Last Words of a Hero: "Thank God I have done my duty." - October 21
- 2013 21 Oct
British Admiral Horatio Nelson lost his right eye capturing Corsica and his right arm attacking the Canary Islands. He captured six and destroyed seven of Napoleon's ships at the Battle of the Nile and successfully assaulted Copenhagen. Horatio Nelson is best remembered, though, for winning one of the greatest naval battles in history: The Battle of Trafalgar. On OCTOBER 21, 1805, the daring 47-year-old Nelson defeated 36-year-old Napoleon's combined French and Spanish fleets, consisting of 33 ships with 2,640 guns off the coast of Spain. The fifteen million dollars Napoleon received two years earlier from selling 600 million acres to the United States was not enough to change the outcome. Admiral Nelson's defeat of the French navy abruptly ended Napoleon's power at sea, and with it, his dreams of world conquest. The 90,000 French troops assembled on the coast of France were forced to abandon their plans of crossing the English Channel and invading Britain. During the Battle of Trafalgar, cannonade and musket shot ripped apart ships at point blank range, killing or wounding nearly ten thousand. Admiral Nelson was fatally shot in the spine. He was carried below deck to the ship's surgeon where he died. Admiral Horatio Nelson's last words were: "Thank God I have done my duty."