|Naval History of Great Britain - Vol III
||Light Squadrons and Single Ships
the ablest seamen in the boats, Henry Wallis, quartermaster of the Beaulieu, to take charge of the corvette's helm. Many other suitable arrangements were made ; and the nine boats, in high glee, hastened to the attack.
At about 1 a.m. On the 22d the boats came in sight of the Chevrette; who, after hailing, opened a heavy fire of musketry and grape upon the assailants. This was presently seconded by a fire of musketry from the shore. In the face of all this, however, the British pulled undauntedly towards the ship. The Beaulieu's boats under the command of Lieutenant Maxwell, assisted by Lieutenant James Pasley, and Lieutenant of marines James Sinclair, boarded the vessel on the starboard bow and quarter; the Uranie's, under Lieutenant Martin Neville, one of the Robust's, under midshipman Robert Warren, and one of the Doris's, under Lieutenant Walter Burke, on the larboard bow. The attempt to board was most obstinately resisted by the Frenchmen, armed with fire-arms, sabres, tomahawks, and pikes ; and who, in their turn, boarded the boats. Notwithstanding this formidable opposition, and that, in their attempts to overcome it, the British had lost all their fire-arms, the latter, with their swords only, effected the boarding. Those who had been ordered to go aloft, fought their way to their respective stations ; and, although some were killed, and others desperately wounded, the remainder gained the corvette's yards. Here the seamen found the foot-ropes strapped up ; but, surmounting every obstacle, the intrepid fellows quickly performed the service upon which they had been ordered. Thus in less than three minutes after the ship had been boarded, and in the midst of a conflict against numbers more than trebly superior, down came the Chevrette's three topsails and course. The cable, in the mean time, having been cut outside, and a light breeze having sprung up from the land, the ship began drifting out of the bay.
No sooner did the Frenchmen see the sails fall, and their ship under way, than some of them leaped overboard ; while others dropped their arms, and sprang down the hatchways. The British thereupon got possession of the quarterdeck and forecastle; which, although but five minutes had elapsed since the assault had commenced, were nearly covered with dead bodies. Those of the corvette's crew, that had fled below, still maintained a smart fire of musketry from the main deck and up the hatchways, but were at length overpowered and compelled to submit. In her way out, during a short interval of calm, the Chevrette became exposed to a heavy fire of round and grape from the batteries ; but a light breeze from the north-east soon drove the ship out of gun-shot. It was at about this time that the six boats under Lieutenant Losack joined company; and Lieutenant Maxwell, of course, was superseded in the command.
The British had one lieutenant of marines (James Sinclair), one midshipman (Robert Warren), seven seamen, and two marines killed, two lieutenants (Martin Neville and Walter
^ back to top ^