1808 - Admiral Ganteaume in the Mediterranean


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1808 Admiral Ganteaume in the Mediterranean 5

Jacente, Brindisi, and other adjacent ports, to afford protection to the trade and bring the vessels to Corfu ; where, in the mean time, Vice-admiral Ganteaume landed his troops, stores, and provisions. While lying at Corfu, the fleet experienced very stormy weather ; from which the Commerce-de-Paris suffered so much in her masts, that the vice-admiral shifted his flag to Magnanime, and leaving the former ship to be repaired, sailed on the 25th with his remaining nine sail of the line and frigates. He ran down to the latitude of Sicily ; thence through the different passages between Zante and the other Ionian islands, and on the 15th of March returned to Corfu.

On the 23d, the day on which the French admiral arrived at Corfu, he was fallen in with by the British 22-gun ship Porcupine, Captain the Honourable Henry Duncan, then on her way to join the 64-gun ship Standard, Captain Thomas Harvey, stationed off Corfu. Having, at the great risk of capture by one of the 74s, staid until he had clearly ascertained that the ship were enemies, Captain Duncan made sail to join Lord Collingwood at Syracuse. On the 24th at noon, the Porcupine fell in with the 38-gun frigate Active, Captain Richard Hussey Moubray; who, knowing that the Standard had gone to the admiral, took the Porcupine under his orders, and stood back to look after the French fleet. From the 26th of February to the 13th of March, amidst some severe gales of wind, the Active and Porcupine kept company with M. Ganteaume's fleet ; and, for several successive days, the Porcupine alone performed this bold and perilous service.

On the 16th, the day after the admiral's return to Corfu, having rehoisted his flag on board the Commerce-de-Paris, M. Ganteaume again set sail with his whole fleet : he ran along the coast of Africa, Sicily, and Sardinia, watched, for a part of the time, by the 38-gun frigate Spartan, Captain Jahleel Brenton, and on the 10th of April reanchored in the road of Toulon. Since the 23d of February the Spartan, accompanied by the 40-gun frigate Lavinia, Captain John Hancock, had been detached to gain intelligence respecting the Rochefort squadron, by Vice-admiral Thornborough, just before the latter, with the 11 ships of the line in his company, weighed from Palermo, and made sail in search of Lord Collingwood.

On the 3d of March, having received intelligence from a Maltese privateer of the sailing of the Toulon fleet, Captain Brenton joined Lord Collingwood off Maritimo. The vice-admiral joined Lord Collingwood off Maritimo. The vice-admiral immediately sent the Lavinia for further intelligence, and stood with the fleet towards the bay of Naples ; whence his lordship detached the Spartan to Palermo. On arriving at Palermo, the Spartan was ordered by Rear-admiral Martin, at anchor there with three sail of the line, to cruise between Cape Bon and Sardinia ; " where," says Captain Edward Brenton, " on the 1st of April, she discovered the French fleet carrying a press of sail to get to the

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