« AnteriorContinuar »
1808. sequence, suffer a reduction in its strength, caused
18 more of these cock-boats to be constructed ; and
take, burn, and destroy” the vessels of war and
When the flimsy and diminutive frames, four or ment five in a slip, of these tom-tit cruisers came to be in the viewed amidst the substantial and towering struc
tures standing near them, many a sailor's joke (and
A case or two, which we have now to relate, will
in the month of January, 1807, the Jackdaw, lieute- 1808, nant Nathaniel Brice, cruising off the Cape de Verd
Capislands, was fallen in with, and captured by, spanish row-boat.” In the following month the prize was recaptured by the 32-gun frigate Minerva, cap- ture of tain George Ralph Collier; and lieutenant Brice, ondack his return to England, was tried by a court-martial Trial and dismissed the service. He was, however, shortly of her afterwards reinstated in his rank. In fact, there was many a row-boat privateer, that was a full match for the Jackdaw; and 18 or 20 smart hands in a frigate's launch, armed with her 18-pounder carronade, would have felt themselves quite equal to the task of capturing her. Steel has made the affair appear worse than it was, by giving the Jackdaw 10 guns instead of four. In April the Pike, lieutenant John CapOttley, cruising off Altavella, was fallen in with and and recaptured by the french privateer Marat, of four times capher force. Shortly afterwards the 18-gun brig-sloop Pike Moselle, captain Alexander Gordon, recaptured the
Kinga Pike, and restored her to the british navy. A simi- fish. lar fate attended the Kingfish, whereby her valuable services were only lost for a time.
On the 18th of August, 1808, the Rook, one Gallant of the 4-gun schooners, commanded by lieutenant James Lawrence, being off the mole of Cape St.- Rook. Nicholas, on her way from Port-Royal, Jamaica, to England with despatches, was fallen in with and attacked by two french schooner privateers, one of 12, the other of 10 guns. After an action of one hour and a half, during which the lieutenant was killed, the next officer, master's mate Thomas Seaward, mortally ture. wounded, and 13 out of the remaining 18 men of the crew killed or mortally wounded, the privateersmen made a prize of the Rook. This very gallant action more than redeemed the fate of the Jackdaw. Three other schooners of this class were captured by privateers, but in later years. In short, the whole 30 cal fate individuals composing this class, except three sold of the out of the service, came to an untimely end; some as
defence of the
Den ; priksta
1808, already mentioned, by falling into the hands of the May.
enemy, and the remainder by foundering in the deep
or perishing on the rocks. Cap Some of the smaller 10-gun class also became the
trophies of french privateers; one case is all we shall recapr relate. On the 17th of September, 1807, the Barbara, Bar- lieutenant Edward A. D'Arcey, after a well-contested
action of half an hour, was boarded and taken by the
when fallen in with, was in the track of the Jamaica ricama homeward-bound fleet; “ of which," says captain gene- Skene, “ she had obtained most correct information, rosity.
as to their strength, number, and situation, from the
On the 7th of May, at daylight, Cape Trafalgar Fans in bearing west-north-west distant about six miles, the with a british 18-gun brig-sloop Redwing, of 16 carronades, escore 32-pounders, and two long sixes, captain Thomas ed by Ussher, discovered a spanish convoy of seven armed
and 12 merchant vessels, coming down alongshore.
No.6, one 24 and 40 men, and No. 107, two 6-pound- 1808. ers and 35 men; a mistico four 6-pounders and May, 20 men; and a felucca four long 3-pounders, and 20 men ; total 22 guns and 271 men. Nowise daunted, notwithstanding, the Redwing endeavoured also to close, in order to decide the business quickly, and, if possible, secure the merchantmen.
As soon as her opponents had advanced within musket-shot, the brig opened upon them a quick and well-directed fire, her guns evidently doing great ex- Atecution. At 9 A. M. the gun-boats, completely panic-and struck and beaten, pushed into the surf, sacrificing drives their wounded. To save these, if possible, captain on Ussher despatched one of his boats; but the shore, Redwing’s men, notwithstanding all their exertions, were unable to rescue a single Spaniard. Seeing the fate of their protectors, two of whom only remained afloat, the merchant vessels attempted to disperse.
Four of the latter were sunk by the Redwing's shot, seven, along with the 4-gun mistico, were captured, and the remaining one, along with gunboat No. 107 and the felucca, effected their escape, the Redwing being in too crippled a state to pursue them. The brig, indeed, had received two 24-pound shot through her foremast, one through the mainmast, and one through the gammoning of the bowsprit, dar which last shot had likewise cut asunder the knee mage of the head. Notwithstanding that her damages masts. were so serious, the Redwing had only one seaman hurt on board. In her boats, however, she had one seaman killed, and her master, (John Davis,) slightly, purser, (Robert L. Horniman,) and the same seaman who had been wounded slightly on board, severely, wounded.
Considering that, among the 22 guns of the Red- Force wing's seven opponents, there were
one long 36, and ea to seven long 24 pounders, that the number of men on her. board of them almost trebled the number in the brig, who had only 98 men and boys on board, and that the weather was in every respect favourable for gun
1,808, boat operations, the defeat and destruction of this May. spanish flotilla afforded an additional proof of the prowess of british seamen, and of how much
be accomplished by gallantry and perseverance.
On the 10th of May, at 1 P. M., the british brig-
ades and two sixes, with 95 men and boys, captain
at her sweeps; and the Requin, trusting to her sails alone, was about two miles distant in the south-south-east. At 7 h. 45 m. Ai M. the Requin fired her stern-chasers, and hoisted french colours; and at 8 h. 10 m. A. M. the Wizard, bringing up a fresh breeze from west-north-west, fired her bow guns at the former, and hoisted british colours. At 9 A. M. the Requin brought to, with studding sails set, and fired her broadlside: on which the Wizard, who was nearing fast, ran close under her opponent's stern, and, having raked the Requin with guns double-shotted, hove to under her lee quarter. In this position the two brigs fought, at close quarters, from 9 A. m. to 10 h. 30 m. A. M.;
and yet, as was a little extraordinary, no spar of tempts either came down. The Requin then filled and made cape. sail, followed by the Wizard; who, being to-leeward,
brings Wizard was
to and engages.