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1815, nesses to which he afterwards resorted, have sunk the name of Decatur, in the opinion of every well. informed European, quite as low as that of Rodgers, Bainbridge, or Porter. The case of the Endymion and President has been compared with that of the Eurotas and Clorinde.* Both the french and the american frigate, it is true, were about equally battered in hull; but there was this difference in the conduct of their commanders: captain Denis-Lagarde, when he surrendered, had only his foremast standing; whereas commodore Decatur had all his three royal. masts an-end, and even the sails set upon them. Reason If we have been, or shall again be, a little more ... severe upon the Americans, generally, than accords reit, with the impartial character of these pages, they ... have themselves, and themselves only, to thank. com. Have they not been trying to persuade the rest of * the world, that their naval officers and seamen surlipon pass all others; that they are, in short, “invincible"? . ho has ever heard an American acknowledge, ... that any ship of his was taken by an equal force? . Where can an American be found, who will not *...* persist in declaring, that an equal force op. the Guerrière, Macedonian, and Java, the Frolic, Peacock, and their sister-brigs 2 One fact is re*. markable. Where the Americans have met a decidedly superior force, or an equal force that routed them about in an unexpected manner, they have invariably dropped their crests, and have lost the respect of their conquerors by the tameness of their surrender. Capt. It would be an injustice to captain Hope, not i..." to notice the peculiar modesty of his official letter, He speaks of the cool and determined bravery of his officers and ship's company on the “fortunate occasion;” says, truly, that, “where every individual had so conspicuously done his duty, it would be injustice to particularize;” and, in proof of the exertions and abilities of his men, appeals to “the loss
* See p. 394.
and damages sustained by the enemy's frigate.” Blå. In his letter to rear-admiral Hotham, enclosing that ‘F.C.’ of captain Hope, captain Hayes does ample justice to the Endymion; confirms every statement in her log-extract, which is the groundwork of our account; and emphatically adds: “When the effect produced by her well-directed fire upon the President is witnessed, it cannot be doubted, that captain Hope would have succeeded either in capturing or sinking her, had none of the squadron been in sight.” The senior lieutenant on board the Endymion, William Thomas Morgan, was deservedly promoted to the rank of commander.
On the 8th of March, after having undergone, a *. partial repair, the President, accompanied by the Fre. Endymion, sailed from Bermuda for England; and ..." on the 28th both ships arrived at Spithead. The EndyPresident, of course, was added to the british navy; Hog. but her serious damages in the action, coupled with land. the length of time she had been in service, prevented her from being of any greater utility, than that of affording to Englishmen, many of whom, till then, had been the dupes of their transatlantic “brethren,” ocular demonstration of the “equal force" by which their frigates had been captured.
On the 26th of February the british schooner StSt.-Lawrence, of 12 carronades, 12-pounders, and one . long 9-pounder, commanded by lieutenant Henry of Cranmer Gordon, while proceeding with despatches o from rear-admiral Cockburn, relating to the peace * between Great Britain and the United States, fell ău. in with the american privateer-brig Chasseur, of six * long 9-pounders, and eight carronades, 18-pounders, commanded by captain Thomas Boyle. The brig attacked the schooner, and an engagement ensued; which, the Americans state, lasted at close quarters only 15 minutes, when the St.-Lawrence was carried by boarding. No british official account has been published; but unofficial accounts state, that the action continued much longer.
