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1814 British and French Fleets 258

sloop Lyra, in a Spanish-built boat selected as the most safe for the purpose, and having with him the principal pilot, was the first to make the attempt to cross the bar, but the boat overset. Captain O'Reilly, however, and we believe the whole boat's crew were so fortunate as to gain the shore. Lieutenant John Debenham, in a six-oared cutter, succeeded in reaching the beach ; but, as it was scarcely possible that one boat in 50 could then have crossed, the other boats returned, to await the result of the next tide. The tide being at length at a proper height, and all the vessels well up for the attempt, several boats drew near the bar, but hauled off again, until at last Lieutenant George Cheyne, of the 10-gun brig-sloop Woodlark, in a Spanish boat, with five British seamen, crossed the surf and ran up the river. The next was a prize-boat, manned from a transport, closely followed by a gun-boat, commanded by Lieutenant John Chesshire, who was the first that hoisted the British colours in the Adour. The remainder of the boats and vessels followed in rapid succession, " the zeal and science of the officers triumphing over all the difficulties of the navigation ; " but this arduous and most perilous undertaking was not accomplished without a heavy loss of life. Captain Elliot of the brig-sloop Martial, Mr. Henry Bloye, master's mate of the Lyra, and 11 seamen of the Porcupine, Martial, and Lyra, drowned : three transport boats lost, number of men unknown ; also a Spanish chasse-marée, the whole crew of which perished in an instant.

The British army afterwards crossed the Adour and invested Bayonne ; and, early in March, a detachment under Marshal Beresford moved forward towards Bordeaux. On the 21st Rear-admiral Penrose, with the 74-gun-ship Egmont, to which he had now shifted his flag, anchored in the Gironde. On the 2d of April Captain Coode of the Porcupine, who had ascended the Gironde above Pouillac, detached his boats under the orders of Lieutenant Robert Graham Dunlop, in pursuit of a French flotilla which was observed proceeding down from Blaye to Tallemont. On the approach of the boats, the flotilla ran on shore ; and about 200 troops from Blaye lined the beach to protect the vessels ; but Lieutenant Dunlop landing with a detachment of seamen and marines, drove the French with great loss into the woods, and remained until the tide allowed the greater part of the vessels to be brought off. One gun-brig, six gun-boats, one armed schooner, three chasse-marées, and an imperial barge, were captured ; and one gun-brig, two gun-boats, and one chasse-marée burned. This service was performed with the loss of two seamen missing, and 14 seamen and marines wounded.

On the evening of the 6th the 74-gun ship Centaur, Captain John Chambers White, anchored in the Gironde, in company with the Egmont ; and preparations were immediately made for attacking the French 74-gun ship Régulus, three brig-corvettes, and other vessels lying near her, as well as the batteries that

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