The Spaniards determine to restore their batteries Establish several defensive posts.—Repair their works; but are considerably retarded by the Garrison.—Descrip tion of a new invented depressing guncarriage.—Gallant behaviour of the Mercury ordnanceship.—The Ver non storeship arrives with several gunboats, in frames, also the Cerberus and Apollo frigates, with a reinforce ment of men Singular quality of quick sight in two boys belonging to the Garrison.—Spaniards resolve to make a vigorous attack upon Gibraltar, under the command of the Duke do Crillon—Begin to convert large vessels into battering-ships at Algeciras A party of Corskans arrive, and offer to act as volunteers in the Garrison during the Siege.—Enemy's army reinforced.— Unfortunate accident in a magazine at Willis's.—A strong reinforcement of French troops joins the enemy's army.—The Duke de Crillon assumes the command of the Combined Forces; and the Besiegers batteries for some time are silent.
The Spaniards, for several days, appeared totally at a loss how to act after their recent disgrace. Their batteries continued in flames; nor were any attempts made to extinguish the fire. In the beginning of December, however, they seemed as if suddenly roused from their reverie; upwards of a thousand men were at work, making fascines, &c. for which purpose large quantities of brushwood were collected from the country. From these operations we concluded that they were resolved to restore their works, when sufficient materials were prepared.
The 1st of December, a flag
of truce brought letters from the English prisoners lately captured in the
cutters bound to the Garrison. Not a syllable was mentioned, by the Spanish
officer, of the late transaction ; nor did he even inquire whether we had taken
any prisoners. As we bad observed the enemy to post strong guards in the stone
guardhouses on the neutral ground, particularly in the centre one, the Governor
ordered the artillery to endeavour to dislodge them. Answers were returned, on
the 2d, to the letters brought the preceding day : letters also were sent from
the prisoners taken in the sortie, to their friends in camp. The Spanish
officer, on receiving the letters, appeared much surprised, put them in his
pocket, but was silent; and the boats parted. One of the officers taken
prisoner, was the Baron Von Helmstadt, an Ensign in the Walloon guards, with the
rank of Captain: the other was Don Vinoente Freese, a Lieutenant of artillery.
The Baron was dangerously wounded in the knee, and not without many intreaties
submitted to amputation. When the surgeons first informed him that this
operation was absolutely unavoidable, he resolutely opposed it: amputation, he
said, very seldom succeeded in
Notwithstanding our fire, the enemy seemed determined to establish themselves at the Centre stone guard house, round which, on the night of the 7th, they made a trench, and also lined with fascines part of the fourth branch of approach. Our firing continued to vary, as their operations were more or less noticed: in the day we directed it principally to parties observed near the Tower, and at night to the Centre guardhouse ; against which they had heaped up sand, and continued every evening to make other additions.—The Garrison at this period was so extreme sickly, that a hundred men were curtailed from the working parties; and the officers servants, with others who usually were exempted from these duties, ordered to assist, to lessen the fatigue of their comrades. Near seven hundred were at this time on our hospital lists.—The Unicorn cutter sailed, in the night of the 12th, with dispatches for England; and the following evening, the Phoenix, with duplicates.
The operations of the enemy
seemed now entirely defensive. The Western stone guardhouse on the beach, was
unroofed in the same manner as the Centre guardhouse, and strengthened with sand
; with a trench dug round at some distance in the front. We imagined that strong
guards were stationed every night at these posts, to protect their remaining
works. The evening of the 16th, about ten o'clock, one of the enemy's advanced
sentries, near Bayside, fired his musket ; which was taken up by others in the
gardens, and the alarm spread to the Lines, and thence to the camp. Lights were
immediately observed moving about, and the drums beat to arms. After some hours
confusion they were calm and quiet. Their works, particularly the
Brigadiers Ross and Green
were appointed, in the orders of the 20th, to be MajorGenerals in the army; and
the next evening General Ross sailed in a boat for Faro, on his return to
Two soldiers of Hardenberg
8, and the 72d regiment, on the 25th, attempted to desert by a rope from
The enemy, on the night of the 30th, added to the trench in front of the Centre guardhouse, which, a few evenings before, they had altered from its original form. Our engineers the same night erected a blind of canvas, &c. in front of Princess Anne's battery (Willis's), which the engineers afterwards caissoned, when their fire became less warm on this new object. Another was afterwards placed before the Princess Amelia's, for the same purpose. The materials with which the works at the northward were now repaired, were collected from the coalships that had been run ashore in the New mole after Admiral Darby's departure. The sides of these vessels were cut up, under the direction of the engineers, into large solid pieces, of such form and dimension as the purpose dictated to which they were to be applied. Of these materials the batteries at Willis's were at this time formed J the angles being connected and secured by strong knees and bolts, having traverse pieces within, which were also kneed. When the caissons for the merlons were thus framed, they were filled in the front with layers of junk and sandbags behind: the height of the merlons was between ten and eleven feet; and the upper parts were supported by strong beams across the embrasures, forming hoods (as the engineers called them) over the muzzles of the cannon: these hoods were three feet deep, and extended about six feet in length over the embrasures; by which improvements the guns were preserved from being broken by the shells in their descent, and the artillerymen on duty were well covered. The solid construction of these new works, and the adoption of a similar mode in repairing the other defences of the Garrison, will account, in a great measure, for the general casualties of the troop3 not being so numerous as might otherwise be expected; and, to evince the permanence of them, no other proof, I imagine, need be adduced, than that upwards of one hundred shotholes have been plugged up in the front of one merlon, and yet the battery was not materially damaged.
Two ordnance ships arrived in the course of December. As we are now arrived at the close of the year, it may not be impertinent to insert a return of casuals, from the 12th of April to the 31st of December, 1781, that the reader may have an idea of our general loss in that period.
The New Year's day of 1782 was remarkable for an action of gallantry which is worthy of being rescued from oblivion. An officer of artillery at Willis's, observing a shell falling towards the place where he stood, got behind a traverse, for protection; which he had scarcely done, ere it fell into the traverse, and instantly entangled him in the rubbish: one of the guard, named Martin, observing his distress, generously risked his own life in defence of his officer, and ran to extricate him ; but finding his own efforts ineffectual, called for assistance; when another of the guard joining him, they relieved the officer from his situation; and almost at the same instant the shell burst, and levelled the traverse to the ground. Martin was afterwards promoted and rewarded by the Governor, who at the same time told him u he should equally have noticed him for relieving his comrade." Several similar instances of heroism occurred during the siege, all of which were equally honourable to the Garrison.
The enemy persevered in
carrying on their works : the Centre guardhouse now began to assume a regular
figure. The ditch formed three sides of an hexagon, extending to the rear in
obtuse angles with the front ? and the fascineparapet, joining the building, was
lengthened each way. Materials continued to be daily brought own to the lines,
and advanced works. Their workmen were however considerably annoyed, in
repairing the fourth and fifth branches of the approach, from the Oldmole head
and Montague's bastion. The ship St. Philip's Castle, in Government service,
arrived on the 4th from
The enemy, about this time,
removed several guns from the camp to the lines, taking others back. Most of
their cannon (we had reason to imagine for some time past) had been greatly
damaged by the firing; as he shot, at periods, were observed not to fly with the
same velocity as at first. The last deserter said they had spoiled three sets of
guns from the commencement of the bombardment. In the night of the 9th, they
raised the epaulement joining the Centre guardhouse; and opened four embrasures,
two on each side of the building. They were all masked with fascines, and
appeared solely for defence. The night of the 12th, the enemy formed a trench
from the debouchure of the fifth branch, to the front of the ruins of the St.
Carlos'g battery, towards the western beach: part of it was lined with fascines.
