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attentively observing them, exhibited no signs of 1805. injury. One or two of the ships, however, were Oct. certainly struck in the hull by some of the british ships, most probably by the Minotaur and Spartiate; for the Formidable made a good deal of water, and had three of her guns dismounted, and the DuguayTrouin had one petty officer mortally and four others slightly wounded. Upon looking into the rôles d'équipage of the four ships, we cannot discover that they sustained any other loss in the Trafalgar battle.
With the wind as it blew, the french admiral would have steered towards Toulon, had he not received intelligence that rear-admiral Louis, with a squadron of four or five sail of the line, was cruising in the neighbourhood of the Straits. Nothing now remained but to proceed on a cruise, or to endeavour to make a home-port to the northward. Fortunately M. Dufor british interests, M. Dumanoir chose the latter matoir alternative, and, having stood to the westward until to the the squadron doubled Cape St. Vincent, which it did north not do until the 29th, he steered north, intending to enter the road of the isle of Aix.
The celebrated Rochefort squadron of five sail of Escape the line, three frigates, and two brigs, under rear- Rocheadmiral Allemand, had escaped from this anchorage since the preceding July, and was now at sea, play-dron. ing sad havoc with british commerce.
Two or three squadrons were seeking M. Allemand, and every british cruiser was on the alert, in the hope of hearing some tidings of him. In the latter part of October the british 18-pounder 36-gun frigate Phe-Phenix, captain Thomas Baker, steering, with sealed search orders, to a prescribed spot, a short distance to the of it. westward of Scilly, received intelligence from two or three neutrals, that the Rochefort squadron had recently been seen in the bay of Biscay. Considering that the importance of this communication would justify - him in prematurely breaking open his despatches, captain Baker did so, and found they merely con
1805. tained an order to proceed to what was likely to
prove to the Phoenix and those on board of her a
Without a moment's hesitation in the choice be-
crossed it, had just reached the latitude of Cape Nóv. Finisterre, when, on the 2d of November, at 11 A.M.
standing on the starboard tack, with the wind at
noon the strangers bore up, under all sail, in chase Chased of the Phoenix ; who thereupon bore up also, and by
steered south, captain Baker being aware that a dron of british squadron under sir Richard Strachan was manoir, cruising off Ferrol; and into whose hands he hoped
to be able to lead, what he believed to be, a part
At 3 P. M. the Phoenix discovered four additional
Much about the time that the Phoenix gained cea and a sight of the four ships of M. Dumanoir, bearing fall in from her west-north-west, the british 38-gun frigate with Boadicea, captain John Maitland, and 18-pounder squa- 36-gun frigate Dryad, captain Adam Drummond, dron. discovered and chased them in the east by south.
* For the names of the captains see p. 39.
At about 8h. 45 m. P. M. the Phoenix saw the Boa- 1805. dicea and Dryad; but, as the latter were between Nov. herself and the supposed Rochefort squadron, the rockets they threw up failed to produce the desired effect, and the Phoenix continued to stand from them. At about 9h. 30 m. the Boadicea and Dryad discovered to-leeward the same four ships, towards which the Phoenix was hastening, together with three Sir others at no great distance from them, making Straseven sail in all. These were a british squadron chan’s under sir Richard Strachan, which had been de-dron. tached froin the Channel fleet since the 29th of October, in search of the Rochefort squadron, and consisted of the gun-ship 80 Cæsar.o.o captain sir Richard John Strachan, bt. Hero
hon. Alan Hyde Gardner. Namur
Lawrence William Halsted.
Charles Dudley Pater.
Wilson Rathborne. 32 Æolus
lord William Fitz-Roy. Having, without getting any answer to their sig- Boadinals, arrived within two miles of the Cæsar, which
Dryad was the weathermost ship of this squadron, and tack then standing close hauled on the larboard tack, the Boadicea and Dryad, at about 10 h. 30 m. P. M., tacked to the north-east, and soon lost sight of friends and foes. At 11 P. M. the Phoenix passed Pheunder the stern of the Cæsar, steering as before nix about north by east; and, after the receipt of a Cæsar. shot and the interchange of a few hails, discovering the ship to be what she was, captain Baker informed sir Richard Strachan that the Rochefort squadron, or four ships at least of it, were then not far distant upon his lee bow.
Sir Richard's squadron being at this time very Sir much scattered, the commodore directed captain Baker to make sail to the south-south-east, and hasten chan forward the ships astern. The Cæsar then bore proaway under all sail, with the wind at west-north-west, chase.
Sees the enemy.
1805, followed at no great distance by the Hero, Coura-
away from the Cæsar, before the light of the moon
ting of the moon, at about 1 h. 30 m, A. M. on the 3d, Loses accompanied by hazy blowing weather, concealed
enemy from view : they then shortened sail, to await the coming up of their friends astern.
At daylight on the 3d, by which time the wind had veered to west-south-west, the Santa Margarita joined the Cæsar and her three companions; and at 7 h. 30 m. A. M. Cape Ortugal appeared in sight,
bearing south-east half-east distant 36 miles. At Disco- 9 A. M. the french ships again showed themselves in
the north-north-east; and the british ships, spreading again. every thing they could set, immediately chased in
that direction. At 11 A. M. the Namur, preceded
by the Phænix, and followed at some distance by proach
a frigate which afterwards proved to be the Révoof Ré- lutionnaire 38, captain the honourable Henry Hotham, tion appeared far astern, using every effort to get up. naire. At noon the french ships were about 14 miles dis
tant, and in the same line of bearing as when first
perior sailing, became the leading ship in the chase; Bellona and the Phønix, upon joining in the evening, was
despatched ahead, to assist the former in harassing pany. the enemy's rear. To the great mortification of her
officers and crew, the Bellona had by this time
On the 4th, at daylight, owing to the indifferent gains
sailing of the Formidable, aided by the partial inin the fluence of the wind in its fluctuations throughout the
night, and which now blew moderately from the south-
still the leading line-of-battle ship of her squadron, 1805. and the Scipion, the rearmost ship in the french Nor. line. ' Such also, during the preceding night's chase, had been the zeal and activity on board the SantaMargarita, that, by 5 h. 45 m. A. M., this frigate got Santa
Marganear enough to fire her starboard foremost guns at the Scipion; who, in a quarter of an hour afterwards, opens brought her stern-chasers to bear, and presently killed the boatswain, and badly struck the hull, of the Santa-Margarita. At 9h. 30 m. A. M. the Phoenix got up, and opened a fire from her larboard guns Is joininto the Scipion's starboard quarter. In this way the two british frigates, practising every feasible nix. manoeuvre to keep clear of the broadsides of their formidable opponents, continued to harass the french
Meanwhile the Cæsar, Hero, and Courageux, now formed in line ahead, and just favoured by a shift of wind to south-south-east, were rapidly approaching, to give a more decided feature to the combat.
At about 11 h. 45 m. A. M., finding an action unavoidable, the french admiral threw out the signal for his ships to take in their small sails, and haul up together on the starboard tack, with their heads to the north-east by east. This they presently did, and then fell into a line ahead in the following order: Duguay- French Trouin, Formidable, Mont-Blanc, Scipion. From their the last-named ship the Cæsar at this time bore line. about south by west rather more than a mile distant : consequently she was well on the weather quarter of the french rear. The Namur and Révolutionnaire had been great gainers by the slight change in the wind. They were now running with it upon the quarter, and bore from the commodore and his line, the one southwest, or nearly astern, distant about 14 miles, the other west-south-west, or a little upon the lee quarter, distant about seven miles. A trifle to the westward of the Révolutionnaire's line of bearing, and just out of gun-shot from the enemy, lay the Æolus; and, much nearer, the Santa Margarita and Phoenix, who had already performed so well, and who were still