Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Eme

bis fleet.

Duncan, severely, and three seamen slightly wounded. 1811. A shot from her, or from the Caledonia, had also Nov. wounded two men in the french battery. The noise of the firing brought out M. Emeriau with 14 sail of the line, and furnished the Moniteur with another paragraph, to prove the fearlessness with which the french fleet could manoeuvre within a league or two of its own port.

Almost every day that the british fleet remained M. at the Hyères, or cruised off Cape San-Sebastian, the riau french fleet, or a division of it, sailed out and in, sails to exercise the crews, the principal part of which with were conscripts. On the 20th of November, when the only british force off Toulon were the two 38-gui frigates Volontaire, captain the honourable Granville George Waldegrave, and Perlen, acting captain Joseph Swabey Tetley, and these had been blown to some distance from the coast, a fleet of 14 french ships of the line and several frigates sailed upon a cruise between the capes of Sicie and Sepet; intending to extend it a little beyond them, if wind and weather should permit, and if sir Edward Pellew should approach no nearer than his present cruising ground, off Cape San-Sebastian. The french admiral remained out all that night, and all the following day and night, without being crossed by a hostile sail.

At daylight on the 22d, however, as the Volon- His adtaire and Perlen were lying to, at the distance of divi from two to three leagues west-south-west from Cape sion Sicie, the french advanced division, consisting of Volonthree line-of-battle ships and two frigates, made its taire appearance in the south-east. Both parties were Perlen. soon under a crowd of sail. At 9 A. . M. captain Tetley exchanged several shot with a french frigate upon his lee quarter; and, owing to the Perlen being able from the peculiar construction of her after-body (she was a danish-built ship) to bring six guns, three on each deck, to bear upon what is usually termed the point of impunity, he so

21

VOL, V.

between the latter and

1811. cut up thie french frigate forward, that; at 10 A. M. Nor. the latter bore away out of gun-shot. The Trident 74 Action and Amélie frigate, in the mean time, had exchanged

á few distant shot with the Volontaire. The french 74 and frigate then stood for the Perlen; at whom

they began firing at 11 A. M.; and upon whom they french gained gradually in the chase: At noon Cape Sicie ships. bore from the Perlen east-north-east 10 or 11 leagues.

At 1 P. M., finding that the two ships were advancing rapidly upon her, the Perlen cut away the sheet, spare, stream, and kedge anchors. At 2 h. 30 m. P. M. the Trident was on her lee, and the Amélie on her weather quarter ; both still keeping up a heavy fire, and the Perlen returning it. In another quarter of an hour, provoked at being fired at so effectually; in a position from which she herself could bring no guns to bear, the Trident yawed and discharged her broadside. This of course occasioned the french

74 to drop astern; and, accompanied by the Amélie, ships the Trident stood for the Volontaire. In a little discon- while, however, the two french ships, finding that thepur- the state of their rigging gave them no hope of

success in the chase, altered their course, and bore away for Toulon.

The Perlen had her standing and running rigging to the and sails very much cut, and received two shot so Perlen low down, as to cause her to make nine inches of Volon- water per hour ; but, fortunately, the frigate bad

none of her crew hurt. The Volontaire was not struck; although, at one time, two two-deckers, one with a rear-admiral's flag, fired several broadsides at her. Having thus chased away the only british force at this time off the coast, and which the magnifying optics of his reconnoitring captains made out to be “ un vaisseau et une frégate,” vice-admiral Emeriau continued maneuvring about until the 26th ; then reanchored in the road of Toulon. On the same day vice-admiral sir Edward Pellew, with the british fleet, anchored off the south-east end of the island of Minorca.

French

suit.

Da

taire.

Emeriau

back

by sir

Pellew.

The length of the french admiral's cruise required 1811. a few days' relaxation ; and it was not, we believe, Dec. until the 9th of December, that the fleet again weighed m. from the road. On this day M. Emeriau, having, as he states, been apprized by the signal-posts, that a sails british fleet of 12 sail of the line was in the offing, and is put to sea with “ 16 sail of the line and two frigates.” driven In a few hours, however, the french admiral returned into port; and this proved to be the last exploit of Edw. the Toulon fleet during the year

1811. Is it not a little surprising that, out of upwards of 56 sail of the line in commission at the different ports of the french empire, namely, 18, including three dutch ships, in the Scheldt, seven in the Texel, two in Cherbourg, two in Brest, four in Lorient, three in Rochefort, 16 in Toulon, and four at least in the ports of Genoa, Spezzia, Venice, and Naples, not one squadron, nay, not one line-of-battle ship, should have ventured out of sight of her own harbour? What prevented vice-admiral Emeriau from going fairly to sea on the 20th of November ? Where had the glory of the “great nation” hid itself? Where were the Duguay-Trouins, the De Grasses, and the Suffrens, when, on the 6th of December, 1811, a french admiral, with 16 sail of the line, allowed himself to be driven back into port by a british admiral with 12 ? And yet, if report be true, Buonaparte had an object; a grand object, in view; no less than that of getting a powerful. fleet to the East Indies, and thereby possessing himself of the immense territories belonging to Great Britain in that quarter of the globe.

