|Naval history of Great Britain
||British and French Fleets
||Rear-adm. (b.) Sir Richard John Strachan, Bt,
|Captain Charles Richardson.
||Lord Henry Paulet.
||John Erskine Douglas.
||Thomas Le Marchant Gosselyn.
||Robert Waller Otway.
||Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy, Bt:
On the 19th of May this squadron sailed from Plymouth, and on the 8th of August, after having cruised some time off Madeira and the Canary islands, Sir Richard anchored in Carlisle bay, Barbadoes. On the 13th that persevering officer again set sail in search of M. Willaumez ; of whose cruising ground he had received so good information, that the night of the 18th of August fell upon both squadrons nearly in the same latitude, and within a degree of the same longitude, the British experiencing the gale in latitude 21° 25' north, longitude 62° west, the French, as has already been stated, in latitude 22° north, longitude 63° west. The accidental circumstance of a day's earlier departure from Barbadoes might have enabled Sir Richard to have crossed the path of M. Willaumez, as the latter was returning to his cruising ground from the eastward, where he had been seeking Prince Jérôme, who had so unceremoniously quitted his protection.
On the 14th of September, at daybreak, Cape Henry in the United States of America bearing west-north-west distant 12 leagues, the British 74-gun ships Belleisle and Bellona, and frigate Melampus, being on the appointed rendezvous, in search of the Cæsar and the other ships of their squadron, which had been separated by the gale, discovered to leeward of them, and immediately chased, a strange sail under jury-masts, steering straight for the Chesapeake. This was the French 74-gun ship Impétueux, next to the Foudroyant, the most disabled ship of M. Willaumez's squadron. In the crippled state of his ship, M. Le Veyer had no alternative but to bear up towards the land. Accordingly, at 8 h. 15 m. A.M., the Impétueux hoisted French colours, and ran herself on shore. Soon afterwards the Melampus shortened sail, and, having hove to on the larboard tack, fired a broadside at the French ship, who thereupon hauled down her ensign and pendant. At 10 A.M. the British ships anchored about a mile from the shore, in five fathoms' water, and with their boats took possession of the Impétueux. At noon two suspicious sail in the offing induced Captain Hargood to get under way with the Belleisle and Bellona, leaving the Melampus to remove the French prisoners and set fire to the prize. By
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