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The former sending word, that he hoped within three weeks to salute that governor's mistress within the place; Calvo replied, he would give him leave to kiss her all over, if he kissed her any where in three months.
But our long expected artillery being at last arrived, all this jest and merriment was soon converted into earnest. Our trenches were immediately opened towards the Dauphin Bastion, against which were planted many cannon, in order to make a breach; myself, as a probationer, being twice put upon the forlorn hope to facilitate that difficult piece of service. Nor was it long before such a breach was effected, as was esteemed practicable, and therefore very soon after it was ordered to be attacked.
The disposition for the attack was thus ordered; two serjeants with twenty grenadiers, a captain with fifty men, myself one of the number; then a party carrying wool sacks, and after them two captains with one hundred men more; the soldiers in the
trenches to be ready to sustain them, as occasion should require.
The signal being given, we left our trenches accordingly, having about one hundred yards to run, before we could reach the breach, which we mounted with some difficulty and loss; all our batteries firing at the same instant to keep our action in countenance, and favour our design. When we were in possession of the Bastion, the enemy fired most furiously upon us with their small cannon through a thin brick wall, by which, and their hand grenadoes, we lost more men than we did in the attack itself.
But well had it been had our ill fortune stopped there; for as if disaster must needs be the concomitant of success, we soon lost what we had thus gotten, by a small, but very odd accident. Not being furnished with such scoopes as our enemies made use of, in tossing their hand grenadoes some distance off, one of our own soldiers aiming to throw one over the wall
into the counterscarp among
enemy, it so happened, that he unfortunately missed his aim, and the grenade fell down again on our side the wall, very near the person who fired it. He starting back to save himself, and some others, who saw it fall, doing the like, those who knew nothing of the matter fell into a sudden confusion, and imagining some greater danger than there really was, every body was struck with a panic fear, and endeavoured to be the first who should quit the Bastion, and secure himself by a real shame from an imaginary evil. Thus was a Bastion, that had been gloriously gained, inadvertently deserted ; and that too, with the loss of almost as many men in the retreat, as had been slain in the onset, and the enemy most triumphantly again took possession of it.
Among the slain on our side in this action, was an ensign of Sir John Fenwick's regiment; and as an approbation of my services, his commission was bestowed upon
A few days after it was resolved again to storm that bastion, as before; out of three English, and one Scotch regiments, then in the camp, a detachment was selected for a fresh attack. Those regiments were under the command of Sir John Fenwick, (who was afterwards beheaded,) Colonel Ralph Widdrington, and Colonel Ashley of the English ; and Sir Alexander Collier, father of the present Lord Portmore, of the Scotch. Out of every of these four regiments, as before, were detached a captain, a lieutenant, and an ensign, with fifty men: Captain Anthony Barnwell, of Sir John Fenwick's regiment, who was now my captain, commanding that attack.
At break of day the attack was begun with great resolution; and though vigorously maintained, was attended with the desired success. The bastion was again taken, and in it the commanding officer, who in service to himself, more than to us, told us, that the centre of the bastion would soon be blown up, being to his knowledge
undermined for that purpose. But this secret proved of no other use, than to make us, by way of precaution, to keep as much as we could upon the rampart. In this attack Captain Barnwell lost his life, and it happened my new commission was wetted (not, as too frequently is the custom, with a debauch) but with a bullet through my hand, and the breach of my collar-bone with the stroke of a halbert.
After about half an hour's possession of the bastion, the mine under it, of which the French officer gave us warning, was sprung; the enemy at the same time making a furious sally upon us.
The mine did a little, though the less execution, for being discovered ; but the sally no way answered their end, for we beat them back, and immediately fixed our lodgment; which we maintained during the time of the siege. But to our double surprize, a few days after, they fired another mine under, or aside the former, in which they had placed a quantity of grenadoes, which did much