Page images
PDF
EPUB

1807. gun-slp.
Hebe, (hired)

captain Edward Ellicott. Aug. 18 Cruiser

Pringle Stoddart.
Mutine

Hew Steuart.
Thunder

George Cocks.
Vesuvius

Richard Arthur.
Bbs.
Ætna.

William Godfrey
Zebra

William Bowles.
Gun-brigs, Kite, Fearless, Indignant, Urgent, Pincher, Tigress,
Desperate, and Safeguard.

On the 23d, at 10 A. M., these vessels were furiously attacked by the danish prames and gun-boats; assisted by the crown battery, floating batteries, blockship Mars, and prame St.-Thomas. The British returned the fire with spirit until 2 P. M.; when, finding that their carronades, at the distance which the vessels had been obliged to take, were no match for the heavy long guns of the Danes, they drew off, with the loss of one lieutenant (John Woodford, of the Cruiser) and three seamen killed, and one lieutenant, (John Williams, of the Fearless,) seven seamen, and five marines wounded; also with some damage to the vessels, particularly the gun-brigs, which, drawing the least water, were the most advanced. The danish gun-vessels now turned their fire on the mill battery, but were soon compelled to retire, with one prame and several gun-boats damaged, and with a loss of nine men killed and 12 wounded,

On the 24th the danish gun-boats remained quiet; boats but on the 25th a division of them appeared in the attack channel between Omache, or Amag, and Zealand, troops and cannonaded the right of the british line, stationed

in the suburbs, and composed of the Guards. On the 26th the gun-boats at the harbour's mouth resumed their attack upon the left, but the mill battery

at length drove them in, after causing one, the Danish Stube-Kicebing, to blow up; whereby, out of her boat complement of 59 men, she had 30 killed and 12

badly wounded. Several of the other gun-boats sustained both damage and loss. On the 27th the army succeeded in opening a battery of four 24pounders upon the division of danish gun-boats,

Danish

blown up.

which, during the two preceding days, in conjunc- 1807. . tion with a battery of 12-pounders and heavy mor

Aug. tars erected at a timber-yard near that extremity of the city, had greatly annoyed the Guards; all which gun-boats, in a little while, were driven away, with one gun-boat much damaged, and upwards of 30 officers and men killed and wounded, afloat and on shore.

During the 28th, 29th, and 30th, no skirmishing took place between the adverse flotillas; but on the 31st the danish prames, gun-boats, crown battery, and floating batteries again attacked the british batteries at the mill and the advanced squadron : which Similar latter, since the repair of the gun-brig's, had resumed aeriits position off the entrance of the harbour. In this Charles affair the Charles armed transport was blown up by port. a shell from the Trekronen ; whereby her master, (James Moyase, seven of her seamen and two of the Valiant's were killed, and one lieutenant, (Henry Nathaniel Rowe,) a master's mate, (Philip Tomlinson, mortally,) and 12 seamen of the Valiant, and seven of the Charles, wounded ; total, 10 killed and 21 wounded. No other british vessel engaged appears to have sustained any loss. The Danes acknowledged a loss of only one man killed and four wounded.

On the 1st of September, in order to frustrate any attempt to send reinforcements from Stralsund, now in the possession of the French, to Zealand, the former port was declared to be in a state of close blockade, and commodore Keats was directed to detach a sufficient force to maintain it. On the same day, the army having nearly finished the numerous gun and mortar batteries (48 mortars and howitzers and twenty 24-pounders were mounted) around the city, and the two british commanders in chief summoned ma- cart jor-general Peiman to surrender the danish feet; pledging the faith of their government, that the Copen

hagen, same should be held merely as a deposit, and be restored at a general peace, and that all other

Lords Gambier

sum

*

bardment commences

1807, captured danish property should be restored immeSept. diately. To this summons the danish general re

turned a direct negative, but requested time to send to the king on the subject.

Admiral Gambier and lord Cathcart refused to Bom- consent to this; and on the 2d, at 7h. 30 m. P. M.,

all the british batteries opened, and the town was set on fire by the first general flight of shells. The bomb-vessels also threw some shells; and the fire was returned by the Danes, who, for several days previous, had fired from the walls and outposts, both with cannon and musketry, upon the british advanced posts. The bombardment continued until 8 A. M. of the 3d. In the evening it recomm ced, and was continued throughout the night, but with much less vigour than during the preceding night, in the hope that the Danes would surrender without the necessity of further severity. This was not the case,

and at 7 P. M. on the 4th the bombardment recommenced in all its fury. In a short time the wood at the timber-yard, which was nearly a quarter of a mile in length, and of great value, was set on fire by red-hot shot. The steeple of the Fruekirke, or metropolitan church, was also set on fire, and, falling, spread the flames in every direction. By this time the fire-engines, which had been so serviceable on the first night, were all destroyed, and many of the firemen killed or wounded. This dreadful work continued until the evening of the 5th ; when, the conflagration having arrived at a height to threaten the speedy destruction of the whole city, major

general Peiman sent out a flag of truce, requesting an ar an armistice of 24 hours to afford time to treat

for a capitulation. The armistice was declined, as tending to unnecessary delay, and the works on

The city on fire.

Gen. Pieman le

mistrice,

* A singular discrepancy here occurs in the official accounts. Admiral Gambier, in his letter, states that the bombardment commenced “in the morning of that day;" (see London Gazette for 1807, p. 1231;) lord Cathcart, and the Danes themselves, at half past seven in the evening.

shore were continued ; but the firing was counter- 1807. manded, and an officer was sent by lord Cathcart to

Sept. explain, that no capitulation could be listened to unless accompanied by the surrender of the danish fleet.

Major-general Peiman having consented that the surrender of the fleet should be the basis of the negociation, major-general sir Arthur Wellesley, sir Home Popham, captain of the fleet, and lieu- Danes tenant-colonel George Murray, deputy quarter- late. master general of the british forces, were appointed to settle the remaining terms of the capitulation. On the 6th, in the evening, the articles were drawn up, and on the 7th, in the morning, signed and ratified by the respective parties. By the terms of the British capitulation, the British were to be put in posses- possession of the citadel, and of the ships of war and their sion of stores; and, as soon as these were removed from &c. the dock-yard, or within six weeks from the date of the capitulation, were to deliver up the citadel, and quit the island of Zealand : all hostilities were, in the mean time, to cease, and all property and prisoners taken on either side, to be restored.

Between the landing of the british troops and the Aggrecommencement of the bombardment, one or two british sorties and several skirmishes had taken place, in boss

, which the army had sustained a loss of four officers, one sergeant, and 37 rank and file killed, six officers, one sergeant, and 138 rank and file wounded, and one sergeant and 23 rank and file missing; making, with the loss incurred by the British afloat, a total of 56 killed, 179 wounded, and 25 missing.

The loss on the part of the Danes, on board the Loss of gun-vessels and in the different skirmishes outside the city, appears, by their own accounts, to have been about 250 in killed and wounded, exclusively of a great number of prisoners. Their loss within the city, in being stated in the gross at about 2000 men, women, and children, was probably, and it is to be hoped it was, greatly exaggerated. Much blame

the Danes.

Damage

[ocr errors]

State of : danish

1807. was attached, and apparently with justice, to majorSept. general Peiman for not having, when the oppor

tunity was afforded him, sent the women, children, and helpless men out of the city. Humanity would then have had less to deplore on this melancholy

occasion. The number of houses wholly destroyed to the was officially stated at 305, exclusive of one church; city. but scarcely a house, it appears, had wholly escaped

from the effects of the bombardment, and a second church, that in the citadel, was considerably injured.

The danish ships in the arsenal, which was an enfleet. closed part of the harbour, had only their lower

masts in, but their stores were so admirably arranged in the warehouses, and such was the alacrity of the british seamen in fitting the ships out, that, in nine days, 14 sail of the line were towed from the harbour to the road; and this, although several of the ships had to undergo considerable repairs, and the scuttle-holes made in their hulls by the Danes, in order to sink them, (a measure in their tardiness omitted,) had to be closed. According to the danish papers, the crown prince, while at Kiel, sent lieutenant Vón-Steffen to general Peiman, with orders, in case of being compelled to surrender the city, to burn the fleet; but, having been taken on his way by some patroles belonging to the british army, the lieutenant destroyed his despatches, and arrived at Copenhagen without them.

In the space of six weeks, the three remaining ships of the line, with the frigates and sloops, were removed to the road, and the arsenal and its storehouses cleared of masts, spars, -timber, and other naval materials. Of the three 74s on the stocks, two were taken to pieces, and the most useful of their timbers brought off, and the third, being nearly planked up, was sawed in various parts and suffered to fall over.

The Mars (blockship) and Dittsmarschen 64s, being old and rotten, were destroyed; as, for the same reason, were the Triton of 28, and the St. Thomas of 22 guns. This left in the possession

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »