way of the river, and at 3 h. 30 m. a.m. anchored off Points des Barques [Port-des-Barques]in perfect safety. At 4 p.m., by following the same plan as the Océan, the Cassard met with the same success. So that the only ships that remained aground at the mouth of the Charente, were the Foudroyant, Régulus, Indienne, and Tourville, the latter furthest up of any. Against these ships no effective attack could be made, even had the weather permitted, because there was no bomb-vessel in the British fleet, the Ætna having split her 13-inch mortar and used all her 10-inch shells.
On the 16th, at 10 a.m., after more than five days' exertions, highly creditable to her commander, M. Proteau, and his officers and crew, the Indienne was set on fire, and in an hour or two blew to pieces. On the 17th at 4 a.m., it being then about high water, the Foudroyant and Tourville extricated themselves and stood up the river; the latter anchoring off Pointe Vergeron, and the former a little below Pointe des Barques [Port-des-Barques]. There now remained only the Régulus; and she lay, as already stated, on the north-east bank of the Charente, just under the town of Fouras.
The 18th and 19th passed, without any attempt to destroy this French ship. On the first day there was no bomb-vessel. On the second day the Thunder arrived, but the weather was too violent for the small vessels to co-operate with her. The officer of the Océan, whose letter we have before quoted, says, under date of the 19th of April : " We begin to despair of getting off the Régulus which ship is still in the same situation. The enemy continue in Isle d'Aix road to the number of 20 sail. They have not made any movement whatever for these three days : which is a thing not at all to be understood (ce qui l'on ne conçoit pas bien), for they might with ease attack the Régulus, and oblige her crew to abandon her."
On the 20th the Thunder, covered by the gun-brigs, went to attack the Régulus; but a few discharges from the former's 13-inch mortar soon reduced it to the state of the Ætna's. The 21st and 22d appear to have passed inactively. On the 23d four gun-brigs took each on board two of the Aigle's long 18-pounders, and, with the two bomb-vessels (the Ætna having supplied herself with 10-inch shells from the Thunder), used every means, during the whole of the 24th, to drive the French out of the Régulus, but without success. This was the last attempt that was made ; and at daylight on the 29th the Régulus got herself afloat, and soon joined her companions at Rochefort. On the same day Admiral Lord Gambier, in the Caledonia, sailed for England ; and Basque road soon became thinned of its shipping.
Although rather a ticklish subject to handle, we shall not be deterred from submitting a few observations upon the proceedings which were carried on, for the avowed purpose of destroying
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