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they might have picked men on theirs. Commodore (814. Decatur's amended proposition was: “The Hornet A. shall meet the Loup-Cervier, under a mutual and satisfactory pledge, that neither ship shall receive any additional officers or men, but shall go into action with their original crews respectively.” Was this fair? The Hornet's “ original crew” was 170, including about three boys; the Loup-Cervier's original crew 121, including 18 boys. So that, deducting the boys, the numbers would stand: Americans 167, British 103. The blockade of the american ships in New- UnitedLondon having continued until the season had.” passed, in which commodore Decatur could hope to Mace: effect his escape, the United-States and Macedonian." were moved up the river, to the head of navigation or for heavy vessels, and there dismantled; and, while “ captain Jones and the late crew of the Macedonian proceeded to reinforce the squadron under commodore Chauncey on Lake Ontario, commodore Decatur and his ship's company passed into the President, then at anchor in New-York, her late distinguished commander and his crew having been transferred to the new 44-gun frigate Guerrière, fitting for sea at Philadelphia, and armed on the main deck with 30 medium 32-pounders. On the 7th of April, in the evening, captain the * honourable Thomas Bladen Capel, of the 74-gun Hogue ship Hogue, commanding a small british squadron, . consisting, besides that ship, of the Endymion and is Maidstone frigates, and 14-gun brig-sloop Borer, ...; captain Richard Coote, despatched six boats, con- at Pet. taining 136 men, under the orders of captain Coote, * assisted by lieutenant Harry Pyne, and lieutenant of marines Walter Griffith Lloyd, to attempt the capture or destruction of some american vessels near Pettipague point, about 15 miles up Connecticut river. On the 8th captain Coote and his party reached the point, and, after a slight skirmish with some militia, destroyed all the vessels, 27 in number,
1814, afloat or on the stocks within three miles of the or place, besides several boats and a considerable quantity of naval stores. Three of the vessels were large privateers, completely equipped and ready for sea; and the aggregate burden of the 27 was upwards of 5000 tons. In the evening, after dark, the boats dropped down the river, without rowing; and the British reached their ships with no greater loss than two men killed and two wounded. For this gallant and important exploit, captain Coote obtained post-rank, and lieutenant Pyne his commission as commander. Capt. On the 14th of June captain the honourable ... Charles Paget, of the british 74-gun ship Superb, es detached, under the orders of lieutenant James los Garland, all that ship's boats, and two boats from So, the 18-gun brig-sloop Nimrod, captain George : Hilton, to endeavour to destroy some newly-built ships and other vessels at a place called Wareham, at the head of Buzzard's bay in the state of ConLieut. necticut. Lieutenant Garland completely succeeded Gari, in his object, without incurring the slightest loss, o and destroyed as many ships, brigs, schooners, and yoi. sloops, on the stocks and afloat, as measured in the ware aggregate 2522 tons; also a large cotton manufacham tory, with its contents, valued at half a million of dollars. The extreme intricacy of the navigation rendered it too hazardous to attempt the enterprise without the assistance of daylight. This, however, would necessarily expose the boats, upon their return down the narrow stream, to a fire of musketry from a numerous militia, which, on the His ex- first alarm, had collected from the vicinity. But o the foresight and prompt resolution of lieutenant for en- Garland completely succeeded in obviating the ...; danger that was thus to be apprehended; for, as
... soon as he had destroyed the vessels, and cotton boat. manufactory, he ascertained who were the principal people of the place, and then secured them as hostages for a truce, until the boats were conducted
back out of the reach of difficulty. This produced
the desired effect, and the hostages were relanded 1814. at the first convenient spot. - - S-N-" We have already stated that the american frigate Congress was laid up, and have assigned a reason for her having been so. The only remaining 18pounder frigate belonging to the United States, except the Macedonian in the mud of New-London river, was the Constellation at Norfolk. In the latter end of the year 1813, captain Stewart was . relieved in the command of that frigate by captain. Charles Gordon, and was promoted to the Constitu-oo." tion; which ship had been in a manner rebuilt, and consiiwas lying in President road, Boston, ready for sea. * It appears that this american frigate now mounted a pair of carronades fewer than she did in the Java's action.* But the Constitution had not left either that pair or the pair of which she had previously disarmed herself, on shore, but had transferred them to the hold; so that, as she had the ports for them, they could be remounted in a very few minutes. To compensate for this slight reduction in her armament, i. the Constitution had taken on board a furnace for armaheating shot. Her officers stated, that it would heat." shot to a white heat in 15 minutes, but that “hot shot were not to be used in action, unless the ship was assailed by a superior force.” What an american captain would pronounce “superior force” may be oil, imagined by the numerous american descriptions of “equal force” to be found in these pages. Upon her capstan the Constitution now mounted a piece resembling seven musket-barrels, fixed together with iron bands. It was discharged by one lock; and each barrel threw 25 balls, making 175 shot from the piece within the space of two minutes. What could have impelled the Americans to invent such extraordinary implements of war, but fear, downright fear? Numerically, the Constitution was well manned, having a crew of 480, including three boys; but all the best hands out of her first crew had been draughted to the ships on the lakes, except a few
* See pp. 140, 185.
