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1805, Digby had voluntarily engaged so superior a force, Oct. proves that, although but

a 64, the Africa had

performed as gallant a part as any ship in the british mage, line. The Orion, who came so opportunely to the Orion, aid of the Africa, had her foremast wounded, and

her maintopsail yard and main topgallantmast shot
away. The loss on board the Orion, however,
amounted to only one seaman killed, and two mid-
shipmen, (Charles Tause and Charles P. Cable, both
slightly,) 17 seamen, and four marines wounded.

It was at about 2 h. 30 m. P. M. that the whole of van put the franco-spanish van, except the Santisima-Triniabout. dad, who lay dismasted abreast and to-leeward of

the Bucentaure, equally a wreck and either a prize
or in the act of becoming one, began to put about,
some by staying, others by wearing, in obedience to
a signal made by the commander in chief at 1 h. 50 m.
P. M. to the following purport: “The french fleet,
engaging to-windward or to-leeward, orders the
ships which, from their present position, are not en-
gaging, to take such a position as will bring them
the most quickly into action." “ L'armée navale
française, combattant au vent ou sous le vent, ordre
aux vaisseaux qui, par leur position actuelle, ne
combattant pas, d'en prendre une quelconque, qui
les reporte le plus promptement possible au feu.”*
It appears that, five minutes before, rear-admiral
Dumanoir had signalled the commander in chief,
that the van had no enemy to contend with.

According to the admiral's previous instructions to difter his captains, the above signal was to be considered in the as casting a stigma upon those to whom it was ad

dressed.t At all events no immediate attempt was
made by the generality of the ships to comply with
the signal, and those that were the most prompt in
obeying it were bafiled by the calm state of the
weather. The Formidable, and one or two of the
other ships, had to employ their boats to tow them-

* Victoires et Conquêtes, tome xvi. p. 173.
+ See p. 14.





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selves round. Hence the manoeuvre was slow, par- 1805, tial, and imperfect. When the 10 ships did at Oct. length get on the starboard tack, five, (four french M. Duand one spanish,) under rear-admiral Dumanoir, manoir hauled their wind, and the remaining five kept away, his as if to join admiral Gravina, then to-leeward of the wind, rear, in the act of making off.

It was in the height of all this confusion in the combined van, that the Britannia, Agamemnon, Orion, and Ajax got intermingled among the french and spanish ships, which had wore and edged away in the manner related. The Britannia appears to have Britanbeen engaged, a short tine, with the San-Franciscode-Asis, and subsequently with the Rayo threedecker. It was considered on board the Britannia, that the ship she engaged, after the San-Franciscode-Asis, was the french Neptune, with “a tier of guns on her gangway.” Owing to the obscurity occasioned by the smoke, and to the want of wind to blow out the flags, a mistake respecting the colours might easily be made; and certainly the Neptune had no guns on her gangway, but was a regular 80, similar to the Bucentaure.

The Agamemnon and Ajax also exchanged a few broadsides with some of the ships that had bore up; and the Orion, as already stated, was the first, after the Africa, that became closely engaged with the Intrépide. The latter and the Šan-Augustin were the only ships of the five, that seemed to have any other object in view than a retreat. The San-Franciscode-Asis might reasonably have declined closing with the Britannia; but the Héros appears to have had no three-decker opposed to her, although she probably was one of the ships that raked the british Neptune, after the latter had silenced the SantisimaTrinidad The Héros had her captain killed, but Loss to sustained no other loss of consequence, and very and slight damage. What loss the Rayo suffered is not Rayo. known; but she did undoubtedly incur a loss, and had her masts and rigging tolerably wounded and cut up.


Loss to


mein. non.

M. Du


1805. The Britannia, with some slight damage to her

masts and still less to her hull, had one lieutenant

(Francis Roskruge,) eight seamen, and one marine Britan- killed, her master, (Stephen Trounce,) one midship

man, (William Grant,) 33 seamen, and seven marines Also to wounded. The Ajax was very slightly damaged, Ajax and had only two seamen killed and nine wounded. Aga- The principal damages sustained by the Agamemnon

was a large hole below the quarter, probably from a shot fired by one of M. Dumanoir's ships. In consequence of this the ship made four feet water an hour: her loss consisted of only two seamen killed and seven wounded.

The five french and spanish ships which hauled to noir's the wind, after wearing in the manner already stated,

were the Formidable, commanded by rear-admiral Dumanoir, Duguay-Trouin, Mont-Blanc, Scipion, and Neptuno. The very british ships that, from their disabled state, were calculated to offer the least opposition, having little or no sail to force them toleeward, lay nearest to the track of M. Dumanoir's squadron. Among those the Victory, Téméraire, and Royal-Sovereign were the most exposed. The Victory, with her mizen topmast gone, lay with her head to the northward, having the Bucentaure, a mere hulk, a point or two on her weather bow, two or three ships' lengths off, and the Santisima-Trinidad, another hulk, at a somewhat greater distance on her lee bow. At about three quarters of a mile astern of the Victory, or rather upon her weather quarter, lay the Téméraire with her two prizes. The head of the Téméraire, and of the Redoutable also, whose mainmast still held her fast to the former, was pointed to the southward ; and her crew were busied in booming off the Fougueux from her starboard side, to be ready to salute the french ships as they passed. The Royal-Sovereign, with only her foremast standing, lay a short distance astern and to-leeward of the Téméraire, in the act of being towed clear of her dismasted prize, the Santa-Ana,

by the Euryalus frigate. The relative position of 1805. all these ships will perhaps be better understood by Oct. the following diagram ; which, however, as respects some of its details, is not given with quite so much confidence as the generality of the others.

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Among the first shots fired by M. Dumanoir's ships, Disafter they had put about, was one that killed two of tressthe Conqueror's lieutenants. The manner in which cident this fatal accident happened is as extraordinary as to the it was distressing.

Lieutenant William M. St.- queror. George, third of the ship, while passing lieutenant Robert Lloyd, who was first, good-humouredly tapped him on the shoulder and gave him joy of his approaching epaulet as a commander. Just as lieutenant St.-George, having moved on a step or two and turned his face round, was in the act of smiling

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1805. on his friend, a cannon-shot took off the head of the Oct. latter, and struck the former senseless on the deck.

In passing the Victory, M. Dumanoir's squaEffects dron, having kept away a little for the purpose, exDuma- changed a few distant and ineffectual shot with her. noir's By the time the van-ship, the Formidable, had arupon rived abreast of the Téméraire, the latter had sucFour, ceeded in clearing her starboard broadside of the

Fougueux, who now lay 'athwart the Téméraire's
stern, with her head to the eastward, and conse-
quently with her stern exposed to the raking fire of
the enemy. One or two broadsides were exchanged
between the Téméraire and the ships to-windward;
and the fire from the latter cut away the main and
mizen masts of the Fougueux, and killed and
wounded some of her people. One shot also shattered
the leg of a midshipman belonging to the Téméraire,
who had been sent on board the Redoutable to assist
lieutenant Wallace, and who died the same evening,
after having undergone amputation by the french

A great deal of odium has been cast by the eng-
lish journals, and even by grave historical works,
upon rear-admiral Dumanoir, for having fired upon
the french and spanish prizes in his passage to-wind-

ward of the fleets. Admitting the inutility of the blam- act to be an argument (its “barbarity” is none, be. for it. cause the prisoners ought to have been stationed

below) against the propriety of its adoption, it surely
was the duty of the french admiral to fire at, and
injure as much as he could, the different british
ships within the reach of his guns. In his letter to
the editor of the Gibraltar Chronicle, whose gross
inaccuracy on another point we shall soon have to
expose, M. Dumanoir positively denies that he in-
tentionally fired at the prizes; but how, let us ask,
was it possible for the shot to pass clear of them,
when, in some instances, they lay within less than
their own length of, and, in others, absolutely masked,
the ships that had captured them?

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