fell in with the Peruvian corsair ship, Nereyda, mounting 15 guns; she had, a few days before, captured two American whale ships, the crews of which (amounting in number to 24 men), were then detained prisoners on board her; and they could assign no other motive for the capture, than that they were the allies of Great Britain and as such, should capture all American vessels they could fall in with ; therefore to prevent in future such vexatious proceedings, I threw all her armanent into the sea, liberated the Americans, and dismissed the Nereyda.

I then proceeded with all possible despatch for Lima, to intercept one of the detained vessels, which had parted with the Nereyda only three days before, and I was so fortunate as to arrive there and re-capture her on the 5th April, at the moment she was entering the port. This vessel (the ship Barclay, captain Gideon Randall of New Bedford), I took under my protection, and have had her with me ever since.

From Lima I proceeded for the Gallapagos island, where I captured the following British ships, viz.

Letters of Marque. Montezuma, 270 tons, 21 men, two guns; Policy, 275 do., 26 do., 10 do.; Georgiana, 280 do., 25 do., 6 do.; Atlantic, 354 do., 24 do., 8 do; Greenwich, 338 do., 25 do., 10 do.

The Georgiana being reputed a very fast sailer, and apparently well calculated for a cruizer, I mounted 16 guns on her, and gave the command of her to that excellent officer, lieutenant John Downes, with a complement of 42 men, appointing midshipman W. H. Haddaway acting lieutenant on board her, and sent her on a cruize,

Lieutenant Downes joined me at Tumbez, near Guiaquil on the coast of Peru, on the 24th June, after capturing three prizes, to wit:

Letters of Marque Ships. Hector, 270 tons, 25 men, 11 guns; Catharine, 270 do., 25 do., 8 do. ; Rose, 220 do., 21 do., 8 do.

The first had two men killed, and six badly wounded in her rencontre with the Georgiana---and the Rose was discharged after being deprived of her armament) with all the prisoners captured by the Georgiana, as they amounted to nearly double her crew. She was furnished with a passport to proceed to St. Helena.

My own prisoners I liberated on parole at Tumbez. I found by experience that the Georgiana did not deserve the : character given of her for sailing, I therefore shipped her

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officers and crew to the Atlantic, and mounted on her 20 guns, with a complement of 60 men, and appointed midshipman Richard Dashiell acting sailing-master on board her to this vessel I gave the name of the Essex Junior. Í also fitted

up the ship Greenwich as a store ship, and mounted on her 20 guns, placing her under the command of lieutenant Gamble, of the marines. On board her I have put all the provisions and stores of my other prizes, except a supply of three and a half months for each, and have by this means secured myself a full supply of every necessary article for seven months.

I had hoped to dispose of my other prizes at Guiaquil; the governors in Peru, however, are excessively alarmed at my appearance on the coast, as my feet now amounts to nine sail of vessels, all formidable in their appearance, and they would, if they dare, treat us with a hostility little short of declared enemies.

I have given to Mr. J. G. Cowell, sailing master, an appointment to act third lieutenant; midshipman J. S. Cowan, to act fourth lieutenant, and midshipman Odenheimer, as sailing master. I beg, sir, that the appointment of those officers, as well as of lieutenant S. D. MʻKnight, who is acting second lieutenant, and those serving on board the Essex Junior, may be confirmed by the department. Drs. Richard R. Hoffman and Alexander M. Montgomery, two gentlemen of great merit, who volunteered their services with me at the commencement of hostilities, have received acting appointments from me, the first as surgeon, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of Dr. Miller; the other as surgeon's mate. To the great care and attention of those gentlemen, may, in a considerable degree, be attributed the extraordinary health of the crew-and as they are both desirous of joining the navy, I hope their appointments may be confirmed.

I have also appointed my marine officer and chaplain to the command of prizes; they all enter with much cheerfulness into their new duties; and if the expedition should not prove successful, it will not be, I am persuaded, owing to our want of activity or vigilance; and of this you must be satisfied, as for the last eight months we have been constantly at sea, with the exception of 23 days, and yet, sir, we have enjoyed extraordinary health and spirits; no symptom of the scurvy having yet appeared in the ship, nor have we, at this moment, more than two on the sick list; and their diseases are more owing to the infirmities of


other cause. Indeed, sir, when I compare my present situation with what it was when I doubled Cape Horn, I cannot but esteem my

self fortunate in an extraordinary degree.-There my ship was shattered with tempestuous weather, and destitute of every thing; my officers and crew half starved, naked, and worn out with fatigue. Now, sir, my ship is in prime order, abundantly supplied with every thing necessary for her. I have a noble ship for a consort of 20 guns, and well manned, a store ship of 20 guns well supplied with the best of every thing that we may want, and prizes which would be worth in England two millions of dollars; and what renders the comparison more pleasing, the enemy has furnished all.-Excuse me, sir, for not making known my present intentions, as this letter may not reach you. It, however, may be satisfactory to you to know how I intend to dispose of my prizes. Let it suffice to say that I shall endeavour to (cypher.]

British letters of marque are numerous in these seas, and, were it not for my arrival, our whale fisheries would have been much harrassed; but they now find it necessary to keep together for mutual protection. I expect to be [cypher], but shall be [cypher.]

