« PreviousContinue »
the 18th, when, shortly after I had very gallant officer, Doctor Heddle, returned to the breach battery, from being shot through the breast in the visiting the posts, a fresh firing com- attack, when capt. Lloyd was also menced on the east side of the island, slightly wounded. We now learn. from boats, and at the same instant ed that the enemy had possession of a schooner came in sight, standing the hills, where capt. Lloyd pro. directly for the beach ; a strong and posed to attack them, a measure I well-directed fire of great guns and should gladly have adopted, but the musquetry was immediately opened day beginning to break, we had the upon her, and the people on board mortification of seeing them appear being either wounded or driven be. in such numbers, as left no room to low, she drifted on shore. In the suppose there was any probability mean time the boats, to the number of success, our force being reduced of eight, full of troops, had unfor, by killed, wounded, and prisoners, tunately effected a landing on the to about twenty five soldiers, capt. rocks, to the east side of the town, Lloyd, lieut. Christie, and myself. where the surf happened to be un- At this time the enemy's vessels were usually low; and having overcome standing in closer, apparently to the force which was opposed to land a reinforcement; and the inhathem, they had penetrated through bitants seeing French colours on the the town as far as the main guard, hill, came to me, asking leave to of which, after having been once re treat. Under these circumstances, pulsed, they gained possession, and exposed to the enemy's fire on making some prisoners. The inha- all sides, farther resistance appeared bitants having given way, nearly on vain ; I therefore felt it my duty to all sides, and the enemy being now comply with the request of the inin such force on our right, it ap- habitants, and sent an officer with peared advisable to form a junction them, proposing terms of capitulawith the soldiers in the north-point tion for the garrison. The officer battery, where we should retain the who commanded the storming party command of the beach, and be ready having been killed, the terms of cato check any further attempt to pitulation were virtually agreed to land, until some information could with the senior who survived, to be be received of the strength and situ. communicated to the commandant ation of the enemy, to enable mc to of the squadron : until his answer judge what ought to be done. should be received, firing ceased,
The firing continued till towards and we continued to occupy the six o'clock, when, being yet uncer. battery. tain what number had landed, and The terms of capitulation being in hopes that the main guard was the confirmed by the chevalier Mahè, only post held by the enemy, I di. the soldiers grounded their arms, rected that it should be attacked by and the place was surrendered. We the soldiers I had with me; which were informed that the enemy's was executed with great alacrity, force consisted of four schooners, and the post carried with considera- which had been fitted out at Cayble loss on the part of the enemy. enne, and supplied with soldiers for On our side it was less as to num. the purpose of attacking Goree; bers, but I lost the assistance of a that they had touched at Senegal,
where they had been furnished with deserving officer, both here and at additional boats, pilots, and a rein. Sierra Leone, continues to merit forcement of soldiers, and another very great praise. Doctor Heddle schooner; and where they had been having proposed some time back to joined by the ship, which happening do military duty, I gladly accepted to call at Senegal, was put in requi. bis offer, and he has given me great sition for the expedition. The assistance. His wound, which was squadror als gether carried up- at first thought to be mortal, has wards of sixty gons, and six hun. since taken a favourable turn, and dred men, two hundred and forty of I am happy to add, I think he will whom had been landed; the whole recover; and I earnestly wish to reunder the command of M. Mabè, commend him to your lordships' nolieutenant de vasseau. The commo. tice, as distinguished by his conduct dore's pendant having been hoisted upon this occasion, and also by his only while coming in, by the cap. attention to his medical duties, since tain of the ship having held that rank we came to Africa. during the late war. On the even On the 18th of January, in the ing of the action we had fifty-four evening, the British soldiers were white men, including officers; and embarked on board the French although the serjeant major was the squadron, until a cartel should be only one who was not able to come made ready for them. On the 23rd upon the batteries ; when it is con- the officers and soldiers went on sidered, that several of the men, board a sloop which was sent as a worn out by disease, and disabled cartel to Senegal, where a larger by accidents, were incapable of vessel was preparing to carry them making any great exertion; that un to England. I am sorry to add, certain where an attack might be that, notwithstanding the articles of made in the night, it was necessary capitulation, the inhabitants, officers, to divide our force very much, to and even soldiers, have been shame. occupy the different posts : I hope fully pillaged. and trust it will appear to our king
&c. John Fraser. and to our country, that the garri. son I had the honour to command did List of the French Force.- Di. not submit, without discharging its vision from Cayenne, having on duty like British soldiers. Our loss board troops from the eighth demi. consists of 1 drummer, 8 rank and brigade, and from the Cayenne vo. file, killed ; 2 officers, 8 rank and lunteers. Schooner La Vigie, M. file, wounded, total 10.- Of the Mahé, lieutenant de vaisscau, com. enemy, according to the most cor. mandant, 2 guns, 14 swivels and 90 rect accounts I can procure, 3 offi Schooner la Renommée, citi. cers and 40 men killed, or since zen Renaud, 14guins and 85 men. dead; 2 officers and upwards of 30 Schooner l'Oiseau, 10 guns and 80 men, wounded, total 75.-Captain men. Division from Senegal with a Lloyd, who has already, upon seve. detachment of the 46th brigade, ral occasions been mentioned as a La Rosalie; Ducraneau, enseign de
* This vessel was afterwards burnt by his majesty's sloop Penguin, capt. Mor ris, on the 17th of March, ofi Senegal Bar.
