|Naval History of Great Britain - Vol III
||Buonaparte and Toussaint-Louverture
should have the protection of the English; and that the ships of the latter would prevent those of France from transporting any troops to recapture the island, or from otherwise molesting him in his possession.
As soon as the negotiation between France and England had assumed a favourable appearance, the ex-proprietors of estates in Saint-Domingo, strengthened by the whole body of French merchants, who keenly felt the loss of so fair a portion of their trade, applied to the first-consul to send out an army and retake the island. The nation at large seemed to have but one feeling on the subject ; and Buonaparte, in despite, as he had himself declared, of his better judgment, * gave orders to equip an expedition suitable to the magnitude of the undertaking. The army was to be composed of 21,200 men, under General Leclerc ; and the fleet to convey them to the Antilles was to consist of 33 sail of the line, and nearly an equal number of frigates, ship and brig corvettes, and flûte-transports, under the command of Vice-admiral Villaret-Joyeuse.
0n the 14th of December, 1801, after a long delay by contrary winds, a fleet composed of 10 French sail of the line, under the commander-in-chief, and of five Spanish, under Vice-admiral Gravina, accompanied by six frigates, four corvettes and smaller vessels, and two transports, containing altogether 7000 men, set sail from the road of Brest. On the morning of the 17th, off Belle-Isle, one French sail of the line, one frigate, one corvette, and one flûte, with 900 men on board, joined from Lorient; and a squadron froth Rochefort, under Rear-admiral La Touche-Tréville, consisting of six sail of the line, six frigates, two corvettes, and two despatch-vessels, and having on board 3000 men, was expected to join, but did not until the combined fleet, on the 29th of January, 1802, reached Cape Samana on the island of its destination. One 74, the Duquesne, and one frigate, the Cornélie, having on board 700 men between them, had parted company; which left 10,500 as the number of men to be disembarked from the first division of the fleet.
The following were the dispositions for landing the troops: 1000, under General Kerverseau, at Santo-Domingo; 3000. under General Boudet, at Port-au-Prince ; 2500, under General Rochambeau, in Mancenille bay, to attack Fort-Dauphin, and, on carrying it, to proceed to the mole Saint-Nicolas, there to be joined by 4000 men under General Hardy. While the ship were proceeding to their assigned points of debarkation, two other French squadrons arrived at the rendezvous: one from Toulon, of four sail of the line and one frigate, under Rear-admiral Ganteaume, with 2300 men; the other from Cadiz, of three sail of the line and three frigates, under Rear-admirals Linois, with 1500 men on board. In the mean time, the 10,500
See O'Meara's Napoléon in Exile, Vol. ii.. p. 199.
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