English Report of Trafalgar (3)
The Hampshire Chronicle
Achille (a French 74), after having surrendered, by some
mismanagement of the Frenchmen took fire and blew up; two
hundred of her men were saved by the tenders.
circumstance occurred during the action, which so strongly
marks the invincible spirit of British seamen, when engaging
the enemies of their country, that I cannot resist the pleasure
I have in making it known to their Lordships; the Temeraire
was boarded by accident, or design, by a French ship on
one side, and a Spaniard on the other; the contest was vigorous,
but, in the end, the combined ensigns were torn from the
poop, and the British hoisted in their places.
a battle could not be fought without sustaining a great
loss of men.
have not only to lament in common with the British Navy,
and the British Nation, in the fall of the Commander in
Chief, the loss of a Hero, whose name will be immortal,
and his memory ever dear to his country; but my heart is
rent with the most poignant grief for the death of a friend,
to whom, by many years intimacy, and a perfect knowledge
of the virtues of his mind, which inspired ideas superior
to the common race of men, I was bound by the strongest
ties of affection; a grief to which even the glorious occasion
in which he fell, does not bring the consolation which perhaps
it ought; his Lordship received a musket ball in his left
breast, about the middle of the action, and sent an officer
to me immediately with his last farewell; and soon after
have also to lament the loss of those excellent officers,
Captains Duff, of the Mars, and Cooke, of the Bellerophon;
I have yet heard of no others.
I fear the numbers that have fallen will be found very great,
when the returns come to me; but it having blown a gale
of wind ever since the action, I have not yet had it in
my power to collect any reports from the ships.
Royal Sovereign having lost her masts, except the tottering
foremast, I called the Euryalus to me, which the action
continued, which ship lying within hail, made my signals,
a service Captain Blackwood performed with great attention;
after the action, I shifted my flag to her, that I might
more easily communicate my orders to, and collect the ships,
and towed the Royal Sovereign out to seaward.
whole fleet were now in a very perilous situation, many
dismasted, all shattered, in thirteen fathom water, off
the Shoals of Trafalgar, and when I made the signal to prepare
to anchor, few of the ships had an anchor to let go, their
cables being shot; but the same good Providence which aided
us through such a day, preserved us in the night, by the
wind shifting a few points, and drifting the ships off the
thus detailed the proceedings of the fleet on this occasion,
I beg to congratulate their Lordships on a victory, which,
I hope will add a ray to the glory of his Majesty's Crown,
and be attended with public benefit to our country.
am, &c. Signed C. Collingwood.