Page images

... The ibility that the Cadiz, Carthagena, and 805. Roo. #: effect a junction, and thereby ‘O.K.’ present a force of 46 sail of the line, (a rumour in- Exdeed prevailed, that the Brest fleet was out, which, i.” without the junction of the Carthagena and Roche-of fort squadrons, would have made the combined fleet j 54 or 55 sail,) induced lord Nelson, on the 10th, to bo. draw up and transmit to the flag-officers and captains” of his fleet, a plan of attack, in which, hourly expecting to be reinforced, particularly by a squadron of fast-sailing two-deckers under vice-admiral Thornborough, he calculates, by anticipation, the strength of his fleet at 40 sail of the line. As this plan, or “ General Memorandum,” of which a translation appears in several french historical works, is umiversally considered to be a complete masterpiece of the kind; and particularly, as it agrees in principle with that adopted in the great battle presently to be detailed, we shall offer no apology for inserting it entire in these pages. “Thinking it almost impossible,” says the nobles. chief, “to form a fleet of 40 sail of the line into a son's line of battle, in variable winds, thick weather, and . other circumstances which must occur, without such pian of a loss of time, that the opportunity would probably * be lost, of bringing the enemy to battle in such a manner as to make the business decisive ; I have therefore made up my mind to keep the fleet in that position of sailing, (with the exception of the first and second in command,) that the order of sailing is to be the order of battle; placing the fleet in two lines of 16 ships each, with an advanced squadron of eight of the fastest sailing two-decked ships: which will always make, if wanted, a line of 24 sail, on whichever line the commander in chief may direct. The second in command will, after my intentions are made known to him, have the entire direction of his line, to make the attack upon the enemy, and to follow up the blow until they are captured or destroyed. “If the enemy's fleet should be seen to-windward WOL. IV, D

[ocr errors][merged small]

lso in line of battle, and that the two lines and the adoo. vanced squadron could fetch them, they will proLord bably be so extended that their van could not succour

Nelson's cele

their rear. I should therefore probably make the
second in command's signal, to lead through about

... the twelfth ship from their rear, or wherever he

plan of


could fetch, if not able to get so far advanced. , My
line would lead through about their centre; and the
advanced squadron, to cut two, (cut through?) three,
or four ships ahead of their centre; so as to ensure
getting at their commander in chief, whom every effort
must be made to capture. The whole impression of
the british fleet must be, to overpower from two or
three ships ahead of their commander in chief (sup-
posed to be in the centre) to the rear of their fleet. I
will suppose 20 sail of the enemy's line to be un-
touched; it must be some time #: they could
perform a manoeuvre to bring their force compact to
attack any part of the british fleet engaged, or to suc-
cour their own ships; which indeed would be impos-
sible, without mixing with the ships engaged. The
enemy's fleet is supposed to consist of 46 sail of the
line: british 40: if either is less, only a proportionate
number of enemy's ships are to be cut off. : British
to be one fourth superior to the enemy cut off.
Something must be left to chance. Nothing is sure
in a sea fight, beyond all others: shot will carry

away the masts and yards of friends as well as of .

foes; but I look with confidence to a victory before
the van of the enemy could succour their rear;
and then that the british fleet would, most of them,
be ready to receive their 20 sail of the line, or to
pursue them should they endeavour to make off. If
the van of the enemy tack, the captured ships must
run to-leeward of the british fleet; if the enemy
wear, the British must place themselves between the
enemy and the captured, and disabled british, ships;
and, should the enemy close, I have no fear for the
result. -

“ The seeond in command will, in all possible

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

things, direct the movements of his line, by keeping 1805. them as compact as the nature of the circumstances O.T.’ will admit. Captains are to look to their particular Lord line as their rallying point; but, in case signals can-Nel. not be seen or clearly understood, no captain can do.” very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of an o, enemy. - attack.

“Of the intended attack from to-windward, the enemy in the line of battle ready to receive an attack : -



“The divisions of the british fleet will be brought nearly within gun-shot of the enemy's centre. The signal will most probably then be made, for the lee line (three lines?) to bear up together; to set all their sails, even their steering-sails, in order to get as quickly as possible to the enemy's line; and to cut through, beginning at the twelfth ship from the enemy's rear. Some ships may not get through their exact place, but they will always be at hand to assist their friends. If any are thrown round the rear of the enemy, they will effectually complete the business of 12 sail of the enemy. Should the enemy wear together, or bear up and sail large, still the 12 ships, composing, in the first position, the enemy's rear, are to be the object of attack of the lee line, unless otherwise directed by the commander in chief: which is scarcely to be expected; as the entire management of the lee line, after the intentions of the commander in chief are signified, is intended to be left to the judgment of the admiral commanding that line. The remainder of the enemy's fleet, 34 sail of the line, are to be left to


1805, the management of the commander in chief; who
Co. will endeavour to take care that the movements of
the second in command are as little interrupted as
is possible.” -
Cadiz With the crews of so many ships to victual, Cadiz
... had become much straitened for provisions. To
... remedy the evil in part, especially as regarded his
own fleet, the french emperor had ordered shipments
to be made at Nantes, Bordeaux, and other ports
in the bay of Biscay. The carriers were nominally
danish vessels, that landed their cargoes at Aya-
monte, Conil, Algeziras, and at some other little
harbours between the latter port and Santa-Maria;
whence they were conveyed in coasting boats to
Cadiz, without any interruption. As some check to
this, a vigorous blockade had been adopted by vice-
admiral Collingwood, and was still maintained by
his successor; who considered it a more likely
mode to drive the combined fleet to sea, than a
bombardment by Congreve rockets, as had been
contemplated by the british admiralty. The ar-
rival of the Naiad, Phoebe, Sirius, Juno, and Niger
frigates, along with one or two smaller vessels, en-
abled lord Nelson to detach a part of them; and the
interruption thereby given to the coasting trade was
of increased annoyance to Cadiz and the shipping
within it.
Between the 9th and 13th of October the Royal-
Sovereign, Belleisle, Africa, and Agamemnon, joined
the fleet. The british force off Cadiz was now at
its greatest height, 29 sail of the line; and the whole
force under lord Nelson's command, including the five
ships recently gone to Gibraltar, amounted to 33 sail
of the line. Since the 10th the franco-spanish fleet had
. every disposition to put to sea the first opportunity.
.* Qn the 14th lord Nelson, as he had been directed,
calder detached to England sir Robert Calder, in the
;." Prince-of-Wales, and on the 17th was obliged to
trial send the Donegal to Gibraltar, to get a ground tier

moved to the entrance of the harbour, and evinced

[ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic]

of casks. This done, the fleet under his lordship's 1806. immediate command consisted of the following 27 o' sail of the line, four frigates, one schooner, and one cutter:



100 vice-adm. (b.) Cuthbert Collingwood.

Royal-Sovereign.. { captain Edward Rotheram.

Britannia rear-adm. (w.) the earl of Northesk.
' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' U captain Charles Bullen.
Téméraire ...... ,, Eliab Harvey.
98.1 Prince . . . . . . . . ,, Richard Grindall.
Neptune . . . . . . . . ,, Thomas Francis Fremantle.
Dreadnought .... ,, John Conn. -
80, Tonnant . . . . . . . . , Charles Tyler.
sBelleisle ........ ,, William Hargood.
Revenge . . . . . . . . ,, Robert Moorsom.
Mars. . . . . . . - e - - - ,, George Duff.
Spartiate . . . . . . . . ,, sir Francis Laforey, bart.
Defiance . . . . . . . - ,, Philip Charles Durham.
74% Conqueror . . . . . . ,, Israel Pellew.
Defence . . . . . . . . ,, George Hope.
Colossus . . . . . . . . ,, . James Nicoll Morris.
Leviathan ...... ,, . Henry William Bayntun.
Achille. . . . . . . . . . ,, Richard King.
Bellerophon...... ,, John Cooke.
Minotaur . . . . . . . . ,, Charles John Moore Mansfield.
Orion . . . . . . . . . . ,, Edward Codrington.
Swiftsure . . . . . * * * ,, William George Rutherford.
Ajax. . . . . . . . . . . . lieut. John Pilfold, acting.”
-Thunderer . . . . . . ,, John Stockham, cting.
Polyphemus...... captain Robert Redmill.
64- Africa . . . . . . . . . . ,, Henry Digby.
Agamemnon .... ,, sir Edward Berry.

Frigates, Euryalus, Naiad, Phoebe, and Sirius; captains the hon. Henry Blackwood, Thomas Dundas, the hon. Thomas Bladen Capel, and William Prowse.

Schooner Pickle, lieutenant John Richards Lapenotiere, and cutter Entreprenante, lieutenant John Puver.

On the very day, on which lord Nelson arrived to take command of the Mediterranean fleet, arrived at Cadiz a courier, with the french emperor's orders for M. Villeneuve to put to sea. These orders, it may be recollected, had issued since the 17th of the

* For captains William Brown and William Lechmere, gone to England to attend as witnesses on sir Robert Calder's court-martial.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »