a portion of whose marines supplied the place of those of the Excellent which had been thrown into, and since withdrawn from, Fort Trinidad. On the 22d both the latter and the citadel of Rosas were more than half invested, and a breach was nearly effected in Trinidad. The spanish garrisons were also in a deplorable situation, In this state of things, it was considered necessary, on the 23d, to withdraw the marines of the fame, retires. and that ship soon afterwards retired from the coast.

On the 2th or 25th the Impérieuse arrived in the Arrival bay, and joined the Lucifer and Meteor bomb-ves- of Imsels. Lord Cochrane went himself to examine the euse. state of Fort Trinidad; and, finding that the garrison, composed of 80 Spaniards, was on the point of Lord surrendering, threw himself into the fort, with 50 rane seamen and 30 marines belonging to the Impérieuse. himself The resources of lord Cochrane's active mind must, indeed, have astonished the Spaniards. Among other dad. substitutes which he made use of, about 1000 bags, together with barrels and palisadoes, supplied the Repulplace of walls and ditches. So that the French, when French on the 30th they assaulted the castle with 1000 picked men, were repulsed with the loss of their commanding officer, their storming equipage, and all who had attempted to mount the breach.

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1908. The whole of this daring and important service Nov. was effected without any loss to the British. On the

5th of December the citadel of Rosas capitulated ; Capitulation and, considering further resistance in Fort Trinidad · Rosas: impracticable against the whole french army, lord

Cochrane fired the trains for exploding the magazines, Lord and reembarked his men. As usual, he speaks in the

highest terms of his officers; among whom he names. eyacu- lieutenant Urry Johnson, lieutenant of marines James Trini- Hore, William Burney gunner, William Lodwick

carpenter, and midshipmen Houston Stewart, George
Charles Stovin, and Frederick Marryat.

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COLONIAL EXPEDITIONS.--WEST INDIES. Capt. In the month of February the british 18-pounder plans 32-gun frigate Cerberus, captain William Selby,

12-pounder 32-gun frigate Circe, captain Hugh Pigot,

and 20-gun ship Camilla, captain John Bowen, cruised against off Pointe-à-Pitre, Gaudeloupe. Finding the impos

sibility of preventing the french privateers and their lante. prizes from gaining that port, while they were enabled

to shelter themselves under the batteries of Marie-
Galante until an opportunity offered for them to run

over, captain Selby resolved to attempt the surprise 1.1.4: of Grand-Bourg, the principal town on the island.

Accordingly, on the 2d of March, early in the island morning, the three ships weighed from Petite-terre, with- and soon after daylight disembarked, with very posi- slight opposition, 200 seamen and marines, under the

orders of captain Pigot, at a spot about two miles
from the town. The British, as soon as they ap-
peared in sight of Grand-Bourg, were met by
an officer with a flag of truce. The unconditional
surrender of Marie-Galante immediately followed,
and captain Selby garrisoned the island with a de
tachment of marines from his little squadron.

The ease with which Marie-Galante had been ob-
tained determined rear-admiral sir Alexander Coch-
rane, the british commander in chief at the Leeward-
islands, to send an expedition, under captain Selby,

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against the island of Désirade, another spot that 1808, afforded shelter to the Gaudeloupe privateers. Ac- March. cordingly, on the 29th of March, the Cerberus, Capt. ) accompanied, this time, by two sloops, two gun-brigs, Selby and a schooner, weighed from off Marie-Galante; against and on the 30th the boats of the squadron, under the Désicommand of captain William Henry Sherriff, of the ship-sloop Lily, stood towards the shore of Désirade, which was defended by two 8-pounders, that completely commanded the narrow entrance of the harbour; where also was posted a detachment of national troops and militia, about 70 men in number, and who opened a smart fire upon the boats as they approached.

Seeing this, the Cerberus and the vessels with her Cap. anchored with springs on their cables, and commenced that a cannonade upon the shore. The islanders soon island ceased their fire; and, by 4 h. 30 m. P. M., the British were in quiet possession of Désirade. The neutrality of the island being all that was required on the part of sir Alexander Cochrane, captain Selby did not retain possession : he merely destroyed the batteries, (mounting but seven guns altogether,) and, to prevent a garrison arriving from Gaudeloupe, stationed a sloop and gun-brig off the coast.

On the 3d of July, while the british 18-gun ship- Capt. sloop Wanderer, captain Edward Crofton, and Croft 4-gun schooners Subtle and Ballahou, lieutenants solves George Augustus Spearing and George Mills, were tacki St. cruising between the islands of Anguille and St.- Martin. Martin, some intelligence was received which induced captain Crofton to expect that he should succeed in an attack upon the french part of the last-named island. For this purpose, soon after midnight, the boats of the ship and two schooners, containing 135 men placed under the orders of lieutenant Spearing, pulled towards the shore.

With a trifling loss, the British landed and obtained possession of, and spiked, the six guns mounted upon the lower fort. On ascending the rocky heights,

Death of

Spearing.

Sur

1808. covered with the prickly pear, to storm the upper

battery, a number of brave fellows fell, and among

them lieutenant Spearing himself, who was shot lieut. through the chest within ten yards of the ramparts

of the fort he was rushing forward to assault. The

remainder of the party now reluctantly retreated to render the boats; but, unable to resist the overwhelming of the force that assailed them, the survivors were obliged vivors. to surrender. Flag of

The Wanderer, who with the two schooners had truce. been firing at the batteries, to cover the party on

shore, now ceased her fire, and hoisted a flag of truce. By a communication with the french commandant it was soon ascertained, that the regular force on the island amounted to 900 men, and that the detachment from the little squadron had lost

seven officers and men killed, and nearly 30 wounded. Funeral The french commandant behaved in a very honourlieut. able manner; not only giving to the remains of the Spear- gallant young english officer a funeral with military

honours, but himself attending his late enemy to the grave, and permitting a part of the Subtle's crew to pay their last duty to their late commander. The three british vessels, in the mean while, as with their colours at half-mast they lay at anchor in Marigot bay, united with the french batteries in firing minute guns.

135

BRITISH AND FRENCH FLEETS.

The abstract which now comes under notice is so

1809. far remarkable, that several of its principal totals have arrived at their maximum of height.* The number of cruising line-of-battle ships in commission remains the same as in the preceding abstract; but an increase of one in the "ordinary" column makes 127 as the sea-service total. The increase of five in the line grand-total is of far less consequence.

The number of cruisers, line and under-line, in commission, appears to have been 684; and the numbers that approach the nearest to it are to be found in the abstracts on each side, No. 16 showing 6ļ8, and No. 18, 664. The total of sea-service

!! cruisers belonging to the british navy, at the commencement of the year 1809, stands at 728; and the two next highest numbers appear also in abstracts Nos, 16 and 18, one being 673, the other 699. As the difference between the grand and the minor totals at the foot of the columns is made up entirely of vessels that are unseaworthy, or deemed to be so, it will be unnecessary to dwell upon the excess of the grand-total of eruisers in this abstract, over the corresponding total in any other.

The general grand-total, of which the cruising and only effective total forms, in the present abstract, scarcely two thirds, and in some of the others much less, might also be passed over without notice, were it not, in addition to being the highest in amount that occurs throughout the series, the only total usually referred to as indicative of the strength of the british navy. The total that Steel gives, in his

* See Appendix, Annual Abstract No. 17.

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