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marched out of our cantonments at daylight, of the 21th, with four Turkish battalions under his Excellency Selim Pasha, the 2nd battalion of Royal Marines, under Captain Fegan, and an Austrian rocket detachment under Alfirre di Vasielli Baldisirette.
The ground on either s de of Keibson is very high and precipitous, and offers great advantages to the defending, and very considerable danger to the attacking party; to secure against this, a Turkish battalion descended unseen near the entrance of the gorge through which Dog River runs, and gained the heights on the other side; the marines and Austrian rocket detachment, covered by this battalion, crossed higher up, crowned the heights, and advanced on the enemy's position about two leagues off; the Turkish battalion remained in position to cover our right, in the event of Solinmu Pasha advancing from Beyrout to disturb our operations.
Three Turkish battalions, who descended into the gorge before the marines, pushed their way up the river, and advanced in a mountain path to turn the enemy's left; this being perceived, they abandoned their intrenchinents and occupied a new position on the heights of Oruochojeuen, about a league to the right of their intrenchment.
The Turks arrived with great rapidity and gallantry. General Jochmus, the chief of the staff, accompanied by my aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Bradley, of the Powerful, put himself at the head of the skirmishers, and showed a noble example, which was as nobly followed by his Excellency Selim Pasha, at the head of a battalion; the country people also joined and were not the last advancing. The enemy's skirmishers were speedily driven in, and their main body, consisting of about 700 men, fired two volleys and retired in great confusion, the Turks following them up with so much vigour, that between 400 and 500 prisoners were made, and the rest dispersed.
The enemy moving from their first position on which the marines advanced, threw them out, and the work was done entirely by the Turks; the marines were, however, most anxious to try their strength, and I hope an opportunity may soon offer.
This operation opened the whole district of Rata, and the mountaineers who had been driven from their homes, flocked down in great numbers, and were immediately armed.
I have great reason to be satisfied with the conduct of his Excellency Selim Pasha, anil with General Jochmus, who fearlessly exposed himself in front, accompanied by my young friend Lieutenant Bradley.
We have had a Turkish officer wounded, and two men killed.
Enclosed is a list of Turkish officers who particularly distinguished themselves, and who I trust will meet with some mark of favour from the Sultan.
I have, &c,
Ciiakles Nailer, Commodore. To Admiral Sir R. Stafford.
A List of Turkish Officers, &c, Deserving of Promotion.
Mahmed Aga, 1st Major of the battalion of Cyprus, to be Chef de Bataillon commanding it.
Mustafa Coloya, Sergeant 4th battalion, second regiment, first company, to be Ensign.
Achmed Monashola, private 4th battalion, 2d Regiment, first company, to be corporal.
Charles Napier, Commodore. To Admiral Sir R. Stopford.
Princess Charlotte, D'jouniie Bay, Oct. 4, 1840. Sir.—Considering the possession of Sidon as of great importance to the success vf the Sultan's cause, by giving confidence to bis faithful subjects, and very lunch embarrassing the measures of Ibrahim Pasha, I directed Commodore Napier tii proceed thither, and, after summoning the place, to make the attack. 1 We great satisfaction in communicating, for their Lordships' information, the most complete success of this enterprise, as detailed in the Commodore'• letter herewith sent.
Our loss, as their Lordships will perceive by the return herewith transmitted, has been comparatively small, but still much to be regretted; the only officer killed was Lieutenant liockin, of the Royal Marines, a young man of great promise, who had only arrived in the Stromboli, with a detachment of Royal Marines, in time to take part in the enterprise.
The place is still ia our possession, and its capture seems to have been an unexpected blow to Ibrahim Pasha, and has much paralyzed his measures.
It is a very pleasing duty to me to call their Lordships' attention to the txcellent and judicious manner in which the plan of the attack upon Sidon wai laid by Commodore Napier, and the spirit and gallantry with which it was accomplished.
The ships employed upon this expedition were as follow :—Thunderer, Capt. M. F. F. Berkeley; Guerriere, Austrian frigate, his Royal Highness Prince Frederick of Austria; Gorgon, Capt. Henderson; Cyclops, Capt. Austin; Wasp, Comm;.nder Mausel; Hydra, Commander Robinson; Stromboli, Commander Williams; Gill Sefide, Turkish corvette.
The Commodore expresses hiinstlf much obliged to Commander Mansel for his intelligent and active services. Amongst several individual acts of bravery, i: appears from every account that the most prominent one belongs to Mr. CumBiings, mate of the Cyclops.
After the Commodore left Sidon (Capt. Berkeley has been left for its protection, with as many other vessels a* can be spared, including the Guerriere Austrian frigate), much skill and judgment have been displayed in putting the place into a good state of defence against an attack by Ibrahim Pasha, who is in that neighbourhood; and Capt. Berkeley mentions the ready assistance he at all times receives from his Royal Highness Prince Charles Frederick of Austria.
I have, Src.
Robert SrorroRD, Admiral. To It. Mere OFerrall, Esq.
Head-Quarters, Army of Lebanon, D'joiirnie, September '29th, 1810. Sir.—I embarked at sunset of the 26th inst. in obedience to your directions, with a Turkish battalion under Commandant of Battalion, Homcliild Agn; and the first battalion of Royal Marines under Capt. M orison, of the Princess Charlotte, in the two steam-ships Gorgon and Cyclops, and proceeded off Sidon: at daylight the Thunderer and Austrian frigate Guerriere, Gul Sefide, Turkish corvette, and Wasp joined, as also the Stromboli, from England, with two hundred and eighty-four marines, under Capt. Whylack. The wind being light, the Cyclops towed the Thunderer to her position, previously fixed by Captain Berkeley; the Stromboli towed up the Guerriere, and the Turkish corvette, who were placed by Capt. Berkeley abreast of the town. The Wasp and Stromboli anchored more to the southward, to flank it. The Gorgon, and Cyclops, and Hydra, who joined from Tyre, with Walker Bey, took up their positions both northward, close to the castle. The enclosed summons was sent to the Governor, which he refused to comply with.
ihe Turkish battalion was now put into the boats, and rendezvoused round the C> clops; a few shot and shell were fired from the Gorgon at the castle and barrack)!, and shortly afier the whole of the squadron opened their broadsides to drive die troops from the houses and the inttenclunems they had thrown up to preient a lauding; in half an hour the firing ceased, and Capt. Austin landed the Turkish battalion in the castle, which is joined to the town by a narrow causeway; this was effected with some loss: as the enemy still stuck to their intrenchments, the fire of the ships was again opened, and the houses in front battered down.
Commander Mansel, of the Wasp, was directed to seize the first favourable opportunity of throwing the detachment of marines, brought out by the Stromboli, and the Austrian marines, into the castle, abreast of him, which he did with great gallantry and judgment.
Lieut. Hockin, of the Marines, and several men, were killed and wounded. They were directed to work their way to the upper castle, which commanded the town. The 1st battalion of marines were now landed by Capt. Henderson, of the Gorgon, on the beach to the northward of the town, when they formed and advanced to the walls. All being now ready, the Turkish battalion, headed by Walker Bey and Capt. Austin, pushed along the causeway, and entered the town.
I put myself at the head of the British marines, and broke into the barracks. Capt. Henderson and another party lodged themselves in a house above the barracks; this done, I marched the battalion along the wall to the upper gate, broke it open, and seized the castle. All seemed now quiet below, and, leaving a guard in the castle, we descended through several streets arched over, where occasional skirmishing took place with detached parties of Egyptian troops, who were easily driven, and finally took refuge in a vaulted barrack, where we found upwards of 1,000 men lying ready for a sortie, should occasion offer, or to lay down their arms, should they be discovered—the latter was their fate.
I congratulate you, Sir, on the success of this enterprise; the garrison consisted of nearly 3,000 men, and not one escaped: our force was under 1,000.
Our loss, which I enclose, has been trifling; one marine officer and three seamen killed; two mates, a boatswain, and thirty seamen wounded.
I have much reason to be satisfied with the conduct of the captains, officers, and men under my orders; all showed the greatest zeal; English, Austrians, and Turks, vied with other.
Commander Mansel is an old officer, and well deserving of'promotion. Messrs. M'Guire and Price, old mates, are both severely wounded, and behaved most gallantly, as did Mr. Cumminrs, mate of the Cyclops, whose conduct was seen by Capt. Berkeley, who wrote him a strong letter on the occasion, and I trust their Lordships will promote them.
My aide-de-camp, Lieut. Bradley, was also forward on all occasions.
The Archduke Frederick placed his ship well, and kept up an excellent fire;
Walker Bey, Turkish Rear-admiral, who was there by accident, was the first who advanced along the causeway.
My thanks are due to the Hon. Capt. Berkeley, who assisted me on all occasions, as well as Captains Henderson and Austin, Commanders Robinson and Williams, and to the Captain of the Turkish corvette, to Captain Moriaon, who commanded the marine battalion, and to Capt. Whylack, who commanded the marine detachment.
1 am much also indebted to Captain Lane, of the Prussian service, who is attached to my staff.
I have, &-c,
Charles Napier, Commodore. To Admiral Sir R. Slopford.
P.S. Since writing my public letter on the capture of Sidon, it has come to my knowledge that there was a complete race between Mr. James Hunt, midshipman of the Stromboli, and Signor Dominica Chinca, midshipman of the Austrian frigate Guerriere, who should first place the colours in the part of the town they were landed at.
H.M. Steam-ship, Gorgon, Sept. 28, 1840. Sit-—In the name of the five united Powers, Turkey, England, Austria, Russia, and Prussia, I demand that you immediately declare for the Sultan your master. P»rdon for the past offences will be granted, and the arrears of pay to the troops by Mehemet Ali will be paid by the Sultan.
Ciiaih.cs Napier, Commodore. \T* tie Governor of Sidott.
Return of officers and men killed and wounded in the taking of Sidon, September 26th, 1840.
Bellerophon.—Killed, one seaman. Wounded, one seaman severely; on* seaman slightly.
Revenge.—Killed, one seaman. Wounded, Mr. W. K. O. Price, mate, one royal marine.
Thunderer.—Wounded, one royal marine, severely ; three seamen, two royal marines, slightly. Powerful.—Wounded, one royal marine slightly.
Princess Charlotte.—Wounded, one royal marine severely ; two royal marines slightly.
Stromboli.—Killed, Lieut. C. T. Hockin, royal marines. Wounded, three royal marines severely; one royal marine slightly. Cyclops.—Mr. John Thompson, boatswain, slightly.
Wasp.—Mr. R. M'Guire, mate, severely. Total wounded 20. Three killed. Austrian Frigate Guerriere.—Killed, one seaman. Wounded, one seamen severely.
Turkish troops.—Wounded, two officers and ten soldiers.
Princess Charlotte, D'joitrnie Bay, October bth, 1840. 8i«.—I transmit herewith, to be laid before their lordships, the copy of a letter which I have received from Captain Houston Stewart, of her Majesty's ship Benbow, with the enclosures therein referred to, detailing his proceedings at Ruad and Tortess, the attack upon which last was not attended with the results fairly anticipated, on account of a reinforcement of Egyptian troops thrown in early the same morning. I lament the casualties attending it, but am gratified with Captain Stewart's representation of the gallant conduct of the captains, officers, and men engaged, most particularly Lieutenants Maitland and Charlewood, who had a prominent part in the attack.
I have, &c,
Robert Siopfobd, Admiral. To A Afore OFerrall, Esq.
H.M.S. Benboiv, off Ruad, Sept. 26th, 1840. Sir.—I have the honour to acquaint von, that the Benbow, Carysfort, and Zebra, anchored here on Sunday last, the 20th inst.
We found the island without troops or arms of any kind, but an immense population just arrived from Tripoli, Tortosa, and other parts of the coast, at present menaced with military operations.
About 200 cavalry and two field-pieces were encamped at the watering-place on the main land, immediately opposite to the island, and I was informed that two squadrons, (each of 200 men, with two field-pieces,) were stationed about nine miles distant to the north and south, with orders to prevent any persons taking water, and to obstruct all communication between the inhabitants of the country and the ships. We also learned that the whole of these troops de
ENLARGEO SERIES NO. 2 VOL. FOR 1841. N
pendcd upon the stores in Tortcss, for subsistence, and that these stores were very considerable, consisting of grain, rice, &c. The island of Ruad is very small, and dependent on tanks and cisterns for water, which are generally quits sufficient for its ordinary population, said to amount to 1,500; but in consequence of the influx of refugees, there cannot be less than 5,000 souls upon it just now, and therefore an extra supply of water became necessary; but the cavalry prevented any boats from the island approaching the watering-place. We therefore, at daylight next morning, dislodged them, by throwing a few shot and shells, and the ships were moved nearer the watering-place, and, every precaution being taken, all her Majesty's ships were completed with water; and ever since the place (being under our guns,) has been quite free to the people of Ruad to water.
My attention was now anxiously turned towards Tortosa; all information concurred in representing its great importance to the enemy's troops, and all agreed in declaring, that could we destroy the provisions, the troops must shift their quarters, and thus leave the communication with the mountains (whose inhabitants were most anxious for arms) comparatively open. We are also informed that the chief storehouses were situated close to the sea, that a breach might be made in the outer wall, and immediate access obtained to them.
I therefore directed some large bags of powder, with bores and fuzes, to be prepared, and ordered the Carysfort and Zebra to anchor close offit, which they did within five hundred yards. Fonr successive deserters from the enemy's cavalry (each arriving on different days) stated that there were no soldiers quartered in Tortosa, but a party was regularly sent down every night to bring away sufficient provisions for their different detachments, and the last deserter, who left Tortosa so late as the night of the 24th, stated confidently that there was not then a soldier in it—that even had any come in after his departure, they could only be dismounted cavalry, with short carbines,—that a sort of council of war had been held two days before, when it was resolved, that, as they had no infantry, cavalry alone could not protect it, and that they must get camels, &c, to remove the stores from it as speedily as possible: and he offered, if we would give him an axe, to land with a single boat's crew, and break the corn store door open; and the three other deserters likewise offered to go.
This determined me to make an attempt cither to take the town, or at least destroy the stores, and the following plan of operations was decided upon :—The boats to rendezvous on board the Carysfort, and she and the Zebra to cannonade the walls, and especially a large built up archway in the centre, until sufficiently opened for entrance, Lieut. Charlewood being prepared with the necessary means for blowing up stores, buildings, &c, and accompanied by Mr. Turner, gunner of this ship, with eight steady men as pioneers to land in the cutter, and be immediately followed by the portion of marines at present on board the Benbow, together with those of the Zebra; and twenty seamen of the Benbow, under Lieutenants Maitland, R.N., and Harrison, R.M.; and that all the boats (after the disembarkation) under the command of Lieut. Stevens, of the Carysfort, should lay off prepared to cover the landing party with their guns and small arms, and to re-rmbark them.
The space from the margin of the sea to the breach does not exceed sixteen yards. We could perceive only a few loopholes commanding that spot, and [ concluded that even should a fire be opened from them, the advance from the boats would be too rapid to admit of its being effective, and that, being once within the breach, our men would easily make good their way.
Accordingly, yesterday, at 15 minutes past 1 P.m., the Carysfort and Zebra commenced an admirable and well-directed fire, and very soon opened the archway, and showed us a large clear space within, and the boats shoved off. The beach under the town appeared so smooth and deep, and so similar to all the other parts where we had landed, that a doubt of the heavy boats being able to reach it never presented itself until they went in, when a ledge of rocks or ancient building was found to extend itself across at some distance from the