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directed fire; the field-piece also continuing to play upon them. Finding it impracticable to advance with his field-piece on account of losses in the road, Captain Yeo proceeded without it; and his men, with the pike and bayonet, cheering as they rushed on, soon carried the general's gun and the general's house, Victor Hugues and his gallant troops flying through the back premises into the wood, as the British and Portuguese entered at the front.
Information now arriving, that about 400 of the enemy were about to take possession of Beauregard plain, an eminence which commands the several roads to and from Cayenne, the British and Portuguese commanders instantly marched thither with their whole force. On the 9th the allied troops reached the spot, and on the 10th Lieutenant Mulcaster and a Portuguese officer were sent into the town of Cayenne with a summons to the general. An armistice followed ; and finally, on the 14th, the Portuguese troops, and the British seamen and marines, marched into Cayenne, and took possession of the town. The enemy's troops, amounting to 400, laid down their arms upon the parade, and were embarked on board the several vessels belonging to the expedition: at the same time the militia, amounting to 600, together with 200 blacks, both of whom had been incorporated with the regular troops, delivered in their arms.
Thus was acquired, by a force, the most effective if not the most numerous part of which was a British 20-gun ship's complement, the whole of the French settlement of Cayenne, extending along the coast to the eastward as far as the river Oyapok, where the Portuguese possessions begin, and along the western coast to the river Maroni, that separates the colony from the possessions of the Dutch. All this was effected at a comparatively trifling loss of men: the British had one killed (Lieutenant Read) and 23 wounded ; the Portuguese, one killed and eight wounded; and the French 16 killed and 20 wounded.
The previous achievements of Captain Yeo* had prepared us for a display of extraordinary zeal and courage, but we did not expect to find a naval officer so well qualified to fill the station of a general. From the 15th of December, the seamen and marines of the Confiance on shore had not slept in their beds ; and, from the time they landed, on the 7th of January, until the surrender of the colony, they were without any cessation from fatigue. To add to their difficulties, the weather was constantly both boisterous and rainy, and the roads nearly impassable.
Even the Confiance, in the absence of her commander and full three fourths of her crew, had the good fortune to accomplish, by her very appearance, what a ship of double her size and treble her force, (her guns were only 18-pounder Carroll- ades), would have been proud of effecting by the fire of her
artillery. For instance, on the 13th of January the French 40gun frigate Topaze, Captain Lahalle, appeared in the offing, with a reinforcement for the garrison; but Mr. George Yeo, the captain's brother and a mere lad, although his whole numerical force consisted of another young midshipman, Edward Bryant, 25 English seamen, and 20 negroes, managed, by his skilful manoeuvres and the bold front he put on, to scare the French frigate from the coast, and to send her where, as we have already seen, she became a prize to two British frigates.*
See p. 148.
BRITISH AND FRENCH FLEETS.
As the last annual abstract was remarkable for containing the greatest number of ships that ever did, or that probably ever will, belong to the British navy ; so is the present," for being the first that exhibits a declension in all its principal totals. In referring, as usual, to the prize and casualty lists of the year,f we have again to notice the heavy amount of loss sustained by the British navy. Yet care must be taken, that this is not absolutely, but relatively considered. A comparison of the three abstracts (Nos. 16, 17, and 18) containing the highest amount of loss, during the present war, with the three of the preceding war (Nos. 5, 9, and 10) similarly circumstanced, shows, that the aggregate loss in the former bore to the aggregate of its commissioned cruisers one tenth only more than was the case in the latter; an overplus of loss scarcely commensurate with the increased numbers and activity of the French marine during the years 1807, 1808, and 1809; particularly along the coasts, where far the greater proportion of the lost ships ended their days.
The number of commissioned officers and masters, belonging to the British navy at the commencement of the year 1810, was,
And the number of seamen and marines, voted for the service of the same year, was 145,000.*
Owing to the vigilance of the British blockading force, France was unable, during the whole of the present year, to get a fleet to sea. Napoleon, however, still went on increasing his navy. At Antwerp two new 80-gun ships, the Friedland and Tilsitt, were launched, and the heels of two three-deckers intended to carry 110 guns each, and to be named Hymen and Monarque, were laid upon the vacant slips. Towards the latter end of the summer 10 sail of the line evinced a disposition to put to sea from the Scheldt, but were restrained from making the attempt by a squadron of seven or eight sail of the line, under Rearadmiral Sir Richard John Strachan in the St.-Domingo, cruising off Flushing.
Since the 6th of January, Sweden, owing to a change in her dynasty, had made peace with France; and on the 19th of November declared war against England. But Vice-admiral Sir James Saumarez, with five or six sail of the line, prevented, either the Swedish or the Russian fleet from being in any degree troublesome.
Brest was this year a port of little consequence, containing in its road but three sail of the line, including one ship fiom Rochefort or Lorient, and about as many frigates. These were vigilantly watched by a British squadron outside; as were the few remaining ships of the line, that lay in some of the minor French ports, along the Channel and Bay of Biscay frontiers.
At the commencement of the present year the command upon the Mediterranean station was still in the hands of Vice-admiral Lord Collingwood, But his lordship was in so infirm a state of health, that on the 5th of March he quitted Minorca in the Ville-de-Paris, bound to England for his recovery; leaving the fleet under the temporary command of Rear-admiral Martin, in the 80-gun ship Canopus. On the 7th of March, at 8 p. M,, Lord Collingwood expired. The immediate cause of this distinguished officer's death was a stoppage in the pylorus or inferior aperture of the stomach: he had nearly attained his 60th year.
The French force in Toulon remained much the same as at the close of the preceding year; but we shall defer entering into particulars until we have given some account of a successful expedition in the Adriatic against the island of St.-Maura, the ancient Leucadia; and which, with the neighbouring island of Corfu, was still occupied by a French garrison.
On the 21st of March, early in the morning, the above expedition, consisting of the British 74-gun ship Magnificent, Captain George Eyre, 38-gun frigate Belle - Poule, Captain James Brisbane, and 16-gun brig-sloop Imogene, Captain Wil
* See Appendix, No. 13.
liam Stephens, three gun-boats, and five transports, having on board a body of troops under Brigadier-general Oswald, sailed from the island of Zante, and arrived the same evening off St.JMaura. The Imogene and gun-boats anchored to cover the landing of the troops; and at daybreak on the 22d the whole disembarked, in the face of a slight resistance from some batteries. To the troops were added the marines of the Magnificent and Belle-Poule, and also of the Montagu 74, Captain Richard Hussey Moubray; which ship, having knocked off her rudder in working into the road of Zante, had for the present been left behind. Captains Eyre, Brisbane, and Stephens, accompanied the troops in their march; and Captain Eyre was severely wounded in the head, and Captain Stephens in the foot, at the storming of the first redoubt: in the attack upon which the 38-gun frigate Leonidas, Captain Anselm John Griffiths, who had been detached to cruise to the northward of the island, lent her very effective co-operation.
On the 30th the Montagu, having rehung her rudder, arrived at St. Maura. Immediately two of her lowerdeck guns were landed, and 100 of her seamen joined themselves to the 150 previously landed from the Magnificent, who had also sent on shore 10 of her 18-pounders. On the 16th of April, after batteries had been opened against it for nine days, the fortress and island of St. Maura surrendered on capitulation. The loss of the British army, including the foreign troops serving with it, amounted to 16 officers and men killed, 86 wounded, and 17 missing, and of the British navy, to two seamen and six marines killed, and Captains Eyre and Stephens, one Captain of marines (William Havisand Snowe), one Lieutenant (Vernon Lamphier), one Lieutenant of marines (Arthur Morrison), six seamen, and 27 marines wounded ; total, 24 killed, 127 wounded, and 17 missing. The French garrison amounted at the capitulation to 714 officers and men, exclusive of 17 sick and 69 wounded. The number of killed must also have been considerable. We now return to the Toulon fleet. Vice-admiral Ganteaume had been succeeded in the command of it by Vice-admiral Allemand. The Boree had got back to her port from Cette ;* and the Robuste and Lion, her less fortunate consorts, were about to be replaced by three new ships, the Wagram of 130, Sceptre of 80, and Trident of 74 guns. The first of these ships was launched on the 30th of June, and another three-decker was immediately laid down upon her slip. Exclusive of those three ships, the French fleet consisted of 13 sail of the line (one 130, two 120s, one 80, and nine 74s), besides eight or nine frigates and several large armed storeships. Since early in the month of May Admiral Sir Charles Cotton had arrived on the station as the late Lord Collingwood's successor; and the force under the admiral's command, cruising
See p. 144.