Action at St Pierre

12th December 1808 - 13th December 1808
Part of : The Napoleonic Wars (1803 - 1815)
Previous action : Capture of Oyepok, Appruagoc & Cayenne 8.12.1808 - 14.1.1809
Next action : Attack on Caldagues Bay 30.12.1808


United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Circe (32) Hugh Pigot (1775-1857), Charles Kerr
Amaranthe (16) Edward Pelham Brenton (1774-1839)1 killed, 5 wounded
Epervier (16) Thomas Tudor Tucker
Stork (16) George Le Geyt
Morne Fortunee (12) John Brown
Express (6) William Dowers

Empire Français

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Le Cygne (16)   Sunk

Notes on Action

On December 12th, the Cygne, 16, and two schooners, on their way from Cherbourg to Martinique, were discovered at anchor off the Pearl Rock in the latter island, by the Morne Fortunee, 12, Lieutenant John Brown. He summoned by signal the Circe, 32, Commander Francis Augustus Collier (actg. Capt.), Stork, 18, Commander George Le Geyt, Epervier, 16, Commander Thomas Tudor Tucker, and schooner Express, Commander William Dowers, 4 which vessels were watching St. Pierre. One of the two schooners was speedily driven ashore by the Stork, under the guns of three batteries. The remaining schooner and the Cygne took shelter close inshore under the guns of four other batteries. There they were cannonaded by the Circe, Stork, and Express, and attacked by a party of 68 men, under Lieutenant Charles Henry Crooke, in three of the Circe's boats. This attack was repulsed with terrible loss. One boat was sunk, one was taken, and, of the 68 men, 9 were killed, 26 were missing (prisoners or drowned), and 21 were wounded. On the 13th, the Amaranthe, 18, Commander Edward Pelham Brenton, which had just joined, renewed the fight. The Cygne was then working into St. Pierre, keeping close under the shore. Brenton, aided by the boats of the Circe and Stork, worked in under a heavy fire from the batteries, drove the Cygne 's crew to their boats with grape, and then sent in a boat party, under Lieutenant James Hay, to destroy her. The remaining French schooner, which was ashore, was also destroyed. The Amaranthe's loss was 1 killed and 5 wounded. In the other vessels there were 2 killed and 5 wounded.

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