1813 - Capture of Fiume


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1813 Light Squadrons and Single Ships 178

On the 8th of June, observing three vessels, supposed to contain powder, within the town of Omago on the coast of Istria, Captain Gower, after the two ships had fired for some time, detached the marines, under Captain John Hore Graham and Lieutenants Thomas Price and Samuel Lloyd, who soon drove the enemy, consisting of 100 French soldiers, out of the town ; while the boats of the Elizabeth and Eagle, under Lieutenants Mitchell Roberts, Martin Bennett, Richard Greenaway, and William Hotham, destroyed a two-gun battery and brought out four vessels. This service was executed with no greater loss than one man wounded.

On the 20th, at daybreak, Captain Gower caused to be landed at Dignano, opposite to the Prioni islands, 50 seamen from the Elizabeth, under the orders of Lieutenants Roberts and Bennett, and the marines under Captain Graham and Lieutenant Price ; who, assisted by Lieutenant Henry Richard Bernard with a division of armed boats, took possession of the town, and made prisoners of the French troops within it, without the slightest loss.

On the 3d of July, in the morning, Rear-admiral. Fremantle, with the 74-gun ships Milford (flag), Captain John Duff Markland, Elizabeth, and Eagle, Bacchante frigate, and gun-brig Haughty, Lieutenant James Harvey, got under way, with a light breeze at south-west, from an anchorage about four miles from Fiume ; and, leaving a detachment of boats and marines with the Haughty to storm the battery at the mole-head as soon as the guns were silenced, proceeded to attack the sea-line batteries of the town, mounting 15 heavy guns. A shift of wind to the south-east, aided by a strong current from the river, broke the ships off, and the Eagle could not fetch the second battery, opposite to which she anchored ; and against which she presently so well she presented, or presently gave so well-directed a fire, that the fort soon became silenced.

This being communicated by telegraph, Rear-admiral Fremantle made the signal to storm ; when Captain Rowley, leading in his gig the first detachment of marines, took possession of the fort and hoisted English colours ; while Captain Hoste, with the marines of the Milford, took and spiked the guns of the first battery, which had been under the fire of the Milford and Bacchante, and early evacuated. Leaving a party of seamen to turn the guns of the second battery against the others, Captain Rowley, without losing time, boldly dashed on through the town, although annoyed by the enemy's musketry from the windows of the houses, and a field-piece placed in the centre of the great street ; but the marines, headed by Lieutenants Samuel Lloyd and Edmund Nepean, and the seamen from the boats, proceeded with such firmness, that the French troops retreated before them, drawing the field-piece until they came to the square ; where they made a stand, taking post in a large house. At this time the boats under Captain Markland, with their

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