retired with 265. men, leaving shut up in the fort the remaining 35, in command of an artillery-officer named Vinache. On the 15th, at daybreak, the Turks, assisted by their gun-boats, commenced a furious attack upon the redoubt ; which, at night, they carried by assault, after having killed Captain Godard and the greater part of his men : the remainder of the little garrison was put to the sword. The Turks now bestowed their undivided attention upon the castle ; which, after a two days' siege, surrendered by capitulation. Notwithstanding this, the Turks, it appears, would have massacred their 35 prisoners, but for the interference of Captain Sir Sidney Smith, who, with the Tigre and Theseus, had just returned to the coast.
Having removed the only obstacle to the disembarkation of their troops and artillery, the Turks landed the whole ; but, instead of marching on Alexandria, where General Marmont was staying with only 1800 troops of the line (including a reinforcement of 600 just received), and 200 sailors of the nautic legion, the mussulmans began intrenching themselves on the peninsula. On, the night of the 23d Buonaparte arrived at Alexandria, and on the 25th, having assembled his army, resolved to attack the Turks in their intrenchments : he did so, and, after a dreadful carnage, possessed himself of all the redoubts, as well as of Aboukir village. In the latter was made prisoner the Turkish commander-in-chief, Said-Mustapha-Pacha.
The achievement of this victory cost the French 200 officers and men killed, and 750 wounded : among the latter were Generals Murat (slightly) and Fugières; and among the former, Generals Crétin, Leturcq, and Duvivier. The Turkish prisoners, including the wounded, amounted to 2000. If, therefore, as alleged in the French accounts, the Turks had 12,000 men outside the Castle of Aboukir, 10,000 men must have been killed and drowned. "La déroute," says a French writer, "est complète; l'ennemi dans le plus grand désordre, est frappé de terreur, trouve par-tout les baïonnettes et la mort. Dix mille hommes se précipitant dans la mer; ils y sont fusilés et mitraillés. Cette glorieuse (!) journée, &c." *
On the same day, the 25th, on which this battle was won, General Lannes, at the head of a division of troops, summoned the 5000 Turks shut up in the castle of Aboukir to surrender. The latter refused ; and on the morning of the 27th the French opened their batteries upon the fort. The Turks had retired thither with such precipitation, that they were without either ammunition or provisions, but not, it appears, without their women and horses. † Famine at length effected what the battering cannon of the besiegers could not, and on the 2d of August the " band of horrid spectres" rushed out of the castle and surrendered. Their sufferings had been so great, that very few,
* Dictionnaire historique, tome i., p. 10.
^ back to top ^