1811 - Brevdrageren with Langland and consorts


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1811 Brevdrageren with Langland and Consorts 345

and 64 men. Having removed the prisoners, the brig resumed the chase, and at 8 p.m. overtook, and after the exchange of a few shot captured, a large lugger No. 1, mounting two long 24-pounders and four brass howitzers, with a lieutenant and 60, out of a complement of 70 men. Another gun-boat, as declared by several of the Sheldrake's people, and acknowledged to be missing by the Danes, was sunk by the brig's shot. The Sheldrake, on her part, sustained no loss and very slight damage.

The division, of which the Tartar was in chase, separated, and three of the transports steered for the island of Lessoe. These the frigate pursued, and succeeded in capturing two ; one with 22 soldiers and a considerable quantity of ammunition on board, the other laden with provisions. Soon afterwards the shoal water to the southward of the island obliged the Tartar to haul off and discontinue the chase. Thus ended the Danish expedition to Anholt ; an expedition, in the conduct of it, highly creditable to both parties ; for, if the British gained honour by their victory, the Danes lost none by their defeat.

Captain Maurice, in his official letter, computes the whole Danish force employed in this expedition at 4000 men. The private letter of a British officer present at the attack reduces that amount to one half. Our contemporary states the number at 1590 men ;* and, although Captain Brenton gives the Danes more gun-boats and transports than, it appears, they had with them, we see no objection to his estimate of the aggregate number of troops and seamen.

On the 31st of July, in the evening, the British 10-gun cutter Algerine, Lieutenant John Aitkin Blow, and 12-gun brig Brevdrageren, Lieutenant Thomas Barker Devon, lying off Long sound on the coast of Norway, discovered three brigs standing towards them from the shore. These were three Danish men of war, one brig the Langland, of 20 long 18-pounders, and, it is believed, two sixes out of the stern-ports, with 170 men ; another the Lougen, already known to us, and the third the Kiel, mounting two guns less than the latter, or 16 long 18-pounders, with about 150 men ; total, 54 long Danish 18-pounders and 480 men. On the British side, there were 10 carronades, 18-pounders, in the cutter, and the same, with two long 6-pounders, in the brig. The complement of each vessel was 60, but the Brevdrageren had only on board 47, men and boys.

Under these circumstances, Lieutenant Blow was justified in retreating ; and accordingly the cutter and gun-brig, in the light airs then prevailing, used every exertion, by sweeping, to effect their escape. On the 1st of August, at 5 a.m., it was, perceived that the three Danish brigs had gained considerably in the chase, the Langland being about four miles distant on the larboard and

* Brenton, vol. iv., p. 505. See p. 29.

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