The Spaniards renew the blockade.—Attempt to bum our shipping by nine fireships, but miscarry—Gunboats.— Garrison again distressed.—Enemy effectually cut off the supplies from Barbary.—JBreak ground in advance from their lines.—Scurry very prevalent.—Greatly relieved by the use of lemons.—Mode of using this vegetable acid.—Garrison obtain a few supplies from Minorca.—Enemy retarded in their operations.—Spirited action between the Enemy and an English polacre.— Garrison obliged to quit the gardens on the neutral ground.—Tangier.—Speedwell cutter arrives after a spirited engagement.—A Spy discovered.—Mr. Logie, the British Consul in Barbary, expelled the Emperor's dominions.—Gruel treatment which he and the other British subjects experienced.—Cause of this event A memorial from the Officers of the Garrison.—Great distress of the troops.—The Kite cutter, Captain Trollop, arrives with intelligence that the British fleet is at the entrance of the Straits.
THE Garrison might now be considered in a very perfect state of defence. The scurvy indeed had begun to affect many, and threatened to become more general ; but we flattered ourselves that the enemy would give up their intention of starving us to a surrender, and, by relaxing in their vigilance at sea, might afford us an opportunity of receiving constant supplies of those articles most essential to health. Our stores and magazines were full; a reinforcement had joined the garrison; and new spirits were infused into the troops, since they were convinced, from the powerful force sent to their relief, that they were not forgotten in the multiplicity of objects which necessarily engaged the attention of our friends at home.
Admiral Duff having
returned on board the fleet to
The 16th of the same month,
Admiral Barcelo removed the boom at Algeciras, and warped out to his former
anchorage, immediately detaching his small craft to Cabrita Point, to intercept
any ships that might attempt coming in. In the afternoon, the enemy executed two
men in camp, who, it was imagined, had been retaken in attempting to desert:
their bodies were not cut down until the 20th. This punishment seemed however to
have little effect; for at night three others came in, having swam round
A Venetian came hi from the
west, on the 21st; she spoke the British fleet all well to the west of
At daybreak on the preceding day, we discovered a vessel at anchor off Waterport, which we fired upon, supposing her to be a Spaniard: she immediately sent her boat to Ragged Staff, and informed us that she was of Naples, and bound to London; that she had touched at Minorca, and had on board two English discharged soldiers, and two women passengers. The boat returned, and soon after went on shore at Fort St. Philip, where it remained about half an hour. In the evening the enemy fired a shot at the vessel; upon which she sent her boat a second time ashore: we answered the shot from Willis's: nevertheless at night she went over unperceived to Algeciras.
In the beginning of March, three regiments decamped from the enemy's army, and took different routes. On the night of the 2d, two Genoese sailors who had formerly belonged to a privateer of the Garrison, came over to us in a small boat from Algeciras. The following day a Spanish convoy under a Commodore arrived in the Bay, from the west. The Governor, on the 11th, ordered the Garrison to be victualled Jionthly (bread excepted) in the following proportion: for a soldier, each first and third week, 1 lb. of pork, 2J lb. of salt fish, which had been purchased from the New foundland ship ; 2 pints of pease; 1 lb. of flour; £ lb. of raisins; 1 lb. of rice; 5 oz. of butter: 1} pint of oatmeal. Second and fourth week, 1} lb. of beef, 2 lb. offish, 2 pints of pease, 1 lb. of rice, 5 oz. of butter, 1J lb. of wheat, lb. of raisins. The salt cod being indifferent of its kind, and the soldiers not having proper vegetables to dress with it, proved very pernicious. This article continued to be delivered for near seven months; and undoubtedly, in a great degree, promoted that dreadful disorder, the scurvy, which, before Sir George Rodney arrived, had made its appearance, and afterwards became very general and fatal. The Governor, however, in this new distribution, considered the hospital, whose proportion of salt meat was less, and more nourishing articles issued in stead.
repeated assurances from the Spaniards, that the English prisoners in our
neighbourhood should be exchanged for those taken with Admiral Langara none were
yet sent in agreeably to that Admiral's promise: Commodore Eliott was therefore
under the necessity of making a formal demand, and, to enforce it, told them, if
they did not comply, he should expect the Spanish Admiral would return with the
officers then upon their parole. This convinced them the Commodore was no longer
to be trifled with; accordingly, on the 12th, about 390 British seamen were
received on board the Fortune sloop, and distributed amongst the men of war,
whose crews, as I have mentioned before, were sent to man the Spanish prizes.
The same day a Moorish sloop came in from
The Fly packet arrived the
14th, with an English mail. In the afternoon the Maidstone came in, with a
settee prize, which the Captain had cut out of
The enemy at this time were
not particularly employed. Some new arrangements were made in their
artillerypark ; and in their camp they were busy collecting brushwood for
fascines, which caused various conjectures in the Garrison concerning their
future operations. A salute and feudejoie were fired in their camp on the 19th,
supposed to be occasioned by the birth of a son to the Princess of Asturias. The
night of the 23d, the Alert sailed with dispatches for
April was not remarkable
for any events of moment. On the 2d, the Porcupine frigate, Sir Charles Knowles,
Bart, sailed to the eastward on a cruise. The 5th, arrived the Fly packet; she
reported that a merchantman, bound to the Garrison, had been obliged by a north
wind, when she was almost arrived in the Bay, to pass to the eastward, and put
into Tetuan, where she waited a favourable opportunity to renew her attempt.
The Fortune sloop, on the 6th, took over to the enemy 300 Spaniards, who
had been confined as prisoners for some time in our Navy hospital. She returned
with nine British, and two days after took over 280 prisoners. The night of the
12th, a sloop, with two settees, came in from Tangier: the former brought a
packet from Mr. Logie; and the latter, cattle, and other acceptable articles.
The following day we observed the enemy forming a bridge of pontons across the
mouth of the river Guadaranque. At night, the Hyena frigate, Capt. Thompson,
arrived in thirteen days from
Towards the conclusion of
the month, the enemy were more active in their camp, and sometimes in the lines
; to which place they brought down a great quantity of fasoines.
They were chiefly employed in raising the boyau, and making repairs,
which were however so trifling, that our artillery did not disturb them. Besides
the arrivals already noted, we received supplies by two or three boats from the
May was not less barren of interesting occurrences than the preceding month. Several deserters attempted to get in, but some were so unfortunate as to be overtaken by their pursuers. These wretches were generally executed the succeeding day^ but the example did not deter others from similar attempts.
The 4th, the Fly returned with fowls, leather, and fruit. Two days following, the enemy's army were under arms in two divisions, and performed a sham engagement. One division took post on the eminence „ above the Stonequarry, under the Queen of Spain's chair, and was attacked by the other from below. After a smart cannonade, and brisk discharge of musketry, the party above gave way ; but the night prevented our observing the conclusion. The succeeding day, the Fortune received from a Spanish flag of truce, 47 prisoners, very few of whom were British. At night small arms were discharged on the neutral ground, supposed to be at some deserters who were coming off. One Walloon reached the barrier, and informed us that several of his comrades agreed to follow him. The 10th, two men were executed in the Spanish camp; probably the same who were retaken.
Another deserter, belonging
to the regiment of
A Swede was brought to from
Europa, the 15th, and obliged to come in.
We were much disappointed in her lading, which was salt. We had a few
days before received some supplies from Tangier; and on the 18th two boats
arrived from Tetuan, with fowls and oil: the latter reported that the Fly
packet, which had left us on the 11th, was driven ashore on the Barbary coast by
the enemy's cruisers, who, after the crew had quitted her, took possession. We
were much concerned at this intelligence ; for the Fly was a fast sailer, and
had been very fortunate in frequently passing in and out unobserved. The 20th,
came in a Moorish sloop from
A Letter of Marque arrived on the 25th from Leg. horn, with wine, oil, and other articles: a very valuable cargo to the Garrison. On the 30th the enemy's army were again under arms. Their manoeuvres on that day, were the attack and defence of a convoy. Their parties, as in the last month, continued arranging the ordnance in their artillery park, and bringing down to the lines, materials for the repair of their works. Our artillery, however, took little notice of them.
In the beginning of June we received some seasonable supplies by the arrival of three boats from Tetuan, and one from Tangier. By the latter we had intelligence, that the Fox packet, from Faro, and a sloop, were at that place, waiting an opportunity to get in; and by this, or one of the former vessels, Mr. Logie gave information that the enemy had prepared several fireships, to burn our shipping in the Bay* Two months before, he had intimated to Commodore Eliott, that the Spaniards had five fireships in readiness for immediate use; and that they had once made an attempt to send them over, but the wind failed. Repeating the intelligence, therefore, at this time, was peculiarly fortunate, as the next night they attempted to put in execution their design. The same day, a Spanish ship of the line sailed from Algeciras, to the eastward.
Our naval force, at this period consisted of the Panther of 60 guns, Capt. Harvey, (who, since Commodore Eliott's departure, commanded in the Mediterranean) ; the Enterprise frigate, Captain Lesley; two armed vessels commanded by lieutenants, with several armed transports; and other ships, belonging to merchants. On the morning of the 7th, a little after midnight, the Enterprise, which was anchored to the northward, off the Newmole head, discovered several sail approaching her from the opposite side of the Bay: they Were hailed; but before satisfactory answers could be received, several fireworks and inflammable substances were thrown on board, and six fireships suddenly appeared in the form of a crescent, bearing down upon her and the ordnance ships in the New mole. Captain Lesley, with immediate presence of mind, instantly fired three guns to alarm his friends, and cutting his cable, drove closer in shore. The Panther and shipping, on the appearance of the enemy, immediately commenced a brisk cannonade to retard their progress ; and, manning their boats, the officers and seamen, with their usual intrepidity, grappled the ships: and, notwithstanding the fierceness of the flames, towed them clear of our vessels under the walls, where they were afterwards extinguished. Besides these six, which were intended for the New mole, three others were lighted, and directed towards the Panther, at anchor off Buena Vista: but one was towed off by the boats, and the other two were at so great a distance that they drove out to sea to the eastward.
The Garrison was as early
alarmed as the Navy. The drums beat to arms; the guards were all upon their
defence; and the picquets, with the different regiments, assembled at their
posts, and continued under arms till daybreak. The artillery from the batteries
seconded the fire from the ships; but the darkness of the night prevented any
certain knowledge of the effect. The wind, which was favourable for their
purpose in the beginning of the night, fortunately grew still when they were
most in need of it. The largest of them, nevertheless, would certainly have got
into the New mole amongst the ordnance transports, had not a few barshot, from a
thirty-two pounder at the Molehead, turned her round, and the current carried her
The navy, on this occasion, cannot be too highly commended for their courage, conduct, and alertness. Their intrepidity overcame every obstacle ; and though three of the ships were linked with chains and strong cables, and every precaution was taken to render them successful, yet, with uncommon resolution and activity, the British seamen separated, and towed ashore the vessels, with no other injury to themselves than a few bruises. The design all together, to do justice to the ingenuity of Don Barcelo, was well projected; and his squadron judiciously stationed at the entrance of the Bay, to intercept our men of war in case they had attempted to escape from the fireships. We afterwards were informed, that Admiral Barcelo proposed to Don Alvarez, to draw off our attention from the southward by opening his land batteries on the town. Without doubt such a proceeding would have diverted the attention of the Garrison in some measure from the shipping: but, as the navy had the principal, nay, I may say, the sole honour of opposing the fireships, their endeavours would not have been less strenuous, nor of course less successful.
The hulls of the fireships were soon after broke up and sold to the inhabitants for fuel, and proved a most seasonable relief. Firing was become a more important article than before; which may appear very extraordinary to the reader, when he looks back to the short time which had elapsed since the departure of Sir George Rodney's fleet; but it is necessary to inform him, that the colliers intended for the Garrison, were too late, in coming round from the Downs, to join at Spithead: Sir George Rodney therefore sailed without them.
