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The aide-de-camp it appeared, morning discontinued in the was detained. river.

While this negociation was attempting, the Hebrus arrived with the charge of a small expedition, with arms and supplies for the Royalists, and when it became evident that no good could arise out of any attempt to conciliate General Clausel, Captain Palmer made me a very strong representation upon the necessity which he conceived there was for his attempting to enter the Gironde and open a direct communication with the Royalist party. After weighing the circumstances, I thought it my duty to accede to the proposal, and I united the ships for the prosecution of the service.

The General Donnadieu, being anxious to pursue his mission on the coast, I dispatched the Larne with him to Passages.

On the 11th the squadron weighed from an outer anchorage we had taken, and formed for the purpose of entering the river; but, as we stood in, the enemy's corvette was perceived to weigh and manœuvre in the north entrance, while five sail pushed out through the southern passage to sea. Under these circumstances, it became necessary for the intercepting those vessels that the squadron should separate for the time; and in consequence the forcing the river was obliged to be given up for that day; during the night, the squadron united again, after having examined the vessels which it appeared had sailed in so suspicious a manner, which circumstance was developed by the embargo having been that

Yesterday, the wind being favourable, the squadron again weighed, and formed in a close line for entering the Gironde ; the Pactolus led, the Hebrus followed, and the Falmouth brought up the rear; the two former had transports in tow as we proceeded, a person came off with a message from the people of the town of Royan, saying that they would not fire at us, provided we did not assail them. We passed on with the royal colours of France at the mast head; the tri-coloured flag flew along the batteries, which were all in preparation, but no act of hostility occurred until we reached the heavy battery at Verdun, which opened its fire upon us, and continued it until the ships reached the anchorage. No injury, however, was sustained, and the squadron did not return a gun, for I was unwilling to disturb the feeling which appeared so generally and so happily to prevail. Directly the ships were secured, a communication was sent up with a flag of truce to General Clausel by the Count de Lasteur, deputed by M. La Duchesse D'Angouleme, and we are in expectation of his answer. In the mean time nothing can wear a more favourable aspect than the face of things in this river.

I beg to assure you, that every measure shall be adopted, in conjunction with the Baron Montalembert, to arm and organise the royal party, and establish the power of predominance of his Majesty the King of France, in

the

the vicinity of wherever our means can operate.

I lose no time in dispatching the Falmouth to your Lordship, and Captain Knight will explain our situation, as well as that we are taking every precaution in respect to she defence of that river, in the event of General Clausel sending down any strong force to stifle the spirit of the people. I shall also write to Rear-Admiral Sir Henry Hotham, and perhaps the Rear-Admiral may strengthen our means here, so that we may fully avail ourselves of such opportunity of pushing the royal cause with vigour and celerity, and of cherishing the excellent disposition with which all here seem inspired. I have just learnt that the enemy evacuated the fort of Verdun last night, and retired with his garrison. We have sent a force on shore to dismantle and destroy the guns, &c. This is the fort which disputed our entrance, and it is a very strong work.

I have also the pleasure to add, that the propositions of the Baron Montalembert, and his mission, have hitherto been every where attended with success. The forts and the positions are gradually pulling down their tri-coloured flags, and hoisting that of their legitimate Sovereign: and several of them have saluted the squadron upon their hoisting the white flag. While writing this letter, another battery has hoisted the white flag, and there now remains only the fort at Meche with the tri-colured flag.

Captain Palmer, who was entrusted with the service, has

throughout directed it, and the
accident alone of my being the
senior officer, induces me to give
the account to your Lordship.
I have the honour to be, &c.
(Signed) F. W. AYLMER,
Captain.

To Admiral Lord Viscount
Keith, &c.

His Majesty's ship Hebrus, in the Gironde, July 14, 1815. My Lord, I have the honour to state to you, that I arrived off this port on the 6th, where I found his Majesty's ship Pactolus, and I learn from Captain Aylmer that General Donnadieu (the French officer he had on board) was endeavouring to open a communication with the Commandant at Bourdeaux, General Clausel, and that an aide-de-camp had been dispatched in for that purpose. But as General Clausel thought proper to detain the messenger, and also to adopt the most decided measures to prevent any kind of intercourse, there appeared no prospect of any accommodation from any further attempts to conciliate him.

From the nature of this coast, and the complete military possession which the enemy had of it, it seemed impossible that any free communication could be opened with the Royalists, unless I could effect an entrance into the river; and as the Baron de Montalembert expressed the greatest anxiety upon the subject, and I possessed a discretionary power of passing into the Gironde, should I be of opinion that circumstances

justified

justified me in doing so, I decided, after the best consideration I could give the matter, that it was the most proper course I could pursue for the good of the cause I was employed on.

As I felt, that the committing the transports and their lading in the river, at a time it was in full possession of the enemy, was a strong measure, and as there were serious obstacles to overcome, in a well defended entrance and a hazardous navigation, I considered it my duty to render our means as effective as possible before the attempt was made, and as the Pactolus was on the spot, I stated my opinion fully to Captain Aylmer, requesting the junction of his ship to those under my orders. Captain Aylmer having acceded to the request, and being the senior officer, of course the command of the squadron devolved on him, and your Lordship will learn from that officer the further proceedings of the expedition.

I have the honour to be, &c.
(Signed)

EDMUND PALMER, Captain.
To Admiral Viscount
Keith, G. C. B. &c. &c. &c.

WAR DEPARTMENT.

Downing-Street, July 23, 1815. A dispatch, of which the following is a copy, has been this day received by Earl Bathurst, addressed to his Lordship by Colonel the Baron de Montalembert, dated in the Gironde, July

13, 1815.

My Lord,-With the greatest satisfaction I have the honour to

inform your Lordship, that the ship, with the arms, equipments, and ammunition, placed under my charge, entered the Gironde this morning, protected by his Majesty's ships Pactolus, Hebrus, and Falmouth. On our approach near the fort of Royan, which commands the entrance of the river, Captain Palmer of the Hebrus hoisted the white flag at the main. The effect produced by this emblem of loyalty and honour was instantaneous. Not a gun was fired from the batteries, the Verdun one excepted, and we were received as friends and deliverers.

The communications we have had with the inhabitants during the few hours we have been at anchor, are of the most favourable nature, and such as might have been expected from their well-known attachment to the cause of their legitimate Sovereign. General Clausel still occupies Bourdeaux with some force. Our appearance in this river, and the means we will immediately pursue to arm the population, will produce the double effect of paralyzing his measures to keep possession of the town, and of preventing his sending any reinforcement to the French army behind the Loire.

I cannot close this communication, without stating to your Lordship, that to Captain Palmer's zeal for the cause, and indefatigable exertions, we are entirely indebted for our present advantageous position in thisriver. I have, &c. (Signed)

Le Baron de MONTALEMBERT. To Earl Bathurst, &c.

WAR

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Head-Quarters, Fort-Royal, Martinique, June 10,

1815.

My Lord, I am happy to inform you, that I have occupied the military points of Martinique by a British auxiliary force, which landed here on the morning of the 5th instant.

The situation of Martinique was, indeed, critical; for the troops of the line, consisting of thirteen hundred men, who possessed the forts, shewed too much of the same disposition which has manifested itself in France. The majority of the officers were decidedly for Buonaparte, some putting up the tri-coloured cockade, and others, with similar sentiments, less avowed, pretending that they only wished to return to France. The soldiers were chiefly refractory conscripts, who had never served, and had no attachment to Buonaparte, but having escaped from the army under his severe system, finding themselves expatriated under the King's government, was not likely to create an attachment to the Bourbon cause, they generally wished to return home.

Le Comte de Vaugiraud acted with much good sense in anticipating the mischief which might have arisen, and which he had not the power to have controlled, by assembling the troops, and releasing those of the officers who desired it from their obligations, informing them at the same time, that they must quit Martinique, and declaring that any attempt to raise the standard of rebellion would be repelled by force, and punished as an act of mutiny, in defiance of the oaths of fidelity

which

which they had taken to Louis the Eighteenth.

I had desired Le Comte de Vaugiraud to give it to be understood, that the white flag was the only permanent security of the troops, or of the colony, and I immediately assembled the force now in possession of the island, in Gros Islet Bay, St. Lucia, within four hours sail of Fort Royal, to give effect to the Comte de Vaugiraud's

measures.

This fine colony was several times on the point of being thrown into a state of revolutionary convulsion, by the conduct of the troops, all of whom, with the exception of the remainder of the 26th regiment, amounting to four hundred and fifty men, including officers, who remain under the white flag, have been permitted to depart, unarmed, and are actually gone.

The militia of Martinique amount to about 6,000 men, who

are well disposed; one half only

have arms: 150 are mounted.

after the tion of the military points by the troops under my command, the government of the colony published a decree by which British vessels are received on the same footing as the French. This act was perfectly spontaneous, and indeed has been marked by the same spirit of cordiality which has actuated the Comte de Vaugiraud in every part of the intercourse which I have had with him.

It would be unjust to Comte de Vaugiraud not to express my sense of the honourable devotion which he has uniformly shewn to the zealous performance of his

duty to his Sovereign, of his dignity and good sense under very critical circumstances, and of his grateful attachment to the Prince Regent, the British government and nation, for the assistance which has saved Martinique. The gratitude, indeed, of the colony at large, has been most unequivocally testified.

I shall be happy to find that the steps I have taken have been such as may be approved by the Prince Regent.

I have the honour to be, &c.
JAMES LEITH, Lieut. Gen.
Commanding the forces.

Earl Bathurst, &c.

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