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CAPTURE OF THE ARGUS.
Adiniralty Office, August 24. Extract of a Letter from Captain Maples, of his Majesty's Sloop Pelican, to Vice-Admiral Thornborough, and transmitted by the latter Officer to John Wm. Croker, Esq. His Majesty's Sloop Pelican, St. David's Head,
East five Leagues, Aug. 14. I have the honour to inform you, that in obedience to your orders to me of the 12th instant, to cruize in St. George's Channel, for the protection of the trade, and to obtain information of the American sloop of war, I had the good fortune to board a brig, the master of which informed me he had seen a vessel, apparently a man of war, steering to the N. E.; at four this morning I saw a vessel on fire, and a brig standing from her which I soon made out to be a cruiser ; made all sail in chase, and at half past five came alongsid of her (she having shortened sail, and made herself clear for an obstinate resistance), when, after giving her three cheers, our action commenced, which was kept up with spirit on both sides 43 minutes, when we laid her alongside, and were in the act of boarding when she struck her colours. She proves to be the United States sloop of war Argus, of 360 tons, 18 twenty-four-pound carronades, and 2 long twelve-pounders ; had on board when she sailed from America (two months since), a complement of 149 men, but in the action 127, commanded by lieutenant commandant W. H. Allen, who, I regret to say, was wounded early in the action, and has since suffered amputation in his left thigh.
No eulogium I could use would do sufficient justice to the merits of my gallant officers and crew (which consisted of 116); the cool courage they displayed, and the precision of their fire, could only be equalled by their zeal to distinguish themselves; but I must beg leave to call your attention to the conduct of my first lieutenant Thomas Welsh; of Mr. Granville, acting master; Mr. William Ingram, the purser, who volunteered his services on deck; and Mr. Richard Scott, the boatswain.
Our loss, I am ha vy to say, is small; one master's mate, Mr. William Young, slain in the moment of victory, while animating, by his courage and example, all around him; one able seaman, John Kitery; besides five seamen wounded who are doing well; that of the enemy I have not yet been able to ascertain, but it is considerable: her officers say, about forty killed and wounded. I have the honour to be, &c., (Signed)
J. F. MAPLES, Commander,
CAPTURE OF THE BOXER.
Copy of a Letter from Captain Hull to the Secretary of the
Portland, Sept. 7, 1813. I had the honour last evening to forward you by express, through the hands of commodore Bainbridge, a letter I received from Samuel Storer, Esq. navy agent at this place, detailing an account of the capture of the British brig Boxer by the United States brig Enterprize.
I have now to inform you that I left Portsmouth this morning, and have this moment arrived, and, as the mail is closing, I have only time to enclose you the report of lieutenant M'Call of the Enterprize, and to assure you that a statement of the situation of the two vessels as to the damage they have received, &c. shall be forwarded as soon as surveys can be made. The Boxer has received much damage in her hull, masts, and sails, indeed it was with difficulty she could be kept afloat to get her in. The Enterprize is only injured in her masts and sails. I have the honour to be, &c.
ISAAC HULL. The Hon. Wm. Fones, Secretary of the Navy.
United States' Brig Enterprize, Sir,
Portland, 7th Sept. 1813. In consequence of the unfortunate death of lieutenant commandant William Burrows, late commander of this vessel, it devolves on me to acquaint you with the result of our cruize. After sailing from Portsmouth on the 1st instant, we steered to the eastward; and on the morning of the 3d, off Wood Island, discovered a schooner, which we chased into this harbour, where we anchored. On the morning of the 4th, weighed anchor and swept out, and continued our course to the eastward. Having received information of several privateers being off Manhagan, we stood for that place; and on the following morning, in the bay near Penguin Point, discovered a brig getting under way, which appeared to be a vessel of war, and to which we immediately gave chase. She fired several guns and stood for us, having four ensigns hoisted. After reconnoitring and discovering her force and the nation to which she belonged, we hauled upon a wind to stand out of the bay, and at three o'clock shortened sail, tacked and run down with an intention to bring her to close action. At twenty minutes after three, P. M. when within half pistol shot, the firing commenced from both, and after being warmly kept up, and with some maneuvring, the enemy hailed and said they had surrendered about four, P. M. ; their colours being nailed to the masts, could not be hauled down. She proved to be his Britannic majesty's brig Boxer, of 14 guns, Samuel Blythe, Esq. commander, who fell in the early part of the engagement, having received a cannon shot through the body. And I am sorry to add that lieutenant Burrows, who had gallantly led us to action, fell also about the same time by a musket ball, which terminated his existence in eight hours.
The Enterprize suffered much in spars and rigging, and the Boxer both in spars, rigging, and hull, having many shots between wind and water.
It would be doing injustice to the merit of Mr. Tilling. hast, second lieutenant, were I not to mention the able ass istance I received from him during the remainder of the engagement, by his strict attention to his own division and other departments. And the officers and crew generally, I am happy to add, their cool and determined conduct have my warmest approbation and applause.
