|Naval History of Great Britain - Vol III
||Cruise of Admiral Ganteaume
rigging delayed her in chasing ; and, at 3 A.M. on the 28th, she lost sight of the Bravoure. At daylight, however, the Concorde again discovered the French frigate ; but the appearance of the latter's squadron to windward compelled Captain Barton, not only to relinquish the pursuit of the Bravoure, but to attend to the safety of the Concorde.
The latter's loss in the action, out of a crew on board of not more than 224 men and boys, amounted to four men killed and 19 wounded, one of them mortally. The loss on board the Bravoure, out of a complement of about 320 men and boys, is officially stated to have been 10 men killed, including her third lieutenant and pilot, and 24 wounded, including her captain, who had the misfortune to have half his hand carried away by a grape-shot.
The guns of the Concorde have already appeared; but owing to the bursting of one of her 28* maindeck 12-pounders on the 10th of the preceding August, whereby nine men were killed and five badly wounded, and another 12-pounder was disabled, the frigate mounted on the present occasion but 40 guns. The Bravoure appears to have mounted 42 guns, two more than the establishment of her class, on account of having, like the Concorde herself previous to her accident, 28 twelves on the main deck. In point of force, therefore, the Concorde and Bravoure were tolerably well matched ; but, in practical gunnery, the relative execution shows that, if the two combatants had been left to themselves, the British frigate, without some extraordinary chance in her opponent's favour, must have come off the conqueror.
A writer in the French work so frequently quoted by us declares, that the two frigates did meet by themselves, but that Captain Dordelin, by closing with the intention to board, " frightened away Captain Barton, " " effraya le capitaine ennemi." † The latter assertion appears to be founded upon a statement, although not quite so forcibly expressed, in the despatch of Rear-admiral Ganteaume; but who, be it understood, is merely reciting the report made to him by Commodore Moncousu, as the substance of the information received by the latter from Captain Dordelin himself. It is Captain Dordelin, therefore, who vaunts of his own prowess ; who declares that he compelled the Concorde to run away, that her guns were 18-pounders, and that he heard " groans and cries " proceeded from her after the discharge of his first broadside. Crediting the statement, M. Ganteaume strongly urges the minister of marine to promote M. Dordelin from a capitaine de frégate to a capitaine de vaisseaux ; but the first-consul appears to have seen further into the business than M. Ganteaume, and did not promote the Bravoure's captain to
* See vol. i., p. 201. We omitted to mention, that the Concorde differed from her class in mounting 28, instead of 26 guns on the main deck ; but the total of her guns is there correctly stated at 42.
† Victoires et Conquêtes, tome xiv., p. 151.
^ back to top ^