Page images




1805. amounted to one sergeant, one drummer, and 19

rank and file killed, one field-officer, two captains,
and 18 rank and file wounded, and one captain, one
sergeant, and six rank and file taken by the enemy;
total 21 killed, 21 wounded, and eight prisoners.
There were also three sailors wounded, assisting at
the batteries; and the loss on the part of the militia,
although not known at the date of the official re-
turn, is declared to have been considerable. The
French state the british loss at 200 in killed,
wounded, and prisoners: they, of course, include

the militia, and may not be far from the truth. Their French own loss the French report at three officers and 32

soldiers killed, and five officers and 77 soldiers
wounded; an amount which, without reckoning the
loss, if any, on board the squadron, sufficiently
proves, that the few British opposed to them had
made a good use of their powder and ball.

The british official account is so loosely worded, ble an, that it is impossible to get at the exact number of of bri- regulars engaged. They probably did not exceed

220 men; nor, taking the french account, does the engag- whole force, regular and irregular, upon the island,

appear to have been more than 650 or 700 men;
whereas the french force that landed is acknow-
ledged to have consisted of 2300 men, all veteran
soldiers; exclusive of a reserve on board the squa-
dron of about 1200 men, of an equal good quality.
The squadron itself, without the troops, was of suf-
ficient strength to have created considerable an-

The governor of Dominica, who had reached his to Fort- post of safety on the 23d, was, on the 25th, sumRupert moned by general Lagrange to surrender the fortress

of Prince-Rupert. On the same day brigadier-ge-
neral Prevost returned a reply, which, if he had not
annexed a copy of it to his official letter, night be
considered as a private communication, sent pur-
posely to thank the french general for his humanity
towards, and kind treatment of, his wife and chil-

[ocr errors]

tish force



dren; of whom, by the by, no mention whatever is 1805. made in general Lagrange's letter. Although, by Feb. inference, a passage in general Prevost's letter may be taken to refer to the summons which had been sent to surrender Fort Rupert, there is no direct allusion to it. For instance: “ I have had the honour to receive your letter. My duty to my king and country is so superior to every other consideration, that I have only to thank you for the observations you have been pleased to make on the often inevitable consequences of war. Give me leave, individually, to express the greatest gratitude for your humanity and kind treatment of my wife and children, and at the same time to request a continuance thereof, not only to her and them, but towards every other object you may meet with.”

General Lagrange, however, either did receive some letter putting a negative upon his demand, or so construed the one which has been published; for, although general Ernouf from Guadeloupe had just arrived at Roseau, and offered to add a corps of grenadiers to the force under general Lagrange to French enable him the more easily to reduce the fort, the evaculatter decided, in preference, to evacuate the island. island. After dilapidating the batteries, embarking some guns, and spiking others, destroying the riages, the ammunition, and the warehouses 'containing provisions, taking away such prisoners as were regulars, disarming the militia and putting them on their parole, and not omitting to levy a contribution, at first of 6000l. but at length of 55001. sterling, upon the inhabitants, the general and his of M. troops, on the 27th, at about 10 A. M., reembarked

siessy on board the squadron. At noon the latter set sail at Guafor Guadeloupe ; whither the Lynx had already withhis convoyed the 22 english and colonial merchant prizes, vessels, (nine or ten only square-rigged, which it had been her business, while the engagement was pending, to carry off from the road of Roseau; but of which, or of the dismantlement of the batteries,





of gen.


1805, not a word is there in the brigadier's letter to sir

William Myers.