vaisseau, 2 guns and 80 men. Di. did in a gallant manner, by bring. vision from Rochelle, the ship ing out a ship, under a heavy fire l'Oncle Thomas, Papin ci-devant from the batteries, which sunk our capitaine de vaisseau, 20 guns and cutter, and wounded 230 men.
From her I learned, that the French had been in possession of Goree
since the 18th of January, and that Dispatch addressed to the Secretary they had 300 black and white troops
of the Board of Admiralty, dute it in the garrison. On the 8th inst. at March 15th, Goree, announcing daylight, I weighed and stood to the the re-capture of that Settlement, westward of the island, to prevent from Capt. Dickson, of his Mas any succours being thrown in by sca jesty's Ship the Inconstant.
from Senegal, and, on the evening
of the same day, being determined Sir,
to attack it, having ordered scalingI have-the honour to acquaint Ladders to be made for that purpose, you, for the information of my lords at nine P. M. anchored, and ordercommissioners of the Admiralty, of cd all the boats of the convoy to be the arrival of his majesty's ship un- sent on board the Inconstant, and der my command, and the vessels after embarking as many troops as named in the margin,* off the island they could possibly stow, I found of Goree, on the morning of the 7th they would not carry a sufficient March, but, conceiving it possible number to promise success; I there. that it might be in the possession of fore postponed the attack until the arthe enemy (although English co rival of one of our convoy, which was lours were hoisted on the citadel, in sight, standing into the bay, as her and sentinels cloathed in red placed three boats could carry from 30 to on the different batteries), I brought 40 more men. At daylight on the to with the convoy, and directed morning of the 9th instant, we were Mr. Charles Pickford, my first lieu. agreeably surprised by seeing the tenant, to proceed on shore in the English colours hoisted over the cutter, and, if he found it in the French; and shortly after I receiv. har:ds of the English, to make the ed information from lieut. Pickford, signal I established for that purpose. that the garrison had capitulated At sun-set, not any signal having with him. I instantly stood into been made, nor the appearance of the harbour with the convoy ; anthe boat, I came to anchor with the chored, and disembarked the troops. convoy a little out of gun-shot; and, Conceiving it of importance that his dceming it highly necessary to gain majesty's ministers should be made some information with respect to acquainted as soon as possible with thegarrison, I ordered, at 10 o'clock, the recapture of this island, I have P. M.
three boats, manned and purchased a small brig, and sent my armed, under the direction of Mr. first lieutenant, Mr. Charles PickRunciman, midshipman, to proceed ford, an intelligent and deserving into the harbour, and cut out any of officer, to England, who will have the vessels he could find, which he the honour to present my dispatches ;
Lagle store-ship, Hamilton, l'enus, Jenny.
and I beg leave to recommend him of land with a fair wind, blowing a in the strongest manner to their strong gale, and steering about Jordships' favour. I have appointed W. S. W. The 28th, 29th, and captain William Murray, senior of- 30th, weather and course nearly ficer of the troops, to be command- the same. Thirty-first, the wind ant of Goree, till his majesty's came more to the westward, but pleasure is known; and Mr. Wm. more moderate. Sunday the 1st of Arnold, master's mate, to be lieut. April at noon, observed in latitude of the Inconstant, vice Pickford, 40 deg. 51 min. north longitude, per and hope it will meet their lordships' account, 12 deg. 29 min. west. At 8 approbation. The moment I can o'clock on Sunday evening, the get a sufficient supply of water and wind shifted to the sout-west, blowprovisions landed, and put the island ing fresh ; course S.S.E. At ten, into a proper state of defence, I up mainsail and set the main stayshall proceed, and put their lord- sail, split by the sheet giving way; ships' orders into execution. I can. called all hands upon deck. At not conclude my letter withont as. half past ten, strong breezes and suring their lordships that the great- squally; took in the fore topsail est cordiality existed between the and set the foresail. At half past officers, seamen, and soldiers; and, eleven the main-topsail split; furl. had an attack been found necessary, ed it and the mainsail. The ship from the handsome manner they vo was now onder her foresail, main Janteered their services, I am per- and mizen storm-staysails; the wind suaded they would have done ho: blowing hard, with a heavy sea. nour to their country.
