|Naval history of Great Britain
||Boats of Galatea and Lynx corvette
Light Squadrons and Single Ships
On the 6th of January the British 38-gun frigate Impérieuse, Captain Lord Cochrane, while passing the basin of Arcasson to the southward of the Gironde, on her way to join the squadron of Commodore Keats off Chasseron lighthouse, detached her boats, under the orders of Lieutenant David Mapleton, assisted by midshipmen the Honourable William John Napier and Mr. Houston Stewart, and assistant-surgeon George Gilbert to bring out of the basin whatever vessels might be found there. As a preliminary step, Lieutenant Mapleton attacked and carried Fort Roquette, which was intended for the defence of the entrance to the inlet. A large quantity of military stores was there destroyed, four long 36-pounders, two field-pieces and a 13-inch mortar spiked, the platoons and carriages burnt, and the fort laid in ruins ; and, as a proof that this enterprise was as judiciously as it was gallantly conducted, not a man of the party was hurt. In his letter on this subject Lord Cochrane mentions the capture or destruction of several French merchant vessels, but it does not appear that any were found in the basin of Arcasson.
On the 21st of January, at daybreak, the British 18-pounder 32-gun frigate Galatea, Captain George Sayer, cruising off the coast of Caraccas on the Spanish Main, discovered from the mast-head a sail in the south-east, steering for La Guayra ; but which sail soon altered her course for Barcelona. At noon, the frigate then nearly becalmed, the stranger was made out to be an enemy's man-of-war brig, and was, in fact, the French brig-corvette Lynx, mounting fourteen 24-pounder carronades and two long eights, with a complement of 161 men and boys, commanded by Lieutenant de vaisseau Jean-Mathieu Fargenel, from Gaudaloupe, bound to the Caraccas with despatches. At this time, having the advantage of a light land wind, and assisted by her sweeps, the Lynx was fast leaving the Galatea ; so much so, that at 2 P.M. the brig's topgallantsails, as viewed from the frigate, were scarcely above the horizon. Still, shut in as the brig was between the frigate and the coast, Captain Sayer conceived that he might obtain possession of her by the assistance of his boats.
Accordingly, at a very few minutes past 2 P.M., six boats, containing five officers, 50 seamen, and 20 marines, 75 in all, and placed under the command of first Lieutenant William Coombe (left leg of wood), pushed off from the ship in the following order, each boat taking the one next to her in tow : short gig, commanding officer's name unknown ; long gig, master's mate John Green : green cutter, third Lieutenant Robert Gibson ; pinnace, second Lieutenant Henry Walker ; barge, Lieutenant Coombe ; and launch, master's mate Barry Sarsfield. The brig
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