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time. The ship now presented a most awful spectacle, and I had quite given her up as lost. No possible assistance could be afforded from the squadron, and she had to trust alone to her own exertions; these, however, were not wanting, and by the extraordinary perseverance and coolness of the officers and men, the fire was at last extinguished, with the loss of the main-mast, and the ship of course saved to the service. I have to express my warmest thanks to Lieutenants Dickenson and Haye, and the officers and men employed under their orders, and beg leave to recommend them to the commander-in-chief. "I have the honour to be, &c.
(Signed) "W. Hoste.*
"Captain G. Eyre, 8fc."
The following is a copy of the correspondence between Captain Hoste and the French Commodore, alluded to in the first of the above letters : —
"H. B. M. S. Amphion, at the Island of Lissa, March 15. 1811.
"Sir, — The frigate you commanded in the late action with the British squadron struck her colours to H. B. Majesty's ship Amphion, under my command. I was not able to take possession of you at that moment, being engaged with the Bellona frigate; but I considered you as my own, and as a man of honour you must have thought so yourself: I call on the officers of your own squadron, as well as those I have the honour to command, to witness my assertion. You know, sir, I might have sunk you, had I not considered you as having surrendered, and so might two of my squadron also. By the laws of war the Flore belongs to me; and the "purport of my present truce is to demand her restitution, in the same state as when she struck.
"I have the honour to be, &c.
(Signed) "William Hoste.
"To Mons. Peridier, Captain, commanding the frigate Flore, off Lessina"
* The French account of the action, written by an Italian colonel, forms a most ludicrous contrast to the British captain's. It will be found at length in the Nav. Chron. vol. jtxv. p. 423. el leg., and an analysis thereof in James's Nav. Hist. vol. 5. p. 139. el seq.
"On board his Imperial and Royal Majesty's frigate the Dana£, in the Roads of Lessina.
"Sir, — In consequence of the wounds received by M. Peridier, Commandant of his Imperial and Royal Majesty's frigate la Flore, I have had the honour to take upon me the command of his Imperial and Royal Majesty's ships, and cannot surrender to you his Imperial Majesty's frigate under the laws to which you refer, because she did not strike her colours, as you are pleased to state. His Majesty's frigate had her flag cut by shot. Her state not allowing her to continue the engagement any longer, her captain thought proper to withdraw from it. If you should not consider my answer satisfactory, I request you will address yourself to my government. "I have the honour to be, &c.
"To M. the Commandant of the Amphion frigate, at Lissa"
"H. B. M. S. Amphion, Lissa, March 19. 1811.
"Sir, — The letter I had the honour of receiving to-day was neither signed nor dated (I presume through mistake); I return it for its signature.
"As captain of the Danae, you will not admit that the Flore struck her colours in the late action, nor did I call on you to do so. No, sir, I call on Mons. Peridier, the commander of that ship, as a man of honour, to declare whether she struck her colours or not; and if M. Peridier was so severely wounded as not to have charge of the ship at that time, I look to his next in command for an answer to my letter of the 15th; but I again assert, and ever shall maintain, that, by the laws of war, his frigate belongs to my sovereign, and his sword to me: the world will judge between us. "I have the honour to be, &c.
(Signed) "W. Hoste.
"To the Captain commanding the frigate Danae."
A gold medal in commemoration of the action was'presented to the four captains; and it forms part of the augmentation of the arms of Hoste which will be noticed hereafter.
The captured frigates were escorted by the Amphion and Volage to Malta, and from thence to Portsmouth, where the Amphion was paid off August 12. 1811. Captain Hoste was now appointed to the Bacchante, a new thirty-eight gun frigate, and soon after his return to the Mediterranean captured a French privateer and two valuable convoys on the coast of Istria and Apulia; not to mention several other successful enterprises of inferior moment; in one of which some despatches from Corfu were intercepted, and a French general of artillery and his suite, going to Otranto, were captured.
Information was brought to Captain Hoste on the 11th of May, 1813, that a number of vessels were lying in the channel of Karlebago. He accordingly sailed without delay for the spot, but owing to adverse winds and a strong current, he did not arrive there till the morning of the 15th. Meanwhile the vessels in question had escaped. The visit of Captain Hoste was, however, not ineffectual; for, as he found that the port afforded excellent shelter to the enemy's convoys, he determined to destroy the works which defended it, and accordingly brought up within pistol shot of the batteries. After a good deal of firing a flag of truce was hung out, and the place surrendered at discretion. A detachment of seamen and marines then landed, under the direction of Lieutenant Hood, blew up the castle, destroyed all the public works, and brought off two twelve-pounders, four nines, and two brass sixes.
At the capture of Fiume, by the squadron under RearAdm. Freemantle, July 3. 1813, Captain Hoste served on shore, and landing on the 5th with a party of marines at Porto Re, he blew up the forts which had been deserted by the enemy, and destroyed the artillery. On the 2d of August in the same year, after assisting in silencing the batteries at Rovigno, he placed himself at the head of a detachment of seamen and marines from the Bacchante and Eagle, anil, defeating the French troops which occupied the town, lie disabled the guns and works, captured part of a large convoy in the harbour, and burnt the remainder, together with all the vessels on the stocks.
The year 1813 teemed with important naval events in the Adriatic; but none were productive of such great and permanent effects as the reduction of the fortresses of Cattaro and Kagusa, by which the allies became masters of every place in Dalmatia, Croatia, Istria, and the Frioul, with all the islands in the Gulf of Venice. In the operations against these places, Captain Hoste commanded the naval force and a detachment of military; and we give in his own words the account of the actions which led to their fall.
"Bacchante, off Castel Nuova, October 16. 1813.
"Sir, — I arrived off Ragusa on the 12th instant, and joined the Saracen and three gun-boats, with a detachment of the garrison of Curzola on board, commanded by Captain Loweri, who had been directed by Colonel Robertson to act on this coast. From the information I received from Captain Harper of the Saracen, together with the state of the country about Cattaro, and the insurrection of the Bocchese, I lost no time in proceeding to this place, with the vessels under my orders. On the 13th, in the morning, we forced the passage between Castel Nuova and the fort of Rosa, and, after some firing, secured a capital anchorage for the squadron, about three miles above the former. In the evening, I detached the boats of this ship and two Sicilian gun-boats, under the orders of Captain Harper, who very handsomely 'volunteered his services, to capture the enemy's armed naval force, which I understood were lying between Isle of St. George and the town of Cattaro. Captain Harper completely succeeded : the enemy had deserted their boats on his approach, and having succeeded in manning them with the armed Bocchese in the neighbourhood, he most gallantly attacked and carried the island, the commandant and his garrison surrendering at discretion. I enclose his report of the affair, with the account of the guns, &c. captured. This is a point of the utmost importance to our future operations: it commands and fronts the narrow channel to the narrow branch of the river that leads up to Cattaro itself; and, fortified as it is, it would have been with difficulty, if at all, the ships of war could have passed it. The fort of Peroste was taken by the Bocchese the same night; and I have now the pleasure to acquaint you, that Castel Nuova and Fort Espagnol surrendered by capitulation to the British force this morning. The garrison remain prisoners of war till exchanged; the officers are allowed their parole. There are several Croats amongst the garrison, who are willing to enter the Austrian service, and I intend sending them to Fiume. I shall lose no time in getting up to Cattaro. Fort St. John is the only place the enemy possess in the Bocco. The French general, Gauthier, has retired into the fort, with about 600 men: it is about fifteen miles up the river, and is a very strong place. I intend proceeding there directly our affairs are arranged here. I have left a garrison in Fort Espagnol, and enclose the return of the stores, guns, &c. taken in the three places.* The Montenegrins have been of considerable service in~closely blockading the country round Espagnol, and the neighbourhood. I cannot mention in too warm terms the conduct of Captain Harper; he is ever ready, and most indefatigable, and the capture of Isle St. George does him, the officers, and men, the highest credit. I am much indebted to Captain Lowen for the ready advice and assistance he at all times gives me; and the zeal that animates every one is highly praiseworthy. I have the honour to be, &c.
(Signed) « W. Hoste.
* Four gun-boats, mounting in the whole four long 24-pounden, and two 12-pr. carronades; and having on board four large brass 24-pounders, carriages, &c. complete, intended to be mounted on the fortifications at Cattaro. Found at Isle St. George, Castel Nuova, and Fort Espagnol, 11 brass, and 23 iron guns, one brass 6|-incli mortar, seven iron swivels, 600O shot, upwards of 450O live shells, about 12,3OO pounds of gunpowder, 40O cartridges for the great guns, ready filled, 900,000 musket-ball cartridges, eight cases of musket-balls, 900 hand grenades, three cases of ditto, one furnace for heating shot, and a quantity of provisions. Total number of prisoners, 438.