Page images
PDF
EPUB

came to an anchor, with springs on her cables, at 1807; the entrance of the harbour, and began the attack. ‘o A smart fire was returned by the battery and ship- Anping; but which, after an hour's continuance, began chors' to abate. Perceiving this, captain Mundy despatched ...", a division of his boats, with 50 seamen and marines, trance under the command of lieutenant Edward O'Brien ..." Drury, second of the ship, assisted by lieutenants bour. of marines John Hayes and Edward Pengelly, midshipman John Finlayson, and captain's clerk (a volunteer) Robert Hendrick Goddard, with orders to land on the flank of the enemy, and drive him, from the battery. Notwithstanding the heavy fire 5. kept up by the Hydra, the detachments became . exposed to a cross discharge of langridge from the #: shipping and fort, and of musketry from the rocks. *y Unshaken, however, the British advanced ; and, having mounted the cliff, which was of most difficult access, attacked the fort with so much intrepidity, that the enemy, having pool the guns, consisting of four long 24-pounders, rushed out on one side, as the Hydra's officers and men entered at the other. ** This gallant achievement enabled the Hydra to direct her fire solely at the vessels, which still maintained a steady cannonade upon the party on shore. Leaving lieutenant Hayes and nearly the whole of the marines in charge of the guns in the battery, with orders to occupy the heights which commanded the decks of the vessels, as well as the opposite side of the harbour, where the enemy was numerously posted, lieutenant Drury, with the remainder of the marines and the whole of the seamen of his division, advanced towards the town. As soon as Enters the town was cleared, the french crews abandoned on. their vessels, and, formed in groups among the rocks and bushes, fired on the seamen, as the latter, having seized the boats on the beach, were boarding the polacres. Meanwhile another party of french sailors,

having gained a height above lieutenant Hayes

1897; and his men, annoyed the latter excessively, not. As withstanding that some of the Hydra's guns kept Ploog upon the spot. w $. y 3 h. 30 m. P. M. lieutenant Drury was in complete the po- possession of the vessels; and the seamen, with * characteristic intrepidity and coolness, deliberately carried out hawsers to the very rocks occupied by the enemy, and continued warping out their prizes in the teeth of a fresh breeze, and in defiance of a galling fire of musketry. On seeing this, captain Mundy despatched his third lieutenant, James Little, with the remainder of the boats, to assist lieutenant Drury and his little party; and at 4 P. M. the three prizes rounded the point of the harbour. The marines then reembarked, under a heavy discharge of musketry from the enemy, who had collected his whole force to harass the british rear. ... The captured polacres were the ship. Prince-El. and gene, of 16 guns and 130 men, brig Belle-Caroline, * of 12 guns and 40 men, both belonging to Marseille, and brig Carmen-de-Rosario, of four guns and 40 jo. men. Among the fortunate circumstances, attending ion, this very spirited and well-conducted enterprise, was that it was achieved with so slight a loss, as one seaman killed and two wounded on board the Hydra, and Mr. Goddard and three seamen and marines wounded of the detachment on shore. The frigate's damages, also, were confined to a few shot in the hull, slightly-wounded fore and mizen topmasts and foretopsail yard, and some trifling injury to her rigging. The name of lieutenant Drury, in the list of commanders at the latter part of the year 1807, shows that his gallantry met its due reward. #. On the 18th of August the british 18-gun shipon sloop Confiance, captain James Lucas Yeo, cruising ... within a few miles of Guardia on the coast of Porfrom tugal, received information that a lugger privateer * was in that port. It being calm, captain Yeo deforts, spatched, to out the vessel out, the boats of the Confiance, under lieutenant William Hovenden Walker,

