Captain Loch's expedition up the Saint Juan De Nicaragua.
In 1848 Captain Granville G. Loch led a boat expedition up the Saint Juan de Nicaragua, which was as spiritedly carried out as any in the times of the previous war. It consisted of the boats of his own ship the Alarm and the Vixen, Commander Rider; and its object was to punish a certain Colonel Sales of the Nicaraguan army, who, after carrying off two British subjects and committing various outrages, had fortified himself in the town of Serapaqui, situated about thirty miles up the river. The current runs at the rate of five knots an hour, and the fort was situated at the head of a long reach, its defences consisting of six angular stockaded entrenchments eight feet in height, of considerable thickness, one side of each looking down the reach and the other across the river, completely commanding the only landing-place. Notwithstanding the strength of the current, Captain Loch commenced the ascent with twelve boats, carrying 260 officers and men, accompanied by the consul in his own boat. Passing over numerous downfalls and rapids, by immense exertions the party, at the end of seventy-two hours, got almost in sight of the fort. Unhappily, the consul and a friend accompanying him fell overboard during the night, and both were drowned. The next morning on approaching the fort the boats were received by a tremendous fire from it and from both banks of the river, which riddled them with shot, broke nearly half the oars, killed two men, and severely wounded Mr Turner, a midshipman, and several others. Notwithstanding this, pulling on against the strong current for an hour and forty minutes, they got past the batteries, and then, dropping down to the landing-place, sprang on shore, and the crews, uttering a loud cheer, stormed the stockades. The Nicaraguans withstood them for some time, but at length giving way fled into the forest, leaving twenty dead behind them, while twice that number were wounded, and two officers and seven men captured. The boats returned down the river, and arrived safely on board the ships.