October 23, 1809
- [In Indonesia]
On the 23d of October the French squadron, having signalized itself [regarding its recent visitation upon a British East India company settlement], quitted Tappanooly, and steered for the bay of Bengal.
Napoleon, having travelled all night, arrives in Stuttgart at 7:00 a.m. Later he continues on his journey, and will not stop for the night.
[In the Mediterranean]
On the 23d, at 8 a.m., the 38-gun frigate Volontaire, Captain Charles Bullen, made the signal to Collingwood for an unknown fleet to the eastward. As the vessels of it continued to come down before the wind, Lord Collingwood made no alteration in the fleet, beyond advancing two fast-sailing ships, the Tigre and Bulwark. At 10 a.m. the English Pomone made the signal that the enemy, now seen to consist of three ships of the line instead of seven, as had at first been signalled, had hauled to the wind. Immediately Rear-admiral Martin, with eight of the best-sailing ships, was ordered to chase in the east-north-east. At 3 p.m. the three French line-of-battle ships and two frigates separated from the convoy ; the latter steering north-north-west, in great confusion, and the former east-south-east, with the wind at north-east. The English Pomone being well to windward, got hold of a part of the convoy, two brigs, two bombards, and a ketch, and in the evening destroyed them ; but the remainder of the convoy and the five men of war were shortly afterwards lost sight of by the British fleet.
At 8 p.m. Rear-admiral Martin, judging that the French would push for their own coast, tacked to the northward, the wind then about east. Shortly afterwards two of the chasing ships accidentally parted company, leaving the rear-admiral with the following six sail of the line:
80-gun Canopus Rear.-adm (r.) George Martin
Captain Charles Inglis
74-gun Renown Captain Philip Charles Durham.
74-gun Tigre Captain Benjamin Hallowell.
74-gun Sultan Captain Edward Griffith.
74-gun Leviathan Captain John Harvey.
74-gun Cumberland Captain Hon. Philip Wodehouse.
The ships continued under a press of sail all night of the 23d, but saw nothing of the enemy until .........
[to be continued]
[Another account, from a British officer's journal] ..."On the morning of the 23d, we understood, the happy tidings of the enemy's ships being near, reached the admiral through the vigilance of Captain Barrie, of his Majesty's ship Pomone, who was left watching them off Toulon. At 9 A.M. the Pomone, being the weathermost ship of our fleet, made the signal for the enemy's ship being in sight, 37 in number, seven of which were of the line, one frigate, and the rest transports."
"The signal was immediately made for Rear-admiral Martin, in the Canopus, to chase with seven other ships, the Sultan included as one; two of them, by a shift of wind, lost sight of the flying squadron during the night. About three P.M. the enemy's transports separated from the ships of war, the former steering to the N.N.W. the latter to the E.S.E. with the wind at N.E. seemingly in great confusion. At dark we lost sight of the enemy. At eight P.M. the wind about east, tacked to the northward (considering that they would push for their own coast), and continued under a great press of sail all night and next day, with the ships as per margin."