most of them dangerously. The survivors were afterwards put on board a captured schooner, and landed at Puerto-Cabello.
It is impossible to do justice to Captain Hamilton, the gunner Mr Maxwell, and the first boarders from the pinnace ; they were unsupported for more than ten minutes, and this gallant handful of men succeeded in possessing themselves of the quarterdeck. The history of naval warfare, from the earliest time to this date, affords no parallel to this dashing affair : it was no surprise, no creeping upon the sleepy unawares ; the crew of the frigate were at quarters, standing to their guns, aware of the attack, armed ; prepared, in readiness ; and that frigate was captured by the crews of three boats, the first success being gained by sixteen men. It is useless to waste words in endeavouring to do justice to Captain Hamilton, Mr. Maxwell, and Mr. M'Mullen : the first received an adequate reward in the honour of knighthood, the second received a sword from the lieutenants, and the third shared prize-money with that class ; but the best record of this well-planned, well-executed, daring, gallant enterprise, is to be found in the Painted Hall at Greenwich Hospital - there it remains to gratify the eyes of all who are willing to do justice to English seamen and their gallant commander.
Captain Hamilton, with his prize in company, made sail for Jamaica, and on the 1st of November anchored in Port-Royal. Having while in the Spanish service undergone a thorough repair, the Hermione was immediately restored to her former rank in the British navy ; at first under the new name, as given to her by Admiral Sir Hyde Parker, of Retaliation, but subsequently, on her return to England, under the more appropriate name of Retribution.
The recovery of a frigate, so infamously acquired by the Spaniards as the Hermione, could not fail to be gratifying to the re-captors : how much more so must it have been, when the achievement was effected under circumstances so transcendently glorious to the British name and character. Undoubtedly, the cutting out of the Hermione, by Captain Hamilton and his brave shipmates, stands at the head of that desperate class of services ; and on no occasion was the honour of knighthood more deservedly bestowed, than upon him who had planned, conducted, and bled in the attack.
Captain Hamilton's wounds, indeed, although not vitally dangerous, were of a very serious nature, and merit a more particular account than we have given of them. He first received a tremendous blow from the butt-end of a musket, which broke over his head and knocked him senseless on the deck ; he next received a severe sabre-wound on the left thigh, another wound by a pike on the right thigh, and a contusion on the right shinbone by a grape-shot. One of his fingers was much cut, and. his loins and kidneys were so much bruised, that he still at times requires the best medical advice and assistance.
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