|Naval History of Great Britain - Vol III
||British Expedition to Egypt
Aboukir on their right flank maintained a constant and harassing discharge of large shots and shells ; but the ardour of the British officers and men was not to be damped. No moment of hesitation intervened. The beach was arrived at, and a footing obtained ; the troops advanced, and the enemy was forced to relinquish all the advantageous positions he had held. The boats returned without delay for the second division ; and, before the evening of the 9th, the whole army, with a proportion of stores and provisions, was landed.
A detachment of 1000 seamen, placed under the orders of Captain Sir William Sidney Smith, formed part of the landed force. The duty of these was to drag the cannon up the heights; a service they performed with their usual alacrity and perseverance, and in which, and in disembarking the army, they sustained a loss of 22 seamen killed, three lieutenants (John Bray, George Thomas, and Francis Collins), one master's mate (Richard Ogleby), three midshipmen (John Finchley, John Donellan, and Edward Robinson, the latter mortally), and 63 seamen wounded, and three seamen missing. The loss sustained by the army, on the same occasion, amounted to four officers, four sergeants, 94 rank and file killed, 26 officers, 34 sergeants, five drummers, 450 rank and file wounded, and one officer, one sergeant, one drummer, 32 rank and file missing; making a grand total of 124 killed, 585 wounded, and 38 missing. The loss sustained by the French, when they were driven from the hill, is stated by them at 400 in killed and badly wounded; but it was believed to have exceeded that amount: they left behind them eight pieces of artillery, one of which was a 24-pounder besides a great number of horses.
On the 12th the British army moved forward, and came in sight of the French army; which, having been reinforced by a body of 4400 troops under General Lanusse, including upwards of 1000 cavalry commanded by General Bron, now amounted to about 7000 men. The French were formed upon an advantageous ridge, having their right on the canal of Alexandria, and their left towards the sea. On the following day, the 13th, a battle was fought, in which the detachment of seamen under Sir Sidney Smith, and of marines under Lieutenant-colonel Walter Smith, emulated the brave troops with whom they were associated. The British gun-boats on the lake of Aboukir, commanded by Captains Frederick Lewis Maitland and James Hillyar, were also particularly useful in annoying the right flank of the French army. At length, after a sharp struggle, the French were repulsed at all quarters, with the loss, as admitted by themselves of 750 killed and badly wounded; and the British took up a position at the village of Bedah, distant about a league from the town of Alexandria, having on their right the sea, on their left the canal of Alexandria (then dry) and Lake Madieh, and in front a sandy plain.
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