board the Rosario. It is pleasant to be able to state, that merit met its reward : Captain Harvey was made post, and Mr. Dyer a lieutenant, on the same day, the 31st of March.
On the 3d of May, in the afternoon, receiving a telegraphic communication from the 18-gun brig-sloop Castilian, Captain David Braimer, at Dungeness, that the 16-gun brig-sloop Skylark, Captain James Boxer, and 14-gun brig-sloop Apelles, Captain Frederick Hoffman, were on shore to the westward of Boulogne, Captain Alexander Cunningham, of the 10-gun brig-sloop Bermuda, accompanied by the Rinaldo of the same force, Captain Sir William George Parker, got under way and hastened towards the French coast, in the hope to be able to render assistance to the two brigs, particularly the Apelles, whose fate was more uncertain than that of her consorts.
On the 4th, at daybreak, the Rinaldo discovered and chased the Apelles, which had just been got afloat by the French, from a spot about five miles to the eastward of Etaples, and was now steering alongshore under jury-sails. At 9 a.m. the Bermuda and Rinaldo closed with the brig, and, after a few broadsides, drove her on shore under a battery about two miles nearer to Etaples. As the tide was falling, Captain Cunningham discontinued the attack, in consequence of the advantage which the French would have in placing their field-pieces and small-arm men close to the Apelles at low-water mark. Before the tide served to renew the attack, Captain Cunningham was joined by the Castilian, also by the 14-gun brig-sloop Phipps, Captain Thomas Wells.
At 2 h. 30 m. p.m. the Bermuda, followed in line of battle by the other brigs, stood in close under the battery ; each sloop, as she got abreast of the Apelles, pouring in her broadside. By these vigorous means, the French troops who were on board the Apelles were driven out of her. The boats of the squadron, as had been previously arranged, under the orders of Lieutenant Thomas Saunders, first of the Bermuda, then pushed for, and, covered by the fire of the sloops, boarded the grounded brig ; and, although for a considerable time exposed to a galling fire of shot and shells from the battery and from a collection of fieldpieces on the beach, Lieutenant Saunders and his party, by 4 p.m., succeeded in getting the Apelles afloat and restoring her to the service. Notwithstanding the unremitting fire kept up from the shore, not a man either in the brigs or in the boats was hurt on the occasion.
Four of the French soldiers, not having time to escape, were taken in the Apelles ; as well as the whole of her late crew, except Captain Hoffman and 19 men. The officers and crew of the Skylark, after having set their vessel on fire, also arrived in safety on board the little squadron. For his zeal and promptitude in executing this service, Captain Cunningham was shortly afterwards promoted to post-rank.
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