The Transport of Troops by Sea
Transport of troops by sea under sail was often difficult, unpleasant and dangerous. Many accounts, some mentioned here, relate the horrors experienced. The institution of the Transport Board achieved some improvement, but the terrible experience of troops returning from Coruna in gales was fresh in the mind of Lord Melville in 1810 when he advocated the employment of armed troop ships in lieu of hired transports. An account, considered here, of Lt-Col Charles Hastings of the 34th Regiment written in 1787 of their return from the war in America seeking reimbursement for his expenses and those of the owner of the vessel which saved the troops from their sinking transport, found by the writer among Home Office papers, describes the experience they went through.