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to me to be very weak, almost actually without troops in that quarter, appeared to be well prepared, and in considerable force. Under these circumstances, according to Lord Huntley's report, Commodore Owen appears to have experienced great disappointment in not having the support of Lord Gardner’s fleet and of his boats; but his Lordship, as I believe, could never enter the Weeling Channel at all; nor indeed was I ever acquainted with what instructions were given to him on this head.
" When it was found that Lord Huntley's division could neither land nor proceed by the Weeling Passage up the Scheldt, as I had intended they should, it was determined to withdraw them; but from the boisterous state of the weather, it was some days before this could be effected. As soon as it was accomplished, they were passed over to South Beveland.
“ With respect to Sir John Hope's operation, it was more prosperous. The object of it was tbis : In the original arrangement for carrying the army at once up the West Scheldt, Sir John Hope's division was included; but just before we sailed, the Admiral received intelligence that the French fleet was come down abreast of Flushing, and seemed to threaten to oppose our passage up the Scheldt.
" In this view, it was conceived that, by a landing on the North Side of South Beveland, the island might be possessed, and all the batteries taken in reverse, and thereby the position of the French fleet, if they ventured to remain near Flushing, would be, as it were, turned, and their retreat rendered more difficult, while the attack on them by our ships would have been much facilitated ; and for this object, the division of Sir John Hope rather preceded, in sailing from the Downs, the rest of the fleet.
“ The navigation of the East Scheldt was found most difficult; but by the skill and perseverance of Sir Richard Keats, this purpose was happily and early accomplished, though the troops were carried a great way in schuyts and boats; and this division was landed near Ter-Goes, from whence they swept all the batteries in the island that could impede the progress of our ships up the West Scheldt, and possessed themselves on the 2d
of August of the important post of Batz, to wbich it had been promised the army should at once have been brought up.
“ Sir John Hope remained in possession of this post, thougla not without being twice attacked by the enemy's flotilla, for nine days before any of the gun-boats under Captain Sir Home Popham were moved up the Scheldt to his support.
« But it will be recollected that both these operations tended directly to forward the original purpose of a rapid progress up the Scheldt; the former by opening the Cadsand channel, could the landing of Lord Huntley's division have been effected; the second, by covering the progress of our fleet along the coast of South Beveland; while this division under Sir John Hope was at the same time so far advanced towards the destination at which the rest of the armament was to be assembled.
" It will now only be necessary for me to bring before Your, Majesty the dates at which the several parts of the armament were enabled, according to the arrangement of Sir Richard Strachan, to pursue their progress up the Scheldt. In this place, however, it may be proper that I should previously advert to the grounds on which the 3d division under Lieutenant-General Grosvenor, as well as the two light battalions of the King's German Legion, (composing part of the force destined in the first instance to proceed against Antwerp,) were landed at Walcheren and employed before Flushing.
“ Your Majesty will be pleased to recollect, that the troops which sailed from Portsmouth, under Lieutenant-General Sir Eyre Coote, were destined for the service of Walcheren, and had been considered as sufficient for that object, according to the intelligence received, and the supposed strength of the enemy; though, at the same time, certainly relying, for the first efforts against Flushing, on the promised co-operation of the navy, and on their establishing, as was held out, in the first instance, a naval blockade, except on the side of Veer and Rammakins. Unfortunately, however, this did not take place, and for several nights after the army was before Flushing, the enemy succeeded in throwing from the opposite coast, probably from the Canal of Ghent, considerable rein
forcements into the place, which enabled him constantly to annoy our out-posts and working-parties, and finally to attempt a sally in force, though happily, from the valour of Your Majesty's troops, without success. This proving very harassing, particularly from the great difficulty of communication between the several parts of our line, I determined, in order to relieve the troops and press forward the siege with as much vigour as possible, to avail myself for the time of the services of these corps ; but it is to be remembered, that this was only. done because I saw no movement making to push forward a single vessel up the West Scheldt; and it therefore seemed more advisable to have their assistance before Flushing, than that they should lie inactive in the Veer Gat; and they might at any time be re-embarked from Rammakins in a few hours, whenever their transports could be brought up from Veer, and there was the least chance of our proceeding to our ulterior destination.
“ I have already stated that Rammakins surrendered on the evening of the 3d of August.
Immediately upon this event, feeling, as I did, great uneasiness at the delay which had already taken place, and at the departure from the orignal plan, I wrote a letter to the Admiral, then at Ter Veer, expressing my hope, that the ships would now be able to enter the West Scheldt by the Sloe passage, and that no time should be lost in pressing forward as speedily as possible our further operations; and I requested, at the same time, that he would communicate to me the extent of Naval co-operation he could afford, as well for the future blockade of Flushing, as with a view to protecting the coasts of South Beveland and watching the passages from the Meuse to the East Scheldt ; as this consideration would goveru very much the extent of force I must be obliged to leave in South Beveland, when the army advanced. To this letter he did not reply fully till the 8th of August; but I had a note from him on the 5th, assuring me the transports should be brought forward without delay; and I had also a very long conversation with him on the morning of the 6th, on the arrangements to be taken for our further operations, when I urged, in the strongest manner, the necessity of not losiug a moment in bringing up the cavalry and ordnance ships, transports, store-ships, victuallers, &c. &c., in order that the armament might proceed without delay to its destination ; and I added my hopes, that they would receive the protection of the ships of war, none of which had yet entered the West Scheldt.
• To all of this, and to the several arrangements explained to bim in detail, he fully assented.
“ In his reply to my letter of the 4th, on the 8th of August, he acquaints me that several of the smaller vessels of different descriptions had passed through the intricate passage of the Sloe, and that he had ordered the frigates to pass up the West Scheldt, to be followed by the line of battle ships; and he gave hopes that he should be able to go up the river with the flotilla on the 10th of August at furthest, and that the frigates and line of battle ships should follow, as they came in, in succession.
“ The frigates however did not pass Flushing till the evening of the 11th, and the line of battle ships only passed to the anchorage above Flushing on the 14th, the second day of the bombardment.
“ These ships began to proceed up the river on the 18th, and arrived on the 19th ; one division as high as the bay below Waerden, the other off the Hanswent, where they remained ; the Courageux passed above Batz ; the cavalry ships only got through the Sloe passage into the West Scheldt, from the 20th to the 23rd, and arrived off Batz on the 22nd and 24th ; the ordnance ships and store ships passed through from the 22nd to the 23rd, and arrived at their destination off Batz on the 24th and 25th; the transports for Lieutenant-General Grosvenor's division only came up to receive them on the 19th, on which day they embarked ; and those for Major-General Graham's division on the 20th and 21st; and they arrived off Batz on the 24th. The corps of Brigadier-General Rottenburgh, and the light battalions of the German Legion, proceeded to join the Earl of Rosslyn's division in South Beveland.
"From this statement, Your Majesty will see that, notwithstanding every effort on my part with the admiral, the armament
was not asseinbled at the point of its destination till the 25th, and of course that the means of commencing operations sooner against Antwerp were never in my power.
“ It now became, at this advanced period, my duty to consider very seriously the expediency of landing the army on the continent. On comparing all the intelligence obtained as to the strength of the enemy, it appeared to be such as to leave (as stated in my dispatch of the 29th of August) no reasonable prog-' pect for the force under my command, after accomplishing the preliminary operations of reducing Fort Lillo, as well as Liefkenshoeck on the opposite side of Antwerp, without the
possession of which the destruction of the ships and arsenals of the enemy could not be effected; and in addition to this, the sickness which had begun to attack the army about the 20th, and which was hourly increasing to an alarming extent, created the most serious apprehensions in the minds of the medical men, as to its further progress at that unhealthy season, and which fatal experience has since shown to have been but too well founded.
“ Your Majesty will not be surprised if, under these circumstances, I paused in requiring the admiral to put the army on shore. That a landing might have been made, and that any force that had, been opposed to us in the field would have yielded to the superior valor of British troops, I have no doubt: but then, any such success could have been of no avail towards the attainment of the ultimate object, and there was still less chance that the enemy would have given us the opportunity. Secure in his fortresses, he had a surer game to play; for if ever the army, divided, as it must necessarily have been, in order to occupy both banks of the river, exposed to the effects of inundation on every side, and with all its communications liable to be cut off, while the force of the enemy was daily and hourly increasing, had once sat down before Antwerp, it is unnecessary for me to point out to Your Majesty, how critical must in a short time have been their situation. But when, added to this, sickness to an alarming extent had begun to spread itself among the troops, and the certain and fatal progress of which, at that season, was but too well ascertained, it appeared to me, that all further advance could only tend to commit irretrievably the safety of the army whicha R. M, Cal.