naced the shipping in the road. Accordingly, on the same night, a detachment of troops, composed of 50 Spaniards, 100 Piedmontese, 50 Neapolitans, 408 British, including 50 marines, and a party of seamen headed by Lieutenant Walter Serecold, of the navy, the whole under the command of Lieutenant-colonel Nugent, marched up the difficult ascent to the batteries, and stormed and carried them with a very trifling loss.
The French force in these batteries was said to consist of 300 men, and, at the heights a little above them, from 1200 to 1300 were concentrated. The narrow paths and rugged precipices by which the troops had to descend, in order to avoid the fire from two heavy batteries in the neighbourhood, rendered it impracticable to bring away the ordnance. The guns, therefore, consisting of one 4, one 6, two 16, and three 24-pounders, besides two 13-inch mortars, all of brass, were effectually destroyed, under the immediate direction of Lieutenant Serecold ; and the combined forces returned to their quarters without molestation.
The city and suburbs of Toulon occupied a circumference of at least 15 miles, including eight principal, and several intermediate posts, between most of which there was only a water-communication ; the total amount of British troops, at this time in and about Toulon, amounted only to 1360 rank and file. Hence, the extended line of works necessary to defend the town on the land side, the small quantity of troops of which the garrison was composed, the strength, activity, and local experience of the besiegers ; but above all, the backwardness of some, and the jealousy and distrust of others, of the allied forces, were among the many difficulties under which Toulon was, even at this time, retained.
A Lieutenant-general Valdez having arrived, since the 18th, to succeed Rear-admiral Gravina, owing to the serious wound which the latter had received at the heights of Pharon, Admiral Langara, on the 23d, wished Lord Hood to recognise the recent appointment by his catholic majesty of the lieutenant-general to the rank of " commander-in-chief of the combined forces at Toulon." This his lordship very properly resisted, averring, with truth, that Toulon and its dependencies had yielded to the British troops alone; and that, to command the latter, as well as the Sardinian and Sicilian troops, Major-general O'Hara, then off the port, had already been appointed.
By way of enforcing his demand, but under the pretence of shifting the berths of his ships, Don Juan de Langara placed his own three-decker alongside, and two other three-deckers, one on the bow, the other on the quarter, of the Victory, Lord Hood's flag-ship. At this time, be it known, the British fleet, by the departure of successive detachments, was reduced to ten sail of the line; while the Spanish fleet still consisted of its original number, seventeen. Lord Hood's firmness, however, was not to be shaken, and matters remained in their former state.
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