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seamen, (one mortally,) four boys and 21 marines 1812. (with the killed, just half the number on board) Dec. wounded; and, of her supernumeraries, one commander, (John Marshall,) one lieutenant, (James Saunders,) captain Wood, aide-de-camp to general Hislop, one master's mate, (William Brown,) and nine seamen also wounded : total, 22 killed and 102 wounded; two mortally, five dangerously, 52 severely, and 43 slightly.
The midshipman Keele was not killed outright, Anecbut died the day following. He was only thirteen dote of
and it was the first time he had ever shipbeen at sea. He had his leg amputated, and also anxiously inquired, soon after the action was over, the if the ship had struck. Seeing a ship's colour spread wain. over him, the gallant youth grew uneasy, until he was convinced it was an english flag. The following is the account, which Mr. Humble, the boatswain, gave of himself at the court-martial : “I was down about an hour, when I got my arm put a little to rights by a tourniquet being put on it-nothing else; my hand was carried away, and my arm wounded about the elbow. I put my arm into the bosom of my shirt, and went up again, when I saw the enemy ahead of us, repairing his damages. I had my orders from lieutenant Chads, before the action began, to cheer up the boarders with my pipe, that they might make a clean spring in boarding.”
The Constitution received several shot in her Dahull, and also in her masts, particularly her fore and mizen masts; but these, the mainmast especially, loss or were far too stout even to require fishing in conse- Constir quence. Out of her eight boats, it is acknowledged tution. that the ship, when the action ended, had only one left in a state to take the water; a tolerable proof that her damages were by no means so trifling as was afterwards represented by the Americans. From the same cause, the loss on board the Constitution, although stated by commodore Bainbridge at only nine killed and 25 wounded, must have been quite as much as
1812, the british official account makes it: 10 men killed, Dec. her fifth lieutenant, Mr. John C. Aylwin, (the same
who was wounded as master in the Guerrière's action,) and four men mortally wounded, the commodore wounded slightly, and about 42 others, most of them severely. Having none of her men absent in prizes, the Constitution had on board her full complement, besides two or three supernumeraries ; making 477 men and three (as we shall say, although one only, a lad of 17, was seen) boys. By, adding about 100 men to the Guerrière's crew, the Comparative force” in her action will suffice to refer to on the present occasion. *
The Constitution captured the Java certainly, but on the in so discreditable a manner, that, had the latter been action. manned with a well-trained crew of 320 men, no
doubt remains in our mind, and we have considered the subject seriously, that, notwithstanding her vast superiority of force, the american frigate must either have sụccumbed or have fled. Indeed, if american report be worth attending to, captain Bainbridge, once during the heat of the action, had an idea of resorting to the latter alternative; but his first lieutenant, Mr. Parker, (a native of Great Britain, we have been informed,t) succeeded in dissuading
him from the measure. Disap
If, on coming on board the Constitution, the surpoinf-r viving british officers were surprised at the immense
force, both in matériel and personnel, to which they Ameri, had so long been opposed, the american officers, on board- boarding the Java, were mortified at seeing the little ing the screwed-up ship, (her sides tumbled in so, that she
appeared, at the gangways, scarcely wider than the Hornet,) which had given them so much trouble to take. The thing, however, was done ; and it only remained, by arts which none know better than Americans how to practise, do swell the victory into
ment of the
* See p. 150.
one of the grandest triumphs that any nation, except 1812. America, had hitherto gained.
Lieutenant Parker, the prize-master of the Java, Java is having reported to the commodore her disabled set on condition, received orders, as soon as he had removed her the prisoners and their baggage, to set the ship on fire. This tedious service, with only one boat to perform it, being at length accomplished, the Java, on the forenoon of the 31st, was set on fire; and the Constitution retired to a distance to avoid the effects of the explosion. Now occurred a curious scene on board the Constitution, The Java was burning without the customary emblem of her newly-acquired national character. Not finding, as he had expected, an american flag among the Java's signals, and deeming it unnecessary, owing to the present distance between the ships, to send for one, lieutenant Parker left the Java burning without any colours at all. Scarcely had commodore Bainbridge recovered from the rage into which this, in point of national etiquette, very serious event had thrown him, than one of the two or three deserters, that had already entered on board the Constitution, informed him, that the Java had an immense quantity of specie in her hold. After a while some of the late officers of the Java, pitying the acuteness of his feelings, assured the american captain, that the cases contained neither gold nor silver, but copper.
At about 3 P. M. the Java exploded ; and that Blows evening the Constitution, having quite refitted her-Constiself, made sail for St.-Salvador. Although entirely tution dismasted, the Java was not in such a damaged state in the lower part of her hull, but that the crew of a vador. british frigate would have refitted her sufficiently for the voyage to America. But why did not commodore Bainbridge take her with him into that port? He carried thither, as a prize, the english schooner Eleanor; and the Hornet went in there with her recapture, the William. There is a mystery about the destruction of the Java, which we cannot pene
1812. trate. Shortly after the Constitution had made sail Dec. from the scene of her exploit, her consort, the Hornet,
hove in sight. Another british frigate to a certainty! Here was a scene of bustle and confusion. The swearing and blustering of the officers, and the freeand-easy nonchalance of the men, almost made the british officers smile notwithstanding their recent misfortunes. At length the Hornet approached near enough to be recognised, and some degree of order was restored.
The manner in which the Java's men were treated treat- by the american officers reflects upon the latter the mentof highest disgrace. The moment the prisoners were
brought on board the Constitution, they were handcuffed. Admitting that to have been justifiable as a measure of precaution, what right had the poor fellows to be pillaged of almost every thing they possessed? True, lieutenant-general Hislop got back his valuable service of plate, and the other british officers were treated civilly.
Who would not rather that the governor's plate, at this very time, was spread out upon commodore Bainbridge's sideboard, than that british seamen, fighting bravely in their country's cause, should be put in fetters, and robbed of their little all ? What is all this mighty generosity but a political juggle, a tub thrown to the whale? Mr. Madison says to his officers, “Never mind making a display of your generosity, where you know it will be proclaimed to the world. If you lose any thing by it, I'll take care congress shall recompense you twofold. Such conduct, on the part of an american officer of rank, will greatly tend to discredit the british statements as to any other acts of yours not so proper to be made public, and will serve, besides, as an imperishable record of the national magnanimity and honour." One object the Constitution's officers missed by their cruelty. Three only of the Java's men would enter with them : the remainder treated with contempt their reiterated promises of high pay, rich land, and
liberty. Partly as a compliment for restoring his 1812. plate, and partly to induce commodore Bainbridge Jan. not to put into effect his threatened intention of retaining lieutenant Chads as a hostage for the due observance of the terms on which the other officers and men were about to be paroled, lieutenant-general Hislop presented the former with an elegant sword.
On the 3d of January, in the morning, the Con- Cnnstitution and Hornet arrived at St.-Salvador ; where lay the William, recaptured by the latter. On that ceed
ing of same day the commodore disembarked the prisoners received out of the Java, 35v in number, and captain more Lawrence landed the 20 officers and men whom he Bainhad found on board the William ; making a total, pero
bridge out of the original crew of the Java, of 375, or, with spectthe 22 killed, of 397, men and boys. The death of ing the captain Lambert and of one seaman, and the delivery up, to the governor of St.-Salvador, of nine portuguese seamen, reduced the number of prisoners out of the two prizes to 364. But the number paroled by commodore Bainbridge is officially reported by himself at 361. How is this? Why the commodore states, that he allowed “ three passengers, private characters, to land without any restraint.' But who were these “ three passengers, private characters," so generously exempted from parole? No others, it would seem, than the three sailors of the Java, who had been fools enough to enter the american service. To deduct them from the amount of prisoners received, would be making the Java's complement appear three men short of what, by a proper arrangement of the figures, it could be proved to have been. To confess the fact, would never do. Therefore, the whole of the Java's passengers, naval, military, and civil, were paroled as "officers, petty officers, seamen, marines and boys,” and the hiatus made by the three traitors was cleverly filled up by three nominal “passengers, private characters, whom the commodore did not consider prisoners of war, and permitted to land without any restraint;" and of whom, of course, no further