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French invasion at Kilala. 285 amounted to one million and twenty-three thouá sand pounds, of which five hundred and fifteen thousand belonged to the county of Wexford. It is thought, however, that though the estimates were in some cases above, yet in others they were below the real loss sustained by at least one-third. Probably the whole detriment may not have fallen short of three millions.
While the viceroy was actively engaged in plans for putting the military force into such a train that it might be speedily assembled in any part of the kingdom where expediency should require, intelligence arrived of a French invasion. Happily, however, for the interests and safety of Ireland, perhaps of the British empire, the French government, at this time, was guided by men of feeble character, incapable of taking a decided part at this momentous crisis.' "They suffered the period whien Ireland tvas in a state of actual rebellion to pass by without affording any aid to the insur: gents; and now, when it was quelled by the firmNess of government, they dispatehed an inconsiderable force thither; from whose co-operation no important results could possibly flow. They landed at Kilala on the 22d of August, 1998, uneler the command of General Humbert. They entered 'the bay under English colours, and the femnt succeeded so well that two sons of the Bishop of Killala, who had thrown themselves into fishing bort, were presently surprised to
find themselves prisoners * Humbert was one of those revolutionary generals who had risen. from ignorance and poverty to affluence and command; yet, though he could scarcely, write his name, he was an excellent officer, prompt in his movements, and decisive in his operations. He had been second in command to Hoche, when the ill-fated expedition sailed to Bantry-Bay.
When the French landed, the whole armed force of this place did not exceed 50 men, and they were all protestants. They fled, after a vain attempt to oppose the entrance of the French van guard, leaving two of their party dead, and 21 prisoners, among whom were their officers. On the following day, a detachment of the French advanced towards Ballina, seyen miles to the south of Killala, defeated the picket guards, and took possession of that town on the night of the 24th, the garrison of which retired to Foxford, teg miles further to the south.
Though the military arrangments of the viceroy were not completed, a force more than sufficient, at least in appearance, was quickly disr patched to the point of attack. On the 25th Ge. neral Hutchinson arrived at Castlebar from Gal. way, where he was joined on the following night by General Lake, the chief commander in the west. General Humbert marched to oppose these
..* The Bishop of Killala (Dr. Stock) wrote an interesting and authentic narrative of this transaction.
Disgraceful flight of the royal troops. 285 troops. His force consisted of 800 French, fatigued and sleepless, and about 1000 Irish peasants who had joined his standard. He had no other artillery than two small curricle guns. To him was: opposed an army fresh and vigourous," advantageously posted, with a well-served train of 14 cannons. The number of this army has been variously stated, from 6000 to 1100; the lowest computation consistent at all. with probability amounts to 2300, but it is thought by a writer likely to know the truth, (the Rev. Mr. Gordon) that it exceeded at least 3000. - The French leaders of course concluded that nothing was left for them but a surrender to such a superiority. They made an attack, however, on the enemy's. flank, and such a disgraceful panick seized the royal troops that they hastily fled in all directions, leaving their artillery and ammunition behind them. They ran 80 miles in 27 hours ! nor did they stop till they reached Athlone. Perhaps indeed they would not have halted here, had they not been met by the viceroy in person, who was so deeply impressed with the dangers attending this invasion upon the close of a rebellion, that he left the capital in order to conduct, himself, the military operations. : When he arrived at Athlone he was informed, by many who had fled from the field of battle, that the French had pursued the army of General Lake to Tuam, driven it thence,
and seized that. post. In fact, they had never - moved further in that line than Castlebar. .! 3
... The motions of the main army immediately under the personal command of the viceroy were calculated to cover the country, to intimidate the abettors of rebellion and to afford an opportunity of rallying to any smaller bodies of troops which might be defeated. After several slight skirmishes, for none deserved the name of a battle, the French troops found themselves so surrounded at Ballynamuck that after an ineffectual resistance they all surrendered, while the peasantry who had joined them and to whom quarter was denied, Aled in dismay. They were about 1500 in number, five hundred of whoin were killed by their pursuers. The troops of Humbert were found, after their surrender to consist of 748 privates, and ninety six officers. Thus, his loss appears to have been 256 from his first landing in Ireland.
Though the French aid was thus annihilated, rebellion' in a very diminutive shape continued to shew itself in the west: but by vigourous measures immediately adopted, it was finally suppressed. Killala, which had been thirty two days in the possession of the French, was taken by storm from the insurgents who defended it under the command of a French officer; and thus terminated another effort on the part of France to revolutionize Ireland. The little army of Humbert, however, was only intended as the vanguard of a more formidable preparation which happily failed too late to be of any effect. In the interim, a brig from France arrived at the little isle of Defeat of the French fleet off Donegal. 287 Ratland, near the north west coast of Donegal, on the 16th of September and landed its crew. Arnong these was James Nápper Tandy, well known as an active personage in the system of United Irishmen, and now bearing the title of general of brigade in the French service. Informed of the surrendery of Humbert's troops, and unable to excite by their manifestoes an insurrection in 'that quarter, they reimbarked and abandoned the shores of Ireland. Tandy was afterwards arrested at Hamburgh by some British agents; and though the laws of neutrality were thus flagranily violated, yet the Emperor of Russia's authority was used to intimidate the Hamburghers into an acquiescence. Tandy was tried at Lifford, at the spring assizes for 1801, he pleaded guilty'; was condemned; was pardoned as to life; emigrated to France, and died there soon after.
At length, on the 11th of Oct. the principal French armament appeared near the coast of Donegal. It consisted of one ship of the line, named the Hochë, and eight frigates, with four or five thousand soldiers." They were prevented from landing, and on the next day were pursued. and overtaken by Sir John Barlase Warren. An engagement ensued. The Hoche was captured, the frigateś made sail to escape, but six were taken in the chase. Another squadron of three frigàtës, with 2000 men for land service, destined to co