October 1st - 7th, 1805. Footnotes

Note 1 - Note 2 - Note 3 - Note 4 - Note 5

" October 3rd. P.M. at 6, Queen, Canopus, Spencer, Zealous, Tigre, and Endymion, parted."—Victory's Log. Vice-Admiral Sir Francis Austen, who was then Captain of the Canopus, states that on that day " I had been dining with Lord Nelson on board the Victory, having accompanied my Admiral (Louis); and on taking leave in the evening, Admiral Louis said, 'You are sending us away, my Lord—the Enemy will come out, and we shall have no share in the Battle.' To which Lord Nelson replied,—' My dear Louis, I have no other means of keeping my Fleet complete in provisions and water, but by sending them in detachments to Gibraltar. The Enemy will come out, and we shall fight them; but there will be time for you to get back first. I look upon Canopus as my right hand (she was his second astern in the Line of Battle); and I send you first to insure your being here to help to beat them.' "

His Plan of Attack does not appear to have been issued until the 9th or 10th of October (Vice p. 89—91 post), but it was, perhaps, explained to his Captains some days sooner. It is said that shortly before Lord Nelson left England, he dined with his friend Lord Sidmouth, and after dinner, sitting near a small table, he drew out his Plan upon it, saying, " I shall attack in two lines, led by myself and Collingwood, and I am confident I shall capture either their Van and Centre, or their Centre end Rear.,, The table was afterwards marked with an inscription by Lord Sidmouth.—Life of Lord Hill, by the Rev. Edwin Sidney, p. 368.

Captain George Duff, of the Mars. When Rear-Admiral Louis quitted the Fleet for Gibraltar, Lord Nelson appointed Captain Duff to command the inshore squadron, consisting of four Sail of the Line, which was stationed between the Frigates watching the Enemy in Cadiz, under Captain Blackwood, in the Euryalus, and the main body of the Fleet. This able Officer was killed at Trafalgar. " There was a French Ship on each side of the Mars; and a Spanish Ship, a First rate, on her bow, and a fourth Ship also within range of shot. The Ship on her starboard quarter, the Fougueux, was soon disabled, and it was thought she had struck, but her colours had only been shot away, as she had never ceased to fire. The Captain of Marines [Norman, who was likewise slain] on the poop, seeing that the Fougueux, in dropping to leeward, was getting into a position which would enable her to rake the Mars, and that she was preparing to do so, came down to the quarter-deck to mention it to Captain Duff. The want of wind rendered it impossible to alter the position of the Mars, nor could it with safety be attempted in regard to the Enemy's other Ships. Captain Duff, therefore, said to the Captain of Marines, 'Do you think our guns would bear on her?, He answered, ' I think not, but I cannot see for smoke., 'Then,, replied the Captain, ' we must point our guns at the Ships on which they can bear. I shall go and look, but the men below may see better, as there is less smoke., Captain Duff went to the end of the quarter-deck to look over the side, and then told his Aide de-camp, Mr. Arbuthnot, to go below, and order the guns to be pointed more aft, meaning against the Fougueux. He had scarcely turned round to go with these orders, when the Fougueux raked the Mars. A cannon shot killed Captain Duff, and two seamen who were immediately behind him. The ball struck the Captain on the breast, and carried off his head. His body fell on the gangway, where it was covered with a spare colour, an Union-jack, until after the Action.— Naval Chronicle, vol. xv. p. 272. His son, Mr. Norwich Duff, then only thirteen years old, (now a Post Captain,) had joined the Mars a few weeks before the Battle; and a relative, Mr. Alexander Duff, acting Lieutenant of that Ship, was killed. The following extracts from Captain Duff's letters to his wife, will be read with interest:—"
October 1st.—On Saturday night we were joined by Lord Nelson, with the Victory, Ajax, Thunderer, and the Euryalus, when I had the happiness of receiving yours, my ever dearest wife, of the 8th September, and the papers up to the 7th. Many, many thanks! I dined with his Lordship yesterday, and had a very merry dinner. He certainly is the pleasantest Admiral I ever served under. I hope the Austrians and Russians will make quick work with Buonaparte, and let us get to our homes once more; when I expect to be an Admiral before I am called upon again.,,
" October 10th.
" I am just returned from dining with Browne, of the Ajax, one of my Squadron. He is a very old acquaintance of mine, ever since 1780, when we were in the West Indies together, and have met frequently since on service. I am sorry the rain has begun to-night, as it will spoil my fine work, having been employed for this week past to paint the Ship à la Nelson, which most of the Fleet are doing. He is so good and pleasant a man, that we all wish to do what he likes, without any kind of orders. I have been myself very lucky with most of my Admirals, but I really think the present the pleasantest I have met with: even this little Detachment is a kind thing to me, there being so many senior Officers to me in the Fleet, as it shows his attention, and wish to bring me forward; tent I believe I have to thank my old friend Collingwood for it, as he was on board the Victory when I was sent for.,,
" October 18th.
" You ask me about Lord Nelson, and how I like him. I have already answered that question as every person must do that ever served under him. When we want anything we shall go to Gibraltar, as there is a dockyard and stores there; and I suppose we shall remain off here, till the Combined Fleet gives us the slip. This place is easy to blockade during the summer, but no place can be blockaded in the winter; and although every look-out possible will be kept, I have little doubt of their getting off, if they wish it, during the winter.,,
" Monday morning, October 21st, 1805
" My dearest Sophia, " I have just time to tell you we are going into Action with the 'combined Fleet. I hope and trust in God that we shall all behave as becomes us, and that I may yet have the happiness of taking my beloved wife and children in my arms. Norwich is quite well and happy. I have, however, ordered him off the quarterdeck. Yours ever, and most truly, GEORGE DUFF.,,—Naval Chronicle, vol. xv. pp. 289, 291-293.

