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were lost to us in the gloom; and now, two four-oared skiffs stood out together, having a raft, with two guns, in tow; by some mischance, however, they got entangled in a side current, and the raft swerving to one side, swept past the boats, carrying them down the stream along with it. Our attention was not suffered to dwell on this mishap, for at the same moment the flash and rattle of fire-arms told us the battle had begun. Two or three isolated shots were first heard, and then a sharp platoon fire, accom anied by a wild cheer, that we well knew came from our own fellows. One deep mellow boom of a large gun resounded amidst the crash, and a slight streak of flame, higher up the stream, showed that the shot came from the small island I have already spoken of. “Listen, lads,” said I, “that came from the “Fels Insel. If they are firing grape yonder, our poor fellows in the boats will suffer sorely from it. By Jove there is a crash !” As I was speaking a rattling noise like the '' of clattering £ WaS heard, and with it a sharp, shrill cry of agony, and all was hushed. “Let's at them, boys; they can't be much above our own number. The island is a mere rock,” cried I to my comrades. “Who commands this party?” said the corporal, “you or I?” “You, if you lead us against the enemy,” said I; “but I'll take it if my comrades will follow me. There goes another shot, lads—yes or nonow is the time to speak.” “We're ready," cried three, springing forward, with one impulse: At the instant I jumped into the skiff, the others took their places, and then came a fourth, a fifth, a sixth, and a seventh, leaving the corporal alone on the bank. “Come along, corporal,” cried I, “we'll win your epaulettes for you;” but he turned away without a word; and not waiting further, I pushed out the skiff, and sent her skimming down the stream. “Pull steady, boys, and silently," said I; “we must gain the middle of the current, and then drop down the river without the least noise. Once beneath the trees, we'll give them a volley, and then the bayonet. Remember, lads, no flinching; it's as well to
die here as be shot by old Regnier to
morrow.” The conflict on the Eslar island was now, to all seeming, at its height. The roll of musketry was incessant, and sheets of flame, from time to time, streaked the darkness above the river. “Stronger and together, boys—once more—there it is—we are in the current, now ; in with you, men, and look to your carbines—see that the priming is safe; every shot soon will be worth a fusilade. Lie still now, and wait for the word to fire.” The spreading foliage of the nuttrees was rustling over our heads as I spoke, and the sharp skiff, borne on the current, glided smoothly on till her bow struck the rock. With high-beating hearts we clambered up the little cliff; and as we reached the top, beheld immediately beneath us, in a slight dip of the ground, several figures around a gun, which they were busy in adjusting I looked right and left to see that my little party were all assembled, and without waiting for more, gave the order–fire! We were within pistol range, and the discharge was a deadly one. The terror, however, was not less complete; for all who escaped death fled from the spot, and dashing through the brushwood, made for the shallow part of the stream, between the island and the right bank. Our prize was a brass eight-pounder, and an ample supply of ammunition. The gun was pointed towards the middle of the stream, where the current being strongest, the boats would necessarily be '' and in all likelihood some of our gallant comrades had already experienced its fatal fire. To wheel it right about, and point it on the Eslar bridge, was the work of a couple of minutes; and while three of our little party kept up a steady fire on the retreating enemy, the others loaded the gun and prepared to fire. Our distance from the Eslar island and bridge, as well as I could judge from the darkness, might be about two hundred and fifty yards; and as we had the advantage of a slight elevation of ground, our position was admirable. “Wait patiently, lads,” said I, restraining, with difficulty, the burning ardour of my men. “Wait patiently, till the retreat has commenced over the bridge. The work is too hot to last much longer on the island; to fire upon them there, would be to risk our own men as much as the enemy. See what long flashes of flame break forth among the brushwood; and listen to the cheering now. That was a French cheer!– and there goes another ! Look 1– look, the bridge is darkening already! That was a bugle-call, and they are in full retreat. Now, lads—now !” As I spoke, the gun exploded, and the instant after we heard the crashing rattle of the timber, as the shot struc the bridge, and splintered the woodwork in all directions. “The range is perfect, lads," cried I. “Load and fire with all speed.” Another shot, followed by a terrific scream from the bridge, told how the
work was doing. Oh! the £ eXultation, the fiendish joy of my heart, as I drank in that cry of agony, and called upon my men to load faster.
Six shots were poured in with tremendous precision and effect, and the seventh tore away one of the main supports of the bridge, and down went the densely crowded column into the Rhine; at the same instant, the guns of our launches opened a destructive fire upon the banks, which soon were swept clean of the enemy.
High up on the stream, and for nearly a mile below also, we could see the boats of our army pulling in for shore; the crossing of the Rhine had been effected, and we now prepared to follow.
oUR PoRTRAIT GALLERY.—No. Lix.
“Quisque maximus quoque negotiosus.” The gallant subject of this sketch would figure more than he does in the annals of war, had he been more of a scribe, and less of a soldier. Considering the distinguished commands which he held, and how long he has been before the world as the bravest of the brave, the reader would scarcely credit the difficulty which we have found in gleaning, from his friends and relatives, any anecdotes of his early life, or details of his particular services, beyond those to be collected from the most ordinary sources of public intelligence. ord Gough is the youngest son of the late gallant Lieut.-Colonel Gough, and Letitia, daughter of Thomas Bunbury, of Limerick, a most worthy and respectable gentleman, who for many years represented the county of Carlow. The first settlement in Ireland of the Gough family took place in 1626, when Francis Gough, whose remains repose in his own Cathedral of St. Mary's, Limerick, was appointed to the bishopric of that diocese. The father of the present nobleman long commanded the Limerick militia, and was present with them when they did good service upon the landing of the French in Ireland. He died in 1836, beloved and honoured by all who knew him; having had the satisfaction of witnessing the rising renown of his gallant son, whose military achievements, we have very little doubt, gave that son more satisfaction for the joy which they sent to the heart of a venerated parent, than for any delight in the contemplation of them of which he himself was conscious. Nor was he the only son by whom parental pride might be gratified—the present nobleman had two brothers in the army, both of whom were creditably distinguished. Lord Gough was born at the seat of his father, Woodstown, county of Limerick, on the 3rd November, 1779, and was educated at home, under a private tutor. The military passion had, from boyhood, taken possession of him, and he obtained a commission in his father's regiment, the Limerick militia, at the early age of thirteen. His lieutenancy followed in a few months after, and he was then transferred, as lieutenant, to the 119th Regiment of the line, and must already have approved himself as an active, intelligent, and steady officer, as we find him serving as adjutant of that corps at an unprecedentedly early age. Upon the disbandment of that regiment, he was transferred to the 78th Highlanders, which he joined at the Cape of Good Hope, and was present at the surrender of the Dutch fleet in Saldanah Bay. The second battalion of the 78th Regiment having been reduced, he was transferred to the 87th, his present regiment, and having proceeded with it to the West Indies, was present at the attack upon Porto # the brigand war in St. Lucia, and the taking of Surinam. And now the time approached when our hero was to enter upon a larger field of action, and the valour and steadiness of British troops to be tested in conflict with the conquerors of Europe. , Spain was in arms; its wrongs had aroused a spirit of patriotic vengeance in the hearts of its tranquil and peace-loving population. Great Britain, lately its enemy, now its ally, had fanned the flame; and her legions and her treasures were lavishly proffered in defence of the national independence. The perfidious tyrant, whose wanton aggression had provoked this holy war, imagined, when he found our armies in the field, that he had taken the English out of their element; that the sea, not the land, was their appropriate field of action; and that, while he prosecuted more extensive views of aggrandisement upon the Continent, his marshals, who had so frequently seen the chivalry of Europe wither before him, would deem it but a little matter “to drive the Leopard into the sea." Nor could it be denied that hitherto the achievements of this extraordinary being had kept pace with the Ossianic grandeur of his conceptions. Every