Scarcely had the British secured their prisoners, when the enemy's main body, 670 in number, attacked them ; but, after a sharp contest of four hours and a half, in which the French and Batavians sustained a loss of five men killed and nine wounded, the latter gave way in every direction. The marines went in pursuit, and certainly, if the allied forces had not broken down a bridge in their retreat, would have taken their stand of colours and two field-pieces. While the fugitives were in the act of destroying the bridge, the fire from the marines is represented to have killed 18, and wounded 20 of their number ; making their total loss on this occasion, 25 men killed and 29 wounded, while the British had not a man hurt.
Light Squadrons and Single Ships
On the 4th of January the British bark-rigged sloop Wolverine, of 12 guns and 70 men, Captain Lewis Mortlock, being on a cruise off Boulogne, in very foggy weather, discovered two large French luggers, close to her to windward. These luggers were privateers ; one, the Rusé, of eight 4-pounders and about 70 men, commanded by Citizen Pierre Audibert, the other, the Furet of fourteen 4-pounders and about 80 men, commanded by Citizen Denis Fourmentin. Captain Mortlock, judging that, if the privateersmen suspected the Wolverine to be a ship of war, they would make off, approached them under Danish colours. On being hailed by the Furet, Captain Mortlock replied, that he was from Plymouth bound to Copenhagen. This lugger was now close upon the starboard quarter of the Wolverine, with her bowsprit between the latter's mizen chains and side. The Wolverine instantly hoisted English colours, and opened a fire of great guns and musketry, Captain Mortlock, with his own hands, lashing the Furet's bowsprit to one of the iron stanchions of the Wolverine's mizen chains.
Boarding was now the only resource left to the Furet ; and her people made a vigorous assault on the British vessel, but were driven back with loss. In the mean time the Rusé had shot ahead, and run foul of the Wolverine on the larboard bow.
Here, also a desperate attempt was made to board ; and, at one time, it required almost every man in the Wolverine to repulse the Rusé's crew. Three of the boldest of the Furet's men, taking advantage of the exposed state in which the scuffle on the Wolverine's forecastle had left the afterpart of the vessel, sprang on the roundhouse ; and one man gave three cheers, as if to encourage those in the lugger to come on board to his support.
Captain Mortlock instantly ran from forward, to dispute with this daring Frenchman the possession of his post. The latter as the former approached, presented a pistol to his face. It missed fire; and, as the Frenchman was again cocking it, Captain Mortlock plunged a half-pike into his body, and the man fell overboard.
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