Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

1810.

telegraphed the Repulse, “ You REPULSED the

enemy and nobly saved us: grant me permission to return thanks."

capture

LIGHT SQUADRONS AND SINGLE SHIPS. On the 10th of January the british 10-gun brig- Cherosloop Cherokee, (eight 18-pounder carronades and attacks two sixes, with 75 men and boys,) captain Richard seven Arthur, reconnoitred the harbour of Dieppe, and luggers perceived lying at anchor under the batteries, close and together, and within 200 yards of the pier-head, one. seven french lugger-privateers. Notwithstanding the number and strong defensive position of these vessels, captain Arthur resolved to attack them; and accordingly, at 1 A. M. on the 11th, the Cherokee, favoured by a southerly wind, stood in, and, running between two of the luggers, gállantly laid one on board ; which, after a fruitless attempt to board the Cherokee, was carried by the crew of the latter. The vessel proved to be the Aimable-Nelly, a newlugger of 16 guns,

106 tons, and 60 men; of whom two were killed and eight wounded, three of them dangerously. The remaining six privateers kept up a smart fire of musketry; but the Cherokee notwithstanding succeeded in getting out her prize, with the loss of only two wounded, both in the hand, lieutenant Vere Gabriel, and her boatswain, James Ralph. So daring and successful an act met its due reward, as is evident from the date of captain Arthur's commission as a post-captain.

On the 11th of January captain Volant Vashon Ballard, Capt. of the 38-gun frigate Blonde, commanding a british detachsquadron, consisting, besides that frigate, of the sloops esScorScorpion, Cygnet, and Pultusk, captains Francis attack Stanfell, Edward Dix, and John M George, and gun ar brig Attentive, lieutenant Robert Carr, stationed off chor Basse-terre bay, island of Guadeloupe, directed the Scorpion to bring out a french brig-corvette at anchor near the shore. At 9 P.M., while standing in to execute

a brig

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

gages
and
cap-

.

Mutual
loss,

1810, this service, the Scorpion discovered the object of her Jan. attack, which was the french 16-gun brig-corvette

Oreste, lieutenant Jean-Baptiste-Anselme Mousnier, just clearing the north point of the bay. The british brig immediately made all sail in chase, but had very soon to use her sweeps on account of the fall of the wind. At 10 h. 30 m. P. M. the Scorpion began firing

her bow-chasers, and at 11 P. m. brought the french Scor- brig to action. A sort of running fight, in which the Pioni Scorpion had occasionally to keep in check a battery

on the shore, was maintained between the two brigs

until 1 h. 30 m. A. M. on the 12th ; when, being comtures, pletely unrigged by her opponent's well-directed

fire, the Oreste hauled down her colours. At this moment the barge of the Blonde arrived, and assisted in taking possession of the prize ; who, could she have protracted the action many minutes longer, would have run herself on shore.

The Scorpion, whose guns were 16 carronades, 32-pounders, and two sixes, with a complement of 120 men and boys, received several shot in her hull, had her main yard wounded in the slings, also her mainmast and gaff, and her sails and rigging much cut; but she escaped with no greater loss than four men wounded. The Oreste, whose guns were fourteen 24pounder carronades and two sixes, with a complement of 110 men and boys, besides about 20 passengers, including a lieutenant-colonel and two other officers of the

army, and the captains and some of the officers of the two french frigates Loire and Siene, recently destroyed at Anse la Barque, was damaged in the manner already stated, and lost two men killed, and her first and second captains and eight men wounded. Twelve officers and 79 men were received from her as prisoners, total, 91; but the remaining survivors of the crew and passengers succeeded in reaching the shore in one of the brig's boats. Surrounded as the french brig was by an enemy's squadron, not the slightest imputation can attach to her officers and

&c.

1810.

crew for surrendering. The Oreste, a fine brig of 312 tons, was afterwards added to the british navy by the Jan. name of Wellington.

On the 17th of January the 18-pounder* 36-gun Frelja frigate, Freija, captain John Hayes, cruising of inforEnglishman's Head, island of Guadeloupe, received mation intelligence from the log of a schooner captured by sels in her, that there were three or four vessels at anchor Baie in Baie Mahaut, a place of some strength situated haut. on the north side of the neck of land connecting Basse-terre with Grande-terre. Captain Hayes came to the determination of attacking the forts that defended the harbour, with a division of boats from the little squadron then under his orders; and, as a preliminary step, the Freija made sail by herself to reconnoitre the spot. On the 21st, at noon, after a two days' search in a most intricate and dangerous navigation, the frigate discovered three vessels lying at anchor; but, owing to the distance, could only make out that one was a brig with topgallant yards across and sails bent. The evening proving particularly fine, with little wind and smooth water, captain Hayes resolved to send away the boats of the Freija alone, now quite out of signal-distance from any ship of her squadron.

Accordingly, at 9h. 15m. P. M., four boats, contain- Deing 50 seamen and 30 marines, under the orders of lieutenant David Hope, first of the Freija, assisted by boatsto lientenant of marines John Shillibeer, master's mate them. A. G. Countess, and Mr. Samuel Bray, the gunner, pushed off from the frigate, and stood to the southward. At a few minutes past 11 P. M.,

after

experiencing great difficulty in finding a passage, and meeting so many shoals that the headmost boat grounded eight or ten times, lieutenant Hope detained à fisherman; from whom he learnt that a troop of regular cavalry and a company of native infantry had arrived at Baie Mahaut that evening from

taches

her

* Of that class, but we believe the frigate carried Gover's 24s,

Jan.

Boats

Lieut. Hope lands and carries two

ries.

1810. Pointe-à-Pitre. Undismayed by this information,

the British hastened forward to the point of attack.

As soon as the boats arrived within gun-shot, a capture signal gun was fired, and then a discharge of grape armed from a battery at the north-east point, and from brig. another at the head of the bay. The guns of the

brig, found to be six in number, and all mounted on one side, also opened upon the boats; and they likewise received a fire of mùsketry from men concealed in the bushes that lay between one battery and the other. In the face of this very heavy fire, the boats pulled alongside the brig; and, as the British boarded her on one side, the Frenchmen fled from her on the other.

Leaving Mr. Bray, with a few hands, in charge of the brig, with directions to turn her guns upon the enemy, and cover the landing of the boats, lieutenant

Hope pushed for the shore; but the boats grounded batte- at so great a distance, that the officers and men had

to wade up to their middles to get to the beach. As the British advanced towards the first battery, the French retreated, and took post behind a brick breastwork, from over which they opened a fire of musketry. Pushing forward, the seamen and marines brought their broadswords and bayonets into play, and quickly drove the enemy from his position. The battery was found to consist of one 24-pounder, besides six howitzers which had been dragged to the beach to oppose the landing. The howitzers were now buried in the sand, the 24pounder hove over the cliff, and the battery destroyed, as well as a magazine containing 20 barrels of powder. Lieutenant Hope and his party then pushed on, and stormed and carried the other battery, mounting three 24-pounders. These the British immediately spiked, and set fire to and destroyed the carriages and guard-house. This battery was a very complete work, ditched all round, with a small bridge and a gateway entrance.

Having thus far succeeded in their perilous enter

loss suso

prise, lieutenant Hope and his party returned to the 1810. brig; which they found fast in the mud, the crew, Jan. when they quitted her, having cut her cables. After Degreat exertions, the seamen got the prize afloat. stroys Near to the brig lay, fast aground in the mud, a large and naenglish-built ship, under repair, and inside of her a tional fine national schooner, pierced for 16 guns, but ner. having only 12 on board. Finding it impracticable to float either of these vessels, lieutenant Hope set fire to and destroyed them. This done, the british boats and the captured brig moved out of the bay, and in a very short time were close alongside the Freija.

The whole of this very gallant and far from unim- Slight portant service was executed with so slight a loss to the British as two seamen severely wounded; one, in tained going up to loose the brig's foretopsail, and the other British in attacking the batteries. The loss on the part of the French could not be ascertained : two officers, one with two epaulets and supposed to be the commandant at the fort, were found dead, and some lay wounded. In his letter to captain Hayes, giving Lieut. an account of the service he had performed, lieu- Hope's tenant Hope speaks in the highest terms of the to capt. officers and men under his command ; and particu. Hayes. larly notices the gallant manner in which lieutenant Shillibeer led his marines to the charge; as well as the steady discipline of the latter, in keeping possession of the heights while the seamen were destroying the batteries.

Captain Hayes wrote to vice-admiral sir Alexander Sir Cochrane, the commander in chief on the station, Cochenclosing the letter of lieutenant Hope; and sir rane's Alexander transmitted both letters to the secretary of the of the admiralty, with one from himself, in which, enterafter dwelling upon the importance of the service, in reference to the intended attack upon the island at large, he says:

“The conduct of lieutenant Hope and his party, in driving so large a force

Alex.

prise.

« AnteriorContinuar »