1813 - Boats of Furieuse at Marinelo


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1813 Light Squadrons and Single Ships 182

assembled off the port D'Anzo, where lay a convoy of 29 vessels, which for several days past had been watched by Captain Duncan. The necessary arrangements having been made by that officer for the attack, Captain Dundas merely added the force of the Edinburgh to it. The place was defended by two batteries, mounting two heavy guns each, on a mole, a tower to the northward of this with one gun, and a battery to the southward with two guns, to cover the mole.

At 1 h. 30 m. p.m., every thing being prepared, the ships bore up, and took their stations as follows : The Imperieuse and Resistance against the mole batteries; the Swallow against the tower; the Eclair and Pylades against the battery to the southward, and the Edinburgh supporting the two last-named ships. Soon after the ships had opened their fire, which they did together by signal, a detachment of seamen, under Lieutenant Eaton Travers, of the Imperieuse, and the marines under Captain Thomas Mitchell, landed in the best order close under the southern battery, which Lieutenant Travers instantly carried, driving the French in all directions. Lieutenant David Mapleton having also taken possession of the mole-head, the convoy, 20 of which were laden with timber for the arsenal at Toulon, were brought out without any loss. Before leaving the place, the British blew up all the works ; and the ships received no greater injury than a few shot in their hulls and some damaged rigging. It appears that Captain Duncan had gained some very material information respecting the strength of D'Anzo by a gallant exploit performed a few nights previously by Lieutenant Travers ; who, at the head of a single boat's crew, stormed, carried, and destroyed, a tower mounting one gun, and brought off the guard as prisoners.

On the 14th of October, at 1 p.m., the 30-gun frigate Furieuse, running along the coast towards the island of Ponza, observed, in the harbour of Marinelo, situated about six miles to the eastward of Civita Vecchia, a convoy of 19 vessels, protected by two gun-boats, a fort of two long 24-pounders, and a strong fortified tower and castle. It appearing practicable to cut then out, Lieutenants Walter Croker and William Lester, and Lieutenants of marines James Whylock and William Davis, gallantly volunteered to storm the fort on the land side, while the frigate anchored before it. This service was promptly executed ; and, after a few broadsides from the Furieuse, the battery was carried, and the guns spiked, by the party on shore.

The French troops retreated to the strong position of the castle and tower overlooking the harbour ; whence they kept up a constant fire of musketry through loopholes, without the possibility of being dislodged, although the Furieuse weighed and moved in, so that the whole fire of the ship was directed upon it. Nothing could damp the ardour of the party on shore, who, together with Lieutenant Lester in the boats, lost not a moment

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