|In the latter end of July, while the 14-gun cutter Viper, commanded by acting Lieutenant Jeremiah Coghlan], and attached to Sir [Edward Pellew]'s squadron, was watching Port-Louis, it occurred to the former young officer, that be might succeed in boarding one of the cutters or gun-vessels, which were constantly moving about the entrance of that harbour. His first step was to request of Sir Edward Pellew a ten-oared cutter, with 12 volunteers. Having obtained the boat and men, Mr. Coghlan, on the night of the 26th, placed in her a midshipman of the Viper, Mr. [Silas Hiscutt Paddon], and six seamen, making with himself a total of 20. With this ten-oared cutter, a boat from the Viper, and another from the Amethyst frigate, Mr. Coghlan, set out to board a French gun-brig, mounting three long 24, and four 6 pounders, full of men, moored with springs on her cables, lying in a naval port of difficult access, within pistol-shot of three batteries, surrounded by several armed small-craft, and not a mile from a French 74 and two frigates.|
Undismayed by such formidable appearances, regardless of the early discovery of his approach, as evinced by the gun-brig's crew being at quarters, or even of the lost aid of the two other boats, which in spite of all the endeavours of their respective crews, could not keep pace with the cutter - in the very teeth of all these obstacles, Mr. Coghlan and his handful of men boarded the gun-brig on the quarter. Owing to the extreme darkness of the night, the leader of this resolute band jumped into a trawl-net hung up to dry. In this helpless situation Mr. Coghlan was pierced through the left thigh with a pike: several of his men were also hurt; and the whole were forced back into the boat.
Unchecked in ardour, the British hauled their boat farther ahead ; and, again boarding the gun-brig, maintained against 87 men, 16 of whom were soldiers, an obstinate conflict, during which many of the British were knocked overboard, and the which whole, a second time, beat back to their boat. Notwithstanding this, however, the assailants returned to the charge with unabated courage; and, after killing six men, and wounding 20, among whom was every officer belonging to her, Mr. Coghlan and his truly gallant comrades carried the Cerbère. His own loss on this splendid occasion was one man killed and eight wounded, himself in two places, and Mr. Paddon in six