Siege of Minorca April to June 1756, 1 June to 10 June

June 1st.  The besiegers were heard to be very busy all night.  We still continually heard the Carriages in Town, and fired several vollies of shells to annoy the Enemy, as likewise Carcasses to give light upon the Glacis; their fire in the Night was very moderate; in the morning we found they had carried on a work of Gabions from the fives Court to Stanhope’s Tower, at which we fired the whole Day; they have filled up all the Embrazures excepting two of their battery near the burying Ground and those two they make no use of. Last night two Grenadiers of the Royal Welch Fusiliers deserted, and made their escape as is imagined by the Royal Battery.  We mounted 4 twelve pounders on the new Fascine Battery by the N. W. outward Ravelin.  Some of the Enemy’s Fleet off the Harbour.

June 2nd. We fired our Mortars last night upon the Enemy by signals given at the West lunette, directing when and where; a person being advanced for that purpose upon the Glacis, who by listening attentively could discover where the Enemy were at work.  We received from them a greater number of Shells than we had for several Days before, from their batteries in Town, near the burying Ground, Major Innes’s, Turks Mount, and Cape Mola, they likewise fired very briskly from 3 o’clock in the afternoon till about 9 o’clock at night, and gave us some shot in the night from Turks Mount. We gave them a very warm fire all night.  The Enemy’s fleet to the Eastward of Cape Mola. The Enemy very busy all night at work, notwithstanding our incessant fire upon them.

June 3rd. The Enemy fired ricochet shot this morning from Stanhope’s Tower, as likewise from their Howitzers near the same place, and played smartly with their shells from all sides, particularly in the afternoon; we gave them an equal return from our lunettes and inner works; they worked sometime this morning near Stanhope’s tower, but being interrupted by our shells, thought proper to leave off. Their fleet off the Harbour. The Enemy very busy all night at their new work by Stanhope’s tower, in spite of our constant fire.

June 4th. The Enemy continued their work last night near Stanhope’s tower, and it appears to be a battery they are constructing between that tower and the fives Court. They threw a great number of shells in the Day time, especially in the afternoon, but their fire was very moderate in the night, as was likewise ours.  The French fleet off the Harbour.

June 5th. The Enemy opened a battery of 10 Guns between Stanhope’s tower and the fives Court; from which they played with great fury, as they did from their other batteries the whole day; the heat of this fire was directed against the North Bastion of the Castle, the N. W. Curtain, the W. Counter Guard, and the Queen’s Redoubt; In the night they threw above 100 shells, several ricochet shot, and Howitzer Shells, by which they wounded some of the Piquet. We blew up some of their Ammunition at Stanhope’s tower, by a shell from the West lunette; they have thrown several shells at a ship we had rigged ready for sailing in St Stephen’s Cove, but to no effect. They renewed their fire from the Battery by the burying Ground with 6 Guns. Lieut. Armstrong of Lord Effingham’s much wounded on the top of the Castle from the New Battery; the Enemy’s fire very smart to Day.

June 6th. The Enemy began at Day break to Cannonade as smartly as yesterday, but did not continue it so long; they poured in among us a prodigious quantity of shells yesterday and today, one of which set fire to some of our own shells on the West Counter guard, which burst without wounding anybody but the Sentry, who was hurt by the shell that occasioned the accident; a third of their shot from their new Battery have gone over the Castle into the sea. We have abated our fire, making use only of our Mortars against their new Battery; and reserving our Guns against their nearer approach. Their Fleet off the Harbour. The Besiegers discontinued cannonading all night, and were employed in repairing their works which had suffered in the Day; several parties of the Besiegers were seen from the Marlborough, in and about the place called the King’s gardens, or Barranco.

June 7th. The Enemy were pulling down houses all night in the town, we fired Small Arms at them the whole time from the covered way; in the morning they opened a Battery below Mr. Boyd’s of five Guns against Anstruther and Argyle Fort, in that part of the Town opposite the salient Angle of the Queen’s Redoubt, and bearing upon the Argyle and Anstruther fort; from which Battery they have already disabled two of the 32 Prs and one 9 Pr at the Anstruther; we played them well with shells, and prepared some other Batteries against them; They fired the whole day from Stanhope’s Tower at the North Bastion, and Curtain of the Castle.  Our new Fascine Battery was opened this morning, but soon silenced by the fire of the Enemy’s ten Gun Battery, and a shell shot burst upon it, which disabled the Gun there; several men killed and wounded upon this Battery, for about an hour in the night, the Enemy fired small Arms as fast as they could, but for what reason we could not guess. The works a good deal damaged by the Enemy’s continual fire.

June 8th. Their Fleet off the Harbour the whole Day. The Enemy are observed to be at work in a large Cornfield, near Quarrantine Island on the Phillipit Shore. This morning we fired upon the besiegers five Gun Battery with 3 thirty two Pounders from the Argyle, two 18 Prs from the Queen’s Redoubt, and four Guns upon the top of the Castle; but two of the 32 Prs were soon silenced. We did this battery so much damage, that they could not fire from it the whole Day; several of our men killed and wounded, particularly four Sailors who were all wounded by a blind shell. The Enemy began in the morning to batter as before, but by noon we silenced four Guns of their last Battery; they continued firing from their other Batteries the whole Day, they threw but few shells in the part of the night, but fired continually from the houses near their battery with Small Arms; which fire our Guards in the covered way returned very smartly. There was a frequent discharge of Small Anus after the Guards took their posts in the covered way for several hours, at some single soldiers who kept firing at the sentrys from Windows, and from Corners of Streets.

June 9th.  The Enemy began as usual in the Morning to batter the Castle, and other works, and to fire ricochet Shot from Stanhope’s Tower. We discovered a Battery of eight Embrazures in a Corn field on the brow of the hill of Phillipit; they poured us in, a great number of shells, both in the day and night. The battery on the covered way of Argyle is silenced, and the Enemy’s fire from their five Gun Battery below Mr. Boyd’s, is so superior to ours that the Gunners cannot stand on the Battery.

June 10th. The Enemy opened a battery of 8 Guns in the Cornfield above Phillipit, and fired at the North face of the Queens’s redoubt, and works adjacent; they likewise battered the Castle and Argyle fort from their other batteries; they have lately fired small Arms at the Embrazures of the out works, while the Gunners are loading. A shell blew up the Ammunition Chest, on the South Counter Guard, the explosion of which shook the Castle like a small Earthquake. Their Fleet off.  The five Gun Battery below Mr. Boyd’s was silent to day. This morning the three Guns on the S.W. inner Ravelin were again fired, after having been silent for some time, that the platforms might be repaired.

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