John] 1793-1863 [Russell.

The history of the war, betwee the United States and Great-Britain, which commenced in June, 1812, and closed in Feb. 1815 .. online

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you will observe the name of Lieut, Funk, who died
in a few hours after the action — he was an officer of
great gallantry and promise, and the service has sus*
tained a severe loss in his death.

The Macedonian lost her mizen-mast, fore and
main top-masts and main yard, and was much cut up
in her hull. The damage sustained by this ship was
not such 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, &c.


The hon. Paul Hamilton,

Killed on board the United States seven — and
five wounded.

On board the Macedonian thirty-six killed — and
sixty^eight wounded.


Com. Bainbridye to the Secretary oj the Navy,
U. S. Frigate Coni^titution, St. Salvador ^ Jan 3, 1813.
gIR — J have the honor to inform you, that on the
29th ultimo, at 2 P. M. in south latitude 13 06, and
west longitude thirty eight, ten leagues distance from
the coast of Brazils, 1 fell in with and captured his
JBritanmc Majesty's frigate Java, of forty nine guns
and upwards of 400 men, commanded by captain Lam-^
bert, a very distitjguished officer. The action lasted
one hour and o6 minutes, ni which time the enemy
was completely dismasted, not having a spar of any
kind standing. The loss on board the Constitution
was 9 kdled and 25 vyounded, as per enclosed list.
The enemy had 60 killed and 101 wounded, certain-
ly (among the latter captain Lambert, mortally) but
by the enclosed letter, written on board the shij), (by
Qjieof the officers of the JavaJ and accidentally tonnd,
it is evident that the enemy's wounded niusl have been
mucli- greater than above stated, and who must iiave


dxeA of their wounds previously to their being* remov-
ed The letter states sixty killed and 170 wounded.

For further details of the action, I beg leave to re-
fer you to the enclosed extracts from my journal.
The Java had in addition to her own crew upwards
of one hundred supernumirary officers and seamen, to
join the British ships of war in the East Indies ; also,
Lieutenant-General Hislop, appointed to the com-
mand of Bombay, IVIaior Walker, and Capt. Wood,
of his staif, a id Capt. Marshall, master and command-
er in the British navy, going" to the East Indies to
take command of a sloop of war there.

Should I attem[)t to do justice, by representa-
tion, to the brave and good conduct of all my officers
and crew, during; the action, I should fail in the at-
tempt ; therefore, suffice it to say, that the whole of
their conduct was such as to merit my highest enco-
miums. I beg leave to recommend the officers particu-
larly to the notice of government, as also the unfortu-
nate seamen who were wounded, and the families of
those men who fell in the action.

Tiie great distance from our own coast, and the
perfect wreck we made the enemy's frigate, forbid
every idea of attempting to take her to the United
States ; and not considering it prudent to trust her in-
to a port of Brazils, particularly St. Salvadore, as you
will'percivc by the enclosed letters, No. 1. 2. and 3,
I had no alternative but burning her, which I did on
the 31st ult. after receiving all the prisoners and their
baggage, which was very tedious work, only having
one boat left (out of eighty and not one left on board
the Java.

On blowing up the frigate Java, I proceeded to
this place, where I have landed all the prisoners oi»
their parole, to return to England, and there remain
until regularly exchanged, and not serve in their pro-
fi^ssioiial capacities in any place or in any manner
whatever agaiust the United States of America, until
the exchangee shall be effected.

I have the honor to be, Sir, with the greatest re*


Extract from Commodore Wm. Bainbridsfe's Jour-
nal, kept on baord the U. States Constitution.
' ; . ' Tuesdai/y JJec. 29, IS12.

' At 9 A. M. discovered two strange sails on the
"weather bow. At 10 discovered the strangle sails to
be ships ; one of them stood in for land and the other
stood off shore, in a direction towards us. At 10, 45
A. M. we tacked ship to the northward and westward
and stood for the sail standing' towards us, and at 11
A. M. tacked to the southward and eastward, hauled
up the mainsail and took in the royals. At 11, 30,
made the private signal for the day, which was not
answered, and then set the mainsail and royals to
draw the strange sail off from the neutral coast, and
separate her from the sail in company.

* Wednesday t Dec. 30.
. * In lat. 13, 9 S. long. 38 W. ten leagues from the
coast of Brazil, commences with clear weather and
moderate breezes from E. N. E. hoisted our ens gn
and pendant. At 15 minutes past meridian, the ship
hoisted her colors — an English ensign, having a sig-
nal flying at her main.

* At 1, 26, P. M. being sufficiently from the land,
and finding the ship to be an E iglish frigate, took in
the mainsail and royals, tacked ship and stood for the
€nemy. At I, 30, P. M. the enemy bore down with
an intention of raking us, which we avoided by wear-
ing. At 2 P. M. the enemy bemg within half a mile
of us, and to windward, and having hauled down his
colors except the union jack at the mizenmast head,
induced me to give orders to the officers of the 3d di-
vision to fire a gun ahead of the enemy, to make him
show his colors, which being done, brought on a fire
from us of the whole broadside, on which the enemy
hoisted his colors, and immediately returned our fire.
A general action with round and grape then com-
menced ; the enemy keeping at a mucli greater dis-
tance than I wished ; but could not bring him to a
closer action, without exposing ourselves to several
rakes. Considerable manceuvers were made by both


vessels to i^ake and avoid being raked. The follow-
ing' minutes were taken during the action :

' iVt -2, 10, P. M. commenced the action within
good grape and canister distanee, the enemy to wind-
ward, hut much iarther than I wished.

* At 2, 30, our wheel was shot entirely away.

* At 2, 40, determined to close with the enemy, not-
withstanding his raking. Set the fore and mainsail,
and luffed up close to him.

* At 2, 50, the enemy's jib-boom got foul of our miz-
zen rigging.

* At 3, the head ofthe enemy's bowsprit and jib-
boom shot away by us.

* At 3, o, shot away his fore-mast by the board.

* At 3, 15, shot away his main-top-mast just above
the caj).

* At 3, 40, shot away the gaff and sparker-boom.

* At 3, 55, shot away his mizen-mast nearly by tlie

* At 4, 5, having silenced the fire ofthe enemy com-
pletely, and his colors in main rigging being down,
supposed he had struck; then hauled down the courses
to shoot ahead to repair our rigging, which was ex-
tremely cut ; leaving the enemy a complete wreck ;
soon after discovered that the enemy's flag was still
flying. Hove too to repair some of our damage.

* At 20 minutes past 4, the enemy's mainmast went
nearly by the board.

* At 50 minutes past 4, wore ship and stood for the

* At 25 minutes past 5, got very close to the ene-
my, in a very eft'ectual raking position, thwart his
l)ovvs, and was at the instance of raking him, when he
niosl pi'udently struck his flag ; for had he suftered
ilio broadside to have raked him, his additional loss
must have been extremely great — as he laid an un-
manageable wreck upon the water. After the ene-
my had struck, wore ship and reefed the topsails —
then hoisted out one ofthe only two remaining boats
we had left out of eight, and sent Lieut. Parker, l.-^t


of the Constitution, to take possession of the enemy,
which proved to be his Britannic Majesty's frigale
Java, rated 38, but carried 49 g"uns, and manned with
upwards of 400 men, commanded b}? Capt. Lambert,
a very distinguished officer, who was mortaly wound-
ed. The action continued from commencement to
the end of the fire, one hour and 55 minutes.
The Java had her own complement of men complete,
and upwards of one hundred supernumeraries, going*
to British ships of war to the East Indies — also sever-
al officers, passengers, going out on promotion.
The force of the enemy in number of men at the com-
mencement of the action was no doubt considerably
greater than we have been able to ascertain, which is
upwards of 400 men. The officers were extremely
cautious in discovering the number. By her quater-
bill, she had one man more stationed to each gun than
Vve had.

* The Constitution was very much cut in her sails,
and rigging, and many of her spars injured.

* At 7 P. M. the boat returned with Lieut. Chads
the first Lieut, of the enemy's frigate, and Lieut. Gen.
Hislop,( appointed Governor of Bombay) Maj. Wal-
ker, and Cipt. Wood.

* Capt. Lambert was too dangerously wounded to
be removed inunediately. The cutter returned on
board the prize for the prisoners, and brought Capt.
Marshall, master and commandant in the British na-
vy, who was a passenger on board, also, several other
naval officers.

* The Java was an important ship, fitted out in the
completest manner, to carry Lieut. Clen. Hislop and
staff to Bombay,'

Letter above alluded to, jrom an officer of the Java.
Conatitulion, St. Salvador^ Brazils Jan. \st 181-i.

* My dear sir — 1 am sorry inform you of the un-
pleasant news of Mr. Gascoine's death. Mr. Gas-
coineand myself were shipmates in the Marlborough,
and first <ame to sea together. Re was shot early in


the action by around shot in his rifrhl thigh, and died
in a few miiiutes afterwards, Fourolhers of his mess-
mates shared the same fate, togetht r with 60 men
killed and 170 wounded. The official account voii
will no doubt have read before this reaches you I
beg you wdl let all his friends and relations know of
his untimely fate.

* We were on board the Java for a passage to India
when we fell in with this frigate. — Two parcels I
have sent > ou under good care, and hope this will
reach you safely.*

Yours truly, H. D. CORNECK.

Lieut. Peter V. Woody 22d refjimentfitoty

Isle of France or Bourbouy East indies.


Captain Lawrence to the Secretary of the Navy.
U. S. Ship Hornet, Holmes' Hole. March 19, 1813.
SIR — I have the honor to inform you of the arrival
at this port, of the U. S. ship Hornet, under my com-
mand, from a cruise of 14o days, and to state to you,
that after C mi. Bainbridge left the coast of Brazils,
(on the 6th of .January last) the Hornet continued oft"
the harbor of St. Salvador, blockading the Bonne
Citoyenne, until the 21th, when the Montagu, 74,
hove in sight and chased me into the harbor ; but
night coming on I wore and stood to the southward.
K lowing that she had left Rio Janeiro lor the express
purpose of relieving the Bonne Citoyenne, and the
Packet, (which I had also blockaded for fourteen
days, and obliged her to send her mail to Rio, in a
Portuguese smack) I judged it most prudent to
change our cruising ground, and stood to the eastward,
with the view of cruising off Pernambuco — and on
the 4th day of February, captured the English brig-
Resolution, from Rio .Taneiro, hound to Moranham,
with cotfee, jerke<l beef, tiour, fustic, and butter, and
about 20,000 dollars in spf^cie. As the brig sailed
dull, and could ill spare hands to man her, I took out
the money and set her on tire. I then run down the


coast for Moranham, and cruised there a sLort lime;
from thence ran oft' Surrinam. After ciuising oft that
coast from the 5lh to llie 22d oi Februar}, \\ithout
meeting- a vessel, 1 stood for Deraarara, with an inten-
tion should I not be fortunate on that station, to run
through the West Indies, ois my way to the United
States. But on the morning of the 24lh, I discover -
ed a brig- to leeward, to which 1 gave chaise ; ran into
quarter less four, and not havnig a pilot, was obliged
to haul oil" — the fort at the entrance of Demarara riv-
er at this time be;uing- S. W. distance about 2 1-2
leagues. Previously to giving up the chase, 1 dis-
covered a vessel at anchor without the bar wilhEng'-
iish colors flying, apparently a brig of war. In beat-
ing round Con obano bank, in order to get at her,
at half past three P. M. I discovered another sail
on my weather quarter, edging dovAu for us. At 4,
20, she hoisted English colors, at which time we dis-
covered her to be a large man of war brig — beat to
quarters, and cleared ship for action- — kejjt close by
the wind, in order if possible to get tlie weather guage.
At -5, 10, fii»ding I could weather the enemy, I hoist-
ed American colors, and tacked. At 5, 20, in pas-
sing each other, exchanged broadsides within half
pistol shot. Observing the enemy in the act of wear-
ing, I bore up, received his starboard broadside, ran
him close on boai'd on the starboard quarter, and
kept up such a heavy and well directed fire, that in less
than 15 minutes he surrendered, being literally cut to
pieces, and hoisted an ensign, union down, from his
fore rigging, as a signal of distress. Shortly after his
mainmast went by the board. Despatched Lieut
Shubrick on board, who soon relnriied with her first
Lieut, who reported her to be his Britannic Majesty's
late brig Peacock, commanded by Capl. AViUiam
Peake, who fell in the latter part of the action — that
a number of her crew were killed and wounded, and
that she ^^ as sinking fast, having then six feet of wa-
ter in her hold. Despatched the boats immediately
for the Mounded, and brought both vessels to anchci .


Such sliol holes as couhl be got at, were then pUig-
ged; her guns thrown ovorboartl, and every pu:>sibl€
exertion used to keep her nrtoat, until the prisoners
could be removed, by pnni:)ing' and bailing", but with-
out effect, and she unforUuvately sunk in live and a
half fathoms water, carrying down 13 of her crew, and
three of mv biave feUows. Lieut. Conner, midship-
man Cooper, and the remainder of the Hornel's crew,
employed in removing the prisoners, with difficulty
saved themselves by jumping in a boat that was lying
on her bows as she went down. Four men, of the
1-3 mentioned, were so fortunate as to gain the fore-
top, and were afterwards taken off by the boats.
Previous to her going down, four of her men took to
her stern boat, whicli had been much damaged during
. the action, who, I hope, reached the shore in safely ;
but from the heavy sea running at the time, the shat-
tered slate of the boat, and the difficulty of landing on
the coast, I much fear they were lost. I have not been
able to ascertain from her officers the exact number
killed. Capt. Peake and four men were tound dead
on board. The master, one midshipman, carpenter,
and Captain's clerk, and 29 seamen were wounded,
most of them very severely, three of whom died of
their wounds after being removed, and 9 drowned.
Our loss was trifling in comparison ; being only 2
killed and 3 wounded. Our rijjoinor and sails were
much cut ; one shot through the foremast, and the
bowsprit slightly injured. Our hull received little or
no damage. At the time the Peacock was brought
to action, the L'Espeigle, (ihebrig mentioned above
as being at anchor) mounting IG two and thirty pound
carronades, and 2 long nines, lay about six miles in
shore, and could plainly see the whole of the action.
Apprehensive that she would beat out to the assistance
of her consort, such exertions were made by my offi-
cers and crew in repairing damages, &c. that by nine
o'clock the boats were stowed, anew set of sails bent,
and the ship completely ready for action, At 2 A. M.
got under way, and stood by the wind to the norlh-
ward and westward, under easy sail.


On mustering next moriniig, found we had 277
souls on board, including- the crew ot the Amercan
brig- Hunter, of Purtiand, taken a itw days before
by the Peacock. Aiid, as we had l)een on two thirds
allowance of provisions tor some time, and liad but
3' 400 gallons of waler on board, I reduced the allow-
ance Lo three pints a man, and determined to make
the best of my way to the United iStates.

The Peacock was deservedly styled one of the fin-
est vessels of her class in the British navy, probably
about the tonage <.A' the Hornet. Her beani was
greater by five inches ; but her extreme leitgVh not so
great by four feet. She mounted 16 twe;ity-four
pound carronades, two long nmes, one twelve pound
carronade on her top-gahant forecastie, as a shitimg
gun, and one 4 or 6 pounder, and 2swiveiS mounted
att. 1 tind by her quarter bill that her crew consisted
of 134 men, four of whom were absent in a prize.
With the greatest resj>ect, Sec.


P. S. At the commencement of the action my sail-
ing master and seven men were absent m a prize, and
Lieut. Stewart and six men on the sick list.



Major-General Dearborn lo the Secretary ol War.

Head-quarterSt Yorh, Capital of Upper Canadtty

April '2S(h, 1813.

Sir- After a detention of some days by adverse
winds, we arrived at this place yesterday morning,
and at 8 o'clock commenced landing the troops about
3 miles westward from the town, and one and a half
from the enemy's works. The wind was high and
in an unfavorable direction for the boats, which pre-
vented the landing of the troops at a clear field, the


scite of the ancient French fort Tarento. It prevent-
ed also many of the armed vessels from takincr posi-
tions, which would have most effectually covered our
landing — but every thing that couid be done was ef-

The Riflemen under Major Forsyth first landed, un-
der a heavy fire from Indians and other troops. Gen.
Sheatfe commanded in person. He had collected
hs whole force in the woods near the point where the
wind compelled our troops to land. His force con-
sisted of 700 regulars and militia, and 100 Indians.
Maj*)r Forsyth was supported as promptly as possible;
but the contest was sharp and severe for nearly half an
hour, and the enemy were repulsed by a number far
inferior to theirs. As soon as Gen. Pike landed with
7 or BOO men, and the remainder of the troops were
pushing for the shore, the enemy retreated to their
works. Our troops were now formed on the ground
originaly intended for their landing, advanced through
a thick wood, and after caiTying one battery by as-
sault, were moving on in columns towards the main
work : when in sixty rods of this, a tremendous explo-
sion took place from a magazine previously prepared,
and which threw out such immense quantities of stone
as most seriously to injure our troops. I have not yet
been able to collect the returns of the killed and woun-
ded ; but our loss will, I fear, exceed 100 ; and
among these 1 have to lament the loss of that brave
and excellent officer Brig. Gen. Pike, who received
a contusion from a large stone, which terminated his
■valuable life within a few hours. His loss will be se-
verely felt.

Previously to this explosion the enemy had retired
into the town, excepting a party ol" regulars, to the
number of 40, who did not escape the effects of the
shock, and were destroyed.

General Sheaffe moved off with the regular troops,
and left directions with the commanding officer of the
railitia to make the best terms he could, (n the mean


lime all further resistance on the part of llie enemy
ceased, and the outlines of a capitulation were agreed

As soon as I learned that Gen. Pike had been
wouiideo, I went on shore. To the Geu. I had been
induced to confide the immediate attack, from a
knowledge that it was his wish, and that he would
have felt mortified had it not been given to him.

jEvery movement was under my view. The troops
behaved with great firmness, and deserve nnich ap-
plause, particularly those first engaged, and under
circumstances which would have tried the steadiness
of veterans.

Our loss in the morning and in carrying the first
battery was not great, perhaps 40 or 50 killed and
wounded, and of them a full proportion ot officers.

Notwithstanduig the enemy's advantage in pusitiou
and numbers in the commencemeid ot the action,
their loss was greater than ours, cspeci.iily in officers.
It was with great exertion that the small vessels of
the fleet could work into the harbor against a g;iie of
wind, but as soon as they got into a proper |>osition,
a. tremendous cannonade opened u,>on the enemy's
batteries, and was kept up against Uicm, until they
were carried or blown up, and ha<l} no doubt, a pow-
erful effect upon the enemy.

Unfortunately the enemy's armed sliip Prince Re-
gent, left this place tor Kingston a few days betore
we arrived. A large ship on the stocks nearly plank-
ed up, and much naval stores, wtre set fire to by the
enemy soon after the explosion of the magazine. A
considerable quantity of military stores and provisions
remain, but no vessels fit for use.

We have not the means of transporting the prison-
ers, and must of course leave them on jjarole.

1 hope we shall so far complete what is necessary
to be done here, as to be able to sail to-morrow for
Niagara, whither 1 send this by a small vessel, with
notice to Gen. Lewis of our approach.
I have the honor to be, ice.



Commodore Chaunceif to the Secretari/ of the Kavj/.
U. S. Ship Madison, off Yoik, April 28, 1813.
SIR — Agreeably to your instructions and arrange-
ments made with jMnjor-General Dearborn, I took on
board of the squadron under my command the Gen.
and suite, and about 1700 troops, and left Sacket's
Harbor on the 26th inst. for this place. We arrived
here yesterday mornin<jand took a position about one
mile to the south and westward of the enemy's prin-
cipal fort, and as near the shore as wc could with
safety to the vessels. The place fixed upon by the
INIajor-General and myself for landing^ the troops,
was the scitc of the old French fort Tarento,

The debarkation commencetl about 8 o'clock,
A. M. and was completed about 10. The wind
i)lowing' heavy from the eastward, the boats fell to
leeward of the position tixtid upon, and were in con-
sequence exposed to a gallingiire from the enemy, who
had taken a position in a thick wood near where the
iirst troops lantled } however, the cool intrepidity of
the officers and men overcame every ohslacle. Their
attack upon the enemy was so vigorous, that he fled
in every direction, leaving a great rtiany of his killed
and wounded upon the field. As soon as the troops
were landed, I directed the schooners to lake a posi-
tion near the forts, in order that the attack on them
by the army and navy might be simultaneous. The
schooners were obliged to beat up to their position,
which they did iw a very handsome order, under a
very heavy tire from the enemy's batteries, and took
a position within about 600 yards of their principal
fort, and opened a heavy cannonade upon the enemy
wluch did great execution, and very nuich contribut-
ed to their Hnal destruction. The troops, as soon as
landed, were formed under the immediate orders of
Biig. Gen. Pike, who led in a most gallant manner
the attack upon the forts, and after having carried t\vo
redoubts in their approach to the principal work,
(the enemy having previously laid a trainj blew U[^
his magazine, M'hich in its etiects upon onr troops was


dreadful, having' killed and wounded a great many,
and amongst the former, the ever to be lamented
Brig General Pike, who fell at the head of his col-
umn by a contusion received by a heavy stone from
the mag:>zine. His death at this time is much to be
regretted, as he had the perfect confidence of the
Major-General; and his known activity, zeal, and
experience, make his. loss a national one.

Ill consequence of the fall of General Pike, the
command of the troops devolved for a time upon Col.
Pierce, who soon after took possession of the town.
At about 2 p. M. the American flag was substituted
foi' the British, and at about 4, our troops were in
quiCt possession of the town. As soon as Gen. Dear-
born learnt the situation of Gen. Pike, he landed and
assumed the command. I have the honor of enclos-
ing a copy of the capitulation which was entered into,
and approved by Gen. Dearborn and myself.

The enemy set fire to some of his principal stores,
containing large quantities of naval and military stores,

Online LibraryJohn] 1793-1863 [RussellThe history of the war, betwee the United States and Great-Britain, which commenced in June, 1812, and closed in Feb. 1815 .. → online text (page 17 of 38)