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1905. at about 11 h. 40 m. A. M., up went to the Victory's Oct. mizen topgallantmast-head, the first flag of the ce
lebrated telegraphic message,-“ ENGLAND EXPECTS THAT EVERY MAN WILL DO HIS DUTY ;** a signal which, the instant its signification became fully known, was greeted with three cheers on board of every ship in the fleet, and excited among both officers and men the most lively enthusiasm.
The general formation of the franco-spanish line, the two and the manner in which the british fleet, by its two fileets columns, bore down to the attack, will appear
Posi. tion of
at the com.
with sufficient and, we believe, all attainable accuracy, menee by the following diagram. As the ships of the comof the bined Aeet were constantly varying their positions,
we shall not attempt to point out the stations of any others than the ships of the four principal flagofficers. The commander in chief in the Bucentaure, with the Santisima-Trinidad as his second ahead, was directly in front of the Victory, the leader of the weather column; and the Santa-Ana, the flag-ship of vice-admiral Alava, was in the same direction from the Royal-Sovereign, the leader of the lee column. The spanish commander in chief, admiral Gravina, in the Principe-de-Asturias, was the rearmost ship of the fleet. Of the frigates it may suffice to state, that they were ranged in an inner line considerably to leeward of the fighting line. One, however, in the centre, believed to have been the Rhin, was so near as to be seen by the RoyalSovereign repeating signals; a circumstance that induced vice-admiral Collingwood, a few minutes before the action commenced, to telegraph lord
* There is not, that we are aware of, a single publication which gives this message precisely as it was delivered. The following: is a minute of the several flags, as noted down on board of more than one ship in the fleet :
253 269 863 261 471 958 220 370 4 21 19 24 England expects that every man will do his du ty." The french translation, as given in one or two historical works, is equally short and expressive: "L'Angleterre compte que chacun fera son devoir"
Nelson, that the enemy's commander in chief was 1805. on board a frigate.
According to the average time noted down on Fouboard the different ships of the british fleet, it was gueux just at noon, the wind very light, the sea smooth Royalwith a great ground swell setting from the westward, Soveand the sun shining, in a beautiful manner, upon the fresh painted sides of the long line of french and spanish ships, that the Fougueux, the second astern of the Santa-Ana, whose station was a little in the rear of the centre of the combined line, opened by signal a fire upon the Royal-Sovereign, then bearing on the french ship’s larboard bow, and considerably within gun-shot; also bearing from the Victory north-west, distant about two miles, and from her own second astern, the Belleisle, about west by south three quarters of a mile. Immediately the three british admirals hoisted their respective flags, and the ships of both divisions of the fleet, the white or St.-George's ensign;
1805. a measure adopted to prevent any confusion in the
heat of battle, from a variety of national flags. As an additional mark of distinction, each british ship carried, or was ordered to carry, a union-jack at her main topmast-stay, and another at her fore topgallantstay. At the Victory's main topgallantmast-head, also, was fast belayed lord Nelson's customary signal on going into action, No. 16, “Engage the enemy more closely;" consisting of two flags, quarter red and white over blue, white, and red, or the dutch republican ensign reversed. At about the same time that the firing commenced, the ships of the combined fleet hoisted their ensigns, and the admirals, (with the exception, to which we shall presently advert, of the french commander in chief,) their flags. In addition to her ensign, every spanish ship also hung to the end of the spanker-boom a large wooden cross.
At about 10 minutes past noon, having reached a ment of position close astern of the Santa Ana, the Royalbattle Sovereign fired into her, with guns double-shotted; alsove- and with such precision as, by the subsequent acreign. knowledgment of the spanish officers, to kill or
wound (incredible as it may appear) nearly 400 of her crew, and to disable 14 of her guns. With her starboard broadside, similarly charged, the RoyalSovereign raked the Fougueux, but, owing to the distance and the smoke, with little if any effect. It was just as the Royal-Sovereign was passing between these two enemy's ships, that vice-admiral Collingwood called out to his captain: “Rotheram, what would Nelson give to be here.” And, by a singular coincidence, lord Nelson, the moment he saw his friend in his enviable position, exclaimed: “ See how that noble fellow Collingwood carries his ship into action.”
Having, in the most gallant manner, passed under
the stern of and saluted the Sənta-Ana in the way Ana.already mentioned, the Royal-Sovereign put her helm
a-starboard, and, without any difficulty, ranged close alongside of her; so close that the guns were nearly
Closes with Santa
muzzle to muzzle. Between the two three-deckers 1805. à tremendous cannonade ensued. But the Royal- Oct. Sovereign soon found that she had more than one opponent to contend with. The Fougueux, having bore up, raked her astern ; and, ahead of the english ship, at the distance of about 400 yards, lay the San-Leandro, who, wearing, raked her in that di- Critirection; while, upon the Royal-Sovereign's starboard bow and quarter, within less than 300 yards, of were the San-Justo and Indomptable; as will better Soverom appear by the following diagram:
So incessant was the fire kept up by all these ships, that the people of the Royal-Sovereign frequently saw the shots come in contact with each other. Aware, at length, of the injury which they were thus sustaining by their own cross fire, and observing that three or four british ships were fast approaching to the support of their gallant leader, the four two-deckers, one by one, drew off from the Royal-Sovereign, and left her to combat solely with the Santa-Ana; who, although in force rather more than a match for her antagonist, began already to exhibit proofs that, in practical gunnery, she was decidedly her inferior.
For upwards of 15 minutes the Royal-Sovereign was the only british ship in close action. At the
1805, end of that time, when the former had taken a pó
sition upon her opponent's lee bow, and was making Belle- the best possible use of it, the Belleisle, hauling up, isle ad- fired a broadside into the lee quarter of the Santa
Ana, and then bore away towards the Indomptable. Royal- Owing to some of the ships astern of the Fougueux reign's pressing forward to support the centre, while others relief. remained with their sails aback or shivering, the
franco-spanish line (if line we must call it) was becoming even more irregular than it had been. The slanting direction in which, on account of this movement, the british lee column was obliged to advance, enabled the ships to discharge their starboard guns at the enemy's rear; and an interchange of animated firing ensued, the smoke from which, for the want of a breeze to carry it off, spread its murky mantle over the combatants, and increased the confusion into which the rear of the combined feet had already been thrown by the crash at its centre.
Lord Nelson had already, in a two-decker, evinced french how little he dreaded coming in contact with a sparal lord nish first-rate; and even the towering and formidable son's looking four-decker at present in front of him had, object on that very occasion, been driven from her purpose tack by his well-known prowess. But, although he di
rected the Victory to be steered towards the bow of his old opponent, it was not with the intention of attacking her: a spanish rear-admiral, whatever the force of his ship, was considered an unworthy object while a french vice-admiral commanded the fleet. Lord Nelson did not feel a doubt, and the sequel proved he was correct, that M. Villeneuve was in one of the two or three ships next astern of the fourdecker; and, knowing that, to fetch a ship lying to at a distance ahead, he must keep her on his lee bow, he ordered the Victory to be steered in the manner just related.
Although every glass on board the Victory was put in requisition to discover the flag of the french commander in chief, all the answers to the repeated