|Naval history of Great Britain
||Light Squadrons and Single Ships
Of her 260 men and boys, the Phœnix, when she commenced the action, had on board, including 10 or 12 who were too sick to attend to their quarters, only 245. Of these she had her second lieutenant (John Bounton), one master's mate (George Donalan), and 10 seamen killed, her first lieutenant of marines (Henry Steele, dangerously in the head), two midshipmen (Aaron Tozer, dangerously, and Edward B. Curling *) 13 seamen, and 12 marines wounded, several of them badly ; total 12 killed and 28 wounded. The loss on board the Didon, according to the report of Captain Milius, amounted to 27 officers (Including her second captain), seamen, and marines killed, and 44 badly wounded, out of a crew, as stated in the British official account and sworn to by the French officers, numbering 330.
Until Captain Baker's appointment to her, the Phœnix had been armed precisely according to the establishment of her class, as described a few pages back ; † but, being of opinion that the complement allowed to an 18-pounder 36-gun frigate, was not sufficient for fighting her to advantage, Captain Baker applied for and obtained the exchange of his 26 long 18-pounders for an equal number of medium guns of the same caliber ; which, requiring a less number of men than the former, left so many more for attending to the other duties of the ship. The guns of the Didon having already appeared, ‡ we may present the following as the
|Comparative Force Of The Two Frigates|
Here is a statement which, in every branch of it, exhibits, on the French side, a decided superiority of force. Few cases occur wherein we have not to offer some remarks, tending to increase or diminish the effect which the figures alone are calculated to produce. But, the shorter range of the Phœnix's 18-pounders, at the distance at which the action was fought, being compensated by the increased facility of working them, the above statement conveys a clear idea of the disparity of force in guns that existed between the parties. So it does in respect to crew ; for, although a numerical does not always imply a physical superiority, the Didon's was one of the finest crews out of France. Her men consisted of healthy, strong, and active fellows,
* This youth, not quite 17, was wounded in an extraordinary manner. While with jaws extended he was sucking an orange, a musket-ball, which had passed through the head of a seaman, entered one of his cheeks and escaped from the other, without injuring even a tooth. When the wound in each cheek healed, a pair of not unseemly dimples were all that remained
† See p. 156.
‡ See p. 156.
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