Subjoined is a list of deaths since I left the United States ; and I beg you will relieve the anxiety of my family, and all our friends, by communicating as much of this letter as you may think proper.

The times of my best men have expired; but their attachment to the ship, and their zeal for the service we are engaged on, prevent all complaints on that account. It is not probable that


will hear of me for several months to come, unless some disaster happens ; but I beg leave to assure you, sir, that I shall not be idle; and I hope before my return to make the services of the Essex as important as those of any other single ship. We may not be individually benefited, but we shall do the enemy much injury, which will be a sufficient compensation to us for all the hardships and privations we must naturally experience, while cut off from all communi. cation with the rest of the world, and are dependent on the precarious supplies the enemy may afford. I have the honour to be, with great respect, your

obedient servant,

D. PORTER. Hon. Wm. Jones, Secretary of the Navy, Washington.

List of Deaths since my departure from the United States. 1812, December 3, Levi Holmes, seaman, palsy. 1813, January 24, Edward Sweeny, 0. S. old age.

1813, January 24, Samuel Groce, seaman, contusion of the brain by a fall from the main-yard.

1813, March 1, Lewis Price, marine, consumption.

1813, April 4, James Shafford, gunner's mate, accidental gun-shot-wound of the lungs.

1813, May 25, Dr. Robert Miller, surgeon, disease of the liver.

1813, May 26, Benjamin Greers, quarter-gunner, inflammation of the stomach.

1813, June 20, John Rodgers, quarter-gunner, fall from the main yard.


Camp at French-town, Jan. 20, 1813.

On the River Raisin. Brigadier-General Winchester,

Sir, in obedience to your order I proceeded on the march with the detachment under my command, to Presque isle, on the 17th instant, where the reinforcement under lieutenantcolonel Allen arrived at 7 o'clock, P. M., on the 18th. As I informed you it was my determination, I set out for the camp of the enemy at this village--from an early start, together with the advantage of a passage on the ice of the lake, and the rapid march we made, we were enabled to meet them by three o'clock in the evening.

When we were within three miles of the enemy, correct information was obtained that they were prepared to receive us. Having arranged the troops in the following orderthey were directed to prepare for action, the right wings composed of the companies commanded by captain M‘Cracken, subalterns lieutenant Williamson and ensign M'Clary; captain Bledsoe, subalterns ensign Morrison (acting as lieutenant) and ensign Chinn; captain Matson, subalterns ensign Nash (acting as lieutenant) and ensign Cardwell. The left wing composed of the companies commanded by captain Hamilton, subalterns lieutenant Moore and ensign Heron ; captain Williams, subalterns lieutenant Higgins and ensign Harrow; captain Kelley, subalterns lieutenant M'Guire and ensign Rash. The centre composed of the companies commanded by captain Hightower, (17th United States regiment) subalterns lieutenant Holder and ensign Butler ; captain Collicr, subalterns lieutenant Story and ensign Fleet; captain Sebree, subalterns lieutenant Rull and ensign Bowles. Lieutenant-colonel Allen commanding the right wing, major Graves the left, and major Madison in the centre. Captain Ballard (acting as major) was placed in the advance of the whole, with two companies, one commanded by captain Hickman, subaltern lieutenant Chinn--the other by captain Graves, subaltern lieutenant Comstock, and also captain James with his spies. In this order we proceeded within a quarter of a mile of the enemy, when they commenced a fire on us with a howitzer, from which no injury was received. The line of battle was instantly formed, and the whole detachment ordered to move on the direction of the enemy without delay. The river at this time being between us and the enemy's lines, we succeeded well in crossing it, though the ice in many places was extremely slippery. Having crossed at the instant the long roll beat (the signal for a general charge), when I ordered major Graves and major Madison to possess themselves of the houses and picketing, about which the enemy had collected, and where they had placed their cannon. This order was executed in a few minutes, and both their battalions advanced amidst an incessant shower of bullets; neither the picketing nor the fencing over which they had to pass retarded their progress to success; the enemy were dislodged in that quarter-meantime, colonel Allen fell in with them at a considerable distance to the right, when, after pursuing them to the woods, (a distance of more than a mile) they then made a stand with their howitzer and small arms, covered by a chain of enclosed lots and a groupe of houses ; having in their rear a thick brushy wood full of fallen timber. I directed brigade-major Garrard (one of my aids to instruct majors Graves and Madison to possess themselves of the wood on the left, and to move up towards the main of the enemy as fast as practicable to divert their attention from colonel Al. len. At the moment the fire commenced with the battalions, the right wing advanced. The enemy were soon driven from the fences and

houses, and our troops began to enter the wood after them. The fight now became close, and extremely hot on the right wing-the enemy concentrating the chief of their forces of both kinds to force the line. They were still kept moving in the retreat, although slowly, our men being much exhausted. My orders to majors Graves and Madison were executed with despatch and success--which, joined with the exertions of colonel Allen's line, completely routed the enemy—the distance they retreated before us was not less than two miles, and every foot of the way under a continual charge the battle lasted from three o'clock till dark. The detach.

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