Page images

than once, we can admit of no delay in this business, and therefore it will immediately appear, whether the articles proposed are of such a nature as to warrant an armistice,-I have the honour to bo, &c.

(Signed) CATHCART, Lieut.-gen. Major-general Peyman.

Gallant Action.--Letter from Cap. tain Mundy, of his Majesty's Ship Hydra, addressed to Vice-admiral Lord Collingwood.

His Majesty's Ship Hydra, MY LORD, at Sea, Aug. 7. I have the honour to relate, that I chased thre armed polaccas into the harbour of Begu, on the coast of Catalonia, late last night; and having reconnoitred this morning, deemed an attempt on them practicable, alti ough under the close protection of a battery and tower. At fifty minutes after noon the ship was anchored, with springs on the cables, at the entrance of the port, and began the attack; a smart fire was returned by the enemy, which however considerably abated after somewhat more than an hour's action; on perceiving which, I ordered a party of seamen and marines, under the command of the second lieutenant (Mr. Drury), with lieutenants Hayes and Pengelly, of marines, Mr. Finlaison, midshipman, Mr. Goddard, clerk, volunteer, attended by Mir. Bailey, assistant surgeon, to land on the flank of the enemy, and drive them from their guns, keeping up a heavy fre from the Hydra, to cover the boats; yet, notwithstanding our endeavours to draw the particular attention of the battery, the detachments were soon exposed to a cross discharge of landgrage from

the shipping and fort, as well as musketry from the rocks: unshaken, however, they advanced; and having mounted the cliff, which was most difficult of access, they attacked the fort with such intrepi dity, that the enemy did not think proper to await their closing, but, spiking their guns, rushed out on the one side, as our brave fellows entered at the other. The battery contained four twenty-six pounders.

This gallant achievement gave me an opportunity of employing the broadside solely on the vessels, from which a constant fire was still kept on our people on shore.

On gaining the guns, Mr. Drury advanced with the seamen and a few marines to the town, leaving Mr. Hayes and his party to retain them, and to occupy the heights that commanded the decks of the vessels, and from which he could annoy the enemy, who were in great numbers or he opposite side of the harbour, which is extremely narrow. As soon as the town was cleared of the enemy, the crews abandoned their vessels, but formed in groups of musketry among the rocks and bushes, firing on the seamen, who had now seized the boats on the beach, and were board. ing the polaccas, while another party of the enemy had gained a height above the marines, and kept them continually engaged, notwithstanding some guns were kept playing on them from the Hydra.

At half past three, observing Mr. Drury in full possession of the vessels, I sent the rest of the boats, under lieutenant Little, to assist in towing them out, and at four had the satisfaction of seeing them rounding the point, when the marines reimbarked under a heavy discharge

of musketry, the enemy having col. lected their whole force to harass the retreat.

When I review the circumstances attending the debarkation of this handful of men, and reflect on the many difficulties they had to surmount in an attack on a fort strongly defended by nature, as well as art, there opposed to more than three times their force for two hours, succeeding in possessing themselves of the vessels, and deliberately lay. ing out hawsers to the very rocks that were occupied by the enemy, and warping them out against a fresh breeze, exposed to a galling fire of musketry, I feel perfectly incapable of writing a panegyric equal to their merits; but it has not required this exploit to stamp these officers with the character of cool judgment and determined bravery. During the term of four years I have witnessed frequent instances of the gallantry of lieute nants Drury and Hayes; and lientenant Pengelly (though not of so long a standing in the Hydra) has ever been a volunteer on such services.

I have also the greatest pleasure in adding, that the above mention ed officers speak in enthusiastic terms of the behaviour of all employed under them to your lordship's notice and protection, there. fore, I beg most strongly to recommend them. The conduct of the rest of the officers and ship's company, fully equalled my utmost wishes; to the tremendous fire they kept up, I attribute the smallness of our loss and damage, namely, one killed and two wounded on board, and four wounded of the detachment: the fore and mizentopmasts, and foretop-sail-yard shot


through, a few in the hull, and the rigging triflingly cut, is all the damage.

To Mr. M'Kenzie, the first lieu tenant, who has served with me the whole of the war, I feel much indehted for his assistance throughout this little enterprise. A descrip. tion of the captured vessels, and the names of the killed and wounded, I enclose, for your lordship's information. The prince Eugene and Caroline were returning to Marseilles.

I have the honour to be, &c.

