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man on board was hurt, while the enemy had thirty-seven killed and fifteen wounded.
Intrepidity and judicious management were never more strongly manifested than in this initance, which reflects the highest honour on Captains Williams and Martin, and on every individual under their command, and they all have my humble but warmeit approbation and thanks.
Santa Margaritta, at Sea, June 11, 1796. I HAVE the honour to inform you, that on the 7th instant, being in company with his Majefty's fbip Unicorn, 18 leagues west of Scilly, we discovered, at two o'clock in the morning, three fail of Mips, about a quarter of a mile on our lee beam ; as the day opened, we perceived them to be frigates belonging to the French nation, which I communicated to Captain Williams by signal, who immediately made fail to join me, and on his near approach made our fignal to pass within hail, for the purpose of giving him information of the enemy's force. The statement of their fuperiority encouraged him in his cager pursuit, having faid that he would attack the largest thip, and defiring ime to engage the next in trength. This noble example inspired every person with confidence of success, and each fhip’ steered for her opponent; but the enemy, determined to evade an action, iteered away large under a press of fail; the smallest niip at the same time making off to windward. At half past eleven o'clock, by our superior failing, we arrived within gun fhot of the enemy; but as they appeared to close for the mutual support of each other, and the Unicorn being some distance aftern, I judged it prudent to postpone our attack till me was sufficiently advanced to occupy the attention of the French commodore. At this time the enemy commenced a fire from their sternchace
guns. At one o'clock, having approached them within threequarters of a mile, we fired our bow guns whenever a favourable opportunity prelented itself, the enemy at the fame time yawing to difcharge their broadGides. At two o'clock, the Unicorn being on our weather-beam, we made fal, keeping up a running fight till a quarter past tour o'clock, when the fternmost thip, finding it impossible to escape, put his helm a-port, and endeavoured to rake us ; but being fortunately baffled in this etfort, afforded us an opportunity of placing ourselves abreast of him, within pistol-fhut, when a quick and well-directed fire compelled him to furrender to his Majesty's thip in less than twenty minutes. She proved to be the Thames, comınanded by Citoyen, Fraden, mounting 36 guns and 306 men.
The thip which the Unicorn continued in chace of is La Tribune, of 40 guns and 320 men, bearing the broad pencart, Citoyen Mouitton, commander of a division; the other, which made off to windward, is La Legere, of 24 guns and 180 mer. I am glad to obterve that our lots is very dipro. portionate to the enemy, having only two seamen killed, and the boatswain and two seamen wounded, and her's thirty-two killed and nineteen wounded, and many of the latter have lince died,
It is with extreme pleasure that I feck the prefent opportunity of testifying my gratitude to the officers and thip's company for their active zeal and iteady unanimity, at all times, and in all situations, but more particularly in the capture of the Thaines, un which occafion their courage and exemplary conduet is worthy of the greatest praise. The readiness of Mr. Harrison, my first lieutenant, and his prompt execution of my orders, did effentially facilitate our fuccefs. It is my fincere wish to particularize each individual, but where general merit claims the greatest approbation, to discriminate becomes a difficult task. In addition to the officers and thip's company, may I also be permitted to beg you will offer to the confideration of the admiralty the meri. orious conduct of Captain Joleph Bullen, a master and commander in he navy, serving in the Santa Margaritta as a volunteer, by permiffion from Lord Spencer : his defire to have some active employment in. duced me to beg he would allist in the management of the main-deck gnos, as I well knew that his long services and approved courage, in various situations, would be a proper example to the younger part of the thip's company.
I have the honour to be, Sir,
T. B. MARTIN.
Copy of a Letter from Captain Williams, of his Majesty's Ship Unicorn, to
Holy Head E.S. E. dift. 8 Leagues. I HAVE the honour to lay before you a narrative of the proceedings of the squadron under my cominand, since my departure from Cork the 19th ult. On the following day, in consequence of receiving intelligence of the enemy's privateers being on the coast, to the northward of Cape Clear, I dispatched his Majesty's floop Hazard, with orders to Lieutenant Parker, her commander, to cruize between the Cape and the mouth of the Shannon, while I, for the more effectual protection of our trade, cruized with the Santa Margaritta in the vicinity of Cape Clear. I had the satisfaction a few days afterwards to learn, that the Hazard had retaken two prizes, and had chaced the privateer off the coast that had captured them, after a narrow escape from being taken. On the 5th instant, having met with other thips of the Irish Itation, I concluded on making a circuit on the outer limits of my station, accompanied by the Santa Margaritta, and at dawn of day, on the 8th instant, Scilly bearing E. half s. 17 leagues we discovered three ships of war on our lee beam, distant two or three miles, to which we immediately gave chace, and soon afterwards perceived them to edge away, and that they were enemy's fhips, two frigates and a large ship corvette. At nine A. M. they formed themselves in a close bow and quarter line, and continued to run from us in that position, the largest ihip under eafy fail, for the support of his squadron. In this fituation we approached them very tait
, and must have speedily brought them to action. I therefore made the lignai to form for battle, the Margaritta being at the time a-head of the Unicorn, and at the same time directed her by signal to come within hail, to learn from Captain Martin his opinion of the enemy's force, who in. formed me that the largest ship was a 38 gun frigate, the Thames, and a corvette. I ordered Captain Martin to attack the Thames, acquainting him with my intention to fight the largest thip with the Unicorn. On our nearer approach the corvette, which detained the other fhips,
gradually hauled out to windward, and passed our weather beam in long gun shot, steering afterwards the same course as the other flips, and with the intention, I then imagined, to be in readiness to give support to either of her friends eventually most needing it.
At one P. M. the two frigates hoisted French colours, the largeft thip a commodore's pendant, and at the same moment commenced a quick and well-directed fire on us with their stern chaces; the corvette at this time hauled more up, and, to my great astonishment, brought to, to board a Roop passing us on the contrary tack. As the commodore continued to wait for the Thames, we thereby approached them both, but were considerably retarded by the effects of their shot. At four, P. M. the Thames being the sternmost thip, bore round up, to avoid the fire from the Unicorn, and to pour a broadfide into the Margaritta's bow, when I had the pleasure to see Captain Martin manæuvre his ship with the greatest judgment, and with the utmost gallantry be laid himself close alongside his opponent. The fuperior and well-directed fire from the Santa Margaritta marked the discipline of his ship, and foon put the Thames into his poffeffion. The commodore, on seeing his companion fall, made all fail, and by a sudden and judicious, though unsuccessful manæuvre, endeavoured to gain the wind of the Unicoru. We were at this time chacing him toward the entrance of the Irilli Channel, and soon after passed close to the Tulker Rock. The parity of sailing in the two fhips, aided by the judgment of the enemy's commander, kept us at running fight for ten hours; during which period we were much annoyed in our fails and rigging, and were for some time unluckily deprived of the use of our main-topfail ; but on its falling less wind after dark, we were enabled to ule our supernumerary Aying fails, royal steering fails, &c. which, by flow degrees, brought us so near his weather quarters, as to take the wind from his fails; when, at half past ten at night, after having pursued two hundred and ten miles, we ihot up alongside of our antagonist, gave hiin three cheers, and commenced close action, which had continued in that position with great impetuofity on both fides for thirty-five minutes ; when, on clearing up of the imoke, I observed that the enemy had dropt on our quarter, was close hauled, attempting, by a masterly manæuvre, to cross our stern, and gain the wind. This was happily prevented by our inftantly throwing all aback, and giving the ship trong stern-way, by which we passed his bow, regained our fituation, and renewed the attack. The effects of our fire foon put an end to all manalivre, for the enerny's thrip was completely dismantled, her fire ceased, and all fubther relistance appeared to be ineffectual; they called to us they had surrendered. The tip proves to be La Tribune, commanded by Commodore John Mouliton, mounting 44 guns, though pierced for 48; on the main-deck, 26 twelves, on the. quarter-deck and forecastle 16 long fixes, and 42/b. carronades ; had on board at the commencement of the action 337 men, 37 of whom were killed; 13 badly, and two slightly wounded. The thip is quite new, launched since the commencenient of the war ; fails extremely fast, is of large dimensions, being on the gun-deck two feet broader and thirteen feet longer than the Unicorn. Commodore Moulston, who, I am forry to add, is among the wounded, is by birth an American, but has served fixteen years in the French navy, and during the present war has always had the command of a division. The squadron late under his orders, consisting of La Tribune, La Proserpine, La Thames, and La Legcre of 20 nine pounders, had left Breit two days only, had taken nothing; La Proferpine separated the preceding evening in a fog.
I will not attempt to find words to convey to you, Sir, the sense I feel of the conduct of the officers and the ihip’s company under my cominand; for if it was possible for me to say any thing that could add to the glory of the British leamen, I have ample field for fo doing in the fituation I held this day. Inderd nothing less than the confidence of the most gallant support from them, and the high opinion I entertain of the Santa Margaritta, our second, could induce me to risk an action with a force apparently so much our superior; and while I congratulate myself upon the happy effects of their valour in the capture of two of the enemy's frigates, that have done fo much mischief to our commerce during the war, and on their present cruize were likely to do fo much more, you may easily conceive what my feelings are, when I inform you, Sir, this service is obtained without the loss of one of the brave men in the ship under my command; my happiness will be complete, if I find the Santa Margaritta has been equally fortunate.
In justice to the officers of the Unicorn, I must beg you to recommend to the notice of my Lords Commiilioners of the Admiralty my firt and second lieutenants, Mefirs. Palmer and Taylor, Mr. Quale the mafter, and Lieutenant Hart of the marines. I had great reaton to regret the absence of Mr. Carpenter, the third lieutenant, of two mates, and some of my bust seamen, who were the evening before put on board a valuable Nhip from Surinam; but the able assistance I fould have derived froni Lieutenant Carpenter, I was made to feel the less by the exertion of Mr. Collier the purfer, who voluntarily offered and undertook to supply his place to the best of his abilities, and whole name I beg you to include in your recommendations to their Lordships. We are now using our utmoít exertions to put the Unicorn and her shattered prize in a condition to proceed to Cork. I have the honour to be, &c. &c. &c.
Copy of a Letter from Lord Amelins Brauclerk, Captain of bis Alajesty's
Ship Dryad, Plymouth Sound, June 10, 1796, to Mr. Nepran.
SIR, PLEASE to inform their Lordfhips, that on the 13th instant, at one A. M. Cape Clear bearing west by north, distance tivelve leagues, we discovered a fail standing towards us from the fouthward, but on nearing us, hauled her wind and tacked. I immediately chaced, and came along fide of her at nine, P. M. when, after a close action of forty-five minutes, the struck: proves to be the national frigate La Proserpine, mounting 26 eighteen pounders, 12 nines, and 4 thirty-tivo pound carronades, with 348 men, commanded by citizen Pevrien; failed from Brest the oth instant, in company with La Tribune, Thames, and La Legere corvette ; had not taken any thing. I feel myself much indebted to the officers and men under my command, for their steady and spirited exertions during the action. ' I particularly recommend the senior officer, Lieutenant King, as truly deserving their Lordships' notice. It is with
pleasure I add, that our killed consisted only of 2, and 7 wounded; La Proserpine, 30 killed, and 45 wounded, I have the honour to be, &c. &c. &c.
Downing-street, Yune 17.
A letter, of which the following is an extract, has been received by the right honourable Lord Grenville, his Majesty's principal Secretary of State for foreign affairs, from Colonel Graham, dated Peri, May 31.
YESTERDAY morning the French army under the command of General Buonaparte, consisting of about 22,000 men, forced the passage of the Mincio, at Valeggio.
General Beaulieu ordered the different corps of his army to retire on Caftel Nuovo, except the infantry at Goito, which being part of the garrison of Mantua, was sent back there; and the dispositions were so well made, that this was executed without any loss: every attempt to moleft them in their retreat was not only immediately checked by the diftin. guished conduct of the cavalry, both Austrian and Neapolitan, but the right of the French army was attacked, with great intrepidity and success, by eight fquadrons (Hulans and the Neapolitan regiment du Roi) coming from Goito, who cut down a great many men, took some prisoners, (among them one of General Buonaparte's aides de camp, and three other officers) and brought off above 150 horses.
This morning the army, with all the artillery (except two pieces of cannon lost at Valeggio) ammunition, stores, and baggage, passed the Adige in perfect order at Chiusa: in this affair the loss of the French must have been considerable; that of the Austrians is trifling, and fellchiefly on one of the battalions of Strasoldo, posted at the bridge of Valleggio, but in all it does not exceed 300 men, many of whom, being wounded, could not be brought off for want of waggons.
This afternoon, while the bridge at Chiusa was reinoving, the French. appeared on the right bank of the Adige, and began a cannonade, which was returned. It has continued during all the evening, with scarcely any loss on the side of the Austrians.
Whitehall, June 18. Dispatches, of which the following are copies, have been received at the office of the right honourable Henry Dundas, one of his Majesty's principal Secretaries of State, from Lieutenant-general Sir Ralph Abercromby, K. B. commander in chief of his Majesty's forces in the West Indies.
Head.Quarters, St. Lucia, May 2, 1796. SIR, IN my letter of the oth of April, I expressed a desire to decach a body of troops to take poffeffion of Demerary, provided that Admiral Sir John Laforey would afford me the necelary naval force. Vol. V. с