1814, sent on board the Chesapeake. The ship had Foo, now, therefore, what the Americans would call stateof a bad crew, but what a british captain, judging ... from their personal appearance, would consider a tolerably fine ship's company. To give the men increased confidence in case of being boarded, they were provided with leather caps, fitted with narrow plates of iron, crossing at the top, and bending upward from the lower edge of the crown, to prevent a blow from striking the shoulder after having glanced on the head. Another strong symptom of fear; all the effect of the exertions making by the British, to meet the Americans on terms not quite so unequal as had been the case in nearly every action in which the latter had come off victorious. Consti- On the 1st of January, 1814, after having .." suffered herself to be blockaded, for several weeks, #., by the 38-gun frigate Nymphe, captain Farmery ." Predam Epworth, the Constitution escaped to sea
and to in unperceived from President road. On the 14th
F. of February, to-windward of Barbadoes, captain Stewart captured and destroyed the british 14-gun schooner Pictou ; and on the 23d, when running through the Mona passage on her way homewards, the Constitution fell in with the british 18-pounder 36-gun frigate Pique, captain the honourable Anthony Maitland. The Pique (late french Pallas”) was a remarkably fine frigate of her class, measuring 1029 tons, and mounted, along with her 26 long 18-pounders on the main deck, 16 carronades, 32-pounders, and four long nines on her quarterdeck and forecastle, total 46 guns, with an established complement of 284 men and boys. When, at about noon, they first discovered each other, the two ships were steering to the north-west, with a light wind right aft. The Pique immediately braced her yards by, to allow the stranger, who was astern under a crowd of sail, to come up. At 4 h. 30 m. P.M. the Constitution took in her studding-sails. Observing this, the Pique hauled to the wind on the
* See vol. iii. p. 46.
larboard tack, and, hoisting her colours, made all 1814, sail to close. Almost immediately afterwards, and F.C.’ when bearing from the Pique south-east by south constidistant three miles, the Constitution took a reef in tution her topsails, hoisted her colours, and hauled to the * wind on the starboard tack. . The island of Zachee sail, at this time bore from the Pique north by east distant one 12 or 13 miles. The change of position of each ship . afforded to the other a tolerable idea of the force : which would be opposed to her. The Constitution” counted 13 ports and a bridle on the Pique's main deck, and saw at once that she was of a class inferior to the Guerrière and Java; and the Pique counted 15 ports and a bridle on the Constitution's main deck, and therefore knew as well that she was one of the large class of american frigates. We formerly noticed the directions given by the british admiralty, that the 18-pounder frigates were not to seek an engagement with the american 44-r gun frigates. A prohibitory order of this kind was . in the possession of captain Maitland; but was of . course unknown to his crew. He had the good gage fortune to command one of the finest ship's companies ...i. in the british navy; and, as a proof how much british cano. seamen had been “cowed by the successes of the Americans,” the Pique's men, on observing that it was not captain Maitland's intention to become the assailant, went aft and requested him to bring the american frigate to action. Captain Maitland could do no less than read to them the instructions he had received, but entirely failed in persuading the Pique's crew, that there i. been any necessity for issuing them. Either just before, or just after, the reading of the captain's orders, the crew refused to take their sup-à. per-time grog; alleging as a reason, that they did the . not want “dutch courage to fight a yankee frigate.” ...” Although it is true, that the Constitution was by no means so well manned as when she took the Java or Guerrière, and that the Pique had about 260 men, who, upon an average, were not more than 26 years
of age, and the major part of them good seamen, yet