The St.-Lawrence was a good deal cut up; and,
1815; according to a New Providence paper, lost out of her crew (exclusive of some passengers) of 42 men :... and nine boys, six men killed and 18 wounded. on The Americans made the killed, as they generally ... do, much greater. The Chasseur was also injured in her if and spars; and lost, by the american returns, out of a complement of 115 men, five men killed and eight wounded. Men are not in the best trim for fighting, just upon receiving the news of peace. Sailors are then dwelling upon their discharge from servitude, the sight of long absent friends, and all the ties of their homes and families. But even that, although it perhaps contributed to weaken the efforts, could not impair the courage, of the crew of the St.-Lawrence: they defended her, until nearly half their numbers were killed or wounded. New: , . The british force stationed in Boston bay in the :* beginning of December, 1814, consisted of the 50A. gun ship Newcastle, captain lord George Stuart, #3. I8-pounder 40-gun frigate Acasta, captain Alexander §. Robert Kerr, and 18-gun brig-sloop Arab, captain “” Henry Jane. On the Ilth, when this squadron was cruising off St.-George's shoals, the Newcastle parted company, to reconnoitre the road of Boston. On the 12th lord George discovered lying there the 44-gun frigate Constitution, captain Charles Stewart, in apparent readiness for sea, and the Independance 74, with her lower yards and topmasts struck. The Newcastle then steered for Cape Cod bay; where, in a few hours, after having grounded for a short time on a shoal, she came to an anchor. On the 13th one of her men, from a boat sent on shore, deserted to the Americans. On the 16th the Acasta arrived, and anchored near the Newcastle. Consti- On the 17th, having ascertained, in all probability ... from the Newcastle's deserter, that the two blockfo... ading frigates were not in a situation to offer him any Boston e - annoyance, captain Stewart put to sea. The Constitution stood across the Atlantic to the coast of Spain and Portugal, and cruised for some time off the rock
of Lisbon. In the latter end of January, or beginning 1815. of February, captain Stewart stretched over to the T^* Western isles, and was tracked and followed by the Goin' british 38-gun frigate Tiber, captain James Richard:" Dacres. The latter boarded two or three neutral.” vessels, which had been boarded by the american old, frigate only a few hours before. At one time, it * appears, the Constitution actually got a sight of the Tiber, but did not shorten sail, because captain Stewart, as he is said to have subsequently admitted, thought it probable that the ship was the Eurotas, or some other of the newly fitted 24-pounder frigates, detached in pursuit of him. On the 20th of February, at 1 P.M., the island of Fallsin Madeira bearing west-south-west, distant 60 leagues, one the Constitution, steering to the south-west with a and light breeze from the eastward, discovered, about * two points on her larboard bow, and immediately hauled up for, the british 22-gun ship Cyane,” captain Gordon Thomas Falcon, standing close hauled on the starboard tack, and about 10 miles to-windward of her consort, the 20-gun ship Levant, (18 carronades, 32-pounders, and two nines,) captain and senior officer the honourable George Douglas. At 1 h. 45 m. the Constitution got sight of the Levant, then bearing right ahead of her. At 4 P.M., having stood on to ascertain the character of the stranger, the Cyane made the private signal; and, finding it not answered, bore up for her consort, with the signal flying for an enemy. The Constitution immediately made all sail in chase, and at 5 P. M. commenced firing her larboard bow guns, but ceased soon afterwards, finding her shot fall short. At 5 h. 30 m., the Cyane having arrived within hail of ‘the Levant, captain Douglas expressed to captain Gordon his resolution to engage the enemy's frigate, (known from previous information to be the Constitution,) notwithstanding her superior force, in the hope, by disabling her, to save two valuable convoys, that had
* For her force see vol. v. p. 253.
Constitution attacks Cyane, then Levant.
sailed from Gibraltar a few days previous in company
engage with more advantage. The superior sailing
of the Constitution defeating that plan also, the Levant and Cyane, at 6 P. M., hauled to the wind on the starboard tack, formed in head and stern line, at the distance of rather less than 200 yards apart. At 6 h. 5 m. the Constitution, all three ships having F. hoisted their colours, opened her larboard roadside upon the Cyane, at the distance of about three quarters of a mile on the latter's weather beam. The Cyane promptly returned the fire; but her shot, being all fired from carronades, fell short, while the frigate's long 24-pounders were producing their full effect. In 15 minutes the Constitution ranged ahead, and became engaged in the same manner with the Levant. The Cyane now luffed up for the larboard quarter of the Constitution: whereupon the latter, backing astern, was enabled to pour into the Cyane her whole broadside. Meanwhile the Levant had bore up, to wear round and assist her consort. The Constitution thereupon filled, shot ahead, and gave the Levant two stern rakes. Seeing this, the Cyane, although without a brace or bowline except the larboard fore brace, wore, and gallantly stood between the Levant and Constitution. The latter then promptly wore, and raked the Cyane astern. The Cyane immediately luffed up as well as she could, and fired her larboard broadside at the starboard bow of the Constitution. The latter soon afterwards ranged up on the larboard quarter of the Cyane, within hail, and was about to pour in her star: board broadside; when, at 6h. 50m. P. M., having had most of her standing and running rigging cut to pieces, her main and mizen masts left in a tottering state,