A List of Vessels captured by his Majesty's Ship the Hydra, Aug. 7. Poiacca ship Prince Eugene, of 16 gans (pierced for 20) and 130 men-Polacca brig La Belle Caroline, of 10 guns (pierced for 14) and 40 men.-Polacca brig El Car. men de Rosaria, of 4 gur(pierced for 10) and 20 men. Names of the Killed and Wounded belonging to his Majesty's Ship Hydra.

H. Brown, seaman, killed. Mr. Goddard, clerk; serjeant Bush, and C. Simson, seaman, slightly wounded. Jer. M'Carthy, J. Sullivan, seamen, and G. Salisbury, marine, severely wounded.

Extract of a Dispatch received from Lieutenant-general the Right Hon. Lord Cathcart, K. T. addressed to Lord Viscount Custiereagh, dated on-board the Africaine, Oct. 21.

As no sort of infraction of the capitulation had been made by the Danes, who, on the contrary, acted most honourably in the literal fulfilment o

ment; with a view to the fulfilment of the articles of the capitulation on our part, it was decided to commence the embarkation of the army on Tuesday the 13th instant. Ac. cordingly, on that day, the eight battalions of the line of the king's German legion were embarked in the arsenal; and, on the 14th, the two light battalions of the king's German legion, together with brig. general Macfarlane's brigade, viz. the 7th and 8th regiments of British, which embarked in the same ships which brought them from Hull. These corps, with the depôt and garrison company of the legion, and the sick and wounded of the army, completely occupied all the troop. ships, whether for home or foreign service, which had not been appro. priated to the conveyance of naval stores. These ships having been removed to the road, were replaced by the horse-ships. On the same day the advanced posts were withdrawn from Kolhaven, Werdenberg, Corsoer Kallenberg, Fredericks. berg, Hersholm, and adjacents, and proceeding through a chain of ca. valry posts, reached the environs of Copenhagen in three marches..

The embarkation of the royal ar. tillery, with the field and battering ordnance, having been gradually carried on from the Kalk Brauderie, that of the cavalry and foreign artillery in the dock-yard, and that of the British regiments from the citadel to the men-of-war, there remained on shore, on Sunday afternoon, the 18th instant, only the brigade of guards, who moved on that day from the palace of Fre. dericksberg, to the strand near Hel. lerup, with one brigade of British light artillery, the flank companies of the 32d and 50th, with the 82d,

under major-general Spencer, in the arsenal; and the 4th regiment, with a detachment of royal artil. lery in the citadel, under lieutenantcolonel Wynch, who acted as lieutenant-governor; the 4th, or king's own regiment, having been in gar. rison there the whole time. Lieut.. general sir G. Ludlow was appointed to command the rear-guard of the army. In the evening of the 18th inst. a gale of wind came on, which lasted twenty-four hours, and rendered further embarkation impossible, and any communication from the shore with the ships very difficult. As soon as it became evident that the evacuation of the island, on the 19th, was impracti cable, a correspondence took place between the British and Danish head-quarters, the result of which left no reason to apprehend that hostilities would re-commence on either side at the expiration of the term; although the Danish general protested in strong terms against our retaining the cidadel, which, on the other hand, it was not judged expedient to evacuate. On the 20th, the morning was calm, and as soon as it was light, the drums of all his majesty's regiments on shore beat the generale; and the dock. yard and harbour being entirely cleared of transports and British vessels, the corps commanded by major-general Spencer rowed out of the arsenal, under the guns of the citadel, and proceeded along the shore to Hellerup, to be in rea diness to reinforce the guards. His majesty's sloop Rosamond having been also towed out of the harbour, and the king's ships within reach of the Three-crown battery having got under weigh, the 4th regiment marched out of the citadel, and pro


ceeded to join the guards, covered by its own flank companies, and by a piquet of the guards."—His lord ship proceeds to state, that no troops of the enemy appeared, and that there was no concourse of inhabitants. People of all ranks in the city, in the villages, and on the public road, were extremely civil. Had any disturbance been intended, or Had any been accidentally excited, the embarkation would have been equally secure from insult, the place selected being open and level, and out of the range of fire from the crown battery or citadel, but commanded by his majesty's light ships of war. The brow, or stage itself, from which the troops embarked, was judiciously and inge. niously contrived by sir Home Popham, to answer equally the pur. poses of embarkation and defence. A small vessel, a praam, and a floating battery, were fastened successively to each other on the beach; the two first being planked over, and the last beyond them having several guns of large calibre prepared for action in an oblique direction, and manned by seamen. The flat-boats drew up on the two sides of the praam, and the gun. boats, which also received troops, were placed behind the floating battery, so that, as soon as the brigade of artillery was embarked, the troops marched to their boats, and the whole put off to their respective ships; after which the floating battery and praam were destroyed.

Copy of a Letter from Admiral Gam. bier, to the Hon. W. W. Pole, dated on-board his Majesty's Ship the Prince of Wales, off Copenha. gea, the 20th October, 1807.


I have the honour to acquaint you, for the information of the lords commissioners of the Admiralty, that the whole of the Danish fleet being equipped (except two unser. viceable ships of the line, and two, frigates, which have been destroyed), and the arsenal cleared of the stores, the army has been re-em. barked; and that I shall proceed with the first favourable wind to carry into execution the instruc tions I have received from the lord viscount Castlereagh. Having so far accomplished the service on which I have been employed, I feel it my duty to state the great activity, energy, and zeal, which have been shewn by vice-admiral Stanhope and rear-admiral sir Sam. Hood, in superintending the equipment of the Danish ships, and the embarkation of the stores from the arsenal; nor has the same spirit been less manifest in the captains, officers, seamen, and marines, who have all executed their respective parts in the general exertion with a promptitude and alacrity, which have not only entitled them to my warmest thanks and praise, but will, I doubt not, when the aggregate result of their labour is considered, obtain for them the approbation of their sovereign, and the applause of the nation. In the space of six weeks, sixteen sail of the line, nine frigates, fourteen sloops of war, and smaller vessels, beside gun-boats, have been fitted for sea, and all the large ships laden with masts, spars, timber, and other stores, from the arsenal, from whence also 92 cargoes have been shipped on-board transports, and other vessels chartered for the purpose, the sum of


whose burthen exceeds 20,000 tons. A considerable number of masts and spars have been put on-board the Leyden and Inflexible, which were well adapted for this purpose, and some valuable stores on-board his majesty's ships; nor can I forbear to remark, that such was the emu. lation among the several ships of the fleet to which the Danish ships were respectively attached for equipment, that within nine days 14 sail of the line were brought out of the harbour, although several of them un derwent, in our hands, considerable repairs. Of the three ships on the stocks, two have been taken to pieces, and the useful part of their timber brought away; and the third, being in a considerable state of for wardness, was sawed in various parts, and suffered to fall over.On a review of the whole, I think it may be asserted, without derogating from the merit of any former service, that the characteristic activity of British officers, seamen, and marines, was never more zealously exerted than on this occasion; but I must not omit, at the same time, to inform their lordships, that a very considerable proportion of the labour of the arsenal has been performed with equal zeal and energy by large working parties from the army, whose exertions entitle them to the same praise.

[ocr errors]

I beg leave to express the great satisfaction I have felt from the zealous and attentive services of rearadmiral Essington, to whom the general superintendance of the nume. rous transports, and the re-embarkation of the army, with all its artillery and stores, had been committed. I embrace this opportunity to make a particular acknowledg

ment of the very able and judicious dispositions which rear-admiral Keats has made from time to time of the force under his command, for guarding the Belt; and the vigilant attention which his whole squadron have paid to this impor. tant branch of the service. Sir Home Popham has not ceased to manifest his usual zeal and ability in the assistance he has rendered me in the various services of the fleet; and I should not do justice to the diligent attention and arduous endeavours of captain Mackenzie to fulfil the civil duties of the arsenal, which were committed to his management and superintendance, if I do not, on this occasion, express my warm approbation of his exertions; and I beg leave to recom. mend him to their lordships' favourable notice. I have the honour to transmit herewith a list of the Danish ships and vessels which have been brought away, and of those destroyed. The account of the stores shipped from the arsenal shall also be sent as soon as the several returns can be collected and arranged.

I have the honour to be, &c. J. GAMBIER. N. B. The list of the Danish ships found at Copenhagen has been already published. Two ships of the line and two frigates have been destroyed.

Whitehall, Nov. 3.-The king has been pleased to grant the dignities of baron and viscount of the united kingdom of Great-Britain and Ireland, unto the right hon. William baron Cathcart, knight of the most ancient order of the thistle, and lieutenant-general of his majesty's


« EelmineJätka »