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The enemy had also opened a battery of twenty twenty-four-pounders upon gunboats, and the ships that covered them ; and though they were soon dismouted by the vessels under Rear-Admiral Gell, and the works totally destroyed with very great slaughter, yet the enemy renewed them three successive times, and, to the last moment, persevered in their attacks upon our gunboats and advanced ships.
During the night of the 21st of September, the French, availing themselves of a fog, very unexpectedly surprised a post occupied by the Spaniards, and thus got possession of the height of Pharon, immediately over Toulon ; but at noon, on the 1st of October, when in the
very act of establishing themselves with about two thousand men, they were attacked by the troops under Lord Mulgrave, and, after a short but spirited action, driven from the height with great slaughter. Many of the flying parties were forced headlong, at the point of the bayonet, over the rocks.
The loss of the allied forces amounted to only seven killed and seventy-two wounded, whilst the French had one thousand four hundred and fifty put hors de combat, and forty-one taken prisoners.
The batteries of the French on the Hautier de Ranier were also destroyed in the night of the 8th of October, with a considerable quantity of artillery and ammunition. The ensuing night, Captain Smith, assisted by Lieutenant Scrofield, of the royal navy, and the seamen under their command, made a successful sortie on some batteries recently erected by the enemy, which they completely destroyed. The French, notwithstanding these defeats, obtained possession of Cape le Brun on the 11th, but were again overcome and driven from thence with considerable loss.
Major-General O'Hara and Major-General Dundas arrived on the 22d of October,—the former with a commission to be governor of Toulon, with its dependencies. Lord Hood had the mortification to find, at this critical juncture, that Sir Robert Boyd was so sparing of succours for the defence of Toulon, that he had sent from Gibraltar only half the force which had been earnestly requested early in September.
Lord Hood, perceiving his fleet much weakened by the number of the seamen who were sent on shore to defend the forts, found it expedient to despatch a ship to the Grand Master of Malta, requesting that one thousand five hundred Maltese seamen might be sent to serve in the British fleet during its continuance in the Mediterranean, who should have the same rations, treatment, and the same monthly wages, as the British. The Grand Master, in the most handsome manner, furnished the desired reinforcement.
Some account of the situation of the British and Allied forces
holding Toulon—The attacks of the French Misconduct of the Allies - General O'Hara made prisoner-Bonaparte's account of the transaction—It is resolved to evacuate Toulon.
On the evening of the 11th of November, the French, with a large force, vigorously attacked our post upon the heights de Grasse, called Fort Mulgrave, and one of the most essential positions that covered the shipping in the harbour of Toulon. The attack was principally directed on that part of the place which was occupied by the Spaniards on the right. General O'Hara, who was dining on board the Victory, hastened on shore. When he reached the height, he found that the French were close to the works, and the Spaniards in full retreat, firing their muskets in the air.
The general instantly directed a company of Royals to advance, who immediately leaped upon the works
and put the enemy to flight, after leaving six hundred men dead and wounded upon the field. The loss of the English amounted to sixty-one only.
The British admiral, in addition to what he had already experienced since his taking possession of Toulon, had to undergo a fresh vexation at the end of November, and one, too, of the most serious and alarming nature, considering the augmented force of the surrounding enemy, and the critical situation of the posts to be defended. After having been flattered with the most positive hopes of receiving, towards the middle of this month, five thousand Austrian troops, and when he had actually despatched Vice-Admiral Cosby with a squadron of ships and transports to Vado Bay to convey them, as previously concerted between Mr. Trevor, his Majesty's minister at Tunis, and himself, by letters received from Mr. Trevor on the 18th of November, his lordship's hopes were at once destroyed, and with them all expectation of the arrival of a single Austrian soldier at Toulon.
The enemy, at the close of November, having opened a battery against the fort of Malbosquet near the arsenal, and from which battery shot and shells could reach the town, it was resolved to destroy it, and to bring off the enemy's guns.