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1812, dismiss captain Carden, without expressing their adOct. miration of the uniform testimony which has been
borne to his gallantry and good conduct throughout the action, nor lieutenant David Hope, the senior lieutenant, the other officers and company, without expressing the highest approbation of the support given by him and them to the captain, and of their courage and steadiness during the contest with an enemy of very superior force; a circumstance that, whilst it reflects high honour on them, does no less credit and honour to the discipline of his majesty's late ship Macedonian. The court also feels it a gratifying duty to express its admiration of the fidelity to their allegiance, and attachment to their king and country, which the remaining crew appear to have manifested, in resisting the various insidious and repeated temptations which the enemy held out to them, to seduce them from their duty; and which
cannot fail to be duly appreciated.” Diffi
Of all the cases recorded in these pages, none are culty of giving
so difficult to render intelligible as those in which details british ships are defeated ; first, because there is sel
dom any official letter, and next, because there is never cases. any log, to refer to for particulars. It is true that, in
each of the three frigate cases with America, an official letter was allowed to appear in the London Gazette; but, of all three, (including, with the letter of captain Dacres, his address to his court-martial,) the letter of captain Carden is the most barren of details. It happens, also, that the letter of commodore Decatur, and the other american accounts of this action, are equally brief and unsatisfactory. Thus limited in means, we drew up and published our first account nearly nine years ago. It now appears, for the first time, that we overrated the Macedonian's force by giving her 18 carronades, 32-pounders, instead of 16, with two long twelves; making a difference in the broadside-force of just 21 lbs. This very important oversight, and the strictures we were induced to pass upon what we supposed to be
the unskilfulness of the Macedonian's crew, have given 1812. rise to a very intemperate letter. The mistake Oct. about the guns is too trivial to notice ; but we readily acknowledge, that we were wrong
in supposing that the crew of the Macedonian were unpractised or inexpert gunners: we have shown, we trust pretty clearly, what it was that occasioned their powder and shot to be so wastefully employed. The very first clause in the sentence of the court-martial fortunately bears us out in our statement; and we certainly feel much indebted to captain Carden, as well for the opportunity he has afforded us of amending our former account in that important particular, as for the stimulus he has given us to seek and obtain some additional facts connected with the action between the Macedonian and United-States.
We have, as will be seen, borrowed a few para- Capt. graphs relating to this action from each of our two contemporaries, the post-captain and the lieutenant. acThe latter,whether he intends to bestow his praise or his censure, always alludesto us, ina becoming manner, by name; but the former usually prefers the indirect and, he will excuse us for adding, american fashion, of leaving his meaning to be “guessed” by the epithet he applies. Accordingly, captain Brenton says: “It need scarcely be noticed, that captain Carden has been accused by a very incompetent judge of running down to bring his enemy to action, in a heedless and confident manner. He ran into action as his brother officers had done, and will do again, to fight his enemy and decide the day as quickly as possible: how could captain Carden have closed sooner, &c.” “His conduct has therefore been most cruelly misrepresented.”
" A court-martial acquitted him, his officers and crew, of all blame for the loss of the ship."* If we add a very fine compliment to commodore Decatur, and an account of his death, which took place 10 or 12 years afterwards, we have nearly all that is comprised in captain Brenton's account of
* Brenton, vol. v. p. 60.
with Galatea and two
1812, the Macedonian's capture. Not a word is there to
show on which tack the ships fought; when they
Commodore Rodgers and his two frigates and dent brig-sloop now demand our attention. The Argus Con- parted company on the same day as the United
States. On the 15th, when near the great bank of Swal- Newfoundland, the President and Congress fell in packet.
with and captured the Jamaica homeward-bound
frigate Galatea, captain Woodley Losack, having Fall in under her charge two South-sea whalers, the Argo and
Berkeley, with which she had sailed from the island
of Ascension on the 3d. At this time both parties whalers were standing on the starboard tack, the Galatea,
with the Berkeley in tow, to-windward. Casting off
At about noon the President tacked, as if to get
into the wake of the Galatea; who began to be apbut suf- prehensive that she should be placed between her frigate two enemies, and was only relieved when she
observed the Congress tack in succession. Shortly
Take one whaler,
point of sailing; and just at this moment the Argo, having bore up, in the vain hope of crossing the Dec. hawse of the american frigates and escaping toleeward, was intercepted by them. After the two frigates had lain to a long time, and witnessed, with apparent unconcern, the gradual departure of the Galatea, the President filled and made sail, but in such a manner as clearly indicated, that the commodore did not like to proceed in chase of the sistership of the Belvidera, unaccompanied by his consort. The President set her topmast studding-sails, then her topgallant, and lastly her lower studding-sails, and, as soon as it became dark, took all in and hauled to the wind. The Galatea of course escaped, although, being 93 men short of complement, she could scarcely have resisted an attack by the smaller of the two american frigates.
From the 1st to the 30th of November the Presi- Arrival dent and Congress did not see a sail. They subse- two quently cruised between Bermuda and the Capes of ameri; Virginia, and on the 31st of December anchored in gates at the harbour of Boston ; having, in the course of their 84 days' unsuccessful cruise, been as far to the eastward as longitude 22° west, and to the southward as latitude 17° north. Soon after the arrival of these Capt. frigates at Boston, 25 of the crew of the Congress of the went on the quarterdeck to deliver themselves up as ConEnglishmen. Captain Smith, who though an English- and the man by birth, was an American by education, cunningly answered, “Very well; you shall go in the of his first cartel to Halifax, and be put on board the guardship there.” The men replied, “Oh, no, we don't wish to be sent to a man of war, as we are nearly all deserters from the king's service, but we wish for our discharge to go on shore.” This the american captain refused, saying, “If you are Englishmen, you shall be sent to an english man of war. They added : “Rather than be punished for our desertion, we will remain where we are." They consequently all took the oath of allegiance to America,
1812, except five, who, having never been in a british ship
of war, departed with some prisoners which the two
Aware of the injury that would accrue to british
commerce by the presence of an enemy's squadron Bain in the South Seas, the american government ordered bridge
commodore William Bainbridge, in the absence of boston captain Hull, who wished to attend to his private
affairs, to proceed thither with the Constitution, and South the Hornet, captain James Lawrence; calling off
St.-Salvador, on the coast of Brazil, for the Essex,
captain Porter, who had been directed to join them Consti- at that rendezvous. On the 27th of October the
Essex sailed from the Delaware ; and on the 30th Hornet the Constitution and Hornet sailed from Boston. off St.. Towards the latter end of December commodore Salva- Bainbridge arrived off St.-Salvador; and, not finding
the Essex at the rendezvous, sent the Hornet into the with port to make inquiries respecting her. On the 29th
of December, at 2 P. M., latitude 13° 6' south, lon
gitude 30° west, while lying to about 10 leagues off chant the coast, waiting to be joined by the Hornet, then prize.
seen approaching from the coast, the Constitution
A little of the previous history of the Java may fective render more intelligible the details that are to follow. which On the 17th of August, in the present year, the late
french frigate Renommée,* under the name of Java,
was commissioned at Portsmouth by captain Lamman- bert, in order to carry out to Bombay the newly appointed governor, lieutenant-general Hislop, and
* See p. 37.
and fall in
Java and her mer
the Java had been