the 6th of October, 1795, soon after her capture from the French, were 12 long 12-pounders, and two 36-pounder carronades, with a crew of 130 men and boys : and the size of the Victorieuse perhaps justified the armament, as she measured 349 tons. A contemporary describes the Victorieuse as mounting in this action "fourteen 6-pounders;" * against this statement we have nothing to offer, but the admiralty-order fixing the brig's establishment.
Although somewhat out of chronological order, we will here narrate another creditable performance by Captain Dixon, and those under his command.
On the 3d of December, at 2 a.m., the Victorieuse and 14-gun brig-sloop Zephyr, Captain William Champain, having received on board, by order of Colonel Picton, commanding at Trinidad, a major and 40 men of the York Rangers, landed the troops, along with a party of seamen near the river Caribe, in the island of Margarita, in order to attack the forts (how many, or of what force, does not appear in the official letter) in the rear, while the two brigs cannonading them in front ; but, at daylight, the Spanish commandant sent to beg the British not to fire, as he would give them immediate possession. This he did ; and the guns were brought off, and the troops re-embarked. The two brigs then made-sail for the port of Gurupano, on the same island, and at 4 p.m. arrived there. Observing a French privateer in the harbour, Captain Dickson sent in a flag of truce, to say to the commandant of the fort, that the British were determined to take out the privateer, and warning him not to fire at them. The commandant replied that he would protect the vessel, which was the Couleuvre, of six guns and 80 men, and that the British should give him up the guns they had taken at Rio-Caribe.
No time was now to be lost ; and, having landed Major Laureil with the troops, also 30 seamen detached from the two brigs, and commanded by Lieutenants William Case and -- M'Rensey, Captain Dickson anchored with the Victorieuse and Zephyr, and opened a smart fire on both forts, one of which mounted four, the other two guns. In 10 minutes the troops and seamen, amounting together to no more than 70 men, carried the lower fort ; and immediately the Spanish flag at the upper fort was hauled down and replaced by a French one. At the end of five minutes more, this fort also surrendered. The number of men that garrisoned the two forts, was estimated at 300 ; and who, as well as the crew of the privateer effected their escape. The Couleuvre and the guns on shore were-carried off, and the forts destroyed. The casualties to the British were two men killed and two wounded, and some slight damage to the masts and rigging of the Victorieuse.
* Brenton, vol, ii., p. 441.
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