powerful, no doubt can remain, that the Amazon most nobly sustained her part in the engagement.
The loss on board the Droits-de-l'Homme, out of a crew, including her army-passengers, of at least 1350 men,* amounted to three army-officers and 100 sailors and soldiers killed, and seven officers of the ship, about an equal number of army-officers and 100 sailors and soldiers, placed "hors de combat," or badly wounded. Therefore, including the slightly wounded, we may fairly state the total at 103 killed and 150 wounded. The severity of this loss reduces that on board the two frigates to little or nothing. That no more than three men should have been killed and 34 wounded by the fire of a two-decker (nominally so, at least), continued for eight or nine hours, the chief of the time at close quarters, can indeed only be accounted for by the violent motion of the sea, felt the more by the Droits-de-l'Homme on account of the loss of her masts, the height of the line of fire to which the 74 was restricted, especially as against antagonists so comparatively, low in the water, and the excellent bow and quarter positions, which those antagonists, by their superior activity, were enabled to maintain.
The powerless state of the Droits-de-l'Homme's principal battery, during the greater part, if not the whole, of the engagement, would render unfair any statement that did not, upon the face of it, make allowance for so very important a circumstance. Hence, we have omitted the usual statement of comparative force. We need only remark that, in broadside weight of metal, the two frigates, chiefly on account of the powerful battery of the Indefatigable, who carried long 24s below and 42-pounder carronades above, would have had rather the advantage, even against the French ship with the whole of her guns in a condition to act. The action undoubtedly did credit to all that were concerned in it ; yet, had the combatants possessed sea-room, the 74 not lost her topmasts and been eased of her superfluous hands, and the state of the weather been such as to have admitted the constant use of her long 36-pounders, who is there that can say which party would have ultimately prevailed ?
Having gone through all that relates to this extraordinary
* This is less by 200 than the number for which head-money was paid ; but, in this instance, the customary vouchers, the certificates of the three principal French officers, were necessarily obliged to be dispensed with. In lieu of them, there were depositions, first by the master of the Cumberland, that he believed the number of men on board the Droits-de-l'Homme to have been between 1500 and 1600 ; and then, by the first and second captains of the captured French frigate Tortue, that they believed the crew of the Droits-de-l'Homme to have been 700, and the soldiers on board about 800. In opposition to this, a French semi-official account of the action states the crew at 650 (in which number Lieutenant Pipon agrees), and the troops, exclusive of several staff-officers, at 600. The amount in the text admits the troops to have been 700.
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