wick chases

LIGHT SQUADRONS AND SINGLE SHIPS. On the 24th of March, at daylight, Barfleur light- Berhouse bearing south by east distant 12 or 13 miles, the british 74-gun ship Berwick, captain James Macnamara, Amaobserved a large sail directly between herself and come the lighthouse, running along the shore. This was anchorthe french 40-gun frigate Amazone, captain Bernard

age,

and

british

1811. Louis Rousseau, making another attempt to get from March. Havre to Cherbourg.* The 74 immediately gave

chase, and compelled the frigate to haul in for a small rocky bay, about a mile to the westward of the light

house; where the Amazone anchored with the loss Ber: of her rudder. Thinking an attack by boats practi

cable when the tide suited, captain Macnamara called other in from the offing by signal the 38-gun frigate ships Amelia, captain the honourable Frederick Paul Irby, anchor. and the 16-gun brig-sloops Goshawk and Hawk, cap

tains James Lilburn and Henry Bourchier. At 8 A.M., the lee tide making strong, the Berwick, to avoid the rocks and shoals surrounding her, came to an anchor about two miles to the northward of the Amazone; as, upon their junction, did the Amelia,

Hawk, and Goshawk. Niobe,

At noon the 38-gun frigate Niobe, captain Joshua William Loring, joined from the westward. At

4 P. M., the flood tide making, and captain Macnamara attack having relinquished the plan of attack by boats on frigate. account of the rapidity of the tides, the squadron got

under way; and the Niobe, followed by the Amelia and Berwick in succession, stood in as close to the french frigate as the safety of the ships would admit. The latter being surrounded by rocks and shoals, their fire could only be bestowed in the act of wearing, and was consequently partial and of little effect. At 6 P. M. the British hauled off, with the loss of one man killed on board the Berwick, and one killed and one wounded on board the Amelia, and the standing and running rigging of all three ships much cut.

On the 25th, at daylight, captain Macnamara stood

in again with his squadron, for the purpose of renewberselling the attack; but the french captain rendered that and is step unnecessary, by setting fire to his ship; and the

Amazone, a fine new frigate of the largest class, was stroyed

soon burnt to the water's edge.

On the 8th of May, at 9 h. 30 m. A. M., the british

Amelia and Berwick

Amazone sets

de

* See p. 350,

convoy

Canon

board

tures

18-gun brig-sloop Scylla, (sixteen 32-pounder car- 1811, ronades and two sixes,) captain Arthur Atcheson, Aug. being close in with the isle of Bas, discovered Scylla to-leeward, and immediately chased, the french chases gun-brig Canonnier, of 10 long 4-pounders, one french 24-pounder carronade and four swivels, with 77 men, guncommanded by enseigne de vaisseau Jean-Joseph- and her Benoit Schilds, having under her protection a convoy of five small vessels, which she had just sailed with from Péros and was conducting to Brest.

At 11 h. 30 m. A. M. the Scylla overtook, and com- Lays menced firing at, the Canonnier and her convoy. nier At 11 h. 45 m., being then within the Triagos and in Portgalo rocks, off Morlaix, and finding that it was and the intention of the french commander to run his capvessel and convoy on shore, captain Atcheson re- her. solved to lay him on board. The Scylla, going at the time eight knots, accordingly did so; and in about three minutes her officers and crew carried the Canonnier, with a loss on their part of two seamen killed, and one midshipman (Thomas Liven) and one marine slightly wounded. As a proof that the french brig made a creditable resistance, she lost her commander, one midshipman, the boatswain, and three seamen killed, and one midshipman and 10 seamen wounded, five of them dangerously. One only of the convoy was secured, a sloop laden with grain: the remaining four got within the rocks and ran themselves on shore.

On the 24th of August, at 1 P. M., as the british Diana 38-gun frigate Diana, captain William Ferris, and semi18-pounder 36-gun frigate Semiramis, captain Charles ramis Richardson, were standing towards the Cordouan lighthouse from Basque roads, five sail were descried convog inside of the shoals at the mouth of the river GironGironde. Four of these were small merchant vessels, de. which the fifth sail, the french (late british) gun-brig Teazer, mounting twelve 18-pounder carronades and two long 18-pounders, with 85 men, commanded by lieutenant de vaisseau Jean-Alexandre Papineau, had

discover à

« AnteriorContinuar »