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I experienced the most ready support from every officer under him. Of one of them, Lieut. Randall, I regret to say, that I shall probably lose the services for some time, in consequence of a severe wound. The niseful labours of the Sappers called for my best thanks; they were chiefly prepared to place ladders for the escalade.
I feel greatly obliged to all the General Staff--all accompanied me on shore, and to their indefatigable attention in conveying orders on foot, at times to considerable distances, I was indebted. To Lient.-Col. Mountain, DeputyAdjutant-General, my best thanks are due for his unwearied exertions and valuable services, not only upon the present, but upon every occasion. The exertions of Major Hawkins, Deputy-Commissary-General, were unceasing; and by his judicious arrangement (and those of his assistants,) the troops were amply supplied. The excellent arrangements made by Dr. Grant, the Officiating Superintending Surgeon, and Medical Staff of Corps, call also for my acknowledgment. I beg to bring to your Lordship's particular notice my Aidede-Camp, Captain Gough, of the 3rd Light Dragoons, from whom I have upon this, as upon every occasion, received the most active and unremitting assistance.
41. Having now conveyed my approval of the conduct of the commanding officers of brigades and corps, and the heads of departments, permit me to draw your Lordship's special attention to the praiseworthy conduct of the sailors and soldiers under my command, which in my mind does thein the highest credit. During the eight days this force was on shore, and many of the corps were unavoidab!y placed in situations where sham-shu was abundant, but two instances of drunkenness occurred; and I deem it but justice here to mention a strong fact. The soldiers of the 49th, finding a quantity of sham-shu in the village they had so gallantly taken, without order or previous knowledge of their officers, brought the jars containing this pernicious liquor, and broke them in front of their corps, without the occurrence of a single case of intoxication.
45. This despatch will be presented by Captain Grattan, whose conduct I have already mentioned to your Lordship, and whom I have selected for this duty alone on account of his conduct. He is a most intelligent officer, and will be able to give your Lordship any further information.
I have the honour, &c.,
H. Gough, Major-Gen. To Earl Auckland, Sc.
Commanding Expeditionary Force. P.S. It is with deep regret that I have to mention the loss of Lieut. Fox of her Majesty's ship Nimrod, a most promising young officer, attached to Captain Barlow's battalion of seamen, who fell at the storming of the western forts; Mr. Walter Kendall, mate of the same ship, a very deserving officer, lost his leg, I am sorry to add, at the same time.
I have the honour to forward a return of the killed and wounded and a list of ordnance captured. Of the killed and wounded on the enemy's side it is difficult to form a correct estimate ; but the Kwang-chow-Foo acknowledged to me that of the Tatar troops, 500 had been killed, and 1,500 wounded, on the 25th of May; and I conceive that the killed and wounded on the Chinese side upon the 30th, and in the different attacks made upon my flanks and line of communication, must have been double that number.“ [In consequence of the length of the despatches, and our want of space for other
matter, they will be concluded in our next.)
The British Flag.—Those of our Naval readers who were present before Beyrout, on the day subsequent to its bombardment, doubtless recollect the circumstance of Admiral Walker's landing, from his barge,
at the Western Fort, and planting Turkish colours in one of its ruined bastions, which were soon after removed by the enemy, who hoisted an Egyptian flag at the back of the fort, and remained on the spot, in some force, as a guard for its protection.
General of course was the desire afloat that the bunting then bidding us defiance should change masters before the close of the ensuing night. Many naturally felt ambitious to cut it out, and divers plans were no doubt formed to essay its capture the accomplishment of which was effected by the cool determination and undaunted bravery of Mr. J. W. Dorville, (mate of H.M.S. Bellerophon,) who in spite of the mani. fold dangers and difficulties to be encountered in any attempt to seize the flag, daringly risked his life to obtain it.
Managing to reach the shore alone at some distance from the Fort, he proceeded to an imagined breach on the north-west face of it-but soon discovering that he had been deceived in his expectations, and that no egress was practicable at that point he next directed his efforts towards another quarter, but being again baffled he was compelled to relinquish all hope of attaining his object, unless he could transport himself to the neighbourhood of the mole, adjoining the Fort to the South. This he contrived to do, by water, but on arriving there fresh obstacles again presented themselves which he had not anticipated. Resolved however to surmount them, he re-landed, and after a short reconnoitre saw that the only plan open to him for the prosecution of his purpose was fraught with imminent dangers. Great as were the chances against the successful issue of his adventure, he remained resolute at heart, and in the face of impending peril fearlessly mounted the mole ; scaled a wall inside of it, and crossed a small garden-which brought him before a high wall work of masonry, contiguous to the guard-house. Upon this he passed along on hands and knees, within hearing of the voices of the enemy. He then sought concealment amongst some foliage near the Flag-staff, and after watching for a propitious moment to emerge from this retreat he at length crept forth to the Flag-staff, ascended it, cut down the crimson colours that depended from its summit, and girding them round his waist and shoulders he hurriedly retraced his steps to the mole-upon reaching which he found the guard at his heels, and exposed to a heavy fire of musketry from them, he plunged into the water with his prize.—Il Mediterraneo.
Atlantic Navigation.—Gulf Weed, fc. SIR.--I observe that in the interrogation of the individuals examined by a committee of the House of Commons, and by the Commisioners appointed to scrutinize the ports of the English Channel, with a view to determine wbich of the harbours should appear to be the best suited for despatching and landing the mails to and from the West Indies, great stress is laid on the shortest and most direct line to Samana, at the eastern extreme of Hayti; from which we may presume to think, that, the intention is when the establishment is perfected, that the steamers shall follow a direct course to that place, from the selected port in England, or from a given point clear of the intervention of ENLARGED SERIES.--NO. 11.-VOL. FOR 1841.
land. Is this practicable in a steamer ! A line drawn from Landy Island, or the Land's End, to the east coast of Hayti would cut, or pass very near, the Azores, and run across the central portion of the North Atlantic, called the “Weedy” or “Sargasso Sea," which is carpeted with the Fucus Natans, better known by the name of Gulf weed.
This extraordinary production of Natare lies so thick and compact for many leagues in that part of the ocean, as to render it impossible for a steam vessel to make way through it, her wheels would be soon clogged, and she would be unable to progress by the aid of her steam power. It is obvious, therefore, that a vessel so situated would have to unship her wheels, and rely upon her sails alone until extricated.
In this case the old apothegm of the “longest road round, is often the shortest way home” would be realized, as, by making a curve eastwardly the steamer's voyage would be accelerated both on her outward and return passage. Thousands of seamen familiar with Atlantic navigation have never seen this wonderful “ Sea of weeds," inost British trading vessels passing outside of it: in conversation recently with a Merchant Captain who had annually crossed the ocean to and from the West Indies for 46 years, he stated that he had never seen the Gulf weed, but in comparatively small patches, although he knew that in the central portion of the North Atlantic it covered the surface to a considerable extent.
I have thought this subject Mr. Editor, of sufficient importance to justify these few remarks.
It appears that Bristol has at last obtained its desire, the gallant and most worthy Admiral, Sir J. A. Gordon, and his coadjutors, having completed the examination of evidence in support of its claims, to be chosen as a fit port of departure for the mail steam packets to the West Indies. With a certain proviso, we anticipate a successful issue, that is to say, if the Bristolians will set to work with a hearty good will and construct a proper pier, &c., for, although we should be greatly astonished if the decision of the commissioners should prove otherwise than favourable to King Road, yet, we acknowledge that the expectation on this head, of the good citizens, would appear unreasonable without providing a proper place for receiving and landing the mails. , Had they such complete, or even in progress towards completion, it would have been one of the strongest points for the preference of the port over any in the English Channel. The period is drawing nigh for the final arrangement, and I can only hope they are not “a day after the fair.”
OCEANUS. To the Editor, &c.
Steam Packets TO AUSTRALIA. MR. Editor.-It appears that letters and newspapers put into the postoffice, pre-paid, * for Australia, are left to the chance of merchant vessels sailing for that remote part of the world for conveyance.
* The charge for letters is 8d., for papers ld.
A passage completed in fifteen weeks would be considered a very good one, but merchant ships following the usual route, froin the prevalence of calms and adverse winds and currents, we believe are seldom so fortunate as to accomplish the voyage out in so short a time. Making reasonable allowances for causes of delay, an answer to a letter sent from England, cannot now be expected before the lapse of eight or nine months.
We have, Sir, latterly been so surprised and pleased with accounts of the rapidity of transits to and from America; and the vastly iinproved transmission of letters to and from India via the Red Sea, that the very tardy mode of conveyance of epistolary correspondence above alluded to, begins to create dissatisfaction. Independant of the benefit to be derived from such facilities to communication as steam affords, iu a commercial point of view, we may safely say that the affectionate ties of relation and friend, as forcibly claim a voice in the furtherance of a project that shall tend to shorten the period of the transmission of the reciprocal thoughts, hopes, and wishes among those who are separated by an interminable ocean.
Happily, Sir, for the age in which we live, the vast power of steam enables us to look forward with confidence for the accomplishment of desires, which had they been expressed a century or two ago, would have been deemed visionary and impossible. We know not, indeed, the limits to which this wonderful force may yet be applied; but we may speak of that which we know has been proved.
Considering the rising importance of the Australian Colonies, it seems desirable that some definite and regular mode of conveyance for the mails should be adopted, as well as for quicker transits. Is there any objection to the formation of a regular line of steam-packets, not round the Cape of Good Hope, but by the following route?
In the first place, the mails may be conveyed by the same route as those destined for India, and deposited at Bombay, thence re-shipped in a steamer which may either proceed direct to the Swan River, or call at some port of Sumatra or Java, for supplies if found necessary. From the direction of the course, either monsoon would become a “soldier's wind;" that is to say, fair, going to or coming from, either place above named. At the Swan River the mails may be transferred to another steamer, which would drop those for Port Philip, and Hobart Town, in her way to Sydney; and the New Zeeland bag may be conveyed thither by a fast-sailing schooner.
I have, Sir, been induced to throw out this suggestion in consequence of having recently seen a plan for the more speedy transit of letters to New Zeeland, by steam as far as Chagres, thence by courier to Pa. nama, and from that place by a fast-sailing vessel across the Pacific to the destined islands.
Considering the light winds and calms to be expected near the line, and within the southern tropic, and adverse stormy gales extra-tropical between 140° west, and New Zeeland, we imagine that the route, via Bombay, as stated above, would prove the most speedy.
Hope. To the Editor, fc.
Nautical Notices. Crown AND BLUNDELL Islands off Morrison Island, Coast of China. The following extract from the log of the ship Blundell forwarded to us by Com. R. Collinson, RN., surveying on the Coast of China, is important to vessels navigating that yet unknown part of the world.
Extract from the log of the ship Blundell. “The general appearance of Morrison Island is barren and rocky, with few trees, it is, perhaps, 10' long, and highest at the south-east end.
“ There is a large village on the south side, and the valley behind beautifully cultivated. The houses appear of stone and well built.
“ The position of the easternmost island agrees exactly with that given by the American ship Morrison, to one named after her ; but no notice is taken by her, or in any other chart of the larger one.
" It is 15' from Morrison Island and extends 30' in an N.N.E. and S.S.W. direction. Off the south-west part of it, and separated by a channel of half a mile, or a mile, is another small island, and in or 15' S.W. is a fourth, four or five leagues long, which is Crown Island. The large or Blundell Island is higher than the others, and liable to be thought one with Crown Island when seen from the westward. It is very uneven, composed of high sharp peaks. Crown Island lower and more level with a large village on the south-west side.
“ Latitude 28° 04' N., longitude 129° 38' E.
Easternmost Island bearing N.E.b.E.
N.B.-Longitude agrees with Chusan."
Ship Tigris, Trincomalee, Sept. 1st, 1840. Sir.—Having occasion to pass inside the Great Basses on my passage from Colombo to the above named harbour, I found the following ledge of soundings stretching out from the rocks in a north-east direction.
Extract from the log of the Tigris, " Aug. 28th, 11h. 40m. Am.Fresh breezes at south-west, with fine clear weather. -Saw the Great Basses bearing S.E.B.S., one mile and a half. Hauled out south-east, at 12h. 20m. P.M.; the rocks bore S.W.b.S., one mile and a half; steered then north-east eight miles, with the rocks bearing south-west, and had the following soundings, viz. 9. 10. 12. 10. 9. 8. 7. 6. 63. Had one. cast of six fathoms when five miles from the rocks."
As there are no such soundings laid down in Horsburgh's or the Admiralty charts, (all of which I have), I take the liberty of sending the above correct soundings, running out from the north-east end of the Great Basses.
I am, &c.,
Master of ship Tigris. CA question arises as to whether these soundings were taken at equal intervals of distance from each other, which we should feel obliged to the master of the Tigris to answer.-Ed.]
The Anna SuoAL, REPORTED IN THE ATLANTIC. We record the following statement although “ the shoal” reported seems to have been the wreck of a vessel. The master appears to have had the same antipathy to dropping his lead overboard as others before him.
Extract from the lng of the Sicilian brig Anna. “ Tuesday, June 8th, 1841, P.M.-Ship sailing with all sails set.