Contents

Next Page

Previous Page
 
Naval history of Great Britain - Vol. IV
by
William James
1807 Boats of Bacchante and Mediator at Samana 323

All further success was now at an end ; for, in following the other gun-boat and the armed schooner up the creek, the pilot missed the channel, and ran the two garda-costa prizes on shore. As there was no prospect of getting the vessels afloat, the action was continued in that situation until 5 P.M. Mr. Richard Pound the purser, and two men, being now added to the list of wounded, Captain Nicholas gave up the attempt, and directed Lieutenant John Bull to destroy the two schooners, and cover the retreat of the boats ; a service which he effectually executed.

On the 14th of February the British 20-gun ship Bacchante, Captain James Richard Dacres, and 18-pounder 32-gun frigate Mediator, Captain William Furlong Wise, cruising off Cape Raphael, island of St. Domingo, captured the French national schooner Dauphin, of one long 12 and (when chased but since thrown overboard) two 4 pounders, with a crew of 71 men. It was now decided to make an attack upon the adjacent fort of Samana, a notorious nest for privateers. For this purpose the prize was to be sent in under French colours, and the Mediator, an Indiaman purchased into the service, and so far well adapted for deception, disguised as a neutral.

In this way the schooner, the frigate, and the 20-gun ship stood through the intricate channel into the harbour ; and, so well was the stratagem conducted, and so skilfully were the Mediator and Bacchante piloted by their respective masters, that these vessels anchored within half a mile of the fort of Samana before they were discovered. The fort, which was manned chiefly by privateersmen, then commenced firing, and the Mediator, whose situation was the nearest, and Bacchante, fired in return. After the mutual cannonade had continued four hours, Captain Wise, assisted by Lieutenants Henry Loraine Baker, John Norton, and ----- Shaw, proceeded with the boats of the two ships, and gallantly stormed, and without any further loss carried the fort.

In the harbour were found an American ship and an English schooner, prizes to the privateers belonging to the port ; also two French schooners, fitting for sea as cruisers. Considering the heavy fire maintained by the fort, and its commanding situation, the British loss was not so great as might have been expected. It amounted to one master's mate (Thomas H. M'Kenzie) and two seamen of the Bacchante wounded, and two seamen killed, and 13 seamen and one marine wounded on board the Mediator ; total, two killed and 16 wounded.

On the 1st of March, while the British 50-gun ship Glatton, Captain Thomas Seccombe, and 14-gun brig Hirondelle, Lieutenant George A. E. Skinner, were at anchor off the island of Tenedos in the Archipelago, information was received that one of the annual Turkish ships, from Alexandria to Constantinople, was at anchor in the port of Sigri. Captain Seccombe immediately despatched the boats of the Glatton, under the orders of Lieutenant Edward Watson, assisted by lieutenant of marines

^ back to top ^