|Naval history of Great Britain
||Light Squadrons and Single Ships
returned. In a few minutes the French frigate was involved in a dense cloud of her own smoke, and lay becalmed, while the Spartan, having received very little damage from their shot, kept the breeze, and left her unskilful pursuers to themselves. We notice this fact as a warning to young officers when similarly situated, to confine their whole attention to trimming their sails ; for not only does the firing destroy a breeze of wind, but even in fresh gales the motion of the guns, and the men, are unfavourable to the velocity of the ship. " *
This account, in our opinion, contains a far from unimportant omission, the names of the French ships. That omission we have been enabled to supply. The 74 was the Annibal, late British Hannibal, captured at Algeziras,† one frigate the Pomone, the other the Incorruptible, and the corvette the Victorieuse. The captain of one of the frigates is represented to have been afterwards broken by a court-martial at Toulon for his conduct on this occasion ; although, we confess, we cannot see upon what ground. The above extract certainly shows none ; and we have not been able to find, in any French publication, a word on the subject.
On the 5th of June, at 7 h. 30 m. A.M., the British 38-gun frigate Pomone, Captain Robert Barrie, cruising off the Pertius Breton, discovered and chased in the north-east three armed brigs. On approaching near, a convoy was discovered under their escort. At about 9 A.M. the Pomone got within random-shot of one of the brigs, when the wind entirely failed. Having also to tack from the Barges d'Olonne ; which she did not do until within 400 yards of them, the Pomone lost all chance of cutting off either of the armed brigs. Some of the frigate's shot reaching the convoy, two, supposed to be naval transports, ran on shore, and a third vessel, a brig, was deserted by her crew. Captain Barrie immediately despatched Lieutenant John Jones, in the six-oared cutter, to take possession, as well of this brig as of any others that were not close to the shore. This service Lieutenant Jones performed with great judgment and gallantry, and fortunately without loss, although the grape from the shore and from the gun-brig passed through and through his boat.
One of the gun-brigs now making a show of sweeping out, Captain Barrie sent Lieutenant James Wallace Gabriel, with three boats, to meet her. As, however, the brig retreated under the protection of the batteries and of the numerous musketry which lined the beach, Lieutenant Gabriel was recalled, and directed to proceed towards St.-Gilles; where several vessels, part of the convoy belonging to the three gun-brigs, were observed to be nearly becalmed. With these vessels the lieutenant afterwards came up, and captured 14 of them, without
* Brenton, vol. iv., p. 159.
† See vol. iii., p. 117.
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