They also raised & place cTarmes on the east flank of the St. Carlos's battery,
joining the fifth branch. At night sailed the Henry and Mercury ordnance ships to
the westward. Don Vincente Freese went passenger in the former for
The enemy had made, for several preceding evenings, considerable additions to the Centre redoubt; and on the night of the 17th, they raised a work embracing each extremity of the fascineditch which was in the front of it: this post now appeared finished. They likewise raised and threw sand in front of the place darmes, and brought vast quantities of different materials to their advanced works. Their firing was not at this period remarkable; but, as they directed their ordnance principally among our working parties on the hill, we experienced a few casuals. Our batteries in return were well served; and the fire pointed to all quarters. In the morning of the 18th, just after gunfiring, signals were made from the enemy's advanced works, which were repeated to their camp. The batteries at the same time kept up a brisk fire, all in a low direction. This gave us reason to think they were apprehensive of another sortie: and the following morning the four embrasures in the Centre redoubt were unmasked, and animated with four howitzers; and a. considerable number of troops left the lines soon after daybreak: all which circumstances served to countenance our conjecture. In the evening of the 20th, the artillery at Willis's discovered a party of the enemy erecting a line of communication from the fourth branch to the Centre redoubt. The 01d«mole head and Montague's were immediately opened on them, in addition to the upper batteries ; and we plied them so briskly, that the party was obliged to retire about midnight, leaving the work, as the morning evinced, in great confusion. The subsequent night, notwithstanding our fire, they raised and strengthened the new communication. In this duty they were well covered by a brisk fire from the lines ; and which, from the repeated vollies discharged, afforded room to think that their workmen had suffered materially the night before.
The night of the 23d, they repaired the parapet of the St. Carlos's battery nine fascines in height, and began to rebuild the magazine in the rear. Great quantities of fascines, &c. were in and about the battery. The succeeding afternoon, about four o'clock, the Governor opened the lower batteries on this work, and our fire was exceedingly well served for some hours. The carcasses several times set fire to the fascines, but the enemy as frequently extinguished it. At first their batteries returned our fire sparingly; but receiving a reinforcement of artillerymen from the camp, the cannonade became warm on both sides. Our lower batteries ceased in the evening. The next day the Governor renewed his endeavours to burn these works. The carcasses were equally successful as the preceding day, but their guards and workmen soon extinguished the fire. The Spanish lines returned the cannonade with great vivacity, having in the twenty four hours discharged one thousand and fortyfive shot, and eightythree shells : our batteries diminished their fire about four in the afternoon. The carcasses used by the artillery on this occasion were made of the enemy's blind shells, in which were perforated three large holes, and the cavity filled with composition. . They were found to answer extremely well: some of them burning fresn a quarter of an hour after the enemy had smothered them with sand, which was the mode they adopted to put them out.
We observed, on the 27th, four large piles of fascines at the eastern extremity of the parallel. We were not at all at a loss to guess their meaning in placing these fascines to the eastward ; as it was evident, that they ceeded; every night the besiegers making some trifling addition to their advanced works. The afternoon of the 7th, one of their shells set fire to a magazine box on the Queen's battery (Willis's), in which were a few loaded small shells and cartridges. These instantly blew up, and fired an adjoining gun, but did not the smallest injury to the officers, or any of the guard, though the former were close to it when the accident happened. On hearing the explosion, the enemy immediately increased their fire, and continued it the remainder of the evening The enemy added, on the night of the 10th, another embrasure to the new battery; and two nights following, they prolonged the parallel about forty yards to the eastward. Vast quantities of materials were at this time scattered in various parts of their works.
The afternoon of the 15th, some practice was made from a gun mounted upon a new conducted depressing carriage, the invention of Lieut. Koehler, of the Royal artillery, which was highly approved of by the Governor and other officers present. The gun was fixed in a bed of timber, the under side of which was a plane parallel to the axis of the piece; from this bed, immediately under the centre of gravity, projected a spindle eight inches in diameter. This spindle passed through a groove formed for its reception in a plank, the upper side of which was also a plane: upon this under piece the bed and gun recoiled, being attached to it by a key passing through the spindle. The bed and gun by these means were at liberty to move round upon the axis of the spindle, and when fired, slided upon the under plank in the line directed by the groove. The under piece was then connected, by a strong hinge in front, to two cheeks of a common garrison carriage, cut down to be little higher than the trucks. The gun could be laid to any degree of depression under twenty degrees, by a common quoin resting upon the cheeks of the carriage; but when greater depression was necessary, two upright timbers, with indented steps, were fixed to the cheeks: by which, with the assistance of a moveable plank, to slide in upon the steps, and a quoin, the back part of the plank, upon which the gun slided, was elevated at pleasure by iron pins in the uprights J and the gun depressed to any angle above twenty and under seventy degrees.
