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few minutes, as she had been all the night toiling to 1810. gain. As the Caroline, soon after daylight, ap- July. proached Banda-Neira, several of the forts fired at her; but, not being able to spare any hands from working the sails, the frigate made no return. Fortunately for her, one shot only took effect; nor did that do any greater damage, than entering the quarterdeck bulwark and carrying away the midship spoke of the wheel. At 7 A. M. the Caroline de. scried the castle of Belgica ; and, about the same time, a well-directed shot from the latter silenced the sea-battery, which had annoyed her the most. It was now that a small english jack discovered itself above the dutch colours; and all on board the Caroline used increased exertions to reach the spot, where their gallant comrades had effected so much, and where they might yet have to effect more.
As the flag of truce had not yet returned from Surthe governor, another was sent to say that, unless render all hostility immediately ceased, Fort Nassau, at Bandawhose flagstaff the dutch colours were still flying, and its would be stormed by the British, and the town laid depenin ashes by the cannon of Belgica. This decisive message produced the immediate and unconditional surrender of Banda-Neira and its dependencies; and the Caroline, just before she anchored off the town, saw the batavian flag lowered from Fort Nassau and the british hoisted in its stead. About the same time that the Caroline came to, some of the missing boats, after a night of great hardship and suffering, entered the harbour. The remainder of the boats had got on board the Piémontaise ; who, as well as the Barracouta and Mandarin, anchored a little before noon along with the Caroline. In the course of this day 1500 regulars and militia, 400 of the former from the north point, laid down their arms on the glacis of Fort Nassau; a clear proof, coupled with the manifest strength of the defences, that the force of Banda-Neira had not been overrated.
Viewed in every light, the taking of the Banda isles
1810. was an achievement of no common order. Where are July.
we to find, even in the annals of the british navy,
more skill and perseverance than was employed in racter overcoming the difficulties of the navigation to the exploit scene of conquest ? Or where a greater share of
address and valour, than was displayed by captain Cole and his 180 brave associates, more than three fourths of them seamen and marines, in the crowning act of their bold exploit ? Without seeking to discover shades of difference between two cases in their general features alike, we may point to the conquest of another dutch colony; a conquest which, in the manner of its execution, spread as much renown over the british name in the western, as this was calculated to do in the eastern, hemisphere: let no one, then, call up to his recollection captain Brisbane and Curaçoa, without affording an equal place in his esteem to captain Cole and Banda-Neira.
For the valuable and important conquest he had achieved, captain Cole received the thanks of his
commander in chief, of the governor general of India als to in council, and of the lords of the admiralty ; but we captain question if the sentiments contained in any one of the
three letters, although forcibly expressed in all, went so straight to the heart, as the contents of the letters addressed to captain Cole by his shipmates and partners in glory. The first was from captains Foote and Kenah, presenting a silver cup; the second from the lieutenants and other officers of the three ships, presenting a sword of a hundred guineas value; the third from the officers of the honourable company's troops engaged in the enterprise, presenting a sword of the same value; and the fourth from the crew of the Caroline, accompanied by a similar token of their admiration and esteem. These testimonials concur in vouching for one fact, which captain Cole's modesty has induced him to refrain from stating, or even hinting at, in his official letter, the personal share he took in the conflict. The letter signed " The Caroline's” affords
Rewards and testimoni
an unequivocal proof of another trait in their captain: 1810. it shows that he was as kind as he was brave.*
When we last quitted the neighbourhood of the Isle of France, the french frigate Vénus, newly Expenamed Néréide, and the recaptured frigate Ceylon against had just been added to the force on the station under Isle of commodore Rowley.t In a week or two afterwards that force was augmented by the arrival of several frigates; and it was at length determined, as soon as an expedition of sufficient strength could be assembled, to attempt the reduction of the Isle of France; in the principal port of which island, PortLouis, now lay the five french frigates, Bellone, Minerve, Mauche, Astrée, and (late british) Iphigénie, also the Victor ship-corvette, brig-corvette Entreprenant and another of the same class, quite new, besides several french merchant vessels. Two only of the frigates, the Astrée and Manche, were in a state of readiness for sea; and after the 19th of October these were blockaded by the three british frigates Boadicea, Nisus, and Néréide, under the command of commodore Rowley of the former.
