London Gazette

Issue 20709, page 834

Downing-Street, February 11, 1842.

Downing-Street, February 11, 1842.

DISPATCHES, of which the following are copies, addressed by Lieutenant - General Sir Hugh Gough, K.G. C.B., to the Right Honourable the Governor-General of India in Council, have been received by Her Majesty's Government:

Head Quarters, Ship Marion, Amoy Harbour, September 5th, 1841.

To the Right Honourable the Earl of Auckland, G.C.B., Governor General, &c. &c. &c.

MY LORD, —I am happy to be enabled to report to your lordship the complete success of the operations against Amoy, with very trifling loss ; my anticipations in regard to the preparations of the enemy have been fully realized, but I did not calculate on so feeble a resistance.

2. The expedition left Hong Kong Harbour on Saturday, the 21st August, but, in consequence of light winds, the fleet did not clear the Lemma passage until Monday the 23d, and on the evening of the 25th, we arrived in the outward anchorage of Amoy, a few shots only having been fired, as we were running through a chain of islands, which form the mouth of this anchor age, and most, of which the Chinese had fortified. As it was blowing very fresh, I could not get on board the flag ship until the following morning, when I accompanied their Excellencies Sir Henry Pottinger and Admiral Sir William Parker, in the Phlegethon steamer, to reconnoitre the defences, with a view to the commencement of immediate operations. The enemy allowed, us to do so without firing a shot, arid the plan of attack was at once decided upon, a summons having been previously sent in, requiring the surrender of the town and island of Amoy to Her Majesty's forces.

3. The enemy's defences were evidently of great strength, and the country by nature difficult of access. Every island, every projecting headland, from whence guns could bear upon the harbour, was occupied, and strongly armed. Commencing from the point of entrance into the inner harbour on the Amoy side, the principle sea-line of defence, after a succession of batteries and bastions in front of the outer town, extended for upwards of a mile in one continuous battery of stone, with embrasures roofed by large slabs thickly covered with clods of earth, so as to form a sort of casement, and afford perfect shelter to the men in working their guns. Between some of the embrasures, were embankments to protect the masonry, and 96 guns were mounted in this work, which terminated in a castellated wall, connecting it with a range of precipitous rocky heights, that run nearly parallel to the beach at a distance varying from a quarter to half a mile. Several smaller works were apparent at intervals amid the rocks.

3. The entrance to the inner harbour is by a channel about six hundred yards across, between Amoy and the island of Koo-lang-soo, upon which several strong batteries were visible, and some of these flanked the sea-line and stone battery. It appeared expedient, therefore, to make a simultaneous attack on these two prominent lines of defence.

4. It was proposed that the two line-of-battle ships, with the two large steamers, should attack the