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Baltic (late Russian cutter Apith) were prepared as fire-ships by the British, and four fire-vessels were sent from Carlscrona by the Swedes. As a preliminary measure, the port was reconnoitred, first by the British 18-pounder 36-gun frigate Salsette (late Pitt), Captain Walter Bathurst, and then by the Swedish 44-gun frigate Camilla, Captain Trolle. It was now discovered that an extensivetboom had been run out from the front of the Russian ships, calculated, in all respects, to prevent the approach of fire-ships.
The attempt to destroy the fleet by vessels of this description being, in consequence, deemed impracticable, the Erebus and Baltic fire-vessels were dismantled and restored to their former state, and the four Swedish fire-vessels were sent to Carlscrona. The advanced season of the year rendering the situation of the blockading fleet extremely critical, Sir James Saumarez and the Swedish admiral, early in October, retired from before the harbour of Rogerswick, leaving only a small reconnoitring force. Soon afterwards the Russian fleet also made sail, and reached Cronstadt in safety.
Before taking our leave of the Baltic, we have to give some account of the successful operations of the British fleet in aiding a band of Spanish patriots found in this quarter. Desirous to assist Spain in every way that would be most beneficial to the cause of the patriots, England turned her attention to the Spanish troops, which Napoleon, under the false pretence of securing Hanover, had drawn from their country, to the northern parts of Germany, and afterwards to the Danish islands in the Baltic. It was known that the troops were anxious to join their countrymen, and assist in overthrowing the tyrant to whom they owed their banishment. The Spaniards in Zealand no sooner learnt the atrocious aggression which their native land was suffering, than they instantly formed a circle round their colours, and swore on their knees to be faithful to their country. Men possessed of such feelings, and inspired with such a determination to act up to them, were well worthy of all the assistance which England, with her immense naval means, could afford. It fortunately happened, where so much depended upon zeal and ardour in the cause, that the British commanding officer in the immediate vicinity of the Spanish troops was Rear-admiral Keats. Besides his own ship, the Superb, the rear-admiral had under his orders the Brunswick and Edgar of the same force, Captains Thomas Graves and James Macnamara, and five or six smaller vessels.
According to a plan concerted between the rear-admiral and the Marquis de la Romana, the commander-in-chief of the Spanish forces in Denmark, the latter, on the 9th of August, with nearly 6000 men, took possession of the fort and town of Nyborg, in the island of Fuuen. Immediately afterwards Rear-admiral Keats addressed a letter, to the Danish governor, promising to abstain from any hostile or offensive act, so long as similar treat
Vol. v. c
ment was experienced by the Spaniards from the troops of Denmark and France; but declaring that, if any opposition should be offered to the embarkation of the Spanish troops, measures would be taken, that might eventually lead to the destruction of the town of Nyborg
The'Danish garrison prudently yielded to circumstances; but a Danish man-of-war brig, the Fama, of 18 guns, and a cutter of 12, the Salorman, moored themselves across the harbour near the town, and rejected all remonstrances and offers of security. The reduction of these vessels being absolutely necessary, and the Spanish general being unwilling to act hostilely against Denmark, such small vessels and boats as could be collected were put under the command of Captain Macnamara; and the latter and his party attacked and captured both the brig and cutter, with the loss to the British of one lieutenant (Robert Harvey, of the Superb) killed and two seamen wounded, and to the Danes of seven killed and 13 wounded. It should be mentioned, that the Spanish troops, irritated at the opposition which their friends experienced in giving them aid, departed in some measure from the general's intention, and fired from the fort several shot at the Danish vessels before the latter struck.
Expedition being now of the greatest consequence, and none of the ships of the line, from circumstances of weather, being able to be brought near, the rear-admiral shifted his flag to the Hound bomb-vessel, Captain Nicholas Lockyer, in the harbour. Fifty-seven sloops or doggers, found in the port, were fitted by the seamen of the squadron, under the direction of Captain Macnamara; and in the course of the same night and of the following day, the 10th, a great part of the artillery, baggage, and stores belonging to the Spaniards was embarked, and removed to the point of Slypsharn, four miles from Nyborg, where the army was to embark.
