IN consequence of an armed confederacy having been entered into by
Vice Admiral Lord Nelson, having offered his services for conducting the attack, had shifted his flag from the St. George to the Elephant; and his Lordship having, by the assistance of Captains Riou and Brisbane, and the masters of the Amazon and Cruizer, buoyed the Channel of the Outer Deep, the squadron* passed in safety through to the Southward, and anchored off Draco, in the evening of the 1st of April. It had been previously determined by Admiral Sir Hyde Parker, that Lord Nelson's squadron should attack the Danish line from the Southward; that the ships† remaining with Sir Hyde Parker should wigh at the same moment his Lordship did, and menace, from the Northward, the Crown-Batteries and four ships of the line at the entrance of the Arsenal, and also cover our disabled ships as they came out of action. On the morning of the second, Lord Nelson made signal to weigh, and engage the Danish line. The result was, that the whole of the South wing were sunk, burnt, taken, or dispersed, (being the whole of the line to the Southward of the Crown-Batteries,) after a battle of four hours. The action began at five minutes past ten in the morning; the Van led by Captain George Murray of the Edgar. Every officer and man behaved gallantly. Captains Mosse and Riou fell: Capt. Sir T.B. Thompson lost his leg; and our killed and wounded may be thus stated:
The enemy's loss, according to their own statement, was near 2000 killed and wounded.
The Danish Line of Defence consisted of the following Ships, &c.
|1.||Provesteen, Block-Sh.||80,||Taken and burnt.|
|2.||Vagarien, Block-Sh.||48,||Taken and burnt.|
|3.||Rendsborg, Float Battery||20,||Taken and burnt.|
|4.||Nyborg, Fl. Batt. Spar Deck||20,||Sunk.|
|5.||Jutland, Block-Sh.||48,||Taken and burnt.|
|6.||Silver Fish, Fl. Battery||20,||Taken and burnt.|
|7.||Grönberg, Block-Ship||22,||Taken and burnt.|
|8.||Hagin, Fl. Battery||20,||Taken and burnt.|
|9.||Dannebrog (of the line)||62,||Blew up.|
|10.||Elven, Fl Battery||16,||Escaped.|
|11.||Gerners, Pontoon Battery||24,||Escaped.|
|13.||Zealand (of the line)||74,||Taken and burnt.|
|14.||Charlotte Amelia, Fl. Batt.||26,||Taken and burnt.|
|15.||Sohesten, Fl. Battery||18,||Taken and burnt.|
|16.||*Holstein (of the line)||60,||Taken.|
|17.||Infodsretten (of the line)||64,||Taken and burnt.|
|18.||Hielperen, Fl. Battery||20,||Escaped.|
|*||Two Crown Batteries||88,||(Erected on Piles.)|
|19.||Isis (frigate)||40,||(Within the 1st Cr.)|
|20.||Mars (without masts)||74,||ü|
|21.||Elephant (without masts)||70,||ï|
|23.||Sepent, brig||18,||ý||North Wing.|
|24.||Trekroner (of the line)||74,||ï|
|25.||Denmark (of the line)||74,||ï|
|26.||Twelve Xebecs, each of||4,||þ|
From the intricacy of the navigation, the Bellona and Russel unfortunately grounded, but yet so placed as to be of great service. The Agamemnon could not weather the shoal of the Middle, and was obliged to anchor.
The bombs, which were stationed abreast of the Elephant, threw shells into the Arsenal.
The Hamaica and gun-brigs, (as shewn in the plan) were so opposed by the current, that they could not be gotten forward in time to be of service in the action.
The Désirée, which afterwards grounded, performed great service in raking the southernmost ship of the Danish line.
It was greatly lamented by Sir Hyde Parker, that the sort of attack, and the peculiar nature of the navigation, excluded the ships particularly under his command from the opportunity of exhibiting their valour; and it was in consequence of unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances, near the conclusion of the battle, when Sir Hyde's division had advanced sufficiently near the north end of the enemies' line, for the Defence, Ramillies, and Veteran, the three head-most ships, to begin a fire upon the Crown-Batteries, and two northernmost ships of the line of defence; the frigates, as shewn in the plan, having then changed their station. But, as the gallant Admiral truly asserted, the whole fleet were animated with the same zeal and the same spirit. At the end of four hours fighting, Lord Nelson, after having vanquished the Danish line, sent a flag of truce on shore, with the following note, viz.
Dated on board the Elephant, off Copenhagen, 2 April, 1801. Lord Nelson has directions to spare Denmark when no longer resisting; but, if the firing is continued on the part of Denmark, Lord Nelson will be obliged to set on fire all the floating batteries he has taken, without having the power of saving the brave Danes who have defended them. To the Brothers of Englishmen, the Danes.
Dated on board the Elephant, off Copenhagen, 2 April, 1801.
Lord Nelson has directions to spare Denmark when no longer resisting; but, if the firing is continued on the part of Denmark, Lord Nelson will be obliged to set on fire all the floating batteries he has taken, without having the power of saving the brave Danes who have defended them.
To the Brothers of Englishmen, the Danes.
In consequence of this magnanimous offer, negotiations were set on foot, which terminated in armistice for fourteen weeks, and finally in a total cessation of hostilities, upon the terms mentioned in the Convention, inserted among the Treaties of Peace.
* His Lordship's squadron consisted of the Elephant, 74, V. Adm. Lord Nelson, and Capt. T. Foley; Defiance, 74, Rear-Admiral T. Graves, and Capt. R. Retalick; Monarch, 74, J.R. Mosse; Bellona, 74, Sir T.B. Thompson; Edgar, 74, George Murray; Russell, 74, William Cuming; Ganges, 74, T.F. Fremantle; Glatton, 54, William Bligh; Isisi, 50, J. Walker; Agamemnon, 64, R.D. Fancourt; Polyphemous, 64, John Lawford; Ardent, 64, T. Bertie; Amazon, 38, E. Riou; Désirée, 40, H. Inman; Blanche, 36, G.E. Hamond; Alemene, 32, S. Sutton; Dart, (Sp,) 30, J.F. Devonshire; Arrow, (Sp,) 30, Wm. Bolton; Cruizer, (Sp,) 18, James Brisbane; Harpy, (Bg,) 18, Wm. Birchall; Zephyr, (F.S.) 14, C. Upton; Otter, (F.S.) 14, George M'Kinley; Discovery, (Bg.) 16, John Conn; Sulpher, (Bb,) 10, H. Whitler; Hecla, (Bb.) 10, R. Hatherill; Explosion, (Bb,) 8, J.H. Martin; Zebra, (Bb,) 16, E.S. Clay; Terror, (Bb.) 8, S.C. Rowley; Volcano, (Bb,) 8, J. Watson. — In addition to these, Capt. J. Rose, in the Jamaica, 26, had the command of the 6 gun-brigs, which were to have raked the southernmost ships of the Danish line, had the current permitted.
† These were, the London, 98, Admiral Sir H. Parker, Captain W. Domett and R.W. Otway; Defence, 74, Lord H. Paulet; Ramilies, 74, J.W.T. Dixon; Raisonable, 64, John Dilkes; St. George, 98, T. Hardy; Saturn, 64, R. Lambert; Veteran, 64, A.C. Dickson; Warrior, 74, C. Tyler.
Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius
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