| ||Naval history of Great Britain
||LIEUTENANT YEO AT MUROS || 135
Muros and nearly ready for sea, and being acquainted, by having formerly entered it on service, with the navigation of the bay, Captain Maitland resolved to attempt the capture or destruction of the vessel. Accordingly, on the 4th, at 9 A.M., having prepared the Loire for anchoring with springs and settled the plan of attack, Captain Maitland stood into the bay, with the sea breeze, having in tow the boats, containing 50 officers and men, under the command of Lieutenant Yeo, assisted by Lieutenants of marines Samuel Mallock and Joseph Douglas, and master's mate Charles Clinch.
As the Loire hauled round the point of Muros road, a small battery of two long 18-pounders opened a fire upon her. A few shot were returned ; but, perceiving that the battery, from its commanding situation, would considerably annoy the ship, Captain Maitland directed Lieutenant Yeo to push for the shore and spike the guns. That active officer, with his men, quickly departed, and the Loire stood on. As she opened the bay, the frigate discovered at anchor within it a long corvette, pierced with 13 ports of a side, apparently ready for sea, and a brig pierced with 10, in a state of fitting ; but, as neither of them fired, they were considered to be, and were, in fact, without their guns. This circumstance enabled the Loire to bestow the whole of her attention upon a fort of 12 long 18-pounders, which now opened to view within less than a quarter of a mile of her, and which immediately commenced a well-directed fire at the frigate, almost every shot striking her hull. Perceiving that, by standing further on, more guns would be brought to bear upon her, and that the Loire would still be at too great a distance to fire her guns with any effect, Captain Maitland ordered the helm to be put down ; and, as soon as she had run a little closer in, the frigate anchored with a spring, and opened her broadside. So completely, however, were the Spaniards in the fort covered by their embrasures, that the frigate's fire, although well directed, was comparatively ineffectual. After a few minutes of this unequal warfare, during which the Loire had nine of her seamen wounded, three of them dangerously (one having his leg above the knee, and another the calf of his leg, shot off), the fire from the fort ceased ; and, as a reason for it, the British union was just then making its appearance above the walls.
We will now quit the frigate awhile, and attend to the party on shore. Lieutenant Yeo, whom we left proceeding to storm the battery on the point, landed under it ; but, as he and his men advanced to execute the service, the Spaniards in the battery, amounting to 18, including eight artillerymen, abandoned their guns and fled. Scarcely had the British seamen time to spike the two 18-pounders, when, at the distance of about a quarter of a mile, and close to the entrance of the town of
Muros, was descried the fort, whose destructive cannonade upon the frigate has already been related, and which had just then
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