As no muster roll that can be fully relied on has come into my possession, I cannot exactly state the number killed on board the Boxer, but from information received from the officers of that vessel, it appears there were between twenty and twenty-five killed, and fourteen wounded. Enclosed is a list of the killed and wounded on board the Enterprize. I have the honour to be, &c.
EDWARD R. M'CALL,
Senior Oficer. Isaac Hull, Esq. commanding Naval Officer
on the Eastern Station. [Killed 1, wounded 13, of whom two are since dead.
Copy of a Letter from Isaac Hull
, Esq. commanding Naval Offia cer on the Station East of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
United States Navy Yard, Sir,
Portsmouth, 14th Sept. 1813. I have the honour to forward you by the mail, the Alags of the late British brig Boxer, which were nailed to her mastheads at the time she was captured by the United States brig Enterprize.
Great as the pleasure is that I derive from performing this part
my duty, I need not tell you how different my feelings would have been, could the gallant Burrows have had this honour.
He went into action most gallantly, and the difference of injury done the two vessels, proves how nobly he fought.
I have the honour to be, with great respect, sir, your obedient servant,
ISAAC HULL. Hon. Wm. Jones, Secretary of the Navy.
CRUIZE OF COMMODORE RODGERS.
Copy of a Letter from Commodore Rodgers to the Secretary of
the Navy, dated
United States Frigate President, Newport, Sir,
Sept. 27th, 1813. Your having been informed of my leaving Boston on the 23d of April last, and of my departure from President roads in company with the Congress, on the 30th of the same month, it now only remains for me to make you acquainted with my proceedings since the latter date.
In a few hours after getting to sea, the wind, which had been light from the westward, shifted to the S. E., and obliged me to beat, consequently prevented our getting clear of the bay until the 3d of May, when, in the afternoon, while in chase of a British brig of war, near the shoal of George's Bank, we passed to windward of three sail, two of which, from their appearance and the information previously received, I judged to be the La Hogue 74, and the Nymphe frigate, and the third a merchant brig. After getting clear of George's Bank, the wind veered to the north-eastward, and we continued along east southwardly, in the direction of the southern edge of the Gulf Stream, until the 8th of May, in longitude 60° W., latitude 39° 30' N., when I parted company with the Congress. After parting company I shaped a course, as near as the wind would permit, to intercept the enemy's West India commerce passing to the southward of the Grand Bank. Not meeting with any thing in this direction except American vessels from Lisbon and Cadiz, I next pursued a route to the northward on a parallel with the eastern edge of the Grand Bank, so as to cross the tracks of his West India, Halifax, Quebec, and St. John's trade. In this route experiencing constant thick fogs for a number of days, and not meeting any thing, after reaching the latitude of 38° N., I steered to the S. E. towards the Azores, off which, in different directions, I continued until the 6th of June, without meeting a single enemy's vessel, or any others, except two Americans. At this time falling in with an American ship bound to Cadiz, and receiving information that she had, four days before, passed an enemy's convoy from the West Indies, bound to England, I crowded sail to the N. E., and, although disappointed in falling in with the convoy, I nevertheless made four captures, between the 9th and 13th of June.
Being now in the latitude of 46°N., and longitude 28° W., I determined on going into the North Sea, and accordingly shaped a course that afforded a prospect of falling in with vessels bound to Newfoundland from St. George's Channel
, by the way of Cape Clear, as well as others that might pass north about to the northward of Ireland; to my astonishment, however, in all this route I did not meet with a single vessel, until I made the Shetland Islands, and even off there nothing but Danish vessels trading to England under British licenses. At the time I reached the Shetland Islands, a considerable portion of my provisions and water being expended, it became necessary to replenish these, previous to determining what course to pursue next; and I accordingly, for this purpose, put into North Bergen on the 27th of June; but, much to my surprise and disappointment, was not able to obtain any thing but water, there being an unusual scarcity of bread in every part of Norway, and at the time not more in Bergen than a bare sufficiency for its inhabitants for four or five weeks. This being the case, after replenishing my water I departed on the 2d of July, and stretched over towards the Orkney islands, and from thence toward the North Cape, for the purpose of intercepting a convoy of 25 or 30 sail, which it was said would leave Archangel about the middle of July, under the protection of two brigs or two sloops of war; and which was further confirmed by two vessels I captured on the 13th and 18th of the same month. In this object, however, the enemy had the good fortune to disappoint me, by a line of battle ship and a frigate making their appearance off the North Cape on the 19th of July, just as I was in momentary expectation of meeting the convoy; on first discovering the enemy's two ships of war, not being able, owing to the haziness of the weather, to ascertain their character with precision, I stood toward them until, making out what they were, I hauled by the wind on the opposite tack to avoid them; but, owing to faint, variable winds, calms, and entire day-light (the sun in that latitude, at that season, appeared at midnight several degrees above the horizon) they were enabled to continue the chase upwards of 80 hours; during which time owing to different changes of the wind