The morning of the 8th,
arrived the Fox packet, and another vessel from Faro ; and in the course of the
10th and 12th, four boats came in from Tetuan and Tangier, with various cargoes:
the Patrons reported it was current at Tangier, that we killed 14 or 15 men in
the attack of the fireships, and that the Spaniards had several more fireships
ready in the Bay, with which it was not improbable they might make a second
attempt. Our navy were consequently very vigilant, and kept a good lookout. For
some weeks past we had been remarkably successful in receiving these small and
very acceptable supplies. Their cruisers, however, now began to be more alert,
and appeared to bo stationed with better judgment. On the 15th, a boat was taken
coming in, but her consort escaped ; and on the 20th, another arrived from
Tangier, which brought intelligence, that a large ship, with coals and butter,
bound to the Garrison, was captured by the Spaniards, two days before, under the
guns of Tangier. The 24th, several broadsides were exchanged between four of the
enemy's ships, passing to Algeciras and our shipping, and batteries at the
southward. Some few shot came ashore, but no particular damage was received. The
Early on the 27th, four Spanish gunboats, with a xebeque and two gallies, approached under cover of the night, and fired upon the Panther. A brisk disharge was however returned, and they soon retired. One shot struck the south pavilion, and three were fired through the Panther. This mode of annoyance the enemy afterwards greatly improved upon. These boats were strongly built, but ill finished: they had a small mast inclining forward from the centre of the boat, almost over the bow; upon which was hoisted a latine yard and sail, which, at anchor, served as an awning to the men on board. They rowed astonishingly swift, and each carried a twentysix pounder in the bow. We never had a good opportunity of making any satisfactory observations on them, but judged from their size, that they were about 70 feet long, and 20 broad.
In the beginning of July,
the Panther man of war receiving upwards of 100 English prisoners from the
enemy, Captain Harvey sailed for
The recent attempt of the
enemy to burn the shipping and storehouses at the southward, added to the
intelligence which the Governor had received of the enemy's fleet being off
Cadiz, caused him to direct particular attention towards that quarter of the
Garrison. Batteries for heavy metal were made on the rock above Parson's lodge,
at Rosia; and directions were given for the New mole to be cleared of shipping,
that the ordnance might have more liberty to play. Other alterations also took
place in that neighbourhood. Early on the morning of the 17th, five gunboats and
four gallies fired upon the
During the remainder of the
month, our firing, which had been continued at intervals, was brisker on their
parties, who were principally employed in forming considerable depots of
fascines, casks, and timber, in the lines, and in collecting brushwood from the
country; they were likewise very busy in disembarking stores which had lately
arrived. Several empty transport vessels, in the course of this month, left the
In August few incidents occurred on either side. Our provisions began to be bad, and extremely offensive. What few supplies we received, were rather luxuries than substantiate; wine, sugar, oil, honey, onions, and articles of the like kind, composed chiefly the cargoes of those craft which arrived. Sugar was risen to two shillings and sixpence per pound, and every thing else sold in proportion.
About ten in the forenoon of the 3d, a settee, coming in from the west, was chased by the enemy, and taken into Algeciras. We imagined it was the Fox packet, which we then anxiously expected with an English mail; and our conjectures afterwards were confirmed. The 10th, we observed the enemy laying a bridge of boats across the river Palmones. Two days following, a brig was boarded almost under our guns, and conducted to Algeciras. It was thought to be the same, of which we had intelligence some time before, and was laden with a variety of articles much wanted ; her capture was therefore greatly lamented. The night of the 15th, six sailors (feserted, in a boat, from the New mole. The succeeding day, the Fortune sloop received from the enemy 64 prisoners. Ensign Bradshaw, of the 56th regiment, and several who were passengers in the brig taken on the 12th, were of the number. At night, five more sailors, who were rowing guard, went over to the enemy. In the night of the 25th, a Minorquin boat came in with wine, tea and sugar, in eight days. The 27th and 29th, a soldier and four sailors deserted to the enemy. It was imagined the sailors forced with them the midshipman who commanded the boat. Colonel Mawhood, of the 72d regiment, died on the 29th.
A small boat arrived from
September was as barren with respect to material incidents, as the preceding months. The enemy finished their ponton bridge over the river Palmones on the 2d. About a week afterwards, two soldiers of the 56th deserted. On the 23d, a flag of truce brought over the midshipman carried off by the sailors who deserted the latter end of August. The 29th, a deserter came in, in the habit of a peasant; he spoke several Ianguages fluently, and said he had been a Serjeant in their service. Some suspicions arising, he was charged to remain with part of the 58th regiment at Windmill Hill. The following day we remarked, that the enemy's guards in the lines, at the hour of relieving, amounted to about 300 infantry, and 70 artillery, besides cavalry.
The situation of the
Garrison by this time was again become very interesting. The blockade was, if
possible, more strict and vigilant than before. Chains of small cruisers were
stationed across the Straits, at the entrance of the Bay, and on every side of
the Rock; and the late disagreeable intelligence from Tangier seemed now
confirmed, by our never having heard from that quarter during the month. What
little assistance we therefore received, came from
The enemy's operations on the land side had been for many months so unimportant, as scarcely to merit our attention. However, on the morning of the 1st of October, we observed, they had raised an epaulement, about 6 or 700 yards advanced from their lines. The preceding night, our outguards had been alarmed with an unusual noise on the neutral ground, like that of men at work; several large fires also appeared, and some attempts were made to burn our advanced barriers with devils and other combustibles, which were soon thrown off without taking effect; and notice was given to the Lines, Landport and other guards. This alarm, however, was not general in the Garrison. As the morning advanced, the noise ceased ; and we discovered that they had set fire to the fishermen's huts in the gardens: but when the day permitted us to examine further, we observed the abovementioned work.
The epaulement was about thirty yards in extent, of a simple construction, composed of chandeliers, fascines, and a few sandbags ; and was erected near the windmill or tower on the neutral ground, distant about 1100 yards from our grand battery. The enemy's guns were elevated, and batteries manned: which, with other preparations in the lines, seemed to argue that they expected we should fire, and were determined to oppose it. These appearances, probably, induced the Governor not to take any particular notice of their work in the day: but at night, orders were sent to throw a few light balls, to discover if they were making any addition. The inhabitants immediately took the alarm, upon being told that the enemy had thrown up an advanced work, and that their batteries were manned ; and at night very few remained at the north end of the town.
It now seemed evident, the enemy had determined on a more serious attack, in case the second blockade was unsuccessful: but we were at a loss to imagine what motives could influence them to act so opposite to the established mode of approaching a besieged garrison, by erecting a work so distant, and which had no connection with their established lines.
The enemy's batteries continued to be manned till the 2d; and in the afternoon of that day, Don Alvarez, accompanied by an officer, supposed to be the Count d'Estaing, who was expected in the Spanish camp when the last deserter came in, visited the lines. They remained three quarters of an hour at Fort St. Barbara, viewing the rock with glasses. On their return they were saluted from Point Mala ; and as they passed the front line of the camp, the regiments turned out without arms. On the night of the 3d, a smart engagement was heard off Cabrita Point, supposed to be between some vessel attempting to come in, and the enemy's cruisers; and the next morning, a sloop, with English colours reversed, was observed at Algeciras.
Early on the 4th, our advanced guards discovered the enemy endeavouring, a second time, to fix. Arefaggots on our barriers. A smart discharge of musketry was immediately directed from these posts, and from the Queen's lines; on which they retired. At daybreak we observed they had carried away vast quantities of vegetables from the gardens, and trampled others under foot: but little, if any, addition was made to the epaulement. A parley came in on the 5th ; and soon after, the Fortune sloop received upwards of forty British prisoners, many of whom had been taken going from the Garrison. In the evening of the 6th, the Spanish General came to the lines, at the head of the relieving guards. Soon after he arrived, the guns were again elevated, and every preparation made, as if they had resolved to open on the Garrison. The 8th, the TownMajor, Captain Burke, went out with a parley, intending to proceed to the Tower, the place appointed by custom for the officers to give and receive packets. When he got abreast of the new work, the sentries by motions informed him he must not advance. He pointed to the tower; but they continued inflexible : on his turning round however to return, one of them came up with his arms, and proceeded with him to the tower, whilst another ran to acquaint the officer in the lines. The messenger after some time came back, and both remained apparently as a guard over Major Burke, till the officer arrived ; when delivering his packet, the Major returned to the garrison.
The enemy did not appear
very anxious to complete the epaulement; their parties were employed in raising
and finishing the merlons of the batteries in the lines, raising the merlons of
Fort St. Phillip with fascines, and erecting a new battery near the guardhouse
on the beach. The 11th, a small settee arrived from Mi norca: the patron
informing us that two others were standing for the Rock, the navy manned their
boats to assist them, in case the enemy opposed their entrance ; but on getting
round Europa point, no such vessels appeared. A Dutch convoy was however passing
; the boats therefore boldly advanced, and boarded a dogger which had got,
during the fog, pretty near the Rock. She was a Dane from
Few articles ever arrived more seasonably than this cargo of fruit. The scurvy had made dreadful ravages in our hospitals, and more were daily confined: many, however, unwilling to yield to the first attacks, persevered in their duty to its more advanced stages. It was therefore not uncommon, at this period, to see men who some months before were hale, and equal to any fatigue, supporting themselves to their posts upon crutches, and even with that assistance scarcely able to move along. The most fatal consequences, in short, to the Garrison, were to be apprehended from this terrible disorder, when this Dane was happily directed to our relief. The lemons were immediately administer ed to the sick, who devoured them with the greatest avididity. The salutary effects were almost instantaneous : in a few days, men who had been considered as irrecoverable, left their beds to congratulate their comardes on the prospect of once more becoming useful to their country.
Mr. Cairncross, a surgeon of great eminence, who was present at this time, and the remaining part of the siege, has favoured me with the following information relative to the scurvy, and the mode of using this vegetable acid; which, with his permission, I insert for the benefit of those who may hereafter be under similar circumstances.
" The scurvy which attacked the Garrison of Gibraltar, differed in no respect from that disease usually contracted by sailors in long voyages; and of which the immediate cause seemed to be the subsisting for a length of time upon salted provisions only, without a sufficient quantity of vegetables, or other acescent foods. The circumstance related Lieutenant Governor in the Voyage of that celebrated circumnavigator, the late Lord Anson, of consolidated fractures disuniting, and the callosity of the bone being perfectly dissovled Lieutenant Governor, occurred frequently in our hospitals ; and old Lieutenant Governor sores and wounds opened anew from the nature of Lieutenant Governor the disorder.
Various antiscorbutics were used without success, Lieutenant Governor such as acid of vitriol, sour crout, extract of malt, Lieutenant Governor essence of spruce, &c. but the only specific was fresh Lieutenant Governor lemons and oranges, given liberally; or when they Lieutenant Governor could not be procured, the preserved juice in such Lieutenant Governor quantities, from one, to four ounces per diem, as the Lieutenant Governor patient could bear. Whilst the lemons, were sound, Lieutenant Governor from one to three were administered each day as Lieutenant Governor circumstances directed. The juice given to those in Lieutenant Governor the most malignant state, was sometimes diluted with Lieutenant Governor sugar, wine,* or spirits; but the convalescents took Lieutenant Governor it without dilution. Women and children were Lieutenant Governor equally affected; nor were the officers exempted from Lieutenant Governor this alarming distemper. It became almost general Lieutenant Governor at the commencement of the winter season, owing to Lieutenant Governor the cold and moisture; and in the beginning of Lieutenant Governor spring, when vegetables were scarce.
Lieutenant Governor The juice was preserved by adding to sixty gallons Lieutenant Governor of expressed liquor, about five or ten gallons of Lieutenant Governor brandy, which kept it in so wholesome a state, that Lieutenant Governor several casks were opened in good condition at the Lieutenant Governor close of the siege. The old juice was not however Lieutenant Governor so speedily efficacious as the fruit, though, by per Lieutenant Governor severing longer in its use, it seldom failed."
The same day that the dogger was brought in, a parley came from Don Alvarez, to inform the Governor that all intercourse or correspondence betwixt them, in future, was to be conducted by flags of truce in the Bay; which regulation continued till the peace was notified in 1783. The 14th, two gunboats, from the Orangegrove, ranged along the front of the Garrison, and drove in our fishing boats; and on the 16th they again ranged off the MackarelBank, and forced our fishermen to retire. We did not much approve of this conduct, as the boats, by this means, were prevented from bringing any fish to our market. They continued, however, this practice at intervals for some time.
The 21st, the gunboats
fired upon the
It was not till the night of the 21st that the enemy threw sand in the front of their epaulement, to cover it against our fireballs and carcasses; and on the 26th they lengthened it to the west about 30 yards, and strengthened it in front with sand. The night of the 28th, they erected two large traverses in the rear for magazines. It now presented a very compact appearance ; whence we concluded that it was intended for a mortar battery.
