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Date,) for the Information of the Lords Comis missioners of the Admiralty. I have the Honor to be, Sir. &c. &c. &c.
W. SIDNEY SMITH. My Lorn, Tigre, of Josa, 8ih Nov. 1799.
melancholy Death of Patrona Bey the Turkish Vice-Admiral, who was assassinated at Cyprus in a Mutiny of the Janiffaries on the 18th of October ; the Command devolved on Seid Ali Bey, who had just joined me with the Troops from Constantinople, compoling the Second Maritime Expedition destined for the Recovery of Egypt. As soon as our joint Exertions had reitored Order, we proceeded to the Mouth of the Damietta Branch of the Nile to make an Attack thereon, as combined with the Supreme Vizir, in order to draw the Attention of the Enemy that Way, and leave his Highness more at Liberty to advance with the grand Army on the Side of the Desart. The Attack begun by the Tigre’s Boats taking Possession of a ruined Castle situated on the Eastern Side of the Bogaz, or Entrance of the Channel, which the Inundation of the Nile had insulated from the Nain Land, leaving a fordable Paffage. The Turkil Flag difplaved on the Tower of this Castle, was at once the Signal for the Turkish Gun-Boats to advance, and for the Enemy to open their Fire in order to dislodge us; their nearest Post being a Redoubt on the Main Land with Two Thirty-two Pounders, and an EightPounder Field Piece mounted thereon, a point blank Shot diftant.
The fire was returned from the Launch's Carro. nade, mounted in a Breach in the ( aitle, and from Field Pieces in the small Buats, which loon obliged the Enemy to discontinue working at an Intretchment they were making to oppose a Landing. Lieutenant Stokes was detached with the Boats to check
a Body of Cavalry advancing along the Neck of Land, in which he succeeded; but I am sorry to fay with the Loss of One Man killed and One wounded. This Interchange of Shot continued with little Intermillion during the 29th, 30th, and 31st, while the Turkish Transports were drawing nearer to the Landing Place, our Shells from the Carronade annoying the Enemy in his Works and Communications; at length the Magazine blowing up, and One of their thirty-two-Pounders being filenced, a favourable Moment ffered for Disembarkation. Orders were given accordingly ; but it was not till the Morn. ing of the ist November that they could eff:ctuate this Operation.
This delay gave Time for the Enemy to collect a Force more than double that of the First Division landed, and to be ready to attack it before the Return of the Boats with the Remainder. The French advanced to the Charge with Bayonets. The Turks completely exculpated themfelves from the Sofpicion of Cowardice having been the Cause of their Delay; for when the Enemy were within Ten Yards of them, they ruled on, Sabre in Hand, and in an Instant completely routed the first Line of the French Infantry. The Day was ours for the Moment; but the Impetuosity of Olman Aga and his Troops occafioned them to quit the Station affigned them as a Corps of Reserve, and to run forward in Pursuit of the Fugitives; European Tactics were of course advantageously employed by the French at this criticalJuncture. Their Body of Reserve came on in per. fect Order, while a Charge of Cavalry on the Left of the Turks put them completly to the Rout in their Turn; Our Flanking Fire from the Castle and Boats, which had been hitherto plied with evident: Effect, was now neceffarily suspended by the Im poffibility of pointing clear of the Turks in the Confusion. The latter turned a random Fire on the Boats, to make them take them off, and the Sea
was in a Instant covered with Turbans, while the Air was filled with piteous Moans, calling to us for Aslistance; it was (as at Aboukir) a Duty of some Difficulty to afford it them, without being Victims to their Impatience, or overwhelmed with Numbers; we, however, persevered and saved all, except those which the Frence took Prisoners hy wading into the Water after them ; neither did the Enemy interrupt us much in fo doing. Major Douglas and Lieutenant Stokes, who were with me on this Service, gave ad. ditional Proofs of their Zeal, Ability, and Bravery, and the Boats' Crews, as usual, behaved admirably.
The Loss in Killed on our Side cannot be ascertained. The French General in his Offer to exchange Prisoners on the general Account, afsures me he has Eleven Hundred. As to the Enemy's Loss, we have no Means of estimating it, but it must have been sufficient to convince them that such Victories as these against Troops, which, though irregular, will fight Hand to Hand with them, must cott them dear in the End. I have the Honor to be, My Lord, &c. &c. &c.
W. SIDNEY SMITH. Admiralty-Office, March 29, 1800. Copy of a Letter from the Right Honourable Lord Keith,
K. B. Vice Admiral of the Red, and Commander in Chief of his Majesty's Ships and Vessels in the Mediterranean, 1o Evan Nepean, Esq; dated on board the Queen Charlotte, off Valette, 20th Feb. 1800. SIR,
Y Letter of the 5th acquainted you, for the received Intelligence of the reported Approach of an Enemy's Squadron towards this Iand; and although I had confiderable Dishculty in persuading myfelf that they would hazard the Attempt in the Face of so superior a Force, I nevertheless considered it incumbent upon me to take the neceffary Precautions of reconnoitring the Quarter in A 4
8) which they were to be expected, and at the famt Time guarding most particularly the Entrance of the Harbour of Valette, as the only Point in which they could secure themselves, and debark their Troops and Stores. The Wind being strong from the S E. and accompanied with Rain, I could only communicate by Signal; I accordingly denoted the Bearing and the reputed Force of the Enemy, and directed the Foudroyant, Audacious, and Northumberland to chace to Windward, and the Lion to look out off the Passage between Goza and Malta; while the Queen Charlotte was kept as close in with the Mouth of the Harbour as the Batteries would admit of; thé Alexander at the same Time was under Weigh on the South-East Side of the Iiland: On the 16th I was joined by the Phaeton, froni Palermo ; and the Wind having shifted to the N.W. which afforded a favorable Opportunity for landing the Neapolitan Troops at Marsa Sirocco, I ac: cordingly embraced it, and in the Afternoon re.
turned off the Harbour of Valette : Signals were · made from various Parts of the Iland of an Enemy's. being in Sight, and with the Queen Charlotte, Phaeton, Serena Neapolitan Frigate, and Minorca Sloop, I anxiously continued to maintain a Polition near the Shore, to prevent the Enemy from passing within us, and to expose them to the Attack of His Majesty's Ships that were in Pursuit of them. On the Morning of the 19th, El Corso joined with a large French Armed Store Ship which she took Pofleffion of at Four o'Clock in the Afternoon of the 18th, by Signal from Lord Nelson, whose Squadron was then engaged with the French : Captain Ricketts reported this Ship to be the Ville de Mar, feilles, loaded with Salt Meat, Brandy, Wine, Cloathing, Stores, &c. &c.; she failed from Toulon on the 7th Inftant, in Company with the Genereux Seventy-four, Admiral Perrée, Badine Twenty-four, and Two Corvettes, having near Four Thousand
Troops on board for the Relief of Malta. At foar P. M. the Foudroyant and Audacious joined me, and I was acquainted by Rear-Admiral Lord Nel fon that the Genereux had surrendered without any Action, and that the Three Corvettes had escaped, from all the Line of Battle Ships having anxiously pressed after the French Admiral. I have the Honor to enclose a Copy of Lord Nelson's Letter.
His Lordship has on this Occasion, as others, conducted himself with Skill and great Ado dress in comprehending my Signals, which the State of the Weather led me greatly to suspect. Captain Peard has evinced excellent Management from the Moment he first discovered the Enerny off the SouthWest End of Sicily until the Period of the Capture; and Lieutenant William Harrington, commanding the Alexander in the Absence of Captain Ball, has Thewn great Merit in fo ably conducting that Slip in Presence of fo fuperior a Force previously to the Appearance of Lord Nelson ; l beg Leave to recommend him to their Lordships' Confideration.
I have detached Ships in all Directions to endeavour to pick up the Stragglers. I have the Honor to be, &c. &c. &c.
KEITH, Foudrcgant, at Sea, of Cape di Corvo,
Eight Leagues We of Cape Palaro,
off Shore about Four Wiles, 18t/ MY LORD, February 180o. HIS Morning at Daylight, being in Company
with the Ships named in the Margin *, I saw the Alexander in Chace of a Line of Battle Ship, Three Frigates, and a Corvette. At about Eight o'Clock The fired several Shot at One of the Enemy's Frigates, which struck her Colours, and leaving her to be fecured by the Ships aftern, continued the Chace. I directed Captain Gould, of * Northumberland, Audacious, and El Corsu Brig.