Siege of Minorca April to June 1756, 11 June to 20 June

June 11th. The Enemy threw a great number of Shells and Howitzers last night; their Howitzers were mostly directed to the Queen’s Redoubt, pitching between that and Kane’s lunette, some by the West lunette towards the Castle; they battered as tho day before and their fire was returned with equal spirit.  In the afternoon our fascine Battery was on fire, but was soon extinguished; the Enemy made a great fire upon us, while it was on fire. The French Fleet off the Harbour, saw 20 sail. The most constant of the Besiegers fire is from their ten, and from their six Gun Batteries; their five gun battery is exposed to a much superior fire from the Castle, the Queen’s Redoubt and the three 32 Prs which are now mounted on the Anstruther that they are rendered almost incapable of firing from it. The Anstruther and Argyle, Queen’s Redoubt, Kane’s lunette, West lunette, the outward and inward N. W. Ravelins, the W. Counter Guard, the N. W. Curtain with the N. and W. Bastions of the Castle, being at present the front of the attack are consequently the places that have suffered most by the Enemy’s fire.

June 12th. The Enemy’s fire and our return was as smart as the day before. Our new fascine battery set on fire twice, but extinguished without much loss. The Besiegers did not fire from their five Gun Battery after 9 o’clock this morning. They fire frequently from their Battery on the Phillipit side during the night, but from 110 other; several men killed and wounded.

June 13th. The Enemy’s fire to day somewhat abated, and they threw but few shells the first part of the night, but played pretty briskly with their Howitzers. They fired some shot from the other side the water, and some ricochet from Stanhope’s Tower. The French Fleet in sight to the West. A 13 Inch shell fell through the light hole into the Grand communication between the main ditch and Princes line, and burst in the midst of the Guards which paraded there, without hurting anybody; firing of Small Arms at each other all night. The besiegers began to Cannonade very early this morning, and fired very briskly from all their Batteries, except the 5 Gun Battery, from whence however they fire a gun now and then.

June 14th. A little before Day, a Deserter came in from the Enemy of the Regiment De Talaru, the only part of whose intelligence that can be credited, is, that two more Regiments were arrived from Franco since their last disembarkation. He says that near 2,500 of their Army are either killed or wounded; their fire not so violent as two Days ago; in the afternoon another Deserter was sent in from Marlborough Fort, who appeared to be out of his senses; our fire as warm as usual.

June 15th. The Enemy’s fire still less than usual, and few shells were thrown by them in the night; they however fired pretty smartly from their Howitzers, and threw pieces of shells out of their Mortars; we kept a very brisk fire on that part of the Town where they were heard at work, and where it is imagined they are constructing a Battery.  Lieut. Armstrong died this morning of his wounds. One face of the West Bastion, and N. W. Curtain of the Castle, are so battered by the Enemy’s six and ten Gun Batteries, that the Guns of them are drawn back, and the parapet thickened inwards; the same is likewise done to the N. W. face of the Queen’s Redoubt, and the direction of two of the Embrazures altered, in order to bear on the Enemy’s five Gun Battery.  The besiegers have removed three of their Mortars to the right of Stanhope’s Tower, from whence they frequently throw shells to the Marlborough, which returns upon them a smart fire from two 9 Prs that bear upon them; and upon their ricochet Battery near Stanhope’s Tower.

June 16th. The Enemy fired Howitzers and ricochet shot, but threw not many shells in the Night; our return was as warm as usual. Lieut. Francis of Cornwallis’s Regiment had his arm broke by the Splinter of a shell, while on Guard at St Stephens, and had it cut off; and Lieut. Young of the Fusiliers wounded in the Leg in the Castle square, while on Guard there.  The Enemy fire very little from their five Gun Battery, however they frequently work at it during the night; for several days past they have fired a great deal of Mitraille.

June 17th. This morning the Enemy opened a battery of three Guns, at the same place where they had before shewn three Embrazures, that were destroyed by the heavy fire of the Argyle, namely a little to the right of their gabionade near Major Innes’s.  The Enemy fire again so warmly from their five Gun Battery, that the Gunners cannot stand upon the Argyle and Anstruther; firing of Small Arms from the Enemy all night; some fascines set on fire at the West lunette, at the extinguishing of which we had three or four men killed by the Enemy, who kept a constant fire on us from every part. It having been found that the quantity of Wine and aquadent provided for the Troops, was insufficient to answer the present allowance of a pint per Day of the former to each Man; and two drams per Day of the latter, to the Men on Duty. The allowance of Wine was reduced to half a pint, a Man, and a Dram only to the Gunners while on the Battery. The Enemy very busy pulling down houses in the Town, behind the little Parade, where it is supposed they will soon have a Battery. In consideration of the scarcity of Officers, which was become Greater, by sickness and accidents, a Subaltern was taken from the Queen’s redoubt. Within these last 24 Hours, we have had the misfortune to lose several Men by Small Arms.

June 18th.  We manned the Guns on the N. E. Ravelin, and silenced the Enemy’s 3 Gun Battery; they poured us in a great many shells and Howitzers in the night, which we returned as warmly. It appears that the besiegers during the night had carried on a single row of Gabions from the Left of their Gabionade, near their 3 Gun Battery, towards the water side.

June 19th We took away our Men from tho N. E. Ravelin, and mounted four 32 Prs on Argyle’s covered way, but the Enemy soon destroyed the Merlons of that work, and silenced the Guns; they gave us a great many Howitzers shells and ricochet shot in the night, for some time past they have fired small shot at the Embrazures, getting into Cellars and Houses were they are not easily seen, and firing through small holes at every one who shew their heads above the parapet.  The working party employed in repairing the Argyle and Anstruther. Yesterday the besiegers brought two Guns to fire upon the N. E. Ravelin; but to no effect.

June 20th. The Enemy’s fire from their Gun Batteries not so great as usual, they have been heard hard at work every night in the Town where we imagined they are about something of consequence; we have thrown them a great number of Shells in the night; and fired grape shot often on the Town to annoy them; they have given us few shells in the night, but fired smartly their Howitzers and ricochet shot.  The working party still employed at the Argyle and Anstruther. The besiegers for some days past have been straitened for want of Ammunition; it is imagined they are now landing a fresh supply; as several of their people are seen passing and repassing to the Cove on Capo Mola side with hand barrows.  Last night the Embrazures of the Argyle covered way were repaired, and this morning we fired about 12 or 14 Rounds from them; but were again obliged to desist from the same cause as the Day before.

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