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dered upon our gaining their forecastle, so that no loss was sustained on either side after boarding.
Our main-top-mast was shot away between four and five minutes from the commencement of the firing; and falling, together with the main-top-sail yard, across the larboard fore and fore-top-sail braces, rendered our head-yards unmanageable the remainder of the action. At eight minutes the gaft and mizen-top-gallant-mast came down, and at twenty minutes from the commencement of the action every brace and most of the rigging was shot away. A few minutes after separating from the Frolic both her masts fell upon the deck, the main-mast going close by the deck, and the fore-mast 12 or 15 feet above it.
The courage and exertions of the officers and crew fully answered my expectations and wishes. Lieutenant Biddle's active conduct contributed much to our success, by the exact attention paid to every department during the engagement, and the animating example he afforded the crew by his intrepidity. Lieutenants Rodgers, Booth, and Mr. Rapp, shewed by the incessant fire from their divisions, that they were not to be surpassed in resolution or skill. Mr. Knight and every other officer, acted with a courage and promptitude highly honourable, and I trust have given assurance that they may be relied on whenever their services may be required.
I could not ascertain the exact loss of the enemy, as many of the dead lay buried under the mast and spars that had fallen upon deck, which two hours' exertion had not sufficiently removed. Mr. Biddle, who had charge of the Frolic, states, that from what he saw, and from information from the officers, the number of killed must have been about thirty, and that of the wounded about forty or fifty-of the killed is her first lieutenant and sailing master, of the wounded captain Whinyates and the second lieutenant.
We had five killed and five wounded, as per list; the wounded are recovering. Lieutenant Claxton, who was fined by sickness, left his bed a little previous to the engagement, and though too weak to be at his division, remained upon deck, and shewed by his composed manner of noting its incidents, that we had lost by his illness the services of a brave officer. I am, respectfully, yours,
JACOB JONES. The Honourable Paul Hamilton, Secretary of the Navy.
From the London Gazette, December 26. Letter from the Captain of the Frolic to Admiral Warren. Sir,
His Majesty's Ship Poictiers, at Sea, Oct. 28. It is with the most bitter sorrow and distress I have to report to your excellency the capture of his majesty's brig Frolic, by the Wasp, belonging to the United States of America, on the 18th instant.
Having under convoy the homeward bound trade from the bay of Honduras, and being in latitude 36 degrees N. and 64 degrees W. on the night of the 17th, we were overtaken by a most violent gale of wind, in which the Frolic carried away her main yard, lost her topsails, and sprung the maintopmast. On the morning of the 18th, as we were repairing the damages sustained in the storm, and re-assembling the scattered ships, a suspicious ship came in sight, and gave chase to the convoy.
The merchant ships continued their voyage before the wind under all sail; the Frolic dropped astern, and hoisted Spanish colours, in order to decoy the stranger under her guns, and to give time for the convoy to escape. About ten o'clock, both vessels being within hail, we hauled to the wind, and the battle began. The superior fire of our guns gave every reason to expect its speedy termination in our favour, but the gaff head-braces being shot away, and there being no sail on the main-mast, the brig became unmanageable, and the enemy succeeded in taking a position to rake her, while she was unable to bring a gun to bear.
After lying some time exposed to a most destructive fire, she fell with the bowsprit betwixt the enemy's main and mizen rigging, still unable to return his fire.
At length the enemy boarded, and made himself master of the brig, every individual officer being wounded, and the greater part of the men either killed or wounded, there not being twenty persons remaining unhurt.
Although I shall ever deplore the unhappy issue of this contest, it would be great injustice to the merits of the officers and crew, if I failed to report that their bravery and coolness are deserving of every praise; and I am convinced, if the Frolic had not been crippled in the gale, I should have to make a very different report to your excellency. The Wasp was taken, and the Frolic re-captured the same afternoon, by his majesty's ship Poictiers. Being separated from them, I cannot transmit at present a list of killed and wounded. Mr. Charles M.Kay, the first lieutenant, and Mr. Stephens the master, have died of their wounds. I have the honour to be, &c.
AMERICAN AND BRITISH ACCOUNTS OF THE CAPTURE OF
Letter from Commodore Decatur to the Secretary of the Navy. Sir, U. S. Ship United States, at Seu, Oct. 30, 1812.
I have the honour to inform you that on the 25th instant, being in the latitude 299 N. longitude 29° 30' W., we fell in with, and after an action of an hour and a half, captured his Britannic majesty's ship Macedonian, commanded by captain John Carden, and mounting 49 carriage guns (the odd gun shifting). She is a frigate of the largest class, two years old, four months out of dock, and reputed one of the best sailers in the British service. The enemy being to windward had the advantage of engaging us at his own distance, which was so great; that for the first half hour we did not use our carronades, and at no moment was he within the complete effect of our musquetry or grape to this circumstance and a heavy swell, which was on at the time, I ascribe the unusual length of the action.
