Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

marks

on the

(Richard Blakeney,) one master's mate, (Robert King,) 1809. and seven seamen and marines slightly wounded ; Feb. and the Latona, one midshipman (John Hoope) and five seamen slightly wounded ; making, with the Driver's one wounded, the total loss on the british side amount to seven killed and 33 wounded. From the number of shot-holes low down in her hull, the Junon was in a very leaky state ; and her loss was very severe, amounting, out of a very fine crew of 323 men and boys, to 130 in killed and wounded, including among the mortally wounded her gallant commander.

As the Horatio and Junon each mounted 46 guns of Renearly the same caliber, had they met singly, a fairer match could not have been desired; and, notwith-action, standing the skilful and resolute manner in which the Junon was maneuvred and fought, the relative damage and loss sustained by the two ships leaves it scarcely doubtful which combatant would have ultimately gained the victory. That the Junon, when at 2 h. 12 m. P. M., she made off from the Horatio, was in an unmanageable and defenceless state, may be inferred from her running to-leeward directly into the fire of another enemy's ship: whereas, could she have hauled to the wind, her escape would have been certain, as the Horatio could set no after-sail to enable her to chase in that direction. Moreover lieutenant Jean-Léon Emeric, the french commanding officer upon the removal of captain Rousseau from the deck, declared that nearly all the injury done to the Junon, both in matériel and personnel, arose from the fire of the Horatio. When, also, the Latona's officer came on board to take possession, M. Emeric refused to deliver up his sword until the arrival of an officer from the Horatio, pointing to her; and lieu- Contenant John James Hough, third of that ship, presently afterwards came on board and received it. viour The case, in other respects, displays nothing very ferrie striking, unless it be the conduct of captain Ferrie and of the Supérieure, who, in his little vessel, so closely ridge.

trasted beha

of capts.

[ocr errors]

1809, and perseveringly pursued the french frigate ; and Feb. who, during the action between the Junon and the

Horatio, did more with his four guns, than the commander of another sloop that was present did with his 18, and those, too, of a heavier caliber.

The prize was nearly a new frigate, and of rather larger dimensions than the Horatio, who was herself one of the finest british-built frigates of the 18-pounder class. The Junon was carried to Halifax, NovaScotia, and, as soon as repaired, was commissioned under the same name, as a cruising frigate in the

british navy.

account.

Capt.

A contemporary, contrary to his usual practice, ton's has been induced to give å somewhat detailed ac

count of the action, which ended in the surrender of
the Junon. Were it not for one circumstance,
the source of his information might be gathered
from the following paragraph: “ This, we believe
to be as accurate and impartial an account of the
action as can be found. It differs a little from
others, but we have merely placed captain Pigott in
his proper position, without taking away from the
merits of captain Scott and the Horatio.”* We
cannot
suppose

that
any

officer of the Latona would have made so gross a mistake respecting the “ position" of that ship, as to say that she wore and “renewed the action on the larboard tack.” We have now before us the log of every british ship that was present; and we may add, that those logs, coupled with private information of the highest authenticity, form the groundwork of our account of the Latona's proceedings. With respect to the Horatio's “throwing in stays under the stern of the frenchman,” it is sufficient to remind the reader, that the Horatio engaged the Junon to-windward. We leave it to captain Brenton himself to reconcile the statement, that the Junon, when she bore up, left “ the Horatio a perfect wreck to-windward," with that disclaiming

* Brenton, vol. iv. p. 376.

Feb.

any intention of “ taking away from the merits of 1809. captain Scott and the Horatio,

On the 8th of February the british 18-pounder Am32-gun frigate Amphion, captain William Hoste, phion cruising off Long island in the Adriatic, was joined Redby the british 18-gun brig-sloop Redwing, captain wing Edward Augustus Down, with information that an attack armed brig and a trabacculo were lying in a smallcreek vessels in the island of Melida. The frigate and sloop im- lida, mediately made sail in that direction, and found the two vessels advantageously moored for defending the entrance of the creek; with a body of soldiers, which they had brought from Zara and were carrying to Ancona, drawn up behind some houses and walls.

A long 12-pounder on the shore, and the brig, which mounted six 12-pounder carronades, opened upon the Amphion and Redwing, as the latter were taking their position. The instant, however, that the british vessels brought their broadsides to bear, the french troops, 400 in number, as afterwards ascertained, fled in all directions, leaving the two vessels to their fate. The boats of the Amphion and Boats Redwing, under the orders of lieutenant Charles and George Rodney Phillott, now landed and brought bring off three guns, and destroyed two warehouses of guns. wine and oil. Nor, such was the panic spread among them by the cannon of the ships, did the french soldiers offer the least opposition to the british seamen and marines employed on this service.

