« ForrigeFortsett »
Journal of the Eightv-(hir'i Ilf/rinnat.
most novel and extraordinary view. The proximity of the objects, the dead bodies of the enemy, and of the artillery horses, lying in every quarter of the town; the daring passage of the river, in the sight of a supposed superior force, notwithstanding the rapidity of the current, and the few boats to perform it with; the numerous dead men, horses, &c, floating down the river, naturally roused some reflections, amidst which thehavock, and uncertainty of military expeditions were not the least prominent.
Next to Lisbon, Oporto is assuredly the most considerable and wealthy place in Portugal. It is the chief place of a district, the seat of a corregidor, a provedor, and (being regarded as a garrison-town) has also a military governor; yet, though a bishopric, the bishop's chief establishment is at Menagerie. The population may amount to 40,000 souls. The city has four suburbs, seven parishes, and twelve monasteries. The remains of the walls and gates (for the Moors fortified it) may still be seen in many places, yet the town at present is, properly speaking, open, being without any other than temporary defences. The mouth of the river is covered by a small fort, called San Joas de Foz, near which, on the coast, is a little markettown. Besides this work, to the northward, B bastion has been raised on the very beach; and on the south side, opposite, is a redoubt called Santa Catharina, flanked, in its turn, by a few smaller batteries.
The quays, are large and broad, but constructed without any attention to the rules of architecture, A street skirts them for some distance; and in the low wall which bounds them, are fixed large iron rings, to which vessels are oftentimes fastened. A fine, large, and well-paved street, flagged on each side, leads from the banks of the river to the upper part of the town, where another equally handsome forms a right angle with it. A very few other good ones are however to be met with throughout the town.
Oporto notwithstanding, is, generally speaking, the cleanest and most elegant city in Portugal; and the inhabitants have an unaccountable fancy, that, owing to this cleanliness, it is less salubrious than many other places. The steepness of the height on which the town is built, renders riding more tiresome than it is at Lisbon, or even at Coimbra. Indeed, there are some houses, towards the west end of the town, built so completely close to the edge of the rocks which overlook the river, that it is impossible to reach them but by steps cut out of the stone.
The theatre, which is in the upper part of the4own, is an extensive stone building. The royal hospital is likewise a vast edifice, but in an unfinished state. From this part of Oporto the view of the southern shore, abounding in villages, monasteries, and forests of fir, environed by a highly- diversified country, is very agreeable and gratifying. Towards the east, a stupendous and soaring ridge of blue mountains exhibit abrupt precipices, or inaccessible cliffs; but the nearer parts seem ameliorated, and numerous cultivated spots appear, where industry and art have awakened life and fertility. (To be continued.)
Journal of Occurrences at Don.inica.
Journal Of Occurrences At Jdominica,
From 22d February to SOM June, 1805.
Sib,—No account of the brave defence of this Island, in the year 1805, hat ever been before the public. The following it at your service.—C.
IT will be recollected, that the squadron which sailed from Rochfort, in the beginning of January 1805, was the first enemy's fleet that had ventured to sea since the beginning of the war; and having sailed during a heavy gale of wind, which had driven our blockading squadron off the port, they arrived in the West Indies before it was known in England to which part of the globe they were destined, so that their appearance in those seas was completely unexpected and unlooked for.
The Island of Dominica, which, lying between Guadeloupe and Martinique, had been long an eye-sore to the enemy, was the first and principal object of their attack. On the morning of the '22d of February, between the hours of three and four, the inhabitants of the town of Roseau, and the garrison of Morne Brune, half a mile distant, were called from their beds by an alarm, two guns being fired from Scott's Head, a military post to the windward of the island, distant about three miles from Roseau, which were immediately repeated from Fort Young, mounting nine twentyfour pounders, and defending the town. In ten minutes the St. George's regiment of militia were assembled in their parade ground, in the church Savannah; and the light infantry, composed of the 16lh and 1st West India regiments, in a few minutes after took up their position at their respective alarm posts; that of the former being the esplanade fronting Government House, and the latter the head of the church Savannah, fronting the St. George's militia drawn up at the bottom of it. Every person able to leave their beds was now out; such as were exempted from militia duty appeared at first only as spectators, but afterwards joined as volunteers. As soon as the troops had formed at their respective posts, General Prevost ordered a distribution of ammunition to the militia. At this lime it was too dark for us to perceive any vessels; but the alarm was generally supposed to be in consequence of that part of the Cork fleet bound to leward being in sight from Scott's Head. In this state of painful uncertainty, we continued until five o'clock, when the day began to dawn, and we could just perceive a number of vessels in the offing, and at no great distance. In a very short time arterwaids they were made out to be large vessels, and shortly after we distinctly counted five sail of the line, four frigates, two brigs, and a schooner, and about this time they hoisted English colours. Every eye was of course directed towards this unexpected and powerful squadron; many conjectures were formed respecting it. The most general id, a was, that a part of the Brest fleet was out, and that the ships now in sight were a detachment of the Channel fleet in search of them* One of
VOL. IV. No. 21. D
Journal of Occurrences at Dominica.
three decks bore a Rear Admiral's flag, and they, by this time, were formed in line of battle; the frigates standing on to leward, for the purpose, as we afterwards found, of cutting off the merchantmen lying in the harbour, should they attempt to escape. The sun was now up, and every one anxiously waiting for information about them j the masters of the merchantmen, however, had early conceived them to be enemies, and the General seemed by this time to have formed the same opinion himself. During the night, the government vessel, employed for carrying dispatches to and from Barbadoes, had arrived, and gave information that no such fleet had been there when she sailed; there remained, therefore, little doubt of their being enemies. The General opened his dispatches, and told the gentlemen around h'm the only news they contained was a declaration of war against Spain. He then ordered a shot to be fired from Fort Young, across the Admiral, although the English colours were still flying, which was no sooner done, than they were struck, and the French colours hoisted by the whole squadron in their place: at the tame moment eighteen large boats, full of troops, pushed off from the leward side of the ships, and rowed towards Point Miohell, lying about half way between Roseau and Scott's Head. The sensations of the inhabitants, at this moment, when all doubt was removed, could not be pleasant; but the time for action was arrived, and not a moment was lost. The General instantly ordered off the light companies of the 46th and 1st West India regiments, and grenadiers of the St. George's militia, under Captain O'Connell*, of the 1st West India Tegiment, to oppose their landing; and the remaining companies of the 4:'th regiment were ordered down from Morne Brune, where they had been under arms since three o'clock, to support them; be likewise communicated by signal to Colonel Broughton, who commanded at Prince Rupert's, the arrival of an enemy's fleet, and of their having begun to disembark their troops, with such other particulars and orders as he thought proper: he then proceeded to Point Michell in person, where he found Captain O'Connell had been joined by Captain Levant's company of militia. They had used every exertion, but in vain, to oppose the enemy's landing; who, although they had used the utmost expedition to get to the point of disembarkation, succeeded in getting 700 men landed, who were preparing to advance towards the town. The detachment of Royal Artillery, commanded by Captain W aller, and assisted by Lieutenant Schaw of the +6'lh, with a party of that regiment, who had been trained to the use of the great guns, were keeping up a heavy fire from Fort Young, on the ships, which was well seconded from Melville's battery, by Captain Anderson, and Lieutenant Corlet, with part of the artillery-company of the St. George's regiment. Ensign Court being detached to Fort Young with the remainder. After the detachment under the command of Captain O'Connell were obliged to retire, from the superior numbers of the enemy, they took post at the barrier
• Now Lieutenant-Colonel, ?Sd regiment, and a most meritorious officer, serving at ■ present in New South Wales.
Journal of Occurrences at Dominica.
gate, on the side of Point Michel), nearest to Roseau, to come at which the French were obliged to advance along a narrow path at the foot of the hill, which is here a perfect precipice, guarding it completely on one side, and on the other washed by the sea; on the beach there are many large fragments of rock, precipitated from the top of the hill, and which make the road very difficult, and prevents more than two or three people advancing abreast.
Immediately on the enemy gaining a firm footing ashore, they advanced sharp shooters amongst these rocks to pick off our rpen, whilst their boats returned for more troops; and their light vessels, which drew little water, came so close to the beach, as to annoy our men a good deal by their grape shot, the fire of which was for some time very heavy; however, about this time the remaining four companies of the 46th regiment came up. One company, under Captain Wooleslv*, and part of the St. George's regiment, under Major Conslable,«were detached to guard a pass on the hill, and to give timely notice of the approach of the enemy on that side. At the same time two six-poun<)ers were brought up to the gate by the great exertions of the Rev. John Audain, and some other spirited individuals, with a party of sailors and negroes. These were instantly employed against the brigs and schooners, and soon made them sheer off; they were then turned with great effect upon the troops, now reinforced by a second disembarkation, who pushed forward a strong column to storm the barrier; but after a long and persevering attack, they were repulsed with very considerable loss. In this attack Major N nun, of the 1st West India regiment, an active and gallant officer, whom the General had left in the command of the troops on this side of Roseau, was mortally wounded, and obliged to be carried off the field. Captain O'Connell, although himself slightly wounded, then resumed the command.
The line of battle ships had by this time sufficiently neared the town and forts to commence a very tremendous, but ill-directed fire on them, which continued without intermission until two in the afternoon. The Admiral's ship, of 120 guns, upon seeing thesmall vessels beat off at Point Michell, stood in herself, and opened a heavy fire of grape on our troops, in hopes of dislodging them from the important post they occupied, but without effect, the shot being all directed too high. Their boats had now received a third division of troops on board, and proceeded for Woo.ibridge's Bay, on the north side of the town, where General Prevost had already detached a party of the St. George's regiment, under Captains Atkinson and Beech, thinking they would be joined by some militia from the out-parishes. He now sent off Colonel Beech with the remaining companies of the regiment, except the light infantry under Captain Laing, who were, much to their regret, left to guard the ford of the river with a howitzer. On the Woodbridge side the contest was soon over; the St. George's regiment being detached in companies never acted together;
* Now of Md, or Fusiliers; «
Journal of Occurrences at, Dominica.
separated as they were, however, they under their respective Captains made a gallant resistance, to the greatly superior force opposed to them; and Captain Atkinson was wounded, when bravely leading on his men to attack the French on the beach. After ineffectually opposing the enemy's landing, they retreated towards Moroe Daniel, a small post, with one thirty-two pounder, defended by a serjcanl of the 46th regiment, and six men of the 1st Wes t India regiment, who kept up a spirited and welt directed fire on the French, and prevented their gaining the town on that side so soon as they otherwise would have done. Whilst these things were taking place on the right, the enemy had made twp more attempts to storm the pass at Point Michell, without effect; in both of which they lost numbers of men, whilst ours was small in comparison. Their last effort to seize it was particularly fatal to them: a column'of grenadiers advanced with trailed arms, under an officer of undaunted courage, who determined to take it or perish in the attempt. Whilst they advanced along the narrow path, our men were completely hid from view, Captain Archibald Campbell*, of the 45th grenadiers, who were advanced at the gate alone observing the enemy's motions. They were allowed to advance very close, when a dreadful fire of grape and musquetry was opened upon them, which killed their commander, and threw the whole column into the utmost confusion: they retreated precipitately, and suffered severely, being for a considerable time under our fire, which was most tremendous on them, so long as they were within reach. After suffering this severe repulse, the French Commander-in-chief, Le Grange, who had served under Merton in Egypt, determined to take a circuitous route; and accordingly, with 500 men, proceeded round the kill, intending to fall upon the rear of our post, whilst another attack should be made in front. General Prevost having reason to think that the enemy had obtained a firm footing in Woodbrige Bay, and being apprized of their having detached a force round the bill, saw that the post so gallantly maintained for seven hours could no longer be defended, and therefore ordered the regular troops to begin their march to Prince Rupert's across the island, the communication along shore being entirely cut off. Having entered the town, and ordered Fort Young to be defended as long as possible, he crossed the river; and finding the militia retreating, and pursued by the enemy, he proceeded for St. Rupert's himself, attended by Lieutenant PrevostJ, his Aid de-Camp, and Mr. Hopley, QuartermasteiGeneral of the militia; having sent orders to Colonel Beech, that he wished as many of the St. George's as volunteered to encounter further danger and hardships, to proceed to Prince Rupert's by forced marches. He left Mr.
q Captain Archibald Campbell, is particularly noticed for bis good conduct in the General's dispatches. ,
t Latterly in the first Spanish campaign under Buonaparte, where he received a very severe wound, and is now unfit for active service.
♦This gallant young man has lately fallen in Portugal, as well as a younger brother in the battle of Albuera.