assisted by master's mate Massey Hutchinson Her-1807, bert and midshipman George Forder. Although of the privateer was moored under two forts, one of four 24-pounders and the other of six 18-pounders, with 150 troops stationed at them, and that both the latter and the forts opened a heavy fire upon the boats long before they reached the vessel, lieutenant Walker and his party, in the most gallant manner, boarded and carried her, without the slightest loss. She proved to be the Reitrada, of one long 12 and two 4 pounders, with a crew of 30 men; one of whom was killed, and several wounded: the remainder leaped overboard and effected their escape. On the 25th of August the british 38-gun frigate Ho Clyde, captain Edward William Campbell Richiji Qwen, cruising off the french coast between Ypontando. Fécamp, despatched her boats, under the orders of.” lieutenantThomas Strong,to interceptacoasting sloop . passing along the shore #. the westward. As soon a batas she found the boats in pursuit of her, the sloop ran “” on shore near Ypont; where she was defended by a battery, also by two parties of men with musketry, one stationed on the beach, the other on the cliffs, and by a field-piece and a mortar. Notwithstanding the opposition thus experienced, lieutenant so and his party boarded and floated the sloop; and, although the boats were struck in several places, and were forced by the strength of the tide to tow the sloop within point-blank shot of the batteries at Fécamp, not a man of the British was hurt. On the 23d of August, at 8 h. 30 m. P. M., while Wor the 18-gun brig-sloop Weasel, captain John Clavell, narrow was lying becalmed within five or six miles of the . harbour of Corfu, waiting for one of her boats, which, about an hour before, she had detached to the town, an officer of the russian navy came on board from Mr. Kirk, the late british consul at Corfu, with information that a french garrison was in possession of the island. The brig, thus fortunately apprized of her danger, immediately made the signal

1807, of recall to her boat, and repeated it with several ‘o guns. At length the boat returned; and at 10 P.M. the Weasel crowded sail for the north passage, intending to proceed direct to Malta with the intelligence which had reached her at so critical a moment. On the 24th, at 3 h. 30 m. A. M., the brig observed three trabacculos working in between Corfu and some adjacent rocks. Supposing the vessels to contain french troops, the Weasel fired a shot at them, and eventually compelled all three vessels to run on shore among the rocks, where they must have been Drives considerably damaged. Observing three othertrabac...re culos just outside the rocks, the Weasel made sail :... after, and at 5 A.M. captured them. The prizes were j found to have on board between them 25s french sol. : diers,commanded by colonel Devilliers, going as a retures inforcement to the garrison of Corfu. Captain Clavell ... took on board the brig, for their better accommodawith tion, the french colonel and his family, and several * other officers; and, for the safety of the Weasel and her little crew, he caused the arms and ammunition of his numerous prisoners to be also brought on board. *... On the same afternoon, having hoisted french cocourier jū" lours by way of a decoy, the Weasel captured ... another small vessel, having on board a courier *"with despatches and a party of 20 french soldiers. This vessel, being of no value, was destroyed; as, for the same reason, was one of the trabacculos, With the remaining two in tow, the Weasel made sail for Malta, and on the 29th anchored in Valetta harbour. No small share of credit was due to captain Clavell for his address, as well in capturing the prizes, as in overawing and keeping in subjection, for the cart space of six days, upwards of 280 male prisoners, Bron- with a crew, admitting all the Weasel’s complement ** to have been on board, of only 120 men and boys.

[ocr errors]

o: There being no gazette account of this affair, we j freely confess, that it would have entirely escaped

us but for the notice taken of it by a contemporary. 1807. Whether or not our contemporary’s account, when we came to search the Weasel’s log-book for particulars, caused us any disappointment, will appear by a reference to the account itself. “After the peace of Tilsit, the Russians gave up Corfu to the French. A garrison was despatched to take possession of it, but meeting with captain Clavell, in the Weazel brig of war, the whole force was defeated and taken by that officer.” On the 1st of October, in the morning, as the French british Leeward-island packet Windsor-Castle, act-É." ing captain William Rogers, was in latitude 13° 53'.” north, longitude 58° 1' west, on her passage to windBarbadoes with the mails, a privateer was seen ... approaching under all sail. The packet used her packet. utmost exertions to escape; but, finding it impossible, began to prepare herself for making a stout resistance. At noon the schooner got within gunshot, hoisted french colours, and opened her #. which was immediately returned from the chase-guns of the Windsor-Castle. This was continued until the privateer came near, when she hailed the packet in very opprobrious terms, and desired her to strike her colours. On meeting a prompt refusal, the of schooner ran alongside, grappled the packet, and of attempted to board. In this the Frenchmen were "P" unexpectedly defeated by the pikes of the packet's board. crew, and sustained a loss of eight or 10 in killed and wounded. The privateer now endeavoured to cut away the grapplings and get clear; but the packet's main yard, being locked in the schooner's rigging, held her fast. Great exertions continued to be made on both sides; and captain Rogers evinced considerable judgment and zeal in ordering a part of his men to shift the mails as circumstances required, or to cut them away in case the privateer should succeed in

* Brenton, vol. iv. p. 159. WOL, IV, 2 K

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »