Page images

from the 23d, under col. Vassal, who advanced against Maldonado, which seemed to be occupied by about 600 regulars and militia, mostly mounted, with one howitzer, and one 4-pottnder field-piece. Though our troops were without any artillery, they soon dispersed the enemy, with the loss of their guns, and about 50 men killed and wounded. The loss on our side was two killed and four wounded, of the 38th regiment.

Colonel Backhouse adds,—" To the cool intrepidity of our little column on this occasion, much praise is due, as it adranced with the utmost steadiness and alacrity, . and without firing a shot, until sufficiently near to make a certainty of carrying both the guns and the town, which was principally done by the bayonet, notwithstanding the advance was made under heary discharges of grape and musketry. —To the well-known gallantry and ability of col. Vassal, I feci my. self much indebted; and the conduct of every other officer in the field has commanded ray thanks."

The next day the heary batteries ou the beach of the harbour, and the peninsula, surrendered at discretion to sir H. Popham. The marines and armed seamen sent on shore by sir H. were of the greatest assistance in the capture of Maldonado. Col. Backhouse closes his dispatches with mentioning the great services he received from major Trotter of the 83d, and major Tucker of the72d.

Return of Ordnance, Ammunition,

and Stores, isx. taken from the

Enemy in the Town and Vicinity of


Brais Ordnance. 1 Six-inch

howitzer, with 10 rounds of ammunition; 1 six-poundcr, with 10 rounds of ditto.

Iron Ordnance. 12 {wenty-sixpounderson sea-batteries; 20 twenty-four-pounders, on the island of Gorctti; 700 muskets, 200 pistols, 300 swords, ISO barrels of powder.

Then follow copies of two letters from sir II. Popham to W. Marsden, esq. The first is dated on board the Diadem, in Rio de la Plata, Augnst 25th, and describes the circumstances which progressively led to the surrender of the settlement of Buenos Ayres.

"Pueridon, (says sir II.) one of the municipality, appears to have been the greatest ori;ari of the revolution. He applied himself with great art and address in preparing the people for a general insurrection. The arms in the town were secreted, ready for the moment of action; the discontented assembled every night, and attended to his instructions, and he raised ail the rabblo of the country by the ample supplies of money with which he was furnished on the north side of the rirer. Co). Liniers, a "French officer in the Spanish service, and on his parole, successfully employed himself in collecting people at Colonia. Terror was established, and every person who refused to con. tribute his assistance to this conspiracy was threatened with immediate death. 1 have traced this from very unquestionable authority; and so rapid was the progress of the revolution, when it first shewed \Zself, that it was not till the 31st of July that I learnt, by a dispatch from the general, which reached me at Kusenada, on. my return from Monte Video, that he' was apprehensive, from the information he St3 had received, an insurrection would shortly be made. I heard at the same time from capt. Thompson, that seventeen of the enemy's vessels had just arrived at Colonia; and, as it was reported that force was still to be increased from Monte Video, I sent orders for the Dio. raedc to be brought to Ensenada, and for capt. King, of the Diadem, to come up with the remaining few marines, the two companies of Blues, and as many other men as could in any degree be spared from the ships, for the purpose of arming some vessels to attack the enemy at Colonia, as it was impossible to prevent his crossing from the north shore whenever the wind was fair.

"On the. 1st of August, in the afternoon, the Leda anchored off Buenos Ayres, about twelve miles distant; and on my landing on the 2d, which I did as soon as the weather would admit of a boat getting on shore, I found the general had just made a very successful attack on nbout 1500 Spaniards under Pueridon, five leagues from the town, with 500 men ; in which he took all the enemy's cannon, (I think nine pieces,) and several pri. soners.—On the 3d I attempted to return to the Leda, in the Encounter, which captain JFoneyman brought within a few miles of the shore for this purpose, as it blew very strong; but the wind freshened so considerably from the castward, that we could not get to •windward. On the 4lh, in the morning, it «as very thick weather, and the gale increased so much, that it was impossible to weigh.—About noon, captain King arrived in a ga. livat with 150 mrn from the Diadem, for the purpose of arming the few small vessels we had collected

in the harbour, but he was not able to get there till the following day. , On the 5th, in the morning, it maderated, and II reached the Leda; when I received a report from captain Thompson, that in the gale of the preceding day the enemy crossed from Colonia totally unobserved by any of our ships, except the schooner under the command of lieutenant Herrick; but the easterly wind had thrown so roach water in the river, that the enemy were enabled to cross over any part of the Patmas bank without the necessity of making a greater detour by going higher up the river.—On the 6th and 7th it blew a hurricane; the Leda was lying in four fathoms, with two anchors down. and her yards and topmasts struck. —On the. 8th I heard from captain King, that five of our had foundered at their anchors; that the Walker had lost her rudder, and that the launches and large cut. ters of the Diadem and Leda were lost.—The torrents of rain that fell during the 6th, 7th, and 8th, bad rendered the roads totally impracticable for any thing but cavalry: and consequently general Berts, ford was most seriously disappointed in his determination to attack the enemy at a distance from the town; in which, had it taken place, I entertained no doubt that ht* army would have added another trait of its invincible spirit under his dispositions.—The enemy, however, by his inexhaustible supply of horses, suffered little inconvenience from the state of the roads, and he was therefore enabled to approach the town by several directions, without giving the British army any opportunity to attack him.—On the 1 Oth, in the eTcning.


the Castle was summoned ; and on the following day I landed, while oar remaining vessels were firing on the Spanish posts, and I learnt, that, inclusive of the Spanish army, which was divided into many columns, occupying the various ■ avemies of the town, the inhabitants were all armed, and sheltered on the tops of the bouses and churches, with a design of carrying on a war of ambush.—Under these circum. stances, and the manifest disposition, of the enemy to prevent an engagement, it was determined to embark, the wounded that night, and cross the Rio Chello, for the purpose of moving towards Ensenada; bat this meat a'/c was in a great degree frustrated by the weather, which became very violent during the night, and consequently retarded the progress of embarkation, though the enemy added a consi. derable number of men to the houses and churches near the Castle, tod advanced by all the streets not under the influence of its fire; in short, sir, his object was to avoid by every means a general action, and to place his men in such a situation that they could fire at our troops while they remained in perfect security themselves. On the 12th, at day-light, I understand a smart fire began from the enemy's advanced posts, but was soon returned with great effect from our artillery, which was planted toward the principal streets leading to the great square; for a short time the enemy, by his immense numbers, shewed a greater degree of firmness than on any other occasion, and pushed forward with three pieces of artillery, which colonel Pack, of the 71st, soon charged and took from him. During this time, how.

ever, reinforcements crowded the tops of all the houses commanding the great square from the backstreets, and our troops were soon considerably annoyed by people they could not get at. The enemy com. manded the Castle in the same way, with the additional advantage of a gun on the top of one of the churches, which I consider an indelible stigma against the character of the bishop, not only from his situation, but the professions he made. —I can easily conceive how the feelings of general Beresford must, at this moment, have been on the rack. Disappointed in his last efforts to induce tho enemy to a gene. ral engagement in the great square, his gallant little army falling fast by shots froai invisible persons, and the only alternative which could present itself to save the useless effusion of so much valuable blood, was a flag of truce, which was hoisted at the Castle about one o'clock. In an instant there were near 10,000 men in the great square, pressing forward in the most outrageous manner to get into the fort, and even firing at our men on the ramparts; so much so, that it was with extreme difficulty the British troops'were prevented revenging this insult; indeed the general was obliged to tell the Spanish officers, if their men did not retire in the course of one minute, he must, as the only measure of safety, haul down the flag of truce, and recommence hostilities: this firmness had the desired effect, and he then sent his conditions to the Spanish general, and they were instantly acceded to.''

From the subsequent part of this

letter, it appears that our loss on

the above occasion amounts to 1

officers, 2 Serjeants, 1 drummer,

b s 4 and

and 43 rank and file, killed; and lieut. W. Mitchell, of the 71st re6 officers, 7 serjeants, 92 rank and giment.-Officers wounded, captain file, wounded ; and 9 missing; ma. Mackenzie, R. M. lieut. Sampking a total of 165; and scarce any son, St. Helena regiment; cart. of those misfortunes were occasion. Ogilvie, R. artillery ; licut. M'Do. ed except from the 'inhabitants, pald, ditto; lieut. col. Pack, lieut. on the tops of the houses and the Murray, ensigns Cognel and Lucas, churches. The enemy confesses (since dead,) all of the 71st regito have lost about 700 killed and ment. wounded, in the short couflict in the Statement of property captured streets; and if it had not been for at Buenos Ayres, but not removed, the inhabitants, I have little doubt, and which was recaptured on the (says sir H.) that the Spanish troops 12th of August. would have been completely defeat.

Dollars. ed, although seven times the num

Goods of the Philippine

100,000 ber of the British forces.--Nothing Debts due to dito : 1,011,337 is more difficult than to give their 4000 Arab. B. Tobacco,

at 6 dollars, sold for 16 24,000 lordships an idea of the number of

2000 ditio Parly ditto 12,000 men in arms; but from the best 50,000 Reams Paper (2 accounts we can obtain, it is

dollars) . .

100,000 thought Pueridon, and the other 5000 Quintals of Quick

Playing Cards

50,000 principal people engaged in this wilver (40 dollars) , 200,000 plot, had collected from 8 to 10,000

40,000lbs. Spanish Snuff
(2 dollars) : :

men in the country; that Liniers 20,000/b. Havannah ditto.
may have brought over from 800 to (2 dollars) . 40,000
1000; and the town furnished. 37.500lbs. Bark,(1 dollars) 56,250.

- 1,679,97 though armed in various ways, Vessels and Floating Property 1,500,000 about 10,000, under the secret ar.

3,173,797 rangement of the magistrates.".

Note-No valuation is made, in -Lieutenants Groves, Herrick, and

this statement, of the timber, trea. Swaile, of the navy, receive great

sure in treasury, powder in the praise from sir. H. for their conduct

magazine, and of army and ord. in bringing out several vessels from

nance stores. the harbour.

The second letter, from sir H. The articles of capitulation agreed Popham, dated on-board the Dia. that the British troops should dem, relates merely to the capture march out with the honours of war, of the town and harbour of Maldo. and be embarked for England as nado, as described by col. Backprisoners; and that the Spanish house. --- A third letter, dated Oct. troops made prisoners by us on the 31, states the capture of the island of capture of the place, should be ex. Goretti, by sir Il. Popham, -Go. changed for the British officers ta. retti is a very strong position, de ken at the recapture. This capi. fended by 20 twenty-four pountulation, after being signed, was bro. ders, in four batteries, so placed as ken by the Spaniards, who march. to command the roadstead, the ed our troops up the country eastern passage between it and the

The officers killed, were capt. peninsula, and the only two pracKennett, of the R. engineers, and fical beaches for landing.

The Gazette of Feb. 14. contains an order of the commander-inchief, that, in addition to the permission recently granted to the 76th regiment of foot, for placing the word Hindoostan in their colours and appointor nts, the ..regiment shall be allowed to place the Ele. fhant in their colours and on their appointments, inscribing the word "Hindoostan" ai omul it; as a distinguished testimony of their pood co duct and exemplary valour duriog their service in India.

Capture of Curacoa.

Admiralty-office, Feb. 21. Captain Lvdiard, if his maje'li 's n/iip the Anson, arrived here this morning, izith dispatches from xice-admiral Dacres, commander, in-chnf of his majesty's ships and rends at Jamaica, to William Marsdcn, e«9. oj ichtch the follow, ing are copies: Shark, Port Royal, Jan. 1, 1S07.

Sin; I have much satisfaction in congratulating my lords commisioners of the admiralty on the capture of the island of Curacoa, on Newyear's day, in the morning, by the four frigates named in the margin *, under the orders of captain Brisbane, of the Ari'thusa: a copy of whose letter I inclose for their lordships' information.

Whilst I contemplate the immense strength of the harbour of Amsterdam, and the superior force contained in its difTercnt batteries opposed to the entrance of the frigates, 1 know not how sufficiently

* Arethusa, Latona,

to admire the decision of captain Brisbane, in attempting the har. bonr, and the determined bravery and conduct displayed by himself, the other three captains, and all the officers and men under his command; and is another strong instance of thecool and determined bravery of British seamen.

Captatn Brisbane being, from his situation, obliged to act as governor, I have, as an acknowledge, ment and high approbation of his conduct, continued him in that situation until his majesty's pleasure shall be known; and request, in the strongest manner, that their lordships will be pleased to recom. mend him for that appointment.

Captain Lvdiard (who will have the honour of delivering this, and nho fully partook of the conquest, and has before distinguished himself off the Havannah,.') I beg to refer their lordships to for any information. 1 shall put an acting captain in the Anson until his return, or I receive directions thereon.

I am, &c.

(Signed) J. R. Dacre*.

His Majesty's ship Arethitsa, Sir, Curacoa, Jan. I, 1807.

It is with the most"liveIy and heartfelt satisfaction I have tho honour to irfform you, that his majesty's squadron under my command, has this day opened the Newyear with what I humbly flatter myself will be deemed an enterprise of considerable consequence to my country.

I proceeded in the execution of your orders the 29th of November, with every possible avidity; but

the Anson,and Fisgard.

« PreviousContinue »