Though it was generally
The 30th, we observed that the enemy had posted an officer's guard in the Millbattery, which was the name we gave to the new work. Montague's bastion was therefore opened on it in the evening, and, by forming a crossfire with the batteries on the heights, considerably annoyed them, and much retarded their operations. The same night, two soldiers of the 56th and 72d deserted from Upper AU'swell, in the lines: they were sentries at the same post, and got down by means of a rope; but, previous to their descent, had the precaution to wet the priming of their firelocks. We also lost another man by desertion in the course of the month.
The Governor, in the beginning of November, made an arrangement of the troops, that in case the enemy bombarded the Garrison, each regiment might know the quarters and stations which they were to take up. The 1st of the month was rather unpropitious to us: an English ship was taken to the east of the Rock; at night, a soldier of the 56th regiment deserted, during a heavy shower of rain; and the following evening, two others, of the 12th and 56th, attempted to get off by swimming round the Oldmole head; but a few days afterwards the body of the former was washed ashore near the King's bastion: we therefore concluded his comrade had shared the same fate. In the evening of the 7th, a smart cannonade was heard in the Straits; after it had continued for some time, a sudden flash appeared, and a report was heard, like the blowing up of powder. The next morning, we observed that the enemy had captured an English vessel, and were at that time towing in a gunboat; which accounted for the firing and explosion.
Our fire, about the 7th and 8th, became more animated ; yet the enemy, almost every night, made some interior additions. We had observed, for several preceding mornings, deep ruts in the sand, leading from the principal barrier to the Millbattery; which led us to imagine that they brought at night heavy timber, and other materials, from their depots in the lines. The artillery were therefore ordered to direct a ricocheting fire of small shells along this track. In the evening of the 10th, a large party, followed by a number of carts and mules, laden with different materials, advanced along the beach, from the sallyport of the ditch of Fort St. Philip, to the Mill .battery. They were perceived by the artillery at Willis's, before they had proceeded halfway: and a brisk fire was directed towards their route, which threw the mules into confusion, and obliged some to return, after having left their burthens on the beach. The batteries being reinforced, the firing was continued with great vivacity the whole night. The subsequent evening our artillery were prepared, and, immediately on the party's appearing, saluted them with a warm discharge of shot and shells, which seemed to have greater effect than the fire of the preceding evening. This circumstance convinced us of the effect of the ricocheting fire from the lower batteries, along the track from the barrier: but the enemy were not so soon driven from the new track as from the former; and continued, notwithstanding our fire (which must have killed and wounded many of them), to bring materials in this exposed manner, till a line of communication was finished from the lines.
An English armed polacre, called the Young Sabine, arrived on the 12th, after a spirited engagement in the Bay with several armed vessels and three gunboats. The enemy attempted to board her, but were as often repulsed by musketry: at length she beat them off, and anchored under our guns. Her cargo was cheese, hams, and potatoes; the latter of which sold at forty three dollars per cwt. which, according to fortytwo pence per dollar (the exchange at that time), are equal to L.7. 10s. 6d. sterling. Other articles sold in proportion. In the afternoon, a Minorquin settee arrived with the usual cargo : a Spanish gunboat boarded her on her passage: but the patron showing papers from Majorca to the camp, the Spaniard took no further notice than keeping her company as a convoy. The Minorquin afterwards seized a convenient opportunity, and slipped in.
In the course of the 14th,
a Minorquin tartan, bound for the Garrison, was taken by the enemy : the crew
however quitted her, and got ashore. The enemy the same day mounted twelve guns
en barbet, in the battery near the Guardhouse, in the vicinity of Fort St.
Philip; which we had supposed was intended for mortars ; and about a week
afterwards they erected merlons to this work, admitting the embrasures to open
upon the Garrison. Two nights following, the gunboats, which were now increased
in number, fired upon the town and shipping. Three, that directed their fire on
the former, were stationed off the Oldmole head, and threw several shots into
the town. Several men were wounded in the
The night of the 17th, the enemy threw up two places d'armes for musketry, on the flanks of the Millbattery : the parapets formed semicircles joining the battery, but afterwards extended in an oblique direction towards the lines. These additions appeared very slight, being only a row of casks or gabions, strengthened with half chandeliers, and sand in front; covered on the top with sandbags. The 18th, we were visited again by the gunboats : in returning their cannonade, one of the thirty-two pounders on the King's bastion, burst, killed an artilleryman on the spot, and wounded three others. The man who fired the gun, escaped, but was a little scorched with the powder.
A great number of mules were employed on the 22d, bringing forward casks, chandeliers, and other materials, from the camp. The night of the 23d, the enemy began an approach from the lines, to the Millbattery. it consisted of fascines, with sand banked up in front, and commenced near the west angle of the western fourteengun battery, extending about 120 feet towards the advanced Guardhouse in front of Fort St. Philip: the following night, notwithstanding our fire, they lengthened it about 100 feet, with chandeliers placed in a trench and filled with fascines. The enemy endeavoured to draw our attention from this quarter, by another salute from the gunboats, but in vain. As it was not improbable that the gunboats were directed in their firing by the lights in the houses along the linewall, and those looking towards the Bay ; orders were issued " that no lights in future should appear in " any house, barrack, or guardhouse, towards the Bay, " after seven o'clock in the evening."
We had hitherto derived occasional assistance from the gardens on the neutral ground, though vast quantities of vegetables had been removed from thence by the enemy. On the 25th, however, they determined to expel our people altogether from the gardens ; which, in the course of a few days, they accomplished, notwithstanding the marksmen under Lieut. Burleigh were stationed at Willis's, and in the lines, in order to prevent them.
From this period, our resources in respect to vegetables depended entirely upon our own attention to cultivation ; which, happily for the Garrison, was crowned with tolerable success, especially during the winter months, at which time the produce was increased to be almost equal to the consumption. The supplies from the gardens had indeed begun to fail for some time before ; and we soon had little reason to regret their lops. We had, besides, the additional satisfaction of reflecting that the enemy were now cut off from a channel, through which it was not improbable they had been informed of every occurrence which happened in the Garrison.
The 26th, a Frenchman, one
of the crew of the Young Sabine, deserted in a boat to the enemy.
The night of the 27th, the Danish dogger, which brought us the cargo of
lemons, sailed 5 and the next morning we observed her at anchor off Algeciras.
