him, when he sent home requesting an addition to his force and a sixth, in the list of serious accidents that befell this fleet, very nearly deprived him of the use of another of his ships. Early on the morning of the 12th, when quite dark, as the ships were tacking in succession, the Colossus, keeping her wind a little too long, compelled the Culloden to bear up to clear her. The former then suddenly bore up also, and the two ships ran foul of each other. To the Colossus the concussion did but slight injury ; merely staving some of her upper works, and carrying away her fore topgallantmast. But the Culloden fared differently. The knee and cheeks of her head, the head-rails, larboard cat-head, bowsprit-cap, bumpkins, jib-boom, and fore topgallantmast were entirely carried away, and the bowsprit itself was badly sprung.
This was so serious an injury, that, under any other circumstances, the Culloden might with propriety have steered for the nearest port. But Captain Troubridge prized too highly the chance of distinction likely soon to be afforded him ; and the Culloden, after the partial repairs which the utmost exertions of her active crew could give her, was, to the surprise of all who had witnessed her appearance at daylight, reported in the afternoon, again ready for service.
Sir John Jervis, with his fifteen sail of the line, persevered in working up, against a strong south-east wind, to the neighbourhood of his rendezvous ; not doubting that he should there gain a sight, or at least hear tidings, of the Spanish fleet ; whose force, he knew, could not well be less than 19, and might amount to 30, sail of the line. On the 13th, in the morning, the British frigate Minerve, Captain George Cockburn, bearing the broad pendant of Commodore Nelson, and having on board Sir Gilbert Elliot, late Viceroy of Corsica, Lieutenant-colonel Drinkwater, and others of the viceroy's suite, came into the fleet with the intelligence, that on the 11th, soon after quitting Gibraltar, she had been chased by two Spanish line-of-battle ships, and that afterwards, when in the mouth of the Straits, she got sight of the Spanish fleet ; of whose strength and probable destination Commodore Nelson communicated some important information.
Before sunset the signals were made for the British fleet to prepare for battle, and to keep in close order during the night ; at intervals of which the signal-guns of the Spaniards were distinctly heard. At 2 h. 30 m. a.m. the Portuguese frigate Carlotta, commanded by Captain Campbell (a native of Scotland, we believe), spoke the Victory, and gave information that the Spanish fleet was only five leagues to windward. While the night-glasses of the British fleet are handing about, and every eye is straining for a glimpse of the enemy, we will endeavour to trace his route, from the day of his departure from port.
The grand fleet of Spain, under the command of Admiral
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