1810 - Spartan with Cérès and consorts


Next Page

Previous Page

10 Pages >>>

10 Pages <<<

1810 Light Squadrons and Single Ships 248

starboard guns, the frigate hove in stays, and, as she came round, gave them the whole of her larboard guns : the starboard broadside having been recharged, was then fired at the Sparvière and the two ships ahead of her. Now was the time for the Cérès to have supported the gun-boats, but the French commodore appears to have forgotten them altogether ; for, instead of tacking to meet the Spartan, the Cérès wore and stood towards the batteries of Baia. This stage of the action will perhaps be better understood by a reference to the following diagram.

As soon as she had come round on the larboard tack Spartan kept her helm up, and wore in pursuit of the French frigate. But in a few minutes before 9 A.M. the breeze suddenly died away, and left the Spartan with her head exposed to the starboard broadside of the Cérès having, also, on her larboard bow the corvette and brig, and sweeping up astern of her, the cutter and gun-boats. A heavy fire was now opened on the Spartan from every side, particularly on the stern and quarter from the long 18-pounders of the gun-boats. In a few minutes Captain Brenton, while standing on the capstan, the better view his various opponents, received a grape-shot in the hip, and was obliged to be carried below. The command then devolved upon Lieutenant George Wickens Willes.

Scarcely had Captain Brenton been removed from the deck, ere a light breeze from the same quarter as before enabled the Spartan to take up a position on the starboard quarter of the French frigate and starboard bow of the corvette. The brig was at this time on the Spartan's larboard quarter or nearly astern and the cutter and gun-boats on the frigate's stern and starboard quarter, making the best possible use of their advantage. The same breeze, that had enabled the Spartan to get into action, was

^ back to top ^