By the 29th, the enemy had finished the second branch of the line of approach,
and begun the return for the third towards the western beach. Our fire, as they
advanced, became more spirited than ever, and must have been severely felt by
the enemy in this exposed duty. The 30th was only distinguished by the arrival
of a polacre from
December was introduced
with bad weather. The 1st, arrived the Anglicana privateer from
From the 10th, the enemy added every night so considerably to the fourth branch of the approach, that on the 14th, at night, they joined the extremity of the eastern place d'armes; and two nights following, began a fifth branch, which, on the 19th, was extended to the east flank of the Millbattery. Their operations had not been wholly confined to completing this line of communication : a mortar battery for the sea was erected to the north of Fort St. Barbara; and large and small traverses were raised within both forts, to protect their men from our upper batteries.
About noon on the 17th, a cannonade was heard towards the west. A cloud of smoke was observed near Tangier, and we afterwards learned that the Moors were firing a salute on account of the arrival of their Emperor. Three hundred and ninety rounds were numbered, and it was repeated the next day. The reader will probably recollect, that the Garrison of Tangier is to us an object of some curiosity, as having formerly been in the. possession of the English. It was ceded by the Portuguese (who had been masters of it for some time) to King Charles II. as part of the dowry of the Princess Catharine of Portugal, and remained under the English dominion till 1684, when, the nation refusing to pay the heavy expense attending its maintenance against the repeated attacks of the Moors, the fortifications and mole were blown up, and the Garrison ordered to abandon the town. The Moors, after the place was deserted, returned and it has ever since continued in their possession. When the English were masters of Tangier, the works on the land side were considered as almost impregnable; and, for the accommodation of shipping, a mole of considerable extent was advanced into the sea.
The present town is built
at the entrance of a bay, on the side of a hill, overlooking the sea. The Moors
have endeavoured to restore the city to its former importance; but their efforts
go slowly on towards accomplishing that work. Tangier is the residence of
several European consuls, and, in conjunction with Tetuan, in time of peace,
The enemy, on the 20th,
began to erect small traverses in the rear of their approach. On the 21st, the
Speedwell cutter, Lieutenant Gibson, arrived with Government dispatches, after a
warm engagement with the enemy off
It was about this period, some letters of a curious tenor were discovered in the possession of the deserter who came in, the 29th of September, in the dress of a peasant, and said he was a serjeant. They were directed to Colonel Nug8n^|he Hibernian corps, in the Spanish service; and Fpurport of them was, u that Europa was the most eligible place to attack the " Garrison: acknowledging having received several " sums of money, and concluding with expressing his u fears lest he should be discovered; therefore desired the Colonel would concert some measures for his 11 escape." The man was immediately ordered into close confinement, and remained a prisoner for some time, till, an opportunity offering, he was sent away from the Garrison. We were afterwards informed by other deserters that he was sent in as a spy, and liberally rewarded for this hazardous service.
The enemy, having completed
their approach to the Millbattery, were employed in dressing the communication,
and raising fascine traverses in the rear, for their greater protection. The
26th, and following nights, their carpenters braced with headrails the
chandeliers, which, owing to the late rains, had given way in several places.
They were so very noisy in this duty, as to induce a brisk fire from our
batteries. The 30th, a settee going from Algeciras to the eastward, was becalmed
off Europa, and was boarded and brought in by our boats. Many private letters
were found on board, which mentioned the considerable loss the enemy had
sustained from our fire. There were also a quantity of clothes, and some money.
The next day a settee got in from
Our carpenters, in the
beginning of January, were very busy in erecting stages and temporary cranes, in
The 11th, a Spanish flag of
truce, with two Moorish gallies, came over from the Orangegrove, having on board
Consul Logie, his Lady, and all the British subjects who had been resident in
As this defection of the Moorish monarch was of much importance to the Garrison, and was in itself an object not undeserving political remark, I shall subjoin a short relation of some transactions previous to this event; with an account of the injurious treatment which Mr. Logie and the British subjects experienced before they quitted that country.
I had formerly occasion to mention, that in the early part of 1779, overtures were made by the Spaniards to the Moors, to farm the ports of Tangier, Tetuan, and Larache. Of this, General Eliott received immediate information, by a confidential message from the Emperor of Morocco. It did not appear that the Emperor, in this instance, was actuated by any other impulse than friendship. But since, by refusing to accede to their offers, he might subject his coasts to be insulted, it would of consequence be prudent to arm his cruisers, in order to enable him to act on the defensive: he therefore requested that the English would supply him with naval stores for three new vessels which he had lately built, the value of which, on calculation, did not amount to fifteen hundred pounds.
Such apparent disinterestedness, and so modest a demand, had a proper effect with the Governor, who, considering the Emperor's alliance of the first consequence to the welfare of the Garrison, recommended to Government to double the quantity of stores, that they might secure his friendship. Ministers at home, however, did not consider his alliance in the same light with the Governor and Consul, as Sir George Rodney arrived the January following without stores, or as much as an answer : and the Spaniards (having then declared war) increasing in their proposals, the Emperor, after repeated applications to Mr. Logie, to know when he might expect the supplies he had given him to understand were coming from England, at length, by degrees, permitted the Spaniards to capture all British vessels under the protection of his guns. The Consul remonstrated against such proceedings, but in vain: the answer generally received, was, that the Spaniards had the Emperor's leave; and if they chose to take him from his own house, the Emperor would not oppose them.
These indignities Mr. Logie was necessitated to overlook. He found the Spanish influence daily gaining ground : he had therefore no alternative, but tacitly to submit to the evils of his situation* He contrived, nevertheless, to acquaint General Eliott with this change in their affairs.
Though there appeared little prospect of doing further service to the Garrison of Gibraltar, by remaining in Barbary, Mr. Logie still continued to reside at Tan. gier. The natives were partial to the English, and personally attached to him; and these circumstances he imagined, might probably be improved to some advantage.
Thus matters proceeded till the beginning of October, 1780, when a party of the Emperor's black troops, which were quartered in the neighbourhood of Tangier, came to Mr. Logie's house, and being introduced, informed him they had orders from their Master to abuse and insult him in the grossest manner; which they immediately put in execution, by spitting in his face, seizing him by the collar, and threatening to stab him with their daggers.
