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A Cruize Is The Levant.—From Alexandria to the Coast of Syiia.
[Eitracts from the remarks of H.M.S. Alfred, Capt. R. Maunacll.—
From Jaffa to the Day of Acre.
Between Jaffa and Cape Carmel the land is rather low, and sandy near the sea, till yon come to the latter, which is a long flat mountain, and terminating in a point towards the sea. At noon this Cape bore N.N.K. £ E., seven leagues; and some mountains nearly abreast of us E.b.N., distant seven or eight miles. Latitude observed 32° 28' N. After running twelve miles from noon, sonnded in twenty-five fathoms, soft black mud; we were then distant from the shore about six miles. Passed Kaiseria, Tortura, and Athelite; the latter is situated on a promontory, with a small bay to the southward of it, ia which we saw two vessels at anchor. The old ruined walls and towers about Athelite are very remarkable; between the latter and Mount Carmel is a rock, laid down in some charts, about three miles off shore, bearing from the Cape W.b.S.:} S. In passing we saw nothing of it, but the shoal which extends off Mount Carmel we passed very close to, for it shoaled very suddenly from seven to four and three-quarters fathoms; tacked immediately, and as we stood off it deepened. After the ship was about, took the following bearings, and had at the time six fathoms.
Buildings on Mount Carmel . . . S.E. j E.
Having deepened our water considerably, we tacked and stood into the bay for Acre. As we drew near the latter, found the soundings very irregular, so hauled up north-west for the anchorage off Kaiffa, and shoaled very gradually. From the middle of the bay, we had from twelve to six and a half fathoms, in which we anchored, about thrce
ENURGEO 8EBIE8.—NO- 1.—VOL. FOR 1841. B
quarters of a mile from the shore; sandy bottom; and had the following bearings:—
A castle situated rather high up behind the tower of
Monastery on Mount Carmel . . . W.b.N. £ N.
Castle on outer point . . . N.W.b.W.
Town of Acre N.N.E.
Bay of Acre•
The best anchorage for large ships in the bay of Acre is on the south side, and off the small town of Kaiffa, in from six and a half to seven and a half fathoms, sandy bottom. We anchored in the former depth, about one mile from the shore, and had the following bearings:—
Castle above, and immediately behind the town on
with centre of ditto .... S.W. § S. Monastery on Mount Carmel . . . E.b.N. £ N. Outer low point on which stands an Old Castle N.W.b.W.
During our stay we sounded round the southern side of the bay, and generally speaking found the soundings very regular; but not so on the northern side.
From the ship to within half a mile of Kaiffa had from six and a quarter to four and a quarter fathoms. We then stood out along shore in the boat, keeping about the same distance off (a small half mile) towards Castle point, and had from four to four three-quarters fathoms; it deepened gradually outside of us. Passed the point, soundings nearly the same. About half way between Castle point and Mount Carmel commences the rocky shoal which is off the latter in a north-west direction, having from two and a half to four and a half fathoms on its shoalest part, and on the outer edge seven fathoms, which is nearly two miles off. It is a dangerous shoal, and ships rounding Cape Carmel, ought to give it a wide berth, and keep in ten fathoms.
In coming from the southward, if you keep the ruins at Athelite on with the next point to the southward of it, till the town of Kaiffa opens of Castle point, you will then pass well outside of it, and have thirteen and fourteen fathoms: the last marks are the best for a large ship.
When the Castle, which is situated above the town of Kaiffa, is just open of Mount Carmel, you are abreast of the shoal; when the first rise of land inside the latter Castle opens, you may steer for Acre, and when the second rise of land from the Castle opens, should the wind be off, and you are anxious to keep to windward, you may haul up for Kaiffa, keeping the Castle point on your starboard bow, and giving it a berth of half a mile.
Soundings from the ship to the eastern end of Acre, (where the ships were at anchor,) varied from six and a half to twelve, and then shoaling to one and three-quarters fathoms. Within half a cable from the beach the soundings from four to one and three-quarters fathoms were across the inner harbour where the Egyptian transports were at anchor.
Sounded round the walls of Acre within musket shot, and had from three to four and a half fathoms; and from the western part of t he town to the ship at anchor off Kaiffa five and a half to twelve, and six and a half fathoms. Acre to ship S.W. £ S., nine miles.
The walls and town of Acre we found in a complete state of ruins, from the shot and shells of the Egyptians during the late seige; not a house or mosque had escaped.
The harbour is small, but appears very safe, and well adapted for merchant vessels, or small men-of-war. The outer anchorage is very much exposed to all winds from south-west to north-west.
There is a dangerous shoal about three miles off, S.S.W. from the town, and must be carefully avoided by ships running for Acre.
Kaiffa is a small walled town or village, situated close to the sea, and may be easily known from its being the only town on the south side of the bay. Castle point which is to the west of it, is a long low point, with an old castle on it; and on the eastern side are the ruins of the city of old Kaiffa: on its western side is a long sandy beach.
Cape Carmel, which is to the westward of the latter, is high, and very remarkable, on the top of it is a Monastery, and another large building, used as an hospital for the Egyptian soldiers, that were wounded at the seige of Acre.
Took the following bearings from the top of the Monastery :—
Outer distance southern land beyond it S.b.W. ? W.
Cape Blanco .... N.N.E.JE.
The latter Cape and Mount Carmel form the Bay of Acre, and are distant from each other five leagues.
Fall or St. Jean D'acrb.
Foreign Office, November 30M, 1840. A Despatch, of which the following is a copy, has been received at this office, addressed to Viscount Palmerston, O.cb., her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign affairs, by Colonel Sir Charles Felix Smith, C.b., commanding the forces in Syria :■—
"St. Jean A'Acre, November 5th, 1840. "Mt Loan,—On the 29th ult. it was finally determined between Sir Robert Stopford and myself, that the siege of Acre should be undertaken. I accordingly detached Omar Bey for the purpose of advancing from Sidon with 2,000 Turks upon Tyre, and thence to occupy the Pass of the White Mountain, to the northward of this place; and on the 31st, the Admiral made sail from Beyrout roads, having previously embarked in the squadron 3,000 men, under the immediate command of the Pasba Selim, and small detachments of Royal Artillery, and Sappers, under Major Higgins, of the former corps, and Lieut. Aldrich, Royal Engineers.
"Omar Bey reached the position assigned to him at the same hour on the 2d inst., that the fleet appeared off Acre.
"Owing to light winds, the ships did not get into action till 2 P.m. on the 3d, when an animated fire commenced, and was maintained, without intermission, until darkness closed the operations of the day. About three hours later the governor, with a portion of the garrison, quitted the town, which was taken possession of by the allied troops at daylight the following morning. The moral influence on the cause in which we are engaged, that will result from its surrender, is incalculable. "During the bombardment, the principal magazine and the whole arsenal blew up. By the explosion, two entire regiments, formed in position on the ramparts, were annihilated, and every living creature within the area of 60,000 square yards ceased to exist, the loss of life being variously computed at from 1,200 to 2000 persons. Those who may have been inclined to doubt the fighting qualities of the Egyptian troops, might require a lesson from the example of their endurance, if they could but contemplate the devastation and scene of horror, by which this once formidable fortress is enshrouded.
"To the Royal Navy I should be guilty of great injustice, were I to attempt to record services that will be so much more ably detailed by their gallant and respected commander-in-chief. Whilst the early departure of the despatch vessel for Malta, and the labour that has devolved on me within the walls, alike deprive mo of the means of transmitting returns of ordnance, ammunition, treasure, &o., that have fallen into the hands of the captors, and of giving your lordship an approximation even to the amount of prisoners (over 3,000,) as many are still coming in, and others arc dragged in numbers from their places of refuge and concealment.
"To her Majesty's ambassador at Constantinople, I havo reported the measures I have adopted, for the temporary administration of the 1'ushalic of Acre, pending the pleasure of the Sultan.
"I have the honor to be, &c.
"C. F. Smith, Colonel, "Commanding the forces in Syria."
"The Viscount Palmeriton, G.C.D., $c"
Admiralty, November 30th, 1840.
Commander R. F. Stopford, of her Majesty's steam-vessel Phoenix, arrived at this office yesterday, with despatches from Admiral, the Honourable Sir Robert Stopford, o.c.u., of which the following are copies or extracts:—
"Princess Charlotte, Beyrout, October 31»r, 1840.
"Sm.—I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of their lordships' order of the 5th instant, No. 322, with the letter therein referred to from Viscount l'almcrston, her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, to make, under certain circumstances therein stated, an attack upon the fortress of St. Jean d'Aere, upon which I was previously deliberating, and preparing arrangements for insuring, as much as possible its success. And I have now to acquaint you, for their lordships' information, that, having embarked 3,000 Turkish troops, and supernumerary marines in the different ships of the squadron, as per margin. I shall proceed on that service the moment wind and weather permit, with the Austrian squadron, under Rear-Admiral Bandeira, and the Turkish flag-ship, Rear-Admiral Walker, who had already preceded himself, with a flag of truce, to summon the place, but was not received.
"I have the honor to be, &c,
"Kobebt Stopford, Admiral."
"R. More O'Ferrall, Esq. Sfc"
"Princess Charlotte, off St. Jean d'Aere, Nov. 4lh, 1810.
"Sir.—You will be pleased to acquaint the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, that the town and fortress of Acre were taken possession of by the allied forces under my command this morning, in the name of the Sultan.
"The circumstances which led to this result, occurred on the 3d, when a heavy cannonade from the ships and vessels, beginning at 2 P.m. and ending at S, completely demolished the town, and materially damaged the fortifications, inducing the Egyptians to evacuate the place in the night. A tremendous explosion of a large magazine of powder took place about 4 P.m. on the 3d.
"The attacks were made upon the west lines, and the south face of the works, the former composed of the following ships,—viz. Princess Charlotte, 1'owerfnl, liellrrophnn. Revenge, Thunderer, and Pique, under the immediate command of Commodore Napier, (as I thought it advisable to accompany Col. Sir Charles F. Smith, in the Phoenix steamer, to be ready to take advantage of any breach that might be made in either of the two sea faces of the walls of the place for an immediate assault.) The south face being a more contracted anchorage, was occupied by the Edinburgh, Benbow, Castor, Carysfort, Talbot, Wasp, and Hazard: the destruction caused by tile fire of the ships on both sides sufficiently proves its rapidity and precision.
"Rear-Admiral Baron de Bandeira, in the Austrian frigate Medea, and the Guerriera, under the command of his Imperial Highness the Archduke Frederick, with the Arabian corvette Lipsia, rendered much assistance. Rear-Admiral Walker Bey, in the Sultan's ship Mookuddimay-i-hive, of 74 guns, took np a most favourable position opposed to the sonth face, and did good service.
"The steamers Gorgon, Vesuvius, Phoenix, and Stromboli, fired shot and shells into the town with much precision, and it is generally supposed that shells from the Gorgon occasioned the destruction of the powder magazine.
"A flag of truce having been offered by the Turkish admiral and rejected a short time before, I did not think it necessary or becoming that the summons should be repeated, particularly as hostilities had already commenced, and the ships and steamers had been fired upon as they approached the walls.
"I have not been able to ascertain the number of troops in the town of Acre at the commencement of our fire; they have been estimated at 4,500, besides a body of cavalry outside the town of 800. Many lives were lost by the explosion of the magazine. 700 Egyptians and two officers of rank came in this morning with their arms, and surrendered themselves as prisoners.
"To Colonel Sir Charles Smith devolves the task of putting the town and fortifications into a posture of defence, and I am hnppy to find that his health enables him. to perform this duty with his usual intelligence.
"A great quantity of arms and ammunition was found at Acre, and the fortifications were fast getting into a state of preparation against attack.
"I am much indebted to Captain Edward Boxer, ot the Pique, and to Captain Codrington, of the Talbot, for the excellent surveys which they made of the shoals round Acre, which enabled the ships to go in without risk of getting ashore.
"I return a list of the killed and wounded in the allied squadrons, but the damage to the masts and rigging .can be made good without the ships being sent off the station.
"The success of this enterprise, so important in its results, has called for my acknowledgments in general orders to the officers and men of the combined squadrons, whose united exertions had so much contributed to its attainment. "I have the honour to be, &c.( "JR. More O'Ferrall, Etq., <yc.'' "Robert Stofford, Admiral."
Return of killed and wounded in the squadron under the orders of Admiral the Honourable Sir Robert Stopford, Commander-in-Chief, in the attack of the fortifications of St. Jean d'Acre, on the 3d of November, 1840. Princess Charlotte—killed, one seamen.
Powerful—Wounded, one seaman severely; two seamen and one royal marine slightly. Bellerophon—None killed or wounded.
Revenge—Killed, one seaman, one drummer royal marines. Wounded, three seamen severely: one royal marine slightly. Thunderer—None killed or wounded.
Castor—Killed, four seamen. Wounded, one seamen and two royal murines ssrerely; three seamen and one royal marine slightly.