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Sir Francis Drake, under the directions of Lieutenant Joseph Prior, of the former ship.
And one of the 1st of October, 1810, transmitting an account of the capture or destruction, by the boats of the Sir Francis Drake, at different times between the 9th of August and 8th of September, 1810, of seven Batavian gun-boats, five piratical prows, and 35 Dutch trading vessels.
Downing Street, August 10, 1811. - A despatch, of which the following is an extract, has been this day received at the Earl of Liverpool's Office, addressed to his Lordship by Governor Farquhar, dated Port Louis, Isle of France, 20 April, 1811.
I have the honour to inform your Lordship, that his Majesty's ship of war Eclipse, Captain Lynne, returned to this port on the 5th ultimo, after having taken possession of the French Port of Tamelavi, at Madagascar, on the 18th February, and landed the detachments from his Majesty's 22d Regiment, and Bourbon rifle corps, for the garrison of that island. The French Commandant accepted, without opposition, the terms upon which the Isle of France capitulated. The result of this service has freed these seas from the last French flag, and secured to us an unmolested traffic with the fruitful and abundant island of Madagascar.
Admiralty Office, August 13, 1811. Admiral Sir Charles Cotton has transmitted to John Wilson Croker, Esq. a letter from the Honourable Captain Dundas, of his Majesty's ship the Euryalus, giving an account of the boats of that ship and the Swallow sloop having, on the 7th of June last, captured, after a long chace, off the island of Corsica, l’Intrépide, a French privateer, of two eight pounders and fifty-eight men. And also a letter from Captain Jackson, of the Herald sloop, giving an account of her boats, with those of the Pilot sloop, having cut out four coasting vessels from under the town of Monastarrachi, on the 9th of May.
Admiralty Office, August 16, 1811. Copies of letters transmitted by Admiral Sir Charles Cotton, Bart. late
Commander in Chief of his Majesty's ships and vessels in the Mediterranean, to John Wilson Croker, Esq. Secretary to the Admiralty.
Invincible, Tarragona Roads, June 3, 1811, SIR,-On the 28th in the morning the enemy opened his fire on Fort Olivo from two batteries, one of four guns and a mortar, the other of three guns and a howitzer, placed on the flank of the fort. About midday of the 29th Colonel Green examined the works of the Olivo, owing to a report from an officer that its defences were in a bad state, and be found them very much destroyed. At night it was intended to substitute the regiment of Almeria for that of Iberia, which had been hitherto in the fort; and after dark the former regiment was marched out of the town for that purpose; but I am sorry to say the enemy found means to
mingle himself with that regiment, and he got possession of the Olivo without firing a shot, making nine hundred men prisoners. · The enemy's force at present is considered to be between ten and eleven thousand men; he is supposed to have lost four thousand since the commencement of the siege in killed and wounded and deserters. The Spaniards, including the prisoners made at the Olivo, have lost about three thousand.
. I have the honour to be, &c. (Signed)
CHARLES ADAM. Admiral Sir Charles Cotton, Bart. &c. &c.
Tarragona, 11th June, 1811. Sir,- The small advanced work on the sea beach, called the Francoli, was destroyed in four hours by the batteries thrown up in the night of the 6th instant, but its situation was such as always to have made its tenure very uncertain, by being very much detached. On this occasion the conduct of the Spanish troops was particularly gallant, all the men who occupied the Francoli, to the amount of about one hundred and forty-five, being either killed or wounded, and the officer in command having left the fort the last person. The enemy has since made several attempts to carry these works, which protect the communication between the sea and the town, but by the vigilance and bravery of Brigadier Sarsfield, who commands those defences, they have been repulsed with considerable loss, and, indeed, in one instance, though the enemy had rallied three times, he was completely defeated in his object. But the very hard work by day, in constructing works for the support of the lines, which becomes necessary in consequence of the radical defects of the fortifications, and the constant alarms and attacks by night, causes serious anxiety for the earliest relief.
I have the honour to be, &c.
