Action of San Domingo

6th February 1806
Fought at : Hispaniola - Greater Antilles
Part of : The Napoleonic Wars (1803 - 1815)
Previous action : Battle of Cape Ortegal 4.11.1805
Next action : Action of 1806-03-13 13.3.1806


Empire Français

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Impérial (118)  
Alexandre (84)  
Brave (74)  
Diomede (74)  
Jupiter (74)  
La Diligente (16)  

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Superb (74) Richard Goodwin Keats (1757-1834)Squadron Flagship
Canopus (80) Francis William Austen (1774-1865)8 killed, 22 wounded
Donegal (76) Pulteney Malcolm (1768-1838)
Northumberland (74) George Tobin (1768-1838), George Tobin (1768-1838)
Spencer (74) Robert Stopford (1768-1847)
Atlas (74)  
Agamemnon (64) Sir Edward Berry (1768-1831)
Acasta (40) Richard Dalling Dunn (d.1813)
Magicienne (32) Adam Mackenzie (d.1823)
Epervier (16) James Higginson
Kingfisher (16) Nathaniel Day Cochrane (1780-1844)



Previous comments on this page

Posted by Brian on Sunday 14th of February 2016 19:00

Extract from Sir John Duckworth's Letter, dated Superb, off the Town of St. Domingo, February 7th, 1806. I Lost not a moment in getting through the Mona Passage; and, on the 5th, was joined by the Magicienne, with a further corroboration from various vessels spoken, of an enemy's force of ten sail of the line, with as many frigates and corvettes, being in these seas. I therefore continued under easy sail for the night, on my approach off the town of St. Domingo; having given orders to Captain Dunn, of the Acasta, to make sail with the Magicienne, Captain M'Kenzie, two hours before daylight, to reconnoitre; when, at six o'clock, the Acasta, to our great joy, made the signal for two of the enemy's frigates; and before seven, for nine sail at anchor; at half-past, that they were getting under way. The squadron under my command, then in close order, with all sail set, and the Superb bearing my flag, was leading and approaching fast, so as to discover before eight o'clock that the enemy were in a compact line, under all sail, going before the wind for Cape Nisao, to windward of Ocoa bay; but consisting only of five sail of the line, two frigates, and a corvette ;endeavouring, as I concluded, to form a junction with their remaining force; and which, by shaping a course accordingly, was rendered completely abortive, by making an action certain a little after nine o'clock. I therefore telegraphed the squadron to prepare to attack the Admiral and his seconds; and, at three quarters past nine, for the ships to take stations for their mutual support, and engage the enemy as they got up; and a few minutes after, to engage as close as possible; when a little after ten, the Superb closed upon the bow of the Alexandre, the leading ship, and commenced the action; but, after three broadsides, she sheered off. The signal was now made for closer action, and we were enabled to attack the Admiral in the Imperial (formerly the Vengeur), the fire of which had been very severe on the
Northumberland, under the Honourable Rear Admiral Cochrane.
By this time the movement of the Alexandre had thrown her among the lee division, which Rear Admiral Louis happily availed himself of; and the action became general, and continued till half-past eleven; when the French Admiral, completely beaten, hauled at once for the land, and at twenty minutes before noon, ran on shore ; her only remaining mast, the fore-mast, then falling; and the Superb, being only in seventeen fathoms water, hauled off to avoid the same evil. Not long after, the Diomede of 84 guns, having struck her colours, pushed on shore near his Admiral, when all his masts went overboard. About 50 minutes after eleven the firing ceased; and upon the smoke clearing away, I found the Brave, the Alexander, and the Jupiter, in our
possession, and five sail of the line were taken or destroyed in less than two hours.

French Line. One ship of 84 guns, and one of 120, driven on shore and wrecked: one ship of 84, and two of 74 guns, taken. Two frigates and a corvette escaped.

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