Many advantages, besides that of immediate depression, resulted to the artillery from this invention. The carriage, when the gun was depressed, seldom moved; the gun sliding upon the plank to which it was attached by the spindle, and returning to its former place with the most trifling assistance. When the shot was discharged, and the bed with the gun had recoiled to the extremity of the groove ; the matross, by turning round the gun to lie horizontally across the carriage (which was done .with the greatest facility), was also enabled to load under cover of the merlon, unexposed to the enemy's fire, and avoided the difficulty of ramming the shot upwards. It equally allowed the gun to be fired at point blank: and (by turning the muzzle to the back part of the carriage) at every elevation, to fortyfive degrees, but in that state did not particularly excel. As to the accuracy of the depressing shot, no farther proof need be adduced, than that, out of thirty rounds, twentyeight shot took place in one traverse in the St. Carlos's battery, at the distance of near one thousand four hundred yards.
A polacre had arrived on the 15th; and on the 17th, came in the Flyingfish cutter, with ordnance stores: the latter was opposed, and engaged in the Bay by a frigate, a xebeque, and three gunboats ; but got in by perseverance, and superior skill, without a single man killed or wounded. At night, a party of the enemy was discovered at the eastern extremity of the parallel; and a brisk fire was immediately pointed to the spot. At daybreak we remarked they had traced out with fascines a work (of five sides, leaving the gorge open), at the west return from the parallel. It appeared to be for another redoubt About the morning gunfire, a brig was hailed from Europa, and answered from Cork, finding she was a friend, the Captain was directed to anchor at the Mole; but imagining the ships, as before the war, remained at Waterport, he passed our prames, and did not discover his error till he had gone too far to return: he was consequently obliged to put about, and the vessel grounded at the back of the Old mole. When the enemy observed her in the morning, the Black battery, and Fort St. Philip, directed a smart fire upon her; but, though it was continued the whole day, not a shot struck the hull. Captain Curtis brought away the crew, and at night went with several boats, and cut away her masts: part of her cargo was also removed; but the greater portion of it was damaged by the seawater. In the evening, Waterport guard was reinforced with a picket.
The enemy, on the night of
the 18th, added five embrasures to the gunbattery, and left a space, seemingly
for two others. This addition made it appear as if they intended the whole for
one battery, which before was divided into two. Great quantities of materials
were dispersed in various parts of their works, and brush wood continued to be
brought into their camp from the country. The succeeding night they .erected an
epaulement of thirtynine casks long, faced with fascines, within the hexagon
figure, at the extremity of the parallel.
The front work was also raised, and a ditch, extending along the front of
the parallel to the east flank of the St. Carlos's, lined with fascines. They
worked also on the platforms of the new battery. The morning of the 20th, ten
gunboats returned to Algexiras from the east: they were supposed to be the same
which had chased the Viper and Lively cutters. Intelligence from
About noon on the 23d,
several signals were made at Cabrita Point, which brought out a frigate and a
zebeque from Algeciras. Soon after, we observed a vessel standing into the Bay
with a flowing sail. The zebeque passed her astern: but the frigate bore down,
and appeared as if she intended to board. The vessel, however, in coming
abreast, threw in so welldirected a broadside, that the Spaniard was greatly
confused, and fell astern. The frigate afterwards wore, and returned the salute;
but the vessel was at such a distance, that no damage was received. On her
arrival at the New mole, to our surprise we found her to be the Mercury
ordnanceship, which had left the Bay in January, and, as we imagined, was bound
The enemy's ships in the
Bay were reinforced on the 24th and 25th with a frigate, four or fivo xebeques,
and several armed settees; part of which probably had been employed to block up
the port of Mahon. The morning of the 25th, arrived the
The 1st of March a flag of
truce went to the enemy, in answer to one from them some days before. The
Spanish officer who received the packet, informed us, that Fort St. Philip, in
Two operations of the besiegers stnl continued tedious. On the 16th they pallisaded the gorge of the Centre redoubt; and on the l©th began to pitch a new camp, near the Grand magazine, on the beach. At night they erected the epaulement of St Paschal's mortar-battery and raised three traverses in the rear.
Lieut. White, of the 56th,
was slightly wounded on the 16th. On the night of the 20th, the
The Vernon's arrival may be
considered as truly fortunate, since no less than thirty Spanish men of war, of
different force were out purposely to intercept her and the Success frigate,
Captain Pole, her convoy. Some leagues to the westward of the Straits, they fell
in with a fortygun frigate, which had left our (blockade) station, and was one
of the above mentioned cruisers. A warm action consequently commenced; but the
Spaniard, finding the Vernon well armed, and that she boldly bore down to
support the Success, after an engagement of several glasses, in which the Vernon
had a considerable share, thought proper to submit. On board the prize were
found papers describing the
The enemy, on the night of
the 24th, were discovered, from Willis's, at work in the front of the
epaulement, at the eastern extremity of the parallel: a few rounds of grape,
however, quickly drove them under cover. They made several attempts to proceed,
but were as constantly obliged to retire. The succeeding morning, we observed
they had employed parties in other parts of their works. The communication to
the Centre redoubt was raised; many traverses were erected behind the fourth
approach, and a considerable quantity of fascines and other materials brought
down to their works. In the forenoon of the 25th, the Spanish officers belonging
to the Santa Catalina, who were brought to the Garrison in the
The night of the 26th, the
enemy extended their parallel in a continued direction with the old work about
one hundred yards, with casks and fascines, banked up with sand in front. The
succeeding evening, we perceived several guns in the
Our opponents at this time
scarcely expended more than two hundred rounds in the twenty four hours; but "we
frequently saluted them with double that number in that period. The night of the
28th and 29th, the enemy lined with fascines the prolongation of the parallel,
and erected five traverses in the Eastern redoubt. Their batteries near the
tower now appeared to be completed; the fourth month being just expired since
they had been destroyed. The 31st, being a grand festival, our batteries were
doublemanned, expecting the besiegers would open their advanced batteries ; but
not firing, the reinforcement was remanded at noon. In the evening, about six
o'clock, a shell set fire to the flank of the Eastern redoubt, and, the flame
being assisted with a brisk discharge, burnt rapidly for some hours: at last,
however, the enemy extinguished it. The succeeding morning, we perceived that
they had covered with sand the part which had taken fire, and a number of
fascines were lying in great confusion about the work. The same night, a boat
came in from
On the evening of the 1st
of April, a soldier of the 39th regiment deserted from Landport: several hundred
rounds of musketry and grape were discharged at him, some of which it is
imagined took place, as he dropped just before he got to the St. Carlos's
battery, and was carried into the work by seven of the guard. At dusk, a
volunteer of Arragon came over to us; he brought his arms and some necessaries,
which, with other circumstances, occasioned a suspicion of his being a spy. He
reported that the enemy had suffered considerably in restoring their batteries ;
upwards offour hundred being killed, and nearly as many more wounded* The
eastern redoubt, he informed us, was called the
As grates for heating shot were distributed on the different northern batteries in the beginning of this month, we imagined the Governor intended applying redhot shot against the enemy's works, which appeared now complete. We were however disappointed; they were still reserved as a bonne louche, for the closing of the scene.
The night of the 5th, the
enemy erected, at the extremity of the parallel, a place fiarmes, of four sides,
one of which was the parallel lengthened, the other three extending in obtuse
angles to the rear. The 6th, Colonel Stanton was appointed a Brigadiergeneral;
and Capt. Blanckley, of the 97th regiment, his Brigademajor. The 8th, we
perceived some tents pitched upon the plain beneath the ruins of Carteia: and
the following day this camp was increased with five double rows of tents: a
regiment in white took possession in the evening. The 9th, a regiment in blue
marched into the new camp, pitched the 2d of this month. The same day all the
carpenters of the regiments in garrison (those of the 97th regiment excepted^
were ordered, with an hundred additional realmen, into the King's works. At
night the enemy made some alterations near
A Faro boat arrived on the
The morning of the 16th, we
remarked that the enemy had repaired the eastern part of the
The 25th, a little before
daybreak, a deserter came in from the enemy: he was a native of Arragon, and
com* rade to the last: he confirmed our information from Lisbon, respecting the
intended attack, under the com* mandof the Duke de Crillon $ adding, that they
had resolved to make the principal attack by sea: for which purpose large ships
were to be fitted up with cork, &c. The new camp, near Rocadillo point, he said,
was occupied by the regiment of Cordova infantry, lately arrived from
Though their camp had been
considerably reinforced within the preceding she weeks, yet we could not observe
that they had made any addition to their guards, which continued to be about the
same number as mentioned some months before. The 28th, they raised the merlons
In the beginning of May, the enemy repaired the west branch of the St. Carlos's, which fell down some time before, and made some alterations in the Black battery. Several hundred mules came likewise with clay to the lines. From seven in the eveninjg of the 4th, to the same hour the succeeding afternoon, both the Garrison and the enemy were silent. This was the first twenty four hours in which there had been no firing for the space of nearly THIRTEEN MONTHS*
The evening of the 7th, the
Cerberus and Apollo frigates, with four transports and four ordnance ships,
The enemy, about the 12th,
removed, and made a new arrangement of their ordnance in the forts and batteries
along the coasts t we supposed they were changing them for others of a larger
calibre. The 14th, several of the large ships at Algeciras struck their yards
and topmasts, and a great number of men appeared on board them; which movements
left us no longer to doubt, that they were intended to be fitted up as FLOATING
BATTEKBBS for the grand attack: this opinion was confirmed in the afternoon, by
their beginning to cut down the poops of two of them. The subsequent day, three
storeships, the Queen Charlotte, Leonora, and Charles, arrived from
Their operations now in the advanced works almost totally ceased; their whole attention seemed occupied by the ships at Algeciras, and by arrangements in their camp. Cannon and variety of military stores were landed beyond Point Mala, and a strong party was employed in erecting a large building near the landingplace, which we conjectured was for an hospital. The firing on both sides varied as circumstances directed. Three men of the 58th regiment were missing on the 19th ; and a party being immediately sent in quest of them, their bodies were found dashed to pieces behind the rock ; the rope by which they were to have descended being many yards too short. The enemy were very active about their ships ; eleven portholes were opened in the side of a third; and on the 21st, they began to strengthen their larboard sides with some materials which appeared like junk. The elasticity and resistance of this article rendered it very eligible for the purpose. On the land side they continued collecting brushwood from all parts of the country, and had strong parties at work, making fascines. At the landingplace, stores of every species were daily disembarked. On the other band, the Garrison, with unwearied assiduity, made various dispositions to repel their attack. The sloping palisades at Waterport by this time were finished, and the gateway barricaded, excepting a small passage for the wicket. To this post the Governor seemed particularly to attend. The intentions of the enemy were no longer mysterious: every preparation was therefore made to give them a warm reception: an additional number of grates for heating shot, were made and distributed along the Linewall $ and the Navy lowered their yards and topmasts, to be in readiness to act on shore at a moment's notice.
A PBTVATBBB xebeque arrived
on the 25th from Leghorn, with a Corsican officer and twelve privates, who came
to offer their services as volunteers during the approaching attack; which the
Governor accepted, and ordered them to be entertained by different regiments
till the others arrived, who, they informed us, were on their passage.
In the evening, a large building, to the east of the Catalonian camp,
took fire, and was totally consumed: it had formerly been a barrack, but was
now, as the deserters informed us, a granary for forage and corn.
We numbered at this time upwards of a hundred pieces of cannon in the
artillery park of the enemy.
The 25th, the engineers began to mine a gallery from a place above
Farringdon's battery (Willis's), to communicate through the rock to a notch or
projection of the rock, below Green's Lodge, in which the Governor proposed to
make a battery. The
26th, another vessel arrived from
A flag of truce came from the enemy on the 28th, with a letter from Mr Anderson, a merchant who had left the Garrison some days before, and had been taken on his passage to Faro. Before the purport of the flag was known, the Governor, speaking to the officers near him, said " he supposed the Duke was arrived, and had " sent to summon the Garrison; but he should give " him a short answer, No,—No, and hoped the gentlemen (addressing himself to the officers present) " would all support him." He had not, however, an opportunity of being so spiritedly laconic. The day following we perceived a new encampment between the Catalonians and the left of the first line, and great additions were made to those mentioned before. Six of their battering-ships were now in hand, and an universal activity was observed throughout their camp. The firing on both sides varied very little: if there were any difference in the number of rounds, the Garrison had the advantage. Our engineers at this time were employed in repairing the damaged and uneven platforms on the sealine batteries, and the artillery in disposing of the heavy ordnance, where they would act with greater execution and effect. Scarce a day now passed but vessels of all denominations arrived in the Bay, at the enemy's camp; the generality of which seemed laden with military stores and materials for the siege.
June did not commence with any thing extraordinary* The 2d, Brigadier Stanton died of a coup de soleil. The enemy, the following day, pitched several large tents to the southward of Algeciras, for the accommodation of the workmen employed in fitting up their ships. The 4th, being the anniversary of his Majesty's birthday, the last of our new gunboats was launched ; and at noon the whole fired a salute, commencing with a salvo of fortyfour guns shotted, from the north front of the Garrison: the enemy's batteries instantly returned our landfire, and in so smart a manner as to convince us, they had prepared to retaliate. The following are the names of the gunboats, and ships from which they were manned:—
On the 5th, three rows of double tents, ten in each row, were pitched near Barcelo's battery, at Algeciras. Mr. M'Gregor, a volunteer in the 73d, was wounded the same day by a shell; of which article the enemy's artillery, within a day or two, had been more profuse than usual. The 6th, Captain Wideburg of Reden's, was wounded in the Queen's lines. On the 7th, our artillery practised from the King's bastion, with redhot shot, against the Irishman's brig, which was stranded at the back of the Old mole. In the first round, one of the artillerymen putting in the shot, the fire by some means immediately communicated to the cartridge, and the unfortunate man was blown from the embrasure in some hundred pieces: two others were also slightly wounded with the unexpected recoil of the carriage. The practice after this aceident was discontinued. In the evening, a shell fell into a quarter in town, and carried away part of a chair, in which Ensign M'Kenzie, of the 73d, was sitting: it immediately burst in the room below, and lifted him and the chair from the floor, without further injury.
The enemy's inactivity in their advanced batteries was sufficiently compensated by their diligence and celerity at Algeciras: six ships were now in great forwardness, and on the 10th they began upon another. Of this interval of tranquillity, as we may call it, (though the enemy had not quite discontinued their fire) the Governor took advantage, and employed it with indefatigable zeal in completing the works of the Garrison. New batteries bearing on Waterport, which appeared to be his grand object of defence, were opened in the Moorish castle: a caissoned battery was also erected at Upper Forbes's, and some alterations made in the Lines: moveable palisades, with casks of earth, sand, &c. were distributed in various parts along the linewall, to be ready in case a breach should be effected ; and the outworks at Landport underwent some advantageous alterations. Two or three men about this time attempted to desert; but they were all retaken.
On the 11th, between ten and eleven o'clock, an unlucky shell from the enemy fell through the splinterproof, at the door of the magazine on Princess Ann's battery (Willis's), and bursting, communicated to the powder, which instantly blew up. The explosion was so violent as to shake the whole rock, and throw the materials on both sides an almost incredible way into the sea. Three merlons on the west flank of the battery, with several unfortunate men who had run behind them for shelter, were forced down from the level of the platforms into the Prince's lines, which, with the Queen's below, were almost filled with rubbish. Another magazine near it happily escaped, though the door was thrown open by the explosion. Our loss by this dreadful accident was chiefly among the workmen who were employed on the flank of the battery: one drummer, and thirteen rank and file, were killed; three Serjeants, three drummers, and nine rank and file, wounded. Immediately after the report of the explosion, and on the appearance of the large column of smoke, the enemy gave a loud huzza: their drums beat to arms in the camp; and some persons aver, that their first line assembled, and were actually on their march towards Fort St. Philip, but afterwards returned. As the engineers, after the accident, got together the remains of the party, to effectually secure the magazine which had so miraculously escaped, the enemy continued the cannonade the remainder of the day; and, as if fate was resolved at that particular time to sport with our anxiety, in the course of this firing, two other shells fell upon the remaining magazine, and one into the very splinter proof in front of the door: happily the latter did not go through ; for, if it had, this magazine might have shared the fate of its neighbour, and the whole of the batteries at WiHis's have probably been materially injured. Princess Ann's battery, the flank of it excepted, was not considerably damaged: the caissoned merlons were much shaken, and the battery filled with rubbish; however, before night the whole was cleared away, and several rounds fired from that battery, as well as from the other batteries, to convince the enemy that the misfortune was not of so much importance as they probably imagined: indeed, from so dreadful an accident, it was wonderful that the injury was not of greater consequence.
The Navy, on the 13th,
under the direction of the Engineers, began to caisson the west face of the
Newmole fort. About sunset a soldier of the 58th regiment, who had lately joined
As boats were constantly
detached by the Navy at nightfall, to row guard at some distance from the
Garrison, and give information of the approach of the gunboats, or any other
vessels, curiosity often prompted them to approach the enemy's shore; and for
some preceding nights they reported, that they heard, at Algeciras, a noise like
that of men hard at work; whence we concluded, their impatience to finish their
battering ships made them embrace all opportunities, both by day and night. The
16th, a new camp was observed between the Grand magazine and the Orangegrove.
The battalion which occupied it were supposed to be disembarked from the small
convoy which arrived on the 14th. At night, a noise of boats was distinctly
heard from our prames, at some distance in the Bay: it however ceased on a gun
being fired towards that quarter. This circumstance occasioned new signals to be
appointed for the prames. The 97th regiment, on the 17th, for the first time
gave a picket of forty men. The following day, Hardenberg's regiment was ordered
in case of an alarm, to act with the 58th at Europa, instead of marching to
town. In the afternoon, a French convoy, of upwards of sixty sail, under three
frigates, anchored in the Bay, off the Guadaranque, from the east. As most of
the ships had troops on board, we concluded it was the French reinforcement, of
which we had received previous information. The following evening several
Spanish and French general officers, with their suits, visited the lines ; where
they remained excepting one General, who, accompanied by an artillery officer
and an engineer, came forward to the advanced works, and stood some time in
front of the
As AFFAIRS were daily becoming more serious, the Serjeants, and such drummers of the Garrison as were able, were ordered, in case of alarm, to turn out with firelocks and accoutrements; which were accordingly delivered to the different regiments from the grand store. The Governor seemed determined to have no idle hands in the place at such a critical time. Musicians, who before had been exempted from duty, also returned to the use of the firelock and shovel.
The morning of the 21st, two Genoese, formerly inhabitants of the Garrison, who had been taken by the enemy in a settee bound for Gibraltar, made their escape in a boat from a prison-ship at Algeciras. .They informed us that the grand attack was fixed to be in September; but that all, both sailors and soldiers, were much averse to the enterprise. In the afternoon, two General officers again visited the lines; and we remarked, their guards did not relieve at their usual hour, but probably came down after twilight. From the 19th to the 21st, the enemy's fire daily diminished; and on the 22d, about five in the evening, their batteries were totally silent. This sudden cessation induced us to conclude that the Duke de Crillon had assumed the command of the COMBINED ARMY.