« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
disparity of force in this action, as an excuse for the 1815. Penguin's capture. The chief cause is to be sought in that which cannot be made apparent in figures; Rethe immense disparity between the two vessels in . the fitting of their guns, and in the effectiveness of action. their crews. . A ship's gun, cast adrift, not only becomes utterly useless as a weapon of offence or defence, but, in the very act of breaking loose, maims and disables the men stationed at it; and, if the sea is rough, as captain Biddle says it was in the present instance, continues to cause destruction among the crew, generally, until again lashed to the ship's side. How much is the evil increased, if, as in the Penguin's case, instead of one gun, several guns break loose. In the midst of all this delay and self-destruction, the enemy, uninterrupted in his operations, and animated by the feeble resistance he meets, quickens his fire ; and, conquering at last, fails not to ascribe, solely to his skill and valour, that victory, which accident had partly gained for him.
We are inclined to think that the prize was not so ** riddled in her hull,” as to render her destruction Penon the morning of the 25th a matter of necessity. ..." The fact is, that, just after the action had ended, the stroyed Peacock and Tom-Bowline hove in sight; and captains Warrington and Biddle, having heard of the peace, were anxious to get to the East Indies as quickly as possible, in order to have their share of the few prizes yet to be taken.
The communicativeness of one of the american officers having conveyed to the ears of lieutenant M’Donald the statement in captain Biddle's official letter, that the Hornet had suffered so slightly in the action, lieutenant M*Donald took an opportunity Anim: of mentioning the circumstance to the american cap-..." tain; when, having drowned his native cunning in dio.
- - - - > closed. wine, (some of poor captain Dickinson's probably,) captain Biddle admitted the fact, but attempted to gloss it over by stating, that it was necessary to say so and so, * ; and so, in order to
1815, to make the thing be properly received in the United `... States. Here was an acknowledgment! How unnecessary, then, have been all our previous labours in detecting and exposing the misrepresentations contained in the american official accounts. Of course, we are saved all further trouble in showing, how completely captain Biddle has mistated every important fact connected with the capture of the Penguin. Pea. On the 28th of April, at daylight, in latitude 39° ... south, longitude 34° west, the Peacock and Hornet .* bore down upon, in order to capture as an indiaman, in the british 74-gun ship Cornwallis, captain John ... Bayley, bearing the flag of rear-admiral sir George wiis, Burlton, K. C. B. The mistake was soon discovered, ... and a chase commenced, during which the Peacock and separated to the eastward. In the afternoon the * Cornwallis, when gaining fast upon the Hornet, had to heave to and lower a boat for a marine that had dropped overboard. This delay, aided by the unskilful firing of the Cornwallis on the following day, saved the Hornet; but the chase continued until 9 A. M. on the 30th, when the 74, finding further pursuit useless, shortened sail and hauled to the wind. The closeness of the chase, however, had effected enough to render the Hornet, as a cruiser, utterly useless. She hove overboard her guns, muskets, cutlasses, forge, bell, anchors, cables, shot, boats, spare spars, and a considerable portion of her ballast, and was of course obliged to steer straight for the United States. . The Peacock, after she had been compelled to falls in }. from her consort, pursued her way to the East N. ndies; and, on the 30th of June, being off Anjier in on the Straits of Sunda, fell in with the honourable company’s brig-cruiser Nautilus, of 10 carronades, 18-pounders, and four long nines, commanded by lieutenant Charles Boyce. On the Peacock's approach within hail, the lieutenant inquired if her captain knew that peace had been declared. Let us suppose, for a moment, that, just as the american 'o commander was listening to the hail from the Nau- June. tilus, the latter became suddenly transformed into the british 22-gun ship Volage, captain, Joseph Drury, a sister-vessel to the Cyane, and at that time cruising in the East Indies. Captain Warrington would then have promptly hailed in turn, with the best speaking-trumpet in the ship; thanked captain . Drury for his politeness, and been the first to urge the folly, not to say wickedness, of wounding and killing each other, while any doubt existed about peace having been signed. But it was a vessel he . . could almost hoist on board the Peacock. He there. ..." fore called out: “Haul down your colours instantly." strike. This “reasonable demand” lieutenant Boyce very properly considered as an imperious and insulting mandate, and, fully alive to the dignity of the british flag, and to the honour of the service to which he was acknowledged to be an ornament, prepared to cope with a ship, whose immense superiority, as she overshadowed his little bark, gave him nothing to expect short of a speedy annihilation. t will scarcely be credited that, about a quarter of of an hour before this, Mr. Bartlett, the master of inton the Nautilus, and cornet. White, one of her passen-'. gers, in one boat, and Mr. Macgregor, the master- again attendant at Anjier,in another, had gone on board the : Peacock, in a friendly way, to communicate the news of peace. Scarcely had Mr. Bartlett stepped upon the american ship's deck than, without being allowed to ask a question, he was hurried below. Happily, Mr. Macgregor met with rather better success. The instant he arrived on board, he communicated to the Peacock's first lieutenant, the most authentic information of peace having been concluded between Great Britain and America, grounded on no less authority than Mr. Madison's proclamation; which Mr. Macgregor had himself received from an american ship, passing the Straits on her way to China. What effect had this communication?
