The arrangement of the differences of the United States
with Great Britain did not let him remain long in the in-
action of peace. Having superintended the building of
the Independence, a ship of 74 guns, he had the honour of
waving his flag on board the first line of battle ship be-
longinaf to the United States, that ever floated. The hos-
WILLIAM BAINBRIDGE. 359
lile demeanour of the orovernments of Barbary, induced
the American 2:overnment, in 1S15, to equip two squa-
drons, one under Decatur, and another under Bainbrido-e
lor tJie Mediterranean, to use the lex talionis of kinffs,%o
bring them to a due sense of the estimation in which the
people of the United States ought to be held. His squa-
dron consisted of the Independence, 74, flag ship ; sloop of
war Erie, 18 guns, brig Chippewa, 18 guns; and schoon-
er Lynx. In his voyage to the Mediterranean, he found
his ship to exceed his most sano^uine expectations, and the
alacrity of Commodore Decatur, in bringing the Barbarv
powers to a peaceful demeanour, left hirn^on his arrival in
that sea, no share of the honours he expected to reap from
the object of his destination,
He arrived in the harbour of Carthagena, in Spain, on
the 5th of August, 1815, and on the 10th of the same
month, mlormed tlie secretary of the navy, by letter that
peace having taken place with the Regency of Algiers it
only remained for him to obey the secretary's instructions
by showing his squadron off Tunis and Tripoli, leaving
one frigate and two smaller vessels in the gut of Gibraltar
and returning to Newport, Rhode Island, with the residue
ot his squadron, where he expected to arrive sometime in
the tollowmg September.
According to his instructions, he presented himself be-
fore Algiers, and exhibited his force. He then presented
himself before Tripoli, where he had the mortification to
hnd that Commodore Decatur had shorn him of his expect-
ed laurels, by a previous visit.
After running down the Barbary coast, he arrived in Ma-
laga Roads, on the 13th of September, where he remained
some days waiting to form a junction with Commodore
Decatur s squadron. As soon as this was effected, he sail-
ed for the United States, and arrived at Newport, Rhode
Island, on the 15th of November, 1815, leavmg under
Laptain Shaw, the senior officer, the frigates United States
and Constellation, and the sloops of war Ontario and Erie,
to enforce a due respect among the Barbary States to the
conditions of the late peace.
After the impassioned and spirit-stirring recitals of hair-
36U GLORV OF AMERICA.
breadth scapes, and feats of valour wroiis^ht mid scenes of
blood and carnage, the morbid sensibilities which these
tales have sustained, sinks into listlessness, when succeed-
ed by " the dull pursuits of ci\al life." So, after long hear-
ing the discordant noises of the bustling city, pressing
through crowds, witnessing mobs and riots, and being ut-
terly disgusted with the scenes and scents, the sights and
sounds unholy of a crowded population : to many, the
sweets of the country, the stillness of the scene, and the
peace of society, seem tame and tiresome. Having there-
fore closed the more active part of the life of this individu-
al, we shall mention its close, which occurred in Philadel-
phia, during the last summer. He was buried with military
honours, and rests in the bosom of his mother earth, where
rest both the tyrant and the slave the monarch and his
No further seek his merits to disclose,
Nor draw his frailties from their dark abode.
Was a native of Delav\^are. Of his early ^^ears nothing
has been said. At the siege of Tripoli, he held a midship-
man's warrant, and served under Commodore Decatur,
whose favourable report of his good conduct to Commodore
Preble, as one of the heroic volunteers by whom the fri-
gate Philadelphia and Turkish gun-boats were destroyed,
induced that officer to promote him. From that period to
liis appearance on Lake Champlain, nothing in the life
'')f Macdonough is known.
It had become an object of solicitude with the bellige-
rant parties on the northern frontier, to obtain the superi-
ority on the lakes. Indeed, the success of the land opera-
tions vras considered to be entirely dependent on that of
the marine. Commodore Perry had already established
our dominion on Lake Erie : and that of Lake Ontario,
had been successfully disputed by Commodore Chauncey,
THOMAS MACBONOUGH. 361
with Sir James Yeo. Vermont and New-York were
threatened from Lake Champlain. To counteract hos-
- tile attempts from this quarter, the command of the Ameri-
can squadron on this lake, was intrusted to Commodore
Macdonough ; while the defence of Plattsburgh depended
on the exertions of General Macomb, and his gallant little
army. In September, 1814, an attack was anticipated on
these youthful commanders : accordingly, on tlie 11th of
that month, the expected event took place.
For several days, the enemy had been on his way to
Plattsburgh, by land and water, and it was well under-
stood, that an attack would be made at the same time, by
his land and naval forces. Commodore Macdonough de-
termined to await at anchor the approach of the latter.
At eiofht o'clock in the morninor, the look-out boat an-
nounced the approach of the enemy. At nine, he anchor-
ed in a line ahead, at about three hundred yards distance
from the American line : his flag-ship, the Confiance, un-
der Commodore Downie, was opposed to Commodore
Macdonough's ship, the Saratoga ; the brig Linnet, was
opposed to the Eagle, Captain Robert Henley ; the ene-
my's gallies, thirteen in number, to the schooner, sloop,
and a division of galleys, one of his sloops assisting his
shi}) and brig ; the others assisting his galleys : the re-
maining American galleys being with the Saratoga and
In this situation, the whole force on both sides became
engaged ; the Saratoga suffered much from the heavy
fire of the Confiance, though the fire of the former was
very destructive to her antagonist. The Ticonderoga,
Lieutenant-commander Cassin, gallantly sustained her full
share of the action. At half past ten o'clock, the Eagle,
not being able to bring her guns to bear, cut her cable
and anchored in a more eligible position, between the Sa-
ratoga and the Ticonderoga, where she very much an-
noyed the enemy, but unfortunately left her Commodore
exposed to a galling fire from the enemy's brig. The
guns of the Saratoga on the starboard side, being nearly
all dismounted or not manageable, a stern anchor was let
20, the bower cable cut, and the ship winded with ci fresh
362 GLORY OF AMERICA,
broadside on the Confiance, which soon after surrendered.
The broadside of the Saratoga was then sprung to bear on
the brig, which surrendered within about fifteen minutes.
The sloop that was opposed to the Easfle, had struck
some time before, and drifted do\\m the fine ; the sloop
which was with the enemy's galleys, havmg also struck.
Three of them were sunk, and the others pulled off.
While Macdonough"s galleys were in the act of obeyins"
the signal to follow them, all the vessels were reported to
him to be in a sinking state ; it then became necessary to
countermand the signal to the galleys, and order their men
to the pumps,
At this time not a mast was standing in either squad-
ron, in a condition to hold up a sail ; ^the lower rio-CTincy
being nearly all shot away, hung do^\m along the masts
The action lasted without intermission two hours and
twenty minutes. The Confiance had one hundred and
five round shot in her hull. Her shot passing principally
over the heads of her antagonists, the hull of the Sarato-
ga received but fifty-five shot, and at the close of the ac-
tion, not twenty whole hammocks were in the nettino;s.
The Confiance had one hundi^ed and ninety men killed ;
and one of the captured sloops, the Chub,' had but five
men ahve. The British Commodore, Downie, was killed
at the first broadside. Commodore Macdonough was
three times knocked down, by the splinters, and falling
spars and blocks, but escaped 'with trifling injur\^ The
Saratoga was twice set on fire by hot shot from the ene-
The following is a statement of the killed and wounded
on board the American squadron, and of the force eno-a-
ged on each side, taken fi-om Conmiodore Macdonouoji s
letter to the Secretary of the yavy, dated, United States'
ship Saratoga, at anchor off Platt'sburcfh,' September 13th,
1814," accompanying the flags taken &om the enemy.
Saratoga, eight long 24 pounders ; six 42 poimd car-
ronades : twelve 32 pound do. total 26.
Eade, twelve 32 pound carronades, and eight lono- 18
pounders : total 20.
THOMAS MACDONOUGH. 363
Ticonderoga, eight long 12 pounders; four long 18
do. ; five 32 pound carronades : total 17.
Preble, seven long 9 pounders : total 7.
Ten galleys, viz. : Allen, Burrows, Borer, Nettle, Viper,
and Centipede, one long 24 pounder, and one 18 pounder,
Columbiad, each ; and Ludlow, Wilmer, Aylwin, and
Ballard, of one long 12 pounder, each. Grand total 86
RECAPITULATION. 14 loug 24 pouudcrs,
6 42 pound carronades,
29 32 pound do.
12 long 18 pounders, 4
12 12 do. '
7 9 do.
6 18 pound columbiads.
Total 86 guns.
Frigate Confiance, twenty-seven long 24 pounders ;
four 32 pound carronades ; six 24 pound do. ; and two
long 18 pounders, on berth deck : total 39.
Brig Linnet, sixteen long 12 pounders : total 16.
Sloop Chub, ten 18 pound carronades ; one long six
pounder: total 11.
Sloop Finch, six 18 pound carronades ; one 18 pound
Columbiad, and four long 6 pounders : total 11.
Thirteen galleys, viz. : Sir James Yeo. one long 24
pounder, and one 32 pound carronade : total 2.
Sir George Provost, one long 24 pounder, and one 32
pound carronade : total 2.
Sir Sy Beckwith, one long 24 pounder, and one 32
pound carronade : total 2.
Broke, one long 18 pounder, and one 32 pound carron
ade : total 2.
Murray, one long 18 pounder, and one 18 pound car-
ronade : total 2.
Wellington, one long 18 pounder : total L
Tecumseh, one long 18 do. total 1 .
Name unknown, one long 18 do. total 1.
Drummond, one 32 pound carronade : total 1.
Simcoe. one 32 do. total 1. -
3(34 GLORY OF AMERICA.
Name unknown, one 32 pound carronade ; total 1.
Do. do. one 32 do. do. total 1
Do do. one 32 do. do. total 1.
Total, gims 95.
32 pound carronades
24 do. do.
18 do. do.
18 do. Columbiad
Total. 9-5 guns.
An attack made by the British army, under the Gover-
nor-o:eneral of the Canadas, Sir George Provost, on Gene-
ral Macomb, commanding at Plattsburgh, owed its defeat
to the bravery of Commodore Macdonough on the lake, and
the undaunted valour of Macomb commanding on shore.
Sir George having collected all the disposable force in
Lower Canada, with a view of conquering the country' as
far as Crown Point and Ticonderoga. entered the territo-
ries of the United States, on the first of September, with
fourteen thousand men, and occupied the village of Cham-
plain. As was before intimated, the co-operation of the
naval force constituted an essential pa.rt of the arrange-
ment. The consequence was, that instantly on the dis-
comfiture of the fleet, the army retired Avith great precipi-
tation, having lost two thousand five hundred men, in
killed, wounded, and missinof.
Thus, by the valour and conduct of two young com-
manders, joined to the exertion of the forces under their
command, the enemy was expelled from Lake Champlain
and its vicinity", liis cherished enterprise miscarried, and
the prospect of fiiture success was rendered more distant
and hopeless than ever.
This victory was announced to the department of war,
by Commodore Macdonouo;h. on the day it was obtained,
in the following brief and modest communication : ^' The
THOMAS MACDONOUQH. 365
Almighty has been pleased to grant us a signal victory on
Lake Champlain, in the capture of one frigate, one brig,
and two sloops of war of the enerny."
At the time of this brilliant achievement, Macdonough^
was in the twenty-eighth year of his age.
From this scene, at the return of peace he was transfer-
red to the Atlantic, and paid another visit to his old Bar-
In 1819, he was arrested by Commodore Stewart, while
on the Mediterranean station. The writer is not suffi-
ciently acquainted with the cause of arrest to attempt a
detail of the connecting circumstances ; nor, perhaps, is it
of much importance, more especially, as the result in no
way tarnished his fame, nor diverted from him the confi-
dence of the government. Being deprived of his com-
mand, he returned to his country, to account for his con-
duct. To behold under arrest one of his unspotted cha-
racter whose modesty equalled his gallantry a hero of
the Mediterranean the conqueror of Champlain one
alike the dread of Turks and Englishmen, was sorely un-
expected, nor could any prematurely consider him guilty.
But no one could possibly enter into the feelings of the
endeared Macdonough, like Stephen Decatur. He had
been his favourite midshipman in the Mediterranean ;
where Decatur led, he would follow. He added one to
the splendid trophies of the naval prowess of America. It
was hardly credible that he had even made a mistake in
duty. And yet to this noble friend he manfully acknow-
ledged his error. This was his last and greatest triumph ;
it was a victory over himself it was truth in defiance of
consequences. If his error were one of the judgment, his
honour was untarnished his fame undiminished.
Soon after this, his flag waved on a seventy-four, (the
Washington or Franklin,) and he again visited the Me-
diterranean. He afterwards commanded the ship which
carried out to Russia a minister from the United States.
He remained in the service till the time of his death, which
occurred in 1825. The following copy of a letter, written
by a cadet at Captain Partridge's Academy, and politely
fiirnished me by Mr. Stow, Post-Master. Middletown, Con-
366 GLORY OP AMERICA.
necticiit, contains the account of his death and funeral so-
Middletown^ December 3, 1825.
Honoured Sir :
I HAVE just returned from a melancholy service, having
acted as one of the military escort of Cadets at the fune-
ral of Commodore Macdonough. He died at sea on the
10th of last month, and was brought for interment to this
place, where he had resided for many years. I never be-
fore witnessed a military funeral. In the morning, thir-
ty-nine minute guns, corresponding with the age of the
deceased, were fired at the Academy. At one, P. M. the
procession moved from the house lately occupied by the
Commodore, now a desolate mansion, to the Presbyterian
Church, in the following order :
Playing a Dead March.
Pall-Bearers, j CORPSE. I Pall-Bearers.
Officers of the Navy.
Masters of Vessels.
Officers of the Army.
Officers of the Mihtia and Militaiy Companies.
Judges of the Supreme Court.
Mayor and Corporation.
Officers and Instructors of the A. L. S. & M. Academy.
J rayers were read by the Right Rev. Bishop Brownell.
After the benediction, the procession again moved through
Main-Street to the North Burying Ground, where the re-
mains of the Commodore were deposited, with appropriate
rehgious ceremonies, by the side of Mrs. Macdonough,
who died a few months since. Minute gams were fired
THOMAS MACDONOUGH. 367
while the procession was moving-, and the flags of all the
vessels in port were at half-mast, and so continued until
sunset. After firing three volleys over the grave, Ihe pro-
cession returned, not as it came, with arms reversed, muf-
fled drums, and solemn music, but with a quick and airy
step to the cheerful notes of the fife and bugle. The sud-
den change by no means accorded with my feelings, and
struck me as altoafether inconsistent with the occasion :
but according to military rules, a soldier ceases to mourn
for a companion, after he has committed him to the earth.
On reflection, I am satisfied that the sentiment is not op-
posed to the principles of Christianity. We cannot fail to
lament the cause which has brought death into the world,
as we convey the body of a departed friend to the house
appointed for all the living ; but, since life and immortali-
ty have been brought to light by the Gospel, we are for-
bidden to mourn as those who have no hope. Hopeless
vegret v/as certainly not the feeling which we were called
to entertain at the interment of the Commodore. His
piety, uniform, unaftected, and suicere, is a bright example
to all, who follow the profession of arms. He was brave
without ostentation, serious and dignified in his deport-
ment, but modest and unassuming ; and a model of cor-
rectness in all the relations of private life. No one dared
to speak ill of him ; no one cherished any thoughts con-
cerning him, but those of respect and affection. He was
most esteemed by those who knew him best. His name
and his services will long be remembered by a grateful
country. He has been removed in the midst of his repu-
tation and usefulness. He has bequeathed to his juniors
an eminent lesson on the vanity of human glory, and
taught them, by his example, to direct their attention to
the higher honours of a nobler state of existence.
The following is a copy of the letter enveloping an ac-
count of the funeral solemnities, and containing the in-
scription at his grave.
At the head of his grave is a neat pillar, with the fol-
lowing inscription. " Sacred to the memory of Commo-
dore Thomas Macdonough, of the United States Navy.
He was born in the State of Delaware, December, 1783
86S GLORY OP AMERICA.
and died at sea of Pulmonary Consumption, while on his
return from the command of the American squadron in
the Mediterranean, on the 10th of November. 1825. He
was distinguished in the world as the Hero of Lake
Champlain : in the Church of Christ, as a faithful, zealous,
and consistent Christian ; in the community where he resi-
ded, when absent from professional duties, as an aiTiia-
ble, upright, and valuable Citizen."'
A single occurrence, not known by me as published,
and which I had from his own lips, I think deseiwes notice.
It was this : At the close of ihe action on Lake Cham-
plain, Provost, as it was supposed, wishing to have some
delay, while he could prepare for his retreat, sent a flag to
our Commodore, requesting Irim to inform by what means
his victory was obtained.'' The Commodore, being then
greatly and necessarily engaged in attending to the wound-
ed, had no time to correspond with the enemy ; he there-
fore took out his pencil, and on the same paper sent to
him, he wrote these emphatical words '- By hard fi^ht-
AVas born near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, about the
year 17S9. and was educated and brought up to mercan-
tile pursuits. Of his early years, nothing is known which
gives pre-eminence. He removed to Tennessee, in the
year 1810, and settled at Nashville. When the pohtical
horizon was thickening and portended a tempest, he be-
came a member and was elected Captain of the -'Xash-
ville Uiiifomi Volunteers,^- which company tendered
their serinces to the Government of the United States, a
short time prior to the hostile attitude assumed by theii
country, in June, 1812. This tender was promptlv ac-
cepted by the National Executive, and from this period,
the military career of Carroll is dated. Suffice it to sav,
WILLIAM CARROLL. 369
that the officers and men of that corps emulated each the
other in bringing their disciphne to the highest state of
perfection in their power. Captain Carroll, in particular,
devoted much of his time to improve his knowledge of the
Shortly after the government of the United States had
made known to the world its determination to resist the
aggressions of Great Britain on our National Indepen-
dence, by an appeal to arms, a body of volunteers from
Tennessee, commanded by General Andrew Jackson, was
ordered by the general government to descend the Missis-
sippi for the defence of the lower country, where invasion
was at that time apprehended. On this occasion, Captain
Carroll was appointed Brigade Inspector of the whole
command, by the hero of IXew Orleans. During this ex-
pedition, officers and men, by their perseverance, patience,
and correct discipline, drew from the late General Coving-
ton, at their discharge from Natchez, his marked approba-
The hostile demeanour of the Creek Indians impelled the
government of the United States to direct an irruption of
military force into the Creek countries, in the autumn of
1813. General Andrew Jackson, with his Tennessee Vo-
lunteers, was again ordered to take the field. At this
time, Carroll, who had been advanced to a majority in the
militia of Tennessee, was at Pittsburgh on business. The
moment he was made acquainted v/ith this news, he start-
ed for General Jackson's head-quarters, considering him-
self attached to the forces then on the hostile expedition.
He reached head-quarters just as the army was entering
the Indian territory, and General Jackson announced him
the next morning, in a general order, as Inspector-Gene-
ral of that army, ordering that he should be obeyed ac-
A short time only elapsed before the Tennesseans had
an opportunity to test their prowess in battle. In the first
general engagement which General Jackson brought on
with the Indians, Colonel Carroll solicited and obtained
the command of the van, two hundred strong, and was
ordered to attack the enemy, feign a retreat, and thus
GLORY OF AMERICA.
draw them into open action. His van found them shel-
tered by a morass. They were attacked and driven from
their strong position. As was wished, this attack di^ew on
a general action, and the Indians were totally routed, with
the loss of three iiundred killed. To Carroll, the post ot
honour was that of danger. He rode in front of his
troops, in the hottest of the action, urging them on to vic-
tory or death. He was frequently solicited to retire to a
place of greater security, for the sake of the troops whom
he commanded, and he as frequently refused. His signal
services Avere particularly recognised by General Jackson
in his official report. '
Having effected its objects, this force was disbanded,
and a less numerous one, consisting of mounted cam-men'
and a single company of artillery, penetrated ^iiito the
heart of the enemy's country. This incursion drew on
several veiy sanguinary conflicts, wherein Colonel Carroll
partook of the greatest dangers, and evinced his dauntless
courage and military sldll.
The 22d of January, 1814, was a day which formed a
conspicuous era in his military career. At dav/n of day,
General Jackson's forces were assailed by the savao-e foe'
who fought with desperation, and supported the atta'ck for
neany an hour. The onset was made ao;ainst the rig-ht
wing of the Americans, a post to which Carroll hasteiied
and fought until th^ enemy was compelled to fly, ^vhen he
headed the pursuit.
Jackson's forces were honoured on that day with two
attacks from the savages. The smallness of his numbers
scarcity of provisions, and the necessary details to wait on
his wounded, determined him to fall back on his strona
hold at Fort Strother, on the Coosee, to await the arrival
of a large reinforcement which was hastening to his sup-
port. Apprehensive of attack in his retrograde movement
having made every necessary disposition, he committed
the command of the r^ar, Avhich was most fixposed to the
enemy, to Colonel Carroll. The army had scarcely taken
up Its line of march, on the mornino; of the 24th, and
cleared the fortifications, when the re^ar of the rio-ht and
left columns, and rearguard, were simuhaneously attacked
William carroll* 371
i ^ the savages, most furiously. A panic spread through-
w at his command, and Carroll was left with about thirty-
men to sustain the conflict. These few exhibited Spartan
prowess, until the loss of half their numbers induced their
brave commander to fall back on a corps of artillery which
bravely stood its ground with musketry. The arrival of
a six-pounder, charged with grape-shot, soon compelled