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M815, where it ought to have fallen; and, in the unplea. sant task of detailing, what, the more it is investiated, the more it will show itself to be, the most ño, piece of business recorded in these six volumes, we should neither have had our statements called in question nor our motives misunderstood. Hornet . On the 20th of January, six days after the Pre*::::... sident and store-brig Macedonian had escaped from Fo New-York, the Peacock, Hornet, and store-brig #. in Tom-Bowline succeeded also in getting to sea. On M. the 23d the Hornet parted company from her two guin, consorts, and proceeded straight to the island of Tristan-d'Acunha, the first rendezvous for the squadron. On the 20th of March captain Biddle was informed of the peace by a neutral; and on the 23d, at 11 A. M., when just about to anchor off the north end of the above island, the Hornet fell in with the british brig-sloop Penguin, of 16 carronades, 32pounders and two sixes, captain James Dickinson. ... Before, narrating the action that ensued, it will, # we consider, prove useful to point out a few of the ... circumstances under which the parties met. The was armament of the Hornet has already, on more than * one occasion, been shown:* she now carried, in lieu of her two long twelves, two long 18-pounders; and, as these, owing to their great length, could not con: veniently be fought through the foremost or usual long-gun ports, they were mounted amidships. She had musketoons in all her tops, each piece throwing 50 buck-shot at a discharge, and upon each quarter a 3 or 4 pound brass swivel, fitted on a chock. All this had been done to bring the Hornet nearer to an “equality” with the Loup-Cervier, in case the challenge, to which we have already alluded, had been accepted. Her crew, consisting at this time of 165 men, (eight absent in a prize,) had also, it may be presumed, been well culled preparatory to the
expected contest. Each man had a boarding-helmet, 1815; similar to those we described as worn by the crew of the Constitution.* The Penguin was commissioned, for the first time, . in November, 1813; and, as a proof how much jing 'brigs of her class were wanted in the british navy,"." there were but 81 in commission on the 1st of the " succeeding January. After having been run up by the contract-builder in the usual slight and hurried manner, to be ready on the emergency, (there being, as already stated, no more than 81 such vessels in commission,) the Penguin was to be manned with equal recklessness about consequences. In respect to captain and officers generally, the Penguin might compete with any brig of her class; but, as to men, when she did get them all on board, which was not until June, 1814, they were, with the exception, probably, of not being disaffected, a worse crew than even the Epervier's. Her 17 boys, poor little fellows, might do very well six or seven years to come. Her men, her misnamed “british seamen,” consisted, except a portion of her petty officers, of very old and very young individuals; the latter, pressed men, the former discharged ineffectives. Among the whole number, thus obtained, 12 only had ever been in action. One might suppose, that a vessel so “manned,"The especially after a knowledge of the fact, that four of it the same description of sloops had been captured, ..., each by an américan sloop of the same nominal, too. whatever may have been her real, force, would have been sent to escort some convoy from the Downs along the english coast; a service in which, as against the pickaroons that usually infested the Channel, the appearance of a force was almost as effective as its reality. Oh, no. The aforesaid emergency required, that the Penguin should be sent to the Cape of Good Hope, to traverse the very track in
* See p. 476.
1813; which the Java had met, and been captured by, the Constitution. Accordingly, in the month of September, the Penguin sailed for her distant destination. While on the Cape station, she lost several of her men by sickness; and, previously to her being despatched by vice-admiral Charles Tyler, the commander in chief at the Cape, in pursuit of the american priva. teer ship, Young-Wasp, the Penguin received on board from the Medway 74, as a loan for that special service, 12 marines: thus making her complement 105 men and 17 boys, or 122 in the whole. H. Had the vessel in sight to-windward been rigged havio, with three masts instead of two, and had she, on her : near approach, proved by her signals to be a british Hole cruiser, captain Biddle would have marked her H. down in his log as a “frigate,” and have made off go, with all the canvass he could spread. Had the ship, ship. nevertheless, overtaken the Hornet, and been, in *P. reality, a trifle superior in force to her, captain Biddle, we have no doubt, would have exhausted . his eloquence in lauding the blessings of peace, before he tried the effect of his artillery in a struggle for the honours of war. However, the vessel approaching was evidently a brig; and the utmost extent of a brig-sloop's force was thoroughly known. : When she first descried the Hornet in the northhases west by west, the Penguin was steering to the east.." ward, with the wind fresh from the south-southon west. With all the promptitude that was to be i.e. expected from the gallant first lieutenant of the Cerberus in the action off Lissa, captain Dickinson bore up in chase. At 1 h. 45 m. P. M., Tristan d’Acunha bearing south-west distant three or four miles, the Penguin hoisted her colours, a St.-George’s ensign, and fired a gun, to induce the stranger to show hers. The Hornet immediately luffed up on the starboard tack, hoisted american colours, and discharged her broadside; and the Penguin, on rounding to upon the same tack, fired hers in return.