The enthusiasm of every officer, seaman, and marine, on board this ship, on discovering the enemy-their steady conduct in battle, and precision of their fire, could not be surpassed. Where all met my fullest expectations, it would be unjust in me to discriminate. Permit me, however, to recommend to your particular notice my first lieutenant, William H. Allen. He has served with me upwards of five years, and to his unremitted exertions in disciplining the crew, is to be imputed the obvious superiority of our gunnery exhibited in the result of this contest.
Subjoined is a list of the killed and wounded on both sides. Our loss, compared with that of the enemy, will appear small. Amongst our wounded, you will observe the name of lieutenant Funk, who died a few hours after the action-he was an officer of great gallantry and promise, and the service has sustained a severe loss in his death.
The Macedonian lost her mizen-mast, fore and main-topmasts and main yard, and was much cut up in her hull. The damage sustained by this ship was not so much as to render her return into port necessary, and had I not deemed it important that we should see our prize in, should have. continued our cruise.
With the highest consideration and respect, I am, sir, your obedient humble servant, (Signed)
STEPHEN DECATUR. Hon. Paul Hamilton, &c.
List of killed and wounded on board the United States.
Killed Thomas Brown, New York, seaman; Henry Shepherd, Philadelphia, do.; William Murray, Boston, a boy ; Michael O'Donnell, New-York, private marine ; John Roberts, do. do.
Wounded-John Mercer Funk, Philadelphia, lieutenant, since dead; John Archibald, New-York, carpenter's crew, do.; Christian Clark, do. seaman ; George Christopher, do. ordinary seaman; George Mahar, do. do.; William Jones, do. do.; John Laton, do. private marine.
On board the Macedonian there were 36 killed and 68 wounded. Among the former were the boatswain, one master's mate, and the schoolmaster, and of the latter were the first and third lieutenants, one master's mate, and two midshipmen.
From the London Gazette, January 1.
Admiralty Office, Dec. 29, 1812. Copy of a letter from Captain John Surman Carden, late Com
mander of his Majesty's Ship the Macedonian, to John Wilson Croker, Esq. dated on board the American Ship the United States, at Sea, the 28th October, 1812.
Sir, it is with the deepest regret I have to acquaint you, for the information of my lords commissioners of the admiralty, that his majesty's late ship Macedonian was captured on the 25th instant by the United States' ship United States, commodore Decatur, commander. The detail is as follows:
A short time after day-light, steering N. W. by W. with the wind from the southward, in latitude 29° N. and longitude 29° 30' W., in the execution of their lordships' orders, a sail was seen on the lee-beam, which I immediately stood for, and made her out to be a large frigate under American colours ; at 9 o'clock I closed with her, and she commenced the action, which we returned, but for the enemy keeping two points off the wind I was not enabled to get as close to her as I could have wished.
After an hour's action the enemy backed and came to the wind, and I was then enabled to bring her to close battle ; in this situation I soon found the enemy's force too superior to expect success unless some very fortunate chance occurred in our favour, and with this hope I continued the battle to two hours and ten minutes, when having the mizen-mast shot away by the board, top-mast shot away by the caps, main-yard shot in pieces, lower-masts badly wounded, lower rigging all cut to pieces, a small proportion only of the fore
sail left to the fore-yard, all the guns on the quarter-deck and forecastle disabled but two, and filled with wreck, two also on the main-deck disabled, and several shot between wind and water, a very great proportion of the crew killed and wounded, and the enemy comparatively in good order, who had now shot ahead, and was about to place himself in a raking position, without our being enabled to return the fire, being a perfect wreck and unmanageable log, I deemed it prudent, though a painful extremity, to surrender his majesty's ship, nor was this dreadful alternative resorted to till every hope of success was removed, even beyond the reach of chance, nor till, I trust, their lordships will be aware every effort had been made against the enemy by myself, my brave officers, and men, nor should she have been surrendered whilst a man lived on board had she been manageable.
I am sorry to say our loss is very severe; I find by this day's muster 36 killed, three of whom lingered a short time after the battle, 36 severely wounded, many of whom cannot recover, and 32 slightly wounded, who may all do well; total 104.
The truly noble and animating conduct of my officers, and the steady bravery of my crew to the last moment of the battle, must ever render them dear to their country.
My first lieutenant David Hope was severely wounded in the head towards the close of the battle, and taken below; but was soon again on deck, displaying that greatness of mind and exertion, which, though it may be equalled, can never be excelled; the third lieutenant, John Bulford, was also wounded, but not obliged to quit his quarters; second lieutenant Samuel Motley and he deserve my highest acknowledgments. The cool and steady conduct of Mr. Walker, the master, was very great during the battle, as also that of lieutenants Wilson and Magill of the marines.
On being taken on board the enemy's ship I ceased to wonder at the result of the battle. The United States is built with the scantling of a 74 gun ship, mounting 30 long 24 pounders (English ship guns) on her main deck, and 22 42 pounders carronades, with two long 24 pounders on her quarter deck and fore castle, howitzer guns in her tops, and a travelling carronade on her upper deck, with a complement of 478 picked men.
The enemy has suffered much in masts, rigging, and hull, above and below water; her loss in killed and wounded I am not aware of, but I know a lieutenant and six men have been thrown overboard.
J. S. CARDEN.