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The Fortitude had several men killed and wounded. The tower was carried a few days afterwards by means of batteries etected on the Heights ; and in the evening of the 17th of February, the enemy's works of Fornelli were stormed, and the town of St. Fiorenzo was taken.
Lord Hood, impatient to follow up the blow immediately, by attempting the reduction of Bastia, proposed a plan of co-operation to General Dundas, which he declined; deeming it impracticable, and visionary, without a reinforcement of 2000 troops which he expected from Gibraltar. Lord Hood therefore sailed on the evening of the 23d of February, to try what the appearance of his fleet alone off Bastia might produce. Here, with his usual cool perseverance, he cruised for a fortnight, gaining intelligence for his future plans; and, finding that the General mained inflexible, he determined to attempt the reduction of Bastia with the naval force entrusted to his command; he therefore demanded that the remains of the uth, 25th, 30th, and 69th regiments, might immediately return to their duty, on board their respective ships, in which they had been originally ordered by his Majesty to serve as marines; and were consequently borne as part of the complements of these ships. After much delay, having received these troops, and also two officers of artillery and thirty men, with some ordnance stores, and entrenching tools, in the beginning of April Admiral Lord Hood commenced the siege of Bastia alone, by disembarking the seamen, and troops serving as marines, to the northward of the town; the guns, mortars, ammunition, and stores of every description, were landed, whilst the ships of the ficet were judiciously anchored in a semicircular form, just without reach of the enemy's guns; so as effe&tually to prevent any boats from going into, or coming out from the town. On the nth of April, our batteries on the Heights were ready to be opened, and on that morning Lord Hood sent a summons to the town; but the French General La Combe St. Michell would not receive his letter, and returned a vaunting message, that the only
correspondence he should hold with an enemy on the Republican territory, would be from the mouths of his cannon charged with red-hot shot, and from the musquetry, and bayonets, of his brave companions.
When the officer returned on board the Victory with this message, Lord Hood made the appointed signal to the batteries on shore, to commence the attack; which, to the great consternation of La Combe Saint Michell, and the inhabitants, was immediately done, by opening the batteries, consisting of five 24 pounders, two mortars of thirteen inch caliber, two of ten inch, and two heavy carronades, in different commanding situations, over the town, citadel, and out works.
The Proselyte, French gabarre, commanded by Capt. Sericold *, having long French 12 pounders, was directed to be placed against part of the town, when the batteries opened their fire; but on getting under weigh, and coming to anchor, the swell cast her the wrong way, which pre, vented Capt. Sericold from taking the precise station that had been allotted. The enemy fired nothing but red-hot shot at her, several of which struck between wind and water, lodging among the casks, and other craft in the hold. The signal of distress was immediately made; but Capt. Sericold, notwithstanding his danger, continued to keep up an incessant fire, with fourteen guns, upon the town, until the boats of the squadron came to his assistance, and took the men out of bis ship, which soon was in a blaze of fire.
The batteries, which opened so unexpectedly, had a powerful effect ; as by information from the town, on the 24th of April, the enemy lost a great number of men ; in * the hospitals were near 300 wounded ;-at this time we had only four killed and twenty-one wounded. The loss of the British, owing to the skill of their Commander, was very triling during the whole siege; but the service was extremely harrassing, and dangerous.
* This gallant officer was afterwards killed on shore at the sicge of Calvi.
Captain Nelson, of the Agamemnon (now Lord Nelson), commanded a brigade of seamen on shore, at the batteries, having three other captains under him,-Hunt, Sericold, and Bullen : on this occasion, as on all others, he gave distinguished proofs of zeal and intrepidity.
At length, on the 21st of May, the town and citadel of Bastia, with the several posts on the Heights, surrendered to the arms of his Britannic Majesty, by articles of capitulation, drawn up and signed by the respective parties. The number of French and Corsican troops amounted to near 4,000 ; whilst the greatest return of the British force, employed during the siege, amounted only to 1,248*. A packet-boat, intercepted by the Agamemnon, Capt. Nelson, two months previous to the commencement of the siege, contained the information, that from La Combe St. Michell's return of the French, and Corsican troops, then in Bastia, and for which he proposed subsistence in case of a siege, they amounted to 8,000. These facts completely contradict the vague assertions of M. Dumouriez, in his pamphlet, entitled “ A Speculative Sketch of Europe," wherein he affirms that the British are unequal to the toils, and delays of a siege ; and have neither generals, engineers, nor a battering train: we need only, in refutation, apply the reasoning of the author of the Strictures upon Dumourier's pamphlet; “ How was the strong and well fortified town of Bastia taken ?-By a detachment of British seamen, and marines, or soldiers alting as such, inferior in number to the garrison of regularly disciplined troops; and who had no tents but such as were made of sails, and no other battering train than THE LOWER DECK GUNS OF LINE OF BATTLE SHIPS." The vote of thanks to Lord Hood, for this astonishing exploit, which
* Correct return of the British force employed at the siege of Bastia, com. mencing April 4, and ending May 21, 1794.-1 lieutenant-colonel, 4 captains of the navy, 1 major, 2 artillery officers, 1 engineer, 12 captains of the army, and marines, 6 lieutenants of the navy, 21 lieutenants of the army, and marines, 5 ensigns, 2 surgeons, a commissary, and master's mate, 69 surgeon's mates, serjeants, and petty officers, 30 artillerymen, and 1092 soldiers, marines, and kamen. Total, 1248.
had been deemed iinpracticable, and visionary, by an able officer, General Dundas, was carried in both Houses of Parliament by a great majority. The Duke of Bedford, the Earls Albemarle, Lauderdale, Derby, and Thanet, entered their protest against it.
Whilst we are faithfully narrating the distinguished services of Admiral Lord Hood, we must not forget to notice that praise, which he gave so zealously, yet impartially, to those who fought, and conquered under his auspices. Few men have ever equalled his Lordship in the difficult task of rendering, with animated gratitude,
“ The suffrage of the wise, the praise that's worth ambition !"" “ I am unable (says Lord Hood in his letter to the Admiralty) to give due praise to the unremitting zeal, exertion, and judicious conduct of Lizut. Colonel Villettes, who had the honour of commanding bis Majesty's troops ;--never was either more conspicuous. Major Brereton, and every officer, and soldier, under the lieutenant colonel's orders, are justly entitled to my warmest acknowledgments ; their persevering ardour, and desire to distinguish themselves, cannot be too highly spoken of; and which it will be iny pride to remember to the latest period of my life.
“ Captain Nelson, of his Majesty's ship Agamemnon, who had the command, and dire&tions of the seamen, in landing the guns, mortars, and stores ; and *Captain Hunt, who commanded at the batteries, very ably assisted by Captain Bullen, and Captain Sericold; and the Liertenants Gore, Hothum, Stiles, Andrews, and Brisbane, have an ample claim to my gratitude ; as the seamen under their management worked the guns, with great judgment, and alacrity ; never was a higher spirit, or greater perseverance exhibited; and I am happy to say, that no other contention was at any time known, than who should be most forward, and indefatigable, in promoting his Majesty's service : for although the difficulties they had to struggle with were many and various, the perfect harmony, and good humour, that universally prevailed throughout the siege, overcame them all. I cannot but express in the strongest terms the meritorious conduct of Captain Duncan, and Lieut. Alexander Duncan, of the Royal Artillery; and Lieut. Debutts, of the Royal Engineers ; but my obligation is particularly great to Captain Duncan ; as more zeal, ability and judgment, was never shewn by any officer, than were displayed by him; and I take the liberty of mentioning him as an officer highly entitled to his Majesty's notice. * Caprain Hunt died lately in the ast in ies. (Vide Xav, Chron. p 347. vol. 1.) " I feel myself very much indebted for the vigilance, and attention of Captain Wolseley, of the Imperieuse, and of * Captain Hallowell ; who became a willing volunteer, wherever he could be useful, after being superseded in the command of the Courageux, by Captain Waldegrave. The former kept a diligent watch upon the Island of Capreæ, where the enemy have magazines of provisions, and stores; and Captain Hallowell did the same by guarding the harbour's mouth of Bastia, with gun-boats, and launches well armed, the whole of every night; – whilst the smaller boats were very judiciously placed in the intervals between, and rather without the ships, which were moored in a crescent, just out of reach of the enemy's guns, by Captain Young, of the Fortitude, the center ship, on board of which every boat assembled at sun-set for orders; and the cheerfulness with which the officers and men performed this nightly duty is very much to be admired, and afforded me the most heartfelt satisfaction, and pleasure. The very great, and effectual, assistance I received from Vice Admiral Goodall, Caplain Inglefield, and Captain Knight, as well as from every captain, and officer, of his Majesty's ships, under my command, has a just claim to my most particular thanks ; not only in carrying into execution my orders afloat, but in attending to, and supplying, the wants of the little army on shore: it is to the very cordial and decided support alone I had the honour to receive from the whole, that the innumerable difficulties we had to contend with were happily surmounted.
Major Smith and Ensign Vigourelse, of the 25th regiment, and Captain Radsdale, and Lieutenant St. George, of the vith, embarking with their respective regiments, having civil employments on shore ;it is to their honour I mention, that they relinquished those employa ments, and joined their corps, soon after the troops were landed.”
In addition to these testimonics of Lord Hood, issued in public orders, to the commanding officers of the respective corps, similar thanks to the following were addressed to Captain Nelson of the Agamemnon, and the other naval officers : :
“ Vi&ory, off Bastia, 22d May, 1794. “ The commander in chief returns his best thanks to Captain Nelson, and desires he will present them to Captain Hunt, Captain Sericold, and Captain Bullen, as well as to every officer and seaman
* Captain Benjamin Hallowell was afterwards re-appointed to the command of the Courageux, which was shipwrecked on the Barbary coast; and after this melancholy accident being taken on board the Victory, Sir lohn Jervis's flag ship, became a volunteer in the Spanish adion of the 14th of February; bic afterwards commanded the Swiftsure in the battle off the Nile.