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1812 Light Squadrons and Single Ships 70

On the 11th of June the French brig-corvette Renard, of fourteen 24-pounder carronades and two long sixes, commanded by Lieutenant de vaisseau Charles Baudin des Ardennes, and schooner Goéland, of twelve 18-pounder carronades and two sixes, commanded by Enseigne de vaisseau Belin, along with some gun-boats, and a convoy of 14 vessels laden with naval stores for Toulon, sailed from the port of Genoa. On the 15th M. Baudin and his charge were driven for shelter under the island of Sainte-Marguerite by a British squadron, consisting of the America 74, Curaçoa frigate, and brig-sloop Swallow, of sixteen 32-pounder carronades and two long sixes, Captain Reynolds Sibly. While the 74 and frigate kept in the offing on account of the shoal water, the Swallow, by signal, stood in to reconnoitre the convoy. On the 16th, at daybreak, the vessels of the latter were observed to be getting under way ; and the Renard and Goéland, having a light breeze in-shore, soon made all sail in chase of the Swallow, who lay nearly becalmed. At about 6 a.m., however, finding that the Swallow was benefiting by a light breeze which had just sprung up from the south-west, the French brig and schooner hauled their wind, tacked, and used every exertion, by sweeps and boats to effect their escape. Having at last accomplished their object, they and their convoy stood towards the bay of Fréjus.

Captain Sibly had now very small hopes of bringing on an action ; when, at a few minutes past noon, on the breeze freshening the Renard and Goéland having received on board from Fréjus a number of volunteers, with a detachment of soldiers, again stood off on the starboard tack, the schooner keeping a little to windward of her consort. The Swallow being at this time ahead on the opposite tack, the two parties neared each other fast. At 1 p.m., finding she could weather the Renard, the Swallow closed, and, passing her to windward within 30 yards, gave and received a broadside. Captain Sibly then wore close under the French brig's stern, in the hope of keeping her head off shore ; but, having had her own head-braces shot away, the Swallow was not able to lie so close to the wind as her captain intended. The Renard consequently got round on the larboard tack, and in that position was furiously cannonaded by the Swallow to leeward. The Goéland, meanwhile, had taken an annoying position out of the reach, except occasionally, of the British brig's guns. After the Swallow had sustained, during 40 minutes, the close and determined attacks of her two opponents, the larger of whom made several attempts to board, the proximity of the shore, and the strength of the batteries that lined it, compelled Captain Sibly to haul off and rejoin his commodore in the offing. The Renard and then stood on under all the sail they could set, and were presently at anchor with their convoy in the bay of Grimaud.

The Swallow was much cut up in sails, rigging, masts, and

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