Page images

1811. Néreide, between whom and the Astrea a distant and

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

partial cannonade was maintained. The Racehorse did begin sweeping, but stopped to engage long before her shot could reach the french frigate; and, in consequence, the Astrea made the brig's signal to engage more closely, and, as it was never answered, kept it flying. Owing to the leeward position of the Galatea, and the efforts of the Phoebe, by backing her sails, to support her consort, these two ships lay nearly abreast of each other, in the manner represented in the following diagram:

[ocr errors][merged small]

On the starboard quarter of the Phoebe lay the Renommée, and on her starboard bow the Néréide; who had just cleared herself from the Astrea and Racehorse, then upwards of a mile and a half ahead of their two consorts, and like them in an ungovernable state for the want of wind. At 6h. 30 m. P. M. a light air from the south-east enabled the Phoebe, who had hitherto been able only to bring her bow guns to bear on the Néréide and her quarter ones on the Renommée, as the swell hove her off and brought her to, to close the Néréide in a raking position; and whom, at the end of 25 minutes, the Phoebe completely silenced, but was then obliged to quit, as the Renommée and Clorinde were fast approaching to the support of their nearly overpowered consort.

These two frigates, in the mean time, having kept their broadsides to bear by the aid of their boats, had

terribly battered the Galatea. The cutter of the 1811. latter having been cut adrift by a shot while towing o' astern, the jollyboat was got ready to tow the ship's c.

head round; but a shot sank her just as the tow-rope cal was being handed on board, and, scarcely were the .

tackles got up to hoist out a third boat, when a shot latea. carried away the foreyard tackle. Some seamen

now got sweeps out of the head; and at length the

Galatea was enabled to open her broadside upon her two antagonists, particularly upon the Renommée, who received the greater portion of her fire. About this time, as already mentioned, a light breeze sprang up; and, while the Renommée and Clorinde made sail to support the Néréide, the Galatea, with her masts much wounded, and her hull greatly shattered, hauled towards the Astrea and Racehorse, and at 8 P. M. ceased firing. At 8 h. 30 m. P. M., just as the Galatea, under a press of sail, was passing to-leeward of the Astrea, and captain Losack had hailed captain Schomberg, to say that his ship had suffered considerably, the Galatea's fore topmast fell over the larboard bow and the mizen topmast upon the main yard. Having at this time three feet Gala10 inches water in the hold, her foremast, main yard, ...” main topmast, and bowsprit badly wounded, and . her rigging of every sort cut to pieces, the Galatea. hailed the Racehorse for assistance, and captain tinue De Rippe sent on board a midshipman and 10 on. men. Captain Losack then made the night-signal of distress to the commodore. The Astrea immediately closed the Galatea; and, hailing, was informed, that the latter was in too disabled a state to put her head towards the enemy and renew the action. The Astrea then wore round on the larboard tack; Astrea and captain Schomberg ordered the Racehorse to ...he follow him closely, as he intended to renew the make action as soon as the Phoebe was in a state to give . her support. This frigate was promptly reported ready; and at about 8 h. 25 m. P. M. the Astrea,

Phoebe, and Racehorse bore up towards the enemy,

1811, whose lights were then visible in the west-north-west.

M. It appears that, after the Renommée and Clorinde.

had obliged the Phoebe to quit the Néréide, the latter, on account of her disabled state, was ordered by the commodore to make for the land; while the Renommée, followed by her remaining consort, hauled up in line of battle to renew the engagement. Shortly afterwards the Clorinde lost a man overboard, and, in bringing to to pick him up, necessarily dropped astern of her leader. Captain Roquebert, however, in the most gallant manner, stood on his course, and at 9 h. 50 m. P. M. came to close action with the Astrea, whom, with a heavy fire of round, grape, and musketry, the Renommée attempted to lay athwart hawse; but, aware of the numerical superiority of her opponent, the Astrea avoided coming in Re- contact. After an animated cannonade of about 25 ... minutes, during which the Phoebe fired a few raking on-shot at the Renommée, and the Racehorse discharged " a whole broadside directly between the masts of the Astrea, and set her mainsail on fire, the french ship made the signal of surrender. Captain Hillyar now ordered the Racehorse to take possession of the Renommée ; but the brig, just at this moment losing her fore topmast from a wound it had received, was unable to do so. Captain Schomberg then sent on board the prize, in a sinking boat, lieutenant Charles Royer,” lieutenant of marines John Drury, and five seamen; and the Astrea and Phoebe made all sail Clo; after the Clorinde, who had shamefully kept aloof ... during her commodore's gallant action, and was now off under a press of canvass on the larboard tack, endeavouring to effect her escape. Alleg: . Captain Schomberg says: “Another frigate, on : closing, struck, and made the signal also ; but, on ; : a shot being fired at her from her late commodore, * she was observed trying to escape;” and, in another place, “The ship that struck and escaped was La