1815; Captain Warrington, whom the single word “Peace!" ought to have made pause, before he proceeded to spill the blood of his fellow-creatures, ordered Mr. Macgregor to be taken below. #. Captain Warrington does not admit that Mr. sob- Macgregor mentioned that peace existed; although . the latter gentleman has sworn that he did, both to noid- captain Warrington's first lieutenant and to his pur. i. ser. As to the imputed silence of messieurs Bartlet and White, would two officers, who had voluntarily entered on board the ship of a nation, with whom they knew a peace had just been concluded, have acted in so senseless a manner as to suffer themselves to be made prisoners, without some such words as, “Peace is signed,” bursting from their lips? Even the ceremony of gagging, however quickly performed, could not have stopped an exclamation, which their personal liberty, and every thing that was dear to them as men, would prompt them to utter. The same motives would have operated upon the two boats' crews; and there cannot be a doubt, ... that they all gave some sort of intimation, that peace Nan had been signed. But captain Warrington, as the .* Peacock's purser could not help saying, wanted to pei, have a little brush with the british brig. He saw ... what a diminutive vessel she was, and, accordingly, der, ordered his men to fire into her. They did so; and H the Nautilus was soon compelled to haul down her i., colours. But this the brig did not do until her on gallant commander was most dangerously wounded, ... one seaman, two european invalids, and three lascars killed, her first lieutenant, (mortally,) two seamen, and five lascars wounded. The wound of lieutenant Boyce was of a most serious description. A grapeshot, that measured two inches and one-third in diameter, entered at the outside of his hip, and passed out close under the backbone. This severe wound did not, however, disable him. In a few minutes a 32-pound shot struck obliquely on his
right knee, shattering the joint, splintering the leg
bone downwards and the thighbone a great way up- 85. wards. This, as may be supposed, laid the young T’ officer prostrate on the deck. The dismounting of a bow gun, and four or five men wounded, appears to have been the extent of the injury sustained by the Peacock. Fearful that these facts would come to light, cap-. tain Warrington had additional reasons for endea-. vouring to lessen the enormity of his offence, by ol" stating, in his official letter, that “lascars” were ring the only sufferers. Poor wretches' and were they ...” to be butchered with impunity, because their com-duct. plexion and the american captain's were of different hues 2 Whose heart was the blackest, the transaction in which they lost their lives has already shown to the world. Had the Volage, as we said before, been the vessel that had hove in sight, every man in the Peacock, in less than three minutes after the master-attendant at Anjier and the other british officers had come on board, would have been informed of the peace. Captain Warrington would have approached the stranger, if he approached at all, without opening his ports or displaying his helmets. In short, he that hectored so much in one case, would have cringed as much in the other; and the commander of the United States' sloop Peacock would have run no risk of being by his government “blamed for ceasing,” or rather, for not commencing, “hostilities, without more authentic evidence that peace had been concluded.” The first lieutenant of the Nautilus, Mr. Mayston, #. languished until the 3d of December, a period of five oi months, when a mortification of his wound carried i. him off. About a fortnight after the action, lieu- of his tenant Boyce suffered amputation very near his hip, * on account of the length and complication of the fracture. The pain and danger of the operation was augmented by the proximity of the grape-shot wound. His life was subsequently despaired of; but, after a long course of hopes and fears to his