By the 21st of November all the different divisions Assemof the expedition, except that expected from the of the Cape of Good Hope, had assembled off and at the force anchorage of the island of Rodriguez; and, it being driconsidered, on account of the lateness of the season, unadvisable to wait for the arrival of the Cape division, the remaining divisions, the naval portion under the command of vice-admiral Bertie, and the military under major-general Abercromby, on the morning of the 22d set sail for the Isle of France, but, owing to the light and baffling winds, did not, until the evening of the 28th, arrive in sight of the island.
The whole of the ships of war attached to the expedition, including a portion that blockaded PortLouis, consisted as follows:
* For copies of the several letters see Marshall's Royal Naval Biography, vol. ii. pp. 511, 512,
† See p. 457,
captain William Robert Broughton. Nov. gun-frig. 44 Cornwallis
vice-adm. (r.) Albemarle Bertie.
captain Charles Gordon, acting. ployed. Boadicea
Robert Henderson, acting.
William Jones Lye.
Henry Folkes Edgell.
James Tomkinson, acting.
Craig, acting; government-ship Emma, captain Benjamin Street, acting, and three smaller government-vessels, and a great many transports. The number of troops accompanya ing the expedition appears to have been about 10000.
Ships anchor in Grande Baie.
On the 29th, in the morning, the men of war and transports, numbering altogether nearly 70 sail, anchored in Grande-Baie, situated about 12 miles to the north-eastward of Port-Louis. The great obstacle to an attack upon the Isle of France had always been, the supposed impossibility to effect a landing, with any considerable force, owing to the reefs that surround the coast, as well as to find anchorage for a numerous fleet of transports. But these difficulties had been surmounted by the indefatigable exertions of commodore Rowley; who, assisted by lieutenant Street, then of the Staunch, lieutenant Blackiston of the Madras engineers, and the masters of the Africaine and Boadicea, had sounded and
minutely examined every part of the leeward Troops side of the island. So that, in the course of the
same day, the army, with its artillery, stores, and ammunition, the several detachments of marines serving in the squadron, and a large body of seamen under the orders of Captain William Augustus Montagu, disembarked without opposition or casu
alty. On the morning of the 30th there was a slight 1810 skirmishing between the adverse pickets; and on Dec. the 1st and 2d of December an affair, rather more Skirserious, took place between the british main body and mish a corps of the enemy, who with several field-pieces the had taken a strong position, to check the advance of enemy. the invaders. The French, however, were soon overpowered by numbers, with the loss of their guns and several men killed and wounded. The loss on the part of the British, including that sustained on the 30th, amounted to 28 officers and men killed, 94 wounded, and 45 missing.
Immediately after the termination of this battle, Island general Decaen, who, in the slight support he re-surrenceived from the colonial militia, now learnt to appreciate the effects of the proclamations so industriously spread among them by captain Willoughby in the spring, proposed terms of capitulation; and on the following morning, the 3d, the articles were signed and ratifications exchanged, surrendering the island to Great Britain. The garrison of the Isle of France consisted, it appears, of no more than 1300 regular troops, including, to their shame be it spoken, a corps of about 500 Irishmen, chiefly recruits taken out of the captured indiamen. But the militia force amounted to upwards of 10000 men; a number which general Decaen, no doubt, would have gladly exchanged for as many more regulars as he had under his command. Upon the numerous batteries of the Isle of France were mounted 209 pieces of heavy ordnance; the guns in excellent order, and the batteries completely equipped with shot, ammunition, and every other requisite for service. In Port-Louis were the men of war already Ships named; also the Charlton, Ceylon, and United in PortKingdom, late english indiamen, and 24 french Louis merchant ships and brigs: two of the ships, the Althée and Ville-d'Auten, measured 1000 tons each.