Capture of the Loire

16th October 1798 - 18th October 1798
Part of : The French Revolutionary Wars (1793 - 1802)
Previous action : Battle of Tory Island 12.10.1798
Next action : Ambuscade vs Bayonnaise 14.12.1798


Great Britain

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Anson (38) Philip Charles Calderwood Henderson Durham (1763-1845)2 killed, 13 wounded
Mermaid (32) James Newman (d.1811)4 killed, 13 wounded
Kangaroo (16) Edward Brace (1770-1843)no casualties

République Française

Ship NameCommanderNotes
La Loire (44)  46 killed, 71 wounded Captured

Notes on Action

Two other frigates of M. Bompart's squadron, the Semillante and Loire, were sighted on the morning of October 15th by the Revolutionnaire, 38, Captain Thomas Twysden, Mermaid, 32, Captain James Newman Newman, and Kangaroo, 18, Commander Edward Brace, off the mouth of Blacksod Bay, and, after having been chased before the wind, separated. The Eevolutionnaire, which followed one, lost her in the evening, and saw her no more. The Mermaid and Kangaroo pursued the other, and also lost her, but found her again at dawn on the 16th, and renewed the chase. This one was the Loire. At 3 P.M. the Kangaroo got up with her, and most pluckily engaged, until she lost her fore-topmast and had her foremast badly wounded. She then had to drop astern. At daybreak on the 17th, the Loire shortened sail to allow the Mermaid, which was then alone, to come up; and at 6.45 A.M., the two frigates went off together in hot action nearly before the wind. After an engagement of two hours and a half, the Loire sensibly slackened her fire, and Captain Newman had given orders to run athwart the hawse of his sorely crippled opponent, when the Mermaid lost her mizen-mast by the board, the falling wreckage disabling several of her after guns. Soon afterwards she also lost her main-topruast, and, being in many other ways terribly mauled, she had to discontinue the action; whereupon the enemy put before the wind and made off. The gallant Mermaid lost 4 killed and 13 wounded. We know from French sources that she inflicted very severe damage upon her opponent; and, indeed, she must have done so in order to induce an officer like Captain Segond to quit so small and so crippled a foe as the British frigate. But the Loire was not to escape. At daybreak on the 18th, being by that time without a main as well as without a fore-topmast, she found herself to leeward of the Anson, 44, Captain Philip Charles Durham, and the Kangaroo. The Anson was as crippled as the Loire. The Kangaroo, since the 16th, had got up a new fore-topmast and made good her other damages. An action between the two larger vessels began at 10.30 A.M.; and at 11.45 A.M., when they had almost completely disabled one another, the brig was able to throw the weight of her broadside into the scale and to decide the issue. When the Loire struck, she had six feet of water in her hold, and, according to French returns, had 46 killed and 71 wounded. The Anson lost but 2 killed and 13 wounded, and the Kangaroo had no one hurt.

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