E. R. GREEN. 'Admiral Sir Charles Cotton, Bart. &c. &c.
Blake, off Villa Nueva, 15th June, 1811, SIR, -As Captain Adam has informed you of the occurrences at Tarragona, during my absence, up to the 5th June, I have only to add, that although the French have advanced their works to within half pistol shot of the lines of the Puerto, besides having entirely destroyed the battery of Francoli, and formed a post under the position of its ruins, they have been beaten off with very serious loss on their part, in some desperate attempts to storm the Orleans and Saint Joseph batteries; and that the Spaniards under General Sarsfield have made several successful sorties with the few troops that could be spared for the purpose. My last letter to you, dated 15th May, will have informed you of my intention of proceeding to Valencia and Alicant with General Doyle, and I have now to make known to you the successful result of our visit to those places.
Leaving Tarragona on the 16th, we reached Pensicola on the forenoon of the 17th, where, finding the Invincible, with four empty transports, bound to Carthagena, I directed Captain Adam to remain until he heard further from me. From thence General Doyle wrote to General O'Donnell an account of the situation of Tarragona, and of my detaining Captain Adam at Peniscola, in readiness to receive any reinforcements which he might be pleased to send to that garrison. Upon our arrival at Murviedro, we found General O'Donnell had already ordered the embarkation of 2300 infantry, and 211 artillerymen, &c. &c, which, by the zeal and exertion of Captain Adam, who received 700 of them on board the Invincible, were safely landed at Tarragona on the 22d.
Delivering to General O'Donnell 2000 stand of arms, accoutrements, and cloathing, to enable him to bring into the field as many of the troops already trained as would supply the place of the regular soldiers thus detached from his army, we proceeded to Valencia, and landed the remainder of the cargo; by which means the troops of General Villa Campa, then dispersed as peasantry, for want of arms, were enabled again to take the field, and the corps of Mina and Empecinado completed in all the requisites for active warfare, and the army of Arragon thus brought forward to act in concert with the movements of that of Valencia.
At Alicant we procured as many necessary materials for Tarragona as the ship would actually stow, besides eighty artillery men, and a considerable quantity of powder, ball cartridges, lead, &c. &c. sent in the Paloma Spanish corvette, from Carthagena, in company with a Spanish transport, from Cadiz, deeply laden with similar supplies. As it was impossible to receive these stores on board the Blake, they were conveyed at my request in the Paloma, with the ship under convoy, directly to Tarragona.
After returning to Valencia, where we landed the additional arms, &c. for the Arragonese army, we moved on to Murviedro; where the Count of Bisbal proceeded from Valencia to join us in a consultation with his brother, although, on account of his wound, he was very unfit for such a journey. The result of this conference was a determination on the part of General O'Donnell to commit to my protection, for the succour of Tarragona, another division of his best troops, under Major-General Miranda, consisting of four thousand men, whilst he himself would more forward with the remainder of his army to the bank of the Ebro; where, in concert with the Arragonese division, he might threaten, and perhaps destroy the different depots of General Suchet.
I therefore hastened to Tarragona, to collect the necessary shipping, for the purpose of giving action to these liberal and patriotic intentions. Again, fortunately meeting the Invincible on the night of the 6th, 1 directed Captain Adam to anchor at Peniscola, and wait my return to that rendezvous in company with Captain Pringle, whom I ordered to do the same with the Sparrowhawk and the Transport William, whenever he should have landed the mortars, &c. at Valencia, with which he was charged.
On the morning of the 7th we reached Tarragona, landed the whole of our cargo in the course of the night; and, after a consultation with
General Contreras, again left that anchorage at ten o'clock in the forenoon of the 8th, taking the Paloma along with us.
We reached Peniscola on the noon of the 9th, where the Invincible had already auchored with the four transports, and were joined on the 10th by the Centaur, Sparrowhawk, and William transport.
From the critical situation of Tarragona, I left orders with Captain Bullen, that whatever ships of war might arrive before my return, should join me immediately: and to Captain White's promptness in obeying this order, and consenting in common with Captain Adam and myself to receive each a battalion of 800 troops, with the proper proportion of officers, I am indebted for the power of embarking the whole 4000 on the forenoon of the 11th, and landing them at the garrison of Tarragona during the night of the 12th. '
As soon as the troops were ready for embarkation at Peniscola, I sent the Sparrowhawk forward to prepare the garrison, and also the Marquis of Campo Verde, for our arrival, and in consequence of the Marquis's letter in answer to General Miranda, requested I would again embark his division for the purpose of joining the Marquis in the neighbourhood of Villa Neuva de Sitges, in order to threaten the flank of the besieging army. And this further service was so speedily executed by means of the boats of the squadron, that the whole division was again safely landed at this place on the evening of yesterday, from whence it marched this morning for Villa Franca, intending to join the Marquis of Campo Verde to-morrow, at Iqualada.--I have the honour to be, &c, (Signed)
EDWARD CODRINGTON, Admiral Sir C. Cotton, &c. &c. &c.
Blake in Tarragona Roads, June 23, 1811. SIR,-Besides employing the gun-boats and launches during the whole of every night in annoying the enemy's working parties, I have supplied the garrison with above three thousand sand bags, made by the squadron, and sent all the women, children, and wounded people by the transports to Villa Neuva; added to which, the boats of the squadron under the particular directions of Captain Adam, but assisted by Captain White and myself, took off above two hundred men, who retreated to the Mole after the French had taken the batteries, and who were safely landed again during the night at the Millagro, that is, within the works on the east of the town. And in order to counteract the depression which might ensue from the extensive and unexpected advantages gained by the enemy on the night of the 21st. I yesterday led the squadron as near to the Mole and Puerto as could be done with safety, and drove the enemy from the advanced position they had taken. This position, which was taken with the view of picking off the artillerymen at their guns, as they did on the lines of the Puerto, was immediately afterwards, and still remains, occupied by the Spanish Guerillas.
But the French are making a work near the Fuerte Real Battery, from which they will quickly breach the wall of the town, and are digging their trenches in such a direction as will secure them from the fire of the shipping. In the mean time they are destroying the Custom-house, the GEN, CHROX. VOL. 111. NO. xv.
large large stores, and all the buildings of the Puerto, in order, I presume, to ruin the place as much as possible, and I have no doubt but the town will share the same fate, if it should unfortunately fall into their hands.
The Baron de Eroles has taken a convoy of five hundred mules laden, and destroyed some of the escort.
The exertion and ability of the French in besieging this place, has never, I believe, been exceeded, and, I trust, the brave garrison will still make a defence worthy the brilliant example which has been set them in some other parts of the Peninsula. But I am sorry to say the safety of the place now seems to depend particularly upon the army of the Marquis of Campo Verde; and, I fear, the town will eventually fall a prey to the merciless and sanguinary enemy, who has so greatly circumscribed its means of defence.
I have the honour to be, &c. (Signed)
EDWARD CODRINGTON. Admiral Sir Charles Cotton, &c. &c. &c.
Blake, off Tarragona, 29th June, 1811. SIR,-Yesterday morning at dawn of day, the French opened their fire upon the town; about half past five in the afternoon a breach was made in the works, and the place carried by assault immediately afterwards, From the rapidity with which they entered, I fear they met with but little opposition; and upon the Barcelona side a general panic took place. Those already without the walls stripped and endeavoured to swim off to the shipping, while those within were seen sliding down the face of the batteries ; each party thus equally endangering their lives more than they would have done by a firm resistance to the enemy.
A large mass of people, some with muskets, and some without, then pressed forward along the road, suffering themselves to be fired upon by about twenty French, who continued running beside them at only a few yards distance. At length they were stopped entirely by a volley of fire from one small party of the enemy, who had entrenched themselves at a turn of the road, supported by a second a little higher up, who openeda masked battery of two field pieces. A horrid butchery then ensued; and shortly afterwards the remainder of these poor wretches, amounting to above three thousand, tamely submitted to be led away prisoners by less than so many hundred French.
The launches and gun-boats went from the ships the instant the enemy were observed by the Invincible (which lay to the westward) to be collecting in their trenches; and yet so rapid was their success, that the whole was over before we could open our fire with effect.
All the boats of the squadron and transports were sent to assist those who were swimming or concealed under the rocks; and, notwithstanding a heavy fire of musketry and field pieces, which was warmly and successfully returned by the launches and gun-boats, from five to six hundred were then brought off to the shipping, many of them badly wounded.
I cannot conclude my history of our operations at Tarragona without assuring you, that the zeal and exertion of those under my command, in every branch of the various services which have fallen to their lot, has