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On the 14th, at 4 A. M., the Rainbow was within 1810. about a mile of the Néréide, and at 9 A. M. ex- Feb. changed numbers with the 18-gun brig-sloop Avon, Avon (sixteen 32-pounder carronades and two sixes,) joins captain Henry Tillieux Fraser, then about six miles bow north-west by north of Cape Tiburon, and conse- in the quently to-leeward of both ships. The Avon was soon under all sail in chase, standing across the enemy's course. At lh. 15 m, P. M. the Néréide fired her maindeck stern-chasers at the Rainbow; and in 10 minutes the french captain cut away his sternboat, in order that the quarterdeck chasers might also bear. A shot about this time carried away the Action Rainbow's larboard foretopmast studding-sail boom.tween At 2 h. 30 m. P. M. the french frigate, whose course had been north-west by west, hauled by degrees more the two to the southward, and at 3 h. 30 m. P. M. opened vessels. her broadside upon the Rainbow; who, hauling up also, in five minutes returned the fire.
A warm action now ensued between this british 22-gun ship and french 40-gun frigate, until 4 P. M., when the Avon came up and raked the Néréide with a broadside. At 4 h. 5 m. P. M., leaving the Rainbow in a totally unmanageable state, the Néréide wore; as well to evade the raking fire of the Avon, as to punish her for her temerity. Between the british brig and french frigate an action now commenced, ide disand continued until 5 P. M.; when, having reduced abdos this opponent to even a worse state than her first and reone, the Néréide bore away under courses, topsails, treats. stay-sails, and main and mizen topgallantsails.
The greater part of the Rainbow's standing and Darunning rigging was cut to pieces, and her masts and &c. • yards were much wounded; but, owing to the high british
ships. firing of her antagonist, her hull was not materially injured. It was this high firing that occasioned the loss of the Rainbow, out of a crew on board of 156 men and boys, to be so comparatively slight as 10 seamen and marines wounded. The Avon, in her rigging and sails, was as much disabled as her con
1810, sort, and suffered more in her masts; which, along Feb. with her bowsprit, were completely crippled. The
brig's hull, although much lower, and therefore more difficult to hit, than the Rainbow's, appears to have received the greater proportion of the Néréide's shot. Her upperworks were cut through; and several shot had entered between wind and water, causing her to have three feet water in the hold. The Avon had also two of her guns disabled, one man killed, another mortally wounded, and one acting lieutenant, (Curtis Reid,) one midshipman, and
five men wounded severely. Loss, What loss was sustained by the french frigate in . board this encounter, we have no means of ascertaining; and frencke the only visible damage which the Néréide received,
One effect of the supremacy of the british navy on the was to compel France to make merchantmen and french transports of her men of war: hence a frigate, debeha" spatched on a voyage to a colonial port, is ordered viour. to chase nothing and speak nothing on her way.
This may account for even two french frigates, as we have shown to have been the case, declining to engage one british frigate; and, had the Néréide fallen in with the Rainbow and Avon before she reached Guadeloupe, might have explained why this french frigate ran from a british
22-gun ship and brig-sloop. But, having found that 1810. island shut against her, the Néréide would, one Feb. might suppose, resume her character of a ship of war, and endeavour to effect something that should do honour to a 40-gun frigate and confer a benefit, however slight in degree, upon the nation to which she belonged. Instead of this, acting as, after having knocked away his opponent's mainmast, he did on a former occasion,* captain Lemaresquier waits merely until he has deprived his two inferior antagonists of the means of pursuit; then leaves them to repair their damages, and to boast, justly boast, of what their prowess had accomplished.
The conduct of the Rainbow and Avon, throughout Gallant this running fight, reflects the highest honour upon duct of their respective officers and crews, as well as upon woor. the flag under which they served; and the noble dridge conduct of captain Wooldridge, in his earnest pursuit, single-handed, of an enemy so much superior to the Rainbow, was just what might be expected from an officer who, on a former occasion, when commanding the Mediator fire-ship, behaved so gallantly. The prompt support which captain Fraser afforded his friend, while it relieved the Rainbow from a destructive fire, brought upon himself and his little brig the whole weight of the french frigate's broadside; the serious effects of which we have already described. But, because the engagement produced no trophy as its result, the account of it did not appear in the London Gazette; and, that having been the case, and no fresh opportunity offering for him to distinguish himself, captain Fraser continued as a commander during the remainder of his life. He appears to have died in one of the latter months of the year 1816.
On the 10th of January, in the morning, while a small british squadrcn, under the orders of captain sir Joseph Sydney Yorke, of the 80-gun ship Christian VII.
* See p. 114.
The same on another occa
1810. was lying in Basque roads, a convoy of french Feb. coasters were discovered, on their passage from
Isle d'Aix to Rochelle. Immediately the boats of Guion the Christian VII. and of the 38-gun frigate Armide, stroys captain Lucius Hardyman, were detached, under the
orders of lieutenant Gardiner Henry Guion, to cut french off the vessels. The boats soon drove the vessels convoy on shore, within grape and musket range of the french
battery. Notwithstanding their apparent security, batte- lieutenant Guion and his party succeeded in cap
turing one chasse-marée, and in destroying a brig, a schooner, and two chasse-marées, all valuably laden; but which, owing to the fast ebbing of the tide, it was found impracticable to get afloat.
On the 20th, in the evening, another convoy of about 30 sail making their appearance in the Mau
musson passage, and the van seeming inclined to sion. push for Rochelle, the boats of the same two ships,
still under the orders of lieutenant Guion, were sent in chase. With their accustomed gallantry, the British attacked the convoy, which ran aground within a stone's throw of the batteries ; when five of them, under a heavy fire of grape and musketry, were burnt, and a sixth was taken: the rest put back. The captured vessels were all chasse-marées, and were laden, as the former had been, with wine, brandy, soap, rosin, candles, pitch, oil, &c. In this affair one of the Armide's seamen was wounded, and two of the french seamen were killed.
On the 13th of February, three deeply-laden again chasse-marées, part of a convoy of 10 sail which ed un had sailed on the preceding evening from the der the Charente in thick weather, blowing fresh from the officer. west-south-west, having got on the reef that projects
from the point of Chatelaillon between Aix and Rochelle, sir Joseph Yorke detached, for the purpose of destroying them, three boats from the Christian VII., three from the Armide, and two from the 12-pounder 36-gun frigate Seine, captain David Atkins, still under the orders of lieutenant Guion,
As the eight boats of the British, manned and 1810. armed in the usual way, advanced towards the Feb. grounded chasse-marées, nine french boats, each Are carrying a 12-pounder carronade and six swivels, and met by rowing from 20 to 30 oars, pulled out to meet the french former and prevent them from fulfilling their object. armed Lieutenant Guion made a feint of retreating, to decoy the french boats from their shore defences; and, having got to a proper distance, suddenly pulled round and stood towards them. The French Lieut. immediately retreated; but the Christian VII.'s boards barge, in which was lieutenant Guion, being a fleet and boat, boldly advanced along the rear of the french tures line to their third boat. Finding, however, from one of circumstances, that the rearmost boat was the only boats. one likely to be attacked with any prospect of success, lieutenant Guion gallantly boarded and carried her, sword in hand. She had two men killed, and three wounded, including her commanding officer severely.
In the mean time lieutenant Samuel Roberts, of the Armide, bad pursued two others of the french armed boats in the direction of the beach; and, by the steady fire which his men maintained upon them British at a pistol-shot distance, they must have sustained destroy a loss. The protectors of the chasse-marées being chassethus defeated, the british boats proceeded to execute marées, the service for which they had been detached : they soon effectually destroyed the three chasse-marées on the reef, and got back to their ships without, as far as it appears, having a man hurt. Forthe gallantry which he had displayed in these several spirited boat-attacks, lieutenant Guion was deservedly promoted to the rank of commander.
On the 3d of February, at daylight, the british Falsant 74-gun ship Valiant, captain John Bligh, being close with to Belle-Isle in light and baffling winds, discovered, about three miles off, and immediately chased, a strange tures frigate. This was the late famous french 40-gun frigate nière, Canonnière, but now the french armed merchant ship Confiance, captain Jacques Peroud, (the privateer &c.
with a cargo,