1809 - Expedition to the Scheldt


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1809 British and French Fleets 138

considerably damaged in hull, masts, and rigging. The loss on board the flotilla amounted to one lieutenant (George Rennie) and six men killed, and one lieutenant, one surgeon, (Robert Russell and Robert Burnside), and 20 men wounded ; and the loss on the part of the brigade of seamen serving on shore under Captain Richardson, and who greatly distinguished themselves, was one midshipman (Edward Harrick) and six men wounded. This, with the Raven's loss and the loss by Lord William Stuart's frigate-squadron, makes nine killed and 55 wounded as the aggregate loss on the part of the navy. The lieutenants, serving in the above brigade of seamen engaged at the batteries before Flushing, appear to have been, John Wyborn, Richard St.-Loo Nicholson, Eaton Travers, Stephen Hilton, John Allen Meadway, and John Netherton O'Brien Hall. The army appears to have sustained, at the bombardment and at the different skirmishes that had preceded it, a loss of 103 killed, and 443 wounded ; making the total loss on the British side, up to the surrender of Flushing, 112 killed and 498 wounded.

Of the French loss no account has been given, except on one extraordinary occasion. On the 16th of August the British 38 gun frigate Impérieuse Captain Thomas Garth, in ascending the Scheldt after the other frigates, entered by mistake the Terneuse, instead of the Baerlandt channel, and became in consequence exposed to the fire of the Terneuse battery. In returning that fire, the frigate discharged from her carronades some Shrapnel shells; one of which, bursting near the magazine of the fort, containing 3000 barrels of powder, and a great quantity of cartridges, caused an explosion that killed 75 men. The battery fired no more, and the Impérieuse passed on.

If we except the peaceable surrender, on the 17th of August, to the combined forces under the Earl of Rosslyn and Sir Richard Keats, of the islands of Schouwen and Duiveland, situated to the northward of the eastern Scheldt, and far enough from the French fleet at Antwerp, the reduction of Flushing was the virtual termination of the campaign. On the 21st the Earl of Chatham removed his head-quarters from Middleburg to Veer ; and, crossing the Sloe, arrived on the 23d at Goes, the headquarters of Sir John Hope. In consequence of the accumulating force at Cadzand, it had been considered proper to leave as many as 10,000 men in possession of Walcheren ; consequently there were 28,000 applicable to the remaining objects of the expedition, the reduction, successively, of Lillo, Liefkenshoech, and Antwerp. Each of the two first-named forts mounted, according to the French accounts, 40 pieces of heavy cannon, and were at this time strongly garrisoned.

It was now discovered by the British general, that the French forces at these places and at Berg-op-Zoom amounted to upwards of 35,000 men. Moreover an alarming sickness, since the 19th, had begun to show itself in the British camp. The

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