might make an advantageous attack by sea on that formidable post.
It being necessary, previously to an attack upon Forneilli, to get possession of a tower that commanded the only secure anchorage in the gulf of San-Fiorenzo, the Lowestoffe and Nemesis frigates were detached upon that service. As soon as the Lowestoffe, which, in working up to Cape Mortella, had got far to windward of her consort, arrived within gunshot of the tower, she opened a fire upon it ; then stood out, and, on tacking in again, repeated the fire. Just as the third broadside was about to be bestowed, a boat was seen to quit the shore, and pull in the direction of the town of San-Fiorenzo. Captairr Wolseley immediately despatched two boats, with Lieutenants John Gibbs and Francis Charles Annesley and 30 men, to take possession of the tower.
The British landed without opposition; and, although the ladder leading to the entrance, which was by an opening about 20 feet up the wall of the building, had been carried off by the fugitives, the seamen, by means of some spars found on the spot, managed to gain admission. Three long guns, one 24 and two 18 pounders, were found mounted at the top of this extraordinary tower (named Mortella, after its inventor), but the powder had been thrown into the well. On observing the Lowestoffe's success, the Nemesis bore away to the commodore with the intelligence, and the squadron soon afterwards entered the bay and came to an anchor. Owing, however, to some unexplained cause, Commodore Linzee delayed his attack on Forneilli until the garrison had made such preparations as compelled him to submit to a defeat in the manner we shall proceed to relate.
After failing, owing to the variableness of the wind, in repeated attempts to near the shore, the Ardent, during the night, warped herself into a situation from which she could not only annoy the redoubt, but cover the remainder of the squadron in its approach. On the 1st of October, at 3 h. 30m. a.m., the Ardent opened her fire. At 4 a.m. the Alcide advanced to her station, but, getting too close to the Ardent, and being embarrassed by an unexpected flaw of wind, was with difficulty towed clear of some dangerous rocks. In the mean while, the Courageux pushed under the Alcide's stern, and covered her from the fire of the redoubt; against which both the Courageux and Ardent kept up an unremitting fire. Soon afterwards the Alcide gained a station from which she could act ; but, although the three ships continued their efforts until 8 h. 15 m. a.m., no visible effect was produced on the redoubt. The commodore therefore made the signal to discontinue the attack, and the three ships hauled out of gunshot.
At this time the Courageux and Ardent, having been unexpectedly opposed to a raking fire from the town of San-Fiorenzo, had borne the brunt of the action (the former had been four times
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