Vice-Admiral Collingwood replied to this Letter on the same day:—
" To Vice-Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson, K.B.
" Dreadnought, October 6th, 1805.
" My dear Lord,
" We shall have those fellows out at last: I firmly believe they have discovered that they cannot be subsisted there—their supply from France completely cut off. I proposed the including the Western Ports in the Blockade' soon after their arrival here. A copy of the letter I send.
" The wine supplies go on pretty well. I urge expedition unceasingly, and hope all the Ships will have finished this afternoon. I think at 5, or at 4, the Boats will be better in. There is no great inconvenience in keeping a Transport astern. Colossus, I am sure, will soon be done, and I will send him to your Lordship; but he will make the Signal when he is ready to make sail. I think some Frigate will certainly come through the Straits to-day. In the meantime, the Seventy-four's active and vigilant men will not let your Lordship feel the want of them. Now, my Lord, I will give your Lordship my ideas on the subject of them.—If they are to sail with an easterly wind, they are not bound to the Mediterranean, and your Lordship may depend upon it, the Carthagena Squadron is intended to join them. If they effect that—and with a strong easterly wind they may—they will present themselves to us with forty Sail. If by any good fortune Louis was to fall in with that Squadron, I am sure he would turn them to leeward: for they would expect the whole Fleet was after them; and a French Ensign might bring them to us for protection. Whenever the Carthagena people were expected, they lit the Lighthouse. Captain Blackwood should look to that as a signal.

Commanded by the late Admiral Sir Philip Charles Henderson Durham, G.C.B., who informed the Editor that, " on going on board the Admiral's Ship, he said, 'Durham, I am glad to see you, but your stay will be very short, for Sir Robert Calder sails to morrow, and takes with him all the Captains who were in his Action, to give evidence on his Court Martial. I am sorry to part with you, but you will have to leave your Ship under the command of your First Lieutenant— but go on board and settle that with Sir Robert., Captain Durham went on board Sir Robert Calder's Ship, and saw the Captains who had left their Ships to go home with him, but when he found the Admiralty Order only said the Captains were to go home 'if willing,, he refused, and declined signing a public letter applying for leave to quit his Ship. In a few days, the Enemy,s Fleet being reported to be on the move, Captain Durham sent to Lord Nelson to remind him that he had a large sum in dollars on board the Defiance, and to inquire what was to be done with them. Lord Nelson replied, 'if the Spaniards come out, fire the dollars at them, and pay them off in their own coin., However, in a few days, he sent the Honourable Captain Bouverie, who commanded a Frigate, for the money, and he carried it to Minorca. Shortly afterwards, the Combined Fleets came out, and the battle of Trafalgar took place A few days after the Action, Captain Hardy looked into the cabin of the Defiance, where Captain Durham was laying on a sofa, wounded; and said, ' I hope you are not badly wounded, I have a word of comfort for you: one of the last things Nelson said, before the Action began, was 'Hardy, what would poor Sir Robert Calder give to be with us now! Tell your friend Durham he was the most sensible man of the party, to stick to his Ship.' Captain Durham attended Nelson's funeral, bearing the banner of the deceased as a Knight of the Bath.,,