About half past three on Monday E S. Dickson. morning, the 2nd, the ship struck [Vext fo}low the articles of ca the ground, to the astonishment of pitulation, in which there is nothing every one on board, and by the particular; and a list of the ord. above reckoning, we then conjechance on the island of Gorce, when tured upon an unknown shoal. She taken possession of by the English.] continued striking the ground very
heavy several times, by which her
bottom was materially damaged, Interesting narrative of the loss of and making much water, the chains
his majesty's ship the Apollo, j. puinps were rigged with the utmost W. T. Dixon, esq. captuin, with dispatch, and the men began to about forty sail of her concoy,
pump; but in about ten minutes on the coast of Portugal, three she beat and drove over the shoal. leagues north of Cape Mondego, On endeavouring to steer her, found achen on her passage for the Wesć the rudder carried away; she then Indies, on the 2nd of April 1804. got before the wind. The pumps
were kept going, but from the Monday the 26th of March, sail. quantity of water she shipped, there ed from the Cove of Cork, in com was every probability of her soon pany with his majesty's ship Carys foundering, as she was filling and fort, and 69 sail of merchant-men, sinking very fast. under conroy for the West Indies. After running about five minutes, Twenty-seventh, were out of sight the ship struck the ground again
with such tremendous 'shocks, that expression which could have been we were fearful she would instantly suggested to encourage men in such go to pieces, and kept striking and a perilous situation. Most of the driving further on the sands, the officers and men were entirely naked, sea making breaches completely not having had time to slip on even over · her. Cut away the lanyards a pair of trowsers. Our horrible of the main and mizen rigging, and situation every moment became morc the masts fell with a tremendous dreadful until daylight appeating' crash over the larboard side, with about half past four o'clock, disthe gunwale under water. The vio. covered to us the land at about two lence with which she struck the cables' distance; a long sandy beach ground, and the weight of the guns reaching to Cape Mondego, three (those on the quarter-deck tearing leagues to the south of us. away the bulwark) soon made the daylight clearing 1.) we could pership a perfect wreck abaft: only coive between twenty and thirty four or five guns could possibly be sail of the convoy ashore, both to fired to alarm the convoy, and give' the northward and southward, and notice-of danger. On her striking several of them perfect wrecks. the second time most pitiful cries We were now certain of being on were heard every where between the coast of Portugal, from seeing decks, many of the men giving them. the above Cape, though I am sorry selves up to inevitable death. I was to say no person in the ship had the told that I might as well stay below, least idea of being so near that as there was an equal likelihood of coast. It blowing hard and a very perishing if I got upon deck. I was great swell of the sea, (or what is determined to go, but first attempl. generally termed, waves running, ed to enter my cabin, and was in mountains high,) there was little danger of having my legs broken prospect of being saved. About by the chests floating about, and eight o'clock, there being every like.' the bulk heads were giving way. I lihood of the ship going to pieces, therefore desisted and endeavoured and the after part laying lowest, to get upon deck, which I effected captain Dixon ordered every person after being several times washed forward, which it was very difficult down the hatchway by the immense to comply with from the motion of volume of water incessantly pour- the main mast working on the laring down. The ship still beating board gunwale, there being no the ground very heavy, made it ne other way to get forward. Mr. cessary to cling fast to some part Cook, the boatswain, had his thighof the wreck, to prevent being broke in endeavouring to get a boat washed by the surges or hurled by over the side. Of six fine boats not the dreadful concussions over-board; one was saved, being all stove and the people holding fast by the lar. washed over-board with the booms, board bulwark of the quarter-deck, &c. Soon after the people got forand in the main channel, while our ward the ship parted at the ganggood captain stood naked upon the ways. The crew were now obliged cabin skylight-grating, holding fast to stow themselves in the fore chan. by the stump of the mizen mast, nels, and from thence to the bow. end making use of every soothing sprit end, to the number of 220 ;