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Bellone chases and captures

1809, afterwards, captain Stewart and his officers arrived Nov. in a cartel, and were allowed to rejoin their recovered


On the 2d of November, in the afternoon, off the Sand-heads in the bay of Bengal, the british 18-gun

ship-sloop Victor, still commanded by captain EdVictor. ward Stopford,* fell in with and was chased by

the french frigate Bellone. At about 10 P. M., after having had all her running rigging cut to pieces, her mainmast wounded in two, and her mizenmast in three places, and her fore topsail shot away,

the Victor had no alternative but to haul down her colours. As the night was very dark, and the Victor lay very low in the water, her hull was comparatively uninjured, and her loss in consequence amounted to only two men wounded. Nor is it likely that her two 6-pounder chase-guns could have done any material injury to the Bellone.

Some newspaper stated, that captain Stopford “ determined to board the Bellone;" and a contemporary historian has gone still further, by declaring that the captain “ attempted to board his enemy,”+ but failed." That no such attempt was made we are sure ; and, considering the immense disparity in size and force between the two vessels, one of which was nearly four times as large as the other, and had on board treble the number of men, we cannot believe that captain Stopford had the least idea of undertaking so rash an enterprise.

On the 22d, being still off the Sand-heads, the falls in Bellone, with the Victor and another prize or two in portu- company, fell in with the portuguese frigate Minerva, frigate, captain. Pinto, of 52 guns, including 30 long 18

pounders on the main deck. At 4 P. M. an action They engage commenced between these frigates; and the french

crew behaved so badly, notwithstanding they must surren- have had the Victor to assist them, that, if the portu

guese crew had not been the most cowardly that ever manned a frigate, the Bellone would have been

+ Brenton, vol. iv. p. 400,


and Minerva


* See p. 281,

Bellone and

at Port

the prize of the Minerva. Instead of which, the 1809. Minerva became the prize of the Bellone, and was Nov. obtained at so trifling an expense as four or five wounded men and about twice as many cut ropes. As the striking of the colours remained with the prizes officers, they, to their credit, did not surrender the arrive ship until the fire of the Bellone had killed and Louis. wounded several persons on board of her. On the 2d of January captain Duperré, with his two men-ofwar prizes in company, anchored in Port-Louis.

Among the services performed by the british navy Chifin this quarter of the globe during the year 1809, were and Caseveral successful attacks made by the 12-pounder roline 36-gun frigate Chiffonne, captain John Wainwright, pirates. and 18-pounder 36-gun frigate Caroline, captain Charles Gordon, in company with the honourable company's cruisers Mornington, captain Jeakes, and Aurora, Nautilus, Prince-of-Wales, Fury, and Ariel, lieutenants Conyers, Watkins, Allen, Davidson, and Salter, having on board a body of troops under lieu-Detenant-colonel Smith, upon a nest of pirates in the their Persian Gulf, which had for a long time harassed towns, the trade in that sea. On the 13th of November Ras-al-Khyma, the prir.cipal pirate-town, together with all the vessels in the port, upwards of 50 in number, including about 30 very large dows, and a considerable quantity of naval stores of every species, was set on fire and destroyed.

On the 17th twenty large pirate-vessels in the town of Linga shared the same fate, and on the 27th eleven others at the town of Luft; the sea-defences of both places being also completely destroyed. All this Loss on was not effected, however, without a desperate re- british sistance on the part of the pirates; and, in consequence, the loss on the british side amounted to four men killed, one mortally, 15 severely, and 19 slightly wounded : a loss, nevertheless, of moderate amount, compared with the number of lives which these barbarians, had they been allowed to prosper in their gains, would very soon have sacrificed, .



Much injury having been done to the african dition coasting trade by small french privateers, fitted out ture se at Sénégal, captain Edward Henry Columbine, of négal the 12-pounder 32-gun frigate Solebay, the naval from commanding officer at the settlement of Gorée, conGorée. certed with major Charles William Maxwell, of the

African Corps, the commandant of the garrison, a plan for the reduction of Sénégal. Accordingly, on the 4th of July, a detachment from the garrison of Gorée, amounting to 166 officers and men under the major's command, embarked on board the Agincourt transport; and the squadron, composed of the Solebay, the 18-gun brig-sloop Derwent, captain Frederick Parker, and 12-gun brig Tigris, lieutenant Robert Bones, the Agincourt, a flotilla of small armed vessels, consisting of the George government-schooner, and six sloops and schooners collected for the purpose, and, in order to give the appearance of a greater force, one unarmed merchant ship, two brigs, and one schooner, immediately weighed and set sail.

On the 7th in the evening the expedition, amountnégal. ing to 14 sail of vessels, anchored off the bar of

Sénégal; and on the 8th 160 of the African Corps, 120 seamen, and 50 marines, were got over the bar, in 16 boats, through a very heavy surf. But, in surmounting this difficulty, the George was driven

on shore, and a schooner and a sloop were totally Capt. wrecked. Only one individual perished on the occadrown- sion; and that unfortunately was captain Parker of

the Derwent. It was now discovered that the French had collected their force, consisting of 160 regulars and about 240 militia and volunteers, at Babagué, a

spot about five' miles below the town of St.-Louis land and ten above the bar. Major Maxwell, with the

detachment of troops and the marines, numbering altogether about 210 men, landed without opposition on the left bank of the river, and immediately took

Anchor off Sé




retreat to a

on up


up a position, with the intention of waiting until provisions could be passed from the shipping, and the July. schooner George could be got afloat.

On the 9th the french commandant marched out to French attack the British, and major Maxwell, supported by the boats, rapidly advanced to meet him. Finding strong ;

positithe British stronger than he had expected, the former waited only to exchange a few shot with the the troops and the boats, and then retreated so expeditiously, and with so perfect a knowledge of the country, that it was impossible to cut him off. The position, to which the French had retired, consisted of a formidable line of defence at Babagué, a battery on the south point of

an island commanding the passage of the river. This post was further defended, at about a quarter of a mile in advance of the battery, by a chain secured to anchors on each shore, and floated all across the stream by large spars; and, at about a hundred yards in the rear of this boom, lay a flotilla of seven armed vessels and gun-boats, mounting between them 31 guns.

On the 10th, in the evening, the sloop George Are was got afloat; and on the 17th the Solebay and Derwent, the latter now commanded by captain aded by Joseph Swabey Tetley, took up a position close to the and narrow neck of land that divides the river from the sea, for the purpose of cannonading the fort of Babagué. This the two ships did with considerable effect; but, in the course of the ensuing night, the frigate, in shifting her birth, went on shore, and,

bay is although still in a position to annoy the enemy, wreckbecame totally wrecked. Fortunately no lives were lost, and the crew managed to save a great proportion of the stores.

On the 12th, in the morning, the troops were reembarked, and the flotilla proceeded up the river until within gun-shot of the fort at Babagué; when, just as every thing was in readiness for a night attack, information arrived that the french commandant meant to capitulate. The attack was there

can non





Mutual loss.

1809. fore postponed; and on the morning of the 13th it July. was discovered, that the French (probably the militia, Sénégal who were disaffected) had broken the boom, and surren- abandoned the vessels and the battery, leaving their

colours flying upon both. Shortly afterwards a letter was brought from the commandant, offering to capitulate ; and in the course of the day terms were agreed upon, surrendering the colony of Sénégal to the british arms.

This harassing and not unimportant service was effected with a loss to the British, besides that of captain Parker of the Derwent, comparatively slight: one midshipman was drowned, one lieutenant of the troops died in the field from fatigue, and one man was wounded by the enemy's fire. The loss on the part of the French appears to have been also of trifling amount, not exceeding one man killed and two wounded.

WEST INDIES. Prepa The interception, in the summer of 1808, of some tatatas despatches from the colonial prefect of Martinique

to the french minister of marine, exposing the wants nique.

of the island, and calling for a supply of provisions
and troops, is thought to have directed the attention
of the british government to the reduction of this
valuable french colony. At all events, preparations
for the attack began at Barbadoes as early as No-
vember; and the authorities at Martinique, as they
themselves acknowledge, anticipated an attack
towards the end of that month or the beginning of
December. Matters were not, however, in perfect
readiness until the latter end of January, when the
following force was assembled :

rear-adm. (r.) hon. sir Alex. J. Cochrane, K.B. 99 Neptune

captain Charles Dilkes. s Pompée

commod. George Cockburn:

captain Edward Pelham Brenton.
743 York

Robert Barton.

William Charles Fahie.'

James Athol Wood. 64 Intrepid

Christ. John Williams Nesham. 44 Ulysses

Edward Woollcombe.

tack Marti

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