Other good fortune, than that of escaping to the fort of Prince-Rupert without scratch or bruise, attended brigadier-general Prevost. He contrived to, what, in homely but intelligible language, is called, bamboozle the folks at home. The Annual

Register, making no distinction between doing a Effect thing and ordering it to be done, declares that the

governor, not major Nunn,“ opposed, with the small vost's force under his command, the landing of the French state- inch by inch."* “ Throughout the whole of this ments. transaction,” proceeds the writer, “the highest

praise is due to the conduct of the governor, and the british troops under his command.” The conduct of the latter was, indeed, entitled to every praise. But praise was not all that he or that they received. The committee of the Patriotic Fund, unable to make the proper discrimination, presented the governor of Dominique with a 100l. sword and a piece of plate, and gave a 501. sword to each of the two officers, major Nunn and captain O'Connell, as well as sums of money to the wounded privates. With respect to general Lagrange, our decided opinion is, that he did not do his duty in so soon evacuating the island of Dominique. He should at least have made an attempt upon Prince-Rupert. So Napoléon thought, but, from some unexplained cause, included the admiral in the censure which he passed upon the general. However, as is too often the case in the minor concerns of life, what marred the fortune of one man made the fortune of the other; and general Prevost, to the subsequent regret of his country, rose to fame upon the forbearance of general Lagrange to push his success to a point, which, in all probability, would have made the former his prisoner, instead of, in the language of undue panegyric, his conqueror.

* Annual Register for 1805, p. 220,

a contribu

On anchoring with his squadron at Basse-Terre, 1805. Guadeloupe, rear-admiral Missiessy disembarked March. the proportion of troops and military stores allotted M.Misfor the island, took in a supply of water, sold bis siessy prizes, divided the proceeds among his crews and from the troops; and, on the evening of the 2d of March, Guadescarcely 60 hours from his entering the road, weighed and stood out. On the 5th, at daybreak, , the squadron passed Nevis point, and appeared off the island of St.-Kitts; the frigates and smaller vessels anchoring, about noon, in the road of Basse-Terre, Levies the capital of the island. Shortly afterwards a column of 500 men, commanded by adjutant Barbot, tion at effected a landing without opposition, and, entering Kitts. the town, demanded of the inhabitants the sum of 400001. sterling, threatening, in case of failure, to set it on fire. The militia having previously joined the few british regulars, forming a total of about 500 men, in the almost impregnable fortress of Brimstone-hill, a committee from the principal inhabitants succeeded in persuading the french general and admiral to be contented with 180001. ; which sum, with great difficulty, was collected and paid over to them. Having destroyed the guns and stores at the two batteries of Basse-Terre, and disarmed a part of the militia, the french troops reembarked; but, previously to its departure, the squadron committed a gross breach of faith in pillaging the road of Basse-Terre, from which the frigates took six merchantmen, all it contained. Four of these the French afterwards burnt. The remaining two, one laden with sugar, the other with coffee and cotton, they carried off as prizes.

After this predatory exploit, the french ships Same proceeded off the island of Nevis. There they at New levied a contribution of about 40001. sterling, disarmed the batteries, and destroyed five merchant vessels, all they could find. The island of Monserrat received a similar visit. Thus enriched, rear-admiral Missiessy and general Lagrange, in a few days

vis, &c.


Sails for

1805. afterwards, reanchored in Fort-Royal, Martinique.

Here the admiral found the french brig Palinure, Return recently arrived from France with despatches, of M. which announced the return of M. Villeneuve to siessy

Toulon in consequence of a storm, and ordered to Mar- M. Missiessy to return forthwith to Europe. After tinique

disembarking at Martinique nearly the whole of the

troops remaining on board the squadron, the french Europe admiral set sail for France. Calling on his way off

the city of Santo Domingo, he found general Ferrand, with a handful of men, reduced to the greatest extremity by the persevering attacks of the negroes;

against whom the general had sustained a siege of forces 24 days, and from whom he had little chance of general

escape, as the port was generally blockaded by

one or more british frigates. General Lagrange Do- : promptly disembarked his remaining battalion; and mingo. a quantity of money and provisions was also sup

plied to general Ferrand. . After this the squadron chors again set sail; and, although two or three british in the squadrons, under enterprising officers, had been Aix.° despatched to look after him, being as little annoyed

by hostile squadrons on his return as he had been on his way out, rear-admiral Missiessy reanchored, on the 20th of May, in the road of the Isle of Aix.


Ferrand at St.


« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »