1801 - Death of General Abercromby


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Naval History of Great Britain - Vol III
1801 British Expedition to Egypt 103

46 pieces of cannon. The effective force of the British army at Bedah is represented not to have exceeded 10,000 men, including only 300 cavalry, with, according to the French, 12 pieces of movable artillery, and 30 pieces in the different redoubts thrown up to protect the encampment. This is taking the numbers, except in the case of the British artillery, which we believe to be overrated, as each party has represented his own to be ; but, according to the statement on the opposite side, the British force was 16,000, or the whole that had been landed, and the French force between 11,000 and 12,000, an amount considerably less than is admitted by the Moniteur.

On the 21st, at about an hour before daylight, the French attacked the British with great impetuosity ; but, after an obstinate and sanguinary contest, were repulsed, with a loss estimated by themselves at 800 killed, 200 wounded (a small proportion), and 400 prisoners ; but other accounts represent the French loss on this day, in killed, wounded, and prisoners, at nearly 3000 men. Among the killed were Generals Lanusse, Roize, and Baudot, and, among the wounded, General Destaing and several other distinguished officers.

The loss on the part of the British was also unusually severe it amounted to 10 officers, nine sergeants, 224 rank and file, and two horses killed, 60 officers, 48 sergeants, three drummers, 1082 rank and file, and three horses (a sufficient proof of the small quantity of cavalry present) wounded, and three officers, three sergeants, and 28 rank and file missing. Among the mortally wounded was the commander-in-chief, by a musket-shot at the upper part of the thigh; and among the remaining wounded were Major-general Moore and Brigadier-general Hope, both in the head, but not dangerously.

The marines, having been appointed to the duty of Aboukir castle and its vicinity, were not present in this action; but the seamen, under their gallant leader, Captain Sir Sidney Smith shared in it, and sustained a loss of one master's mate (Mr. Krebs) and three seamen killed, Sir Sidney himself, but not badly, Lieutenant Lewis Davis of the Swiftsure, and 48 seamen wounded; making the grand total of the British loss in the Battle of Canopus, as the French have named it, amount to 247 killed, 1243 wounded, and 34 missing.

General Sir Ralph Abercromby, at his own request, was conveyed on board the Foudroyant, where he breathed his last or the 28th of March, leaving as his successor in the command of the British army, Major-general John Hely Hutchinson, who thus feelingly and eloquently expresses himself on the subject of General Abercromby's death: " Were it permitted for a soldier to regret any one who has fallen in the service of his country, I might be excused for lamenting him more than any other person; but it is some consolation to those who tenderly loved him, that as his life was honourable, so was his death glorious. His

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