Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

Oct.

into Cadiz; making, as the result of the first day's 1805.
proceedings, nine french, (including one burnt,) and
nine spanish, sail of the line captured, total 18, and
nine french, and six spanish, sail of the line escaped,
total 15: of which latter number four french ships
got away to the southward, and ll, five of them
french and six spanish, and most of the ships much
shattered, with all the frigates and brigs, reached
the bay of Cadiz.

So far as to the collective operations of the two Indivi-
fleets in the Trafalgar battle. Our attention is now details.
due to the individual exertions of the ships on each
side; and we shall proceed to give the most accurate
account that our researches, far and near, have
enabled us to obtain, taking the british ships of each
division, in the order in which, according to the best
judgment to be formed from the variety of times
noted down in their logs, they successively got into
action.

The Royal-Sovereign we left just as, after 15 minutes of close action with three or four ships, the Belleisle had come to her relief. The latter, passing on to the eastward, left the Royal-Sovereign upon Boyal the Santa-Ana's starboard bow. In a short time the reign. spanish three-decker lost her mizen topmast; and, at the end of about an hour and a quarter from the commencement of the combat, her three masts fell over the side. At about 2 h. 15 m. P. M., after a hot, and, with the exception of the Belleisle's broadside, Fender an uninterrupted, engagement between the two ships of from 10 minutes past noon, the Santa-Ana struck to the Royal-Sovereign.

This occurrence took place just as the mizenmast of the Royal-Sovereign came down, and when her fore and main masts, from their shattered condition, were ready to follow it. No sooner, indeed, did the Royal-Sovereign, in order to put herself a little to rights, move a short distance ahead of her prize, mage to than her mainmast fell over on the starboard side, Soya. tearing off two of the lowerdeck ports. The fore- reign,

Santa-
Ana.

Da

French accounts.

[ocr errors]

wood.

he says,

1805. mast, having been shot through in several places,
wood and stripped of nearly the whole of its rigging, was

left in a tottering state. Hence the english three-
decker was reduced to almost, if not quite, as un-
manageable a state as the spanish three-decker,
which she had so gallantly fought and captured.

The french accounts say: "Le vaisseau la Santa-
Ana, vaillamment attaqué par l'amiral Collingwood,
fut non moins vaillamment défendu par le vice-amiral
Alava ; mais, accablé par le nombre, il dut céder.”*
And yet, out of the 26 remaining british ships, no
ship, except the Belleişle, and that with merely a
broadside in passing, asserts that she fired into the

Santa-Ana. Here is the proper place to notice the Modes- modesty with which vice-admiral Collingwood, in t-efm. his official despatch, refers to the part taken by his Colling own ship. “The commander in chief in the Victory,”

“ led the weather column, and the Royal-
Sovereign, which bore my flag, the lee. The action
began at 12 o'clock by the leading ships of the co-
lumns breaking through the enemy's line, the com-
mander in chief about the tenth ship from the van,
the second in command about the twelfth from the
rear, &c.” The Royal-Sovereign is not again men-
tioned, except in reference to matters that occurred
subsequently to the battle.

The loss sustained by the Royal-Sovereign was
Royal -
Sove, tolerably severe: she had one lieutenant, (Brice
loss. Gilliland,) her master, (William Chalmers,) one

[ocr errors]

lieutenant of marines, (Robert Green,) two midshipmen, (John Aikenhead and Thomas Braund,) 29 seamen, and 13 marines killed, two lieutenants, (John Clavell and James Bashford,) one lieutenant of marines, (James le Vesconte,) one master's mate, (William Watson,) four midshipmen, (Gilbert Kennicott, Grenville Thompson, John Farrant, and John Campbell,) her boatswain, (Isaac Wilkinson,) 69 seamen, and 16 marines wounded.

* Victoires et Conquêtes, tome xvi. p. 179.

Oct.

oppo- Santa

loss.

Respecting the Santa-Ana's loss in killed and 1805. wounded, nothing. is known beyond the amount already specified as the alleged effect of her nent's raking fire. That the spanish ship's loss must Ana's have been uncommonly severe may be inferred, as well from the length and closeness of the action, as from the fact, that her starboard side was nearly beaten in by the Royal-Sovereign's shot. Among the Santa-Ana’s dangerously, if not mortally wounded, was vice-admiral Alava; and it was understood that her killed and wounded comprised a great proportion of officers.

After having, for the space of 20 minutes, sus- Belletained the tremendous fire opened by the rear of isle. the combined line, and after having suffered, in consequence, a loss of between 50 and 60 men in killed and wounded, the Belleisle, at about a quarter past noon, exchanged a few shot with the Monarca, and passed through the line abreast of the Fougueux, then distantly raking the Royal-Sovereign. In hauling up on the larboard tack, the Belleisle was enabled, owing to the advanced position of the latter, to pour a full broadside into the lee quarter of the Santa-Ana. Bearing away a little, the Belleisle then passed close astern of the Indomptable; who, quickly wearing, exchanged a few broadsides with her, and then bore up to the south-east. In the mean time the Belleisle was engaged with a spanish ship, the San-Juan Nepomuceno, at some distance on her starboard beam. At about 45 minutes past noon the Belleisle's main topmast was shot away; and, as the isle's enemy's rear ships were now pressing forward to support the centre, her situation became extremely tion. critical

At 1 P. M. the Fougueux ranged up in the smoke on the Belleisle's starboard beam, and struck her at the gangway with her larboard bow, rolliug at the same time with her fore yard over the british ship’s quarterdeck. The Fougueux immediately began engaging the Belleisle, and in 10 minutes

Belle

critical situa

[blocks in formation]

1805, shot away her mizenmast about six feet above the Octo deck, the wreck falling over the larboard quarter.

In about 10 minutes more, on the Mars beginning to engage her, the Fougueux, who had received a smart fire from the Belleisle's aftmost

guns, dropped astern and hauled to the northward. At 1 h. 30 m. P. M. the french Achille came ranging past the stern of the Belleisle, then with her head a little to the southward of east, and stationed herself on the latter's larboard quarter. In this position, the Achille kept up a steady fire, with comparative impunity, on account of the wreck of the Belleisle's mizenmast masking her aftermost guns. Meanwhile the Aigle, having replaced the San-Juan, was distantly cannonading the british ship on the starboard side; and the San-Justo and San-Leandro, as they stood athwart the bows of the Belleisle to join admiral Gravina in the rear, opened a passing fire.

Thus in a manner surrounded, the Belleisle soon

had her rigging and sails cut to pieces, and at 2 h. ly dis- 10 m. P. M. lost her mainmast about four feet above

the deck; the wreck of which fell upon the break of the poop, while the topmast, with the yards, sails, and shrouds, hung over upon the larboard side, where already lay the wreck of the mizenmast. Her larboard guns thus completely covered by wreck, the Belleisle was prevented from returning by a single shot the Achille's animated and destructive fire. At 2 h. 30 m. P. M., driven from her capital station upon the bows of the Victory and Téméraire, by the approach of the Leviathan, the french Neptune placed herself across the starboard bow of the Belleisle; and at 2 h. 45 m. the foremast and bowsprit of the latter, still engaged by two other ships, were shot away by the board.

At 3 h. 15 m. P. M. the Polyphemus interposed lieved herself between the Belleisle and Neptune. In friends. five minutes more the Defiance took off the fire

of the Aigle ; and at 3 h. 25 m. P. M. the Swiftsure, passing astern of the Belleisle, commenced engaging

Belleisle. entire

masted

Re

the Achille, who about this time lost her main and 1805. mizen topmasts. As the Swiftsure passed close Oct. under the Belleisle’s stern the two ships cheered each other; and to signify that, notwithstanding her dismasted and shattered state, the Belleisle still remained unconquered, a union-jack was suspended at the end of a pike and held up to view, while an ensign was being made fast to the stump of her mizenmast. Thus, by the timely arrival of her friends, saved from being crushed by the overwhelming force around her, the Belleisle ceased firing. Observing soon afterwards on his larboard beam a spanish two-decker that had already surrendered, captain Hargood sent the master, Mr. William Hudson, and lieutenant Owen of the marines, (who volunteered although wounded,) in the only remaining boat, the pinnace, and took possession of the 80-gun ship Argonauta. The position of Capthe Belleisle, at the time she was so fortunately Argorelieved, we have endeavoured to illustrate by the nauta. following diagram.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

The Belleisle's hull was knocked almost to pieces: Deboth sides of it were about equally damaged. Ports, &c. to port-timbers, channels, chain-plates, all exhibited Belleunequivocal marks of the terrible mauling she had received. Her three masts and bowsprit, as we

isle,

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »