Charles Henri, comte d’Estaing Journal Militaire 1781-1783
full text File Size: 9 K bytes | Add this to my bookbag

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Charles Henri, comte d’Estaing Journal Militaire is a 188-page volume, entitled, "Journal de l'Expedition de Mahón en 1781 et 1782; de l'Expedition de Gibraltar en 1782; de l'Expedition projetté en Amerique sous les Ordres de Monsr. le Cte d'Estaing en 1783." The volume is a French account, by an anonymous author, describing the campaign of the combined French and Spanish armies and fleets against the British at Minorca and Gibraltar, August 15, 1781-April 12, 1783. The volume also contains orders sent to d'Estaing directing him to prepare his fleet for America in early 1783.

In pages 1-65, the author detailed organization of the French forces in Toulon and its departure for the British held Port Mahón in Minorca. He described the make-up of the army at the siege, as well as casualties, weapons, troop movements, conditions of Fort St. Philip (Castell de San Felipe), and the eventual British capitulation. Also noted are disagreements among the French commanders.

In the remainder of the volume, pages 65-188, the author outlined the plan for sending troops to Gibraltar (April 1782), and described stops at various Spanish ports, such as Cádiz, Almería, Málaga, and Algeciras. He also discussed Gibraltar's fortifications, and the British use of heated shot to set fire to French ships. The journal reports on the activities of Louis Berton des Balbes Crillon, duc de Mahón, Marquis de Lafayette, and comte d'Estaing.

Entries of note include:

  • A list of ships involved in the siege of Gibraltar in June 1782 (page 99).
  • A description of the lead-up and action of the "Grand Assault" on September 13-17, 1782 (pages 120-126).
  • A notice of orders sent to d'Estaing on February 22, 1783, commanding him to prepare the fleet for America (page 170).
  • A list of ships to be sent first to America and then to the East Indies under the command of d'Estaing.
Show all series level scope and content notes