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three or four hundred grenadiers, unperceived, through a bog, and covered with olive trees, which communicated with the batteries, and commenced a terrible fire upon his troops. The English, astonished, at first supposed that the Neapolitans, who had the lines upon the right, had mistaken them for French, and said it is those canaglie of Neapolitans who are firing upon us; for even, at that time, your troops despised the Neapolitans. O'Hara ran out of the battery and advanced towards us. In advancing, he was wounded in the arm by the fire of a sergeant; and I, who stood at the mouth of the boyau, seized him by the coat, and drew him back among my own men, thinking he was a colonel, as he had two epaulets on.
"While they were taking him to the rear, he cried out that he was commander-in-chief of the English. He thought that they were going to massacre him, as there existed a horrible order at that time from the Convention, that no quarter was to be given to the English. I ran up, and prevented the soldiers from ill-treating him. He spoke very bad French, and as I saw he imagined that they intended to butcher him, I did everything in my power to console him, and gave directions that his wound should be immediately dressed, and that
every attention should be paid to him. He afterwards begged that I would give him a statement of how he had been taken, in order that he might forward it to his government in his justification."
Though we are not among those who give more implicit credence to all the conversational statements of Bonaparte than we do to his state documents, we believe his version of the transaction to be the right one. The previous description of this misfortune is compiled from the documents furnished to our government. We do not think them rigidly, though they may be essentially, correct. For the glory of the English army, we would rather place Bonaparte's account upon the records of our history. We will not suppose that the English troops were so undisciplined as to pursue a flying enemy in a disorderly manner for more than a mile, not only without orders, but against the will of their officers. It is very ad captandum to the misjudging public to represent the French flying before the English, even though it ended in the discomfiture of the latter. Still less can we credit that the commander-in-chief would join in so wild a sally, and upon so trifling an occasion. The real facts were, that the English had
surprised their enemies, and were, in their turn, themselves surprised.
We dwell thus long upon these affairs, firstly, because Sir Sidney certainly bore in them the most conspicuous, and performed the most useful part. Without his exertions, it will be immediately seen, that from this fierce contest we should not have plucked a single laurel wherewith to console us for our defeat; and secondly, we wish to place the odium of this cruel, momentous, and disastrous defeat, upon those who were, undoubtedly, its cause.
At this time the French army before Toulon amounted to forty thousand men, and after the surrender of Lyons, considerable as it already was, it became augmented daily. The army of the coalesced powers never exceeded twelve thousand, and even these were composed of five different nations, speaking five different languages; consequently not well formed to co-operate the one with the other. Of the actual British, there were never more than two thousand three hundred and sixty. The circumference necessary to be occupied for the complete defence of the town extended fifteen miles, with eight principal posts, and several immediate dependencies. It will naturally excite astonishment
that the place could be held for so long a time as seven weeks,
Early on the 17th of December, Fort Mulgrave, on the height La Grasse, was stormed by an immense body of the enemy, after having kept up an incessant fire upon it, with shot and shells, for four-and-twenty hours. As usual, the right, occupied by the Spaniards, soon gave way, by which means the French entered the works, and got entire possession of the height. At the same time they attacked and carried the heights of Pharon, immediately over Toulon.
Things were now growing to a crisis. A council of war, that sure herald of discomfiture, was summoned, and it was determined to evacuate a place that could be no longer held.
The Spanish admiral, Langara, undertook to destroy the ships in the inner harbour or basin, and to scuttle and sink the two powder-vessels, which contained all the powder belonging to the French ships, as well as that belonging to the distant magazines within the enemy's reach.
The disarray had already begun. The Neapolitans deserted their posts, and stole on board their ships in confusion and disorder; and the next morning, December 18th, the Neapolitan commanding officer at the post of Sepel sent word that there he would no longer remain.
retreat of the British troops and the evacuation, could not therefore be deferred. Accordingly, in the night, the whole of the troops embarked without the loss of a single man, and fourteen thousand eight hundred and seventyseven men, women, and children, of the royalists of Toulon, were sheltered in the British ships.
It was now Sir Sidney's turn to come into action. By this time, the Republican forces pressed so energetically upon the place, that its final occupation by them seemed to rest entirely with themselves. It therefore became necessary to decide upon the disposition of the French ships in the harbour and on the stocks, and the arsenal then full of military and naval muniments of war; and this too at the very critical moment, when the extrication of the allied army from their dangerous position was the paramount object of solicitude, and just then occupied nearly all the attention, and absorbed all the naval capabilities, of the combined squadrons.