1804 - Coast of Africa


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Naval History of Great Britain - Vol III
1804 Colonial Expeditions - Coast of Africa 290

of five pieces of cannon that bore upon it, carried in a few minutes more the redoubt of Leyden.

Brigadier-general Maitland had come down the river Commowina, and the ships had all got up near Frederici. By this time, too, the troops were advancing, and the enemy's communications nearly intercepted by the activity of the armed boats of the British ; whose provisions, stores, and cannon were already prepared for attacking fort New-Amsterdam, mounting upwards of 80 guns. Aware of all this, the Batavian commandant, Lieutenant-colonel Batenburg, on the 5th of May, sent a flag of truce; and shortly after the receipt of it a capitulation was signed.

Commodore Bloys-Van-Treslong, on the British claiming the surrender of the ships, entered into the terms proposed. He had stationed the Proserpine of 32 guns, 18-pounders, near to fort New-Amsterdam, and had extended a line of defence across the river, with the Pylades corvette, of 18 guns, at the other extremity, about a mile above the redoubt Purmurunt : he had also placed three merchantmen, of from eight to 12 guns, in the centre, and had employed a schooner of 10 guns to reconnoitre and cover the shore at Voorburg, should the British troops have attempted to advance by that side. Besides this force, the Dutch commodore had seven gun-boats ready to act as occasion required.

This important colony was gained, fortunately, with a very inconsiderable loss on either side. That of the British navy amounted to one lieutenant (James Edward Smith, first of the Centaur), one midshipman (William Shuldham), one boatswain, and two seamen killed, and three lieutenants (William King and Robert Henderson, both of the Centaur, and George R. Brand, of the Unique), and five seamen wounded; and that of the army, three privates killed, and 13 officers and privates wounded ; total of the British loss, eight killed and 21 wounded, and the greater part owing to the explosion at Frederici. The Dutch appear to have sustained no other loss than the three men already mentioned as wounded in the battery at Braam's point. The number of prisoners taken at Surinam, exclusively of staff and detachments, amounted to 2001 ; and the total number of pieces of iron and brass ordnance, about half of which were dismounted, was 282.

On the 17th of January, late in the evening, a French squadron commanded by Lieutenant Jean-Michel Mahé, consisting of the armed ship Oncle-Thomas, of 20 guns, and the schooners Renommée of 14, Oiseau of 10 guns, and Rosalie, Vigie, and another, of two each, fitted out at Cayenne, and having on board 565 officers, soldiers, and sailors, anchored off the British settlement of Gorée. The officer commanding there, Colonel Fraser, had at his disposal only 54 white men including officers, and made the best dispositions in his power for resisting an attack.

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