1811 - Boats of Unite at Port Hercule

Contents

Next Page

Previous Page

10 Pages >>>

10 Pages <<<

1811 Light Squadrons and Single Ships 370

received by the Guadeloupe's officers made the Tactique's loss 11 men killed and 48 wounded, including 16 of the number mortally. Even admitting the amount to be somewhat overstated enough remains to show, that the Guadeloupe performed her part in a very gallant and efficient manner, evidently beating off, without reckoning the xebec, a French brig superior in force to herself ; and which brig the Guadeloupe would in all probability have captured, had the action been fought at a greater distance from the shore, where the Tactique had no batteries to fly to for protection. It has already appeared that Captain Tetley, in a month or two after this action, commanded a British frigate and behaved with great judgment and firmness. * On the 7th of the succeeding January, as the lists inform. us, he was confirmed in his post-rank.

On the 4th of July, at daylight, the British 18-pounder 36-gun frigate Unité, Captain Edwin Henry Chamberlayne, being off Port Hercule on the Roman coast, despatched, to cut out an armed brig at anchor there, a part of her boats, under the orders of Lieutenant Joseph William Crabb, accompanied by Lieutenant of marines George Victor, master's mates Michael Dwyer and Henry Collins, and midshipman Duncan Hutchinson. On approaching the coast, the boats were vigorously attacked by the brig, which was the St.-François de Paule, mounting four 6-pounders, four 3-pounders, and a quantity of small-arms, protected by a battery of two 8-pounders on the beach. Very light and variable winds preventing the ships from closing to co-operate, Captain Chamberlayne detached the launch under Lieutenant John M'Dougal, to support the other boats ; but ere she could reach them, Lieutenant Crabb and his party, without the slightest loss, had driven the crew from the brig, and were bringing her out, in a very handsome manner, under showers of grape from the battery. At 7 a.m. the prize, which was partly laden with ship-timber, joined the Unité ; and, although the brig was materially damaged in her hull, masts, and rigging, no person on board was hurt by the fire of the battery.

At 9 a.m. the 18-gun brig-sloop Cephalus, Captain Augustus William James Clifford, joined company ; and the British frigate and sloop stood along the coast. At 5 p.m. several vessels were discovered at anchor between Civita-Vecchia and the mouth of the Tiber. Captain Clifford, in a most handsome manner, offered to lead into the anchorage, and to head the boats in any enterprise which to Captain Chamberlayne might appear practicable. The Cephalus then, by the latter's directions, stood in and, pointing out the soundings by signal, came to an anchor under the fire of a battery of four 8 and 6 pounders ; by a grapeshot from one of which, Mr. Isaac Simon, the brig's master, was slightly wounded. The Unité shortly afterwards anchored

* See p. 330.

^ back to top ^