1808 - The Danes capture Turbulent and Tigress gun-brigs


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1808 British Convoys and Danish Gun-boats 75

threw shells and one-pound balls from her mortars, but the Charger and Piercer were at too great a distance to co-operate. At 5 h. 40 m. p.m. the Turbulent's main topmast was shot away. The gun-boats shortly afterwards pulled close alongside the British brig, and boarded and captured her.

At 6 p.m., having secured their prize, the Danes formed on both quarters and astern of the Thunder, and kept up, as they rapidly advanced, a heavy fire. The Thunder got her two 6-pounders out of the stern-ports, and returned the fire both from them and from her broadside carronades (24-pounders) as the latter could be brought to bear. At 9 h. 30 m. p.m. she cut away her launch and jollyboat, they having been shot to pieces. At 10 h. 10 m., finding they could not induce the bomb to haul down her colours, the gun-boats ceased firing, and retired with the 10 or 12 rear vessels which they had been enabled to capture. We have no means of showing the loss, if any, sustained by the Turbulent or Thunder ; but we find that, for his gallant defence, Captain Caulfield received the public approbation of Vice-admiral Sir James Saumarez, the commander-in-chief in the Baltic, and that Lieutenant Wood, for the loss of his brig, was honourably acquitted by the sentence of a court-martial.

On the 2d of August the gun-brig Tigress, Lieutenant Edward Nathaniel Greenswood, after a contest of one hours' duration, and a loss of two men killed and eight wounded, was taken in the Great Belt by 16 Danish gun-vessels. Of this action, as well as of that which preceded the capture of the Tickler, we should have been glad to have been enabled to give a more particular account, but our researches have failed us in procuring details of either.

On the 1st of October the British 18-gun brig-sloop Cruiser, acting commander Lieutenant Thomas Wells, being off the Wingo beacon at the entrance of Gottenbourg, fell in with about 20 armed cutters, luggers, gun-vessels, and row-boats. Having, as we suppose, a commanding breeze, the Cruiser dealt with this, Danish flotilla much in the same manner as, three or four years previous, she was accustomed to deal with the famous French flotilla in the neighbourhood of Ostende. So far from capturing her, she captured one of them, a schuyt-rigged vessel, of ten 4-pounders and 32 men, and compelled the remainder of the flotilla to take shelter under the batteries of the island of Læsoe.

As, instead of the letter of Lieutenant Wells, an abstract only (a practice at this time becoming frequent) was published in the London Gazette, and as we have been unable to supply the deficiency in the account from our usual sources of information, we are again prevented from giving details. It gratifies us, however, to be able to state, that, in seven or eight weeks after his successful encounter with the Danish gun-boats, Lieutenant Wells was promoted to the rank of commander.

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