Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Log Extract

I have the pleasure to report the ship I am honored to command engaged, in accordance with standing admiralty orders, an enemy sail of equal strength shortly before dawn on 2 November instant.

Action commenced with a cannonade at six bells in the morning watch. Fire was continuous throughout the daylight hours with only a few brief respites necessary to repair rigging, conduct essential repairs, and replenish shot and cartridge upon the decks. I held the weather gauge from the onset of the battle and suffered losses only in sails and minor rigging; at this time the surgeon has reported no deaths, nor any wounds thought to be mortal. The list of wounded is in the margin.

Darkness found the enemy dismasted and pumping strongly, but still maintaining a sporadic fire. I determined the risk of a night boarding action to not be worth the probable cost to my ship and withdrew to windward to conduct repairs and await the dawn.

At fifteen minutes past five bells in the morning watch on the 3d instant I fired a ball across the bow of the enemy as we moved to board. The enemy then fired a blank gun to the lee, struck her remaining ensign (which had been nailed to a spar fished to the stump of their mizzen mast) and hailed to request assistance as they could not keep up with their pumps. My first lieutenant and a party from the starboard watch took possession of the prize and I received their captain's surrender on my quarterdeck, allowing him to retain his sword in honor of the spirited manner which he conducted his crew and ship in battle. The purser's list of captured officers, men, and casualties of the enemy is included in the margin.

I report with regret that in spite of heroic efforts on the part of our Master Carpenter Mr.Karl Rove (who I mention for your particular attention) and crew, the prize sank shortly before two bells in the forenoon watch. In the brief interval between taking possession and the subsequent loss of the prize, my First Lieutenant James Gheragty, Esq (also mentioned for your particular attention) was most Enterprising in the searching of the such ship's papers that survived, and the cabins in spite of their much confused and shattered state. By my order he will depart this ship directly in the blue cutter to transmit this letter and the fruits of his discoveries (under confidential, separate cover) to the Lords of the Admiralty.

The officers and men in my charge conducted themselves in the highest traditions of the service throughout the engagement. Particular attention is paid to the conduct of Mr. Roger L. Simon, secretary, Dennis T. Peasant, Sailing Master, Ms. Lady Katherine of Academia, carried as a passenger but who fought both sides with gusto and had to be forcibly restrained from boarding the enemy, and lastly Ms. Terrye Farmer, a colonial guest who served with distinction as captain of the third gun of the larboard battery after that man fell in battle.

The bosun's, carpenter's, and purser's returns are all satisfactory. I have fifteen rounds per gun and five rounds per carronade remaining and sufficient powder for same. I intend to rendevous with the fleet within the week, at which time I will reprovision with haste in expectation of further orders from same.

I am your obedient servant,

etc, etc...

Captain, commanding.

Wind variable ESE/E moderate, clear skies. Course NW sailing large under courses w/2 reefs.

God Save The King.


Rick Ballard said...

Why a double reef in moderate wind?

Great series of posts. What's Maturin up to?

TmjUtah said...

Rick -

A day long exchange of gunfire and no funerals, no pressing orders, and nothing to do until the captured signals are in the hands of the Admiralty and the Gazette gets printed....what's the hurry?