Thus the action commenced, within about pistol
shot distance. The Hornet’s star and bar shot soon 1815. reduced the Penguin's rigging to a state of disorder; and a tolerably well-directed discharge of round and grape, meeting no adequate return, especially as the carronades, owing to their insecure mode of mounting, turned half round almost everytime they were discharged, made a sensible impression upon the Penguin's hull. At 2 h. 15 m. P. M., as the Penguin drifted nearer, the Hornet bore away, with the semblance of retiring from the contest, but in reality to take a more favourable position for doing . execution with her gunnery. Captain Dickinson, on o this, bore up with the intention to board. Before,” however, this gallant officer could put his plan into execution, he received a mortal wound.
Lieutenant James M*Donald, who now succeeded. to the command, aware of the brig's disabled state, flow, saw that the only chance of success was to attempt." his captain's measure. Accordingly, at 2 h. 25 m., loses the Penguin ran her bowsprit between the Hornet's ... main and mizen rigging on the starboard side. The mast. heavy swell lifting the ship ahead, the brig's bowsprit, after carrying away the Hornet’s mizen shroud, stern-davits, and spanker-boom, broke in two, and the foremast went at the same moment, falling in-board directly upon the foremost and waist guns on the larboard or engaged side. These guns becoming, in consequence, completely disabled, and the after guns being equally so from the drawing of the breeching-bolts, an attempt was made to bring a fresh broadside to bear ; but the Penguin was in too unmanageable a state to be got round. In this dilemma no alternative remained; and at 2 h. ion35 m. P. M. lieutenant M*Donald hailed to say, that " the Penguin surrendered. After a lapse of 25 minutes, an officer from the Hornet came on board to take possession.
Out of a crew, as already stated, of 105 men and Losson 17 boys, the Penguin lost her commander, boat- #. swain, and four seamen and marines killed, four
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1815; others mortally wounded, and her second lieutenant, (John Elwin, very severely,) one master's mate, (John Holmes Bond,) one midshipman, (John Noyes, each of whom lost a leg,) purser's clerk, and 24 seamen and marines wounded, for the most part slightly. Even the Hornet was beginning to fall off in her gunnery. Most of the Penguin's men were wounded by musketry; and the bowsprit, and the foremast along with it, fell chiefly owing to the two vessels getting foul in the manner they did, while so heavy a sea was running. Da- The Hornet received a few shot in the hull; one .* of which was so low down as to keep her men con!..." stantly at the pumps. Out of a crew of 163 men Hornet and two boys, the Hornet lost, by the acknowledgment of her officers, only two seamen killed and 11 wounded ; but, according to the observation of the british officers, her loss was much greater. Just as Mr. Edward B. Kirk, one of the Penguin's midshipmen, and the very first prisoner that reached the Hornet, was stepping upon her deck, the crew were in the act of throwing a man overboard; but a struggle or convulsive twitch in the body occasioned his being hauled in again. The poor man's lower jaw had been nearly all shot away; yet he lived, and was walking about the deck in the course of a few days. This shows the hurry in which the american officers were, to get their killed out of the way before the arrival of the prisoners; and the time necessary to remove every appearance of blood and carnage contributed to the delay in sending for them. . Even when the British did come on board, buckets of water were dashing about and brooms at work on all parts of the deck. The Penguin's second lieutenant counted 16 of the Hornet's men lying in their cots; and several of her men told some of their former shipmates, whom they discovered among the Penguin's crew, that the Hornet had 10 men killed by the first and second broadsides. - We cannot, with any consistency, offer the trifling