1804 - Capture of Surinam


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Naval History of Great Britain - Vol III
1804 Capture of Surinam 289

of 22 days from Barbadoes, arrived off the island of Surinam ; when immediate measures were taken to send a division of the army, of about 700 men, under the command of Brigadier-general Maitland, to land at Warapee creek. The direction of the disembarkation being left to Captain Conway Shipley of the Hippomenes, the latter, with that sloop, a transport, and three armed vessels, landed the troops on the night of the 30th, assisted by Captain Kenneth M'Kenzie of the brig-sloop Guachapin ; and who, with great zeal, had quitted his sloop 50 leagues to leeward, with all her boats, on finding, from baffling winds and currents, that she could not get up.

That no time might be lost, Brigadier-general Hughes, who had arrived in the Pandour, was ordered to endeavour to gain possession, on the following night, of Braam's point; and instructions were sent to Captain James O'Brien, of the 36-gun frigate Emerald, then lying off the bar of Surinam river, to carry this service, in concert with the brigadier, into execution. The Emerald lost not a moment, but as the tide flowed, pushed over the bar, followed by the Pandour and Drake, and anchored close to a battery of seven 18-pounders. The fort commenced a brisk fire upon the Emerald ; but, after the ships had anchored, it was silenced by a few broadsides, without any loss on their side. In the fort were captured 43 officers and men, three of whom were wounded. Not being able to approach nearer to the island in the Centaur, on account of the water she drew, the general and commodore removed the next morning to the Emerald, lying at the entrance of the river. Having there summoned the colony, an answer was received containing a refusal of the terms. The moment, therefore, that the tide served, every effort was made to get up the river ; which, from the shallowness of the water, was very difficult, the Emerald having passed through the mud in three feet less than she drew. Owing to the lowness of the tide, it was not until the night of the 5th of May that the frigate reached a station near to the fort.

The officers of engineers having explored the roads through the woods, close to the 12-gun battery of Frederici, which communicated with Leyden redoubt of the same force, an attack was made, on the morning of the 30th, by a detachment of troops under Brigadier-general Hughes, conducted in the boats by Captain Maxwell, of the Centaur, and Captains Ferris and Richardson, of the Drake and Alligator. The party landed Plantation Resolution ; and, after a tedious march through woods and swamps, the brigadier and his detachment, accompanied by Captains Maxwell and Ferris, some other office, and about 30 seamen, carried the battery of Frederici ; and although the enemy blew up the magazine, by which many of the British suffered on entering the work, the troops and seamen, passing without delay a causeway of 700 yards, in the face

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