1810 - Capture of Isle de la Passe


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1810 Capture of Isle de la Passe 275

and marines,* commanded by Lieutenant Norman, and assisted by Lieutenants Chads and Watling, and Lieutenants of marines, James Cottell and William Bate, pushed off from the Sirius.

Of the nature of the fortifications upon Isle de la Passe we are not able to give so accurate a description as we could wish. The guns mounted upon the island consisted, we believe, of four 24 and nine 18-pounders, together with three 13-inch mortars and two howitzers. The landing-place was on the inner or north-west side of the island, and was defended by a chevaux de frise and the two howitzers. But, to get to this landing-place, it was necessary to pass a battery, on which most of the guns were mounted. The garrison on the island consisted, at this time, of two commissioned officers, and about 80 regular troops.

Fortunately for the British, just as the boats were approaching the principal battery, a black cloud obscured the moon, which. had been shining very bright, and concealed them from view. Lieutenant Norman had previously directed Lieutenant Watling, who was in the launch of the Sirius, to lead, and cover the landing with her 18-pounder carronade. Lieutenant Norman, with the pinnace, kept close to the launch ; and Lieutenant Chads, with the Iphigenia's cutter and the two remaining boats, was close astern of the launch and pinnace. Just as the boats, in this order, were approaching the landing place, the enemy discovered them and opened a fire, which killed two men and wounded three or four in the launch, and did nearly as much execution in the pinnace.

Dashing on, however, the boats gained the landing place without further loss. Lieutenants Norman and Watling now attempted to scale the works, but failed in accomplishing their object. Lieutenant Norman was in the act of turning away to try another spot, when the sentinel over head shot him through the heart. The man was immediately shot by one of the launch's men, and the seamen, headed by Lieutenant Watling, quickly scaled the walls. A stout resistance followed ; and it was not until the British had lost, in all, seven men killed and 18 wounded, that they succeeded in driving the French from the works. After rallying his men, Lieutenant Watling proceeded to attack the batteries on the south-east side, when he was met by Lieutenant Chads ; who had landed at another point of the island, and, in the most gallant manner, had stormed and carried .the works in that direction, without, as it appears, the loss of a man The two lieutenants having united their forces, the French commandant offered no further opposition, but surrendered at discretion. This he did in such haste as to forget to destroy

* We formerly said 110, but we are assured that the number in the text comprises all that embarked,

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