August 1797 Commander in Chief:
became commander in chief of a squadron, which had order to sail to Tenerife
and conquer a Spanish treasure ship, which had sailed to Tenerife to be
safe from the British frigates, which had order to control the Spanish
ship's movement near the Canary Islands.
of the British sailors were on Tenerife to fight against the Spanish,
there weren't enough men to make the bombardment efficient. Again the
assault failed and the British ships retreated from Tenerife towards the
Atlantic Ocean. During the next days, Nelson felt very dissatisfied and
sad, and that was why he returned to Tenerife and tried attacked again.
After Nelson's second attack Santa Cruz got new reinforcements of soldiers
from the other parts of Tenerife. This time Nelson led the boat attack
with a force of 1100 men personally. The Spanish defenders used all their
guns and muskets to stop the "English pirates". The Spanish
fire caused high casualties, and even Nelson was hit by a musket-bullet.
He was taken back to "Theseus" and the ship's doctor amputated Nelson
right arm. While Nelson was lying in "Theseus", the British situation became
hopeless; several post-captains had died and the Spanish had now the perfect
possibility to finish off the English.
After all the wounded had been transferred to the ships, the British left for Portsmouth with casualties of nearly two hundred officers, sailors and soldiers. On this mission Nelson was escorted by his step-son Lt. Josiah Nisbet. On the 6th of September, Nelson had returned to England and was welcomed as a hero, because the population of England still celebrated him as the symbol of the great success in the Battle of St. Vincent. Furthermore the loss of his right arm made his defeat forgotten. After Nelson's recovery was successfully finished he felt strong enough to take a new command about ships of his Majesty's Fleet. Soon he was ordered in "Vanguard" to join the Mediterranean Fleet under the command of Earl St. Vincent.