Page:Yule Logs.djvu/97

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81
"A FRENCHMAN'S GRATITUDE"

so our Government—more power to its elbow!—has decided to send an expedition to turn the Turks out of the very places we turned them into; in short, we're goin' to punish the haythins for havin' the impudence to hob-nob and make friends with the French."

"And are we to join this expedition, Paddy?" I asked.

"We are, me son," was the reply.

Paddy Cantillon's news proved to be true. Orders had already been issued for an expedition to be fitted out in Sicily, for the purpose of making a descent on the coast of Egypt, and occupying Alexandria and Rosetta, and the same evening it was officially notified that the 35th would be one of the regiments employed on this service.

The expedition sailed from Sicily on the 6th March. The military force was under Major-General Mackenzie Fraser, and consisted of the 20th Light Dragoons,[1] a detachment of artillery, the 31st, 35th, 78th, and De Rolle's regiments, and the Chasseurs Britanniques.[2] We encountered very bad weather shortly after putting to sea; nineteen sail parted company on the night of the 7th, and it was not until the 15th that we sighted the Arabs' Tower.

Before allowing the transports to approach within sight of the coast, our commodore (Captain Hallowell of the Apollo, 74) ran in-shore to obtain some information. Major Misset, the British resident at Alexandria, advised an immediate landing, assuring the commodore that the inhabitants were favourably disposed towards us, and inimical to the French; accordingly the transports were signalled to stand close in, as soon as the squadron anchored in the western harbour. A summons to surrender was then sent to the Turkish governor, which he promptly declined.

  1. The 20th Light Dragoons—raised as the Jamaica Light Horse in 1791, styled the 20th Light Dragoons in 1794, and disbanded in 1817.
  2. De Rolle's Regiment and the Chasseurs Britanniques—foreign corps in British pay. Both were disbanded or absorbed in 1814-15.