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1812. 2 h. 52 m. P. M., having shot away the head of the Dec. Java's bowsprit,* the american frigate repeated her
favourite maneuvre; and, wearing in the smoke, was not perceived until nearly round on the starboard tack. Having now neither jib nor foretopmast staysail, the Java, as the quickest mode to get round in pursuit, hove in stays, hoping to do so in time to avoid being raked; but, from the operation of the same cause that had brought her so readily to the wind, the want of head-sail, the ship paid off very slowly. At 2 h. 55 m.,t luffing sharp up, the Constitution set the Java's men a good example, by discharging, within the distance of about 400 yards, a heavy, but, as it happened, not a ver destructive, fire into the british frigate's stern. This salute the Java, as she fell off, returned with her larboard guns. Immediately on receiving their fire, the Constitution wore round on the larboard tack, and was followed by the Java; who, as quickly as she could, ranged up alongside to-windward, as yet, not much the worse for her 40 minutes' engagement with an antagonist, that ought, in the time, to have knocked her to shatters.
At 2 h. 58 m. P. M., being again abreast of each
other, and within pistol-shot distance, the two frigates broad- mutually engaged: so much, however, to the disbroad. advantage of the Java, that, in the course of 10 side. minutes, her rigging was cut to pieces, and her fore
and main masts badly wounded, her master carried below wounded, and several other officers and men killed or wounded. In this state, captain Lambert determined on boarding, as the only chance of success left. With such intent, the Java, at 3 h. 8 m.
P. M., bore up, and would have laid the Constitution tempt on board at her larboard main chains, had not the board. foremast at that instant fallen; and which, by its
The two engage
Java foiled in at
* The american account says the jib-boom had just before got foul of the Constitution's mizen rigging, but this fact does not appear in the english account.
† See diagram.
weight and the direction of its fall, crushed the fore- 1812. castle, and encumbered the principal part of the Dec. maindeck. The remains of the Java's bowsprit, passing over the Constitution’s stern, caught in her starboard mizen rigging, and brought the ship up in the wind, whereby the opportunity to rake, as well as to board, was lost.
The Java now lay at the mercy of her antagonist; Constiwho, at 3 h. 15 m. P. M.,* wearing across her bows, rabies raked her with a very heavy fire, and shot away her her demain topmast; the wreck of which and of the fore- struc
tively. mast rendered useless the greater part of the starboard guns. Running past her unmanageable, and now nearly defenceless, opponent to-leeward, the Constitution, at 3 h. 20 m. P. M., luffed up and raked her on the starboard quarter; then wore round on the larboard tack, and, resuming her position, fired her larboard broadside with most destructive effect. At 3 h. 30 m. P. M.t captain Lambert fell, mortally Capt. wounded in the left breast by a musket-ball from the Constitution's main top, and was carried below. The killed. command of the Java then devolved upon lieutenant Henry Ducie Chads; who, although he had been painfully, but not dangerously, wounded since the commencement of the action, still remained on deck, animating the surviving officers and crew by his noble example.
At 3 h. 50 m. P. M. the Java had her gaff and Java spanker-boom shot away, and at 4 h. 5 m, her mizen-com
pletely mast. All this while, the Constitution lay on the disJava's starboard quarter, pouring in a tremendous fire of round, grape, and musketry. The Constitution, from the damaged state of her rigging, ranging ahead, and the Java, from the fall of her mizenmast, falling off a little, the two frigates again became opposed broadside to broadside. Whether inspirited by the intrepid conduct of the Rodney's eight seamen and a few others, (who almost fought the main
that the chief of the slaughter had hitherto fallen among their comrades on the deck above, the men at the Java's 18-pounders began blazing away with the utmost animation ; blazing, indeed, for, the
wreck lying over the guns on that side, almost every Consti- discharge set the ship on fire. Having effectually
done her work, the Constitution, at 4h. 25 m. P. M.,* sail out made sail ahead out of gun-shot, to repair her shot." damages; leaving the Java a perfect wreck, with
her mainmast only standing, and that tottering, her main yard gone in the slings, and the muzzles of her guns dipping in the water from the heavy rolling of the ship in consequence of her dismasted state. Mistaking the cause of the Constitution's running from them, or becoming more attached to their new occupation by the few hours' practice which they had had, the tyro ship’s company of the Java cheered the american frigate, and called to her to come back.
Wbile, with far more care than appeared to be clear requisite, considering that the loss of her maintop
sail yard, with some cut rigging, was the only visible injury she had sustained, the Constitution lay at a distance on the Java's weather and larboard bow, getting ready to give the finishing blow to this, by her means chiefly, protracted contest, the Java, with one union jack lashed to the stump of her mizenmast, and another, where, notwithstanding the assertion of commodore Bainbridge, that it was down when he shot ahead, it had remained during all the action, in her main rigging, was busied in clearing away the wreck of her masts and putting herself in a state to renew the action, as soon as her antagonist, with whom the option lay, should readvance to the attack. The Java's first endeavours were to get before the wind : with this view, a sail was set from the stump of the foremast to the bowsprit; and, as
Java's the wreck.
* See diagram.
the weather main yard-arm still remained aloft, the 1912, main tack was got forward. A topgallantmast Dec. was also got from the booms, and begun to be rigged as a jury foremast, with a lower studdingsail for a jury foresail; when, owing to the continued heavy rolling of the ship, the mainmast was obliged to be cut away, to prevent its falling in-board. This constiwas at 4 h. 40 m. P. M.; and in half an hour after that tution service had been executed, the Constitution wore toand stood for the hulk of the Java; whose crew, with wards very creditable alacrity, had reloaded their guns with round and grape, and seemed, notwithstanding their almost hopeless state, far from dispirited.
At 5 h. 45 m. P. M., full three hours and a half from the commencement of the action, the Constitu- Java tion placed herself in a very effectual raking position, dilerse close athwart the bows of her defenceless antagonist. Having, besides the loss of her masts and bowsprit as already mentioned, had six of her quarterdeck, four of her forecastle, and several of her maiņdeck, guns disabled, the latter chiefly from the wreck lying over them, all her boats shot to pieces, her hull shattered, and one pump shot away, and having also much water in the hold, the british frigate, as a measure that could now no longer be delayed, lowered her colours from the stump of the mizenmast; and at 6 P. M. the Jaya was taken possession of by the Constitution.
The following diagram is meant to illustrate the Dianumerous evolutions in this action, from 15 minutes gram after its commencement at 2 h. 10 m., to the Java's action. surrender at 5 h. 45 m. P, M. Some of the dates will be found slightly to disagree with those specified either in the british or the american official accounts. This has been done to bring the two accounts nearer together, but great care has been taken in marking the relative time, which is by far the more material consideration. The remarks formerly made respecting the impracticability of giving the proper elongation to the tracks, or dotted lines, apply to this
1812. diagram, to the second or lower compartment of it Dec. especially.
2h. 25an P.M.
NE ¥ by,
Loss on board
Out of her crew, supernumeraries included, of Java. 354 men and 23 boys, the Java had three master's
mates, (Charles Jones, Thomas Hammond, and William Gascoigne,) two midshipmen, (William Salmond and Edward Keele,) one supernumerary clerk, (Thomas Joseph Matthias,) 12 seamen, and four marines killed, her captain,(mortally,) first lieutenant, (already named) master, (Batty Robinson, second lieutenant of marines, (David Davies,) boatswain, (James Humble, severely,) four of her midshipmen, 55