On the 14th of February, in the morning, the Bellebritish 38-gun frigate Belle-Poule, captain James Brisbane, having been driven by a hard southerly Var. gale about 12 leagues to the northward of the island of Corfu, discovered a suspicious vessel far distant on the lee bow. All sail was immediately made in pursuit ; but, light and partial winds coming on, the Belle-Poule chased without success the whole day, Captain Brisbane, however, saw that it was the intention of the stranger, which was the french frigate

Poule chases

Var anchors the fortress

her.

Forts

1809. built store-ship Var, of 22 long 8-pounders and four Feb. 24-pounder carronades, with a crew of 200 men,

commanded by captain Paul-François Paulin, to enter the gulf of Velona. The Belle-Poule, accordingly, steered in that direction.

On the 15th, at daybreak, the Var was discovered, cinder moored with cables to the walls of the fortress of

Velona, mounting 14 long 18 and 24 pounders; and, of Ve- upon an eminence above the ship, and completely comlona. manding the whole anchorage, was another strong fort.

A breeze at length favouring her, the Belle-Poule, at

1 P. M., anchored in a position to take or destroy the Belle- Var, and at the same time to keep in check the forPoule midable force prepared apparently to defend the chors french ship. The Belle-Poule immediately opened tacks upon the latter an animated and well-directed fire; and,

as the forts made no efforts to protect her, the Var discharged a few random shot, which hurt no one,

and then hauled down her colours. Before she could give no assist- be taken possession of, her officers and the greater and Var part of her crew escaped to the shore. The Var surren- measured 777 tons, and was added to the british navy

as a store-ship under the name of Chichester.

At or about the commencement of the present year the british 18-pounder 32-gun frigate Proserpine, captain Charles Otter, by the orders of vice-admiral Thornborough, took her station off the road of Toulon, to watch the movements of the french fleet. The boldness of her approaches at length determined

vice-admiral Ganteaume to detach a force to chase Proser- her away. Accordingly, on the 27th of February, pine

the two 40-gun frigates Pénélope, captain Bernard from Dubourdieu, and Pauline, captain François-Gilles

Montfort, weighed and sailed out to execute that by two service. They in a short time discovered the Proserfrigates pine, and the latter, as she was bound, retired before

them; but, no sooner had the two frigates put about to return, than the Proserpine put about also, in chase of several small sail of coasting vessels, running alongshore towards Marseille. Failing in cutting

ders,

chased

off Toulon

Feb.

dron sent

off the convoy, the Proserpine stood off for the night, 1809. and in a short time lay nearly becalmed.

The french admiral now formed an excellent plan Squafor surrounding and capturing the british frigate. At 8 P. M. the Pénélope and Pauline got under way, out to and were quickly followed by the 40-gun frigate attack Pomone ; also by the two fast-sailing 74-gun ships Ajax and Suffren, captains Jean-Nicolas Petit and Auguste-François Louvel. The two first-named frigates worked to the westward, under the high land of Cape Sicie, upon short tacks, with variable winds. At about 1 A. M. on the 28th, the moon rose in the north-east; thereby casting the ships that were under the land in complete shade, and throwing a light upon objects in the offing. Thus favoured, the Pénélope and Pauline, at 2 A. M., discovered in the south-west by south the unsuspecting Proserpine, lying becalmed, with her head directed towards them. The two french frigates immediately bore up under all sail, before a freshening land wind from the eastnorth-east. We will now take the account as given by the Proserpine herself.

At 4 A. M., Cape Sicie bearing north-east by north Discodistant 12 or 13 miles, the Proserpine discovered the pers two french frigates steering towards her from under french the land. Having no doubt that they were enemies, inchase captain Otter, taking advantage of a light breeze of her. which that moment sprang up from the east-southeast, wore on the larboard tack, and made all sail; just keeping near enough to the wind to permit the larboard topgallant studding-sail to draw. For the double purpose of being used as chasers, and of bringing the ship more by the stern to quicken her sailing, the two foremost 18-pounders were removed to the cabin. Before, however, they could be pointed through the ports, the two french frigates had arrived

They within gun-shot.

At about 4 h. 25 m. P. M. captain Otter hailed the take Pénélope, then approaching upon the larboard quar- engage

The french frigate answered by a single gun. .

over

ter.

her.

[merged small][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »