Page images

1814, upon his trial, and the following was the sentence *To pronounced upon him : “The court having heard the circumstances, determined, that the Chubb was not properly carried into action, nor anchored so as to do the most effectual service ; by which negleet, she drifted into the line of the enemy: that it did not appear, however, that there was any want of courage in lieutenant M'Ghie ; and, therefore, the court did only adjudge him to be severely reprimanded. . - . Ameri- Upon the american accounts we shall bestow but ... a few words. Having seen the effects of commodore Perry's puritanical epistle, commodore Macdonough writes his first letter in the same mock-religious strain: “The Almighty has been pleased to grant us a signal victory on Lake Champlain, in the capture of one frigate, one brig, and two sloops of war of the enemy.” The Confiance a “frigate;" and the Chubb and Finch “sloops of war" | Yet, according to an american writer, commodore Macdonough was “a religious man, as well as a hero, and prayed with his brave men on the morning of the victory.” Cau- In the very summer preceding the Lake Cham.." plain action, some of the american newspaper

comA. editors were blaming commodore Chauncey for not jailing out of Sackett's-Harbour, in the new ships tood Superior and Mohawk, after the latter had been with to launched nearly two, and the former upwards of foot three months. How did that cautious commander ind answer them 2 Why, by writing to the secretary of :* the american navy thus: “I need not suggest to fiance one of your experience, that a man of war may ap... pear, to the eye of a landsman, perfectly ready for sea, when she is deficient in many of the most essential points of her armament; nor how unworthy I should have proved myself of the high trust re

posed in me, had I ventured to sea in the face of an

* Naval Monument, p, 155,

enemy of equal force, without being able to meet 1814. him in one hour after my anchor was weighed.” so. And yet, had poor captain Downie acted with only half this caution, his fair fame would have been tarnished, and the very service to which he belonged scoffed at, by no less a man than the governorgeneral of the british north-american provinces. On the 26th of September the british 74-gun Ameriship Plantagenet, captain Robert Lloyd, 38-gun ... frigate Rota, captain Philip Somerville, and 18-gun . brig-sloop Carnation, captain George Bentham, ..." cruising off the Western Isles, discovered at anchoro. in the road of Fayal the american privateer schoonero. General-Armstrong, of seven guns, including a long ...: 24 or 32 pounder on a traversing carriage, and about generin 90 men, captain Guy R. Champlin. Captain Lloyd ..." sent lieutenant Robert Faussett, in the Plantagenet's pinnace, into the port, to ascertain the force of the schooner, and to what nation she belonged. Owing to the strength of the tide, and to the circumstance of the schooner getting under way and dropping fast astern, the boat drifted nearer to her than had been intended. The american privateer hailed, and desired the Boat to keep off, but that was impracticable owing to the quantity of stern-way on the schooner. The General-Armstrong then opened her fire, and, before the boat could get out of gun-shot, killed two and wounded seven of her men. As the captain of the american privateer had now Capt. broken the neutrality of the port, captain Lloyd de-o' termined to send in and endeavour to cut out his boatsof schooner; which had since come to again with springs * close to the shore. Accordingly, at 8 P.M., the Plan- o, tagenetand Rota anchored off Fayal road; and at 9 P.M. four boats from the Plantagenet and three from the . Rota, with about 180 seamen and marines, under the " command of lieutenant William Matterface, first of the frigate, pulled in towards the road. The Carnation had been directed to cover the boats in their ad

vance; but, owing, as it appears, to the strength of

1814, the current and the intricacy of the navigation, the ‘so brig did not arrive within gun-shot of the american Inabi- schooner, and therefore was not of the slightest use. #. At midnight, after a fatiguing pull against a strong tion to wind and current, the boats got within hail of the :* General-Armstrong, and received from her, and from a battery erected, with a portion of her guns, on the commanding point of land under which she had anchored, a heavy fire of cannon and musketry. In about half an hour, this fire sank two of the boats, and killed or disabled two thirds of the party that had been detached in them. The remainder returned, and at about 2 A. M. on the 27th reached the Rota. i.” . The loss appears to have been of the following : lamentable amount: the Rota's first and third lieu.

i. tenants, (William Matterface and Charles R. Nory the - • * . To e British, man,) one midshipman, and 31 seamen and marines killed, the Rota's second lieutenant, (Richard Rawle,) first lieutenant of marines, (Thomas Park,) purser, (William Benge Basden,) two midshipmen, and 81 seamen and marines wounded. Among the langridge which the Americans fired, were nails, brass buttons, knife-blades, &c.; and the consequence was, that the wounded, as on former occasions De-, recorded in this work, suffered excruciating pain ...t before they were cured. Soon after daylight the the ... Carnation went into the road to destroy the privateer, #... but the Americans saved the British the trouble by

teer. -
setting fire to her themselves.

[ocr errors][merged small]

Two circumstances, in the abstract for the com- 1815. mencement of the present year,” indicate the return o' of peace; the small number of line-of-battle cruisers in commission, and the great number of ships sold, taken to pieces, or otherwise removed from the service.t The number of commissioned officers and masters, officers belonging to the british navy at the beginning of . 1815, was, navy. Admirals • * * * * * * * * 70 Vice-admirals . . . .

. , 73

Rear-admirals . . . . . . 76
39 superannuated 35

Post-captains . . . . . . . 824
35 J5 39

Commanders or sloop-captains 762 - 99 superannuated 60 Lieutenants . . . . . . . 3211 - Masters . . . . . , . 666 And the number of seamen and marines, voted for the service of the same year, was 70000 for three, and 90000 for ten, lunar months.]: On the 2d day of January, 1815, his royal high-New ness the prince regent was pleased to advance theo. splendour, and to extend the limits, of the most Bath. honourable military order of the bath, “to the end that those officers, who have had the opportunity of distinguishing themselves by eminent services during the late war, may share in the honours of the said order, and that their names may be delivered

* See Appendix, Annual Abstract No. 23. t See Appendix, Nos. 11 and 12. of See Appendix, No. 13.

1815; down to remote posterity, accompanied by the `... marks of distinction which they have so nobly earned.” The order of the bath was thenceforward to be composed of three classes. The first class was to consist of knights grand-crosses, and was limited to 72; of whom 12 might be persons who had rendered eminent services to the state in civil and diplomatic employments. The second class, limited to 180, exclusive of 10 foreign officers holding british commissions, was to consist of knights-commanders; and the third class, of companions of the bath. #. The qualifications of a companion of the bath are ...F.” thus defined : “No officer shall be nominated a ** companion of the said most honourable order, unless he shall have received, or shall hereafter receive, a medal, or other badge of honour, or shall have been especially mentioned by name in despatches published in the London Gazette, as having distinguished himself by his valour and conduct in action against his majesty's enemies, since the commencement of the war in 1803, or shall hereafter be named in despatches published in the London Gazette, as having distinguished himself.” This was all very proper; but, suppose the board of admiralty should neglect to publish in the “London Gazette” despatches, incontestably showing, that an officer had “ distinguished himself by his valour and conduct in action”? For instance, had captain Manners of the Reindeer, after having been hewed and hacked as he was, escaped the two bullets that passed through his head, would he not have deserved to be made a companion, at least, if not a knight-commander, of the bath 2 But the account of the Reindeer's action did not appear in the Gazette : therefore captain Manners, had he survived, would not have been officially qualified to receive an honour, designed by the sovereign for the exclusive reward of gallantry. Nay, there would have been another impediment in the way. The order descends no lower than post

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »