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weighed 22 cwt. With respect, also, to muskets, 1813. pistols, swords, and pikes, nearly twice as many Aug. were found on board the Argus, as were allowed to a british brig-sloop of the Pelican's class,
The Argus was built at Boston in the year 1799 Size, or 1800 : she measured 298 tons american, or 316 of the english ; and her qualifications as a cruiser called Argus. forth the following encomium from the editor of the National Intelligencer: “She is admitted to be one of the finest vessels in the service of her class, and the model of such a vessel is certainly irestimable.” But the Argus at that time had not been captured by the British. In point of length, the two brigs were the same, within about four feet in favour of the Pelican; who had also three feet more beam, and consequently was of greater measurement by nearly 70 tons. But, while the main yard of the Pelican was 54 feet 7 inches in length, that of the Argus was 55 feet 2 inches. In point of scantling, the Argus had also the advantage in a slight degree.
COMPARATIVE FORCE OF THE COMBATANTS.
lbs. No. tons
9 262 101 385
10 228 122 316
We will set the Americans a good example by Refreely admitting, that there was here a superiority on the against them; but then, even after she had action. captured the Argus, the Pelican was in a condition to engage and make prize of another american brig just like her. The slight loss incurred on one side in this action is worth attending to, not only by the boasters in the United States, but by the croakers in Great Britain.
Despatching his prize, with half her crew, including the wounded, and a full third of his own, in charge of the Pelican's first and only lieutenant, Thomas Welsh, to Plymouth, captain Maples himself,
Court of in
on officers and
Aug. Cork, to report his proceedings to admiral ThornPromo. borough. On the 16th the Argus arrived at Plytion of mouth; and soon afterwards, for the promptitude, Maples
skill, and gallantry which he had displayed captain
Maples was most deservedly posted Captain Death Allen had his left thigh amputated by his own Allen." surgeon; and, notwithstanding every attention,
died on the 18th of August, at Mill-Prison hospital. On the 21st he was buried with high military honours, and attended to bis grave by all the navy, marine, and army officers in the port.
A court of inquiry was of course held on the sur
viving officers and crew of the Argus, for the loss of quiry
their vessel. The court declared, “ it was proved
that, in the number of her crew, and in the number crew of and caliber of her guns, the Pelican was decidedly Argus.
superior to the Argus." How it was “proved” that the Pelican had more men than the Argus, or what was the number that either vessel carried, the court did not deem it worth while to state. Nor does lieutenant Watson, in his official letter, and which doubtless was before the court, make the slightest allusion to any superiority on the part of the Pelican in number of men. But the court was not aware, perhaps, that lieutenant Watson, and the two officers next in rank to him, had solemnly sworn, in a british prize-court, that the Argus went into action with 125 men. Lieutenant Watson officially enumerates the Pelican’s guns, boat-carronade and all, at 21; and, many months before the sitting of the court, that officer, lieutenant William Henry Allen the younger, and the brig's master, had sworn that the Argus mounted 20 guns; a very“ decided” superiority certainly. Upon the whole, we must conclude, that these american courts of inquiry are less scrupulous about the truth, than the expediency, of the decisions they pronounce; and yet some persons may consider it not very wise in the Americans, looking back on their previous boastings,
to make the “ caliber of guns” a subject of investi- 1813. gation.
Unfortunately, the capture of frigate after frigate Arrival by the Americans could not persuade the british of adgovernment, that the United States were in earnest Warren about going to war. Hence, instead of one of the and 10 or 12 dashing flag-officers, whose names have burn in recently figured in these pages, being sent out to fight the Americans into compliance, a superannuated peake. admiral, whose services, such as they were, bore a very old date, arrived, early in March, 1813, in Chesapeake bay, to try the effect of diplomacy and procrastination. Had not sir John Warren's second in command, rear-admiral Cockburn, been of a more active turn, the inhabitants of that very exposed part of the american sea-frontier, the coast around the bay in which the two admirals had cast anchor, would scarcely have known, except by hearsay, that war existed. But, before we proceed to give an account of the proceedings of rear-admiral Cockburn in the rivers at the head of the Chesapeake, we have to relate a boat-attack that took place a few weeks previous to his arrival on the american coast.
On the 8th of February, at 9 A. M., while a british British squadron, consisting of the 18-pounder 36-gun frigates Maidstone and Belvidera, captains George Lottery Burdett and Richard Byron, and 38-gun frigates ner. Junon and Statira, captains James Sanders and Hassard Stackpoole, was at anchor in Lynhaven bay, a schooner was observed in the north-west, standing down Chesapeake bay. Immediately the boats of the Belvidera and Statira were detached in chase. Shortly afterwards, on captain Byron's making the signal, that the chase was superior to the boats, a fresh force of boats was sent, making nine in all, under the command of lieutenant Kelly Nazer.
On seeing the boats approaching her, the schooner, which was the Lottery, of six 12-pounder carronades and 28 men, captain John Southcomb, from Baltimore bound to Bordeaux, made all sail to escape;
He, notwit! was boarded ats; the I dan-Doming
a sharp resi
1813. but soon found herself becalmed. At 1 P. M. she Feb. opened from her stern-chasers a well-directed fire Cap- upon the headmost boats, or those first detached.
These rested on their oars until their comrades after a came up; when the whole rushed forward, and, brave through a very animated fire of round and grape,
boarded the schooner, but did not carry her until
This was a very gallant resistance on the part of belia- the Lottery; and captain Southcomb, until he
died, was treated with the greatest attention by death captain Byron, on board of whose frigate he had South-" been brought. Captain Byron then sent the body of comb. the Lottery's late commander on shore, with every
mark of respect due to the memory of a brave officer;
Just as sir John Warren, with the 74-gun ships Sanunder Domingo, bearing his flag, captain Charles Gill, and
Marlborough, bearing rear-admiral Cockburn's flag, king captain Charles Bayne Hodgson Ross, accompanied detach- by the Maidstone and Statira frigates and Fantome ha pupa and Mohawk brig-sloops, had arrived abreast of the han river Rappahannock, in their way up the Chesa
peake, five large armed schooners were discovered,
turned upon warded an Maidstone's
The loss gallant boat marine kille tenant, (Wi si marines,
wounded. was six mei booners w sons for sc tons. The Suelburne a schooners i these four fi the gallant them, with
with 21 officers and men and a 12-pounder carronade, 1813, under lieutenant Matthew Liddon, Marlborough’s Feb. barge and cutter, with 40 officers and men, under lieutenants George Constantine Urmston and James Scott, and Statira's cutter with 21 officers and men, under lieutenant George Bishop, total 105 officers and men, were immediately detached in pursuit.
After rowing 15 miles, lieutenant Polkinghorne Capfound the four schooners, which were the Arab, of four seven guns and 15 men, Lynx, of six guns and 40 men, Racer, of six guns and 36 men, and Dolphin, of 12 guns and 98 men, drawn up in line ahead, and fully prepared to give him a warm reception. He, notwithstanding, dashed at them. The Arab was boarded and carried by the Marlborough's two boats; the Lynx hauled down her colours just as the San-Domingo's pinnace arrived alongside ; and the Racer was carried by lieutenant Polkinghorne, after a sharp resistance. The guns of the Racer were then turned upon the Dolphin; and the latter was gallantly boarded and carried by the Statira's cutter and Maidstone's launch.
The loss sustained by the British in this very Loss on gallant boat-attack amounted to one seaman and one side. marine killed, lieutenant Polkinghorne, another lieutenant, (William Alexander Brand,) one lieutenant of marines, (William Richard Flint,) one midshipman, (John Sleigh,) and seven seamen and marines wounded. The loss sustained by the Americans was six men killed and 10 wounded. The captured schooners were very fine vessels and of large dimensions for schooners, each measuring from 200 to 225 tons. The Racer and Lynx, under the names of Shelburne and Musquedobit, were afterwards 14-gun schooners in the british service. Because, probably, these four formidable schooners were only privateers, the gallantry of lieutenant Polkinghorne in capturing them, with a force so decidedly inferior, did not obtain him a commander's rank until upwards of 14 months afterwards,