|Naval History of Great Britain - Vol III
||Colonial Expeditions - West Indies
his severe wound, are so extraordinary as to be worthy a recital. During almost every day of the three weeks and upwards that the advanced battery was held, Lieutenant Willoughby, with a recklessness of his person that, as it appears to us, the occasion did not warrant, used to sit in a chair upon the ramparts or breastwork of his little battery, exposed to a daily, nay almost to an hourly, discharge of shot from one or two guns mounted upon the Dutch fort above. The earth was ploughed up all around, and one man, we believe, was killed close to the spot ; but still the table and chair, and the daring young officer who sat there, remained untouched. On one afternoon Lieutenant Perrot was induced to seat himself in the chair. Scarcely had he done so, when a shot came, took off his left arm, badly wounded the knee upon which it had been resting, and knocked the table to atoms.
Notwithstanding the ill success which had attended this, as Sir John himself not inaptly termed it, " child of his own brain," the addition of the Vanguard's seamen and marines, and of a heavy mortar or two, would have enabled Captain Bligh to cut off the water from the Dutch garrison, and probably have compelled the French faction that ruled the island to accede to the proposed capitulation. The British officers and men behaved most admirably : and the masterly manner, in which, for so long a time and under so many privations, Lieutenant Hills and Willoughby, the latter in particular, maintained their respective posts, elicited the strong praise of Captain Bligh : who also, in reference to another officer, says to Sir John Duckworth, " Mr. Fitton has throughout shown so much zeal and judgment, that I should feel most happy if you can consistently give him a commission appointing him lieutenant of the Gipsy." This recommendation was attended to ; and, in a few days after the Gipsy anchored at Port-Royal, her commander, although the bearer of despatches announcing a defeat, received, what years of active employment and of hard and responsible service, what more than one successful case of acknowledged skill and gallantry as a commanding officer, * had failed to procure him, his commission as a lieutenant.
On the 25th of April the British 74-gun ship Centaur, Captain Murray Maxwell, bearing the broad pendant of Commodore Samuel Hood, accompanied by the three armées en flûte or reduced 44-gun ships Pandour, Captain John Nash, and Serapis, Captain Henry Waring, and reduced 28-gun frigate Alligator, Captain Charles Richardson, also the ship-sloop Hippomenes, Captain Conway Shipley, brig-sloop Drake, Captain William Ferris, and armed schooner Unique, Lieutenant George R. Brand, with a fleet of transports having on board nearly 2000 troops, under Major-general Sir Charles Green, after a passage
* See p. 60.
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