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the credit, and pocketed the principak part of the 1812. cash; while the poor silly Britons, whose prompt 0. attention to the sails, and steady perseverance at the guns, had contributed so mainly to the victory, , slunk away in the back-ground, disowned by those whom they had so effectually served, and scorned and scouted by those, against whom they had so traitorously fought. That a very great proportion of the crew of the British United-States were british seamen, will have been *:::: assumed from our previous statements on the subject. them. That such was the fact was proved, by several of the Macedonian's men recognising old shipmates. One of the officers’ servants, a young lad from London, named William Hearne, actually found among the hostile crew his own brother This hardened traitor, after reviling the british, and applauding the american service, used the influence of seniority, in trying to persuade his brother to enter the latter. The honourable youth, with tears in his eyes, replied: “If you are a d-d rascal, that's no reason I should be one.” It appears, likewise, that one of the Macedonian's quartermasters had served his time with many of the crew of the United-States, out of the ports of Sunderland, Shields, and Newcastle. The great proportion of british seamen among the crew of the american frigate accounted for so many of her guns being named after british ships, and some of the most celebrated british naval victories. “Captain Carden,” says Mr. Marshall, observing “Victory' painted on the ship's side over one port, and * Nelson' over another, asked commodore Decatur the reason of so strange an anomaly; he answered, ‘the men belonging to those guns served many years with lord Nelson, and in the Victory. The crew of the gun named Nelson were once bargemen to that great chief, and they claim the privilege of using his illustrious name in the way you have seen.’ The commodore also publicly declared to captain Carden, that there was not a seaman in his ship, who
1812, had not served from five to 12 years in a british man ‘OT of war.” After reading this, we naturally take up the “Register,” which has already been so useful to us, to see of what state commodore Decatur was a native: we find, as we expected, that he did not come so far north as captain Hull, having been born in Maryland, Virginia. ... ... “The manner," says Mr. M., “ in which captain #. Carden was received by his generous enemy, after the ... surrender of the Macedonian, is worthy of mention. Deca. On presenting his sword to commodore Decatur, the ..., latter started back, declared he never could take the Cárden sword of a man who had so nobly defended the honour ; of it, requested the hand of that gallant officer, whom it had been his fortune in war to subdue, and added that, though he could not claim any merit for capturing a ship so inferior, he felt assured captain Carden would gain much, by his persevering and truly gallant defence. The commodore subsequently gave up all the british officers' private property, extending his generosity to even a quantity of wine, which they had purchased at Madeira for their friends in England.” H That commodore Decatur should have held out his hand to captain Carden, will not be considered surprising, when we state that, not many months before, the two officers had met as friends in Chesapeake bay; nor will it appear extraordinary that, on seeing his old acquaintance, the former should have “started back,” especially when he recollected the opinion which captain Carden, in some friendly disputation about the relative force
of their two frigates, had given, respecting the
comparative effectiveness of 18 and 24 pounders.
Commodore Decatur's treatment of the Macedonian's
* Marshall, vol. ii. p. 1019. t Ibid. p. 1014,
was to be found on board the american frigate, with 1812. so many able seamen that could be spared from her Co.' numerous crew, and with all the advantages that a Time fortnight's calm weather gave him, it took the whole taken of that time to place his prize in a seaworthy state; ..." a clear proof how much she had been shattered. MaceThat service accomplished, the two frigates, the * Macedonian under the command of lieutenant William Henry Allen, late first of the United-States, made sail towards the coast of America. Owing to adverse and baffling winds, the ships were until noon on the 4th of December, ere they came in sight of New-London lighthouse, on their way through the Sound to New-York. Singular indeed was it, that these two frigates, one so crippled in her masts, should have been, during a passage of more than o five weeks, not merely unmolested, but, as far as gates we know, unseen, by a single british cruiser. On N. her arrival at New-York, the Macedonian was of York. course purchased by the american government, and, being nearly a new ship, (built in 1810,) became a great acquisition to the republican navy; in which, under the same name, she was rated as a 36-gun frigate, and was the smallest ship of her class. It was not enough for the lieutenants, petty-officers, A. and seamen of the frigate United-States, to try. the effect of their eloquence upon the late crew of..." the Macedonian; commodore Decatur must use his british personal endeavours to inveigle them into the ser-.” vice of their country’s enemy. On arriving off NewLondon, as if the shrewd-inspiring air of Connecticut had already begun to exert its influence, the commodore sent the british officers on shore on their parole; meaning to carry the Macedonian's late crew with him to New-York. These he threatened to put in the prison-ship there, if they did not immediately enlist. Fortunately for the poor fellows, some delay arose in the two ships moving from before NewLondon; and, in the mean time, the british officers on
shore became acquainted with the very honourable
Letter of capt. Decatur.
scheme of an american officer, “who,” says captain
Brenton, “was an ornament to his country.” The officers remonstrated with the commodore on the subject, and returned on board. The consequence was, that the seven or eight foreigners, who were fiddlers and trumpeters on board the Macedonian, and three or four others of her late crew represented as Americans, were all that entered the american service.
In his ietter to the secretary of the american navy, captain Decaturgives his prize, “49 carriage-guns;” thus officially reckoning, for the first time, we believe, a boat-carronade found on board a captured frigate. He describes the Macedonian to be of the “largest class.” What then must the United-States be, that was full one-fourth larger ? He says: “ The enemy, being to-windward, had the advantage of engaging us at his own distance, which was so great, that for the first half hour we did not use our carronades, and at no time was he within the complete effect of our musketry and grape; to this circumstance, and a heavy swell, which was on at the time, I ascribe the unusual length of the action.” In answer to this,
captain Carden says, that one of the first shot that
struck the Macedonian was a 42-pounder, which
His reward for his victory.
* Brenton, vol. v. p. 61. t Marshall, vol. ii. p. 1013. # See p. 174.
in honour of “the brilliant victory gained by the 1813; frigate United-States over the british frigate Macedonian.” A special committee also determined, that the Macedonian was quite equal to the UnitedStates; and, an act of congress of the 28th of June, 1798, having provided that, “if a vessel of superior, or equal force, shall be captured by a public-armed vessel of the United States, the forfeiture shall accrue wholly to the captors,” the amount of the Macedonian's valuation, 200000 dollars, was paid over to commodore Decatur, his officers, and crew. In March, 1813, captain Carden, his officers, and #. surviving crew arrived from the United States at the on island of Bermuda, and on the 27th of the succeeding : May were tried for the loss of their ship. The fol-optain lowing was the sentence pronounced: “Having most . strictly investigated every circumstance, and ex-officers amined the different officers and ship's company; and having very deliberately and maturely weighed and considered the whole and every part thereof, the court is of opinion; that, previous to the commencement of the action, from an over anxiety to keep the weathergage, an opportunity was lost of closing with the enemy; and that, owing to this circumstance, the Macedonian was unable to bring the United-States to close action until she had received material damage. But, as it does not appear that this omission originated in the most distant wish to keep back from the engagement, the court is of opinion, that captain John Surman Carden, his officers, and ship's company, in every instance throughout the action, behaved with the firmest and most determined courage, resolution, and coolness; and that the colours of the Macedonian were not struck, until she was unable to make further resistance. The court does therefore most honourably acquit captain John Surman Carden, the officers, and company of his majesty's late ship Macedonian, and captain Carden, his officers, and company, are hereby most honourably acquitted accordingly. The court cannot, WOL, WI. N