Alacrity vs Abeille

26th May 1811
Part of : The Napoleonic Wars (1803 - 1815)
Previous action : Action off Madagascar 20.5.1811 - 26.5.1811
Next action : Action of 1811-06-27 27.6.1811

 

Great Britain

 
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Alacrity (16) Nisbet Palmer (d.1811)5 killed, 13 wounded Captured
 

République française

 
Ship NameCommanderNotes
L'Abeille (18)  7 killed, 12 wounded
 

Notes on Action


DescriptionTRN5
On May 26th, off Corsica, the Alacrity, 18, Commander Nesbit Palmer, chased the Abeille, 20, Lieutenant A. E. A. de Mackau. The British brig mounted sixteen 32-pr. carronades and two long 6-prs.; the French, twenty 24-pr. carronades. The Alacrity had on board 100, and the Abeille 130, men and boys; so that the forces were almost equally matched. The Frenchman shortened sail and awaited the attack; and, after about three quarters of an hour's hot action, the Alacrity struck, having lost 5 killed, including Lieutenant Thomas Gwynne Rees, and 13 wounded. The Abeille, which lost 7 killed and 12 wounded, seems to have been much more ably handled than her antagonist; but that by no means wholly explains the result. Palmer, early in the fight, received a wound, not in itself serious, in the hand, and went below, leaving the command to Rees, who fought the ship most gallantly until he was severely wounded, and who, even then, sat on a carronade slide, and encouraged his men until he was killed. There was no other Lieutenant on board; and when the Master, and the Master's Mate had been wounded, the command was assumed by Boatswain James Flaxman, who, though himself wounded, "did his best, until Palmer sent up word from below that the colours were to be struck. No sooner, however, had he done this than, apparently repenting, he rushed on deck, and, pistol in hand, threatened to blow out the brains of any man who should attempt to execute the order. A little later, nevertheless, the colours were struck by the Gunner, while Flaxman's attention was otherwise engaged. Fortunately, perhaps, for himself, Commander Nesbit Palmer's slight wound induced lockjaw, from which he died ere any inquiry could be held concerning the manner in which he had lost his sloop.


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