1809 - Boats of Amphiron at Melida


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1809 Horatio and Consorts with Junon 153

A contemporary, contrary to his usual practice, has been induced to give a somewhat detailed account of the action, which ended in the surrender of the Junon. Were it not for one circumstance, the source of his information might be gathered from the following paragraph : " This, we believe to be as accurate and impartial an account of the action as can be found. It differs a little from others, but we have merely placed Captain Pigott in his proper position, without taking away from the merits of Captain Scott and the Horatio. " * We cannot suppose that any officer of the Latona would have made so gross a mistake respecting the " position " of that ship, as to say that she wore and " renewed the action on the larboard tack." We have now before us the log of every British ship that was present ; and we may add, that those logs, coupled with private information of the highest authenticity, form the groundwork of our account of the Latona's proceedings. With respect to the Horatio's " throwing in stays under the stern of the Frenchman," it is sufficient to remind the reader, that the Horatio engaged the Junon to windward. We leave it to Captain Brenton himself to reconcile the statement that the Junon, when she bore up, left " the Horatio a perfect wreck to windward, " with that disclaiming any intention of " taking away from the merits of Captain Scott and the Horatio."

On the 8th of February the British 18-pounder 32-gun frigate Amphion, Captain William Hoste, cruising off Long island in the Adriatic, was joined by the British 18-gun brig-sloop Redwing, Captain Edward Augustus Down, with information that an armed brig and a trabacculo were lying in a small creek in the island of Melida. The frigate and sloop immediately made sail in that direction, and found the two vessels advantageously moored for defending the entrance of the creek ; with a body of soldiers, which they had brought from Zara and were carrying to Ancona, drawn up behind some houses and walls.

A long 12-pounder on the shore, and the brig, which mounted six 12-pounder carronades, opened upon the Amphion and Redwing, as the latter were taking their position. The instant, however, that the British vessels brought their broadsides to bear, the French troops, 400 in number, as afterwards ascertained, fled in all directions, leaving the two vessels to their fate. The boats of the Amphion and Redwing, under the orders of Lieutenant Charles George Rodney Phillott, now landed and brought off three guns, and destroyed two warehouses of wine and oil. Nor, such was the panic spread among them by the cannon of the ships, did the French soldiers offer the least opposition to the British seamen and marines employed on this service.

On the 14th of February, in the morning, the British 38-gun frigate Belle-Poule, Captain James Brisbane, having been driven

* Brenton, vol. iv., p. 376.

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