Captains Jackson and Lockyer undertook the execution of this service; and the troops, having embarked without an accident on the morning of the 11th, were soon under the protection of the British squadron at the anchorage off the island of Sproe. In the course of the same day more than 1000 Spaniards joined the British ships by sea from Jutland; and another 1000 were thrown into Langeland, to strengthen the fort held by the Spanish forces in that island. One of the Spanish regiments in Jutland was situated too remotely and critically to admit more, than a part of it to effect its escape; and two regiments in the island of Zealand were unfortunately disarmed, after having fired on the French general and killed one of his aides-de-camp. The Spaniards embarked at Nyborg, and those that escaped to the squadron from Jutland, were landed at Langeland; whence the whole, numbering about 10,000 men, were carried to England, and subsequently to Spain. For the zeal and ability he had displayed, in bringing to a happy termination the delicate and
arduous service intrusted to him, Rear-admiral Keats, immediately on his arrival in England, was created a knight of the Bath.
LIGHT SQUADRONS AND SINGLE SHIPS.
On the 16th of January, in the forenoon, Cape Barfleur bearing west by north six or seven leagues, the British gun-brig Linnet, Lieutenant John Tracey, mounting twelve 18-pounder carronades and two long sixes, with a crew of 60 men and boys, saw a French lugger in chase of an English merchant ship and brig. The Linnet immediately joined the ship and brig, intending to keep company with them until night should favour her in closing the lugger. At 6 h. 30 m. p. M. the lugger, which was the Courier, of 18 guns and 60 men, belonging to Cherbourg, commenced a fire upon the ship, which the latter promptly returned. At 7 p. M. the Courier attempted to haul off; but the Linnet, being now within musket-shot, prevented her. At 7 h. 10 m. p. M. a broadside of round and grape from the Linnet, accompanied by a volley of musketry, carried away the Courier's main lug. The latter was now hailed to strike, but, instead of doing so, rehoisted her lug. A steady and well-directed fire was then commenced by the Linnet, and continued for an hour and a half; during which the Courier's lugs were knocked down 10 times, and as often rehoisted. At 8 h. 50 m., being in a sinking state, the Courier hailed that she surrendered. The loss on the part of the latter amounted to her second captain killed and three men wounded; but the Linnet was fortunate enough to escape without any loss whatever.
On the 7th of February, at 1 p. M., the British schooner Decouverte, of eight 12-pounder carronades and 37 men and boys, Lieutenant Colin Campbell, when running down between Altavella and the main land of St.-Domingo, chased two French schooner-privateers and a ship their prize. One privateer made her escape to windward; but after a running fight, the Decouverte drove the other and the ship on shore. The latter, which was the Matilda of Halifax, bound to Jamaica, Lieutenant Campbell directed the master of the Decouverte, John M'Intyre, with a detachment of small-arm men, to set fire to and destroy; a service which, in spite of a very spirited opposition from the schooner and the shore, he fully executed.
On the 9th, while still cruising off St.-Domingo, the Decouverte discovered and chased a French armed schooner in Bottomless Cove. It was not until 3 p. M. that the Decouverte was enabled to bring her opponent, the Dorade, Captain Netley, mounting one long 18-pounder on a pivot, and two long eights, with 72 men, to close action. In the second round, three of the Decouverte's carronades on the side engaged were dismounted, which gave the Dorade a great advantage over her. Notwith
standing this, and the immense superiority of the enemy in musketry, the Decouverte, in three quarters of an hour, compelled the Dorade to haul down her colours.
This very gallant exploit on the part of Lieutenant Campbell, his officers and crew, was performed after a loss of five seamen wounded, three of them dangerously, and one mortally. Lieutenant Campbell himself was also slightly wounded, but did not communicate the circumstance in his official letter. The omission was caused by a feeling highly honourable to Lieutenant Campbell as a man: his wife was in England in a poor state of health, and he rightly judged, that uncertainty about the full extent of his wound might prey upon her feelings and protract her recovery. Of the privateer's 72 men, seven were found on her decks dead and three wounded; and it was understood that about seven others had been thrown overboard during the progress of the action.
On the 8th of February, in the evening, the British 18pounder 36-gun frigate Meleager, Captain John Broughton, cruising off the port of Santiago de Cuba, detached her barge, cutter and jolly boat, with 41 men, commanded by Lieutenants George Tupman and William Sainhurn, and Lieutenant of marines James Denne, to capture a felucca-rigged privateer at anchor under the shore. The three boats gallantly boarded and captured without loss on either side, although the enemy was perfectly prepared, the French privateer Renard, armed with one long 6-pounder and a large proportion of muskets, and 47 men, 18 of whom jumped overboard and swam for the shore.
On the 13th of February, in the evening, the British 20-gun ship, Confiance,* Captain James Lucas Yeo, being off the Tagus, sent her cutter and jollyboat, under the command of master's mate Robert Trist, with 14 men, to row guard at the mouth of the river, in consequence of a report, current at Lisbon, that the Russian squadron was about to put to sea. No sooner had Mr. Trist arrived at his station, than he perceived a French gun-vessel at an anchor under Fort San-Pedro, between the forts Belem and San-Julien: he instantly, in a most gallant manner, boarded, and after an ineffectual resistance on the part of the enemy carried, the French gun-vessel No. 1, commanded by Enseigne de vaisseau Gaudolphe, and mounting one long 24pounderand two brass sixes, with 100 stand of arms, and 50 men; of whom three were killed and nine badly wounded : but the British, notwithstanding they had been hailed and fired at in their approach to the gun-vessel, did not lose a man. This truly gallant exploit, performed as it was in opposition to a force so superior, and almost under the guns of several heavy batteries, deserved every praise that was bestowed upon it, and fully en
* Made a post-ship by her commander's promotion to post-rank on the 19th of December, 1807. See vol. iv., p. 138.
titled Mr. Trist to the promotion which he in consequence obtained.
On the 2d of March, in the morning, the British 18-gun brigsloop Sappho, Captain George Langford, standing to the eastward from off Scarborough, discovered and chased an armed brig, that was steering a course as if with the intention to cut off several merchant vessels to leeward. At 1 h. 30m. P.m. the Danish brig of war Admiral-Yawl, Captain Jorgen Jorgenson, substituting Danish for English colours, which she had previously hoisted to deceive, discharged her broadside at the Sappho, in return for a shot fired over her by the latter. The Sappho immediately bore down, and brought her antagonist to close action, which was obstinately sustained for half an hour, when the Admiral-Yawl struck her colours.
The Sappho's force was 16 carronades, 32-pounders, and two sixes, with a complement of 120 men and boys; of whom she had two wounded. The Admiral-Yawl was singularly armed for a brig, her guns being mounted on two decks. On her first deck she had 12 carronades, 18-pounders, and on her second or principal deck, 16 long 6-pounders, total 28 guns; with a complement of 83 men and boys, of whom the second officer and one seaman were killed. The wounded, if any, do not appear in the gazette-account.
On the 4th of March, at 11 h. 30m. A.m., the British 18
Sounder 36-gun frigate San-Fiorenzo, Captain George Nicholas [ardinge, sailed from Pointe de Galle, Ceylon, on her return to Bombay. On the 6th, at 7 A. m, latitude 7° 32' north, longitude 77° 58' east, the San-Fiorenzo passed, off Cape Comorin, the three East India Company's ships, Charlton, Captain George Wood, Metcalfe, Captain Matthew Isacke, and Devonshire, Captain James Murray, from Bombay bound to Columbo; and shortly afterwards discovered on her starboard beam, in the north-east, the French 40-gun frigate Piemontaise, Captain Epron, advancing to intercept the Indiamen. The San-Fiorenzo immediately hauled to the wind in-shore, under all sail, and the French frigate, finding herself pursued, changed her course and stood away. The Piemontaise had sailed from the Isle of France on the 30th of the preceding December. Her intended mode of attack upon the Indiamen is represented to have been, to board the first with 150 men, and then stand on and cannonade the two others until they surrendered.
At 5 p. m having previously made the private signal, the San-Fiorenzo hoisted her colours, but the French frigate paid no attention to either. Captain Hardinge now pressed forward in pursuit; and at 11 h. 40 m, p. M., being still on the larboard tack, the San-Fiorenzo ranged alongside the Piemontaise and received her broadside. After a ten minutes' action fought within 200 yards, the Piemontaise made sail ahead out of the range of her opponent's shot. The San-Fiorenzo, whose loss;