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near 200 men, including about 15 or 20 officers of the army, and privates, passengers. This ship appears to have made a most obstinate defence, maintaining a close action of two hours, in which, and in a running fight of equal duration, she had 20 of her crew killed, and 24 wounded. The Pearl's loss was only 6 slain and 10 wounded.
On the 16th of March, 1781, Captain Montagu was in company with the squadron under Vice-Admiral Arbuthnot, when that officer encountered M. de Ternay, then on his way to co-operate with a detachment of the American army in an attack upon Brigadier-General Arnold, whose corps had nearly overrun the whole province of Virginia. Unfortunately a thick haze, together with the disabled condition of the three ships on which the brunt of the engagement chiefly fell, rendered it impossible for the British squadron to pursue the advantage it had gained, and the contest was consequently indecisive.
Captain Montagu's abilities and zeal were by this time so highly and generally appreciated, that when, in October following, Rear-Admiral Graves, who had succeeded to the chief command of the naval force employed on the American station, meditated an attack upon the French armament under Count de Grasse, then lying at the entrance of the York River, between the sands called the Horse Shoe and the York Spit, he appointed the Pearl to lead his fleet: unfortunately, however, Earl Cornwallis, to whose rescue he had come from New York (accompanied by the army under Sir Henry Clinton), had been obliged to capitulate before his arrival, and the enterprise was consequently abandoned.
In 1782, Captain Montagu returned to England in a shattered state of health, and paid off the Pearl.
During the Spanish armament, in 1790, Captain Montagu obtained the command of the Hector, 74; and at the commencement of the war with France, in 1793, he accompanied Rear-Admiral Gardiner to Barbadoes, where he arrived on the 27th of April.
In the ensuing summer, the Rear-Admiral, in conjunction with Major-General Bruce, being encouraged by the disputes which existed between the royalists and republicans at Martinique, and invited by the former to make a descent on that island, proceeded thither, and landed a body of 3000 British troops under cover of the ships of war.
On the 15th of June, the Hector and Monmouth were ordered to cannonade a fort on Mount Cerbette, which they began to do about 11 A. M., and continued firing till half-past three in the afternoon.
The following day, Captain Montagu was sent to co-operate in an attack upon the batteries to the N. E. of St. Pierre, as a diversion in favour of the troops. The Duke, of 98 guns, leading, followed by the Hector, began to engage Forts Bime and la Preche, which were totally silenced. A violent thunderstorm coming on, the Duke's main-mast was shivered by lightning: next morning, Captain Montagu landed a party, who spiked the guns of the forts, and destroyed their carriages. The expedition, however, having failed of effect, in consequence of the republican party proving much stronger than was represented, the troops were re-embarked, together with as many of the royalists as could be taken on board the ships ; the remainder were unavoidably left to perish by the hands of their implacable enemy. The rage and unrelenting fury of civil war were now clearly perceived by the flames that covered the island night and day.
The Ferme, a French ship of 74 guns, and the Calypso frigate, put themselves under the orders of the British commander, and saved a number of their unfortunate countrymen from destruction.
The enemy having several ships of war at St. Domingo, Rear-Admiral Gardiner despatched the Hector, in company with the Hannibal, of 74 guns, to reinforce the squadron on the Jamaica station, and returned to England with the remainder of his ships.
After a short interval, Captain Montagu was directed to convoy home a large fleet of West Indiamen; and on his arrival at Spithead, he was placed under the orders of Commodore Paisley, with whom, and Rear-Admiral M-Bride, he cruised in the channel till his promotion to a flag, which took place April 12. 1794 ; when he joined the grand feet, at that period commanded by Earl Howe. Early in the following month he was detached with a squadron to escort the outward bound East India fleet, and other convoys, amounting in the whole to about four hundred sail, as far to the southward as Cape Finisterre. After the performance of this important service, he cruised for some days to the northward of Cape Ortegal, and previously to his return to port, captured a French corvette of 22 guns and 140 men, and retook several British and Dutch merchantmen.
Early in June, he was again ordered to sea, for the purpose of reinforcing Lord Howe, as well as to look out for a valuable convoy coming from America, and bound to the western coast of France, the capture or destruction of which, at that critical period, was deemed an object of the utmost importance. On the 8th of the same month, being off Ushant with eight 74-gun ships, one 64, and several frigates, he discovered a French squadron consisting of one 3-decker, seven 74's, and one other two-decked ship, which he pursued until they got close under the land, and some of them into Brest Water, where two other ships, supposed to be of the line, were then at anchor. At seven A. M. on the following day, the fleet under M. Villaret Joyeuse appeared in sight to the westward, standing in for the land, with the wind about north. Rear-Admiral Montagu, perceiving that the enemy had fourteen effective line-of-battle ships (one of which was a first rate), independent of five others which had been disabled in the recent battle with Lord Howe, besides frigates, &c.; aware of the ease with which those he had chased on the preceding evening might form a junction with this superior force, and fearing that his sternmost ships would not be able to weather the French line, tacked to the eastward in order of battle, and then gradually edged away to the southward, with the view of drawing M. Joyeuse off the land, and getting his own squadron in as eligible a situation as possible to act
against the enemy, if an opportunity should offer itself; but his adversary kept his ships so closely connected, and guarded with so much care those which were disabled, that the RearAdmiral had it not in his power to take any step that was in the least degree likely to contribute to the public service. The French commander stood after the British for about five bours, and then hauled to the wind on the larboard tack, whilst Rear-Admiral Montagu stood to the N. W. in the hopes of meeting Earl Howe. His Lordship, however, was then on his way to Spithead, with the prizes taken on the 1st of that month ; and our officer, understanding that it was his wish that the fleet should assemble at Plymouth, anchored ith his division in Cawsand Bay on the 12th.
Having informed the Admiralty of his arrival, and requested permission to come on shore for the recovery of his health, which was considerably affected by the tidings of the cleath of his brother, Captain James Montagu, who had fallen in the late battle *, he received the following letters from the Secretary of that Board, the Earl of Chatham, and the veteran nobleman under whose orders he was then serving:
* Another of Sir George Montagu's brothers (Edward), Colonel of the corps of Artillery on the Bengal Establishment, an officer of acknowledged merit, was mortally wounded under the walls of Seringapatam, in 1799. The following is an outline of his services :- Very shortly after his admission into the artillery, he was appointed to the field, in the command of the detachment of that corps employed in the reduction of the forts in the Dooaub, in 1774–5, and subsequently in Rohilkund; and was severely wounded on two different occasions; once by the bursting of a shell, and again in the storming of fort Seekraunee, by an arrow, in the left eye. Although the nature of this wound was such as to render it advisable for him to proceed to Europe for his recovery, yet his zeal for the service induced him to solicit permission to accompany the Bengal artillery, to serve in the reduction of Pondicherry, in 1778. He subsequently served at the conquest of Cuddalore, and was present in the different battles between the British troops and Hyder Ally; and his conduct was honoured with the approbation of his General. The encomiums passed upon him by Lord Cornwallis, in the course of the war with Tippoo Sultaun, were not less honourable than frequent. His last campaign 'was in 1798—9, under Major-General Harris; and the period of his death, he had the immediate command of the batteries erected before Seringapatam. The general and united voice of the army proclaimed the share to be attributed to him in the reduction of the place.
“ Admiralty Office, June 14. 1794. “ Sir, — Having communicated to my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty your letters of the 8ih and 12th inst. (with the enclosures), informing them of your arrival in Cawsand Bay, with the squadron under your command, and of your proceedings during your last cruise, I am commanded by their Lordships to acquaint you that they approve thereof.
(Signed) 66 Phil. STEPHENS." “ Rear-Admiral Montagu, Plymouth.”
“ Admiralty, June 15. 1794. “ SIR, – I received your letter this morning, and learnt, with great regret, that your
state of health was such as to make it necessary, for a short time, to come on shore. I wish much it had been possible for the Hector to have brought you to Spithead; but as the squadron must proceed again immediately to sea, and in as much force as possible, it will not be at present practicable; but probably a little time hence it may be so arranged, that the Hector may come up to Spithead. The London is not yet commissioned; and I should be glad to know if there is any particular person you would wish to fit her out in the first instance. * I cannot conclude without condoling with you, which I do very truly, at the shock you must have suffered in the loss of your brother, who fell so nobly in the cause of his country.
“ I am, Sir,
* Rear-Admiral Cornwallis is directed to proceed to Plymouth, to take upon him the command of the squadron.”
“ Rear-Admiral G. Montagu."
* The Rear-Admiral, on his return from escorting the convoys to the southward, had expressed a wish to exchange, at a convenient opportunity, the Hector for the London ; and Lord Chatham had promised to direct her to be commissioned for him.