1806 - Port-Mahon and San-Josef, Powerful and Bellone


 
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Naval history of Great Britain - Vol. IV
by
William James
1806 The Port-Mahon and Brig San-Josef 245

and two seamen, without sustaining, on their own part, the slightest casualty.

On the 2d of October, while the Minerva was at anchor off Oro island, near the entrance of Porto-Novo, Captain Collier himself, attended by Lieutenant Menzies with him in the cutter, and followed by the barge in charge of Lieutenant Peter Paumier James and midshipman William Holt, with a select party of marines, proceeded to reconnoitre the bay of Rocks, in the hope of falling in with one or more of the six Spanish gun-boats known to be at Carril. After a pull of seven hours, the cutter was hailed by a gun-boat, lying at anchor within pistol-shot of the shore, attended by a small gun-launch with a brass 4-pounder. The gun-boat was immediately boarded on the quarter, and carried, as well as her attendant, without the loss of a man. She was the Spanish gun-boat No. 2, mounting one long 24-pounder in the bow, and two short brass fours, with a complement of 30 men, commanded by Lieutenant Don Jesse Lopez.

On the 25th of June the British 18-gun brig-sloop Port-Mahon, Captain Samuel Chambers, chased a Spanish armed brig into the intricate harbour of Banas in the island of Cuba. At 9 P.M. the boats of the sloop, under the command of Lieutenant John Marshall, assisted by Lieutenant Luke Henry Wray, and Mr. John Robson, gunner, were despatched to endeavour to cut the vessel out.

On the 26th, at 1 A.M., the Spanish letter of marque brig San-Josef, armed with one long 18-pounder on a pivot amidships, four 12-pounder carronades and two long 4-pounders on her sides, with swivels, pikes, and muskets, and 30 men, was gallantly boarded and carried by Lieutenant Marshall and his party and this, although the vessel was protected by the fire from, and moored by a line to, a tower mounting two heavy guns. The next difficulty was to get the prize out of the harbour. This also was accomplished, although the brig grounded within pistol-shot of the battery, and was struck by several shot from it ; and, notwithstanding that the boats had been damaged by shot, and several of the oars broken, while rowing to make the attack, the whole service was executed without the loss of a man.

On the 9th of July, at 3 h. 15 m. P.M., the British 74-gun ship Powerful, Captain Robert Plampin, being about seven miles to the northward of the Little Basses, island of Ceylon, standing north-west by west ; with a light air from the south-west, discovered a strange ship upon her weather beam, steering free with studding-sails set, and shortly afterwards, broad on the latter's weather quarter, and in full pursuit of her, a second ship, soon recognised as the 16-gun. ship-sloop Rattlesnake, Captain John Bastard. The stranger, which was the celebrated French frigate privateer Bellone, Captain Jacques Perroud, not being able to haul up without coming to action with the Rattlesnake, and observing that the Powerful lay nearly becalmed while she

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