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Recruit vs Dilgente

6th September 1808
Part of : The Napoleonic Wars (1803 - 1815)
Previous action : Action of Nyborg 3.9.1808
Next action : Carnation vs Palinure 3.10.1808


United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Recruit (16) 1806-1822
British 16 Gun
Unrated Sloop
Warwick LakeBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1804-1810
6 killed, 23 wounded

Empire Français

Ship NameCommanderNotes
La Diligente (18) 1808-1809
French 18 Gun
Unrated Corvette
Jean François LemaresquierFrench
Naval Sailor
Service 1767-1811

Notes on Action

On September 6th, however, when to windward of Antigua, ]the Diligente] was discovered by the British sloop Recruit, 18, Commander Charles Napier. Though the Recruit's main mast was sprung, the British vessel made all sail in chase, and, at about 8.30 A.M., brought her opponent to close action. The Diligente's second shot broke Napier's right thigh, the bone protruding from the flesh. A little later, the only Lieutenant on board, Mr. Moses de Willetts, was mortally wounded. Napier having left the deck, the action was continued by the Master. Soon after 11 A.M., the mainstay was shot away, and the main mast fell, its wreck grievously hampering the British crew. In consequence, the Diligente was able to rake the Recruit twice; and the action seemed about to terminate disastrously, when a lucky broadside caused an explosion on board the French corvette. After that she sheered off, and made all sail to escape, whilst the Recruit's men refitted their ship. The British loss was 6 killed and 23 wounded half of the latter mortally out of a total crew of 106; the Diligente 's loss is unknown. She reached Martinique, where she was afterwards captured.

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