Two days after this transaction, Mr. Logie *as ordered to attend the Emperor near Sallee. The 13th, he began his journey, guarded by one of the Emperor's chamberlains, and a party of horse. They arrived at the camp on the 20th ; and the same evening Mr. Logie was ordered into the Emperor's presence. After various questions relative to Gibraltar, to which such answers were given as were least likely to please, the Emperor addressed himself to his troops, and a great mob that were assembled on the occasion, saying, M the English were an avaricious, proud, and headu strong people ; they always attacked the head: but " when people came to beg, they ought to crawl up by 44 the feet. He had however deprived them of every " benefit they formerly derived from his country;" concluding with ordering the consul to be taken to Sallee. Mr. Logie objected to this mandate, informing the Emperor he was ready to attend his camp, but that his Sovereign's service did not permit his trifling away his time in visiting towns.
The Emperor, after this interview, seemed to relax in his severity to the consul; allowing him to return to Tangier, and consoling him with the promise that the British subjects should not be molested by the Spaniards. The 26th of October, Mr. Logie arrived at Tangier, and found the Emperor had not deceived him.
Affairs remained quiet till the 26th of November, when an order came to fit up all the British boats, at the Emperor's expense, as he was determined to send the English away satisfied. The consul however anticipated his intention, by getting them completed himself by the succeeding evening. The night of the 28th the Spaniards, informed of the Emperor's resolution, sent a party on shore to burn the boats. They were discovered by the guards, and confined; but in consideration of a sum of money, they were the next day liberated. Two days following, the consuls attended to hear the Emperor's orders, which were brought by two of his secretaries: they expressed, that the Emperor had sold the port of Tangier to the King of Spain; in consequence of which, every Christian, except of that nation, was to quit the town and Bay; awarding slavery as the punishment of those who remained after the 1st of January, 1781.
Mr. Logie was no sooner acquainted with this order, than he departed for the Emperor's camp, then near Tetuan, in order to represent the impossibility of removing their property on so short a notice. He arrived on the 2d of December, but could not procure an audience. The 4th, he had intelligence from Tangier. that a second order had compelled the British subjects instantly to remove to Mar teen. Mr. Logie made several attempts to have this cruel order reversed, but in vain. He at length procured a friend to mention this delicate point to the Emperor, who apparently relented, saying, the English should have permission to remain twenty days to collect their effects; and so far flattered them, as to make them believe they were not to be removed till the British fleet arrived, if it might be expected soon. Mr. Logie was however afterwards convinced, that the Emperor at this time was informed his orders had been executed, as the British subjects, amounting to 109, arrived at Mar teen, a few miles from Tetuan, the subsequent evening ; having been forced to abandon their vessels, houses, and all their property ; and compelled to submit to the greatest imposition, for the use of camels and mules, to remove their bedding and wearing apparel. The value of the effects left behind, Mr. Logie computed to amount to upwards of sixty thousand pounds.
The heavy expense attending their removal from Tangier, with their stay at Marteen, to their arrival at Gibraltar, Mr. Logie was obliged to disburse; the Emperor's order on the 26th of November, having so much imposed upon them, that they laid out what money they were possessed of, in purchasing such articles as they judged would be useful at Gibraltar, imagining they were to be conducted immediately to that Garrison.
The Emperor removed on the 17th of December to Tangier ; whence he usually sent, once or twice every week, some insulting message to the Consul, charging the English with having cheated his Ambassador, and being indebted to him several thousand cobs for maintaining the garrison of Gibraltar ; with others equally false and abusive.
Mr. Logie, on the 26th of
December, was informed that the Emperor had given up all the British subjects as
prisoners to the Spaniards, and that the succeeding day they were to be removed
to Algeciras. Being assured of the truth of this intelligence, by one of the
Emperor's servants, he burnt all his public papers, to prevent their falling
into the enemy's hands. The 28th, the Consul embarked with Mrs. Logie (who had
attended him through all these troubles), and about twenty more, on board a
schooner, without being allowed time to take in any refreshment for their
voyage. Others, under similar circumstances, were put on board other vessels.
They were guarded by two Spanish cruisers, and for the first night put into
During this period, no
offer was made to supply them with provisions or necessaries, though the Moors
were permitted to purchase whatever they wanted. Mr. Logie therefore applied to
the French Charge des Affaires at Algeciras, who very generously dispatched such
articles as he judged would be most acceptable. The 11th, they were conducted to
The removal, or rather expulsion, of the British subjects from Barbary, was attended with other unfortunate consequences besides depriving us of provisions: our connexion with Portugal became afterwards more precarious; and the Governor was cut off from a source of information, by which he was acquainted with the enemy's operations both in camp and at Cadiz. Mr. Logie had always contrived to procure pretty certain intelligence of the enemy's motions, by those Moors who were in his interest; for, the Spaniards allowing them to bring various articles to the army before Gibraltar, and the fleet at Cadiz, and Mr. Logie lending them money to carry on this advantageous trade, they faithfully communicated to him whatever came to their knowledge. The last information Mr. Logie himself was the bearer of to the Governor, which was, that the enemy had a great number of fireships in the rivers, ready for immediate use.
The 16th of January, a brig
came in from
On the 19th, some experiments were made at Algeciras, from two new Spanish boats, with mortars on board. We had some time before learned that they were preparing such vessels, and that they intended soon to try them against the Garrison. Their construction was upon a plan similar to that of the gunboats : the mortars were fixed in a solid bed of timber, in the centre of the boat; and the only apparent distinction was, that they had long prows, and braced their yards more athwart the boat when they fired.
The 21st, the serjeant
commanding one of our outguards, deserted to the enemy: he went towards the
Devil's tower, and once stopped, as if undetermined to proceed or not.
He belonged to the 56th regiment, and left a wife and family behind: he
had always been esteemed of good character, and was much confided in by his
officers. Some pecuniary matters were supposed to be the reason of his
deserting. This was the fourth man which we had lost in this way within the
course of a month. The 28th, a ship arrived from
The enemy's working parties had for several weeks been less numerous: their occupation was principally confined to repairing the damages done by the weather; securing themselves against the effects of our firing, by splinter proofs and traverses; and collecting depots of different materials, in various parts of their lines. Their advanced patroles frequently approached very near our outposts, but seldom waited a second discharge from the sentries. On our side, the engineers were indefatigable in putting every thing in the best state of defence. The enemy, it must be confessed, dealt openly in warning us, so long beforehand, of their intentions ; and the Governor was exceedingly active and diligent in preparing against whatever circumstances might occur.
The 1st of February we found, behind the Rock, the bodies of two deserters, who, in attempting to escape from the Garrison, had been dashed to pieces. One of them was a man of the 56th, who was missing the day preceding; the other, a serjeant of the 73d, who had deserted some months before. The 3d, we observed the enemy's artillery examining the ordnance in their lines. The morning of the 8th, a deserter from a Catalonian regiment came in, and reported, that the enemy posted every night a chain of sentries along the skirts of the Governor's meadow, which were constantly visited by patroles of cavalry to keep them alert: and that a captain's guard, besides artillery, mounted in the St. Carlos battery, as they called the advanced work. He said the camp was well supplied with provisions, &c. but that the men were sickly, and numbers of them deserted.
It was about this period, that the officers in Gibraltar presented a memorial, through the commanding officers of the different regiments, to the Governor, requesting His Excellency, as be must be convinced of the truth of the contents, to support it with his approbation and interest
The memorial stated, " That
the officers of his Ma" jesty's several regiments of foot, serving under His 44
Excellency's command, had been necessarily exposed 44 to a great variety of
inconveniences since the com44 mencement of the blockade, independent of the ad"
ditional duties which they had been required to dis44 charge: That, in
particular, their pay, which con" stituted their chief, if not their sole
support, had, at " different times, suffered a great diminution by the "
exorbitant rate of exchange;" which they stated to have fluctuated, during a
certain period, between 40 and 42 pence per dollar, Gibraltar currency: " That u
every article of clothing, and still more, those essen44tial to life and health,
were so advanced in price, " that, with the strictest economy, their pay was
totally 44 inadequate to the expenses absolutely indispensable "in their present
situation; a situation which, they 44 apprehended, precluded them, in a great
measure, 44 from participating with the officers at home in the 41 extensive
promotions which had of late taken place 44 in the army. They therefore appealed
to the pater44 nal feelings, the justice, and the humanity of His 44 Excellency;
trusting that, through his recommen44 dation and intercession, such assistance
and protection 44 might be granted them, as their situation and services 44
deserved:" Concluding with a request, 44 that His 44 Excellency would be pleased
to lay their prayer, with 44 all humility on their part, at His Majesty's feet."
This memorial was seconded by another of a similar import; but no official
answer was received to either. It must be confessed, that under these
circumstances, the situation of the officers was by no means flattering,
Whatever obstacles might be in the way of their promotion, they could not help
feeling the peculiar hardship of their situation: nor was the inactive and
tedious service of a blockaded Garrison at all calculated to divert their minds,
or to soothe them into an acquiescence with their fortune. They reflected, with
no very agreeable sensations, upon the preferment which had been liberally
bestowed upon young officers in
A privateer, on the 9th of
February, arrived from
Our supplies from the eastward were now pretty regular, and the boats and vessels in general very successful in their voyages. When the reader considers the variety of difficulties and dangers attending this intercourse, he cannot but admire the perseverance of these foreigners. Their vessels were generally of light burthen, and open, excepting a small scuttle abaft, which with the other parts of the vessel, was usually filled with part of their cargo. Their passage was seldom performed in less than five days; and sometimes it exceeded ten, and fourteen. Their course was all the way along the enemy's coast; and even when arrived within sight of the Port, the danger was greater than before, from the number and vigilance of the enemy's cruisers: the horrors of a Spanish gaol stared them in the face, with the chance of losing probably their ALL. One circumstance indeed was in their favour; their vessels, in the rigging, resembled those of the enemy. To the chance of deceiving them they were nevertheless unwilling entirely to trust: it was their custom, therefore to make the Rock, if possible, about sunset; then strike sail, and lieto, and at night push for the Bay. By manoeuvring in this manner they frequently arrived safe; and in that case, it must be confessed, they were amply recompensed. .
The 26th, the regiments in Garrison began to be reviewed : after the review, each regiment marched to its alarm post, and discharged several rounds of parapet firing. The 28th, a brig under Genoese colours came over from Algeciras : the crew reported, they had injured their mast, and put into Algeciras for another, but that the Spaniards had illtreated them; they therefore came over to remedy their loss. To this story the Governor did not give implicit credit: a guard of a subaltern and twelve men was sent on board; and after being for some time detained, her cargo, which was fruit, was sold.
The want of bread in the
beginning of March, began again to be severely felt: many families had not
tasted any for several days. The poor soldiers, and still more the inhabitants,
whose finances would not allow them to purchase articles from the Minorquin
vessels (the cargoes of which, by the way, were chiefly luxuries), were in
intolerable distress. Biscuit crumbs sold for lOd. and Is. per lb. The allowance
of the troops was also curtailed, and many Portuguese fishermen left the
Garrison for want of this article. Towards the conclusion of the month, the
invalids of the Garrison embarked on board the
The beginning of April, the
Spanish Admiral called in all his cruisers, and some movements took place in
their disposition, which seemed to indicate the expectation of a superior force.
The 2d, we observed their artillery arranging the mortars in the Millbattery;
which confirmed us in the conjecture. The succeeding day, a British cutter,
called the Resolution, arrived with rum, coals, and sugar, in twentynine days,
The night of the 3d, the
St. Fermin, with the Brilliant's tender, which had been forced by a gale of wind
to put into Gibraltar, sailed for
It being observed that the enemy had stationed at Cabrita Point, (though at some distance from the land) a sloop and two light brigs, supposed to be fireships, the Captains of the privateers in the Bay proposed cutting out the Bloop, and burning the other vessels: the plan was mentioned to the Governor by an officer of the Garrison, who had permission to take with him a party of volunteers from the different corps, and join in the expedition. About eleven o'clock on the night of the 4th, they proceeded in four boats. When they set out, the night was very favourable for the enterprise; but before they reached the vessels, the moon suddenly shone forth, and they reluctantly returned. Whether the Spaniards discovered the boats or not, is a matter of doubt; it is probable they did, as the next morning four gunboats joined them from Algeciras, and the sloop removed farther to the southward.
The enemy, on the 5th, scaled several of their ordnance in the batteries round
the Bay; two frigates were also placed in front of eight vessels, supposed to be
fireships : these motions convinced us that the enemy were aware of the fleet
which was expected. The evening of the 7th, the Eagle privateer, of fourteen
guns, arrived in fourteen days from