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these vessels move, gunboats only can act against them with effect : four have joined me, and I have sent them in to see what they can do with the praam that is on shore. I have great satisfaction in bearing testimony to your lordship, of the gallant and steady conduct of the captains, commanders, officers, seamen, and marines under my orders. Captains Hancock and Mason bore the brunt of the attack, and continued it for six hours against a great superiority of fire, particularly from the army on shore, the howitzer shells annoying them much. These officers deserve the highest praise I can give them. They speak of
I the conduct of their lieutenants, officers, and crews, in terms of warm panegyric. Messrs. Budd and Dalyell, from the Antelope, acted in the absence of two lieutenants of those ships. Lieutenants Garrety and Patful, commanding the Favourite and Stag cutters, did their best with their small guns against greater numbers of greater calibre.
Lieutenant Hillier, of the Antelope, gave me all the assistance and support on her quarter-deck his ill state of health would permit. Lieutenant Stokes and Mr. Slesser, acting lieutenants, directed the fire on the lower and main decks with coolness and precision. It would be the highest injustice if I omitted to mention the intrepid conduct of Mr. Lewis, the master, Mr. Nunn and Mr. Webb, pilots, to whose steadiness, skill, and attention, particularly the former, I shall ever feel myself indebted for having brought the Antelope into action within the sands, where certainly the enemy could not expect to be met by a ship of her size; and for having allowed her to continue engaged with Commodore Verheuil, to the last minute it was possible to remain in such shoal water, with a falling tide. It is but justice to say, the enemy's commodore pursued a steady course, notwithstanding our fire, and returned it with spirit to the last. I could not detach
boats in the enemy's line, to pick up those vessels which had struck and were deserted, mixed as they were with those still firing: Captain Hancock sent me one schuyt that had hauled out of the line and surrendered. She had a lieutenant and twenty-three soldiers of the forty-eighth regiment, with five Dutch seamen, on board. She is so useful here, I cannot part with her yet. Enclosed is a list of our loss, which, though great, is less than might have been expected, owing to the enemy's directing their fire at our masts. The Rattler and Cruiser have, of course, suffered
, most in the latter respect, but are nearly ready for service again. The smoke would not allow us to see the effect of our shot on the enemy; but their loss, considering the number of them
under our guns for so long, must be great in proportion. We see the mastheads above water of three of the schooners and one of the schuyts which were sunk.
" W. SIDNEY SMITH. “ Lord Keith, K. B. &c. &c. &c.”
In this little skirmish, Sir Sidney's squadron sustained a loss of two petty officers, ten seamen, and one boy killed ; and two officers, four petty officers, twenty-five seamen, and
one marine wounded.
This despatch will give the reader a tolerably accurate idea of the nature of the warfare that we were then compelled to carry on.
It was of a most harassing nature, attended with great privation and suffering, and involving a loss of limb and life, that seems no way commensurate to the combatants, either in fame or in advantage, even when the operations were the most successful.
The Court of Naples violates its treaty of neutrality with the
French—Naples overrun by them—Sir Sidney Smith proceeds to annoy them-Relieves Gaeta—Takes Capri -- His despatch.
At this momentous period, war was raging in almost every quarter of the civilised world ; and after Sir Sidney's term of command in the Antelope had expired, his services were of a nature far too valuable to permit them to remain, longer than the rules of the navy permitted, uncalled for. But his past conduct merited much more distinction, and far greater rewards, than it had yet received, though, about the beginning of the year 1804, he was promoted to the highly honourable and somewhat lucrative appointment of a Colonel of Royal Marines, and, on the 9th of November 1805, was advanced to the rank of Rear-Admiral of the Blue.
During this interval, as he was not employed afloat, we do not find his name mentioned in the public records. He was assiduously and successfully cultivating the arts of peace, and laying the foundation for that scientific proficiency, for which he afterwards became, in many branches of useful knowledge, so conspicuous.
The progress of Bonaparte towards universal European dominion had now become most alarming. Ile had nearly overrun the continent, and had really hardly anything to do but to look around him for fresh pretences for aggression, and such a pretence the imprudence of the Neapolitan government readily afforded him.
By a treaty ratified by the King of Naples on the 8th of October of the year 1805, the French troops agreed to withdraw from the occupation of the Neapolitan territory; and the king engaged, in return, to remain neutral in the war between France and the allies, and to repel by force every encroachment on his neutrality. He more particularly became bound not to permit the troops of any other great power to enter his territories, or to confide the command of his armies or strong places to any Russian or Austrian officers, or to any French emigrant, and not to permit any belligerent squadron to enter into his ports.
Hardly had six weeks elapsed when every one