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1805, asks, “Ne sera-t-il done pas possible de trouver A. dans la marine un homme entreprenant, qui voit de sang froid, et comme il faut voir, soit dans le combat, soit dans les différentes combinaisons des escadres 2^* . The french emperor's sentiments will be found ... fully developed in the following set of charges which ... he is represented to have drawn up with his own hand: “Tirst; he (Villeneuve) did not disembark at Martinique and Guadeloupe the 67th regiment and the troops that admiral Magon had on board. Secondly; he placed these colonies in jeopardy by sending back to them, by four frigates, 1200 men only of the pick of the garrisons. Thirdly; he conducted himself ill in the battle of the 23d of July, in not reengaging a disabled fleet which had two ships in tow. Fourthly ; that, having arrived at Ferrol, he left the sea to admiral Calder, while he waited to be joined by five sail of the line, and did not cruise off Ferrol until that squadron arrived. Fifthly; he (Villeneuve) was informed that the fleet saw some enemy's ships having the Didon frigate in tow, but he did not chase those ships and oblige them to cast off the frigate. Sixthly; he departed from Ferrol the 14th of August,+ and, instead of going to Brest, proceeded to Cadiz, thereby violating his positive instructions. Seventhly and finally; he knew that the squadron of M. Allemand was to go to Vigo for orders, and yet he sailed from Ferrol without giving that officer any new orders, having, on the contrary, sent him (by the Didon, it is probable) instructions quite opposite, and such as endangered the squadron, which received orders to repair ot. to Brest, while Villeneuve himself steered for Caantad diz.”f . In these charges two important facts dis* close themselves: one, that M. Villeneuve, in spite
* Précis des Evénemens, tome xii. p. 253.
t As to this and other dates see p. 25.
# This extract is of too important a character not to be given in the original, it will therefore be found in the Appendix at No. 5.
of all the nonsense published in the Moniteur, did 1805, not, on the 23d of July, attempt to bring to action so sir Robert Calder's fleet; the other, that something unexpected, and which, by a fair inference, was the false intelligence received through the danish ship from the Dragon 74, caused the franco-spanish fleet to run from an english ship of the line and two disabled frigates, and subsequently to change its destination from Brest to Cadiz. A part of Napoléon's vexation with M. Villeneuve arose, no doubt, from the dissatisfaction with * which the Spaniards viewed the loss of their two or ships. This was augmented by the apparent un-ji. willingness of the french admiral, even though he had under him so powerful a fleet, to sail out, in the face of 11 english sail of the line cruising off Cadiz, and enable the Carthagena squadron to form a junction with admiral Gravina. In a letter of September 17, Napoléon complains of M. Villeneuve for this, and directs his minister of marine to order out the latter, with the french ships alone, (“mon escadre,” not “les escadres franco-espagnols,” or “la flotte combinée,”) upon a new expedition. M. ExpeVilleneuve is to proceed off Naples, and disembark, . at some point on the coast, all the troops on board do: the french ships, in order that they may join the army . under general Saint-Cyr. He is then to capture the soenglish ship of the line (Excellent 74) and russian . frigate cruising in the bay of Naples; to do all possible injury to the English; to intercept an expedition (sir James Craig's) which Napoléon supposes to be destined for Malta, and then to enter Toulon; where M. Villeneuve was to find every thing necessary for repairing and revictualling his ships. Part of the plan, if not previously accomplished, was to call at Genoa for the new 74 Génois; and then, with the Borée (launched at Toulon, June 26) and Annibal 74s, Same there would be a fleet of 21 sail of the line in Tou-ooms lon. The emperor's brother Jérôme, who had been Buona
appointed to the 40-gun frigate Pomone, was also, “
1805, with the assistance of the Borée, and of the Annibal, o if the latter could be made serviceable, to do all possible mischief to the British in the Mediterranean. But the most extraordinary part of this letter is Napoléon's apparent persuasion, that the “excessive pusillanimity” of M. Villeneuve wouldH.". him. ... from undertaking the expedition. e therefore H. directs, that vice-admiral Rosily be despatched to Roi, supersede M. Villeneuve in the command; and who to suo is to carry out orders to the latter to return imme..M. diately to France, to render an account of his conville- duct. “J’estime done,” says Napoléon, “ qu’il faut * faire deux choses: 1°. Envoyer un courrier extraordinaire à l'amiral Villeneuve, pour lui prescrire de faire cette manoeuvre; 2°. Comme son excessive pusillanimité l'empêchera de l'entreprendre, vous enverrez, pour le remplacer, l'amiral Rosilly, qui sera porteur de lettres qui enjoindront à l'amiral Villeneuve de se rendre en France pour rendre compte de Sa conduite.”* Harsh Harsh and very unmerited was this treatment of treat. M. Villeneuve. The main point in the french adi." miral's instructions had always been, to avoid an engagement, and to bring his fleet fresh and entire into the English Channel. Doubtless M. Villeneuve had, from the first, been much retarded in his proceedings by the natural supineness of his spanish friends; and who, now that they knew the object of all this voyaging to and fro, must have felt less inclined than ever to cooperate with the french admiral. og. On the 22d of August vice-admiral Collingwood unc- - - i.of was reinforced by four sail of the line under rear... admiral sir Richard Bickerton; but who subsequently is shifted his flag from the Queen 98 to the Décade ; frigate, and proceeded to England for the recovery wood of his health. On the 30th sir Robert Calder, last i. from off Ferrol, where he had learnt that the comCalder, bined fleet, nine days previous, had made sail for
* Précis des Evénemens, tome xii. p.261.
Cadiz, joined with 18 line-of-battle ships.” Some of 1805, these were occasionally detached to Gibraltar for so. water and provisions; and with the remainder viceadmiral Collingwood continued to cruise before Cadiz, until the evening of the 28th of September, when vice-admiral lord Nelson arrived, to take the chief command of the Mediterranean fleet. His lordship had sailed from Portsmouth, in his old ship the Victory, on the morning of the 15th, accompanied by the Euryalus frigate. On the 18th, when the two ships oi. were off Plymouth, the Ajax and Thunderer joined. ... On the 26th lord Nelson despatched the Euryalus;* ahead, to acquaint vice-admiral lord Collingwood " ' with his approach, and to direct that, on his assuming the command, no salute should be fired nor colours hoisted, in order that the enemy might be unapprized of the arrival of a reinforcement. - The force now under lord Nelson consisted of A27 sail of the line; 22 of which cruised about 15. miles off Cadiz, while the remaining five, under rear-force. admiral Louis in the Canopus, were stationed close off the harbour, to watch the motions of the combined fleet. Considering that, if he kept the main body of his fleet out of sight of land, the french admiral, being ignorant of the exact amount of the british force, might feel disposed to put to sea, lord Nelson retired to a station from 16 to 18 leagues west of Cadiz. The force close off the harbour was now reduced to two frigates, the Euryalus and Hydra; and it may here be remarked that lord Nelson was continually complaining, as he had done in the preceding war, of the few frigates attached to his command. Beyond these two frigates, at convenient intervals for distinguishing signals, were three or four sail of the line, the easternmost of which could communieate directly with the westernmost ship of the main body. The new station taken by the fleet possessed the additional advantage, that, in case the usual
* See vol. iii. p. 438.
1805, strong westerly gales should prevail, the danger was ‘C’s lessened of being forced into the Mediterranean; in which event the franco-spanish fleet, on the first change of wind, might easily effect its escape. On the 1st of October the Euryalus frigate, captain the honourable Henry Blackwood, reconnoitred the port of Cadiz, and plainly discovered, at anchor in the outer harbour, and apparently ready for sea, 18 french and 16 spanish sail of the line, four fricom: gates, and two brigs. On the 2d lord Nelson de;... tached rear-admiral Louis, with the Canopus, Queen, in ca. Spencer, Tigre, and Zealous, of the line, to Gibral* tar, for provisions and water. On the same day a swedish ship from Cadiz, bound to Alicant, informed the Euryalus, that the combined fleet had reembarked the troops on the 30th of September, and intended R...a to put to sea the first easterly wind. This intelliionis gence, meeting the rear-admiral on his way to the .." eastward, induced him, on the 3d, to return with his Gibral-squadron to the fleet; but lord Nelson, conceiving * the whole to be a stratagem to draw him nearer to Cadiz for the purpose of obtaining a more accurate knowledge of his force, ordered the rear-admiral to proceed in the execution of his orders. On the 4th, twice in the course of the day, several spanish gun-boats, taking advantage of the calm state of the weather, pulled out from Cadiz and Attack attacked the Euryalus and Hydra; but, after the * exchange of a few ineffectual shot, the former re... tired to the harbour's mouth. On the 7th the De... fiance joined from England, and on the 8th the Leo, viathan from Gibraltar. On the same day, with the #,* aid of a fine south-east wind and clear weather, the Euryalus was again enabled to count 34 sail of the line in Cadiz harbour. The proximity of the Euryalus to the entrance of the harbour may be judged by the frigate’s bearings at the time she tacked to stand out. They were, Rota point north half-west, San-Sebastian south half-west distant two miles and