* Called Rogers in the gazette-letter.

Clorinde.” Nothing of this appears in the french 1811. accounts. On the contrary, the complaint there is, 'o.' that the Clorinde avoided closing. If we are of opinion that the french ship did not surrender, it is not because the french captain has said so, but a because we cannot discover that the Clorinde was . so pressed, as to render such a step necessary. That ope will be more apparent, when we come to state her Area loss. Moreover it was dark; and our experience ... in investigating accounts has taught us, that mistakes disconof the kind are frequently made, even where the ." action is fought in broad daylight. The chase chase. of the Clorinde was continued until 2 A. M. on the 21st; when, finding that, on account of the perfect state of her rigging and sails, the Clorinde gained considerably on the Astrea and Phoebe, the two latter wore, to cover the captured ship, and form a junction with the Galatea. At this moment the fore topmast of the Phoebe, from the wounds it had received, fell over the side. The principal damages of the Astrea were in her Dasails and rigging, and they were not material. Out . of her complement, (admitting all to have been on british board, which we rather think was not the case,) of" 271 men and boys, she had two seamen killed, her first lieutenant, (John Baldwin,) 11 seamen, three marines, and one boy wounded; total, two killed and 16 wounded. The Phoebe, besides the loss of her fore topmast, had her three masts and bowsprit badly wounded, her sails and rigging much cut, and her hull struck in several places; and her loss, out of a complement the same as the Astrea's, consisted of seven seamen killed, one midshipman, (John Wilkey, severely,) 21 seamen, (one mortally and nine severely,) and two marines wounded; total, seven killed and 24 wounded. The disabled state of the Galatea's masts and rigging has already been described. The ship had 55 shot-holes in her hull, 29 on the starboard and 26 on the larboard side; and her stern was also much shattered. Her loss,

1811, out of a complement the same as that of either of M. her consorts, was her first lieutenant of marines, (Hugh Peregrine,) eight seamen, and five private marines killed, her captain with a lacerated wound by a splinter, but his name does not appear in the official return, second lieutenant of marines, (Henry Lewis,) 14 seamen, (two mortally,) five private

marines, severely, and her first lieutenant, (Thomas

Bevis,) two midshipmen, (Henry Williams and Alexander Henning,) 17 seamen, four private marines, and three boys slightly wounded; total, 16 killed and 46 wounded. The Racehorse, notwithstanding that some chance shot had knocked away her fore topmast, appears to have escaped without any loss. o ith respect to the french ships, the Renommée, side, according to the french official account, sustained a loss, out of a complement, including troops, of 470 officers and men, of 93 killed and wounded. Among the former, was her gallant captain, M. Roquebert, and among the severely wounded, colonel Barrois, the senior officer of the troops; also her first lieutenant, Louis-Auguste Defredot-Duplanty, who only went below to have his wound dressed, and fought the ship in the bravest manner. The Néréide, upon the same authority, had her captain. and 24 seamen, marines, and soldiers killed, and 32 wounded; and the Clorinde, occasioned probably by the fire of the Galatea when the latter got her * broadside to bear, had one man killed and six

wounded. The british official account states the

| killed and wounded of the Renommée at 145, and

o that of the Néréide at 130.

| #." The relative force of the parties in this contest force requires a few observations. The three british fri#. gates were all of the same class, and of nearly | the same size, the Astrea measuring 956, the Phoebe

926, and the Galatea 945 tons. The forecastle and | quarterdeck establishment of the Astrea and Galatea was, 14 carronades, 32-pounders, and two long nines, making the total number of guns 42. The

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »