Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 320

:0K

.V
-n^o^
,5 ^^

v^

v-^^

\ >

. .

^^

V^^\/

-o^^^.^^O^

*..o^->'

"-^^^"%0'>

'bV

v-o^
.HO,

*0

t/'

v^^
~

0^

<i

o-JL-^.-^o.

v.

.^-

^^^\,^^

,Hq,
<i>

"

0^
^

^ij'

'^h"

0'

BLUE JACKETS OF 76
A HISTORY OF THE NAVAL BATTLES OF THE
AMERICAN REVOLUTION
TOGETHER WITH A NARRATIVE OF

THE WAR WITH TRIPOLI


BY

WILLIS

J.

AUTHOR OF "BLUE JACKETS OF

ABBOT

'6i;"

"BLUE JACKETS OF l8l2"


^^i^r-Vi

Jul
-**'="

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY W.

C.

JACKSON AND

H. W.

McVICKAR

NEW YORK
DODD, MEAD, AND COMPANY
PUBLISHERS

Of CO

/^
WAS-

Copyright,

1888,

By DODD, mead, & COMPANY.


All rights reserved.

Burr Printing House, Frankfort and Jacob

Sts.,

N, Y.

CONTENTS.
CHAPTER

I.

PAGE

Early Exploits upon the Water. Gallop's Battle with the Indians. Buccaneers
AND Pirates. Morgan and Blackbeard. Capt. Kidd turns Pirate. Downfall
OF THE Buccaneers' Power

CHAPTER

n.

Romantic Career
Expeditions against Quebec

Expeditions against Neighboring Colonies.


Phipps.

Quelling

a Mutiny.

CHAPTER

of Sir William
i8

in.

The Affair of the Schooner "St. John."


Work. The Sloop "Liberty." Destruction of

Opening of the American Revolution.

The

Press-Gang and

the "Gaspee."

The

its

Boston Tea- Party

33

CHAPTER

IV.

The Beginning of the Navy. Lexington and Concord. A Blow struck


Maine.

Capture

Work

of Capt.

of the " Margaretta."

Gen.

in

Washington and the Navy.

Manly

50

CHAPTER

V.

1776. The First Cruise of the Regular Navy. The "Lexington"


AND THE "Edward." Mugford's Brave Fight. Loss of the " Yankee Hero."
Capt. Manly, and the " Defence." American Vessels in European Waters.
Good Work of the " Lexington " and the " Reprisal." The British

Events of

defeated at charleston

63

CONTENTS.

iv

CHAPTER

VI.
PAGE

The Career of Paul

Jones.

In

Command

of the

"

Providence."

Capture of the

"Mellish." Exploits with the "Alfred." In Command of the "Ranger."


Sweeping the English Channel. The Descent upon Whitehaven
.

83

CHAPTER VH.

His Descent upon the Castle of Lord


Career of Paul Jones continued.
The Descent upon Whitehaven. The
Selkirk. The Affair of the Plate.

Battle with the "Drake."

Lieut.

Simpson's Perfidy

100

CHAPTER VHI.

Given Command of
His Search for a Ship.
Career of Paul Jones continued.
Landais and his Character.
The Frustrated
the "Bon Homme Richard."
Edinburgh and Leith threatened.
Mutiny.
Landais quarrels with Jones.

The

Dominie's Prayer

116

CHAPTER

IX.

Career of Paul Jones concluded.


The Battle between the " Bon Homme
Richard " and the " Serapis." Treachery of Landais.
Jones's Great Victory,
The
Landais steals the " Alliance."
Jones in Command of the "Ariel."

"

Ariel

" in

the

Storm. Arrival

in

America

CHAPTER

133

X.

His Exploit at Lewiston Jail. Cruise in the


Battle with the "Yarmouth." The Fatal Explosion. Samuel
Tucker. His Boyhood. Encounter with Corsairs. Cruising in the
"Franklin." In Command of the "Boston." Anecdotes of Capt. Tucker

Career of Nicholas Biddle.


"Randolph."

155

CHAPTER XL

American Reverses. The British in Philadelphia. The


Attack upon Fort Mifflin. Cruise of the " Raleigh " and the "Alfred."
Torpedo Warfare. The Battle of the Kegs

Hostilities in 1777.

CHAPTER
Naval Events of
Providence.

1778.

on

Destruction of the American


of the

"

PiGOT."

XII.

The
Capt.

Recruiting for the Navy.

Operations
French

the

Delaware.

Frigates. American

Naval Exploits

174

Descent upon
Barry's

New

Exploits.

Reverses. The

Capture
189

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER

XIII.
PAGE

Last Years of the War.

Disastrous

Expedition to the Penobscot.

Captures on the Newfoundland Banks.

Taking

of Charleston.
"

Barry and the

Wholesale

French Ships in American Waters.


"Trumbull's" Victory and Defeat.
Capt.
Close of the War

The

Alliance."

CHAPTER

XIV.

The "Gen. Hancock" and the "Levant." Exploits


The "Revenge." The "Holkar." The "Congress"
and the "Savage." The "Hyder Ali" and the "Gen. Monk." The WhaleBoAT Hostilities. The " Old Jersey Prison-Ship

Work

208

of the Privateers.

OF THE "Pickering"

"

CHAPTER

231

XV.

The Navy Disbanded. Aggressions of Barbary Corsairs. A Disgraceful Tribute.


Bainbridge and the Dey. Gen. Eaton at Tunis. A Squadron sent to
the Mediterranean. Decatur and the Spaniards. The "Enterprise" and
THE "Tripoll"

American

Slaves in Algiers

CHAPTER

249

XVI.

Commodore Morris sent to the Mediterranean.


Porter's Cutting-Out Expedition. Commodore Preble sent to the Mediterranean. His Encounter with a British Man-of-War. The Loss of the
" Philadelphia." Decatur's Daring Adventure

More Vigorous

Policy.

CHAPTER
A

Stirring Year.
Fight.

The

Lieut.

Narrow

Escape.

THE War.

The

Bombardment of

Trippe's

Bravery.

The Floating
End

263

XVII.
Tripoli.

Lieut.

Decatur's

Spence's

Mine. The

Fatal

Hand-to-Hand

Bold Deed.
Explosion.

Somers's
Close of
282

ILLUSTRATIONS.
PAGE

Gallop's Battle with Indians


5

Rendezvous at Madagascar

....
....
....
....

IS

Quelling a Mutiny

21

On the Iron-Bound Coast

31

Destruction of the "Gaspee"

41

The Boston Tea-Party

47

The Fight at Machias

55

The Loss of the "Reprisal"

75

In the Palmetto Fort

Stern Chase

Lieut. Jones hoisting

the First American Flag

Battle between the "Ranger" and the "Drake'

"Bon Homme Richard" and "Serapis"

in

Action

93
105

"3

The Explosion on the "Serapis"

A Gun Deck

79
87

125

143

Sinking of the "Bon

Homme Richard"

The Castaways

.......

Perfidious Escape of the "Triumph"

Fire Ship

149
.

Recruiting for the Navy

Boarding from Boats

.....

161

167

179
191

199

The Last Stand


203

ILLUSTRATIONS.

^[[[

PAGE

...

Destruction of the Penobscot Expedition

The "Trumbull" AND THE


Whale-Boat Hostilities

"Old Jersey"

British Cruisers

Prison-Ship

The Squadron leaving the Mediterranean


Americans enslaved in Tripoli

Captured by the Algerians


Burning of the

"

Philadelphia

I)

..

...
...

^53

259
.

271

279
287

Decatur boarding a Tripolitan Corsair

Bombardment of Tripoli

235
245

"3

^^3

295

"""^^
jiiiiiiiu

%'

>''',

BLUE-JACKETS OF
CHAPTER

'76.

I.

GALLOP'S BATTLE WITH THE INDIANS. BUCCANEERS


AND PIRATES. MORGAN AND BLACKBEARD. CAPT. KIDD TURNS PIRATE. DOWNFALL
OF THE BUCCANEERS' POWER.

NEARLY EXPLOITS UPON THE WATER.

May,

a stanch

1636,

little

sloop

of

some twenty tons was

Long Island Sound on a trading expedition.


At her helm stood John Gallop, a sturdy colonist, and a skilful
seaman, who earned his bread by trading with the Indians that
standing

.at

that

along

time thronged the

any opportunity to

Plymouth or
bright
drinks.

traffic

shores

with

New Amsterdam.

clothes,

and

in

the

The

sometimes,

The Indians

of

the

white

Sound, and

men from

colonists

sent

unfortunately,

rum

out

beads,

and

was one

of

great profit to the

to

seized

colonies

other

exchange offered skins and peltries

and, as their simple natures had not been schooled


of values, the traffic

eagerly

the

of

knives,

strong

of all kinds

nice

calculations

more shrewd whites.

But the trade was not without

its

simple, and

hard bargains, yet they were savages,

and

little

little

likely to

accustomed

to

drive

nice

perils.

distinctions

Though

the

Indians were

between their own property

BLUE-JACKETS OF

Their desires once aroused for some gaudy

and that of others.

they were ready enough to steal

cloth or shining glass,

by the murder of the luckless

their booty secure


that,

Gallop

before John

just

'76.

with

out

set

trader.

It

sloop

his

bit

of

making

often

it,

so happened,

on

spring

the

trading cruise, the people of the colony were excitedly discussing the

Oldham, who some weeks before had

probable fate of one


a

errand,

in

and

had

like

Indians,

a pinnace, with

never

crew

of

So when, on

returned.

set

out on

two white boys and twO'

May

this

morning,

Gallop, being forced to hug the shore by stormy weather, saw a small

anchor in a cove, he immediately ran down nearer,

vessel lying

at

investigate.

The crew

beside the skipper.

mean ordnance

of

men and two boys,


Some heavy duck-guns on board were nO'

the sloop numbered two

Gallop.

and the

New

Englander determined to probe the mys-

tery of

Oldham's disappearance, though

As

sloop

the

lack of signs to arouse his suspicion.

was

and seemed to have been

loose,

it

might require some

down upon the anchored

bore

she seemed to have been deserted

The
cut.

sloop, cut

fighting.

pinnace. Gallop found no-

rigging of the

No

strange craft

lookout was visible, and

but a nearer view showed, lying on

the deck of the pinnace, fourteen stalwart Indians, one of


sight of the approaching

to-

whom, catching

the anchor cable, and called to

his-

companions to awake.
This action on the part of the Indians
their character.

left

Gallop no doubt as

Evidently they had captured the pinnace, and had either

murdered Oldham, or even then had him a prisoner


no time

daring sailor wasted


pursue, but clapping

As

pinnace.

and spears

all sail

the sloop

came

on his

him

to

craft,

as

to

the

The

proper course

to-

soon brought her alongside the

up, the Indians

the

opened the

fight

with fire-arms

Indians deserted the decks, and fled below for shelter.

Gallop was then in a quandary.


for

debate

in

in their midst.

but Gallop's crew responded with their duck-guns with such

vigor that

tO'

The odds

against

dare to board, and the pinnace was

him were too great

rapidly drifting ashore.

After some deliberation he put up his helm, and beat to windward of


the pinnace

then,

coming about, came scudding down upon her before the

BLUE-JACKETS OF
The two

wind.

vessels

'76.

met with a tremendous shock.

The bow

of the

sloop struck the pinnace fairly amidships, forcing her over on her beamends,

the

into

and were drowned

sea,

the

rest

Gallop then prepared to repeat

cabin.

make

time, to

The

the water poured into the open hatchway.

until

Indians, unused to warfare on the water, rushed

upon deck.

Thus provided, the second blow

The sharp

began

way,

he

fluke

the sloop was more terrible than the

of

anchor crashed

the

of

finding that

broke

through

the

As

through the sides of the

the sloop drew

the cabin of

four or five

off,

As he drew

for the third time bore

man on

hold.

board,

down upon

his

Gallop

adversary.

the deck of the pinnace, and

near, an Indian appeared on

Gallop ran alongside, and taking

with humble gestures offered to submit.


the

more

and leaped overboard,

the pinnace,

but shared the fate of their predecessors, being far from land.

then came about, and

of

enemy was not to be dislodged in this


loose, and again made for the windward,

preparatory to a third blow.

Indians rushed from

fire

side

Gallop then

the

vessel

his

using one.

of

and the two vessels hung tightly together.

but,

This

thus extemporizing an iron-clad ram

double-load his duck-guns, and

to

pinnace

the

into

ramming manoeuvre.

his

more than two hundred years before naval men thought

first.

Six leaped

again

retreated

the blow more effective, he lashed his anchor to the bow,

so that the sharp flukes protruded

the pinnace,

affrighted

bound him hand and

and placed him

foot,

second redskin then begged for quarter

but

the

in

Gallop, fearing

to allow the two wily savages to be together, cast the second into the
sea,

where he was drowned.

Indians were

and were
of
his

who

left,

left

boarded the pinnace.

Gallop then

retreated into a small

unmolested.

In

the cabin was

compartment

the

of

Two
hold,

found the mangled body

tomahawk had been sunk deep into his skull, and


body was covered with wounds. The floor of the cabin was littered

Mr. Oldham.

with portions of the cargo, which the murderous savages had plundered.

Taking
the

all

that remained of value

pinnace

and

Narragansett Bay.

she

drifted

upon

away,

his

to

own

go

to

craft,

Gallop cut loose

pieces

on

reef

in


BLUE-JACKETS OF
This combat

'76.

the earliest action upon American waters of which

is

we have any trustworthy

The

records.

only naval event antedating this

was the expedition from Virginia, under Capt. Samuel Argal, against the
French settlement

little

San Sauveur.

of

Indeed, had

not been for

it

the pirates and the neighboring French settlements, there would be


in

But about 1645 the buccaneers began to commit depre-

naval history.

on the high

dations

and

seas,

became necessary

it

take steps for the protection of their commerce.

gun ship from Cambridge, Mass.,


guns,

was

and

hard

century drew near


evil

little

the early history of the American Colonies to attract the lover of

was sure

put

to

And, as

to escape.

close, these

its

In this year an eighteen-

with a Barbary pirate of twenty

fell in

it

pests

the

of

merchantman

to befall the peaceful

for the Colonies to

the

seventeenth

sea so increased, that


that

put to sea with-

out due preparation for a fight or two with the sea robbers.
It

was

the low-lying islands of

in

predatory gentry

and lay

quarters,

West India
Roger,"

buccaneers,

as

wait

in

Men

trade.

in that

turbulent

career on

time

manned by
the

racked

excuse

for

their

was added

their head-

under the

sailed

in

the

" Jolly

Spanish

but

Hst

of

those

that

many

Thus,

intention
let

that

the

Spanish

to

made

dangerous to travel as the footpad infested

taking only ships

of

a richly laden Spanish galleon

and

ill-fortune,

"Jolly Roger" sent merrily


to the

continual wars

bent on plunder, commenced her

Main, with the

of

The

gave to the marauders of

occupation.

a swarthy crew

appear, after a long season

the

Spaniards.

Europe

belonging to France and England

aside,

made

the dread black flag with skull and cross-bones was called,

specious

schooner,

Mexico, that these

merchantmen

richly freighted
nationalities

all

but chiefly were they French and

sea

Gulf of

marooners, or pirates

for the
of

the

the
the

all

scruples were

fore,

thrown

and another pirate

highways of the sea as

common

of

Hounslow Heath.

English ships went out to hunt down the treacherous Spaniards, and
stayed to rob and pillage indiscriminately

now honored

as those of

as being borne

and not a few

of

the names

eminent English discoverers, were once dreaded

by merciless

pirates.


r:^-^'

,*pi^*^-

Page

5.

Blue Jackets of

'76.

GALLOPS' BATTLE WITH INDIANS.

BLUE-JACKETS OF
But the most powerful

'76.

Spanish Main were

the buccaneers on the

of

French, and between them and the Spaniards an unceasing warfare was

There were desperate men on either

waged.

side,

and mighty

There were Pierre Francois, who, with

are told of their deeds of valor.

and twenty desperadoes, dashed into the heart of a Spanish

six

captured
thirty

the

admiral's

stories

flag-ship;

Bartholomew

Portuguese,

and

fleet,

who,

witVi

men, made repeated attacks upon a great Indiamkn with a crew

of

seventy, and though beaten back time and again, persisted until the crew

surrendered to the twenty buccaneers

sacked the

a man-o'-war

left alive

her, captured her,

and slaughtered

Such were the buccaneers,

of the

all

that

send

they had

wards

ship

rovers this

who

new

West

finally

Indies

he sent

Havana.

insatiate in their

become, that no merchant

and the

pirates,

finding

exterminated their game, were fain to turn land-

fairly

further booty.

for

the

to

whom

crew save one,

desperate, merciless, and

So numerous did they

lust for plunder.

to

Francois I'Olonoise,

had been sent to drive him away, went boldly to meet

to bear the bloody tidings to the governor of

dared

Maracaibo and Gibraltar, and who, on hearing that

cities of

It

was an Englishman that showed the sea

plan of pillage

one Louis Scott, who descended upon

the town of Campeche, and, after stripping the place to the bare walls,

demanded

that

a heavy tribute

would burn the town.

be paid him, in

Loaded with booty, he

caneers' haunts in the Tortugas,

default

sailed

of

which he

back to the buc-

This expedition was the example that

the buccaneers followed for the next few years.

City after city

prey to the demoniac attacks of the lawless rovers.

Houses and churches

were sacked, towns given to the flames, rich and poor plundered

murder was rampant

and men and women were

fell

alike

subjected to the most

horrid tortures, to extort information as to buried treasures.

Two
that

The

names stand out pre-eminent amid the host of outlaws


I'Olonoise and Sir Henry Morgan.
took part in this reign of rapine,
great

desperate exploits of these two worthies would,

volumes

suffering,

and probably no more

if

recounted,

fill

extraordinary narrative of cruelty, courage,

and barbaric luxury could be

fabricated.

Morgan was

a Welsh-

BLUE-JACKETS OF

'76.

man, an emigrant, who, having worked out as a slave the cost

of

his

passage across the ocean, took immediate advantage of his freedom to

For him was no pillaging

take up the trade of piracy.

He demanded

ships.

Many were

armies.

of

the towns that suffered

from the bloody visitations of Morgan and his men.

head

of

them three hundred thousand pieces


and many prisoners.

cattle,

merchant-

grander operations, and his bands of desperadoes

assumed the proportions


yielded up to

of paltry

against the barbarians

of eight, five

hundred

Porto Bello was bravely defended

and the stubbornness

Puerto del Principe

of

the defence so enraged

Morgan, that he swore that no quarter should be given the defenders.

And

so

when some hours

merciless buccaneer locked

the

later

chief

fortress

surrendered,

garrison in the guard-room, set a torch to

its

the magazine, and sent castle and garrison flying into the

and Gibraltar next

fell

into the clutches

mouth, he hastily

built a fire-ship,

air.

At

the pirate.

of

Maracaibo
the latter

men-of-war anchored

river with three

town, finding himself caught in a


at its

the

put some desperate

men

at the

helm, and sent her, a sheet of flame, into the midst of the squadron.

The

admiral's ship

was destroyed

and the pirates

away, exulting

sailed

Rejoicing over their victories, the

over their adversaries' discomfiture.

followers of Morgan then planned a venture that should eclipse

that

all

This was no less than a descent upon Panama, the

had gone before.

West Indian cities. For this undertaking, Morgan


gathered around him an army of over two thousand desperadoes of all

most powerful

of the

nationalities.

little village

the recruiting station

from

all

on the island

and thither flocked

parts of the world.

It

clad

in

ever ready with cutlass or pistol

gaudy

colors, treacherous

glittering creeses

and

fearful

oaths

wiry Frenchmen, quick to

Malays and Lascars,

sullen, with a

Englishmen, handy alike with

and mightily given to

and adventurers

was a motley crew thus gathered together,

Spaniards, swarthy skinned and black haired


anger, and

Hispaniola was chosen as

of

pirates, thieves,

fist,

hand

half

ever on their

bludgeon, or cutlass,

negroes. Moors, and a few

West

Indians mixed with the lawless throng.

Having gathered

his band, procured provisions (chiefly

by plundering),

BLUE-JACKETS OF
and

built a fleet

of boats,

Morgan put

'76.

forces in motion.

his

The first
mouth

obstacle in his path was the Castle of Chagres, which guarded the
of

Chagres River, up which the buccaneers must pass to reach the

the

To

Panama.

city of

of their approach
the

.appeared at

Morgan sent his vice-admiral


The Spaniards were evidently warned

capture this fortress,

Bradley, with four hundred

men.

had the

for hardly

mouth

was hoisted above the

of.

castle,

ship flying the piratical ensign

first

when the

the river,

and the

royal standard

report of a shotted

dull

Spain

of

gun

told

the pirates that there was a stubborn resistance in store for them.

Landing some miles

below the

and cutting their way with

castle,

hatchet and sabre through the densely interwoven vegetation of a tropical

the pirates at last reached a spot from which a clear view of

jungle,

the castle

As

could be obtained.

they emerged from the forest to the

open, the sight greatly disheartened them.

They saw a powerful

with bastions, moat, drawbridge, and precipitous natural defences.


of

the pirates advised a retreat

Morgan, ordered an
caneers,

yells,

very walls, threw over

murderous
"

Come

of the king

them

as

As

you English

only to be beaten back

They charged up

fell,

to

the

and hacked the timbers with axes, but

devils,

you

served you.

You

shall not get to

of

God and

We

will serve

enemies

heretics, the

Let your comrades who are behind come

we have

night

fort,

their impregnable ramparts, the Spaniards fired

volleys, crying out,

on,

dreading the anger of

after time did the desperate buc-

the garrison.

of

fireballs,

From behind

Bradley,

rush upon the

by the well-directed volleys


to no avail.

Time

assault.

with horrid

but

fort,

Many

also.

Panama

this time."

the pirates withdrew into the thickets to escape the

of their enemies, and to discuss their

discomfiture.

As one group

fire

of

buccaneers lay in the jungle, a chance arrow, shot by an Indian in the


fort,

struck one of them in the arm.

of rage and pain, the wounded

the bleeding wound,

"Look
means

here,

my

man

Springing to his feet with a cry

cried out as he tore the arrow from

comrades.

will

make

of the destruction of all the Spaniards."

this

accursed arrow the

BLUE-JACKETS OF

lO

So saying, he wrapped a quantity

muzzle,

His comrades eagerly watched the

fired.

the fiery missile

air,

upon a thatched roof within the

fell

the dry straw and leaves were instantly

over the

Soon the

battle-field.

woodwork within the


an

of

extinguish

for their

was a mass

and a burst

three

fort

was

in

hundred and fourteen only fourteen were

of

the battle

march and

hoisted, the

ration,

the expedition

set

Morgan
were

battles that

Little

expected to live on the country

They

Over the

forces.

forces,

and prepared

through tangled tropical

lay

as

the invaders

the inhabitants fled before the

fed

upon

Soon starvation stared

berries, roots,

and

Here, a few days

later,

a great

but at

battle

leaves.

be found, they sliced up and


it

last,

seemed that they would


weak, weary, and emaci-

they came out upon a grassy plain before the city of

numbered the

By

his

For a time,

never escape alive from the jungle


ated,

conflict.

of the garrison

After some days' prepa-

the days passed, and no food was to

devoured coarse leather bags.

fire

targets-

drilled

advancing column, destroying every thing eatable.


the desperadoes in the face.

to

shattered walls were

food was taken,

but

dull

come.

The road

out.

under a burning sun.

to

but the

unhurt.

and the place made a rendezvous for Morgan's

the scene

valiantly

such a

to

the hands of the buccaneers, and

was

and the

flame,

made them easy

There could be but one issue

foes.

for the

As

and

savage

One arrow

worked

Spaniards

and to beat back their assailants

flames,

ruins of the fort the English flag


repaired,

forests,

castle,

cries of

flame.

of

smoke and

of

The

explosion, followed.

the

morning the

On

the

missile,

the firebrands, and the

of

full

raged beyond their control, and the bright light

of

With

in a blaze.

was

air

castle enclosure

within the magazine

roar

into

buccaneers ran about picking up the arrows that lay scattered

joy, the

fell

the

the

of

flight

of

Hurtling through the

by the flaming cotton.

traced

easily

the head

cotton about

of

gun with powder, and, thrusting the arrow

arrow, charged his

which was

'^6.

was fought.

Panama.

The Spaniards

out-

invaders, and were better provided with munitions of war;

yet the pirates, fighting with the bravery of desperate men, were victorious,

and the

city fell

into

their hands.

Then

followed days of murder.

BLUE-JACKETS OF
Morgan saw

plunder, and debauchery.


scoff

the

at

men were

idea

helplessly drunk the

he set

pieces,

fire to

the

maddened by

his followers,

and obedience.

discipline

of

II

'76.

liquor,

Fearing that while his

Spaniards would rally and cut them to


the stores of

city, that

rum might be

destroyed.

After sacking the town, the vandals packed their plunder on the backs

and retraced their steps to the seaboard.

of mules,

two millions

to over

great dissensions
rapidly

ship

among

Their booty amounted

With a few

men.

enormous sum

division of this

and Morgan saw the mutinous

arose,

his

Over the

of dollars.

spreading

spirit

accomplices, therefore, he loaded a

with the plunder, and secretly set

sail

leaving over half of his

Many

band, without food or shelter, in a hostile country.

the aban-

of

doned buccaneers starved, some were shot or hanged by the enraged


Spaniards

huge

but the leader of the rapacious gang reached Jamaica with a

was

fortune, and

a baronet

Such were some


buccaneers.

of

the

of

island,

made

and

England, Charles the Second.

of the exploits of

may be

It

governor

appointed

by the reigning king

some

more notorious

of the

of the

readily imagined, that, with hordes of desperadoes

such as these infesting the waters of the West Indies, there was

little

opportunity for the American Colonies to build up any maritime interests


in

that

And

direction.'

as

merchantmen

the

became

Spanish Main, such of the buccaneers as did not turn landward


of

booty put out to

Colonics and
naval

sea,

England.

operations

of

was against these

name

the

of

one

ofBcer

sent

" to

ship

was

in

but

them

January, 1665, that William

the

persons

commission

who commit many and

on the seas."

to

the

last

little of

pirates

the earliest

cruisers

were

their success.

has

become

King

of

England, issued

Kidd, commander of the

proceed

against

"divers

wicked

great piracies, robberies, and depredations

Kidd was a merchant

a privateer during

in search

all.

III.,

our true and well-beloved Capt. William

'Adventure,'" a

that

Several

we hear

against

notorious as that of the worst villain of


It

pirates,

Colonies were directed.

fitted out to rid the seas of these pests,

But

the

and ravaged the ocean pathways between the


It

the

on

scarce

of

New

war with France.

York, and had commanded

He was

man

of

great

"

BLUE-JACKETS OF

12

'76.

courage, and, being provided with a stanch ship and brave crew, set out

not

the blue waves of the ocean, yet

Once, indeed, three ships were seen

"Adventure" were overjoyed


was prepared

5py-glass, eagerly

an

in store

"They

a rich

of

disappointment

They had been

neither pirates

bred

Kidd stood

in the rigging

ships

nor French, and were

capture granted Kidd by the king.

Near the

yielded.

their

with a

his spy-glass with

The

were sighted

that

therefore

money, but

prize

spirit of

beyond

discontent

proved to

be

the powers

of

Kidd fought against the

growing

but temptation at last overcame him,

Babelmandeb,

Straits of

at the

entrance to the

Sea, he landed a party, plundered the adjoining country for provisions,

and, turning his

ship's

prow toward the

deck, and thus addressed

"We

them

is

straits,

mustered his crew on

have been unsuccessful hitherto,

Fortune

courage.

now about

to

my

boys," he said, "but take

upon

smile

us.

'Great Mogul,' freighted with the richest treasures,


of the

Red

grow

The

From

Sea.

is

The

fleet

of

the

soon to come out

the capture of those heavily laden ships,

we

will

rich."

crew, ready enough to

back upon

of the
fell

ship

mutiny among the

and

discontent

a profitless cruise.

piratical sentiment for a long time

his

the

But only disappointment

vessels.

enlisted with lavish promises of

Three or four

spread rapidly.

all

The men of
prize.
The

stripped to the waist, stood at

battle.

drew nearer, Kidd shut

as the ships

saw before them nothing but

Red

distance.

are only three English meno'-war."

Continued

and he

the

ploughed

saying,

oath,

crew.

coming

examining the distant

for,

in

"

appeared on the horizon.

sail

at the prospect

The men,

for action.

quarters, talking of the

money.

prize

For months the " Adventure

But fortune was against him.

was

much

high hopes of winning great reputation and

with

all

treasure

in with

the

become

pirates,

cheered lustily

and, turning

hopes of an honorable career, Kidd set out

fleet.

After

cruising for

squadron, which

English and a Dutch man-of-war.

proved

four days, the


to

be

"

in search

Adventure

under convoy

The squadron was

of

an

a large one, and

BLUE-JACKETS OF
By

the ships greatly scattered.

upon an outlying

come

miles away, they packed on

all

first

attempt

scruples,

had

piracy had

at

evidences that at times this strange

On

the path of duty and right.

to

capture.

Kidd firmly

small, tortured

a piratical

man

the mutineers, saying,

refused.

take the boats

and

At

this

ruining

But

aside

their crews,

But

life.

there

all

and
are

for

The

captain drew his


faithful,

still

addressed

But

go.

who thus

those

leave

this

sides again."

its

Moore, stepped forward, saying,


are

and his

one occasion, a Dutch ship crossed

tumult arose.

The mutineers murmured loudly.

"You

Kidd

ship will never ascend

starvation.

off.

and strove to return

relented,

sabre and pistols, and gathering about him those

You may

several

Adventure," and the crew clamorously demanded her

the path

of the "

"

sheer

to

Thenceforward, he cast

lead

to

shot

first

a reputable privateer,

as

failed
failed.

seemed resolved

before the

and, though

was forced

pirate

and captured large ships and

time

for

He

desperate.

But his

rescue.

its

it

and bore down to the rescue with

sail,

such spirit that the disappointed

now

to

watchful guardians

the

the attention of

was

seamanship, Kidd dashed down

skilful

hoping to capture and plunder

vessel,

men-of-war could

convoying
attracted

13

'76.

us

One man,

You

all.

named William

a gunner,

keeping us

are

your whims, we might

all

in

beggary and

be prosperous and rich."

outspoken mutiny, Kidd flew into a passion.

Seizing a heavy

bucket that stood near, he dealt Moore a terrible blow on the head.

The unhappy man

fell

to the

mutineers sullenly yielded

day

and months

after,

to

deck with a fractured


the captain's

when Kidd,

William

Moore

that

to

trial

and the other

Moore died the next

after roving the seas,

ships of every nationality, was brought

the murder of

will.

skull,

at

and robbing

London,

he was condemned

to

it

was

die.

for

For

Kidd's career subsequent to the incident of the Dutch ship was that
of a hardened pirate.

passengers.

He went

He

captured and robbed ships, and tortured their

to Madagascar, the rendezvous of the pirates,

joined in their revelry and debauchery.

On

and

the island were five or six

BLUE-JACKETS OF

14

hundred

and ships flying the black

pirates,

The

or departing.

and with the

who

The

chose.

left

pirates, flush

lawless

this

On

and jewels.

Such noted

that

decked out with barbaric splendor

in

silks

unbounded.

Blackbeard, Steed Bonnet, and Avary

as

wine

money on
The women who accompanied them

the arrival of a ship, the debauchery was

pirates

of

any might drink

with their ill-gotten gains, spent

lavishly.

place were

Drunkenness

hogshead

for a

standing in the streets,

gambling and kindred vices


to

were continually arriving

Strong drinks were freely used.

was no uncommon thing

It

be opened, and

to

flag

streets resounded with shouts of revelry, with curses^

cries of rage.

was everywhere.

'76.

made the

place their rendezvous, and brought thither their rich prizes and wretched
prisoners.

Blackbeard was one of the most desperate pirates of the age.

He, with part

of his crew,

exacting tribute

of

and sixteen

action,

once terrorized the

medicines and provisions.


of

his

of Charleston, S.C.,

officials

Finally he was

desperate gang expiated

killed in

their crimes

on the

gallows.

To Madagascar, too, often came the two female pirates, Mary Read
and Anne Bonny. These women, masquerading in men's clothing, were
as desperate and bloody as the men by whose side they fought.
By
a strange coincidence, these two women enlisted on the same ship.
Each knowing her own sex, and being ignorant of that of the other, they
love; and the final discovery of their mutual deception increased

in

fell

their

intimacy.

After serving with the pirates, working at the guns,

swinging a cutlass in the boarding parties, and fighting a duel in which


she killed her opponent, Mary Read determined to escape.
There is
every evidence that she wearied of the

was determined
into

effect,

to quit

it;

but,

the ship on which

before

evil

life

she was leading, and

she could carry her intentions

she served was captured, and taken

to-

England, where the pirates expiated their crimes on the gallows, Mary
Read dying in prison before the day set for her execution.
After some months spent in licentious revelry at
set out

on a further

been proscribed as a

cruise.
pirate,

During

this

and a price

Madagascar, Kidd

voyage he learned that he had


set

on his head.

Strange as

Page

15.

Blue jACKtis

i-if

'7'

RENDEZ-VOUS AT MADAGASCAR.

BLUE-JACKETS OF
it

may

appear, this

news was a surprise

'76.

to

17

He

him.

seems

to

have

deceived himself into thinking that his acts of piracy were simply the
legitimate
to do

work

of

For a time

a privateersman.

distasteful to him, he determined to proceed to

to

he

knew

but as by this time the coarse pleasures of an outlaw's

prove himself an honest man.

unfortunate one for him


into custody,

and sent

for hardly

England

was executed some months


of people,

who applauded

outlaws upon the ocean.

were

York, and endeavor

had he arrived, when he was taken


for trial.

He made

sentenced to be hanged
later,

life

This determination proved to be an

to

but was found guilty, and

New

not what

in

an able defence,
a

sentence which

the presence of a vast multitude

in the death of

Kidd the end

of the reign of

CHAPTER

II.

EXPEDITIONS AGAINST NEIGHBORING COLONIES. ROMANTIC CAREER OF SIR WILLIAM PHIPPS.


QUELLING A MUTINY. EXPEDITIONS AGAINST QUEBEC.

HILE

it

in the

that

was

chiefly in

defence of merchantmen against these predatory gentry,

the

American

warfare, there
fitted out

Both

expeditions against the buccaneers, or

colonists

gained their experience in naval

were, nevertheless,

some few naval expeditions

by the colonists against the forces of a hostile government.

to the north

and south lay the territory

England's traditional enemies

ever plunged.

in

France and Spain,

and so soon as the colonies began to

give evidence of their value to

dragged into the quarrels

of

the mother country, so

soon were they

which the haughty mistress

Of the southern

colonies.

of the seas

was

South Carolina was continually

embroiled with Spain, owing to the conviction of the Spanish that the
boundaries

of

Florida

at

that

time a Spanish colony

greater part of the Carolinas.

For the purpose

the Spaniards,

out

and a

in

1706,

galley, which,

fitted

an

of

expedition

included

enforcing this
of

the
idea,

four ships-of-war

under the command of a celebrated French admiral.

BLUE-JACKETS OF

'76.

The people

was despatched to take Charleston.

Charleston were in

of

no whit daunted, and on the receipt of the news of the expedition began
preparations

They had no naval

resistance.

for

merchantmen, being

large

and a large galley was converted into a


naval

and

who possessed the confidence of the


command and when the attacking party
;

city,

and landed their shore

killed

Rhett,

or

out

fled

who attacked

leaving their land forces

sea,

Some days

taken prisoners.

having been

to

forces,

But the Spaniardsto-

In this action, more than half of the invaders-

bear the brunt of battle.

were

batteries,

Having no trained

flag-ship.

he weighed anchor, and set out to attack them.

vessels,

several

the improvised squadron was tendered

of

anchor some miles below the

avoided the conflict,

but

Rhett,

Lieut. -Col.

Rhett accepted the

colonists.

cast

command

the

officers,

certain

to

vessels

were hastily provided with

port,

in

from

separated
her,

her

one

later,

the

Spanish

was discovered by

consorts,

and after a sharp

of

captured her, bringing

fight

her with ninety prisoners to Charleston.

But

was

it

chiefly

northward that the

the

the French stronghold of


fertile

sources

incited

that

the

which

for the

under the

whose

colonist,

were

life

was

earliest

of

North Boston,"

that time,

in

command

and they proved


the

execution was

its

these

expeditions

April,

in

eighteenth-

these colonies was

of

1690,

own
he managed

the colonies.

when Spanish

of

win

His

for himself
first

romantic

his dearest

a fair brick house


to

William

Sir

of

devoid

not

of the lowliest,

a king's ship, and

fame and respect


istic of

was

his ambitions

command
of

of the

from Nantasket, near Boston,

sailed

expedition

sturdy

Though

One

Great Britain,

was

Acadia, and

Royal, in
British,

for the capture

of

colonies

to

left

was

bound

conquest of Port Royal.

This
a

colonists.

Port

opening years of

the

in

by the ruling authorities

largely to

of

English

the

of

French colonies

the

Quebec coveted by the

contention

of

strength

naval

Although the movement

century.

against

were the colonies

Particularly

exerted.

expeditions

in

in

Phipps,.

episodes.

wish being "

the

to-

Green Lane-

no small amount of

achievement was character-

galleons, freighted with

golden ingots,.

BLUE-JACKETS OF

20
sailed

still

the

when

seas,

down

treasures carried

buried

pirates

'76.

sunken ships were not brought up the next

in

From

day by divers clad in patented submarine armor.

whom

old seaman, with


of

a weather-beaten

he became acquainted while pursuing his trade

wreck lying

a sunken

Phipps learned of

ship-carpentering,

and when the

booty,

their

sandy bottom many fathoms beneath the blue surface of

down

Mexico. *The vessel had gone

with her great

store

the rich mines

of

of

gold and

Central and

fifty

silver,

the

his ambition for

then,

thought

was the opportunity

down with

easy one.

seamen.
of

saw

in

command

securing a

his

of

Spain.

of

ship-yard, listened

its fullest

Here,

extent.

Could he but

a lifetime.

the sunken ship, he would

With these two

wealth and position in the colony.


of

carried

which she was carrying from

wealth and position aroused to

he,

recover the treasures carried

mand, the task

years before, and had

of

blood coursing quicker in his veins, and

his

sailor,

Gulf

the

South America to the Court

Phipps, laboriously toiling with adze and


to the story of

on the

in the king's

allies

have

com-

his

at

navy would be an

But to seek out the sunken treasure required a ship and


Clearly his

own

means could never meet the demands

slender

so great an undertaking.

Therefore, gathering together

all

small

his

savings, William Phipps set sail for England, in the hopes of interesting
capitalists there in his

unknown American

certain officials of high station

the assistance

By

scheme.

ship-carpenter
in

dint

managed

the

British

admiralty.

sail for

the

Once

indomitable persistence, the


secure the influence of

to

England, and

given him, and he set

of

of

West

finally

frigate,

managed

fully

to

get

manned, was

Indies.

arrived in the waters of the Spanish Main, he began his search.

Cruising about the spot indicated by his seafaring informant as the location
of

the sunken vessel, sounding and dredging occupied the

treasure-seekers for months.

began to murmur, and signs

The
of

crew, wearying of the fruitless search,

mutiny were

rife.

Phipps,

thoughts of the treasure for which he sought, saw not at


looks, nor heard the half-uttered threats, of the
finally

time of the

all

filled

the lowering

crew as he passed them.

the mutiny so developed that he could no longer ignore

with

its

But

existence.

Pace

21.

T.ll'k

Jackets uk

'76.

QUELLING

MUTINY.

BLUE-JACKETS OF
was then the era

It

of

the buccaneers.

Doubtless some of the crew-

New

Providence, and had told their

visited the outlaws' rendezvous at

had

comrades of the revelry and ease

And

days.

so

it

23

'76.

in

which the sea robbers spent their

happened that one day, as Phipps stood on the quarter-

deck vainly trying to choke down the nameless fear that had begun to
oppress him,

the

fear that his life's venture

crew came crowding

aft,

armed

had proved a

the teeth, and loudly

to

failure,

demanded

the captain should abandon his foolish search, and lead them
less buccaneering cruise along the

Spanish Main.

which might well have dismayed the boldest sea


desperate, and well armed,
officers,

on a

his

that
fear-

The mutiny was one


captain.
The men were

Phipps was almost without support

by their irresolute and timid demeanor, gave him

for his

assurance

little

of aid.

Standing on the quarter-deck, Phipps listened impatiently to the complaints of the mutineers

them upon a

lead

throwing

all

but,

piratical

when

cruise,

their

he

spokesman

lost

all

control

laid

mutineers were

all

and the captain, a

himself,

well armed, but

tall,

seemed loath

to

powerful man, soon awed them

Though he showed indomitable


and, after

of

about him right manfully with his bare

energy

in

several

and,

the mal-

fists.

The

use their weapons


all

into submission.

overcoming

Phipps was not destined to discover the object of


;

of

prudence to the winds, sprung into the midst

contents, and

time

upon him to

called

his

obstacles,

search at this

months' cruising, he was forced, by the leaky

condition of his vessel, to abandon the search.

But, before leaving the

waters of the Spanish Main, he obtained enough information to convince

him

On

that his plan

was a practicable one, and no mere visionary scheme.

reaching England, he went at once to some wealthy noblemen, and,

laying before

them

all

the facts in his possession, so

interested

them

the project that they readily agreed to supply him with a fresh

in

outfit.

After a few weeks spent in organizing his expedition, the treasure-seeker

was again on the ocean, making

his

way toward the Mexican

Gulf.

This

time his search was successful, and a few days' work with divers and
dredges about the sunken ship brought to light bullion and specie to

BLUE-JACKETS OF

24
amount

the

of

success in the

'76.

more than a milHon and a


first

half

expedition had embroiled him with

plotting

against

his

reached

life

the

further into the matter, he learned that

the vessel, divide the treasure, and

Alarmed

at this intelligence,

offering them a share

of

portion, he promised, even


to this proposition

his

Vague rumors
Examining

Phipps.

of

ill

the crew was plotting to seize


out upon a buccaneering cruise.

set

Phipps strove to conciliate the seamen by

the
if

ears

his

his crew, so

good fortune this time aroused the cupidity of the sailors.


of

As

dollars.

Each

treasure.

man

he himself had to pay

should

receive

The men agreed

it.

and so well did Phipps keep his word with them on

returning to England, that, of the whole treasure, only about eighty thou-

sand dollars remained to him as his share.


fortune for those times

and with

it

to devote himself to the task of securing a

His

first

This, however,

was an ample

Phipps returned to Boston, and began

command

in the royal navy.

opportunity to distinguish himself came in the expedition of

1690 against Port

Throughout

Royal.

the wars between

France and

England, the French settlement of Port Royal had been a thorn in the
flesh of Massachusetts.

privateers

wake

put to sea,

some

captured

colony of the Puritans.

From

Port Royal, the trim-built

and seldom returned without


coaster

When

or

luckless

fisherman

speedy French

bring'ing

hailing

in

from

their

the

the depredations of the privateers became

unbearable, Massachusetts bestirred herself, and the doughty Phipps was


sent with
jection.

an expedition to reduce their unneighborly neighbor to sub-

Seven vessels and two hundred and eighty-eight men were put

under the command of the lucky treasure-hunter.


devoid of exciting or novel features.
disaster,

Port

expedition was

and the governor surrendered with a promptitude which should

have won immunity for the people of the


sailors

The

Royal was reached without

had

not

undertaken

the

village.

enterprise

for

But the Massachusetts


glory

alone,

and they

plundered the town before taking to their ships again.

This expedition, however, was but an unimportant incident in the naval


annals of the colonies.

graver importance.

It

was followed quickly by an expedition of much

BLUE-JACKETS OF

When

25

'76.

Phipps returned after capturing and plundering

Port

Royal,

he found Boston vastly excited over the preparations for an expedition

The colony was

against Quebec.
of conquest.

Vainly

it

in

no condition to undertake the work

Prolonged Indian wars had greatly depleted

appealed to England for

sturdily determined

pressed from the

aid,

undertake the expedition unaided.

to

merchant-shipping.

were being circulated

having them peremptorily seized.

In this way a

had been collected

of

the

largest

were

common.

Subscrip-

and vessel owners were blandly given

the choice between voluntarily loaning their vessels

Sailors

Trained bands, as the militia of

that day was called, drilled in the streets, and on the


tion papers

treasury.

its

no encouragement,

but, receiving

to

the colony, or

fleet of thirty-two

vessels

which was a ship called the

" Six

West India trade, and carrying forty-four guns.


This armada was manned by seamen picked up by a press so vigorous,
Friends," built for the

that Gloucester, the

two-thirds of

chief

Hardly had

men.

its

seafaring town of

Capt.

returned from his Port Royal expedition,

the

colony,

was robbed of

Phipps, flushed with

victory,

when he was given command

of

the armada destined for the capture of Quebec.

Early in August the


clear

flotilla set sail

and warm, with a

from Boston Harbor.

light breeze blowing.

From

The day was

his flag-ship Phipps

gave the signal for weighing anchor, and soon the decks of the vessels
thickly strewn about the harbor resounded to the tread of
capstan.

men

about the

Thirty-two vessels of the squadron floated lightly on the calm

waters of the bay

and darting

in

and out among them were

light craft

who had come down to witness the sailing of the


fleet, friends and relatives of the sailors who were there to say farewell,
and the civic dignitaries who came to wish the expedition success. One

carrying pleasure-seekers

by one the vessels beat their way down the bay, and, rounding the dangerous reef at the
It

mouth

was a motley

of

fleet

of

the harbor, laid their course to the northward.

followed by brigs, schooners,


so ill-assorted a

The

first

night

flotilla, it

The " Six Brothers " led the way,


and many sloop-rigged fishing-smacks. With

vessels.

was impossible to keep any

scattered

the vessels far and

definite sailing order.

wide,

and thenceforward

BLUE-JACKETS OF

26

the squadron was not united until

mouth

of the St.

Lawrence.

came

again

it

seemed

It

St.

after they

weather, they

had

safely

all

Lawrence, and were beyond injury from the storms, did the

They had

gales cease.

summer

for

Only

encountered the bitter gales of November.

anchor just above the

to

though the very elements had

as

Though looking

combined against the voyagers.

entered the

'76.

suffered

the injury that tempestuous weather

all

could do them, and they then had to chafe under the enforced restraints
of a calm.

Phipps had

rallied his

scattered

and had proceeded up the great

fleet,

the North to within three days'

river of

On

overtook him.

the

way up the

had captured two French

river he

Quebec was poorly

luggers, and learned from his prisoners that

fortified,

cannon on the redoubts were dismounted, and that hardly two

that the

hundred men could be

Port

Highly elated

rallied to its defence.

Massachusetts admiral
like

Quebec, when the calm

sail of

pressed

Royal, would

He

forward.

surrender without

anticipated

striking

at

this,

the

Quebec,

that

Visions of

a blow.

high honors, and perhaps even a commission in the royal navy, floated
across his brain.

men, and building

And

while thus hurrying forward his

fleet,

drilling his

progress was stopped by a

his further

his air-castles,

dead calm which lasted three weeks.

How

fatal to his

hopes that calm was, Phipps, perhaps, never knew.

The information he had wrung from


Quebec

correct.

at

of the river,

meant the salvation

man was

French

his

on the

mercy.

unruffled

Frontenac, then governor of the French colony, and

in the ball-room

ential connections,

virtually at

citadel.

American

in

a polished courtier at the royal court

and a favorite

and

lay idly floating

hastening towards Quebec whose timely

of the

one of the most picturesque figures

France

helpless,

armada

man was

bosom
arrival

This

was

that time

But, while the Massachusetts

French prisoners was absolutely

his

man

history.

soldier of

a hero on the battle-field,

poor in pocket, but rich in

Frontenac had come

to the

New World

influ-

to seek that

the Old.

When

the vague rumors of the hostile expedition of the Massachusetts

colony

fortune and

position

which he had

in

vain

sought

in

BLUE-JACKETS OF

'76.

27

reached his ears, Frontenac was far from Quebec, toiUng in the western

Wasting no time, he turned

part of the colony.

threatened

His

city.

road lay through an almost trackless wilderness

progress was impeded by the pelting rains of

his

But through forest and through rain he rode

Bay

the St. Lawrence

come

from his

of joy burst

and

the broad,

floated not a single hostile

of

Cape
of

had

soldier

in time.

With the governor

in

the

city,

all

and the work

took courage,

preparation for the coming struggle went forward with a rush.

wide throughout the parishes was spread the news

came

volunteers

the four thousand

body

disciplined

of

Far and

strength-

Volunteers and regulars drilled side by

men in
And

of troops.

the
all

were converted into

city

of

and daily

war,

The ramparts were

flocking in to the defence.

ened, and cannon mounted.


until

he

as

bosom

still

The

sail.

storms.

at last

him the rocks

On

lips.

the autumnal

fiercely;

burst from the forest, and saw towering before

Diamond, a cry

toward the

steps

his

side,

a well-

the time the sentinels on the Saut

au Matelot were eagerly watching the river for the

first

sign

the

of

English invaders.
It

the

was before dawn, on the morning


city,

little

and the soldiery

alarm raised by the sentries.

in

Oct. 16, that

of

the tents,

were awakened by the

All rushed to the brink

As

seen the twinkling lights of vessels.

of

Far down the

and peered eagerly out into the darkness.

the people of

the heights,

the eager watchers

strove to

count them, other lights appeared upon the scene, moving to and
but with a steady advance upon Quebec.
the east,

showed the advancing

watched the ships


Point of Orleans
craft

were

The

at

the

of

fleet.

be

river could

fro,

The gray dawn, breaking

Frontenac and

enemy round the

jutting

in

lieutenants

his

headland

of

the

and, by the time the sun had risen, thirty-four hostile

anchor in the basin of Quebec.

progress

of

the

fleet

up the

river,

from the point

which

at

it

had been so long delayed, had been slow, and greatly impeded by the
determined
their

hostility

work were apt

of

to

the

settlers

along the banks.

The

be startled by the whiz of a bullet

sailors
;

at

and an

BLUE-JACKETS OF

28

'76.

inquiry as to the cause would have probably discovered

long

sharp-shooter, his

rifle

Bands

along the shore.

his

in

hand, hidden in

armed men

of

some crouching

a clump of bushes

followed the fleet up the stream,

keeping pace with the vessels, and occasionally affording gentle reminders

sung through the

of their presence in the shape of volleys of. rifle-balls that

crowded decks

of the transports,

however, as he made the

often,

move on the

of skirmishers, and to

banks

sailor lads a hearty disgust

Phipps tried repeatedly to land shore parties to

for this river fighting.

clear the

and gave the

effort,

his troops

city

by

As

land.

were beaten back by

the ambushed sharp-shooters, and his boats returned to the ships, bringing
several dead and wounded.

While the soldiery on the highlands


the hostile fleet, the invaders
at

the

describes

it

and lover

after

Quebec, one

upon

the

of

annals of

the French

in

Parkman,

America, thus

"When,
of

Quebec were eagerly examining

scene of surpassing beauty spread out before them.

historian

the

of

were looking with wonder and admiration

his sight.

of

his

protracted voyage,

Phipps sailed

basin

the

into

the grandest scenes on the western continent opened

The wide expanse

of waters, the lofty

promontory beyond,

and the opposing Heights of Levi, the cataract of Montmorenci, the distant
range of

Laurentian

the

Mountains, the warlike rock with

of walls and towers, the roofs of the

beneath, the

over

it

Chateau

Lower Town

autumnal

Little time
click

of

last

lis,

cliff,

flaunting

and

defiance

air."

was spent, however,


the

clustering on the strand

Louis perched at the brink of the

the white banner, spangled with fleurs de

in the clear

the

St.

diadem

its

in

admiration of the scene.

When

chain-cable had ceased, and, with their anchors

reposing at the bottom of the stream, the ships swung around with their

bows

to the current, a boat put off

from the flag-ship bearing an

intrusted with a note from Phipps to the

reception of this

officer

was highly

commandant

theatrical.

of

the

fort.

officer

The

Half way to the shore

he was taken into a French canoe, blindfolded, and taken ashore.

The

populace crowded about him as he landed, hooting and jeering him as

BLUE-JACKETS OF

29

'76.

he was led through winding, narrow ways, up stairways, and over obstructions, until at last the bandage was torn from his eyes, and he found

The French commander was

himself in the presence of Frontenac.

and surrounded by

in a brilliant uniform,

With

summons

to be a curt

The

speech.

mouths

which, proving
in a stinging

envoy, abashed, asked for a written answer.

my

of

in warlike finery.

letter,

he answered forthwith

to surrender,

" No," thundered Frontenac, "

to

gay

his staff,

courtly courtesy he asked the envoy for his

clad

cannon, that he

answer your master only by the

will

may

learn

be summoned after this fashion.

man

that a

Let him do

me

like

and

his best,

not

is

will

do

mine."

The envoy

returned to his

Wheeling

hostilities opened.

Phipps opened a heavy

on the

heights,

contest

raged

powder

fire

craft,

and made

upon the

city.

but damage done

the frowning ramparts

in

on either side was but

the belligerents rested on their arms

Fiercely the

kind.

gun-

the consumption of

and vast was

nightfall,

until

From

answered

Frontenac's cannon

The next day

his report.

line before the fortifications,

his ships into

All

little.

night

but, at daybreak, the roar of

the

cannonade recommenced.

The gunners
the gunnery was
cut the
into

fell

of the

much

flag-staff

the admiral's

fire

but their

the

of

Phipps

felt

that

discourage his men.

of

St.

George

fleet

was

quickly

the floating

chase of

concentrated

upon

the

Cannon-balls and rifle-bullets cut the water about


survived the leaden tempest, and they captured

frail craft

the trophy, and bore

shot from the shore

Straightway a canoe put out from the shore, and

adventurous canoeists.

them

and the cross

ship,

strong paddle-strokes was guided in

The

trophy.

better than the day before.

of

the river.

with swift,

opposing forces were now upon their mettle, and

it

off in

triumph.

the incident was an

He

cast about in his

unfavorable omen,

mind

for a

means

and would

of retaliation.

Far over the roofs of the city rose a tapering spire, that of the cathedral
in the
city

Upper Town.

On

had hung a picture

this spire, the

of the

devout Catholics of the French

Holy Family

as an invocation of Divine

BLUE-JACKETS OF

30
Through

aid.

hung from

spy-glass, Phipps

his

the

steeple,

gunners to try to knock

ammunition

commanded the

The

avail.

Frenchmen ascribed

devout

and the

miracle, although its destruction


It

no

in this vain target-practice, but to

hung on high

some strange object

character,

its

For hours the Puritans wasted their

down.

it

see that

could

suspecting

and,

'76.

picture

escape

its

still

to

would have been more miraculous

still.

did not take long to convince Phipps that in this contest his fleet

was getting badly worsted, and he soon withdrew

The

of safety.

rigging was

had been

flag-ship

so badly cut, that

his vessels to a place

riddled

fairly

with shot

and

her

she could only get out of range of the

enemy's guns by cutting her cables, and drifting away with the current.

Her example was soon

followed by the remaining vessels.

Sorely crestfallen, Phipps abandoned the fight, and prepared to return


to

His voyage thither was stormy

Boston.

vessels

never were heard

of,

been

having

and three or four


dashed

waves, or cast away upon the iron-bound coast of

His expedition was the most costly

in lives

taken by a single colony, and, despite

and

its failure,

pieces

to

Nova

of

his

by the

Scotia or Maine.

in treasure ever under-

forms the most notable

incident in the naval annals of the colonies prior to the Revolution.

The French

colonies

turmoil.

Many were

against

them by the

Royal were

all

expeditions.
trifling.

They

British

threatened

From
are

continued to be a fruitful source of war and

the joint military and naval expeditions fitted out

and the two

a naval
of

Quebec, Louisbourg, and Port

colonies.

point

of

latter

view, these expeditions

some importance, however,

colonists an opportunity to try their prowess

irregular service

were captured by colonial

were bred some

sailors

the rebellious

colonies

valiant service

under the royal banner.

against

the

king,

in

that

they gave the

on the ocean

who fought

were but

and

in this

right valiantly for

and others who did

no

less

Page

31.

Blue Jackets of

'76.

ON THE IRON BOUND COAST

r7r/ir>r

"^.
n3iaiir?77Ts

So

CHAPTER

III.

OPENING OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. THE


AFFAIR OF THE SCHOONER "ST. JOHN."
THE PRESS-GANG AND ITS WORK. THE SLOOP
LIBERTY." DESTRUCTION OF THE " GASPEE."
THE BOSTON TEA-PARTY.
'

IS

unnecessary to enter into an account

to the revolt of

of the causes that led

up

the American Colonies against the oppression of

King George and

his

subservient Parliament.

Stamp Act, the indignation

of the

The

story of the

Colonies, their futile attempts

to convince Parliament of the injustice of the measure, the stern

measures

adopted by the British to put down the rising insubordination, the Boston
Massacre, and the battles at Concord and Lexington are familiar to every

American boy.

But not every young American knows that almost the

first

act of open resistance to the authority of the king took place on the water,

and was to some extent a naval action.

The revenue laws, enacted by the English Parliament


money from the Colonies, were very obnoxious
America.
Particularly did the colonists of Rhode

as a

means

to

of

Island

against them, and seldom lost an

of

the people

extorting

protest

opportunity to evade the payment of

the taxes.

Between Providence and Newport,


waters of

carrying cargoes on which no duties


stop this nefarious

traffic,

orders to chase and search


of

illicit

Narragansett Bay were dotted

trade

with the

had ever been

flourished
sail

paid.

armed vessels were stationed


all craft

these vessels gave great

to

and

the
craft

In order to

in the Bay, with

suspected of smuggling.

offence

small

of

The presence

the colonists, and the inflexible


33

BLUE-JACKETS OF

34
manner

in

'76.

which the naval ofBcers discharged their duty caused more

than one open defiance of the authority of King George.

The

first

serious trouble to

grow out

the presence

of

the

of

cruisers in the bay was the affair of the schooner "St. John."

was engaged

in patrolling the waters of the

While so engaged, her commander, Lieut.

bay

Hill,

This vessel
smugglers.

in search of

learned that a brig had

Running

discharged a suspicious cargo at night near Rowland's Ferry.

down

to that point to investigate, the king's officers found the cargo to

consist of smuggled goods


hastily

and, leaving a few

Although

as a prize.

even then had

little

brig,

men

in charge, the cruiser

The

the smuggler.

put out to sea in pursuit of

schooner soon overtook the

"

British

and the

latter

was taken

sailing

sv/ift

in

Newport

to

this affair occurred early in 1764, the sturdy colonists

The

liking for the officers of the king.

sailors of the

John," careless of the evident dislike of the citizens of the

St.

swaggered about the

streets,

town,

boasting of their capture, and making merry

at the expense of the Yankees.

Two

or three fights

between

sailors

and

townspeople so stirred up the landsmen, that they determined to destroy


the "

when

John," and had actually fitted up an armed sloop for that purpose,

St.

a second man-of-war appeared in the harbor and put a final stopper

Though thus balked

to the project.

showed

their hatred for the king's

several shots at the two

During the same

armed

of their revenge,

town

of the growth of the revolutionary

spirit.

of

Newport again gave evidence

This time the good old British

of procuring sailors for the king's ships

commonly known

as impressment,

by a system

was the cause

of

some months
Newport,

tugging at her anchors.

officers

It

was a period

had nothing to occupy their attention.

of kidnapping,

the outbreak.

the British man-of-war " Maidstone " lay in

idly

firing

vessels, but without effect.

year, the little

custom

the townspeople

navy by seizing a battery, and

the

For

harbor of

of peace,

and her

Therefore they devoted

themselves to increasing the crew of the vessel by means of raids upon


the taverns along the water-front of the

The
was

men of Newport knew little peace


The king's service was the dread of

seafaring

in port.

city.

"
while the " Maidstone

every sailor

and, with

BLUE-JACKETS OF

'76.

35

the press-gang nightly walking the streets, no sailor could feel secure.

knew
when

the

life

led

by the

sailors

on the king's

command

the cat-o'-nine-tails flourished, and the

All

Those were the days

ships.

of a beardless bit of

a midshipmen was enough to send a poor fellow to the gratings, to have

back cut to pieces by the merciless

his

little

liking for this phase of sea-life,

The Yankee

lash.

had

sailors

and they gave the men-of-war a wide

berth.

Often

happened, however, that a party of

it

mariners sitting over

jolly

some sea-shore

their pipes and grog in the snug parlor of

tavern, spinning

yarns of the service they had seen on the gun-decks of his Majesty's ships,
or of shipwreck and adventure in the merchant service, would start up and

measured tramp

listen in affright, as the

entrapped

body

of a

Then came the heavy blow on the


"Open in the king's name," shouts

men came up

of

the

door.

street.

a gruff voice

outside; and the

overturning the lights, spring for doors and windows, in

sailors,

The press-gang seldom


luckless tar who once fell

vain attempts to escape the fate in store for them.

returned to the ship empty handed, and the


clutches was wise to accept

into their

the bos'n's cat was the remedy

As
such

long as the
as

were

this

grumbled a

little

commonly prescribed

"Maidstone"

common

of

but

lay

of

of

women

"Maidstone" might
sport

of

hunting

atrocious

act

of

to

King George

have

men

like

continued

sailors

beasts,

inhumanity that

so

many

shed

and lovers

And

to

the

of

city

and none dared oppose

will,

the kidnapped

.-'

Newport, raids

The people

tear over the disappearance of their husbands

the tears

for

for sulkiness.

the harbor of

in

occurrence.

was the king's

it

The wives and sweethearts

good naturedly

his capture

it.

a bitter

but what were

the press-gang of the

enjoy unopposed

the

stirring

had the leaders not committed one


roused

the

long-suffering

people

to

resistance.

One

breezy afternoon,

a stanch

brig,

bay, and entered the harbor of Newport.

and her dingy

sails

and

completed her long voyage.

patched

Her

under

Her

cordage

full

sides

showed

sail,

came up the

were weather-beaten,
that

she had just

crew, a fine set of bronzed

and hardy

BLUE-JACKETS OF

36

forecastle, eagerly regarding

were gathered on her

sailors,

cottages that

made up the

'76.

town

little

Newport.

of

fellows had not seen for

cottages

In those

were many loved ones, wives, mothers, and sweethearts,


long and weary months

cluster of

the

whom

the brave

brig was

for the

just

returning from a voyage to the western coast of Africa.


It is

hard to describe the feelings aroused by the arrival of a ship in

port after a long voyage.

From

outmost end of the longest wharf

the

the relatives and friends of the sailors eagerly watch the approaching
vessel, striving

to

find

in

the loved ones on board.


bitter

is

her appearance some token of the safety of


If

a flag hangs at

half-mast

in

the rigging,

the suspense, and fearful the dread, of each anxious waiter, lest

her husband or lover or son be the unfortunate one whose

And

mourned.

on the deck of the ship the excitement

Even the hardened


catches

first

breast

sight

of

his

of the

sailor

native town,

swells

is

less great.

with emotion

when he

months

absence.

long

after

no

is

death

of

With eyes sharpened by constant searching for objects upon the broad
bosom of the ocean, he scans the waiting crowd, striving to distinguish
His spirits are light with the
in the distance some well-beloved face.
happy anticipation

of

a season

port

in

with his loved ones, and

he

discharges his last duties before leaving the ship with a blithe heart.

So

it

was with the crew

of

Right merrily

the home-coming brig.

they sung out their choruses as they pulled at the ropes, and brought
the vessel to anchor.

The rumble

holes was sweet music

to their ears

of
;

the

hawser through the hawse-

and so intent were they upon the

crowd on the dock, that they did not notice two long-boats which had
put off from the man-of-war, and were pulling for the brig.
of

the merchantman,

wondered what
aboard," said

they want.

The

meant.

it

he.

"

"Those

fellows

think

I've

smuggled

However, they can spend their time

I've nothing in the hold I'm afraid to

boats were

The

captain

however, noticed the approach of the boats,

soon alongside

and

and

goods

searching

if

have seen."

two or three

officers,

with a

handful of jackies, clambered aboard the brig.


"

Muster your men

aft,

captain," said the leader, scorning any response

BLUE-JACKETS OF
to the captain's

37

The king has need

"

salutation.

'76.

a few fine fellows

of

for his service."

" Surely,

the

sir,

you are not about to press any

"They

captain.

men," protested

of these

returning after a long voyage, and have

are just

not yet seen their families."


"

What's that

me,

to

sir

"

was the response.

"

.-*

Muster your crew

without more words."


Sullenly the
boarding-officers.
fill

the ship's

men came

and ranged themselves

aft,

Each feared

the " Maidstone

roll of

in line

before

the

he might be one of those chosen to

lest

each cherished the hope that

" yet

he might be spared to go ashore, and see the loved ones whose greeting he

had so fondly anticipated.

The

boarding-ofhcers

looked

together, gruffly ordered the

"Surely

you

men

to

propose

don't

crew

the

to

and,

over,

consulting

after

go below, and pack up their


take

my

crew.?"

entire

traps.

said

the

captain of the brig in wondering indignation.

"I know

my

"and

do not propose

any more interference."

to suffer

The crew
clothes,

business, sir," was the gruff reply,

of

the brig soon

came on deck, carrying

their

and were ordered into the man-o'-war's boats, which

bags of
speedily

conveyed them to their floating prison.

Their fond visions of home had

They were now

enrolled in his Majesty's service,

been rudely

dispelled.

and subject

to

the

will

of

blue-coated

This was

tyrant.

all

their

welcome home.

When
of

the news of this cruel outrage reached the shore, the indignation

the people

knew no bounds.

The thought

of

their fellow-townsmen

thus cruelly deprived of their liberty, at the conclusion of a long and


perilous

voyage,

the whole village in a turmoil.

set

Wild

plots

were

concocted for the destruction of the man-of-war, that, sullen and unyielding,
lay at her anchorage

in

the

harbor.

redress.

The captured men were

ordnance

in the little

town

to

not

But the wrong done was beyond


to

be liberated.

compete with the guns

There was no

of the " Maidstone,"

and the enraged citizens could only vent their anger by impotent threats

BLUE-JACKETS OF

38
Bands

and curses.

'Down
upon

of

'76.

men and boys paraded

angry

the streets, crying,

Heaven

with the press-gang," and invoking the vengeance of

Finally, they found a boat belonging

the officers of the man-of-war.

to the "

Maidstone

"

Dragging

lying at a wharf.

ashore, the

this

crowd

procured ropes, and, after pulling the captured trophy up and down the

common

took

burned

in the presence of a great crowd,

to the

it

officers of the "

heads of the

Court-House, where

in front of the

streets,

was

it

which heaped execrations upon the

Maidstone," and King George's press-gang.

After this occurrence, there was a long truce between the people of

Newport and the

officers

oppression,

the

of

and

But the

British navy.

the revolutionary spirit

town was

little

broke out again

intolerant

of

in

Historians have eulogized Boston as the cradle of liberty, and

1769.

by the British pamphleteers


a hot-bed

called

of

of that era the

rebellion.

It

Massachusetts city was often

would appear, however,

that,

while

the people of Boston were resting contentedly under the king's rule, the
citizens

of

Newport were chafing under the yoke, and were quick to

any attempts

resist
It

is

noticeable,

against the

at tyranny.

that,

in

each outbreak of the people of

increased, and their acts of retaliation


of the " St.

the "

John

Maidstone

affairs

" the king's vessel

became
was

bolder.

Thus

in the affair

fired on, while in the

affair of

" the royal property

was actually destroyed. In the later


with the sloop " Liberty " and the schooner " Gaspee," the revolt

of the colonists

In

Newport

authority of the king's vessels, the vigor of the resistance

was

still

1769 the armed

more open, and the consequences more


sloop

"Liberty,"

Capt.

Reid,

serious.

was stationed

Narragansett Bay for the purpose of enforcing the revenue laws.


errand
zeal of

made her obnoxious

to the people

on the

coast,

in

Her

and the extraordinary

her captain in discharging his duty made her doubly detested by

seafaring people afloat or shore.

On

the

17th of July the "Liberty," while

of the bay, sighted a sloop

and a brig under

full

cruising near the

giving chase, the armed vessel soon overtook the


to

send a shot skipping along

the

crests

of

bound

mouth

out.

Promptly

merchantmen

sufficiently

sail,

the waves,

as

polite

BLUE-JACKETS OF
to

invitation

from

The two

stop.

flaw

hove

and a boat was sent

to,

examine their papers, and sec

the man-of-war to

Though no

vessels

39

'76.

was found

in

was

all

if

the papers of either vessel,

determined to take them back to Newport, which was done.

right.

Capt.

Reid

In the harbor

brought to anchor under the guns of the armed

the two vessels were


sloop,

and without any reason or explanation were kept there several

days.

After submitting to this wanton detention for two days, Capt.

Packwood

of the brig

to Capt. Reid,

from

and

went on board the " Liberty

same time

at the

to get

make

to

"

some wearing apparel taken

On

the time his vessel had been captured.

his cabin at

a protest

reaching

the deck of the armed vessel, he found Capt. Reid absent, and his request
for

property was received with

his

violence
ship,

he was

The news

none

fired at several times,

Hot words soon

ridicule.

and as Capt. Packwood stepped

led

to

in to his boat to return to his


of the shots taking effect.

The
The authorities
man who fired the

of this assault spread like wildfire in the little town.

people congregated on the streets, demanding reparation.


Reid, demanding that the

sent a message to Capt.

Soon a boat came from the "Liberty," bringing a

shots be given up.

man who was handed


examination into the
party,

and that

determined to be

case

showed

that

man was

the

surrender was a mere subterfuge.

his

over to the authorities as the culprit.

the

guilty

The people then

made preparations

with no longer, and

trifled

not

brief

to take

vengeance upon the insolent oppressors.

The work of preparation went on quietly and by nightfall a large


number of men had agreed to assemble at a given signal, and march
;

upon the enemy.

Neither the authorities of the town nor the

on the threatened vessel were given any intimation


outbreak.
street

Yet the knots

corners, or looked

of

men who

significantly at

of

officers

the impending

stood talking earnestly on the

the trim

navy vessel lying in

the harbor, might have well given cause for suspicion.

That

night, just

as

men marched down

the

the dusk was deepening into dark, a crowd of


street

to

hidden in the shadow of a wharf.

spot where

Embarking

in

number

of

boats lay

these silently,

they

BLUE-JACKETS OF

40

'76.

command

bent to the oars at the whispered word of

and the boats were

soon gliding swiftly over the smooth, dark surface of the harbor, toward

As

the sloop-of-war.

"Boat ahoy

No

they drew near, the cry of the lookout rang out,

"
!

The

answer.

crowded with armed men,

boats,

Answer, or

"Boat ahoy!

still

advanced.

fire."

I'll

And, receiving no response, the lookout gave the alarm, and the
watch came tumbling

up, just

time to be driven below or disarmed

in

armed men that swarmed over the gunwale of the


There was no bloodshed. The crew of the "Liberty" was fairly

by the crowd
vessel.

made no

and

surprised,
sloop's

of

cables,

The

resistance.

and allowed

her

to

victorious

on

float

shore

near

the

cut

citizens

Long Wharf.

Then, feeling sure that their prey could not escape them, they cut away
her masts, liberated their captives, and taking the sloop's boats, dragged

them through the

streets to the

common, where they were burned on a

triumphal bonfire, amid the cheers of the populace.

With the high

But the exploit was not to end here.


day,

the

When

Goat Island.
over,

night

and, applying the

water's edge.
It

tide

hulk of the sloop floated away, and drifted ashore

may

Thus
be

well

fell,

torch

some adventurous
to

stranded ship,

the

Newport

did the people of

imagined

authority caused a great

that

spirits

so

bold

the next

again

went

stealthily

burned

it

on

the

to

resist tyranny.

defiance

of

the

royal

Prolonged and vigorous were the

sensation.

attempts of the servants of the king to find out the rebellious parties

who had thus destroyed his Majesty's


The identity of the captors
in vain.

property.
of

the

concealed, and even to this day none of their


But, before the people of

But their

" Liberty "

efforts

were

was carefully

names has become known.

Newport had done talking about

another outbreak occurred, which cast the capture and

this

affair,

destruction

of

the "Liberty" into the shade.

This was the

affair of

the " Gaspee,"

considered

by many historians

the virtual opening of the revolutionary struggle of the Colonies against

Great Britain.

The "Gaspee,"

like

the "St.

John" and the "Liberty,"

Page 41. Blue Jackets of

'76

DESTRUCTION OF THE

"

GASPEE

"

BLUE-JACKETS OF
was an armed
navy, and

Bay

Narragansett

in

on the American

British officers stationed

the

of

British

tactics

the

of

Duddingston had made

coast,

Not a boat

and his vessel was marked for destruction.

the

enforce

to

eight

carried

himself hated

43

commanded by Lieut. Dudingston


guns.
By pursuing the usual

She was

revenue.

stationed

vessel

'76.

could pass between Providence and Newport without being subjected to

"Gaspee;" and the Yankee

search by the crew of the


darkly,

when

that,

the time was ripe, they would put

swore

sailors

an end to the

Britisher's officious meddling.

The propitious time arrived one bright June morning in the year
1772, when the "Gaspee" gave chase to a Newport packet which was
scudding for Providence, under the command of Capt. Thomas Lindsey.
The armed vessel was a clean-cut little craft, and, carrying no heavier
load than a few light guns of the calibre then in vogue, could overhaul

with ease almost any merchantman on the coast.

So on

this

eventful

day she was rapidly overhauling the chase, when, by a blunder


pilot,

of

the

she was run hard and fast upon a spit of sand running out from

Namquit

Point,

and thus saw her projected prize

sail

away

in triumph.

But the escape of her prize was not the greatest disaster that was
to

the

befall

"Gaspee"

that

arriving

prominent
for

that

at

reported

city

citizen,

the

condition

of

the

pest

of

marine

orders to a trusty ship-master to collect


in the harbor, and, having
at Fenner's

course to Providence, and on

who straightway determined

the destruction

the

of

eight

"Gaspee"

to organize an

He

traffic.

of

muffled their oars and

to

expedition

therefore gave

the largest long-boats


rowlocks, place

them

Wharf, near a noted tavern.

That night, soon

after

sunset,

as

the tradesmen were

men were standing on the


man passed down the middle

their shops, and the laboring


after their day's

work, a

beating a drum, and crying aloud,


"

himself safe from

finding

Lindsey,

day.

the clutches of the enemy, continued his

The schooner

help destroy her

Gaspee

'

is

shutting up

streets
of

talking

each street,

ashore on

Namquit

Point.

Who

will


BLUE-JACKETS OF

44

who expressed

All

a desire to join in the enterprise

House

Sabin

the

repair to

'76.

and

the evening,

thither, later lin

flocked

of the townspeople, carrying guns, powder-flasks, and bullet-pouches.

many

Within the house

was

all

and

life

The

bustle.

determined men, discussing the plan of

with

great hall was crowded

a glowing

busily casting

fire

At

bullets.

last,

On

tiller

paving-stones

of

when

"Who

a veteran sea-captain

and stout

stopped,
as

clubs,

and took aboard

weapons

who

for those

After this stoppage the boats continued on their way,

had no muskets.
until,

in

stood about

each boat.

of

way down the harbor the boats

the

number

men

being prepared, the

all

party crossed the street to the dock, and embarked,

taking the

Guns stood

attack.

every corner, while down in the kitchen a half a dozen

were directed to

within

sixty

comes there

"

.^

yards of

the

" Gaspee,"

rang out over the water.

and the lookout quickly repeated his

the

No answer was
Whipple, one

Capt.

hail.

long-drawn

hail,

made,
of

the

leaders of the attack, then responded,


"

want to come on board."

Dudingston, who was below at the time, rushed on deck, exclaiming,

"Stand

You

off.

As Dudingston
assailants,

come aboard."

can't

stood at the side of the " Gaspee " warning off the

he presented a good mark

and Joseph Bucklin, who pulled an

oar in the leading boat, turned to a comrade and said, " Ephe, lend

your gun, and


him, and he

can

fired.

The gun was

that fellow."

kill

Dudingston

fell

" I

am

this vessel

sheriff of the
;

county of Kent.

and have him

I will,

Just as the shot was

to the deck.

the leader of the assailants cried out,

fired,

dead or

me

accordingly handed

am come

for the

Men, spring

alive.

commander

of

to your oars."

In an instant the boats were under the lee of the schooner, and the

attacking party was clambering over the side.


to

board seized a rope,

cut

the rope,

himself,

crew

and

let

and was clambering

him

fall

into

up,

The first man to attempt


when one of the British

the water.

He

quickly recovered

and was soon on deck, where he found his comrades driving the

of the "

Gaspee

" below,

and meeting with but

little

resistance.

BLUE-JACKETS OF

45

'76.

surgeon who was with the party of Americans led the boarders

below, and began the task of tying the hands of the captured cre\^ with

While thus engaged, he was

strong tarred cord.

"What

wanted, Mr. Brown

is

on deck.

called

asked he, calling the name

.!"

the

of

person inquiring for him.

"Don't
response.

names, but go

call

"There

is

The surgeon went

immediately into

one wounded, and

will bleed to

into the captain's cabin,

and bleeding

severely wounded,

the

bandages, the surgeon opened his vest, and began

the

of

death."

cloth

injured officer was attended to

for

suitable

own

to tear his

With the tenderest

bind up the wound.

strips to

into

the

and there found Dudingston,.

Seeing no

freely.

was

cabin,"

shirt

the hurt

care

and he was gently lowered

intO'

a boat, and rowed up the river to Providence.

The Americans remained


quickly began
a

number

the

of

the work

captured schooner, and

in possession of the

In

demolition.

of

the

American surgeon dashed the

heavy boots, so that no scenes

captain's

men made

bottles of liquor, and for these the

cabin were
;

but

bottles to pieces with the heels of

his

a rush

After

drunkenness were enacted.

of

breaking up the furniture and trappings of the

craft,

her people were

bundled over the side into the boats of their captors, and the torch was

The

set to the schooner.

flames

satisfied

them

other, the

the

that

American merchantmen.
after the

boats lay off a

As

the

"

little

Gaspee

"

distance until the roaring

would

schooner's shotted guns went

Americans turned their

boats'

annoy

never again

off

one

prows homeward, and

soon dispersed quietly to their homes.


It

is

almost

incredible

that

the

identity

of

the

parties

expedition was kept a secret until long after the Revolution.

the British authorities

made

to

this

Although

the most strenuous efforts, and offered huge

rewards for the detection of the culprits, not one was discovered until
after the Colonies

had thrown

off

the royal yoke,

when they came

boldly

forward, and boasted of their exploit.

After the destruction of the "Gaspee," the colonists in no way openly

opposed the authority

of the king, until the

time of those stirring events.

BLUE-JACKETS OF

46

American Revolution.

immediately preceding the

the water to betoken the hatred of

turbulent
of

of

the

streets

wharves

of

the colonists for

was done on

Little

King George.

to

Massachusetts, and particularly to Boston.

occurred the famous massacre, and at the

Boston

Boston lay the three ships whose cargo aroused the

of

The

Providence and Newport subsided, and the scene

was transferred

revolt

In

towns

little

'76.

ire of

the famous Boston tea-party.

To
is

as familiar as his

upon
of

almost every young American the story of the

how

tea,

the article

own

name, how the

British Parliament levied a tax

the Colonies refused to pay


;

how

unload, and in

it,

and determined to use none

merchants strove to force the tea upon the

British

unwilling colonists, and

Boston tea-party

how

the latter refused to permit the vessels to

some cases drove them back

to England.

At

Philadelphia,

Annapolis, Charleston, Newport, and Providence, disturbances took place


over the arrival of the tea-ships; but at Boston the turbulence was the
greatest.

The

story of that

revolution

has

dramatic scene in the great drama of American

been told too often to bear

repetition.

The

three ships laden with tea aroused instant indignation in the


city.

to

Mass meetings were

held, the captains of the

arrival

New

vessels

any thing to do with the

England

warned not

attempt to unload their cargoes, and the consignees were

into refusing to have

of

terrified

tea.

In the midst of an indignation meeting held at the Old South Church,


a shrill

war-whoop resounded from one

of

the galleries.

The

audience, looking in that direction, saw a person disguised as a


Indian,

who

wildly

waved

his

arms and shouted,

"Boston Harbor a tea-pot to-night!

Hurrah

for Griffin's

startled

Mohawk

Wharf."

In wild excitement the meeting adjourned, and the people crowded


out into the streets.

Other Indians were seen running down the streets

in the direction of Griffin's

Wharf, where the tea-ships were moored, and

thither the people turned their steps.

On

reaching the wharf, a scene of wild confusion was witnessed.

three tea-ships lay side by side at the wharf.

The

Their decks were crowded

Page

47.

Blue Jackets of

'76

THE BOSTON TEA-PARTY.

BLUE-JACKETS OF
with men,
off

many

of

the hatchways

them wearing the Indian


and the chests

of

broken open, and thrown overboard.

'76.

49

The hatches were

disguise.

tea were being rapidly passed up,

There was

little

noise,

as

the

workers seemed to be well disciplined, and went about their work in


the bright moonlight with systematic activity.

work was done.

Three hundred and forty-two chests

thrown overboard, and the

The

of the petty incidents that led


it

tea

had been

homes.

Harbor was the

up to the American Revolution.

came Lexington, Concord, and Bunker

great conflict was fairly under way, and the

What

of

rioters dispersed quietly to their

incident of the destruction of the tea in Boston

quick upon

liberty.

In about three hours the

Hill,

Colonies were

Following

then

the

fighting for

part the sailors of the colonies took in that struggle,

the purpose of this book to recount.

last

it

is

THE BEGINNING OF THE NAVY. LEXINGTON


AND CONCORD. A BLOW STRUCK IN MAINE.
CAPTURE OF THE " MARGARETTA." GEN.
WASHINGTON AND THE NAVY. WORK OF
CAPT. MANLY.

N TREATING

of

we must always bear

Revolution,

the greater part

of

in Ireland,

many

So

was no navy.

are naval

participants in

only

in

of

of exactly six words,

the

and

episodes

that they took

place

on

"

There are no

incidents

sailors

enrolled

in

of

the

history of that

the

water.

The

privateers-

the regular navy of the

united

some

results

Nevertheless, these irregular forces accomplished

colonies.

Indeed, the

them were often longshoremen, fishermen, or

men, and but seldom

the

during

fact, that,

Revolutionary war that we chronicle as part of the naval


struggle

of

the same aspect as the celebrated chapter

which consisted

snakes in Ireland."

mind the

in

that war, there

much

subject presents

on snakes

navy during the war

the history of the

that would be creditable to a navy in the highest state of efficiency and


discipline.

The expense
even

of

building vessels-of-war, and

to impossibility, of

procuring cannon for

the Colonies from equipping a naval force.


tionists

the difficulty, amounting


their

armament, deterred

All the energies of the revolu-

were directed towards organizing and equipping the army.

cause of independence upon the ocean was

left

to shift for itself.

The

But, as

the war spread, the depredations of British vessels along the coast became
so intolerable that

some colonies

Private enterprise sent out


50

many

fitted

out armed vessels for self-protection.

privateers to prey

upon British commerce,

BLUE-JACKETS OF
months

so that the opening

ocean to support the cause

were plenty

begun

of

sailors

day of decadence

in this

in

Many Americans were

day

the American marine.

command

enrolled on the

most

who were

therefore,

early

that

at

of

to

many vessels on the


To man these vessels, there

New England

hardy seamen for which she

of

of trained officers to

banner of England, but

The men,

even

1776 saw

of the Colonies.

for

to develop that race

a sad lack

of the year

'76.

is

still

had

noted

There was, however,

the vessels of the infant navy.


of the ships flying the royal

lists

these remained in the British service.

command

the ships of the colonies, were

trained in the rough school of the merchant service, and had smelt gun-

powder only when

resisting piratical attacks, or in serving themselves as

privateers.

For these reasons the encounters and exploits that we

consider

shall

as being part of the naval operations of the Revolutionary war were of

a kind that would to-day be regarded

as insignificant skirmishes

naval officer of to-day would look with supreme contempt


his

brethren of

'^6,

as

so

many

untrained sea-guerillas.

the achievements of some of the


insignificant,

and

it

seamen

the

of

and the

upon most

of

Nevertheless,

Revolution are

not

even when compared with exploits of the era of Farragut

must be remembered that the

efforts

of

the devoted

men were

directed against a nation that had in commission at the opening of the

war three hundred and


the

title

fifty-three

vessels,

and even then bore proudly

conferred upon her by the consent of

all

nations,

" The

Mistress

of the Seas."
It

and

was on the 19th

his corps

on the green

of April, 1775, that the redoubtable

of scarlet-coated
at

British

regulars shot

down

Major Pitcairn
the colonists

Lexington, and then fled back to Boston followed by the

enraged minute-men, who harassed the retreating red-coats with a constant


fire

of

musketry.

wherever the

and preparing

story

The news
was

told,

of

the battle

the

colonists

spread far and wide

and

began arming themselves,

for resistance to the continually increasing despotism

of the

British authorities.

On

the 9th of May, a coasting schooner from Boston

put

into

the

BLUE-JACKETS OF

52

little

'76.

The

seaport of Machias on the coast of Maine.

town gathered

at the wharf,

lightly

and from the

The yoke

Lexington and Concord.

sailors first

New

World, they had heard

little of

little-

heard the story of

Government had rested

of the British

on the shoulders of the people of Machias.

cities of the

people of the

Far from the chief

the continued dissensions-

between the Colonies and the home Government, and they heard the story
of the rebellion with

amazement.

But however unprepared they might

have been for the news of the outbreak, their sympathies went warmly
out

their struggling

to

brethren, and

they determined

to

them-

place

selves shoulder to shoulder with the Massachusetts colonists in the fight

against the oppression of the British.

Their opportunity for action came

that very night.

As
stories

the sturdy young colonists


the newly arrived

of

stood on the deck

listening

to

the

they could see floating lightly at

sailors,

anchor near the wharf a trimly rigged schooner flying the ensign of the
British navy.

This craft was the " Margaretta," an armed schooner acting

as convoy to

two sloops that were then loading with ship-timber to be used

in the service of

the king.

The Boston sailors had not yet


battles, when the thought occurred
that

finished
to

some

their

narrative

of

the two

adventurous listeners

of the

they might strike a retaliatory blow by capturing the " Margaretta."

Therefore, bidding the sailors to say nothing to the British of Lexington

and Concord, they


for

recruits.

secluded

left

That same

farm-house,

schooner.

It

the wharf and dispersed through the town, seeking

and

evening,
laid

sixty

their

men assembled

stalwart

plans

for

the destruction

of

in a

the

was then Saturday night, and the conspirators determined

to attack the vessel the next

morning while the

officers

were

at church.

All were to proceed by twos and threes to the wharf, in order that no
suspicion might be aroused.
their boats,

Once

at the water-side, they

would rush to

and carry the schooner by boarding.

Sunday morning dawned

clear,

and

all

seemed

conspirators.

The "Margaretta" had then been

week, and her

officers

in

propitious

port for

for

the

more than a

had no reason to doubt the loyalty and friendship of

BLUE-JACKETS OF
the inhabitants
of the

any hint
ears.

no whisper

the occurrences

of

people of

purposes of the

May

Therefore, on this peaceful

uniform, and with

full-dress

church in the

had reached their

Machias,

brother officers proceeded to the

his

nor

Massachusetts,

in

morning, Capt. Moore donned his


little

village.

Every thing then seemed favorable

The

53

'76.

manned by

" Margaretta,"

the adventure.

to the success of

a sleepy crew, and deserted by her officers,

lay within easy distance of the shore.

It

had only to divide into two parties

seemed

as

though the conspirators

and while the one surrounded the

church, and captured the worshipping officers, the others might descend

upon the schooner, and


But the plot

easily

History

failed.

suspicions of Capt.

make themselves masters


fails

captain noticed the absence of most of


or whether he

But certain

it

in the pews,

Whether

it

the young men

all.

how

record just

to

Moore were aroused.

of

why

or

the

was that the wary

of the congregation,

saw the conspirators assembling on the dock, is not known.


is that the good dominie in the pulpit, and the pious people

were mightily startled by the sudden uprisal of Capt. Moore,

who sprang from

upon

his seat, and, calling

his officers to follow him, leaped

through the great window of the church, and ran like mad for the shore,
followed by the rest of the naval party.

There was no more church

for

the good

people

Even the preacher came down from

morning.

of

Machias

pulpit

his

to

that
stare

through his horn-rimmed glasses at the retreating forms of his whilom

And,

listeners.

as

he stood

in

blank amazement at the church door, he

saw a large party of the missing young

men

his

of

congregation come

dashing down the street in hot pursuit of the retreating mariners.


their hands, the pursuers

carried sabres, cutlasses, old flint-lock

horse-pistols, scythes,

no arms

and, as no boat awaited

hopeless indeed.

But the old

equal to the occasion.

The

The pursued

and reaping-hooks.

cumbrous

salt

them
left

shore, their case

at

the

in

charge

of

the

In

muskets,
v/ore

looked

schooner was

unsabbath-like tumult on the shore quickly

attracted his attention, and with unfeigned astonishment he had observed


his

commander's unseemly egress from the church.

But,

when

the armed

BLUE-JACKETS OF

54
band

of colonists

'76.

appeared upon the scene, he ceased to rub his eyes in

wonder, and quickly loaded up a swivel gun, with which he


the heads of his

This

colonists.

officers,

and

they wavered and hung back, a boat put

took the

officers

Then, after

aboard.

town, merely as an admonition

headed young men persisted


dropped down the bay

The

to a

morning, four young


the wharf, cheered

and, while

from the schooner, and soon

off

few

firing a

over the

shot

solid

in their violent outbreaks, the

the

if

hot-

"Margaretta"

more secluded anchorage.


resolved

since strategy had

men

lustily.

hastily

crowd soon gathered, and the project

The

wharf, and suspected his danger.

captain of

spy-glass

his

He was

sudden hostility on the part

axes

and,

the threatened

proceedings

the

dropped down

of provisions, the sloop

" Margaretta."

schooner had observed through

pitchforks, and

was

and wood-

Thirty-five hardy sailors

for.

after taking aboard a small supply

this

up to

sloop, and, bringing her

armed themselves with muskets,

the harbor toward the

attempt to carry the

to

Therefore, early the next

failed.

upon a

seized

explained, and volunteers called

knew

the conspirators

of

what might be expected

of

but, nothing daunted, they

schooner by assault,

for

over

defeated conspirators were vastly chagrined at the miscarriage of

their plot

men

fly,

dangerous proximity to the advancing

in

checked the advance

fire

let

the

at

utterly ignorant of the reason

the people of

of

He

Machias.

nothing of the quarrel that had thus provoked the rebelHon of the
Therefore, he sought to avoid a conflict

colonies.

of the sloop, he hoisted his anchor, and fled

The

and, upon the approach

down the

bay.

The Yankees crowded forward, and


more powerful enemy who thus strove

sloop followed in hot haste.

shouted taunts and jeers at their


to avoid the conflict.

Both vessels were under

the schooner was beginning to

tell,

main boom.

Nevertheless, she was

was able

put into

to

when,
so

lying there, before the sloop overtook her.

and the

in jibing, she carried

far

Holmes Bay, and

full sail

ahead

of

the

size

of

away her

sloop that she

take a spar out

of

a vessel

But the delay incident upon

changing the spars brought the sloop within range

and Capt. Moore,

still

anxious to avoid an encounter, cut away his boats, and stood out to sea.

Page

55.

Blue Jackets of

'76.

THE FIGHT AT MACHIAS.

BLUE-JACKETS OF
With

with

immediately
returned the

aimed as

to

broadside,

man at
The two

the

kill

her quarter-deck.

which

in

cutlasses were

one of

fly

for battle,

his swivels, following

The

man.

one

killing

it

sloop

with her one piece of ordnance, which was so well

fire

began,

whole

his

on the quarter,

Moore then prepared

sailer.

and, as the sloop overhauled him, let

their

57

plenty of sea room, and with a spanking breeze

the sloop proved to be the better

battle

'76.

helm

the

the " Margaretta," and clear

of

then closed, and

vessels

hand-to-hand

muskets, hand-grenades, pikes, pitchforks, and

used with deadly

The

effect.

colonists

enemy, but were repeatedly beaten back.

If

strove

to

board

any had thought that

Capt. Moore's continued efforts to avoid a conflict were signs of coward-

they were quickly undeceived; for that officer fought like a

ice,

standing on the quarter-deck

rail,

tiger,

cheering on his men, and hurling hand-

grenades down upon his assailants, until a shot brought him down.
of their captain disheartened the British

fall

swarmed over the


This

victory

of

was

mean achievement

no

She was ably

her crew.

and drove her crew below.

sides of the "Margaretta,"

"Margaretta" was vastly the

for

the

superior, both in metal


officered

and

The

colonists.

in the strength

by trained and courageous seamen

while the Yankees had no leaders save one Jeremiah O'Brien,

had elected, by acclamation, captain.

The

and the Americans quickly

whom

they

That the Americans had so quickly

brought their more powerful foe to terms, spoke volumes for their pluck

and determination.
the schooner.
search

in

of

Nor were they content

capture of

Transferring her armament to the sloop, O'Brien set out

and

prizes,

British cruisers.

soon

These he took

Legislature was then in session.

with vast enthusiasm


of captain,

to rest with the

in

fell

to

with,

and captured, two small

Watertown, where the Massachusetts

The news

of

his victory

was received

and the Legislature conferred upon him the rank

and ordered him

to set out

on another cruise, and particularly

watch out for British vessels bringing over provisions or munitions

war

to the king's troops in

But by

America up

this
in

time

Great

arms against

of

America.
Britain

was

his authority,

aroused.

The king saw

all

and he determined to punish

BLUE-JACKETS OF

58
the rebellious

colonists.

'76.

expedition was therefore sent against

naval

Falmouth, and that unfortunate town was given to the

The

flames.

Massachusetts then passed a law granting commissions to

Legislature of

Thereafter the

privateers,

and directing the seizure

hostilities

on the ocean, which had been previously unauthorized and

somewhat

piratical,

British

of

ships.

had the stamp of legislative authority.

Petty hostilities along the coast were very active during the

months

of

the war.

The

exploits

of

few

first

O'Brien stirred up seamen

Capt.

from Maine to the Carolinas, and luckless indeed was the British vessel
that

At Providence two armed American

into their clutches.

fell

re-took a Yankee brig and sloop that had been captured by the

At Dartmouth

a party of soldiers captured a British

to these exploits, the success of the

American

armed

vessels
British.

In addition

brig.

which had got to

privateers,

sea in great numbers, added greatly to the credit of the American cause.

The

first

order looking toward the establishment of a national navy

was given by Gen. Washington

knowing that the

general,

and munitions

provisions

forces

war by

of

sea,

in

Boston were supplied with

conceived the idea of fitting

out

some

swift-sailing cruisers to intercept the

off

their

supplies.

Broughton was

Massachusetts.

ten

Quebec with
other

military stores.

own

his

authority,

he

out

sent

actually

By

employed

this time

it

1775,

small vessels.
of Capt.

it

failed

to

therefore

Of these the

do,

the

but brought in
release

the

of

to take such vessels as

were

service.

the

success

fitted out,
first

of

to sail

him

to

American

the

and ordered

was the

John Manly, whose honorable name, won

Revolution, fairly entitles

American navy.

to

directed

Congress had become convinced that some naval force

was absolutely essential


October,

This he

was then intended only

in the king's

of

ordered to intercept two brigs bound

however,

Congress,

vessels.

captured ships, as

the

on

Accordingly,

enemy's cruisers, and cut

Broughton with two armed schooners belonging to the colony

Capt.

for

The sagacious

in the latter part of 1775.

British

the

to

sea,

cause.
a

number

In
of

" Lee,"

under command

in the

opening years of

station

of

the father of the

BLUE-JACKETS OF
With

Manly

swift cruiser,

his

'76.

patrolled the

59

New

England

coast,

and

was marvellously successful

in

capturing British store-ships.

am

in

very great want of powder, lead, mortars,

wrote to Congress, "I

and, indeed, most sorts of military stores."

when Manly appeared

forwarded,
just the

Hardly had the

is

port with a prize heavy laden with

in

on record regarding these captured stores.

an able Yankee seaman, later an


the docks

saw the great cases

officer

in the

of

guns and barrels

of

powder marked " Boston

would walk barefoot one hundred miles,

arms could only take the direction

Tucker was

queer

American navy, was on

lowered into the hold of the vessel, he said to a friend


I

Samuel Tucker,

As he

Liverpool as a transport was loading for America.

at

Washington's camp

in

been

letter

goods for which the commander-in-chief had applied.

coincidence

him, "

Washington

Cambridge."

of
at

if

who

"

being

stood with

by that means these

Three months

later

Cambridge, and there saw the very

arms he had so coveted on the Liverpool docks.

They had been captured

by Capt. Manly.
Manly's activity proved very harassing to the British, and the sloopof-war " Falcon " was sent out to capture the Yankee.

the

"Lee"

was too heavy

for him, deserted his

"Falcon" stopped
to the

to capture

convoy and ran into the

mouth

Yankee by

alongside the "

man

therefore

forty

men 'set

Lee

" at the

put his
out

to

Lindzee

the port, anchored her in such a

of

The

boarding.

Capt.

He

" Falcon "

of

the

in

way

as to

then prepared to capture the

drew too

much water

anchorage Manly had chosen

men

where

port,

the abandoned schooner, and then taking

prevent any escape for the " Lee."

to

with

in

Manly, seeing that the Englishman

he anchored, out of reach of the sloop's guns.

was

fell

near Gloucester, just as the latter was making for that port

with a merchant schooner in convoy.

his vessel

She

to

run

and the English-

large barges, and with a force of about

capture the schooner.

Manly saw the

force that

be brought against him, and sent his men to quarters, preparing

for a desperate resistance.

The schooner was

lying near the shore

and

the townspeople and militia gathered by the water-side, with guns in their
hands, prepared to lend their aid to the brave defenders of the " Lee."

6o

BLUE-JACKETS OF

'

As

'76.

the three barges drew near the schooner,

them

hailed them, warning


" Fire,

command

to

keep

off lest

and be hanged

to you,"

of the assailants.

"We

So saying, the

British pressed

he

Manly mounted the

fire

was the response

The

courage.

of

have no fear of traitors."

on through a

lieutenant

storm of musketry

fierce

brought

himself

cabin windows, and was in the act of boarding,

They showed no

when

boat

his

under the

a shot from the shore

struck him in the thigh, and he was carried back to the man-of-war.

who had watched

Lindzee,

" Falcon,"

and

of the lieutenant in

from the deck of the schooner and from the shore.


lack

rail,

upon them.

Capt.

the progress of the fight from the deck of the

was greatly enraged when

lieutenant was

his

thus disabled

and he hastily despatched re-enforcements to the scene of


directed the gunners on the " Falcon " to

commence

action,

and

a cannonade of the

town.
"

Now,"

said he with an oath, "

my

Well,

church.

my

we

boys,

will

aim

at the

Presbyterian

God

brave fellows, one shot more, and the house of

will fall before you."

But the British were

was disastrous
"

says,

fight

wonders

them.

to

newspaper

Under God, our

for they soon

and the outcome of the battle

fairly outfought,

little

the

of

party at

made themselves masters

the cutter, the two barges, the boat, and every

pertained to them.
lost

but one

man

In the

action,

We

are

man

one

of

permitted to return to their friends.


off

The work done by

skiff

the

wounded

all

that

whom

is

since dead, the

men

thirty-five

this

This

and neighboring

morning

Capt.

lieutenant returned in."

the small armed schooners of which the " Lee " was

a type encouraged Congress to proceed with the

and

them, and

with but one-half of his men, with neither a prize-boat

nor tender, except a small

regular navy;

in

twenty-four are sent to head-

The remainder, being impressed from

Lindzee warped

performed

of both the schooners,

took of the man-of-war's

several are wounded, and one since dead

towns,

speaking of the

which lasted several hours, we have

two others wounded,

other very slightly wounded.

quarters.

period,

the waterside

by the end

of

1775

that

work

of

organizing a

body had authorized

the

BLUE-JACKETS OF

carrying from

building of thirteen war-vessels

guns

But as some naval force was

each.

the construction of this

twenty-four to thirty-two-

necessary during

obviously

navy was organized with the following roster of officers


EsEK Hopkins

Captain of the " Columbus"

Nicholas Biddle

Captain of the " Andrea Doria"

Hopkins

Captain of the " Cabot."

John

B.

long

name

his

when he was put

pleted,

may

what

three

from

floated

flag

upon

confusion

have

possibly

classes

this

of

in

already noticed, was

the

ship

some

to

colonies

these

hailed.

Last

mastheads

and

American

not

armed

outset

the

Lieut.

of
flag

over

usually floated

floated

these

of

little

the flag of

vessels

bunting, showing

of

commissioned

a pine-tree

chiefly

used

until

the

readers

the

might

The year

1775

is

much

There were
First

seas.

were

their purpose.

suit

the colony from which they

diverse

the

kinds.
first

It

fell

which at
the lot

to

authorized American

vessel-of-war.

God"

This

was

flag

adoption

prominently displayed.
of

the

was largely used by the

closed with

wonder

to

There

ships.

stars

and

of

but

ships of the regular navy were late

little

This flag

stripes.

"rattlesnake flag," with a reptile in the act of striking, and


" Don't tread on me,"

was com-

on a plain white ground, with the words

"Liberty Tree" and "Appeal to

was

"

commissioned by Congress,

many banners

regularly

command

uncertainty.

on

vessels

Paul Jones, however, to hoist


a

in

and commissioned by the individual

out

fitted

came the

left

Hancock

my

of

the privateers, that sailed under any flag that

Next came the vessels

"

charge of her.

occurred

point,

stands out

John Manly, whose dashing work

the thirty-two-gun

until

craft

little

we have

"

among whom

provided,

also

John Paul Jones.

of

shooner " Lee

the

It

lieutenants was

of

list

boldly the

of

Captain of the ''Alfred:'

Dudley Saltonstall

in

Commander-in-chief.

Abraham Whipple

and the new

vessels were procured,

five

fleet,

61

'76.

the

The
legend

privateers.

activity

upon the ocean.

The

in getting into commission, and an

BLUE-JACKETS OF

62
early winter

British
of

navy were kept

these

gentry.

the

ships

of

by-

the

occupied in guarding against the operations

The man-of-war

both vessels ran aground.

work was done

little

the different colonies, and

fully

privateer into a little cove

teer,

Some

impeded their usefulness.

privateers and the ships of

'76.

" Nautilus "

chased

an

American

near Beverly, and in the heat of the chase

The people on shore put

off

to

the priva-

and quickly stripped her of her cordage and armament, and with

the guns built a small battery by the water-side, from which they opened

upon the stranded " Nautilus."


the

The man-of-war returned


town but when the tide

had risen she slipped her cables and departed.

Such desultory encounters

a telling
in kind,

were

of

fire

and did some

frequent

slight

occurrence,

damage
but

took place until the spring of 1776.

to

no naval battles

of

any importance

CHAPTER

V.

1776. THE FIRST CRUISE OF THE REGULAR NAVY. THE "LEXINGTON" AND THE
"EDWARD." MUGFORD'S BRAVE FIGHT. LOSS OF THE "YANKEE HERO." CAPT. MANLY,
AND THE " DEFENCE." AMERICAN VESSELS IN EUROPEAN WATERS. - GOOD WORK OF
THE "LEXINGTON" AND THE " REPRISAL." THE BRITISH DEFEATED AT CHARLESTON.

-EVENTS OF

^5_0^|HE year 1776 witnessed some good


of liberty

by the

command

of

as soon as the ice

New

the island of

The

station.

of

three

exploit,

the

The

hundred

meeting with but

the Delaware in

the river, and

left

cause

made

the

February,

a descent upon

Providence, where the British had established a naval

force under

one despatch-boat.
party

had

left

for the

The squadron, under

colonial navy.

little

Ezekiel Hopkins,

done

service

little

Hopkins consisted
attack was

marines

successful

and

resistance from

Americans captured

of seven vessels-of-war,

sailors

the

in

every way, a landing

which was

British

over a hundred

and

sent

garrison.

cannon,

ashore

By

this

and a great

quantity of naval stores.

After this exploit, Hopkins

left

New

Providence, carrying away with

him the governor and one or two notable

citizens,

and continued
63

his

BLUE-JACKETS OF

64

His course was shaped to the northward, and early

cruise.

found himself

off

of insignificant British vessels,

his crew,

Long

the shore of

one

who had looked forward

of the

But their inactivity was not

"Alfred" sighted a large

The

American squadron.

light,

and the sea smooth


the

daylight,

Soon,

was

night

and

commanders determined
the

therefore,

of long

down upon

beautiful, the

wind

lacked several hours to

it

give

to

the drums

of

roll

and

prize-

the lookout

6,

ship, bearing

clear

although

so,

he

of results

and plenty of

to sharp service

on the morning of April

before daylight

masthead

at the

the

for,

in April

had picked up a couple

a tender of six guns, and the other

money, were beginning to grumble.


duration

He

Island.

But his cruise had been mainly barren

an eight-gun bomb-brig.

and

'76.

the

to

battle

stranger.

beating to quarters was heard

over the water, and the angry glare of the battle lanterns on the gun-

decks made the open ports of the war-ships stand out like fiery eyes

" Glasgow,"
easily

twenty guns, carrying

have escaped

The

open

fire

injudicious;
to

send

the

for

two

her out

" Alfred "

Her

the

battle

then took up the

made good her


vessels

of

for

was the

American ship

first

the American

squadron.
of

"

serious

injuries

Glasgow

"

was

she

although

escape,

the

fighting,

this

The "Glasgow" and the

repairs.

and exchanged repeated broadsides

fight,

careless seamanship on the part

almost

almost a match

for

her.

two.

and

surrounded

by the

would seem that only the most

It

the Americans

It

the

away,

of

hauled

could have enabled a

twenty-gun vessel to escape from four vessels, each one


singly

men, might

fifty

though sharp and plucky, was

attack,

American vessel suffering the more

After some hours of

be the

the Englishman's heavy broadsides were enough

of

of

later to

undaunted by the odds against him,

" Cabot "

little

on the enemy.

hundred and

one

but, apparently

he awaited the attack.


to

The Englishman, who proved

the black hulls.

against

is

evident

Congress took the same view of the matter,

for

that

of

the

which was
Continental

Hopkins was soon

after

dismissed from the service.

This action was


navy.

little

to

the

credit

of

the

Fortunately, a second action during the

sailors

of

same month

the
set

colonial

them

in

BLUE-JACKETS OF

This was the encounter

a better light before the people of the country.


of

65

'76.

the " Lexington," Capt. Barry, with the British vessel " Edward," off

The two

the capes of Virginia.

and a hot battle ensued,

The

career of this

little

vessels were laid yard-arm to

which the Americans came

in

and again

fell

ever, the

Englishman was a

forced to

surrender.

Her

in

Edward," she was again


with a British

and,

captor

wake

of the frigate.

their vessel.

the capes

off

This time, how-

ship.

left

Americans aboard

the

putting a prize-crew aboard, ordered them

craft,

The

one.

and the luckless " Lexington

frigate,

to

"

was

their

own

follow

the

in

That night the Americans plotted the recapture

By a concerted movement, they overpowered

and the " Lexington

"

the victors.

American brig was a rather remarkable

year following her capture of the "


of the Delaware,

off

yard-arm

of

their captors

was taken into Baltimore, where she was

soon

recommissioned, and ordered to cruise in European waters.


Shortly after the battle between the " Lexington " and the " Edward,"
there was fought in Massachusetts

Bay an

action in which the

showed the most determined bravery, and which


and losses suffered on either

side,

may

well

important of the naval battles of that year.

seaman named Mugford had succeeded,


the

command

only four guns.

The

zeal

in

caused

them

fleet

when

of

the

suit.

Indeed,

in

sight.

plain sight.

Many

so Capt. Mugford.

More than

commodore Banks

the British
a

marine committee,

He
this,

late.

Mugford had

had been but a few days

the British ship "Hope," of four hundred

guns, hove
of

pressing his

But the order arrived too

already fitted out his ship, and sailed.

six

mounting

send an express messenger to Boston to cancel

to

Mugford's commission.

sea,

cruiser

appointment had been made, certain damaging rumors concerning

the newly appointed captain reached the ears

and

Early in May, a merchant

after great importunity, in securing

naval authorities had been unwilling to give him the

command, though he showed great


after the

for the courage shown,

be regarded as the most

the armed vessel " Franklin," a small

of

Americans

tons

at

and mounting

the lookout reported that the

lay but a few miles away,

man would have been daunted by such

Mustering his men, he showed them

and in

odds.

Not

the British ship.

"

BLUE-JACKETS OF

66
told

them

them
to

that

she

that

the

British

fleet

take a hand in the engagement

odds against them, he

we can
by me

said,

then, having pointed

Now, my

lads,

out

a desperate

it's

the

all

case

try-

but

Will you stand

take her, and win lots of glory and prize-money.

captain,

no time in debate, but, cheering

jackies wasted

went to their

and made ready

posts,

discipline of the present

day was

little

The

time in the American navy.

when they were permitted


the "

But as Mugford,

The men

and

head

ties,

"Avast there
and clapping a

and

man

An

head

of this

valuable

prize

hundred

barrels

stiff

yet
of

"

if

in

a knife

an instant,
is

touched

shall live."
sailors,

all

breeze, with

the

that they relinquished

on his

sail

taken by the Americans.

powder, a

instruments and pioneer

floated,

to cut the topsail

her.

of the captain

crew

taffrail,

British

prize,

soon was

squadron

in

hot

examination of the ship's papers showed her to be the most

travelling carriages for cannon,

the channel

under

so crippling the ship that the

and recapture

Mugford, crowding

bowling along before a


pursuit.

men

order the

so terrified the captured

This threat

clambered over the

bawled Mugford, seeing through the plot

pistol to the

to those ropes, not a

"

with the intention of

"

Great was their

to take a raking position

of the boarders,

British squadron might overhaul

design

stood in crews at

to board her without a shot being fired.

Hope," and

at the

he heard the captain of the " Hope


halliards

makes the gun-deck

expected a desperate resistance.

All

ready to board.

the stern of

naval

but most of the jackies were mustered on the forecastle,

surprise, then,

The

less observed, at that

and solemn as during Sunday prayers,

then gave place to excited talk and bustle.


the four guns

lustily for the

for a hot fight.

known, and

perfect order which

of a ship going into action as quiet

soon

told

The

their

" Franklin,"

the

near at hand, and would doubtless

lay.

"

than

metal

heavier

carried

'76.

known

as

tools.

Point

thousand

In her hold were fifteen

carbines,

great

number

and a most complete assortment of

While running

for

of

artillery

Boston Harbor, through

Shirley gut, the vessel grounded, but was

and taken safely to her anchorage.

Her

arrival

was most

BLUE-JACKETS OF
American army was

timely, as the

may

It

in the

well be imagined that there

67

'76.

most dire

straits for

was no longer any

gunpowder.

talk about revoking

Capt. Mugford's commission.

Mugford remained

in port only long

from his prize; then put to sea again.

him

that had chased

it

to take a supply of

He

knew

well

Harbor was

into Boston

mouth, but he hoped to evade

enough

powder

that the British fleet

blockading the harbor's

still

by going out through a circuitous channel.

Unluckily, in thus attempting to avoid

the enemy, the

aground, and there remained hard and

fast

"Franklin," ran

in
view of the enemy.
had as consort the privateer schooner " Lady Washington," whose

He

full

captain, seeing Mugford's dangerous predicament, volunteered to remain

near at hand and assist in the defence.

Mugford knew that

most determined resistance.


four of

his

was desperate, and made preparations

his case

Swinging

for a

he mounted

his craft around,

guns on that side which commanded the channel

all

the

in

direction

from which the enemy was expected.

triced up,

and strengthened with cables and cordage, to make an effective

barrier against the assaults of boarders.

rations of grog, and set to

rowlocks,

The men were served with double

work sharpening the cutlasses and

which they were well provided.

none too soon

Boarding-nettings were

The work

for about nine o'clock

of preparation

Mugford heard the

rattle of oars

" Franklin "

and saw boats gliding towards the

spears, with

was completed
in

through the

darkness.
" Boat ahoy

" he challenged.

" Don't fire,"


to

"

Keep
" we

off,

or

I shall fire

into you."

are friends from Boston

coming

your aid," cried Mugford with an oath.

Then,

was the response

your aid."

"We

want none

of

turning to his crew, he shouted, "Let them have

The

boys."

roar of the cannon then mingled with the rattle of the musketry,

the cries of the wounded, and the shouts


as the British strove to clamber
less

it,

than two hundred

advanced to the fray

and curses

up the sides

men were engaged on


in

thirteen

large

of

of

the

the combatants,

"Franklin."

the side of the British,

barges,

many

of

Not

who

them carrying

BLUE-JACKETS OF

68

'76.

Several boats clashed in close under the side of the " Franklin,"

swivel guns.

and their crews strove manfully to board, but were beaten back by the
Yankees, who rained cutlass blows upon them. The long pikes with
which the Americans were armed proved particularly

man with

that

weapon

says a newspaper

is

"One

effective.

having killed nine of the enemy,"

positive of

of that day.

men

Unhappily, however, the heroic Mugford, while urging on his


a more

to

vigorous resistance, was struck by a musket-ball, which inflicted a

At

mortal wound.

the

moment

the

out over the quarter to catch hold

the hope

of upsetting her.

lieutenant,

and

said,

"I

am

As he

wound was
mast

of the
fell

a dead man.

received, he

was reaching

one of the barges,

of

the deck, he called his

to

Do

not give up the vessel

in

first
;

you

the

heroic

British,

beaten

be able to beat them off." Nearly forty years after,


Lawrence, dying on the deck of the " Chesapeake," repeated Mugford's

will

words, "Don't give up the ship."

For about

half

back with great

an hour the battle raged

loss,

The

returned again and again to the attack.

under the lee of the " Franklin

would come

fiercely.

" but, not

The

boats

being provided with

grappling-irons, the British were forced to lay hold of the gunwales of the

enemy with

their hands,

their cutlasses.
of the boats of

which the Americans promptly lopped

off

with

Shots from the swivel guns of the Yankee soon stove in two
the enemy, which sunk, carrying down many of their crew.

After nearly an hour of this desperate fighting, the British withdrew, having
lost

The only loss sustained by the Americans was


brave commander Mugford.
month after this battle, there occurred off the coast of

about seventy men.

that of their

About a

Massachusetts a battle in which the Americans, though they fought with


the most undaunted bravery, were forced to strike their colors to their
adversary.

buryport.

only forty

The American was


She

sailed

men

sighted a

sail

Yankee Hero

"

of

New-

from that place for Boston on the 7th of June with

aboard,

hundred and twenty

the privateer "

at

intending to ship her


Boston.

As

on the horizon, but

in

the " Hero

full

"

complement

of

one

rounded Cape Ann, she

her short-handed condition did not

BLUE-JACKETS OF
think

sight of the "


to close
"

Hero

efforts of the

"

Americans

brig returned

came

this,

the

the

she began

Capt. Tracy of the

Despite the desperate

ship-of-war.

to escape, their pursuer rapidly overhauled them,

opened

half a mile,

fire

with her

with a swivel gun, which had

fire

The

to close quarters.

keeping up

she came closer,

bow

chasers.

little

effect.

Capt. Tracy ordered the firing to cease until the ships should

stranger rapidly overhauled

the time a vigorous

all

the ardor of his men,

When

As

saw that she was a

and soon coming up within

Seeing

stranger, however, had caught

" and, a fresh southerly breeze springing up,

with the American.

Yankee Hero

The

The

worth while to give chase.

it

69

'76.

enemy came within

action on his

Tracy with

fire.

who were anxious

the

privateer,

difficulty restrained

to try to cripple their pursuer.

pistol-shot,

Tracy saw that the time

part had come, and immediately opened fire with

guns and small-arms that could be brought


chance for escape lay in crippling the big
broadside after broadside was

fired,

and

still

along in the wake of the flying privateer.

to

bear.

The only

craft with a lucky

all

for

the

possible

shot

but

the great ship came rushing


Closer and closer drew the

bulky man-of-war, until her bow crept past the stern of the " Yankee Hero,"

and the marines upon her

forecastle

poured down a destructive volley

of musketry upon the brig's crowded deck.

was now a desperate one.

the Yankee.

Her heavy

antagonist was close alongside,

marines on the quarter-deck and

Englishman were on a

level with the leading blocks of

From

the depressed guns of the frigate, a murderous

poured down upon the smaller

craft.

the two vessels continued the fight,


other,

plight of the privateer

her, so that the

and towered high above


forecastle of the

The

and separated by

less

fire

For an hour and twenty minutes


pouring hot broadsides into each

than a hundred feet of water.

breeze blowing carried away the clouds of smoke, and

left

The brisk
men on

the

the deck of the Yankee no protection from sharp-shooters on the enemy's


deck.

Accordingly, the execution was frightful.

the quarter-deck, saw his

men

of the great ship had so cut the cordage of the

was impossible.

At

last

Tracy, from his post on

falling like sheep, while the continual volleys

weaker vessel that escape

a musket-ball struck Capt. Tracy in the thigh,

BLUE-JACKETS OF

70
and he
guns

bleeding to the deck.

fell

'76.

For a moment

men wavered

his

but he called manfully to them, from where he

"

honor of the

for the

his assistance

Two

Yankee Hero."

lay, to fight

on boldly

petty officers had rushed to

and he directed them to lay him upon a chest

at their

arms upon

of

the quarter-deck, whence he might direct the course of the battle.


strong though was his

he had allotted

it

body was too weak

spirit, his

But,,

to perform the task

and, growing faint from pain and loss of blood, he

was

carried below.

He

but was recalled to his senses

lay unconscious for a few minutes,

by the piteous
he came

cries of

to himself, he

saw the cabin

had ceased, but the enemy was

still

with grievously wounded people,

filled

bleeding and suffering for lack of surgical

at this spectacle, Capt.

The

aid.

firing of the privateer

orders,

by

Enraged

pouring in pitiless broadsides.

Tracy ordered

his

men

to re-open the

conflict,

and

But, on getting

directed that he be taken in a chair to the quarter-deck.


into the chair,

When

wounded men by whom he was surrounded.

he was suddenly seized with a fainting

and gave

spell,

signs, that the colors be struck.

When

the inequality of the

two enemies

is

considered, this

appears to be a most notable reason for pride in the powers

The

Americans.

"

Yankee

Hero

"

action
of

was a low single-decked vessel

the
of

fourteen guns, while her captor was the British frigate of thirty-two guns.

Yet the

American vessel had held

little

good gunnery and

much damage

skilful

Iher

own

two hours, and by

for

manoeuvring had succeeded in doing almost as

as she had suffered.

In reading of the naval engagements of the Revolution, one


life

Thus

recorded only four

in the

defeated

ship,

exchanged

The

action just

although

broadsides

for

is

impressed

that attended the most protracted conflicts.

with the small sacrifice of

more than an

distance

of

'

less

men were
hour the
than

killed

upon the

two vessels

hundred

feet

had

apart.

execution done on the British frigate has never been recorded, but

was probably even


Only

the

most

less.

fragmentary

account

can

be

given

of

any

naval

actions in the year 1776, except those in which America's great naval hero

BLUE-JACKETS OF
Of the

Paul Jones took part.

'76.

encounters that go to complete

trivial

the naval annals of the year, only the briefest recountal

work

"Andrea

of the little brig

This

mention.

Besides capturing two

making

prizes.

she took so

back

port

to

is

The

necessary.

Doria," Capt. Biddle, deserves a passing

fourteen-gun craft had the most wonderful luck in

little

soldiers,

only five of her original

loaded with

transports

many merchantmen,

British

that on one cruise she brought

crew,

the rest having

been

all

put aboard prizes.

On

the 17th of June, the crew of the Connecticut cruiser "Defence,"

a fourteen-gun
faintly

made
fell in

brig,

heard

all

possible

sound of

the

All

over the water.

sail

speed to the scene of

About

conflict.

fourth was the

privateers, the

Manly had done such

Three

were eager to renew

nightfall,

vessel

alongside the

"Ay, ay

for

Lee

The

"

she

in

vessels were

which Capt. John


had found

four schooners

them, and had therefore drawn

way

to

off,

larger

but

Accord-

Nantasket Roads, where the transports

Capt. Harding wasted

lay at anchor.

cruiser "

service.

American

of the

the fray with the help of the " Defence."

ingly the " Defence " led the

commander

little

brilliant

the transports too powerful

of

little

time

in

manoeuvring, but, laying

the two transports,

summoned her

to strike.

I'll

strike,"

was the response from the threatened vessel;

and instantly a heavy broadside was poured into the "Defence."


action followed, lasting for nearly an

brunt of the

conflict, for

close quarters to be of
of

and she

brig,

with four American schooners that had just been having a tussle

with two heavy British transports.

his

coming

cannonading

distant

was crowded upon the

hour.

The

"

the four schooners did not

much

Defence

come

assistance against the enemy.

the Americans proved too

much

for the

losing eighteen men, together with a large

"

sharp

bore the

to sufflciently

The gunnery

enemy, however

and after

number wounded, the

British

The American vessel was a good deal cut up aloft, and


The next morning a third transport was sighted
lost nine of her men.
and
"Defence,"
speedily
overhauled and captured. More than five
by the
surrendered.

hundred British

soldiers

were thus captured

and the British thenceforward

BLUE-JACKETS OF

72

dared not treat the Americans as rebels,

lest

'76.

the colonial army authorities

should retaliate upon the British prisoners in their hands.


It

was

in the year

1776 that the

first

naval vessel giving allegiance to

the American Colonies showed herself in European waters.

This vessel

was the " Reprisal," Capt, Wickes, a small craft, mounting sixteen guns.
Early in the summer of '76, the "Reprisal" made a cruise to Martinique,

When

taking several prizes.

sloop-of-war "Shark," and a


metal, the

near the island, she encountered the British


In size and weight of

sharp battle ensued.

two vessels were about evenly matched

"
but the " Reprisal

had been sending out so many prize-crews, that she was short eighty

men

of

her

broadsides,

sloop

British

the

when, after a brisk interchange

Therefore,

crew.

full

sheered

and

off,

left

" Reprisal "

the

of

to

continue her course, Capt. Wickes rejoiced in his escape as being almost
equal to a victory.

After completing this cruise, the "Reprisal" was ordered to France


for the purpose of conveying thither

the ambassador sent from the

cause of American
three

prizes,

from Philadelphia Benjamin Franklin,

Colonies

interest

to

the

French

in

the

While on the way over, she took two or

liberty.

which were sold

her distin-

After landing

France.

in

guished passenger, she cruised about in the proverbially tempestuous Bay


of Biscay, where she forced several British vessels to strike to the

American

flag,

then

to sell his newly


for

him.

American

The

first

captured prizes,

equal

therefore,

to

admonished

Paris
;

to

of

take

war
his

declared
for

in

England.

and

store

in

that

the

France to permit

prizes

his

against

ships

had

and that

her harbors, or sell

declaration

returning to France

Wickes found trouble

at

was a detestable pirate

the pirate to anchor in

was

Capt.

ambassador

British

cruiser

On

seen in those waters.

prisoners

her markets,

Wickes

was,

But

away.

even in that early day Yankee wit was sharp, and able to extricate its
Wickes knew that there were
possessor from troublesome scrapes.
plenty of

purchasers

to

be

had for his

prizes

so,

gathering

few

ship-owners together, he took them out to sea beyond the jurisdiction of

France, and there sold them to the highest bidder.

"

BLUE-JACKETS OF
money

The

armed

for

suitable

Wickes

obtained

thus

" Reprisal "

squadron

in

England

in

escaped

cruisers

sailing

near

throwing

fitting

British

ran

into

falling

overboard

all

the

every

and

high,

the

pursuers.

Once

hands

the

thing

of

little

despatched

But the

indeed

swift-

" Reprisal

the

but

escaped

by

away her bulwarks,

sawing

movable,

joined

merchantmen.

admiralty

enemy,

the

The

Islands.

marauders.

the

vessels

out,

and soon

France,

in

the

the available men-of-war in search of

came

were

swept the Channel and the Irish Sea of

fairly

The excitement
all

around

cruise

purchasing

in

these

"Lexington" and the "Dolphin" arrived


the

y^

used

While

cruisers.

'76.

and even cutting away her heavy timbers.

The

result

of

dared

longer

to

" Lexington "

European

and

waters

when one day

this

cruise

harbor

were,

The

"

out from the port of

man-of-war cutter "Alert."


vessels, but her

in

him

all

when

the

pieces

at

stiff

breeze

two vessels

random

and

was

blowing,

and

came

together.

fired,

knowing

go plunging into the waves, or

fly

the

smaller of the

England great upon

The gunners
little

sighted

whether the

high into

the

exhausting most of the powder on the American

^'Lexington"

ammunition
clapped

on

rapidly
all

sail,

crew
in

of

four

The

the

hours

battle

powder,

" Alert,"

overtook

that

the

giving

and

they

repaired

" American,"

now became one-sided for the


make little resistance to

could

and

the

result,

"Alert," and

captain

showed

opened

Lexington,"
the

their

two hours, with

of

brisk

fire

the

crippled

his

the damage done

"

the

craft.

out,

soon

But so great was the activity

antagonist a clean pair of heels.

two

would

shot

As

air.

they carried on a spirited cannonade for upwards of

his

and

heavy cross sea running,

the sole effect of carrying away the top hamper of the

Finding

first,

that pluck and those sterling

seamanlike qualities that made the name of


ocean.

leave

to

complied

Morlaix encountered the British

The "Alert" was

commander had

"

no

The

cruisers.

ordered

therefore,

Lexington

France

that

Yankee

audacious

the

" Reprisal "

forthwith.

England,

aroused

so

of the

aloft,

upon

and
her.

being short of
attack

of

her

74

BLUE-JACKETS OF

persevering adversary.

In less

her

hour she was forced to

an

than

'76.

flag.

The
of

" Reprisal "

the

of

fate

was

America, she was

But the

little

waves opened her seams, so that

was

liberty,

higher in the hold, the


of the possibility of

crew were

the

saw that

ship

it

clambered

and heard their despairing


high

in

the

the fate of
the

pieces

and sunk

air,

stormy ocean.

see

on.

and their comrades on the

man

on board

all

water

comrades.

but the

off

into

it

manned them
was pushed

good

the

as

their long,

to

were

raft

of

their

ship

not

the seething cauldron

lives

crew, and such

is

the

forecastle,

depended

of

ill-fated

patriotic

to

escape

go

slowly

to

by

bit

Bit

sea.

One by one they were


At last but one
the storm.
vessel, who floated about for

them.

he was picked up by a passing vessel, and


of

that

sinking

doomed ta

were

three days on a piece of wreckage, until, half-starved and

So ended the career

all

threw her prow

destined

sufferers

the remorseless

beneath

remained, the cook of the

and

off,

huge

foremost to the placid depths of the

The haggard

mighty power

them

and, turning

aloft,

saw them crowd on the

raft

on which

structure

before the

and

higher

rose

few poor fellows clung to the

But those on the

their

frail

settled,

cries
sterfi

their foothold vanished from

swept

to

All hands then set to work at the construction of

could reach

life.

and the tossing

spars,

Boats were lowered

danger.

and just as the ship's stern

sails

for

fight

was no longer a question

it

over and over, sent the poor fellows that

raft

coast

saving the ship, but that their lives and those of

the greatest

in

As

sealed.

officers

angry white-capped waves tossed them madly

account.

her

of

the gallant craft, that had so nobly defended the cause

of

American

the

a desperate

became apparent

it

that

way back to the


With furled
gale.

wind carried away her masts and

fierce

that the fate

made

craft

than

harder

by a furious

overtaken

and battened hatches, the

of

even

While crossing the Atlantic on her

consort.

his

strike

nearly crazed,

told the tale of

and gallant

Capt.

the wreck.

Wickes

the fate that every stout fellow braves

and

when he

dons his blue jacket and goes to serve his country on the ocean.

Pagb

75.

Blue Jackets of

'76.

THE LOSS OF THE

"

REPRISAL."

BLUE-JACKETS OF

'76.

']']

In addition to the exploits of the American cruisers upon the high


the

seas, certain operations of

British

navy along the American

during the year 1776, demand attention.

was the attack by Sir Peter Parker upon Charleston,

an attack

that year,

Americans, the

made memorable by

daring exploit of

Sergt.

coast,

Of these the most important


in

September

of

the determined courage of the


Jasper,

and the discovery of

the remarkable qualities of palmetto logs as a material for fortifications.

Charleston was then a town of but a few thousand inhabitants


small as

was,

it

it

had become particularly obnoxious to the British on

account of the strong revolutionary sentiment of

many open acts of


offensive Stamp Act
in revolt
in

the

armed

defiance

known

King George's

of

and their

people,

its

When

authority.

was published, the people

first

and the stamps

bay,

but,

of

the

Charleston

rose

an armed fortress

for the city being stored in

Castle Johnson, a party of a hundred and

as

men went down

the

surprised

bay,

the

garrison,

Not

castle, and, loading its guns, defied the authorities.

fifty

captured the

until the

promise

had been made that the stamps should be sent back to England, did the
rebellious Carolinians lay

duration.

When

down

Nor was

their arms.

their peace of long

the news of the battle of Lexington reached the

little

Southern seaport, the people straightway cast about for an opportunity to


strike

offered

blow against the tyranny

An

itself.

Learning

Augustine, Fla.

of

England.

The opportunity soon

English sloop laden with powder was lying at


this,

St.

the people of Charleston fitted out a vessel,

which captured the powder-ship, and, eluding a number

of British cruisers,

returned safely to Charleston with fifteen thousand pounds of gunpowder


for the colonial army.
forts in the harbor,

Therefore,

when

Soon

after the colonial troops took possession of the

and Charleston became a revolutionary stronghold.


the war authorities of

Great Britain

prepared

to

take active, offensive measures against the seaport cities of the rebellious
colonies, Charleston

was on the 4th


of

was one

colonists

the

first

points

chosen for attack.

of June, 1776, that the British fleet,

the veteran admiral.

The

of

Sir Peter Parker, appeared

had learned of

its

It

under the command


off

Charleston bar.

approach some time before

and the

BLUE-JACKETS OF

78

town was crowded with

troops, both regular

Johnson and Sullivan, were erected

forts,

commanding the entrance

The wharves were covered with

ness of lead for bullets

warm

was the

Sullivan

time

that

at

enemy appeared

to give the invaders a

There was a great scarce-

and to supply that need the leaden sashes,

which window-panes were


the fleet of the

and the streets

breastworks,

leading up from the water-side were barricaded.

Fort

Two

and volunteer.

points

at

Troops were thrown out to oppose the advance of landing

to the harbor.
parties.

'76.

set,

in the offing,

were melted down.

in

When

Charleston was quite ready

reception.

chief

work

in

the

and against

harbor,

this

Parker began a vigorous cannonade early on the morning of the 28th


of

The

June.

had been

fort

looked upon with some distrust by

the

defenders,

its

The

them.

re-assured

fleet

spongy wood without detaching any

balls

of

the

fire of

and the thunder

know how

did not

but the opening volley


soft,

the splinters, which, in a battle,

more dangerous than the shot themselves.


;

who

penetrated deep in the

are

the fleet

palmetto wood, and was

of

could withstand cannon-shot

well that material


of

of logs

built

of

The

fort

soon replied to

three hundred cannon rang out

over the bay, while dense clouds of sulphurous smoke hid the scene from
the eager gaze of the crowds of people on the housetops of the

When

the

before the

take

his

obstacle

stately

little

station

that

ships

wooden

of

fort,

without a

the

British

there was

feeling

of

squadron swung into line

hardly a sailor

contempt

for

the

they were about to sweep from their path.

who

"

fort,

did

not

insignificant

But as the

day wore on, and the ceaseless cannonade seemed to have no


the bastions of the

city.

effect

on

the case began to look serious.

Mind the commodore, and the

fifty-gun

ships,"

was the command

when the action commenced,


The quarter-decks of the
ships-of-the-line were swept clean of officers.
The gunners in the fort
soon found that the fire of the enemy was doing little or no execution,

Moultrie gave to the gunners in

the fort

and right well did they heed the injunction.

and they sighted their guns as coolly as though out for a day's target
practice.

The huge

iron balls crashed through the hulls of the ships, or

Page

79.

Blue Jackets of

'76.

IN

THE PALMETTO FORT.

BLUE-JACKETS OF

'76.

terrific execution.

The

swept their decks, doing

cable .of the "Bristol"

was shot away, and she swung round with her stern to the
she was

position

this

one time not an

officer

ceased, this

during the course of the engagement

cannonading,

the

on

set her

the

Parker signalled to her

task

at

contained

ships

suffered

after ten hours' fruitless

reducing

of

officer to

This was accordingly done

fire.

and

"Actaeon" grounded

ship

and when,

abandoned

British

ship alone

the

and determined to withdraw, she was found to be immovable.


ingly Admiral

In

fort.

killed,

The other

The twenty-eight-gun

severely.

as

the conflict

and seventy-one wounded men.

killed

nearly

her captain was

remained on her quarter-deck except the admiral

When

Sir Peter Parker.

forty

raked repeatedly

abandon the

fort,

Accordship,

and

left

with

and the ship was

This movement was observed by

her colors flying, and her guns loaded.

the Americans, who, in spite of the danger of an explosion, boarded the


ship, fired

her guns at the "Bristol," loaded three boats with stores, and

pulled away, leaving the " Actaeon " to

hour

blow up, which she did half an

later.

While the

was

battle

at

hottest,

its

flying thick over the fort, the

flagstaff

South Carolina, a blue ground, bearing a


Sergt. William

and the shot and

was shot away

the

bastion,

walked calmly through the storm

the

flag,

and fastened

it

upon a

highest point of the parapet, in

the fort, he

leaving the

calmly fixed the

fort,

handsome sword and a

"

am

not

fit

The complete

staff

of

on the beach

leaped on the

flying missiles, picked

up

Then standing upon the

view of the ships and the


upright, and

The next day

lieutenant's commission.

to

this,

were

flag

men

in

returned to his place,


the

governor of

the

and seeking out the brave sergeant, handed him

be as modest as he was brave


with the remark,

of

sponge-staff.
full

proudly waving.

flag

colony visited the

Jasper, seeing

shell

and the

silver crescent, fell

outside

parapet.

keep

for

officers'

failure of

for the English to swallow.

But Jasper proved to

he declined the proffered promotion,

company

am

but a sergeant."

the attack upon Charleston was a bitter

They had brought

pill

against the raw, untrained

82

BLUE-JACKETS OF

forces

of

the colony some

the finest

of

'76.

ships

of

navy

the boasted

of

They had fought well and pluckily. The fact that Sir
Peter Parker was in command was in itself a guaranty that the attack

Great

Britain.

would be a spirited one


affords convincing

The

sailors.

and the tremendous

proof that

loss

the

of

loss

of

the

of

killed

says

fort,

and twenty-two wounded.

that

after

the battle was

than twelve hundred solid shot of different

Most

the

the fleet

during the engagement, in killed and

British

wounded, amounted to two hundred and twenty-five men.

had ten men

in

life

no poltroonery lurked among the British

that

Moultrie,

The Americans
the commandant

over they picked up more

sizes,

and many thirteen-inch

within the fort

fell

into

a large

pool of water, which extinguished their fuses, thus robbing

them

of their

shells.

power

shells

fell

for evil.

In his

He

of

report of this battle. Admiral Parker

reports that a large party of

men

fell

into a queer error.

entering the fort met a

out,

whom

they straightway hanged to a neighboring tree, in

the

fleet.

From

mutiny

in

the

this the
fort,

and

man going
full

the

ringleader was

Col. Moultrie, however, explained this

hanged

as

an

cannon-shot, and

left

hanging

example.

by stating that the man hanging

the tree was simply the coat of a soldier, which had been carried
.a

view of

admiral concluded that there was an incipient

in the branches.

in

away by

CHAPTER

VI.

THE CAREER OF PAUL JONES. IN COMMAND OF


THE " PROVIDENCE." CAPTURE OF THE " MELLISH." EXPLOITS WITH THE "ALFRED." IN
COMMAND OF THE " RANGER." SWEEPING THE
ENGLISH CHANNEL. THE DESCENT UPON
WHITEHAVEN.

E HAVE

already spoken of the farcical affair between the fleet

under Ezekiel Hopkins and the

English frigate " Glasgow," in

English vessel, by superior seamanship, and taking

which the

advantage of the blunders of the Americans, escaped capture.

The primary

result

of this

But

service of Hopkins.

naval

officer,

battle

was

to

cause the dismissal from the

his dismissal led to the

whose name became one

of

advancement

of a

young

the most glorious in American

naval annals, and whose fame as a skilful seaman has not been tarnished

by the hand of
At the time

time.
of the escape of the

"Glasgow," there was serving upon

the "Alfred" a young lieutenant, by name John Paul Jones.


a Scotchman.

never

His rightful name was John Paul

fully understood,

record under the

name

in the colonial

but

for

Jones was

some

reason,

he had assumed the surname of Jones, and his


of Paul

Jones forms one of the most

chapters of American naval history.

when

navy, Jones was

a lad of thirteen years

When

glorious

given a lieutenant's commission

twenty-nine years

he shipped for his

first

old.

From

the

day

voyage, he had spent


83

BLUE-JACKETS OF

84

He had

on the ocean.

his life

the less peaceful, but

small inheritance had enabled

gentleman

him

to

assume the

slave-trade.

station

a Virginia

of

and he had become v^armly attached to American ideas and

and

principles,

served on peaceful merchantmen, and in

time equally respectable,

that

at

'76.

outbreak of the Revolution put his services at the

at the

command of Congress. He was first offered a captain's commission with


the command of the " Providence," mounting twelve guns and carrying one
But with extraordinary modesty the young

hundred men.

saying that he hardly

in this station that

masthead

to the

with his

own hands he

hoisted the

the

the

of

court

of

to

which

service,

upon

devolved

little craft

foemen with

the masthead

flag

American

fleet

However, he

the

captain

of

the

and Lieut. Paul Jones recom-

Capt.

Jones

whom

were manifold and


men-of-war,

British

he must avoid, while keeping a sharp outlook


he was equally matched.

More than

once, from

of the " Providence," the lookout could discover white sails

one or more vessels, any one of which, with a single broadside, could

have

sent

the

audacious

Yankee

"Providence" was a

fast

To

qualities,

her good

sailing

sailer,

the

to

to

his

by a powerful man-of-war, he edged away


his

weather quarter

before

the wind,

thus

bottom.

But

and wonderfully obedient

and

Jones owed more than one fortunate escape.

on

American

Jones.

The ocean was swarming with powerful

which in his

of

was

the vacancy.

fill

duties

arduous.

for

of the

which

by

inquiry,

"Providence" was dismissed the

The

it

and

from any criticism upon his superiors, and sincerely regretted

finding

mended

first

first

"Alfred."

of the

The wretched fiasco which attended the attack


upon the "Glasgow" was greatly deplored by
refrained

sailor declined,,

himself fitted to discharge the duties of a

lieutenant's commission, however, he accepted

The

lieutenant.

felt

luckily

the

to her helm.

own admirable seamanship,


Once, when almost overtaken
until

he brought his pursuer

then, putting his helm up suddenly, he stood dead

doubling on his

course,

and running

past

his

adversary within pistol-shot of her guns, but in a course directly opposite


to that

upon which she was standing.

The heavy

war-ship went plunging

BLUE-JACKETS OF
ahead

heavy hound eluded by the agile

like

85

'76.

and

fox,

Yankee

the

proceeded safely on her course.

Some days

later the

" Providence "

near the Isle of Sables.

It

was lying

was a holiday

on the great banks

to

crew

for the

for

no

were

sails

and Capt. Jones had indulgently allowed them to get out their
cod-lines and enjoy an afternoon's fishing.
In the midst of their sport,
in sight,

as they were hauling in the finny monsters right

lookout warned them that a strange

sail

was

merrily, the hail of the

The

in sight.

stranger drew

rapidly nearer, and

was soon made out

after a short

that his light craft could easily outstrip the lumbering

managed

man-of-war,

would

trial

up and

luff

to

let

keep just out


fly

to be a war-vessel.

of reach.

a broadside

Now

Jones, finding

and then the pursuer

the shot skipping along over the

waves, but sinking before they reached the " Providence."

had an element of humor

who

Jones,

responded to this cannonade

in his character,

with one musket, which, with great solemnity, was discharged in response
to

each broadside.
" Providence "

the

After keeping up this burlesque battle for some hours,


spread

her

sails,

and

soon

left

down

her foe hull

beneath the horizon.


After having thus eluded his pursuer, Jones skirted the coast of Cape
Breton, and put into the harbor of Canso, where he found three British
fishing
village

craft.

No

resistance

inhabitants of the

two crews

of

armed

was made, however;

burned one schooner, scuttled a second, and after


fish,

taken from the other two,

little

fishing

Providence " cast anchor in the harbor,

electrified to see the "

and, lowering her boats, send


British

The

schooners lying at anchor.

were

took

sailors to

seize the

and the Americans


filling

the third with

her out of the harbor with the

" Providence " leading the way.

From
Island of
of

British

intention

the crew of the captured vessel,

Madame, not

far

merchantmen.
of

Jones

learned

that

from Canso, there was a considerable


Accordingly he proceeded

destroying them.

On

shallow to admit the " Providence

arriving,
"

he

thither

found the

at

the

flotilla

with

the^

harbor too

and accordingly taking up a position


from which he could, with his cannon, command the harbor, he despatched.
;

BLUE-JACKETS OF

86
armed

'76.

On

boats' crews to attack the shipping.

Americans

as well as small fishing schooners, were in the


for the

Americans, and

fishermen

left

making ready

It

fleet.

was won without bloodshed

it

on a bleak coast with no

He

to Jones's humanity.
in

Ships and brigs,

was a rich prize


for the peaceful

no resistance to the Yankees, and looked upon the

offered

The

capture of their vessels with amazement.

men, thus

entering the harbor, the

found nine British vessels lying at anchor.

for sea

means

condition of these poor

of escape, appealed strongly

therefore told them, that,

they would assist him

if

such of the prizes as he wished to take with him,

The

he would leave them vessels enough to carry them back to England.

fishermen heartily agreed to the proposition, and worked faithfully for


several days at the task of fitting out the captured vessels.

The

night

before the day on which Jones had intended leaving the harbor, the wind

came on

to blow,

and a violent storm

usually calm surface of the

wind.

The schooner

little

" Sea-Flower "

torn from her moorings

of

wind and rain

Even the

set in.

harbor was lashed to fury by the shrieking

one

the

of

was

captured prizes

and though her crew got out the sweeps, and

struggled valiantly for headway against the driving storm, she drifted on
shore, and

lay there

total

The schooner

wreck.

Jones had brought from Canso laden with

fish,

" Ebenezer,"

which

on a sunken

drifted

and was there so battered by the roaring waves that she went to

Her

reef,

pieces.

crew, after vainly striving to launch the boats, built a raft, and saved

themselves on that.

The next day

the

three heavily laden

storm abated

prizes,

left

the

and Capt. Jones, taking with him


harbor, and

turned his ship's prow

The voyage to Newport, then the headquarters of


was made without other incident than the futile chase

homeward.
navy,

British ships,

which ran into the harbor

of

Louisbourg.

On

the

little

of

three

his

arrival,

Jones reported that he had been cruising for forty-seven days, and

in

that time had captured sixteen prizes, beside the fishing-vessels he burned
at

Cape Breton.

Eight of his prizes he had manned, and sent into port

the remainder he had burned.

had yet struck

It

was the

at their powerful foe

first

effective

upon the ocean.

blow the colonists

Page

87.

Blue Jackets of

'76.

STERN CHASE.

BLUE-JACKETS OF
Hardly had Paul Jones completed

this first cruise,

his country, suggested to

active in the service of


in

89

'76.

to the cause of

which he might contribute

when

his mind, ever

him a new enterprise

American

liberty.

At

this

early period of the Revolution, the British were treating American prisoners

Many were

with almost inconceivable barbarity.

whose horrors we

prison-ship, of
to the

number

forced

to

of

labor

Russian

bold

promptitude to make

He

something

shall read

later on.

Others,

about a hundred, were taken to Cape Breton, and

like

plan was

Jones's

sent to the " Old Jersey"

in

it

underground

the

in

felons

conception,

its

coal-mines.

but needed only energy and

perfectly feasible.

besought the authorities to give him command

of a squadron, that

he might move on Cape Breton, destroy the British coal and fishing
vessels

always congregated there, and liberate

who were passing

their lives in the dark misery of

His plan was received with


give

to

him the proper

the " Providence,"

were

favor,

men.

saw

in

The

assigned to

him

At the

vessels, the

Americans

" Alfred "

and

and he went speedily to work

outset, he

was handicapped by lack

privateers were then fitting out in every port

and seamen

privateering easier service, milder discipline, and greater profits

than they could hope for in the regular navy.


muster-roll of the

the

hapless

underground mining.

but the authorities lacked the means

However, two

aid.

to prepare for the adventure.


of

the

stormy month

"Alfred" showed her


of

November had

full

When, by hard work, the


of men shipped,

complement

arrived,

and the golden hour

for

success was past.


Nevertheless, Jones,

the "Providence" in the


laid

command of the "Alfred," and putting


command of Capt. Hacker, left Newport, and

taking

his course to the northward.

the harbor of
brig, the

"MelHsh," which,

off

the entrance to

English

after a short resistance, struck her flag.

warm

She

clothing for the British troops in

This capture was a piece of great good fortune for the Americans,

and many a poor fellow


to bless

he arrived

Louisbourg, he was so lucky as to encounter an

proved to be laden with heavy


Canada.

When

in

Washington's army that winter had cause

Paul Jones for his activity and success.

BLUE-JACKETS OF

90

the capture of the " Mellish "

The day succeeding


Light

cheerless.

'76.

of

flurries

snow swept across the waves, and by noon

heavy snowstorm, driven by a violent north-east

and lashed the waves into

air,

dawned gray and


darkened the

gale,

Jones stood dauntless at his post

fury.

on deck, encouraging the sailors by cheery words, and keeping the sturdy
vessel on

little

All day and

her course.

storm roared

the

night

and

when, the next morning, Jones, wearied by his ceaseless vigilance, looked

The

anxiously across the waters for his consort, she was not to be seen.

people on the
lost,

with

"

supposed, of course, that the " Providence "

Alfred

"

on board, and

all

mourned the sad

leader during the

and made

night,

But,

by the storm, had basely deserted

Capt. Hacker, affrighted

in fact,

was

fate of their comrades.

Newport, leaving Jones to

for

off

his

prosecute his enterprise alone.

Jones recognized

this

in

so sending the " Mellish "

recaptured,

Nova

back to

Scotia

entering

it,

the

of

and a second

prize,

upon

the enterprise

to return to port:

which the British afterwards

Massachusetts, he continued

his

Again he sought out the harbor

coast.

cruise

along the

Canso, and,

of

found a large English transport laden with provisions aground

just inside the bar.

to

desertion the knell

Nevertheless, he disdained

which he had embarked.

stranded

Boats' crews from the " Alfred " soon set the torch

ship,

and then, landing,

with whale-oil and the products of the


pile behind, the

" Alfred " put

fired

fisheries.

huge warehouse

filled

Leaving the blazing

made

out again into the stormy sea, and

for the northward.

As
of

he approached

British

Louisbourg, Jones

coal-vessels,

hung over the

ocean

was able

out

to cut

in
;

convoy

and the

of

fell

in

with a considerable

the frigate " Flora."

fleet

and capture three

of

Jones snapped up a Liverpool privateer, that


resistance.

Then crowded with

heavy fog

and

there,

the vessels without alarming

the frigate, that continued unsuspectingly on her course.

in

Yankee, flying here

fleet

Two

days

later,

fired scarcely a single

prisoners, embarrassed

by

prizes,

gun
and

short of food and water, the "Alfred turned her course homeward.

Five valuable prizes sailed in her wake.

Anxiety for the safety of

BLUE-JACKETS OF

He was

these gave Jones no rest by day or night.

watch

him

some

lest

when

off St.

same

craft

ceaselessly on

man-of-war should overhaul his

hostile

hard-won

fleet,

the

and force

went well

until,

George's Bank, he encountered the frigate "Milford,"

the

abandon

to

'76.

to

his

fruits

All

victory.

of

whose cannon-balls Jones, but

months

a few

had

before,

tauntingly responded with musket-shots.


It

was

Jones,

the afternoon

late in

seeing that she could by no

before night, ordered


to

any

the " Milford " was sighted

when

his

prizes

lights or apparent signals

upon the

sea,

affording, as

it

When

from the "Alfred."

darkness

fell

the Yankees were scudding along on the starboard tack,

swung two

pronounced

and

squadron

his

to continue their course without regard

Englishman coming bravely up

with the
" Alfred "

overtake

possibility

burning
beastly

From

astern.

which

lanterns,

on

stupidity

the

the

the tops of the

enemy

doubtless

Yankee,

bit

of

did,

an excellent guide for the pursuer to steer by.

part

during the night the wily Jones changed his course.

the

of

The

prizes,

But
with

the exception of the captured privateer, continued on the starboard tack.


The " Alfred " and the privateer made off on the port tack, with the

"Milford"

in full cry in their

the Englishman discover

wake.

Not

until the

how he had been

Having thus secured the

safety of

Jones to escape with the privateer.

tricked.

his

prizes,

it

only remained for

Unluckily, however, the officer put

in charge of the privateer proved incapable,

of the British.

morning dawned did

and his

craft fell into

hands

Jones, however, safely carried the " Alfred " clear of the

" Milford's " guns, and, a heavy storm coming up, soon eluded his foe in

the snow and darkness.

Thereupon he

where he arrived on the 5th


two days

longer,

of

shaped his course for Boston,

December,

both his provisions

and

1776.
his

Had he been

water would

delayed

have been

exhausted.

For the ensuing

six

inactive, for his brain


service.

He

months Jones remained on

shore, not

was teeming with great projects

by any means

for his

country's

had been deprived of the command of the "Alfred," and

another ship was not easily to be found

so he

turned his attention to

BLUE-JACKETS OF

92

'76.

questions of naval organization, and the results of

many

are observable in the United States navy to-day.

It

14, 1777, that a

command was found

for him.

of his suggestions

was not

June

until

This was the eighteen-gun

ship " Ranger," built to carry a frigate's battery of twenty-six guns.

had been

built for the revolutionary

stanch-built,

solid

Jones, though

craft,

though

government,

It so

somewhat

disappointed with the sailing qualities of the

wasted no time in getting her ready for


happened,

commander

Portsmouth, and was a

miserably slow and

nevertheless vastly delighted to be again in

as

at

of

that,

Stars and Stripes for the

had prepared a

flag in

command

national

crank.

craft,

of a man-of-war,

was

and

sea.

on the very day Paul Jones received

the " Ranger," the

She

Continental

his

Jones, anticipating

flag.

commission

Congress adopted the


this

action,

accordance with the proposed designs, and, upon

hearing of the action of Congress, had

it

run to the masthead, while the

cannon of the "Ranger" thundered out their deep-mouthed greetings to


the starry banner destined to wave over the most glorious nation of the

Thus

earth.

it

happened that the same hand that had given the pine-tree

banner to the winds was the


of the Stars

first to fling

and Stripes.

Early in October the " Ranger "


coast of

France.

having a

fleet,

take,

out to the breezes the bright folds

Astute agents

left

of the

Portsmouth, and made for the

Americans

in

that country were

powerful frigate built there for Jones, which

leaving the sluggish

Nantes, Jones was

"Ranger"

grievously disappointed

to

he was to

But, on his arrival at

to be sold.

learn

that

Government had so vigorously protested against the building


of-war in France for the Americans, that the French

the

British

of a vessel-

Government had been

obliged to notify the American agents that their plan must be abandoned,

France was
to

at this

time at peace with Great Britain, and, though inclined

be friendly with the rebellious colonies, was not ready to

abandon her position as a neutral power.

Later,

entirely

when she took up arms

against England, she gave the Americans every right in her ports they

could desire.

Jones thus found himself in European waters with a vessel too weak ta

Page

93.

Blue Jackets of
LT.

'76.

JONES HOISTING THE FIRST AMERICAN FLAG.

BLUE-JACKETS OF

'76.

95

stand against the frigates England could send to take her, and too slow-

But he determined

to elude them.

effective blows for the

Accordingly he planned an enterprise, which, for audacity

cause of liberty.
of conception

some

to strike

and dash

in execution, has

never been equalled by any naval

expedition since.

This was nothing less


"

Ranger

lay

"

at

Brest.

than

a virtual

Jones

planned

invasion
to

dash

of

The

England.

English

the

across

Channel, and cruise along the coast of England, burning shipping and
towns, as a piece of retaliation upon the British for their wanton outrages

American

along the

coast.

was

It

thronged with the heavy frigates of

bold

Great Britain, any one of which

Yankee

could have annihilated the audacious

The channel was

plan.

Nevertheless, Jones

cruiser.

determined to brave the danger.

At the

outset,

heavy weather.

it

seemed

For days

as

after

though his purpose was to be balked by


"

the

Ranger

against the chop-seas of the English Channel.

the sun obscured by gray clouds.

light of

the rigging, and tore at the tightly furled

capped with

water,
of

the " Ranger."

snowy foam, beat

Now

had encountered an equinoctial gale

in full

sails.

Great green walls of

thunderously against

in its

battled

The sky was dark, and the


The wind whistled through

incoming deluge.

the

she

Brest,

left

and then a port would be driven

men between decks drenched by

When

"

the

and the

in,

The

sides

"

Ranger"

worst form.

the gale died away, Jones found himself

off

the Scilly Islands,

Here he encountered a merchant-

view of the coast of England.

man, which he took and scuttled, sending the crew ashore to spread the

news

that an

alarmed

all

American man-of-war was ravaging the channel.

England, he

changed

his

hunting-ground to

Channel and the Irish Sea, where he captured several ships


a prize,

familiar from his youth,

here and there,

lying

secreting himself in

went by

He was

back to Brest.

in

waters with which

and he made good use


in

wait

in

of his

Having
George's

St.
;

sending one,

he

had

knowledge

been

dashing

the highway of commerce, and then

some sequestered cove while the enemy's ship-of-war

in fruitless search for the

marauder.

All England was

aroused


BLUE-JACKETS OF

.96

by the exploits

Armada had

Invincible

the tight
.of

the

of

little

monarch

Yankee

'76.

Never since the days

cruiser.

been so brought home

vi^ar

people

the

to

island.

Long had they sung

" Britannia needs

No

the

of

Long had the British boastfully claimed the

of the seas.

the vainglorious

of

title

song,

no bulwarks,

towers along the steep;

Her march

is

Her home

is

o'er the

mountain waves,

on the deep."

But Paul Jones showed Great Britain that her boasted pov^er was a
He ravaged the seas within cannon-shot of English headlands.
l)ubble.

He
to

captured and burned merchantmen, drove the rates of insurance up


paralyzed

panic prices,

even made small

shipping-trade, and

British

incursions into British territory.

The

reports that reached Jones of British barbarity along the


of

coast,

the

seaport towns,

one
so

all

Falmouth,

off

night, intending to send in a boat's

sprung up, as

and Jones was forced to make

made upon

small

American

innumerable

aroused in him a determination to strike a retaliatory

and he brought his ship to

strong a wind

on

levied

tribute

of

Whitehaven, a small seaport, was

blow.

attack

burning

of

harbor called

the mouth of the harbor late

crew

to fire

the

shipping.

But

threaten to drive the ship ashore

to

sail,

chosen by him for

spot

the

and get an

offing.

second attempt,

the western

Lochryan, on

coast

of

Scotland, was defeated by a like cause.

But the expedition against Lochryan, though

means
Soon
which

of

giving Jones an

after
is

constantly

filled

itself

futile,

was the

as a fighter.

Lochryan, he entered the bay of Carrichfergus, on

leaving

situated

in

opportunity to show his merits

the

Irish

commercial

with merchantmen

city

of

Belfast.

The bay was

and the " Ranger," with her ports

and her warlike character carefully disguised, excited no suspicion


aboard a trim, heavy-built craft that lay at anchor a little farther up
This craft was the Bri^h man-of-war "Drake," mounting
the bay.

closed,

iwenty guns.

Soon

after his arrival in the bay, Jones

learned the char-

"

BLUE-JACKETS OF
acter

" Drake,"

the

of

the

concealing

fight.

and determined to attempt her capture during

character

of

The men

sat

his

At

work

for

made every preparation

craft,

between decks, sharpening

cleaning and priming their pistols

and depressed
place,

97

Accordingly he dropped anchor near by, and, while carefully

the night.

midnight

'76.

men

ten o'clock, the tramp of

being caught by the spreading

was a pitch-dark

lying.

captain's

own

then fight
failed

plan to

anchor,
it

out

cable

cut,

the

On

the " Ranger "

lights

close

at

quarters.

But

"

and the

were aware

It

that

regular

make no headway

The

Ranger

"

successful.

Jones

called

was

though well
season

in

fall

tide
:

laid,

and the

anchor

to

and the fresh breeze


so

Jones ordered the

does not appear that the people on the " Drake

had aided the tide

north-east
:

in

defeating Jones's

morning

Against

gale.

it

sea was

the

the

enterprise

"

Ranger

tossing
"

could

so Jones gave his ship her head, and scudded before

Bringing the
for

It

" Drake's " cable, drop

scudded down the bay before the ever-

again attempt to destroy the

was

let

swift-flowing

the wind until within the vicinity of


to

Drake

were extin-

up alongside her enemy, came

blew stronger and stronger, and before


a

lights

all

"

the

danger they so narrowly escaped.

of the

The wind

board

plan,

this

The anchor was not

impossible to warp the ship alongside

freshening gale.

before

on

but

run his vessel across the

half a cable-length astern.


it

about the

rippled

under way.

her progress towards her enemy.

of

" Ranger," instead of bringing

made

the fresh breeze was

the waves

fairly

of

the " Ranger " swing alongside the Englishman, and

let

execution.

of

was

"

Soon the creaking

that

told

Then

sails.

night,

guished, and no noise told

his

in

about the capstan gave notice that

sails,

and the " Ranger

of the ship,

showed where she was

the

hung

lanterns were

battle

ready to be lighted at the signal for action.

cordage, and the snapping of the

It

and

the cannon were loaded with grape,

at close quarters

the anchor was being brought to the catheads.

bow

for

cutlasses,

volunteers

"
to

Whitehaven, when he determined

shipping in that port.

Ranger

"

This time he

to anchor near the bar, Capt.

accompany him

on

the

expedition.

BLUE-JACKETS OF

98

He

was

himself

be their leader

to

boy he had often sailed

as

for

'76.

knew where the forts stood, and


where the colliers anchored most thickly.
The landing party was
divided into two boat-loads
Jones taking command of one, while
With muffled
Lieut. Wallingford held the tiller of the other boat.
oars the Americans made for the shore, the boats' keels grated upon
in

and

out

the

of

harbor,

little

the pebbly shore, and an

ramparts of the

had scaled the

adventurers

and had made themselves masters of the garrisons.

forts,

The guns

All was done quietly.

leaving the few soldiers


followers hastened

later the

instant

down

in the fortifications

gagged

on guard

and

wharves to set

to the

were spiked

fire

and,

and his

bound, Jones

to the shipping.

In the harbor were not less than two hundred and twenty vessels,

and

large

On

small.

the

north

were about one hundred and

The

destroy.

crew

were

others

Jones and

Lieut.

to

near the

harbor,

with his

Wallingford,

his followers

stared

them

boat

his

threw

Lest the

upon

be balked

to

fire

his

where

house,

his

Then with

the

great

aboard

built

ship

other vessels

he

men

should go out, he found a barrel of

the flames.

their

Running

prey.

and deliberately

fled,

and surrounded by scores of

crackling,

led

Failure

almost within

of

neighboring

to

With these he returned,

which the crew

ship from

it

hastened

he

candles.

her hold.

was not

however,

ashore,

demanded
large

the face then, when success was

in

Jones,

boat's

reached the cluster of merchantmen,

they found their torches so far burned out as to be useless.

grasp.

forts,

These Jones undertook ta

vessels.

fifty

left

the

of

men.

of fifteen picked

When

side

fire

a
in

tar,

and

roaring

and

danger from,

in

the flames, Jones withdrew, thinking his work complete.

Many

writers

have

criticised

Paul

Jones

for

not

having

stayed

longer to complete the destruction of the vessels in the harbor.

with

the

best

very

gradually brightening day,

dangerous,

was

and

fifty

vessels

averaged ten

men

to

hundred

his

becoming
in

a vessel

that
:

so

position,

desperate.

There
harbor

part

of

that

nearly fifteen

the

was

which

But,

at

were
the

hundred

the

one
crews

men

BLUE-JACKETS OF
were opposed
the

to

In

began to appear
I

and

no

as

We

re-embarked

prisoners,

no

as

our

embarked,
person

and

and individuals ran

longer

ship

full

which

boats

could

not

carry

stood

upon

the

pier

all

the

advanced.

saw

march
it

having

opposition,

my

above

was

crowds

in

toward

us.

in

my

some

with
the

horizon
to

retire.

number

a
all

my

considerable

eminences

of

inhabitants

time

After

roar

pistol

did

released

them.
for

hastily

they

world,

The

"

with

fire,

hour's

the

ruled

without

on

stand,

to

The sun was

sleep

and,

and they rushed

the town,

the

them

ordered

precipitation.

had

thousands,

in

The

Americans.

of

describing the affair Jones writes,

between them

stood

hand,

band

little

aroused the people of

fire

the wharf.

to

the plucky

99

'76.

round

of

people

space,

yet

town

the

covered with the amazed inhabitants."

As

drew away from the blazing

boat

his

anxiously across

had

Wallingford's
prise.

harbor to

the

been despatched.

And

departure,

torches
so

having gone

only one of

lame and impotent conclusion

was done

is

sufficient

to

sufficient to

protect

own

doors."

it

show

their

which Lieut. Wallingford

out,

had

he

in

that

in

quarter

abandoned

the

was indeed
not

coasts,

all

for,

enter-

took

their

most

but, as Jones said, "

What

ship,

the enemy's vessels burning.

that

own

which they have occasioned


their

to

But no flames were seen

Americans, having regained their

the

leaving

the spot

looked

Jones

shipping,

the boasted

British

and that the scenes of

navy

is

distress

America may soon be brought home

to

CHAPTER

VII

CAREER OF PAUL JONES CONTINUED. HIS DESCENT UPON THE CASTLE OF LORD SELKIRK.
THE AFFAIR OF THE PLATE. THE DESCENT UPON WHITEHAVEN. THE BATTLE.
WITH THE "DRAKE." -LIEUT. SIMPSON'S PERFIDY.

E NOW come

to the glorious part

upon the ocean.

Heretofore he

of

the

has

career

that of the privateer, even

that he

was ready

if

Paul Jones
in

His work has been

the capture of defenceless merchantmen.

have always claimed he was.

of

been chiefly occupied

not of the pirate that the British

But the time came when Jones proved

to fight an adversary of his mettle

heavy blows, and deal stunning ones

in

return.

was willing to take


Plis

daring was not

confined to dashing expeditions in which the danger was chiefly overcome

by

spirit

and rapid movements.

While

this class of operations

a favorite with the doughty seaman, he was not at

all

was ever

averse to the deadly

naval duel.

We

shall for a

time abandon our account of the general naval incidents

of the Revolution, to follow the career of

war.

His career

feature

of

the

grand figure

Barbary

in

is

naval

naval

pirates, or

Paul Jones to the end of the

not only the most interesting, but the most important,


operations of
history,

that

as does

war.

Decatur

He
in

stands
the

Farragut in the war for the Union.

out

alone,

wars with

The war

of

the

1812

BLUE-JACKETS OF
no such example

affords
find

McDonough, and

Perry,

was no one

When

He

heavy hearted.
heavy blow

greatness

in

the

There we

navy.

But

Porter, all equally great.

in

there,

''jG

to stand beside Paul Jones.

the " Ranger "

a trifling

single

of

lOI

'76.

left

that

felt

the British

at

the harbor of Whitehaven, her captain was

but had nevertheless inflicted only

shipping,

Angry with

hurt.

had the opportunity to strike a

he had

himself for not having better planned the

adventure, and discontented with his lieutenant for not having by presence
of

mind prevented the

fiasco,

he

that peace of

felt

mind could only be

obtained by some deed of successful daring.

He was

cruising in

shores his

Scottish

seas

boyhood

familiar

From

he sought to turn to account.


see the wooded shores of

St.

him

to

Mary's

the deck

On

prominence.

of

of

Along the

sailor.

This knowledge
his

he could

ship,

on which were the landed

Island,

Lord Selkirk, a British noble

estates of

as

hours had been spent.

ancient lineage and political

the estate of this nobleman Paul Jones was born, and

there he passed the few years of his

life

that elapsed

before he forsook

the land for his favorite element.

Leaning against the


could

rail

on the quarter-deck of the " Ranger," Jones

see through his spy-glass the turrets and spires of

castle.

As he

send a landing
bear him

gazed,

there occurred

party ashore,

off into captivity,

of the British, but

to

the

seize

him the
castle,

idea,

would give the Americans

With

Jones,

capture

of the

he could

if

the

peer,

a prisoner

and

who would

serve

Americans who had

enemy.

the conception

of

plan

was

followed

by

its

Disdaining to wait for nightfall, he chose two boats'

execution.
of tried

hands

that

he would not only strike terror into the hearts

as a hostage to secure good treatment for the hapless


fallen into the

Lord Selkirk's

and trusty men, and landed.

and open highway leading to the

castle.

The party

started

swift

crews

up the broad

They had gone but a few rods^


who stared a moment

however, when they encountered two countrymen,


at the force of

" Halt

"

armed men, and then turned

in fear to escape.

rang out the clear voice of the leader of the blue-jackets

BLUE-JACKETS OF

I02

and the peasants

upon

fell

they be brought to him

minds

their faces

seemed

man

as

though some

upon

abject terror.

his

Jones directed that

and he questioned them kindly, setting their

and learning from them much

at rest,

Lord Selkirk was away from home.

failure

'76.

evil

of the castle

and

inmates.

its

This to Jones was bitter news.

It

genius was dogging his footsteps, bringing

most carefully planned enterprises.

to repine over the inevitable,

But

he.

and he promptly ordered

was not a

men

his

to

the right about, and made for the landing-place again.

But the

sailors

were not so unselfish

They had come ashore expecting

to

in their

motives as their captain.

plunder the

castle

and they now murmured loudly over the abandonment

the earl,

of

of the adventure.

They saw the way clear before them. No guards protected the house.
The massive ancestral plate, with which all English landed families are
well

provided,

retreating,

was unprotected by

bolts

or

They

bars.

felt

that,

in

they were throwing away a chance to despoil their enemy,

and enrich themselves.


Jones
a

felt

The grounds

the justice of the complaint of the sailors;

but only after

with his personal scruples could he yield

struggle

fierce

the

of

Earl of

Selkirk had been

lodge on the vast estate had been his childhood's home.

had shown his family many kindnesses.

To now come

a robber and pillager, seemed the blackest ingratitude

the

point.

early playground,

his

Lady Selkirk

to her house as
but,

on the other

hand, he had no right to permit his personal feelings to interfere with

The

his duty to the crew.

a time, and

even

if

it

was

was

this

fair to

sailors

had followed him into danger many

their first opportunity for financial reward.

deny them

would hardly be safe

this

chance to make a

little

And,

prize-money,

Jones abandoned his intention of protecting the

among the crew


With a sigh
property of Lady Selkirk,

and ordered

castle,

it

to

sow the seeds

of

discontent

while on a cruise in waters infested with the enemy's ships.

family plate.

his

lieutenant to

Jones himself returned to the

the spoils at open

The

proceed to the

sale,

blue-jackets

and return them

ship,

and

capture

the

resolved to purchase

to their former owner.

continued their way up the highway, and, turning

BLUE-JACKETS OF

103

'76.

aside where a heavy gate opened into a stately grove,


old

man who came, wondering,

carriage-drive

the castle

Here

and

faint

screams of

who

stout

his

astonishment,

The men-servants came

of the stately pile.

blue-jackets,

back, then

of

the lawless crowd that so violated the sanctity

The

but their curiosity soon abated

and

cutlass

them, and bade them keep quiet.


at

instant

were seen by the inmates

and shouts

fear,

of an English earl's private park could be


a few

an

they ran along the winding

trot,

for the first time they

came from the open windows


rushing out to discover

when

them

of

they came out on the broad lawn that extended in

until

front of the castle.


of

out of the lodge, that he give

Then, swinging into a

admittance.

demanded

pistol

surrounded

hand,

in

lieutenant, with

two stout seamen

entered the castle, and sought out the mistress,

who

received him with calm courtesy, with a trace of scorn, but with no sign
of fear.

The countess gave an

Briefly the lieutenant told his errand.

butler,

and soon a

line of stout

footmen entered, bearing the

salvers engraved with the family

arms

Lord

of

Selkirk,

order to

plate.

Heavy

quaint drinking-

cups and flagons curiously carved, ewers, goblets, platters, covers, dishes,

and

teapots,

all

kinds of table utensils were there,

all of

exquisitely artistic

When

workmanship, and bearing the stamp of antiquity.

all

was ready,

the lieutenant called in two of the sailors from the lawn; and soon the

whole party, bearing the captured treasure, disappeared in the curves

of

the road.

This incident, simple enough in

reality,

has made the germ of one of his exquisite


historians have

made

of

and base ingratitude


stirred

up

at the

it

sea-tales,

"The

He was

As may

readily be

of timid people.

called pirate,

British

imagined,

England.

plunderer.

England been trodden by a

British peer been forced to feel that his

own

It

little

was

Never before or

hostile foot.

castle

it

Jones

His name was used to frighten

traitor, free-booter,

indeed a most audacious act that he had committed.


since had the soil of

Pilot."

an example by which to prove the lawlessness


Paul Jones.

time the most intense excitement in

became the bugbear


children.

of

the novelist Fenimore Cooper

was not

Never had

safe from the

BLUE-JACKETS OF

I04

Jones, with his handful of

invader.

American

had accomplished a

tars,

which had never before been accomplished, and which no

feat
of

'76.

England has dared

to repeat.

It is little

wonder that the

later

foeman

British papers

described him as a bloodthirsty desperado.

few weeks

the captured plate was put up for sale by the prize

Capt. Jones, though not a rich man, bought

agents.

Lord Selkirk,

the countess.
"

later,

And on

acknowledging

in

now and

occasions, both

all

justice to tell that

you made an

after your return to Brest

it,

and returned

receipt,

its

formerly,

offer of returning

it

to

wrote,

have done you the


the plate very soon

and although you yourself were not

at

my

house,

but remained at the shore with your boat, that you had your officers and

men

such extraordinary good discipline, that your having given them

in

the strictest orders to behave well,

no search, but only to bring

off

they did exactly as was ordered

on the outside

his post

uncivil

word

to

what
;

do no injury of any kind, to

plate

was given them,

that

and that not one man offered

of the house,

make

in reality

to stir

from

nor entered the doors, nor said an

that the two officers stayed not one-quarter of an hour in the

parlor and in the butler's pantry while the butler got the plate together,,

behaved
their
all

politely,

men

off in

and asked

for

nothing but the plate, and instantly marched

regular order; and that both officers and

respects so well, that

it

would have done credit

men behaved

in

to the best-disciplined

troops whatever."

But the British took

little

notice of the generous reparation

Capt. Jones, and continued to hurl abuse and hard

Jones was

Lord

Selkirk.

names

made by

at him.

vastly disappointed at his failure to capture the person of

The

story of the sufferings of his countrymen in British

prisons worked upon his heart, and he longed to take captive a personage

whom he
fell in

could hold as hostage.

But, soon after leaving St. Mary's Isle, he

again with the British man-of-war " Drake

"

encounter he had prisoners enough to exchange for

and as a

result

of this

many hapless Americans

languishing in hulks and prisons.

After the wind and tide had defeated the midnight attempt made by

Jones to capture the "Drake," that craft had remained quietly

at

her

Page

105.

Blue Jackets of

'^(>.

BATTLE BETWEEN THE

RANGER" AND THE

"

DRAKE."

BLUE-JACKETS OF
anchorage,

suspecting that the bay of Carrickfergus had

little

But soon reports of the " Ranger's

dangerous a neighbor.

The news

began to reach the ears of the British captain.

upon Whitehaven became known

raid

to leave his

107

'76.

snug anchorage, and go


"

He

to him.

in search

"

held

so

depredations

of the desperate

therefore determined

of the

audacious Yankee.

Just as the captain of the

"

while he was making

the " Ranger " appeared off the mouth of the

sail,

Drake

had reached

this determination,

and

harbor.

The

"

Drake

"

promptly sent out a boat to examine the strange

and report upon her character.


throw her

off

stern of the

Accordingly, by skilful seamanship, he kept the

the scent.
"

Ranger

" continually presented

Turn which way they might, be

British boat.

craft,

Jones saw her coming, and resolved to

to the prying eyes in the

as swift in their manoeuvres

as they might, the British scouts could see nothing of the "

Ranger

"

but

her stern, pierced with two cabin windows, as might be the stern of any

merchantman.

Her

frowning ports, were kept securely

sides, dotted with

hidden from their eyes.

Though provided with


deceived.

spy-glasses, the people in the boat

and

rope,

and vaulted the

As

the officer in

command clambered

to the quarter-deck,

taffrail

he saw Paul Jones

his lieutenants, in full uniform, standing before him.

"Why,

why, what

"This

is

ship's this

the American

prisoner," responded Jones

and

totally

Unsuspectingly they came up under the stern of the " Ranger,"

and demanded to come on board.

up a

were

pistols, called to

the

"

stammered the astonished

Continental
;

and

men

at

ship 'Ranger,' and

are

my

the words a few sailors, with cutlasses

the boat alongside, to

in

officer.

you

come aboard and

give themselves up.

From his captives Jones learned that the news of the Whitehaven raid
had reached the " Drake " only the night before and that she had been
;

re-enforcing her crew with volunteers, preparatory to going out in search


of

the

officer,

"Ranger."

As he

stood

talking to

the captured

British

naval

Jones noticed slender columns of smoke rising from the woods

neighboring highlands, where he

knew

there were no houses.

on^

BLUE-JACKETS OF

lo8

What does that mean ? " he


"Alarm fires, sir," answered

"

lupon Whitehaven

'76.

asked.

the captive; "the news of your descent

terrifying the whole country."

is

Soon, however, the attention of the Americans was diverted from the

The

observable about the boat.

men about

the tramp of
irigging

was

full of sailors,

appearance

one

:she heeled a little to

came

the capstan,

and the

sails

side, and,

She was coming out

of

and

life

was

bustle

notes of the boatswain's whistle, and

shrill

Soon the ship began

rthe fresh breeze.

the bay.

An

" Drake."

the

to

.signal-fires

were being quickly spread


to

The

faintly over the waters.

move

to catch

slowly from her anchorage

responsive to her helm, turned

down

to look after her lost boat.

Jones determined to hold his ground, and give battle to the Englishman.

He

once began to prepare for battle

at

The

.alarming the enemy.

and

every way possible without

in

great guns were loaded and primed.

Cutlasses

were brought up from the armorer's room, and placed

pistols

in

-convenient locations on the main deck, so that the boarders might find

The powder-monkeys,

them when needed.

stripped for action, and the

handlers and cartridge-makers entered the powder-magazine,

The cook and

to hand out the deadly explosive.

his

and prepared
strewed

assistant

sawdust and ashes about the decks, to catch the blood, and keep the men

Every one was busy, from the captain down

from slipping.

to the galley-

boy.

There was plenty

of

time to prepare

" Drake," beating down a narrow


The delay was a severe strain upon
;silent

and grim

fight to begin.

at their quarters

At such

heart, as he thinks

Visions of

down
his

for the tide

was

out,

and the

made but slow headway.

the nerves

of

on the American

men, who stood

the

ship, waiting for the

moment, even the most courageous must

upon the

home and

a sob

channel,

terrible ordeal

loved ones

flit

lose

through which he must pass.

before his misty eyes

and Jack chokes

as he hides his emotion in nervously fingering the lock

gun, or taking a

squint

through the port-holes

at

the

of

approaching

enemy.

At

length

the

"Drake" emerged from

the

narrow channel

of

the

BLUE-JACKETS OF
coming within hailing

harbor, and

the flag of England, and hailed,


"

What

ship

is

that

distance

The sun

for you.

is

"

the

Ranger," ran up

the American

is

of

"

Paul Jones, himself standing on the


" This

109

'76.

but

made answer,

taffrail,

Continental ship

'

We

Ranger.'

more than an hour from

little

are waiting-

setting.

It

is

therefore time to begin."

The "Drake"

As

astern.

and

said, "

bow towards

her

lay with

the "Ranger," and a

man

Jones finished speaking, he turned to the

Put your helm up.

Up,

say

at the wheel,

"
!

Quickly responsive to her helm, the vessel swung round


broadside came to bear,
the

crowded decks and

she

let

fly

hull

of

the

planks, flesh and bone, the iron hail

destruction
to her

in

its

path.

The

full

and, as her

broadside of solid shot

"Drake."

Through

timbers

as

into^

and

rushed, leaving death, wounds, and

volunteers that

"

the

Drake

"

crew so crowded the decks, that the execution was

seemed

little

had added
fearful.

It

though every shot found a human mark.

But the British were not slow to return the


their broadside

was heard before the thunder

ceased to reverberate

among

the

hills

of

pointing out some vulnerable

the American

tide

fire

had

now applauding

victory flowed

of

at close quarters

quarter-deck urging on
spot,

and the roar of

along the shore.

Then followed a desperate naval duel.


The
now this way, and now that. Jones kept his ship
the enemy, and stood on the

fire,

his

with

gunners,

now

shot, at

one

a good

time cheering, and at another swearing, watching every movement of his


foe,

and giving quick but wise orders

to

his

helmsman,

his

whole mind

concentrated upon the course of battle, and with never a thought for
his

own

safety.

For more than an hour the


the Americans soon began to

battle raged, but the superior

tell.

The "Drake" fought under no

her ensign having been shot away early in the action.

manner

in

not struck.

gunnery of
colors,

But the spirited

which her guns were worked gave assurance that she had

The American

fire

had wrought great execution on the deck

";

no

BLUE-JACKETS OF

fight

Her

Englishman.

of the

and the

first

lieutenant,

a butcher's

like

who took

first

little

lieutenant and right-hand man,

were no deaths.

The sun was


First

her

fire

by a long

the "

when

slackened.

silence.

clouds of

the

of

sails

flying shot

hung

loosely down, or

were shot

were shattered, and hung out

to

Wallingford,

account

"

great red circle beneath

its

began

to

show signs
at

off

of

failing.

a time, followed

her masts which was visible above


plainly the results

of

The cordage

ribbons.

American
by the

cut

The

was blown out by the breeze.

The mainmast canted


falling.
The jib had been

of

beyond

but

spars

to leeward,

of place.

imminent danger

But

with blood.

it

killed early in the action,

to his long

edge of

Drake

That portion

Drake

only were wounded.

gunpowder-smoke showed

The

in

was

"

the

of

The brave

few guns would go

gunnery.

and was

men

Six

just dipping the lower

the watery horizon,

cock-pit

execution.

and one poor fellow accompanied him


this there

The

early in the

was struck down by a

his place,

tops.

shambles, so bespattered was

on the "Ranger" there was


Jones's

wounded

captain was desperately

musket-ball from the " Ranger's "

was

'76.

away

shot

entirely, and was trailing in the water alongside the ship.

Gradually the

fire

Noticing

ceased altogether.

and soon

silence

the

of

this,

As

cleared away, the people on


rail of

Drake

"

slackened,

the " Drake

"

until

at

last

it

had

Capt. Jones gave orders to cease firing

reigned over the bay that

with the thunder of cannon.

on the

"

had for an hour resounded

the smoke that enveloped the two ships

the "

Ranger

" could see

waving a white

At

flag.

an

officer

standing

the sight a mighty

huzza went up from the gallant lads on the Yankee ship, which was,
however, quickly checked by Jones.
"

Have you

"We

struck your flag

"

he shouted through a speaking-trumpet.

have, sir," was the response.

"Then layby

until

soon after a cutter put

send a boat aboard," directed Capt. Jones; and

off

from the side

of the "

Ranger," and made for

the captured ship.

The

boarding-officer

clambered over the bulwarks

and, veteran naval officer as he was, started in

of

amazement

the
at

"Drake,"
the

scene

BLUE-JACKETS OF

He

of bloodshed before him.


six

He

wounded men.

either dead

had

a ship on which were two dead and

left

had come to a ship on which were forty men

Two

seriously wounded.

or

Ill

'76.

dismounted cannon lay across

man
The

the deck, one resting on the shattered and bleeding fragments of a

The deck was slippery with blood.


wounded and many sufferers

torn to pieces by a heavy shot.


<;ock-pit

was not large enough

to hold all the

lay on the deck crying piteously for aid, and surrounded

The body

bodies of their dead comrades.


of his

of

own

returned to his

then lowered, and


the

ceremony
the

ship for aid.

in the

died

All the boats of

the

prisoners

any kind, such

wounded

"Drake" were

as

could not

is

grim

the

Ranger

"

were

of taking possession

were transferred

The dead were thrown overboard without


of

earnestness

of

to

service

burial

war.

the
or

Such

be taken care of in the sick-bay of the

The decks were

transferred to the "Ranger."

scrubbed,

and sprinkled with hot vinegar to take away the smell of

holystoned,

the blood-soaked planks.

plugged up

of

the prize, and

of

the "

growing darkness the work

Most

began.

prize

" Ranger."

of

who had

the captain,

wound, lay on the deserted quarter-deck.

Hastily the American officer noted the condition

of

by the mangled

Cordage was

and, by the time

spliced,

mended, shot-holes

sails

morning came, the two ships were

sufficiently

repaired to be ready to leave the bay.


But, before leaving, Capt. Jones set at liberty two fishermen,

he had captured several days before, and held prisoners


spread the news of his presence in those parts.

lest

whom

they should

While the fishermen

had been taken on board the "Ranger," and treated with the utmost
had been made

kindness, their boat

fast alongside.

the stormy weather had torn the boat from


before

the eyes

fate as they

of

its

saw their

to

buy

for

fastenings

its

and

it

foundered

who bitterly bewailed their hard


But, when they came to leave the
joy
for Jones gave them money

luckless owners,

craft disappear.

" Ranger," their sorrow was turned to

enough

Unluckily, however,

them a new boat and

of

liberality

Jones put her in

command

outfit,

bit

very characteristic of the man.

When

the " Drake " was in condition to

sail,

BLUE-JACKETS OF

112

of

Simpson, and the two vessels

Lieut.

commander proved
of all

men, and even went

which no

He was

officer.

This choice of

the bay.

left

Simpson was

be an unfortunate one.

to

ways a most eccentric

'76.

many-

in

a violent advocate of equal rights

so far as to disbelieve in the discipline without

efficiency can be obtained

He

century Sir Joseph Porter.

He was

on ship-board.

believed that

an eighteenth-

questions of importance

all

on ship-board should be settled by a vote of the crew

that the captain

was, in a certain sense, only perpetual chairman of a meeting, and should


Naturally, this view of an officer's

only execute the will of the sailors.


authority was

little

relished

by Lieut. Simpson's brother

had for some time been greatly

When
sail

the

in

Lieut.
rid

came about,

it

offing,

left

Simpson saw

his

dissatisfied with his position.

"

therefore, that the

the "

and he

officers,

Drake

go

" to

chance to make

off

Ranger," seeing a strange

in

pursuit

the

of

stranger,

with the " Drake," and thus

himself of the disagreeable necessity of submitting to the orders of a

superior

officer.

This course he determined to adopt

and when Jones,

having overtaken the stranger and found her a neutral, turned to rejoin
his prize,

he was vastly astounded

vessel which he had left in charge of one

and was carrying every

stitch of

perplexed by the strange

thoughts

of

making

captures,

down on the

horizon,

signalled to her

Several large ships were in sight

colleague to return, but in vain.


Jones,

hull

The "Ranger"

sail.

seemed

of his trusted officers

She was already

to be trying to elude him.

antics

made

and

his

of

but

abandoned

all

consort,

after

the

The

"Drake."

at the evolutions of the

vanishing

rapidly

"Drake."

As

the

"Ranger"

cut through

the ugly cross

seas

of

the

channel,

Jones revolved in his mind the causes which might lead to the inexplicable
flight of his consort.

might have

risen,

His chief fear was that the prisoners on the

explanation of the matter, Jones


prize before

the night

Convinced that

made tremendous

this

Drake

"

endeavoring

overpowered their captors, and were then

to take the ship into a British port.

"

was the true

efforts to overhaul the

should give her an opportunity to elude pursuit.

Every thing from jib-boom

to main-truck, that

would draw, was

set

on the

Page

113.

Blue Jackets of

'76.

"BON HOMME RICHARD" AND

'

SERAPIS.

BLUE-JACKETS OF
"

Ranger

"

belied her

and the gallant


reputation as

little

vessel ploughed along at a rate that almost

slow

After an hour's run,

craft.

"Ranger" was gaining ground.

evident that the

settled over the waters,

II5

'76.

and the " Drake

"

was

still

far in the lead.

was

Jones found, to his intense indignation, that not to the

revolt of the captives, but to the wilful

Simpson, the

It

Upon boarding

not until the next day that the runaway was overhauled.
the " Drake,"

became

it

Nevertheless, darkness

flight

and

of the captured vessel

silly

insubordination of Lieut.

was due.

This

officer, feeling

himself aggrieved by something Jones had said or done, had determined

upon the "Drake," repair her

to seize

forward to cruise as a privateer.


Jones,

who put

some French

in

port,

and thence-

This plan was nipped in the bud by

"
the disobedient officer in irons, and carried the " Drake

into Brest as a prize.

Europe now rang with the praises

All

of

Paul Jones.

Looked

at in

the calm light of history, his achievements do not appear so very remarkable.

But

it is

none the

less true that

the day of Paul Jones,

Channel and Irish Sea


day

of Paul

since the day of

clear

in

Paul Jones

English port, blazing with

And

of

British

merchantmen.

And

the

War

of

181

2.

the

since

little

But neither before nor

has the spectacle of a British ship in an

fire

applied by the torches of an enemy, been

no other man than Paul Jones has, for several centuries, led an

invading force

England.

Before

no hostile vessel had ever swept the English

Jones the exploit has never been repeated, save by the

American brig "Argus"

seen.

they have never been paralleled.

down the

level highways,

and across the green

fields,

of

f22V7^55..

.-^^

pUUJUnTis

CHAPTER

VIII.

THE CAREER OF PAUL JONES CONTINUED. HIS


SEARCH FOR A SHIP. GIVEN COMMAND OF THE
" BON HOMME RICHARD." LANDAIS AND HIS
CHARACTER. THE FRUSTRATED MUTINY. LANDAIS QUARRELS WITH JONES. EDINBURGH AND
LEITH THREATENED. THE DOMINIES PRAYER.

HEN

Paul Jones arrived at Brest, bringing the captured Drake,

he found the situation of

acknowledged the independence


openly espoused

had
Britain.

buy a warship or

sell

to resort

to

The

lys

stars

that

vessels,

and the

to

French troops were being sent

and stripes waved by the side

idol of the Parisian

manned

were putting

officers,

of

and Benjamin Franklin, the American envoy, was the

society,

Great

of

cunning deceptions to

French

a prize in a French port.

sea to strike a blow against the British.

against

as

by French crews and commanded by French

to America.

American Colonies, and

of the

cause

their

was no longer necessary

It

France had

affairs materially altered.

the Jieiir de

French

lion of

mob.

Paul Jones saw in this friendship of France for the struggling colonies
his

for the

weak

payment

command

Heretofore he had been condemned to

opportunity.

slow-going,

ships.
of his

He

had been hampered by a lack

crew and the purchase

only

funds

of

More than

of provisions.

once the inability of the impoverished Continental Congress to provide


the sinews of war had forced him to go

the necessary funds.

He

could

rely

All this period of

upon the king

of

down

into

France for a proper

funds with which to prosecute his work on the seas.


the

"Ranger" was again ready


ii6

for

sea,

own purse

his

penury he now

he

turned

felt

was

vessel,

and the

Accordingly,
her

over

for

past.

when

to

the

BLUE-JACKETS OF

II7

'76.

insubordinate Lieut. Simpson, while he himself remained in France with


the expectation of being provided with a better ship.

But the sturdy seaman soon found how vexatious

who depends upon


commission,

in

naval officers had

no

to

At

avail.

English prize, lately captured

examine the

Jones to
very slow

and

"I wish

to

this

the

to

He

marine.

an appointment came.

last

and

Much

craft.

brought

was

It

distinguished

Jones

brought every

into

to

Brest.

command an
Thither went

disappointment, he found her

to his

determined him to decline the commission.

have no connection with any ship that does not

he wrote to a gentleman who had secured for him


"for

him

His claims were urged by Dr. Franklin, but

possible influence to bear.


all

of

to be attended to.

first

earnest appeals to the minister of the

lot

Ship after ship was put

monarchs.

of

command was tendered

no

but

The French

American.

made

bounty

the

the

is

intend to go

You know

harm's way.

in

not

every one's intention.

that

is

the

believe

sail fast,"

appointment
that

Therefore, buy a frigate that sails

this

fast,

is

and

sufficiently large to carry twenty-six or twenty-eight guns, not less

than twelve-pounders, on one deck.

would rather be shot ashore than

sent to sea in such things as the armed prizes

have described."

Five months of waiting and ceaseless solicitation of the authorities


the sailor,

left

still

He

inactivity.

who had won

had

so

shrunk from

many

victories, stranded in

many

trusting rather to the efforts of his friends,


favor at Versailles.
of

But one day he happened to

"Poor Richard's Almanac,"

listlessly

turned

its

pages, his eye

" If you wish to have

go and do

it

yourself.

fell

he

out,

were

high

upon an old copy

light

maxim,

faithfully

in

Benjamin

As Jones

and expeditiously,

Otherwise, send some one."

exclaiming, "I will


set

whom

witty sayings.

upon the

any business done

Shutting the book, and dashing


feet

of

that unique publication in which

many wise maxims and

Franklin printed so

shameful

a personal interview with the king,

and soon reached the

gained him an interview

it

to

the

floor,

Jones sprang to his

go to Versailles this very day."

and

royal

court.

his frank, self-reliant

Before night

His reputation easily

way

so impressed the

BLUE-JACKETS OF

Il8

monarch, that

in five

the ship " Daras,"

'76.

command

days the American was tendered the

mounting

of

forty guns.

Great was the exultation of the American seaman at this happy termi-

whose advice had proved so

effective,

change

begging permission to
Richard,"

gratitude

Full of

nation of his labor.

name

the

translated into French, the

or,

mission was readily granted

distinguished philosopher

the

to

he wrote to the minister of marine,


of

the vessel

"Bon Homme

Richard."

Homme

and thereafter the " Bon

" Poor

the

to

Per-

Richard,"

with Paul Jones on the quarter-deck, did valiant work for the cause of
the young American Republic.

The "Bon Homme Richard" was lying in


when Jones visited her to examine his new ship

harbor of

the

He

that were

the high pitched poops

so

common

in

fairly

She had one

well modelled craft, giving promise of being a good sailer.


of

I'Orient

found her a

the early part of

the last century, and that gave to the sterns of ships of that period the

appearance of

she

Originally

towers.

lofty

was a single-decked

mounting her battery on one gun-deck, with the exception


cannon

on

the

twenty-eight guns,

To

On

few

The gun-deck mounted

forecastle.

twelve-pounders.

all

quarter-deck and fore-

the

armament Jones at once added


eighteen-pounders, which were mounted in the gun-room below.

castle
six

and

quarter-deck

of

ship,

were eight long nines.

To man this vessel, Jones was


Few American seamen were then
fortunate to find

enough

deck and forward.


undisciplined

Swedes,

For

crowd

Italians,

of

this rabble

fill

in

the

France, and he considered himself


stations

of

on the quarter-

officers

crew proper he was forced

Scotch,

thirty-five

Norwegians,

Irish,

and

even

to

Germans,
a

accept

an

Spaniards,

few Englishmen.

marines were put aboard to keep order

and, even with this aid to discipline,

that no disturbance ever broke

many

obliged to recruit a most motley crew.

Portuguese,

Malays,

About a hundred and

among

to
his

this

out

in

it

is

wonderful

crew that was made up of so

discordant elements.

While the "Bon

Homme

the vessels that were to

sail

Richard" was being made ready


with her as

for

sea,

consorts were making for the

BLUE-JACKETS OF
rendezvous

The

commanded by
arrive

to

American

well-built

a French

"Ven-

" Cerf,"

The "Alliance" was

officer,

Capt.

an American crew, but

carrying

frigate,

This vessel was the

Landais.

the rendezvous, as she had

at

19

three former were small vessels, built in

and manned wholly by Frenchmen.

France,
powerful,

These vessels were the "Pallas,"

at I'Orient.

geance," and "Alliance."

last

'76.

somewhat

stormy and

eventful trip across the ocean.

a thirty-two gun frigate, built

The "Alliance" was


vision

American

the

of

European

waters,

Lafayette.

As

naval

passenger

as

the

whom

the

command had been

come

had

of a

to

Gen.

distinguished

command

has been stated, she was under the

officer, to

France.

bringing

under the super-

Committee, and which

Marine

French

compliment to

offered as a

Unfortunately the jack tars of America were not

so

anxious

to

compliment France, and looked with much disfavor upon the prospect

of

serving under a

difficulty

getting

in

Frenchman.

Capt.

crew to man

reached Boston, ready to embark

which he was
cation of the

desiring to

to sail

was

American

he refused for a
entirely

in

authorities

But, though

devoted.

less objectionable

to

to

countenance

those

principles

in

With

in Boston.

method
liberty

offered

to

Lafayette that

credit of

coast

some time

recruiting

of

so

which he was

to

before,

These men volunteered

own

bear lightly upon

a crew

of Massachusetts,

every way,

flag

sailors,

knew

made up

of

and many

to join the

of her

crew

of

that they were likely to be

and countrymen.

But the

ties of

and these men were as ready

under the stars and stripes as under the cross of

"Alliance" put

in

to, a plan hardly


" Somerset " had
man-of-war
The British

New England

forced to fight against their

fight

a
of

ship

Great was the mortifi-

impressment was not resorted

the "Alliance," though by so doing they

nationality

and when Lafayette

and the government

Frenchman
vastly to the

is

was adopted.

been wrecked on the


crew were then

It

moment

opposition

frigate

painfully incomplete.

still

complete by impressment.

his

for France, the roster of the

the distinguished

aid

Landais, therefore, found great

St.

to

George.

Americans, Englishmen, and Frenchmen, the

to sea in the early part of January, 1779.

It

was the most

BLUE-JACKETS OF

I20
stormy season

which

of the year

racked

the

from

ship

without

were

But the storms


nothing

as

French, and Americans quarrelled bitterly

British,

and the

selves,

on the tempestuous Atlantic.

the

to

In the forecastle were three different elements of

turbulence within.
discord.

good

'76.

jackies went about

work with a

their

among them-

sullen

air

that

betokened trouble brewing.

The

suspected the impending trouble, but had

officers

idea of its

little

They were living over a volcano which was liable to burst forth
any moment. The Englishmen in the crew, who numbered some seventy

extent.
at

or eighty, had determined to mutiny, and had perfected

their plans for

all

Their intention was not only to seize the ship, and take

the uprising.

her into an English port, but they proposed to wreak their hatred in the

upon the

bloodiest form
their hate,

was

Heavy

sails.

to be put into an

Capt. Landais, as the special object of

open boat without food, water,

irons were to bind his wrists

set adrift to starve


officer

officers.

The

on the open ocean.

They were

was to be equally hard.

The

their bodies cast into the sea.

oars, or

and ankles, and he was to be


fate of the surgeon

to be

and marine

hanged and quartered, and

sailing-master

was

to be seized

up to

the mizzen-mast, stripped to the waist, and his back cut to pieces with the
cat-of-nine-tails

cutlasses,

after

which he was to be slowly hacked to pieces with

and thrown into the

were

to be mercifully treated.

were

to be

sea.

No

promptly put to death.

The gunner,

carpenter, and boatswain

torture was prepared for them, but they

As

to the lieutenants, they

were

to

be

given the choice between navigating the ship to the nearest British port,
or walking the plank.

This sanguinary programme the mutineers discussed day and night.

The

ringleaders were in the

same watch, and

night matured their plans, and picked out


join them.

whom

One by one they

in the silent

men whom

cautiously chose their associates.

the mutineers thought was a safe

man would be

from his fellows to some secluded nook on the gun-deck

many
asked.

hours of the

they thought would

The

sailor

led quietly apart


;

and

there, with

pledges to secrecy, the plot would be revealed, and his assistance

Or perhaps

of

two men out on the end

of

tossing

yard-arm.

BLUE-JACKETS OF
far

12

'76.

above the raging waters, one would be a mutineer, and would take that

opportunity to try to win his fellow sailor to the cause.

spread apace

and the volcano was almost ready

was discovered, and the plans

The
men in

to burst forth,

the crew, as well as

many

who had

sailor,

all

the English-

So

that they were well able to capture the

their adherents,

an American

all

of the sailors of other nationalities.

but before so doing they sought to gain

man was

when

were happily defeated.

conspirators had succeeded in gaining the support of

numerous were
ship

of the mutineers

So the mutiny

one more

lived long in

This

recruit.

Ireland,

and spoke

with a slight brogue, that led the conspirators to think him a subject of

enemy

the king, and an

to the revolted colonies.

some knowledge

to have

man was known

This

navigation, and the mutineers felt that his

of

assistance would be essential to the success of their plot.

had planned to force the lieutenant, under penalty

Though they

death, to navigate

of

the vessel into a British port, they had no means of telling whether the
lieutenant

should

an

to take the

officer

them

play

false.

It

would

an

be

easy matter for

ship into a French port, where the

should pay the penalty of their misdeeds.

conspirators

was highly important

for

them

in the science of navigation

to

lives

of

the

Accordingly,

it

number among them some one versed

and, with this end in view, they turned to

the young Irish-American.

The

young

shrewdness
genuine

of

seaman

proved

to

be

possessed

the

of

loyalty

and

the Yankee, together with a touch of the blarney of the

He

Irishman.

listened

to

the

complaints

of

the mutineers,

sympathized with their grievances, entered heartily into their plans, and

by

his

apparent interest in the conspiracy soon became looked upon as

one of the chief ringleaders.

He
deck

learned

about

that

daylight

the

plan

of

the

conspirators

on a certain day when one of

should be posted in the tops as lookout.


of " Sail,

ho " when
!

them

in

This

man was

to

assemble on

the

conspirators

to raise the cry

the officers and passengers would of course come

to the quarter-deck unarmed.

by seizing

was

a body.

The mutineers would commence


Then, separating into

four

operations

parties,

the

;;

BLUE-JACKETS OF

122

On

conspirators would seize upon the ship.

nine-pound

four

cartridge only

These were

guns.

quietly slipped a charge

show signs

by

swept

quarter-deck

Should the

be trained

to

on

Discipline

discharge.

with

blank

of the ringleaders,

each gun.

cannon were

their

charged

usually kept

canister into

of

resistance, these

of

the forecastle were mounted

who was one

but a gunner's mate,

'76.

had

officers

and the

aft,

man-of-war

requires that the crew should be kept disarmed, except in time of battle

the cutlasses, pikes, and pistols being given over to the armorer.

But a

sergeant of marines had done the cause of the mutineers good service,

by purloining some muskets, and handing them over to the ringleaders.

Having thus gained

knowledge

full

the loyal seaman sought the

But not

ship.

three

until

first

the

of

the

captain

the peremptory

in

sailor.

intruder stammered and looked confused, but finally

Landais was amazed.

story.

set

the captain's cabin unseen

slip into

tone officers assume in speaking to a

the

mutineers,

on the afternoon before the day

now?" asked

"Well, what's wanted

tell

plans

Landais and Lafayette were seated there talking,

by the conspirators.

The

the

opportunity to warn the officers of the

o'clock

mutiny could he manage to

for the

of

managed

to

That so dangerous a conspiracy

should have been nurtured in his crew, astonished him beyond expression.

But

he wasted

no

time

vain

in

Quietly the word

conjectures.

was

passed to the officers and passengers to assemble in the captain's cabin.

Some

petty

trusty

American

and

French

fever of mutiny.
to

the

officers

At

were given arms

seamen who

a given

signal

had

not

to

distribute

the

been infected with the

the officers and passengers rushed

The American and French seamen

quarter-deck.

among

joined

them

and the conspirators suddenly found themselves confronted by an angry

body

determined men,

of

The
other

conspirators

English
rigged

armed.

leading mutineers were

and hurried

seized,

fully

were
ship

in

hove

below

in

began, and
irons.

in

While

sight,

pointed out by the

irons.

was continued
the

and was

informer,

Then the work


work
soon

until

of

out

the

about forty of the

was progressing,

made

instantly

arresting

to

square-

be one of the

BLUE-JACKETS OF
enemy's twenty-gun

arrived

Brest,

at

among

rife

Landais thought

his crew, Capt.

few days

exchanged

until

into

his

and kept

jail,

American prisoners

for

it

the "Alliance"

later,

where the mutineers were thrown

confinement,

close

hands

to

mutiny

course to avoid the stranger,

wisest

in

Under ordinary circumstances, the "Alliance"


give battle to the enemy but in the present

ships.

would have sought


instance, with

123

'76.

in

the

of the British.

whom we

But to return to Paul Jones,


Richard

"

arrival of

and

left

The

"

lying at

anchor

his allies.

On

harbor of

the

in

with the " Bon

left

I'Orient

the 19th of June, 1779,

all

waiting

Homme

Bon

Richard

was the

"

largest vessel

command

for

were ready to

the harbor with a few coasters and transports

next came the "Alliance," under

Homme
sail,

under convoy.
the

of

little

fleet

Capt. Landais; then

of

the

the

an old merchantman hastily remodelled, and mounting thirty-

^'Pallas,"

two guns; then the "Cerf" with eighteen guns, and the "Vengeance"

Though not

with twelve.

a very formidable armada, this

little

might

fleet

have done great good to the American cause, had Paul Jones been given
proper authority, and had his daring plans been countenanced by the

French

authorities.

:SOon found that

the

that

three

though

But,

nominally commander-in-chief,

He

he had no means of enforcing his authority.

Frenchmen

command

in

squadron looked upon him as a partner

of

other

the

vessels

in the enterprise, rather

They paid no heed


They wilfully disobeyed

Jones
found

of

the

than as a

leader with absolute authority.

to the signals set at

the fore of the flagship.

orders.

all,

they proved to be poor seamen

Worse than

and the squadron had hardly got into

blue water before the "Alliance" was run foul of the "Richard," losing

her

own mizzen-mast, and

ship.

tearing

Thus, after long months of preparation for

forced to return to port to

was not altogether


Landais, the
jealous
first of

away the head and bowsprit

of

accidental,

commander

the

refit.

of

It

that

a series of mishaps,

all

of

Jones found himself

has been charged that

so far as the

him.

this accident

"Alliance" was concerned.

vessel, hated

man who outranked

sea,

of the flag-

The

Jones, and
collision

which Landais ascribed

was insanely
was only the

to accident, but

BLUE-JACKETS OF

124

'76.

which unprejudiced readers must confess seem

to

have been inspired by

malice or the results of gross incompetence.

few days sufficed to repair

When

the open sea.

crowded

sail

all

two days

all

damage, and again the vessels sought


Jones

sighted.

a wretchedly slow

sailer.

signalling to the swift-sailing " Cerf " to follow the stranger,,

he abandoned the chase to the smaller

were near enough

All night long the cutter

craft.

when day broke

followed in the wake of the stranger, and

The

was

sail

ship was

to his bitter disappointment, that his

Therefore,

strange

out, a

on the " Richard," and set out in hot pursuit, but found,

make

to each other to readily

the two vessels

out each other's character.

Her

stranger proved to be a small English cruiser of fourteen guns.

captain was no poltroon

for as soon as

he discovered that the ship from

which he had been trying to escape was but

came about, and, running down upon


was a sharp

one.

The thunder
ocean.

turned

of

The two

For an hour they grappled

now

to one side,

resounded
in

deadly

and now to the

larger than his own, he

opened

But

In the

mean

fortnight's fruitless cruising,

all

since Jones had been given

time had been spent in port.

been unproductive of

results.

absolutely ineffective.

As

prize in

fell

in with a British
It

"Cerf" abandoned
of

1'

was
and

it,

Orient.

become separated

of

and, after a

Here

to I'Orient.

the

"Richard."

Most

of

the

cruising that had been done had

Dissension and jealousy


the

battle

More than three months had passed

command
The little
for

of

With her battered

the vessels returned

they lay until the middle of August.

tide

superior

and put into the harbor

time, the squadron had

the

over

of the cannonading.

so the

useless to think of saving the prize:

action

at last the

tow, she sought to rejoin the squadron, but unluckily

after a hard chase escaped,

wide

The

strife.

other.

had been attracted by the sound

and

far

metal of the "Cerf" won for her the victory.

frigate that

The

fire.

matched and well fought.

vessels were fairly

broadsides

their

little

the " Cerf,"

"Bon Homme

made

the squadron

Richard,"

she

had

proved a failure; being unable to overhaul the enemy that she wished to
engage, or escape from the man-of-war she might wish to avoid.

saw

his reputation fast

shpping away from him.

Jones

Bitterly he bewailed the

Page

125.

Blue Jackets

of'

'76.

THE EXPLOSION ON THE

"

SERAPIS."

BLUE-JACKETS OF
had put him

fate that

He

mercy

at the

127

'76.

of a lot of

quarrelsome Frenchmen.

determined that when once again he got to sea he would ignore his

own

consorts, and fight the battles of his country^ with his


It
left

was on the 14th

the

of

August that the squadron weighed anchor, and


The "Richard" was greatly strengthened

harbor of I'Orient,

by the addition to her crew

who had been


of

about one hundred American seamen,,

of

England

sent to France from

With her

English prisoners.

ously

ship only.

in

exchange

same vessels

sailed the

for a

number

that had

previ-

made up the squadron, together with two French privateers, the


Four days after sailing, a large French

"Monsieur" and the "Granville."

The whole squadrom

ship in charge of a British prize-crew was sighted.

gave chase; and the "Monsieur," being the swiftest

Then

recaptured the prize.


that the prize

was

arose a quarrel.

sailer

of

the

fleet,,

The privateersmen claimed

They had captured it, and the regular


To this Capt. Jones vigorously

theirs alone.

naval officers had no authority over them.

demurred, and, taking the prize from

its

captors, sent

disposed of in accordance with the laws.

vowed vengeance, and


She was a
greatly

weakened the

few days

was lying

off

was perfectly calm.


the

water.

The

shore.
It

Far

off

Not a breath

of

of

The fleet
The day

flapped idly
to

keep

wind

cool,

and

distance a white

motion,

ruffled

against the

lazily

sail

the calm

mast.

The

surface
sailors

of

lay

watching the distant

glimmered on the horizon.

and was clearly becalmed.

After some

Jones determined to attempt to capture the stranger

by means of boats.

The two

men, were sent out to


capture her.

squadron.

the

second serious loss was encountered.

trying

deliberation, Capt.

to

left

and her departure

few miles from the shore.

in the

showed no sign

mounting forty guns

Clear, only a

sails

about the decks,

be

In high dudgeon, the privateers

"Monsieur"

the

to I'Orient to

fleet.

later a

Cape

night

vessel,

fast

fine,

that

it

largest boats,

hail the vessel, and,

In this they were

bringing the captured

if

manned with crews

of

picked

she proved to be an enemy,

successful,

and returned next day,

craft.

But, while the two boats were

still

out after the enemy's ship, the tide

BLUE-JACKETS OF

128

changed

and Capt. Jones soon saw that

'76.

was

his ship

in

yards from the ship, two dangerous

known

reefs,

danger from a

powerful current, that seemed to be sweeping her on shore.

Skallocks and

the

as

few hundred

the Blasketts, reared their black heads above the calm surface of the sea.

Toward these

the

rocks

"Bon Homme Richard" was

when

drifting,

Jones, seeing the danger, ordered out two boats to tow the ship to a less

As

perilous position.

the best

men

of the

crew had been sent away to

capture the brig, the crews of the two boats were


of

Many

the crew.

who had shipped on

of

made up

of the riff-raff

them were Englishmen, mere mercenary

sailors,

the Richard, secretly intending to desert at the

when night

as they

were

first

in the

boats

trying to pull the " Richard's " head around, they cut the ropes and

made

Therefore,

opportunity.

off for

desertion was discovered immediately.

The

night was clear, and

faint light of the stars the course of the receding boats could

traced.

The

sailing-master of the " Richard," a Mr. Trent, being the

to discover the treachery, sprang into a boat with a


set

still

the shore.

The
by the

fell,

out

in

hot pursuit.

The bow -gun

of

the

first

few armed men, and

"Richard" was

hastily

trained

on the deserters, and a few cannon-shot sent after them

without

effect.

Before the pursuing boat

be

but

could overhaul the fugitives, a

dense bank of gray fog settled over the water, and pursued and pursuers

were hidden from each other and from the gaze

of those

on the man-of-war.

All night long the fog, like a moist, impenetrable curtain, rested on the
ocean.

The next day

the "Cerf" set out to find the missing boats.

As

she neared the shore, to avoid raising an alarm, she hoisted British colors.

Hardly had she done so when she was seen by Trent and

The

fog

made the

outlines of the cutter indistinct,

his companions.

and magnified her

the eyes of

the

Americans, so that they mistook her for an

man-of-war.

To

avoid what

They were
The

the unfortunate Trent soon died.


later in the war.

English

they thought would lead to certain capture

on the water, they ran their boat ashore, and speedily


of the British coast guard.

in

at

fell

into the hands

once thrown into prison, where

rest of the party

were exchanged

BLUE-JACKETS OF
The

and capture

loss of the boats,

of

129

'76.

Mr. Trent and his followers, were

not the only unfortunate results of this incident; for the " Cerf "
lost in the fog,

and before she could rejoin the

and she was carried back

up,

returned to join the

But the

to the coast

and Jones found

fleet,

of

sprang

fleet a violent gale

France.

She never again

his force again depleted.

under the command of Paul

the squadron

effective force of

became

Jones was weakened far more by the eccentric and mutinous actions of

Landais of the "Alliance" than by any losses by desertion or

Capt.

When

capture.

the news of the loss of two boats by desertion reached the

Landais straightway went to the "Richard," and entering

"Alliance,"

the cabin began to

two boats through


" It

is

which are
"

His

his folly in

not true,
lost are

Do you
officers

tell

sending boats to capture a brig.

Landais,"

Capt.

answered Jones,

" that

the boats

the two which were sent to capture the brig."

me

strove

"Richard" vowing

upbraid Jones in unmeasured terms for having lost

lie

to

screamed the Frenchman, white with anger.

"

but without avail; and he

pacify him,

that

he would challenge Capt. Jones, and

the

left
kill

him.

ship

Shortly thereafter the "Richard" captured a very

valuable prize,

mounting twenty-two guns, and loaded with

rigging, anchors, cables,

and other essential

By

the Lakes.

articles

navy Great Britain was building on

for the

desertion and

sails,

other causes, the crew of the "Richard"

was greatly depleted, and not enough men could be spared


Jones applied to Landais for
" If

it is

your wish that

aid.

to

man

In response the Frenchman

should take charge of the prize,

allow any boat or any individual from

the

'

Bon

Homme

the prize.
said,

shall not

Richard

'

to

go

near her."

To

this

absurd stipulation Jones agreed.

Landais, having thus assumed

complete charge of the prize, showed his incompetence by sending her,


together with a prize taken by the

The Danish Government, being on

"Alliance," to Bergen in

friendly terms with England, immedi-

ately surrendered the vessels to the British ambassador;

the young republic was


dollars

Norway.

cheated of

and the cause

more than two hundred

through the insane negligence of the French captain.

of

thousand

"

BLUE-JACKETS OF

I30

most insolent indifference to the

thereafter, Landais manifested the

Ever

whom,

orders of Capt. Jones, to

He came

implicit obedience.

'76.

as his superior officer, he should render

and went as he saw

would disappear from the squadron, and return again


days' absence, without apology or explanation.

The

fit.

after

" Alliance

two or three

Jones soon learned to look

with indifference upon the antics of his consort, and considered his squadron
as

composed

On
a

thriving

was then, as now, the

which

city,

Edinburgh, which stands a

He

fertile.

there were

The people

commander

the

of

But the lack

paralyzed

cruise

objections

of

It

was

Leith

carefully perfected.
Col. Chamillard,

fleet,

here.

captains

aroused.

the
fire

Still

harbor, take

only

to

Britain

to

the

as

By

had

the

His

persevered.

throughout

the

"Pallas,"

arrangements

to lay before the chief magistrate

contribution

much

injured

citizens

of

of

all

were

of Lieut.-

the town

inhabitants.

toward

his

had overcome the timid

"Vengeance" and

the

Jones

he

escape again

been performed.

him

hampered

time

for the

he was in name, the

Troops were to be landed under command

who was

demand your
owes

Shore

some distinguished

shipping, and

the

reality,

do not wish to distress the poor

shipping,

of

twenty guns.

the exploit would have

which

of

the

of

the following letter, written by Jones himself


"

full

mind

his

would have been an easy matter

Jones been in

little

him

the

which

at

authority

of

Jones had come

of

had no idea that the dreaded Paul Jones was

mouth.

Had

sea.

greater

in

make a dash into


demand a huge ransom,

open

the

of

the

town were resting

three cruisers to
prisoners,

for

farther inland.

armed vessel

single

none.

fancied security, and


their very harbor's

seaport

daring plans

only.

the port of Leith,

off

had learned that the harbor was

and defended only by a


batteries

little

cherishing one of those

point

this

was so

to

and "Pallas"

the 15th of September, the three vessels lay

city of

to

"Richard," "Vengeance,"

of the

the

My

intention

reimbursement

America.

is

which

Savages would

blush at the unmanly violation and rapacity that have marked the tracks
of

British tyranny in America, from

which neither virgin innocence

helpless age has been a plea of protection or pity.

nor

BLUE-JACKETS OF
"

Leith and

now

port

its

lay

Before

in ashes.

it

man

duty as a

induces

And

lay at our mercy.

humanity stay the just hand of retaliation,

131

'76.

did not the plea of

should without advertisement

proceed to that stern duty as an

me

by means

to propose to you,

ransom, to prevent such a scene of horror and distress.


I

officer,

my

of

a reasonable

For

this reason,

have authorized Lieut. -Col. de Chamillard to agree with you on the

terms of ransom, allowing you exactly half an hour's reflection before

you

accept or reject the terms which he shall propose."

finally

The landing
and part

out,

three

vessels

morning.

parties having been chosen, the order of attack

to be taken by each

advanced

smooth

invaders passed the

little

but, seeing the three

attack.

on

blowing

breeze

light

the

gently along

the

to

surface

town

was

It

Sunday

bright

shore wafted the three vessels

the

of

of

mapped

boat's-crew accurately defined, the

bay.

It

said

is

that

as

the

Kirkaldy, the people were at church,

men-of-war passing, deserted the sacred edifice for

the beach, where the gray-haired pastor, surrounded by his flock, offered
the following remarkable appeal to the Deity
"

Now, dear Lord, dinna ye think


pirate

vile

enow
he'll

to

already,

rob our folk

for

burn

their

hooses,

their lives

the bairns

The

ye to send this

that

they are puir

spare.

to

Mickles the mischief he has done already.

ony thing.

And waes

sark.

jiffy.

for

Ye ken

The way the wmd blaws,


And wha kens what he may do.'' He's nae too

and hae naething

be here in a

good

shame

it

Kirkaldy

o'

take their very claes,

and

strip

me, wha kens but that the bluidy

weemin

puir

them
villain

to

He'll

the very

might

tak'

are most frightened out of their wits, and

screeching after them.

canna think

of

it

canna think

of it!
**

hae long been a

faithful servant to ye,

Lord.

But gin ye dinna

turn the wind about, and blaw the scoundrel out of our gate,

foot,

but will just

sit

here

till

the tide comes.

Never was prayer more promptly answered.

Sae

tak'

I'll

your

nae

stir

will o't."

Hardly had the pastor

concluded his prayer, when the wind veered round, and soon a violent
gale was blowing off

shore.

In the teeth of the wind, the ships could

BLUE-JACKETS OF

132

The gale increased in


The sea was lashed
tornado.

make no headway.
fierceness

on the crests

arose,

The

fragile shells.

torn

by the heavy

speedily,

only

that

of

'76.

violence
into

until

fury,

which the men-of-war were

coal-ship

rivalled

in

tossed

about

like

which had been captured was so racked and

seas, that

by the

it

and great waves

her seams opened, and she foundered so

most

active

efforts

was

her

crew saved.

After several hours' ineffectual battling with the gale, the ships were
forced

to

come about

and

run

out

to

sea

and

Jones

suffered

the

mortification of witnessing the failure of his enterprise, after having been

within gunshot of the town that he had hoped to capture.

good people

Kirkaldy,

of

As

for the

they were convinced that their escape from

the daring seamen was wholly due to the personal influence of their pastor

with the Deity

and the worthy parson lived long afterward, ever held

the most mighty veneration by the people of his flock.

in

CHAPTER

IX.

CAREER OF PAUL JONES CONCLUDED. THE


BATTLE BETWEEN THE " BON HOMME RICHARD" AND THE "SERAPIS." TREACHERY OF
LANDAIS. JONES'S GREAT VICTORY. LANDAIS STEALS THE " ALLIANCE." JONES IN
COMMAND OF THE "ARIEL." THE "ARIEL"
IN THE STORM. -ARRIVAL IN AMERICA.

FTER

this

adventure, the three vessels

along the eastern coast of Scotland.


the

way

of

prizes, rather

Continued good fortune,

soothed the somewhat chafed feelings

He

pointment caused by the failure of his attack upon Leith.

good reason
wide

in

to believe that the report of his exploits

nation to

come

One fleet
"Bon Homme Richard" and

warlike character.

mouth

the

Lying

at

of

which

it

any

seemed impossible
that

to

make

caught

besides the

were

pursued

to

at

convoy a

sight

their

of

the

by the two men-of-war.

Two

pilot-boats

anchor in the
fleet

of

pilot,

came out

of a British naval officer, learned

merchantmen lying
waiting

out

"Pallas" ran into the River Humber,

the

they

the cruisers, although

of

anchor outside the bar, Jones made signal for a

assuming the character

there

of

merchantmen

of

the British flag flying at his peak.

lay

and

British vessels manifested an extreme disincli-

within hailing distance

three were so disguised that

to

had

found

spread far

England, and that British sea-captains were using every precaution

to avoid encountering him.

all

in

soon recovered from the severe disap-

Capt. Jones, and he

of

continued their cruise

and Jones,

from them,

river, a

merchantmen

keeping

that,

British frigate
to

the

north.

Jones tried to lure the frigate out with a signal that the pilots revealed to

him

but,

though she weighed anchor, she was driven back by strong head-

winds that were blowing.

Disappointed in this plan, Jones continued his


133

BLUE-JACKETS OF

134
Soon

cruise.

of

forty-one

sail for

merchant

squadron encountered a

the sight

like a flock

of

of

the

now

stood

Scarborough,

of

fleet

dreaded Yankee

frightened pigeons, and

made

the " Serapis,


twenty-two" moved forward

the shore; while two stately men-of-war

to give battle to the

Jones

little

ships, that, at

and the "Countess

four,"

with the "Alliance" and the "Vengeance;"

fell in

Flamborough Head, the

crowded together

cruisers,
all

he

after

and, while off

'76.

forty-

Americans.

upon the threshold

greatest

his

of

victory.

His

bold and chivalric mind had longed for battle, and recoiled from the less
glorious pursuit of burning helpless merchantmen, and terrorizing

towns and

enemy

He now saw

villages.

side.

Although the Americans had

men's two, the odds were

were

pilot-boats, which,

geance,"

though

no wise

in

of

ordered

assistance, kept out of

any attempt

meet the

to

muzzle to muzzle, and with no overpowering odds

in a fair fight,

on either

him a chance

before

small

course, kept

render

to

six vessels to the English-

Two

in their favor.

out

the

of

of the vessels

The "Ven-

the battle.

larger

any

vessels

possible

the fight altogether, and even neglected to

to overhaul the

flying

band

of

As

merchantmen.

make

for the

"Alliance," under the erratic Landais, she only entered the conflict

the last

moment

and then her broadsides, instead of being delivered

into the enemy, crashed through the already shattered sides of the

Homme

Thus the

Richard."

forty

guns,

with

twenty-two

at

against

the

guns,

actual combatants were the

"Serapis" with
against

the

"

forty-four;

Countess

of

"Bon

"Richard" with

and

the

"Pallas"

Scarborough

"

with

twenty-two.
It

was about seven o'clock

the twenty-third

that

in the

evening of a clear September day

down upon each other,


The sea was fast
the impending battle.

the hostile vessels bore

making rapid preparations

for

turning gray, as the deepening twilight robbed the sky of

A brisk breeze was

blowing, that

and beat the waters into

little

filled

in

its

azure hue.

out the bellying sails of the ships,

waves capped with snowy foam.

the rosy tints of the autumnal sunset were

was

one of her most smiling moods, as

In the west

warm in the sky. Nature


these men with set faces, and

still

BLUE-JACKETS OF

'76.

35

hearts throbbing with the mingled emotions of fear and excitement, stood
silent at their guns, or

As

soon as he became convinced of the character of the two English

The people on the

in line of battle.

enemy.

Richard

"

went cheerfully

to their

no voice was raised against giving immediate battle

The

little

actions of the other vessels of the

American

promise of any aid from that quarter.

When

fleet,

she passed the " Pallas," Landais cried out, that,

to be a forty-four,
flight.

the only course

Evidently the

result

of

to

reconnoitre.

only hope of safety

in flight lay his

away from the enemy.

for

the stranger proved

if

investigations

his

was immediate

convinced him that

he quickly hauled

The "Vengeance,"

too,

however,

enemy was

the Americans

for

the

to

the

sighted, the swift-sailing "Alliance" dashed forward

iirst

As

"

and though the ship was extremely short-handed, and crowded with

prisoners,

gave

at the ropes of the great war-ships.

Jones beat his crew to quarters, and signalled his consorts to form

ships,

guns

worked busily

ran

off,

and stood

to

windward,

off

leaving the " Richard " and the " Pallas " to bear the brunt of battle.

was by

It

this

time quite dark, and the position of the ships was out-

lined by the rows of open portholes gleaming with the lurid light of the

On

hattle-lanterns.

each ship rested a stillness like that of death

itself.

The men stood at their guns silent and thoughtful. Sweet memories
of home and loved ones mingled with fearful anticipations of death or of
mangling wounds in the minds of each. The little lads whose duty in
time of action

it

was to carry cartridges from the magazine to the gunners

had ceased their boyish chatter, and stood nervously

at

their

up and down the decks, speaking words

of

encouragement

Officers walked
to the

was

men, glancing sharply

ready, and ever and

at

primers and breechings to

anon stooping

to

see

stations.

that

all

peer through the porthole at

the line of slowly moving lights that told of the approach of the enemy.

On

the quarter-deck, Paul Jones, with his officers about him, stood care-

fully

watching the movements of the enemy through a night

occasionally a quiet order to

the

man

at

the wheel, and

glass, giving

now and then

sending an agile midshipman below with orders to the armorer, or

with orders for the sharp-shooters posted in the tops.

aloft

BLUE-JACKETS OF

136

As

came

the night

'76.

wind died away

on, the

a gentle breeze, that

to

hardly ruffled the surface of the water, and urged the ships toward each

other but

bow
deck

As

sluggishly.

and going on opposite tacks, a hoarse cry came from the

to bow,

of the "Serapis,"

"What
" What
"What

they came within pistol-shot of each other,

ship
is

is

that

ship

is

that?"
"

you say

Answer immediately,

that?

or

shall fire into you."

Instantly with a flash and roar both vessels opened


of

the broadsides reverberated over the waters

and the bright

moon

the cannon, together with the pale light of the

The thunder

fire.

just rising,

Flamborough Head crowded with multitudes who had come out


the grand

first

guns

broadside seemed enough to wreck

she

carried

were

that

of

these

of

were hurled

the

of

fortunes

guns burst with

weight to be matched

sufficient

against the heavy ordnance of the " Serapis."

two

to witness

In her gun-room were mounted six long eighteens, the

"Richard."

the

showed

yet awful spectacle of a naval duel.

The very
only

of

flash

frightful

At the very

violence.

first

discharge,

Huge masses

of

iron

every direction, cutting through beams and stanchions,

in

crashing through floors and bulkheads, and tearing through the agonized
bodies of the

men who

Hardly a man who was

served the guns.

sta-

tioned in the gun-room escaped unhurt in the storm of iron and splinters.

Several huge blocks of iron


the people

on the deck above, and causing the cry to be raised, that

magazine had blown

the

useless
fight

up.

This unhappy calamity not only rendered

the whole battery of eighteen-pounders,

an

upper deck, injuring

crashed through the

among

to the peril they

Jones himself

the men,

were

in

left

the

Jones to

frigate with a twelve-pounder battery, but

eighteen-pounder

spread a panic

thus forcing

who saw

by reason

the dangers of explosion

of the

enemy's continued

quarter-deck, and

rushed forward

fire.

among

men, cheering them on, and arousing them to renewed activity by


exertions.

Now

he would lend a hand

at a rope, or help a lagging

at

training

powder-monkey on

some gun, now

his way.

it

added

the
his

pull

His pluck and

BLUE-JACKETS OF
enthusiasm infused new

into

life

men

the

137

'76.

and they threw the heavy

guns about Hke playthings, and cheered loudly as each shot

The two
a

half

ships were at no time separated by a greater distance than

pistol-shot,

were

and

bows, and get

others'

told.

raking

in

manoeuvring

continually

In

broadside.

crossed from one to the other side of each other

under

evolutions

were

spectators

could only see the tops of the two

concealed

about before the light breeze

dense

attempt,

this

so that

From

and now the starboard battery would be engaged.


cloud

now

they

the port

the shore these

and

smoke,

of

vessels

each

cross

to

moving

the

slowly

while the lurid flashes of the cannon, and

constant thunder of the broadsides, told of the deadly work going on.

At

little

" Pallas," linked in

the "Countess

were

distance

It

seemed

war was coming very close


" Serapis " first

and again discharged,


ranging

the

on the heights that

to the watchers

to England.

succeeded in getting a raking position

she slowly crossed her antagonist's bow, her guns were

bow, and

and

deadly combat, and adding the roar of their cannon

to the general turmoil.

The

Scarborough"

of

the

aft,

fired,

and, as

loaded again,

heavy bolts crashing into the " Richard's

tearing

the

brave fellows on the

the

of

flesh

decks, and cutting through timbers and cordage in their frightful course.

At

moment, the Americans almost despaired

this

the

The

conflict.

" Richard "

enemy's shot seemed

proved

to

be

old

Jones saw

the loser.

He

Soon the

of

of

the balls like steel

he was sure to be

therefore resolved to board.

not

her, with

American

ship.

made an attempt

having
her long

Springing

way enough
bowsprit

ships

fast.

As he bent

cross

to

projecting

bows

of

the

over the stern of the

from the quarter-deck,

to his work, he

the

and the "Serapis" ran

failed;

hands swung grappling-irons into the rigging


the

"Serapis"

that in a battle with great guns

" Richard "

"Serapis," but
foul

and rotten, and the

to tear her timbers to pieces; while the

was new, with timbers that withstood the shock


armor.

of the termination of

Jones with his own

of the

enemy, and made

was a prominent target

every sharp-shooter on the British vessel, and the bullets

hummed

for

thickly

BLUE-JACKETS OF

138

about

ears

his

but

two

swung

vessels

set

about

each

alongside

work done, he clambered

His

he never flinched.

back to the quarter-deck, and

'76.

gathering

other.

boarders.

The

cannonading

was

the

The

redoubled, and the heavy ordnance of the " Serapis " told fearfully upon

The American gunners were

the "Richard."

by the

flying

cloud

other was about to board.

impossible

from their guns

driven

Each party thought the


The darkness and the smoke made all vision
and

shot

of

splinters.

and the boarders on each vessel were crouched behind the


This suspense

bulwarks, ready to give a hot reception to their enemies.

caused a temporary

lull

in the firing,

and Capt. Pearson

shouted out through the sulphurous blackness,


"

Have you

" I

of

struck your colors

have not yet begun to

the cannon

"
.''

Jones

fight," replied

awakened the echoes on the


a raking position

ship.

mangled remains

of

of the ship
skilful

cockpit was

the firing

Again the

Terrible had been the

filled

with

the wounded.

The timbers

Many

and the hold was rapidly

down

were beneath the

shot-holes

Therefore, Jones determined

filling.

his enemy, and get out his boarders, at any cost.


foul

Capt. Pearson,

again.

knowing that

advantage lay in long-distance fighting, strove to break away.

bent

all

his energies to the task of

time the battle raged

keeping the ships together.

Jones himself,

fiercely.

battle, thus describes the course of the fight

"

The

were greatly shattered, and her cordage was so badly cut that

Soon the two vessels were


his

As

apart.

drifted

dead lay thick about the decks.

the

manoeuvring was impossible.

water-line,
to run

The

and again the thunder

but by this time Jones had

determined that his only hope lay in boarding.


execution on his

distant shore.

recommenced, the two ships broke away and


" Serapis " sought to get

"
of the " Serapis

directed the

fire

of

with double-headed shot,


served with grape and

one

of the three

while

the

at last

his official report of the

cannon against the main-mast

other two were

canister shot, to

and clear her decks, which was

in

Jones

Mean-

silence

effected.

the

exceedingly well

enemy's musketry,

The enemy

have since understood, on the instant for calling for quarter,

were, as

when the

BLUE-JACKETS OF

my

cowardice or treachery of three of

quarter

and

their cannon,

of

formed

of

They were unable

To account

language.

first

for the timidity of

expressed
that

Both

my

ships

were

three under officers

the master-at-arms),

shots under water, and one of the


fear

stand the deck; but the

to

incessant.

were slightly wounded

his

demanded

on

set

and the scene was dreadful beyond the reach

the gunner, the carpenter, and

the two

if

lower battery, which was entirely

the

especially

eighteen-pounders, was

in various places,

fire

induced them to

officers

having answered him in the negative, they renewed the

battle with double fury.

fury

under

The English commodore asked me

the enemy.

to

call

139

'76.

mean

(I

must observe that

and as the ship had received various

pumps being

shot away, the carpenter

she would sink, and the other two

that

of

concluded

she was sinking, which occasioned the gunner to run aft on the

my

poop, without

away the ensign

was, therefore, reduced to the necessity of sinking


or of calling for quarter

and he preferred the

Indeed, the petty officers were

to be

little

condition of the " Richard " hopeless.

The

me

Fortunately for

knowledge, to strike the colors.

cannon-ball had done that before by carrying

as

staff

he supposed

he

latter."

blamed

for considering the

great guns of the " Serapis,"

with their muzzles not twenty feet away, were hurling solid shot and

grape through the flimsy shell of the American ship.

two ships come

did the

at times, that the

together, the lower ports of the " Serapis

the Americans boarding through them.


the ports were quickly blown

"

When

were closed

In the two great ships were

men, their eyes lighted with the

cannonade.
gration,

and curses rose

shrill

Both ships were on

How

frightful

more than seven hundred

of

blood.

Cries

of

pain,

yells

above the thunderous monotone

fire

guns

of hatred, their faces blackened with

fire

powder or made ghastly by streaks


rage, prayers,

first

to prevent

of the great

again protruded, and dealt out their messages of death.

was the scene

the ships

But in the heat of the conflict

and the iron throats

off,

close together

rammers were sometimes thrust

into the portholes of the opposite ship in loading.

swung

So

and the black smoke

mingled with the gray gunpowder smoke, and

of

of the

of the confla-

lighted up by the

BLUE-JACKETS OF

140

'76.

cannonade, added to the terrible picturesqueness of

red flashes of the

the scene.
" Richard "

The

From

frame-work.

seemed

spectre

like

the main-mast

the

to

stern

shattered was

so

ship,

her

above

post, her timbers

the water-line were shot away, a few blackened posts alone preventing

the upper deck from


of

Through

falling.

and bone.

Great

human

flesh

The

who ran below and

officer,

impede their

save

flight

nearly two hundred prisoners aroused

pitiful cries of

an

streams of

encompassed them

storm

into

the

sea.

At

Fire,

bullets.

too,

sweeping down upon

fast

and

work,

this

deck, only to

powder-kegs to be brought

the magazine, that Capt. Jones ordered the

up and thrown

the

to

and

cannon-shot

of

and the flames were so

compassion of

the

Driven from the hold

them.

liberated

by the in-pouring water, these unhappy men ran


be swept down by the

swept the shot

this ruined shell

water were pouring into the hold.

the " Serapis," finding little to

the pumps,

at

the

prisoners were kept employed until the end of the action.

But though the heavy guns

way

below,

shattering

Yankee gunners from


was not
the

tops,

with

picked

The Americans crowded on the


murderous

such
the

" Richard,"

the

of

where they continued the

from

entirely

hull

upper

men, mustered

deck.

that

effect

Once

below by Capt.

the

party

the

from the tops,

and

forecastle

British

of

Pearson,

own

in

musketry and hand-

with

battle

their

driving

all

it

and

their quarters, the conflict, viewed

so one-sided.

grenades,

the

the " Serapis " had

of

about

rushed

were
one
to

driven

hundred
upper

the

deck of the "Serapis," and thence made a descent upon the deck of the
" Richard," firing pistols, brandishing cutlasses, and yelling like

But the Yankee

tars

were ready

for

them

at

that

demons.

game, and gave the

boarders so spirited a reception with pikes and cutlasses, that they were

ready enough to swarm over the bulwarks, and seek again the comparative
safety of their

But

all

desperate

this

own

time, though

defence,

Though they

ship.

the

tide

the Americans were


of

battle

was

surely

making
going

brave and

against

held the deck of the " Richard " secure against

all

them.

comers.

BLUE-JACKETS OF

Englishmen were cutting the ship away from beneath them,

the

yet

141

'76.

Suddenly the course

with continued heavy broadsides.

of

changed, and victory took her stand with the Americans,

the daring and coolness of one man,

The

rapid and accurate

had driven

own

ship,

the

this,

Americans swarmed

deck

" Richard "

the

of

missiles through the

At

on

it

" Richard,"

his

that

left

arm,

filling

clambered

stretched far out

enemy,

the

lest

adventurous blue-jacket.
the yard,

length on

he began

shower

his missiles

than the rest

was
flame
of

fell

kept a wary

the

the

off

sailor crept

of

ship.

His com-

spar.

sharp-shooters

the nimble

the

of

British

on

out

"Serapis."

upon the enemy's gun-deck.


;

but

at

one

last,

through the main hatch to the

then a succession of

flash,

the

on the slender

little

by each grenade

gushed up through the

some
It

done

yard-arm

the

the spar, and somewhat protected by

at full

to

on

out

over the deck of


out

by

Little

fire

on the

sailors

bucket with grenades, and

he was over the crowded gun-deck

until

execution

The

some watchful rifleman should pick

Then, lying

the

their

of

by throwing the same

attack,

rades below watched his progress, while the

on

rigging

enemy.

of the

Cautiously the brave fellow crept

eye

the

the enemy.

seconded this

open ports

one American topman,

last

hanging

into

and from that elevated station poured down a destructive

hand-grenades upon the decks of

of

on the "Richard"

the sharp-shooters

fire of

through

all

but an humble jacky.

officer,

the riflemen of the " Serapis " from their posts in the

all

Seeing

tops.

no

was

battle

quick explosions

Great was

aimed

better

main deck.
a great

and a chorus

hatchway,

of

it,

There

sheet
cries

of

told

frightful tragedy enacted below.

seemed that the powder-boys

in bringing

powder

to the guns,

of the

"Serapis" had been too active

and, instead of

needed, had kept one charge in advance of the

bringing cartridges as

demand

so that behind

every gun stood a cartridge, making a line of cartridges on the deck

from bow to
loose

powder

stern.

lay

Several cartridges had been

upon the deck.

This was

hand-grenade, and communicated the

fire

fired

that

much

by the discharge

of the

broken, so

to the cartridges,

which exploded

BLUE-JACKETS OF

142

men were

killed instantly

many

collars

and wristbands

More than

burning scores of men.

in rapid succession, horribly

the explosion, that

'76.

twenty-

and so great was the flame and the force

them were

of

of their shirts,

left

of

with nothing on but the

and the waistbands

of their trousers.

impossible to conceive of the horror of the sight.

It is

Pearson in his

Capt.

occurrence, says, "

ports, a cartridge of

official

report

of

the

battle,

speaking of this

in at

one of the lower

hand-grenade being thrown

powder was

from cartridge to cartridge

set

the

all

on

fire,

way

the flames of which, running

blew up the whole of the

aft,

people and officers that were quartered abaft the main-mast

circumstance

unfortunate

remainder

of

those

the action, and

were

guns

rendered

useless

fear that the greater part

from which,

of

the

for

the people

will lose their lives."

This event changed the current of

hemmed between

decks by the

fire of

The English were

the battle.

the American topmen, and they

found that not even then were they protected from the

The

hand-grenades.

continual pounding of

double-headed

gun which Jones had trained upon the main-mast

of the

of

fiery

hail

shot

from a

enemy had

finally

away that spar; and it fell with a crash upon the deck, bringing
down spars and rigging with it.
Flames were rising from the tarred
cut

cordage, and

The Americans,

spreading to the framework of the ship.

saw victory within

their grasp.

moment a new and most unsuspected enemy appeared


upon the scene. The "Alliance," which had stood aloof during the heat
of the conflict, now appeared, and, after firing a few shots into the
"Serapis," ranged slowly down along the "Richard," pouring a murderous
But

at

grape-shot

of

fire

this

"

now thought

that

the

wanton
battle

assault

was

astonishment, he discharged a broadside

Homme

Richard.'

Jones thus

into the already shattered ship.

story of this treacherous and

We

called to

him

at

tells

the

an end.

full into

But, to

for God's sake to forbear.

passed along the off-side of the ship, and continued

firing.

possibility of his mistaking the

Bon

enemy's ship for the

my

utter

the stern of the 'Bon

'

Yet he

There was no

Homme

Richard,*^

Page

143.

Blue Jackets of

'76.

GUN DECK

IN

ACTION.

BLUE-JACKETS OF

145

'76.

there being the most essential difference in their appearance and construcBesides,

tion.

Homme

was then

it

Richard

'

were

moonlight

full

all

and the sides

and the

black,

Yet, for the greater security,

were yellow.

enemy's ship
signal for our

the stern, and one at the middle, in a horizontal


"

Every one cried that he was

He

availed.

my

passed

around,

wounded

best men, and mortally

on the pumps, and the

me

entreated

officers

high opinion.

not,

line.

Homme

Bon

volleys

nothing

ship, but

Richard,'
several

killed

Homme

of

My

Richa^J' received

The

'Alliance.'

much on board both

leak gained

Some

ships.

whose courage and sense

strike, of

to

would

the

increased

fire

'

the bow, one at

a good officer of the forecastle.

under the water from

shots

several

his

of

The 'Bon

was truly deplorable.

situation

the

into

firing

at

wrong

firing into the

and broadside, and by one

head, stern,

Bon

the

of

one

reconnoissance, by putting out three lanterns,

'

showed the

sides
I

the

of

entertain a

however, give up the point."

Fortunately Landais did not persist in his cowardly attack upon his
friends
"

Richard

The

"

her

continue

to

struggle was

that his

sinking

almost

the

in

now

not

ship,

sailed

life-and-death

of

long duration

down

his colors

the proud

emblem

and
with

allowed

Capt. Pearson, seeing

for

fire

from the tops

fire

was gaining head-

of the

Receiving an

affirmative

captured ship.

"Richard."

he jumped on the
swung himself upon the quarter-deck

aboard,

gunwale,

answer,

Midshipman Mayrant, with

So great was the confusion on the

men knew

that

the

ship

men

Great Britain fluttered down, Lieut. Richard

Dale turned to Capt. Jones, and asked permission to board the

the mainbrace-pendant, and

the

enemy.

her

with his own hands, since none of his

could be persuaded to brave the


of

off,

struggle

ship was a perfect wreck, and that the

way, hauled

As

but

had

of the

a large party of sailors, followed.

" Serapis," that

been

prize.

seized

few of the English-

surrendered.

As Mayrant came

he was mistaken for the leader of a boarding-party,

and run

through the thigh with a pike.


Capt.

Pearson

was

found

standing

alone

upon

the

quarter-deck,

contemplating with a sad face the shattered condition of his once noble

BLUE-JACKETS OF

146

and the dead bodies

ship,

"Sir,

At
"

moment, the

and inquired,

Has

Have you

"Yes,
"

was

saying,

"It

is

came

flag

up

"
?

"On

the contrary, you have struck to us."

commander, the English lieutenant asked,

to his

"

struck, sir

more

nothing

have

the " Serapis "

have," was the brief reply.

about

of

answered Dale.

sir,"

Turning quickly
"

lieutenant

first

enemy struck her

the

"No,

said,

have orders to send you on board the ship alongside."

this

hastily,

brave fellows lying about the decks.

his

of

Stepping up to him, Lieut. Dale

'76.

in

my

remarked the

say,"

to

the act of going below,

when

duty to request you,

to

sir,

and turning

officer,

Lieut. Dale

stopped him,

accompany Capt. Pearson on

board the ship alongside."


" If

you

will silence

"

me

permit

will first

go below," responded the other, "

to

This cannot be permitted," was the response

his head, the lieutenant followed

chief

his

two midshipmen went below to stop the


Lieut. Dale remained in

command

on the binnacle, he ordered the


ships

throughout

bloody

the

to

helm or canvas.
but

his

legs

conflict

Vastly astounded

refused

which had
be

to

His followers sprang to


been severely wounded

his aid
in

Seating himself

it

bound

Then

cut.

the

two

the head-sails

But, as the ship had been

Dale leaped from the binnacle

at this.

and

ship, while

she refused to answer either

battle,

he

support him, and

to

and, silently bowing

of the "Serapis."

lashings

the beginning of the

at

the victorious

firing.

were braced back, and the wheel put down.


anchored

the firing of the lower deck guns."

fell

heavily to

the deck.

was found that the lieutenant had

the leg by a splinter, but had fought out the

battle without ever noticing his hurt.

So

ended

this

memorable

battle.

exultation so natural to a victor died

captain

as

he

looked about

the

But

away

scene

the

feelings

of

in the breast of the

of

pride

and

American

wreck and carnage.

On

all

BLUE-JACKETS OF
lay the mutilated bodies of

sides

stood

they

and

caught

writhings

old

"A

scene

the

and

peaceful, as

form a just idea of

to

and

of

In his journal

scene.

ruin

everywhere

that

from the prospect of such finished

and lament that war should produce such

horror,

There

their agonized

and tender, lay by the side

wreck,

recoil

with

calm

others

picture

carnage,

of

Humanity cannot but

appeared.

some

must have been an eye-witness

person

tremendous

the

Words cannot

seamen.

Capt. Jones wrote

death

young

Powder-boys,

though sleeping.
grizzled

by

fixed

so bravely-

death-dealing missiles.

of

on top of the other,

one

piled

who had

the gallant fellows

guns amid the storm

their

to
lay,

147

'76.

consequences."

fatal

But worse than the appearance of the main deck was the scene

and along the gun-deck, which had been converted into a

cockpit

the

hospital.

Here

Moans and

shrieks

temporary
deck.

in

lay the

wounded, ranged

rows along the

in

agony were heard on every

of

side.

The tramp

surgeons were busy with their glittering instruments.

on the decks overhead, and the creaking of the timbers

of

The
men

the water-

of

logged ship, added to the cries of the wounded, made a perfect bedlam
of the place.
It

did

not take long to discover that the "

was a complete wreck, and


craft

the

had kept

against

afloat while

had

victory

the

in

the

remained with

sinking

her,

The

condition.

was being fought

battle

encroaching

steadily

explored the hold

Homme

Bon

she

had

The

waves.

came on deck with

long

gallant

the

and

struggle

who

had

reported

that

carpenters

faces,

old

but now, that

up

given

Richard

nothing could be done to stop the great holes made by the shot of the
" Serapis."

Therefore

the wounded to the

her

fate.

Accordingly,

the work

of

over the

side

the

boats

Jones

all

to

remove

his

crew and

all

and abandon the noble "Richard" to

available

transferring the
;

determined

"Serapis,"

hands were put

wounded was begun.

at

the

Slings

pumps, and

were rigged

and the poor shattered bodies were gently lowered into

awaiting

them, and, on reaching the " Serapis," were placed

tenderly in cots ranged along the main deck.

All night the work went on

"

'

BLUE-JACKETS OF

148

'76.

and by ten o'clock the next morning there were left on the " Richard
only a few sailors, who alternately worked at the pumps, and fought the
steadily encroaching flames.

For

intend

not

did

Jones

to

struggle to save her, even though both

Not

her.

fire

good

the

desert

and water were warring against

morning dawned did the Americans

until the

ship without a

old

fully appreciate

how shattered was the hulk that stood between them and
Fenimore

grave.

navy, writes
"
of

When

the

'

Cooper, the

pioneer historian

the

of

watery

United

States

the day dawned, an examination was

Abaft on a

Richard.'

line

made

into the situation

with those guns of

the

'

Serapis

that had not been disabled by the explosion, the timbers were found
to be nearly all beaten in, or beaten out,

for in this respect there

and

difference between the two sides of the ship,

little

was

it

was

said that

gun-room, but for

her poop and upper decks would have

fallen

a few buttocks that had been missed.

Indeed, so large was the vacuum,

most

that
of

the

the shot fired from this part of the

of

action,

must have gone through the

The rudder was

any thing.

cut from

were nearly driven out of her.


that

the

on

stationed

those

sufficiently elevating

'

'

Serapis,' at the close

Richard

without touching

'

stern post, and the transoms

All the after-part of the ship, in particular,

was below the quarter-deck was torn

saved

into the

pieces

to

but

quarter-deck

the

guns that almost touched

and nothing had

the

impossibility

of

their object."

Despite the terribly shattered condition of the ship, her crew worked

pumps
her

all

fate.

became

day, they were reluctantly forced to


It

was

abandon the good ship

"

Richard

"

rolled heavily

At each

from side to

sea was

up

through

her port-holes, and swashed through the

to

her lower port-holes.

o'clock, with a last

roll

the

all

side.

The

water gushed

hatchways.

At

ten

dying surge, the shattered hulk plunged to her

final

They had

died

resting-place, carrying with her the bodies of her dead.

the noblest of

to

nine o'clock at night, that the hopelessness of the task

The

evident.

and working the

flames

But, after fighting the

manfully to save her.

deaths,

the

death of a patriot killed in doing battle

Page

147.

Blue Jackets of

'76.

SINKING OF THE "BON

HOMME

RICHARD."

of a sailor
in the

who

'76.

receive the grandest

of

I5[

burials,

all

the

burial

follows his ship to her grave, on the hard, white sand,

calm depths of the ocean.

How many
not

They

country.

for his

BLUE-JACKETS OF

were there that went down with the


Capt. Jones

accurately state.

number

great was the

puts the

number

there were

dead upon his

of

Of the

at forty-two.

about

All

forty.

History does

ship.''

himself was never able to

The most careful estimate


wounded on the American ship,
ship.

happily removed

were

these

how

tell

from

the

" Richard " before she sunk.

On
is

at

the " Serapis " the loss was

much

that no official returns

in

fault,

greater

Capt. Jones's estimate, which

been preserved.

but here, too, history

the killed

of

and wounded have

probably nearly correct,

is

put the loss of the English ship at about a hundred

and an equal

killed,

number wounded.

The sinking
wounded of both
sunken
and

ship.

of

"

the

Richard "

nations, prisoners,

No

" Serapis "

the

left

and the remnant

crowded with

of the

crew of the

time was lost in getting the ship in navigable shape,

traces of the battle.


The bodies of the dead
The decks were scrubbed and sprinkled with
The sound of the hammer and the saw was heard on every

in clearing

away the

were thrown overboard.


hot vinegar.

hand, as the carpenters stopped the leaks, patched the deck, and rigged

new

spars

place

in

those

of

shattered

by the

three of the masts had gone by the board.

with small

sails

" Richard's "

Jury masts were rigged

stretched on these the ship beat

Her

plaything of the winds.

consorts had

left

All

fire.
;

and

about the ocean, the

her.

Landais, seeing no

chance to rob Jones of the honor of the victory, had taken the "Alliance"
to other waters.

The

" Pallas "

the " Countess of Scarborough

between the "Bon


evident,
port.

she

The

made

Homme
off

with

had been victorious

with

" and, as soon as the issue of the conflict

Richard" and the "Serapis" had become


her prize,

" Richard," after ten days of

in the north of

in her contest

intent

upon gaining a friendly

drifting, finally ran into Texel,

Holland.

The next year was one

of

comparative

inactivity

for

Jones.

He

BLUE-JACKETS OF

152

enjoyed for a time the praise of

He was
of

Landais at the time of the great

time was one of open treachery,


strike to the " Serapis," that

Landais

ships,

which was given

Frenchman

the

by

inspired

his course

crew

the

of

hands

command
this

at

"Alliance" to

of

justify

to

action, the

but failed in

Jones,

this,

should be regarded with

unsound mind.

some

charity,

man was

the

for

eccentricities

and from that time,

made him

until the

regarded

generally

as

America,

for

Philadelphia,

character of

His actions

service.

His insanity became even more evident

missal from the navy


his

and was dismissed the

erratic

open mutiny, and,

by blackening the

action

his

French

his

of

command of the ship himself, left France and sailed


leaving Commodore Jones in the lurch.
On his arrival at
strove

that

at

the " Alliance,"

taking

Landais

colonies.

wish to have Jones

his

the

at

the

of

Highly incensed

to Jones.

incited

Though

battle.

any punishment

escaped

revolting

the investigation into the action

he might have the honor of capturing both

But he was relieved

compatriots.

of the

friends

all

Then came

the lion of Paris.

'76.

doubtless
after

of

his

dis-

time of his death,

one

mentally

un-

sound.
Jones, having lost the "Alliance" by the mutiny of Landais, remained

He

abroad, waiting for another ship.

travelled widely on the Continent,

and was lavishly entertained by the rich and noble


until October,

1780, did he again tread the deck

own command.
The ship which the French Government
command of Paul Jones was the "Ariel," a
vessel

the

adventurous sailor packed

taking only provisions


to live off the prizes

enough

full

finally fitted out

of

he calculated upon taking.

He

skies,

of

out there arose a furious

seriously

tore

the

sails

from

wrecked the cordage

of

coast

ring

bolts,

the vessel.

in

This
balls,

sailed

from I'Orient

and with a

America.

fair

wind,

But the

The wind howled through

gale.

the

and put

and evidently expecting

intending to proceed directly to the

rigging,

Not

under his

powder and cannon

on a bright October afternoon, under clear

night

every nation.
a vessel

small twenty-gun ship.

weeks,

for nine

of
of

snapped

The

the

spars,

first

the

and

great waves, lashed

BLUE-JACKEl^ OF
into fury

153

'76.

by the hurricane, smote against the sides

The

though they would burst through her sheathing.

and the yards,

in their

grand sweep from side to

At

into the foaming waves.


vessel, that the

crew were

so

last

set to

great

of the little craft as

ship rolled heavily

work with axes

plunged deep

side, often

became the
to cut

strain

upon the

away the foremast.

Balancing themselves upon the tossing, slippery deck, holding fast to a

swung the

rope with one hand, while with the other they

axe, the gallant

fellows finally cut so deep into the heart of the stout spar, that a heavy

made

the ship

roll of

it

to

the

ease

mean time

of the

its

was

she

as

and as

this

about

drifting

But

out.

in

and the heavy mast was reeling about,

way upward through

crash through the bottom of the ship.


;

away

cleared

it

the violent rolling of the "Ariel" had thrown the heel

main-mast from the step

mast

alongside, where

fell

it

Penmarque, the anchors were got

threatening either to plough

this

and

and

somewhat,

ship

near the dreaded rock of


the

short,

off

The wreck was soon

hung by the cordage.


seemed

snap

but,

before this could

It

be done,

was determined
fell,

it

mizzen-mast, and crushing in the deck on which


the " Ariel " rode out the gale.

All night and

it

all

Over the shrieking

of the gale,

to cut

carrying with
fell.

away
it

the

Thus dismasted,

the next day she was

Her crew thought

tossed about on the angry waters.

had surely come.

the gun-deck, or to

that their last hour

and the roaring

of the

waves, rose. that steady, all-pervading sound, which brings horror to the mind
of the sailor,

Penmarque.

the

monotonous thunder of the breakers on the reef of


But the " Ariel " was not fated to be ground to pieces on
dull,

the jagged teeth of the cruel reef.


of the

the gale subsided

was taken back

when near

which she gave


the

drifted about, the plaything

Englishman

Finally

and, with hastily devised jury-masts, the shattered ship

to I'Orient to refit.

Two months were consumed


vessel ready for sea.
When she
until,

Though she

winds and the waves, she escaped the jaws of Penmarque.

in

the work

to

strike

getting the

shattered

again set out, she met with no mishap,

the American coast, she


battle.

of

fell

in

with a British vessel to

sharp action of a quarter of an hour forced


his

colors

but,

while

the

Americans were

BLUE-JACKETS OF

154

'76.

preparing to board the prize, she sailed away, vastly to the chagrin and
indignation of her would-be captors.

The

short cruise of the "Ariel" was the last service rendered by Paul

Jones to the American Colonies.

On

Philadelphia, he

his arrival at

was

dined and feted to his heart's desire; he received a vote of thanks from

Congress

he became the

idol of the populace.

But the necessities

of the

struggling colonies were such that they were unable to build for him a

proper war-ship, and he remained inactive upon shore until the close of

when he went

the Revolution,
is

the

first

heroic figure in

death did

men

American naval

begin to

looked upon as a

man

of

know him

annals.

Not

until years after his

at his true worth.

He was

no patriotism, but wholly mercenary

but only with the daring of a pirate.

Not

until

know

Paul Jones as a model naval

pure in his

life,

officer,

too often

courageous,

he had died a lonely

death, estranged from the country he had so nobly served, did


to

He
He is

abroad, and took service with Russia.

the one great character in the naval history of the Revolution.

high-minded

in his

men come
patriotism,

elevated in his sentiments, and as courageous as a lion.

CHAPTER

X.

OF NICHOLAS BIDDLE. HIS EXPLOIT AT LEWISTON JAIL. CRUISE IN THE


RANDOLPH." BATTLE WITH THE " YARMOUTH." THE FATAL EXPLOSION. SAMUEL
TUCKER. -HIS BOYHOOD. ENCOUNTER WITH CORSAIRS. CRUISING IN THE " FRANKLIN." IN COMMAND OF THE " BOSTON." ANECDOTES OF CAPT. TUCKER.

CAREER
"

N THE

career of Paul Jones

is

to be found the record of the

stirring events of the Revolution

ers in the

young American navy no

less daring

chief naval representative of the Colonies

waters, Jones achieved a notoriety

achievements.

most

but there were other command-

somewhat out

who

than he.

As

the

cruised in European

of proportion to his actual

But other brave seamen did gallant service along

the

Atlantic coast for the cause of the struggling nation, and, by their daring

and nautical

skill,

did

much

to bring the

war

of the

Revolution to

its

happy conclusion.

We

abandoned our consideration of the general naval events

of the war,

to turn to a recountal of the exploits of Paul Jones at the close of the year
1776.

Hostilities

on the water during that year were confined to sharp,

but short, actions between small men-of-war or privateers.

The Americans
155

BLUE-JACKETS OF

156
lacked

the

and experience

discipline

any great reputation on the water.


dash and

of

spirit,

'76.

necessary to win for themselves

Though they showed themselves

full

they were deficient in discipline and staying qualities.

Nevertheless, the record of the year was by no means discreditable to so

young a naval

organization.

Aside from the naval operations on the ocean, the year 1776 had seen
thick

the
of

clouds

of

gunpowder-smoke

floating across the placid surface

Lake Champlain, while the wooded

hills

that surrounded that lake and

Lake George more than once resounded with thunderous tones

The

hostile

meetings of the English and Americans on the interior lakes

are hardly to be classed as naval engagements.

gondolas and galleys, and

On

many

of their

the British side the forces were

The

vessels were chiefly

crews had never seen

more

considerable.

schooners and galleys were

men-of-war laid up in the

St.

all

manned by

fleet

sailors,

The Americans, on

with recruits from the army

and their

drafted

This force was under the

Lawrence.

Douglass of the frigate "Isis."

had manned their

trained

salt water.

In October, 1776,

the British had on Lake Champlain at least one full-rigged ship

of Capt.

of cannon.

from-

command

the contrary,

and the forces were

under the command of an army-officer, Gen. Benedict Arnold, the story of

whose

later treachery

is

familiar to every American.

that the two hostile fleets

met

in deadly conflict,

It

was

late in

October

and a few short hours

were enough to prove to the Americans that they were greatly overmatched.

Such

of their vessels as

enemy; while

were not sunk were captured and burned by the

their crews escaped into the woods,

and ultimately rejoined

Arnold's army, from which they had been drafted.

We
plain,

pass thus hastily over the so-called naval operations on Lake

because they were properly not naval operations at

incidents in the shore campaign.

a small
in

flotilla,

and with

it

The

fact that a

give battle to an

any sense constitute a naval

all,

Cham-

but merely

few soldiers hastily build

enemy on the

water, does not

battle.

The year 1777 witnessed many notable naval events. Hostilities along
the seaboard became more lively.
New vessels were put into commission.
England despatched a larger naval armament to crush her rebellious colo-

BLUE-JACKETS OF
The

nies.

'76.

57

records of the admiralty show, that at the beginning of that year

The Americans

Parliament voted to the navy forty-five thousand men.

were able to array against

upon thirteen small

this

huge force only some four thousand, scattered

vessels-of-war.

One of the first ships to get to sea in this year was the " Randolph
a new frigate commanded by Nicholas Biddle, who thus early in the war
had won the confidence of the people and the naval authorities. In command of the little cruiser "Andrea Doria," Biddle had cruised off the coast
;

of

Newfoundland

in 1776.

His success upon that cruise has already been

noted.

Biddle

was a man possessing


good naval

qualification of a
of

determination,

his

to

officer,

a story

is

the

of her

in

it

it,

for

built

affair of

But the

jail.

and tables that lay about the

The

an

incident

that

the Capes of the Delaware.

key on the fugitive

steel

jail,

jail

all

to-day,

the

unrepentant

to

take

foolish error of neglecting

of

and, as each had a

the two behind their

one of considerable strength.

dared not attempt to dislodge the warlike

the benches,

all

who should come

committed the

disarm the prisoners when they were captured

really

his deputies

snugly entrenched behind

brace of ugly pistols in his belt, the position


barricade was

and

than to keep them

lockup of those days

for the

and iron seen

themselves a barricade, and,

authorities had

sheriff

tars,

Gathering

vile.

shouted out bold defiance to any and

them.
to

Lewistown

they lay in durance

was not the trim


jackies

in

easier to turn the

control while

chairs,

primary

crew had deserted, and, being apprehended by the authorities

on shore, were lodged


found

left

that

In illustration

will.

concerning

related

occurred just as the "Andrea Doria" had

Two

degree

fullest

an indomitable

The

The

tars.

prison

militia

officials

company

of

the town was ordered to the scene, but even this body of soldiery dared
not force the prison door.

Accordingly they determined to

the work, and starve the rogues out of their retreat.


Capt. Biddle
lie

came

ashore.

idly in the offing while

into subjection.

He

had no intention

of

At

let

time do

this

juncture

letting his trim ship

two mutinous blue-jackets were slowly starved

The "Andrea Doria" needed

the men, and there must

BLUE-JACKETS OF

158

be no more delay.

by two

own

of his

captain in the

American navy was not

to

the

each hand, Capt. Biddle walked

upon

heavy

the

expecting the bullets to

"Open

whom

As

accompanied only by a young midshipman.

prison,

door.

this

to be defied

people.

Therefore, seizing a loaded pistol in

pounded

'76.

barred

crowd

the

door,

outside

the two

fell

back,

fly.

Green," shouted Biddle to one of the prisoners,

he knew by name.

"Try

open

to

it

came the

yourself,"

"The

panying oath.

first

man

reply from within, with an accom-

that shows his head inside this door gets

a bullet."

Green was known as a


hesitate a

man

desperate

bold,

but Biddle

not

did

Ordering the bystanders to break down the door,

moment.

he waited quietly, until a crash, and the sudden scattering of the crowd,
gave notice that the way into the prison was
tightly,

pistols

with

but

advanced upon the

his

deserters.

arms

hanging

Behind

the

loosely

barricade

his

at

his

sides,

stood Green,

he
his

Biddle faced him quietly.

eyes blazing with rage, his pistol levelled.

"Now, Green,

Then gripping

clear.

you don't take a good aim, you are a dead man,"

if

said he.

With a muttered

curse, the mutineer

determination of the captain awed him.

dropped his weapon.


In a few minutes

The

he, with

cool
his

companion, was on his way to the ship in irons.


It

was

in

February, 1777, that the stanch

with Biddle in command,

reached
"

the

Randolph

less

high

seas

set

when

sail

new

terrific

gale

set

" emerged, shorn of her tapering masts.

"Randolph,"

frigate

from Philadelphia.
in,

Hardly had she


from which

As

the

she lay a help-

wreck tossing on the waves, the hard work necessary

to put her in

decent shape again induced Biddle to accede to the request of a number


of

British

prisoners

on board, who wished to be enrolled among the

crew of the "Randolph."

This proved to be an unfortunate move; for

the Englishmen were no sooner enrolled on the ship's

began

plotting

mutiny, and

the

uprising

reached

list

such a

than they
stage

that

BLUE-JACKETS OF

'76.

they assembled on the gun-deck, and gave three cheers.

and

determined

stand

the

of

and

captain

his

59

But the firm


overawed the

officers

mutineers, and they returned to their places after the

ringleaders

had

been made to suffer at the gratings.

disaffection

rife

amid
to

his crew,

proceed forthwith to Charleston to

But a few days were spent

"Randolph"

But the

and the crippled condition

fell

in

Getting

port.

to

sea

Briton," a twenty-gun

again,

the

ship, flying

captain of the " True Briton " had often

Though the

the British colors.

in

determined Biddle

refit.

"True

with the

of

spirit

his ship,

of

boasted of what he would do should he encounter the " Randolph," his

courage then failed him, and he

fled.

The

"

Randolph

"

gave chase, and^

soon overhauled the prize, which struck

proving to be a speedy ship,

Three other vessels that had been cruising

without waiting for a volley.

with the " True Briton " were also captured, and with her rich prizes
the " Randolph " returned proudly to

ceased for a time

the harbor, and by

them the

"

Here her usefulness

Charleston.

men-of-war appeared

for a superior force of British

Randolph

"

was blockaded

for the

off

remainder

of the season.

Early

in

Biddle

1778

again

took

the

supported this time by four small vessels,


authorities.

sixteen; the

With

fitted out

by the South Carolina


;

this force Capt. Biddle set out in search of a British

"Polly,"
sixteen.

squadron known

and probably the same vessels that had kept

him a prisoner during so much

On

"Randolph,"

the

They were the "Gen. Moultrie," eighteen guns the


"Notre Dame," sixteen; and the "Fair American,"

to be cruising thereabouts,

sea with

of the previous year.

the 7th of Miirch, 1778, the lookouts on the smaller vessels saw

signal

thrown

announced a

sail

out
in

from

sight.

the

masthead

Chase was

at

of

the " Randolph,"

once given

which

and by four o'clock

she was near enough for the Americans to see that she was a large ship,

and apparently a man-of-war.

About

near enough the squadron for them to

eight

make

o'clock

out

the

that she

stranger was

was a heavy

frigate.

The Englishman was

not slow to suspect the character of the vessels

BLUE-JACKETS OF

l6o

with which he had fallen

and

in,

'76.

firing a shot

across the

bows

of the

"Moultrie," demanded her name.

"The

'Polly' of

New

York," was the response.

Leaving the "Moultrie" unmolested, the stranger ranged up alongside


the

"

Randolph," and

promptly did; and as the American


ports of the "

Randolph

"

show her

her to

ordered

flag

went

This

colors.

Biddle

fluttering to the fore, the

were thrown open, and a broadside poured into

The

the hull of the Englishman.

stranger was not slow in replying, and

the action became hot and deadly.

As he

thigh early in the battle.

Biddle was

Capt.

fell

about him, thinking that he was killed

to

wounded

the

in

the deck, his officers crowded

but he encouraged them to return

to their posts, and, ordering a chair to be placed

on the quarter-deck,

remained on deck, giving orders, and cheering on his men.

It

said

is

that Capt. Biddle was wounded by a shot from the "Moultrie," which
flew wide of

its

intended mark.

For twenty minutes

weakening on

the

battle

raged,

ships saw a huge column of

The English

floated.

fire

vessel

there

of

of the

roar.

was thrown violently on her beam-ends.

The sky was darkened with flying timbers and


The " Randolph " had blown
heavily into the sea.
hot shot, some fiery object, had

was no sign

Suddenly the sound

The people on the other


and smoke rise where the "Randolph"

cannonade was deadened by a thunderous

had

and

the part of either contestant.

splinters,

up.

which

fell

spark, a red-

penetrated her magazine, and

she was

annihilated.

The

horrible

accident

being the end of

of

the "Fair

The two

battling

hailed

the

"Yarmouth"

to

pieces of timber falling from the skies

An

American ensign,

closely rolled up,

her forecastle, not even singed by the fiery ordeal through which
passed.

how

ask

English ship was fairly covered with bits of the

The
Some heavy

shattered her main-deck.

antagonist.

near

so close, in fact, that after the explosion Capt.

American"

Capt. Biddle was.


flying wreck.

destroyed the " Randolph " came

the "Yarmouth," her

ships were close together

Morgan

which

badly
fell
it

on

had

Page i6i. Blue Jackets of

'76.

THE CASTAWAYS.

BLUE-JACKETS OF
The "Yarmouth" wasted
In

late antagonist.

all

little

time in wonder over the fate of her

the mass of floating wreckage that covered the

The

there appeared to be no living thing.

.sea,

dismayed by the

vessels,

Four days

set out in chase.

the Americans having escaped, the "

later,

again cruising near the scene of the action.

the

ocean,

down upon

seemed

which

some

support

to

living

days for which they clung to their

raft

frail

was

discovered clinging to

They were taken

aboard the British man-of-war, and given food and


for their sole

"

Running

creatures.

a piece of wreckage, and wildly waving for assistance.

which they partook greedily

Yarmouth

was discovered on

raft

men were

four wretched, emaciated

it,

American

four smaller

were making good their

of their consort,

fate

Without more ado, the "Yarmouth"

escape.

16 o

'76.

drink,

both

of

of

sustenance during the four

was rain-water sucked from

a piece of blanket.

So died Capt. Nicholas Biddle, blown to atoms by the explosion

Though but

bis ship in the midst of battle.

completed

twenty-seventh

his

won was

year,

Though

naval annals of his country.

commanders who

the more notable

sea was Capt. Samuel Tucker,

"Boston"

in the latter part

tried seaman,

naval

sea in the

by

was

and

is

way

that

who was put

did

in

the year 1777.

of

good service on the

command

of

the frigate

Tucker was an

ani

old

furthermore one of the most picturesque figures in

history of the

Revolution.

He

first

showed

his

love for the

Yankee boys from time immemorial have shown

The

it,

ship

he chose was the British sloop-of-war "Royal George," and the

boy found himself


British

the

in

fame he

short, the

running away from home, and shipping as a cabin-boy.

Avhich

not having

name

enduring

an

left

his service

officer,

great.

Among

the

he

young

of

service

at

face

that

to

face

time.

with the rigid naval discipline of the

But he stuck manfully to the career he

had chosen, and gradually mastered not only the

details

of

a seaman's

duty, but

much

discharge

from the "Royal George," he shipped as second mate on a

of the art of navigation

Salem merchantman.

It

was on

his first

so that

voyage

when

finally

he got his

in this capacity that

he

BLUE-JACKETS OF

64

showed the mettle that was

first

'76.

Two

him.

in

Algerine corsairs, their

decks crowded with men, their long low hulls cleaving the waves like

became unable

manage

to

was no chance

that there

There was no hope

fleet.

flight, for

the

corsairs

a battle, for the

in

the

of

and soon

He saw
were too

pirates

were

England schooner minded her helm better


and

pursuers,

lanteen-rigged

her

than

victory

of

captain

in liquor,

Tucker took the helm.

escape in

New

But the trim

too strong.

he sought courage

his vessel.
of

The

merchantman.

the

had given chase to

dolphins,

threatened ship grew faint-hearted

this

Tucker put

fact

to

good

account.

Putting his helm hard down, he headed the

By

piratical craft.

manoeuvring, he secured such a position that

skilful

upon him, was

either pirate, by firing

schooner directly for the

in

danger

of firing into his fellow

This position he managed to maintain until

corsair.

and by daylight was

away,

slipped

snugly at

nightfall,

anchor

the

in

when he
port

of

Lisbon.

For some time


Certain

lost.

life

is

for

some

time, and

When

after
it

is

was master

if

serve against

treason,

he

of

Tucker's seafaring

Samuel Tucker was

out,

officer a

for several years.

commission

in

London.

in either the

army or

he would consent to serve "his gracious Majesty," Tucker very

rashly responded,

Soon

merchantman

of a

broke

Being offered by a recruiting


navy,

record

that he served in the British navy as an officer

Revolution

the

episode, the

this

my

"Hang

and

cry was

fled into the

knew, who

Majesty!

Do you

Tucker.

He was

think

would

country.-*"

hue and

his gracious

out

for

charged with

country to the house of a tavern-keeper

sheltered

him

he

until

could

make

his

escape

whom
from

England.

Hardly had he arrived


sioned him
directly to

hurried

off

captain
sea.

to

An

of

in

the

America, when Gen. Washington commis-

" Franklin,"

express with

Marblehead,

instructed to find the "

then

the
a

and instructed him to proceed

commission and instructions was


straggling

little

city.

He was

Hon. Samuel Tucker," and to deliver to him the

BLUE-JACKETS OF

When

packets in his charge.

with

clad,

tarpaulin

rough-looking person,

bound with

neck

his

say, fellow,

wish you would

flaming red

person could be the

this

tell

me whether

Hon. Samuel

the

lives hereabouts."

Tucker looked up with a


" Honorable, honorable

He must

and surveyed the speaker

smile,

quizzical

he answered,

under the wide rim of his tarpaulin, as

from

roughly-

sought, he leaned from his horse, and shouted out roughly,

man he
Tucker

Never once thinking

bandanna handkerchief.
"I

and

hat,

messenger arrived, Tucker was work-

the

The messenger saw

ing in his yard.

16

'76.

name

There's none of that

Marblehead.

in

I'm the only Samuel Tucker

be one of the Tuckers in Salem.

here."

me he knew

Glover told

"Capt.

"and described

With

a laugh.

messenger
at

responded

the

messenger,,

on the seaside, none near

his house, gable-end


"

this looks like the very place

him,"

Faith,

it.

Tucker then confessed

identity,

his

and

asked

the

Receiving the commission and instructions, he

his business.

once began his preparations for leaving home, and at daybreak the

next morning was on his


ship he

was

to

command

way

to

Beverly, where

lay anchored

the

first

in the service of his country.

In the " Franklin " Capt. Tucker did some most efficient work.

name appears

constantly in the letters of Gen. Washington, and

State papers making up the American


ble prizes.

At one time we read

of

archives, as having sent

the capture

Scotland, worth fifteen thousand pounds sterling

and

vessels.

Nor were

Of one
telling

how

battle

all

wine and

"a brigantine from

of

again, of six gun-boats,

fruit.

these vessels taken without some sharp fighting.

Tucker himself

his wife

"

the

in

in valua-

During the year 1776, he took


ships, brigs, and smaller
and probably a few more

of brigs laden with

not less than thirty

His

made the

speaks

colors

in

for his

one of
ship,

his

"the

letters.
field

of

First

which

was white, and the union was green, made of cloth of her own purchasing,
and

at her

"

Those

own

expense," he goes on to write of one of his battles:

colors

wore

in

honor

of the country,

which

has so nobly

BLUE-JACKETS OF

66

rewarded
I fell in
*'

me

my

for

past

services,

Campbell

with Col. Archibald

bark, about

side,

of their balls

and a new

men, but

in loss of

were riddled to atoms.

and

brig

eighty Highland

p.m. a severe conflict

being in

it

the

conquered

night,

lost a comjDlete set of

my

and

then the white

Another time, during the same

year,

suit

new

of

and pine-tree union

field

suit

canvas and bunting of

of

sails

was then immediately supplied with a new

made

own

ship "George," and

About ten

colors,

sails,

their maker, until

seventy tons burden, being very low in the water,

damage

by the passing

of

on their

great carnage

received no

the

of

two hours and twenty minutes.

ensued, which held about

small

love

hundred

troops on board, of Gen. Frazer's corps.

them with

the

in

two

with about

transports

Arabella,"

and

'76.

my

prize-goods."

So near was the scene

near Marblehead.

Tucker took two


of action to the

Tucker, that his wife and her sister, hearing the sound

ascended

high

hill

the vicinity, and from

in

that

British

ships

house of Capt.

of

cannonading,

point viewed the

action through a spy-glass.


Capt. Tucker kept the sea in the "Franklin" until late in the winter.

When
ship

finally

out

of

the

cold weather and

commission,

he went

high winds forced him to put his


to

remained there but a short time; for

command

of the

home

his

in

at

Marblehead.

March, 1777, he was put

"Boston," a frigate of twenty-four guns.

He
in

In this vessel

he cruised during the year with varying success.


Feb.

10,

Tucker was, ordered

Capt.

1778,

to

carry the

Adams to France, as envoy from the United States.


full of

incidents.

Hon. John

The voyage was

Feeling impressed with the gravity of the charge laid

upon him, Capt. Tucker chose a course which he hoped would enable

him

to steer clear of the horde of British men-of-war

the American coast.

But

which came near proving

so

in

fatal.

doing he

terrific

fell

The

with a natural enemy,

thunderstorm, gradually growing

into a tornado, crossed the path of the ship.

waves mountain high.

in

which then infested

The ocean was

crash of the thunder rent the sky.

of lightning struck the main-mast,

lashed into

stroke

and ripped up the deck, narrowly miss-

Page

167.

Blue Jackets of

'76.

PERFIDIOUS ESCAPE OF THE


(See page 154.)

TRIUMPH."

The

ing the magazine.


the

pumps

winds.

BLUE-JACKETS OF

'76.

ship sprung a leak

and the grewsome sound

169

of

mingled with the roar of the waves, and the shrieking of the

Then

For several days the stormy weather continued.

followed

a period of calm, which the captain well employed in repairing the rigging,

and exercising the men with the guns and small-arms.

Many

been sighted, and some, evidently men-of-war, had given chase


"

Boston

"

succeeded in showing them

"What would you

do," said Mr.

all

had

ships
;

but the

a clean pair of heels.

Adams one

day, as he stood with the

captain watching three ships that were making desperate efforts to overhaul

the "Boston," "if you could not escape, and they should attack you.''"

"As

the

first

is

far in

advance of the others,

should carry her by

boarding, leading the boarders myself," was the response.

"I should take

her; for no doubt a majority of her crew, being pressed men, would turn
to

Having taken

and join me.

her,

should be matched, and could fight

the other two."

Such language

as

this

mere foolhardy boasting.

coming from many men would be considered


But

Tucker was a man not given

Indeed, he was apt to be very laconic in speaking of his exploits.

time after his escape from the three ships, he

fell in

vessel of no small force, and captured her.

to

brag.

short

with an English armed

His only comment on the

action in his journal reads, "I fired a gun, and they returned three; and

down went the colors."


John Adams, however,

told

a more graphic

story

of

this

capture.

Tucker, as soon as he saw an armed vessel in his path, hastily called his

crew to order, and bore down upon

her.

When

the

roll of

the drum, calling

Adams

the people to quarters, resounded through the

ship,

a musket, and took his stand with the marines.

Capt. Tucker, seeing

there, requested

him

to

go below, and upon

Mr.

seized

his desire being disregarded,

put his hand upon the envoy's shoulder, and in a tone of authority said,
" Mr.

Adams,

am commanded by

him

the Continental Congress to deliver

you safe in France, and you must go below."

The envoy
fly

smilingly complied, and just at that

her broadside.

The

moment

shot flew through the rigging,

the

enemy

doing but

let

little

BLUE-JACKETS OF

170

Though the guns

damage.

of the "

"

Boston

'76.

were shotted, and the gunners

stood at their posts with smoking match-stocks, Capt. Tucker gave no order
to

fire,

blue-jackets

begun

to

murmur, and the chorus

questions and oaths was

of

soon so great that the attention of Tucker was attracted.


the row of eager faces on the gun-deck, and shouted out,
"

The eager

but seemed intent upon the manoeuvres of the ships.

Hold

on,

my men

He

looked at

wish to save that egg without breaking the

shell."

Soon

after.

Tucker brought

his broadside to bear

enemy, and she struck without more ado.

She proved

on the stern of the


to

be an armed ship,

the "Martha."

After this encounter, nothing more of

moment occurred on

the voyage

and the "Boston" reached Bordeaux, and landed her distinguished passenger

Two months

in safety.

of

twenty

sail,

Paul Jones.

Bordeaux,

later she left

company with

in

With these

vessels he cruised for a time in

but returned to the American coast in the autumn.


rest of that year,

and the early part

though many were the prizes that

Many

a fleet

one of which was the " Ranger," formerly commanded by

of

fell

779,

European waters,

His services

we must

for the

pass over hastily,

into his clutches.

anecdotes are told of Tucker.

His shrewdness,

daring made him a favorite theme for story-tellers.

anecdotes have generally no proof of their truth.

One

originality,

and

But, unhappily, the


or two, however, told

by Capt. Tucker's biographer, Mr. John H. Sheppard,

will not

be out of

place here.

In

one the story

is

told

which he knew to be sent

that

Tucker

in search of him.

he sailed boldly towards the enemy, and

was Capt. Gordon

commanded by
"I'll carry

of

fell

in

in

with a British frigate

Showing the English


answer

to

flag,

her hail said he

the English navy, out in search of the "Boston,"

the rebel Tucker.

him

"Have you

to

New

York, dead or alive," said Tucker.

seen him.''" was asked.

"Well, I've heard of him," was the response; "and they say he
hard customer."

is

BLUE-JACKETS OF
All

Tucker had

time

this

been

Behind the closed ports

position.

171

'76.

manoeuvring

to

secure

the "Boston," the

of

their guns, ready for the word of command.

Just as the

raking

men

stood at

American had

secured the position desired, a sailor in the tops of the British vessel
cried out,

"That

is

Hearing

we

surely Tucker;
this.

shall

the American

Tucker ordered

ports thrown open.

have a devil of a smell directly."

Hailing his astonished

and the

hoisted,

flag

he

foe,

cried,

"The time I proposed talking with you is ended. This is the 'Boston,'
Fire, or strike your flag."
frigate.
I am Samuel Tucker, but no rebel.
The Englishman saw he had no alternative but to strike. This he
The vessel, though not named in the anecdote,
did without firing a gun.
was probably the
speaks in his

Of the

" Pole,"

the

of

capture of which

part

Tucker played

in the siege of Charleston, of

there by the British, and of his exchange,

American

disaster four
officers

Tucker frequently

letters.

were

frigates

were thrown out

of

lost

employment.

we
:

shall

speak

many

so

of

capture

his

At

later.

the best

Among them was Tucker

which he himself had captured, and went out as a privateer.

to Mr.
'*

saw some sharp

service.

One engagement was

thus described

had been cruising about three weeks when we

fell

was discovered, the commodore

She means

to fight us

thirty minutes, but

He

if

we

and

if

we go

can't

go

as

called

up

his

an

Not long

crew, and

alongside like men, she

men we have no

in with

English packet of twenty-two guns and one hundred men.


after she
'

In this

Sheppard by a marine named Everett who was on board:

We

but

he obtained the sloop-of-war "Thorn,"

ever anxious for active service,

vessel he

that

naval

is

said,

ours in

business here.'

then told them he wanted no cowards on deck, and requested those

who were

willing to fight to go

unwilling the larboard gangway.

down

the starboard, and those

Every man

and

boy took

who were
the

signifying his willingness to meet the enemy.


"

As Mr. Everett was

"'Are you

passing by, the commodore asked him,

willing to go alongside of

her.'''

first,


172

BLUE-JACKETS OF

"'Yes,
" In

mentioning

confessed,
in

my

was the

sir,'

'

conversation,

tell

him the

commanders

candidly

Haul down your

" Ay, ay, sir


'

helmsman

luff

up under her

to steer the

ships

meet

at sea, the captain

sink you!'

And

he then ordered

'Thorn' right under the stern

The two

each other.

I'll

answered Tucker calmly.

lee quarters,

promptly executed.

enemy

colors, or

directly,'

the

of

way when

packet cried out roughly from the quarter-deck,

EngHsh

of the

shot

Everett

would rather have been

these two vessels, as they drew near, had

of

hailed each other in the customary

Mr.

however,

truth, for I

father's cornfield.'

" After the

"

'76.

reply.

this

did not

'

and range alongside

The

of her.

vessels were laid side by

the packet,

of

order was

side,

within pistol

While the 'Thorn' was getting into

position, the

fired a full broadside at

her which did but

little

damage.

As soon

as she was brought completely alongside her adversary. Tucker thundered

out to his

men

to

and a tremendous discharge followed

fire,

aim had been taken, a dreadful carnage was


It

was rapidly succeeded by a fresh volley

of artillery,

and

God's sake
"

"

To
'

Our

Our men

sinking.

is

'
:

Quarters, for

are dying of their wounds.'

Tucker exclaimed,

can you expect quarters while that British flag

is

this heart-rending appeal Capt.

How

twenty-seven

in

minutes a piercing cry was heard from the English vessel


ship

and, as good

seen in that ill-fated vessel.

flying

The sad answer came back, Our halliards are shot away.'
"'Then cut away your ensign staff, or ye'll all be dead men.'
" It was done immediately.
Down came the colors, the din of cannonading ceased, and only the groans of the wounded and dying were heard.
"

'

" Fifteen men, with carpenters, surgeon,

on the deck

of the prize.

and their

leader,

were quickly

Thirty-four of her crew, with her captain, were

Her decks were besmeared with

blood,

and

in

either killed or

wounded.

some places

stood in clotted masses to the tops of the sailors' slippers.

it

The gloomy but


was begun

needful work of amputating limbs, and laying out the dead,

and every

effort

as comfortable as possible."

was made

to render the

wounded prisoners

BLUE-JACKETS OF
Here we must take leave

of

Commodore Tucker and

a privateersman, he continued to do daring

fought at least one more bloody action.

But the recountal

'76.

of his romantic career

work

He was

his exploits.

to the end of the war.

73,

As
He

captured once and escaped.

must now

yield to our chronological

survey of the lesser naval events of the Revolution.

"

^^^3^

CHAPTER XL
HOSTILITIES IN 1777. AMERICAN REVERSES. THE
BRITISH IN PHILADELPHIA. THE ATTACK UPON
FORT MIFFLIN. CRUISE OF THE "RALEIGH"
AND THE " ALFRED." TORPEDO WARFARE.
THE BATTLE OF THE KEGS.

E HAVE now
leaders

of

heard of the exploits of some of the chief naval

the war of the

But there were many

Revolution.

dashing engagements in which the great commanders took no

and many important captures made by vessels sailing under

part,

the flags of the individual colonies, which deserve attention.

The American cause on


reverses in the early part

with

the

British

of

1777.

some

suffered

severe

rather

In March, the brig "Cabot"

fell

in

"Milford," and was so hard pressed that she

frigate

was run ashore on the coast


to get

water

the

of

Nova

The crew had

Scotia.

hardly time

ashore before the British took possession of the stranded

The Americans were left helpless, in a wild and


but finally made their way through the woods to

little

settled

a harbor.

craft.

country,

Here they

found a coasting schooner lying at anchor, upon which they promptly


seized,

and

in

which they escaped to Portsmouth.

In

the

mean

time,

the British had got the " Cabot " afloat again.

Two months
vessels,

the

"

later,

or in

Hancock

"

the

early part

thirty-two,

Capt.

twenty-four, Capt. Hector McNeil, sailed in


174

of

May, two United States

Manly,

and

the

"

company from Boston.

Boston

When

BLUE-JACKETS OF
out, a strange

a few days

The

frigate.

"

Hancock

sail

'76.

was sighted, and proved

be a British

to

soon came near enough to her to exchange

"

broadsides, as the two vessels were going on opposite tacks.

however, seemed anxious to avoid a

and get ready

breakfast,

for

effort

to

speed of his ship, gave

in the

Calling the people from the guns, he bade

chase.

The enemy,

and exerted every

conflict,

Manly, having great confidence

escape.

75

them make a

the work before them.

leisurely

The "Hancock"

soon overhauled the chase, which began firing her guns as fast as they

The Americans, however, made no response until fairly


when they let fly a broadside with ringing cheers. The action
an hour and a half before the enemy struck. She proved to

would bear.
.alongside,

lasted for

be the " Fox," twenty-eight.


fire,

She was badly cut up by the American

and had thirty-two dead and wounded

men on

the " Hancock " amounted to only eight men.

"Boston" was hopelessly

distanced,

came

as the British ensign

coming up

fluttering

The

board.

on

loss

In this running fight the


just in time to fire a

gun

from the peak.

Putting a prize crew on the " Fox," the three vessels continued their

cruise.

week passed, and no

Manly turned
British

his

ship's

off

was

Somewhat

seen.

prow toward Halifax, then,

on the American

naval station

appeared

sail

now, the chief

as

When

coast.

rashly Capt.

the

three

ships

the entrance to the harbor of Halifax, the British men-of-

war inside quickly spied them, raised anchor, and came crowding out
hot

pursuit.

There was the "Rainbow"

forty-four, the

"Flora"

two, and the " Victor " eighteen, besides two others whose names

The Americans saw

not be ascertained.

names are given gave chase.

overhauled by the "Flora," and


broadsides.
last

the

"

The

"

Hancock

Rainbow

"

"

began

three British vessels whose

The "Boston," by her

kept out of the reach of the enemy.

could

that they had stirred up a nest

The

of hornets, and sought safety in flight.

in

thirty-

The

swift

sailing,

" Fox," however,

easily

was quickly

struck her flag after exchanging a few

for a time

gradually

seemed
to

likely to

overhaul

her.

escape, but

Capt.

at

Manly,

finding escape impossible, began manoeuvring with the intention of board-

ing his powerful adversary; but the light winds

made

this impossible,

and

BLUE-JACKETS OF

176

'76.

he suddenly found himself under the guns of the "Rainbow," with the

"Victor" astern,
unequal a

in a

Manly struck

conflict,

Seeing no hope for success

raking position.

mean

In the

his flag.

time the "

in so

Boston

"

had calmly proceeded upon her way, leaving her consorts to their

fate.

McNeil

was

For

having

abandoned

thus

superior

his

officer,

Capt.

dismissed the service upon his return to Boston.

These

losses

were to some degree

"Trumbull," twenty-eight,

New York
when she

fell

in

The Englishmen,

She

Saltonstall.

made no

Capt. Saltonstall, by good seamanship,

managed

between the two

hostile

ships,

and then worked both

enemy

with such vigor, that, after half-an-hour's fighting, the

batteries

In this action the Americans lost seven

to strike.

The

eight wounded.

left

and had been on the water but a few days

confident of their ability to beat off the cruiser,

to put his vessel

was

Capt.

of

the

of

with two British armed vessels of no inconsiderable force.

effort to avoid a conflict.

was glad

command

in

in April of this year,

by the good fortune

offset

loss of

the

enemy was

men

killed,

and

This capture

not reported.

importance to the American cause, for the two prizes

of the greatest

were loaded with military and naval

stores.

During the year 1777, the occupation of Philadelphia by the British


army, under Gen. Howe, led to some activity on the part of the American
navy.
it

While Philadelphia had been

in the possession of the Continentals,

had been a favorite naval rendezvous.

Into the broad channel

the

of

Delaware the American cruisers had been accustomed to retreat when


the

British

naval

At the broad wharves

of

necessary repairs made.


the gallant

Delaware,

Yankee

many

along

force

the

coast

became threateningly

Philadelphia, the

men-of-war

laid

active.

up to have

In the rope-walks of the town, the cordage for

ships

of the

was spun.

In

frigates, provided

the busy shipyards along the


for

by the Act

of

1775,

were

built.

In the

summer

of

1777

all

this

was changed.

Sir William

Howe,

at

the head of an irresistible army, marched upon Philadelphia; and, defeating


the American

army

at

Brandywine, entered the city in triumph.

privateers and men-of-war scattered hastily, to avoid capture.

Most

of

The
them

BLUE-JACKETS OF
down

fled

ascended the

To

Delaware

the

cut

but

few,

vessels

chiefly

77

still

uncompleted,

river.

off

these vessels,

erection of batteries to

the

command

immediately commenced the

British

the channel of the river, and prevent any

communication between the American

To check

'76.

vessels above

and below Philadelphia.

"
the erection of these batteries, the American vessels " Delaware

and "Andrea Doria

twenty-four,

"

earthworks, and opened a heavy

fire

So accurate was the aim

trenches.

on the batteries was stopped.

and just as the

of the tide;

sailors

up a position before the incomplete

upon the

soldiers

employed

in

the

the American gunners, that work

of

But,

"Delaware," Capt. Alexander, had

together with one or two

fourteen,

vessels flying the Pennsylvania flag, took

unluckily,

failed to

the

commander

of

the

reckon on the swift outflowing

on that ship were becoming jubilant over

the prospect of a victory, a mighty quiver throughout the ship told that

she had been

left

on a shoal by the ebb

in discovering the helpless condition of the "

and siege-guns were brought down

the

Delaware

"

and

heavy battery.

unhappy predicament there was no course remaining but

not long

field-pieces

the luckless

river-bank, until

commanded by

saw themselves

Americans

to

The enemy was

tide.

In

this

to strike their

flag.

Though the
controlled

British

had

held powerful positions at


river.

possession

of

Philadelphia,

and

virtually

the navigation of the river at that point, the Americans

Against

Red Bank and

the former post

the

at

British

still

Fort Mifflin, lower down the


sent

an unsuccessful land

expedition of Hessians, but against Fort Mifflin a naval expedition was

despatched.

Fort Mifflin was built on a low marshy island near the mouth of the
Schuylkill.

made

it

Its

very situation, surrounded as

impregnable to any land attack.

it

was by mud and water,

While the

fort itself

was a

fairly

strong earthwork, laid out upon approved principles of engineering,


outer works of defence added greatly to
of the river

its

strength.

its

In the main channels

were sunk heavy, sharp-pointed chevaiix dc frise, or submarine

palisades, with sharp points extending just above the surface of the water.

BLUE-JACKETS OF

178

In addition to this obstacle, the

enemy advancing by water upon the

would have to meet the American

fort

which, though composed of small

flotilla,

was large enough to prove very annoying to an enemy.

only,

craft

this

'76.

flotilla

were thirteen

the rest with varying weight of ordnance


carrying a four-pounder

In

one carrying a thirty-two pounder, and

galleys,

twenty-six half-galleys, each

two xebecs, each with two twenty-four-pounders

in

the bow, two eighteen-pounders in the stern, and four nine-pounders in the
waist

two

brig-galley,

one schooner-galley, one

floating batteries, fourteen fire-ships,

one provincial

and the brig "Andrea Doria."

ship,

small naval force that the British had to overcome

mud

ramparts and bastions of Fort

before

was no

It

attacking the

Mifflin.

Against this armament the British brought a number of vessels, with

The battle was begun late in the


The attack of the Hessians upon

the "Augusta," sixty-four, in the lead.

afternoon of the 22d of October, 1777.

Red Bank, and

the American fortifications at

between the British and American


were beaten back with heavy
fire

upon them from the

that night,

the "

owing

loss,

river.

some

The

to the darkness.

Augusta," and

the opening of the action

were simultaneous.

fleets,

of the

American

The Hessians
vessels opening

naval battle lasted but a short time

When

the battle ended for the night,

the " Merlin," sloop-of-war,

were

left

hard and fast

aground.

The next morning the

British

Yankee

flotilla

and they now brought up re-inforcements,

in the

skirmish of the night before had

was no mean adversary


shape of the

"

Roebuck

shown them

American

became

flotilla

" Isis "

forty-four,

"

No

two, and " Liverpool " twenty-eight.

come within range than

heavy

was prompt

to

fire

that the

thirty-two, " Pearl "

ships, their well-tarred spars

was opened upon the

and

and rigging blazing

fiercely,

sent

Thereupon the Americans, seeing that they could not


changed their plan

of

action.

Any

fire-

down among

danger.

activity of

huge

the British sailors warded

But the

their fire-ships,

The

fort.

answer the challenge, and soon the action

enemy.

skill

thirty-

sooner had the British squadron

Time and time again the Americans

general.

The

advanced again to the attack.

off

rely

one of the

the
this

upon

British

Page 179. Blue Jackets of

'76-

FIRE SHIPS.

BLUE-JACKETS OF
vessels

was more than a match

Yankees saw they must

for the

American

largest

upon force

rely

181

'76.

numbers.

of

plied

galleys

needed, and

to

and

vessels

was

began

show the

to

in flames,

owing

spread

where
itself.

upon the

effects of the

American

lending

rapidly.

the

British

their

Despite the efforts of her crew,

fire.

Seeing no

But the other

fleet.

"Augusta" drawing

of

The "Augusta"

fire.

chance

save the vessel,

to

crew abandoned her, and sought to gain the protection


of

All

British.

some pressed hay that had been packed upon

to

her quarter having been set on


the flames

aid

tell

This course of action soon began to

while the

opportunity offered

the battle,

in

fro

blow wherever the

striking

the

Accordingly their

enemy

larger vessels were each assigned to attack one of the


swift-sailing

so

craft,

closer

ships, seeing

the

the

other vessels,

of

on the

flames

and closer to the magazine, and knowing that

her explosion in that narrow and crowded channel would work dreadful

damage among them, determined


Mifflin,

was

and withdrew.

fired,

to

abandon

the

and the British

fled.

As

upon

attack

The "Merlin," which was hard and

fast

they turned their ships' prows down

"Augusta"

the Delaware, the dull sullen roar of an explosion told that the

had met her end.

Soon

after the

Fort

aground,

"Merlin" blew

and the defeat of

up,

the British was complete.


But, though worsted in this attack upon Fort Mifflin, the British did

not

wholly abandon

repulse, they

their

designs

upon

began their preparations

for

second attack.

were

built,

ready, and

range of Fort

and towed into position.

By

the

Floating batteries

Mififlin.

loth of

November

all

was

After two days of ceaseless bombardment, the garrison

was forced

to surrender.

Since the

fall

of

Fort Mifflin gave

the control of the Delaware to the British, the Americans

put the torch to the


the

This time

upon that day a tremendous cannonade was opened upon the

American works.
of the fort

of land within

their

Batteries were built

they did not propose to rely upon men-of-war alone.

upon every point

upon

Immediately

it.

" Hornet "

ten

"Andrea Doria"

fourteen, the

"Wasp"

while the galleys skulked away along

coast, in search of places of retreat.

immediately
eight,

the

and

Jersey-

BLUE-JACKETS OF

82

While the Yankee

'76.

on river and harbor duty were thus getting

tars

their share of fighting, there was plenty of daring

One

the high seas.


of

work being done on

the most important cruises of the year was that

of

the "Raleigh" and the

The "Raleigh" was one of the


With her
1775.
American coast in the summer of

"Alfred."

twelve-pounder frigates built under the naval Act of


consort the "Alfred," she

bound

1777,

France,

for

left

the

search

in

of

naval

awaiting transportation to the United States.

stores

were

that

there

Both vessels were short-

lianded.

On

2d of September the two vessels overhauled and captured

the
"

the snow

Nancy," from England, bound for the West

captain reported that he

had

sailed

of sixty merchantmen, under the

Her

Indies.

from the West Indies with a

convoy

of

small

four

fleet

men-of-war, the

The

"Camel," the "Druid," the "Weasel," and the "Grasshopper."

"Nancy" had

poor sailing qualities of the

and the

fleet

was then about a day

Crowding on

From

pursuit.

captain

" Raleigh " had obtained

The

exchanged

signals, as

They hung about the


the night should
out the chief

But

fall,

armed

outskirts
to

so that

At

the

"Nancy"

Capt.

make

hot

of

the

made

out

and

Indiamen.

of

the " Raleigh "

and the

of

when

the fleet until dark, planning,

a dash into the enemy's midst, and cut

wind changed, so that the plan

the " Raleigh,"

crowding on more
fleet.

Americans

of the

wind veered round and


sail,

The "Alfred,"

unable to carry so great a spread of canvas, was

The

in

set

though they were part of the convoy.

daylight, however, the

very centre of the enemy's

" Raleigh "

out

Thompson

vessel.

at nightfall the

was defeated.

her.

the signals in use in the fleet

next morning the fleet was

" Alfred "

ened,

all

of

advance of

two American ships

the

canvas,

all

the

in

forced her to drop behind,

was soon

freshin

left

behind

the

being

unfortunately,

and the

remained to carry out alone her daring adventure.

" Raleigh " boldly steered straight into the midst

of

merchantmen, exchanging signals with some, and hailing

the

British

others.

Her

ports were lowered, and her guns on deck housed, so that there appeared

BLUE-JACKETS OF

'76.

83

Having cruised about

about her nothing to indicate her true character.

amid the merchantmen, she drew up alongside the nearest man-of-war,

and when within

suddenly ran up her

pistol-shot,

ports, and commanded the enemy

Her

All was confusion on board the British vessel.


for a

own

moment suspected

threw open her

flag,

to strike.
officers

had never

the "Raleigh" of being other than one of their

While they stood aghast, not even keeping the vessel on her

fleet.

" Raleigh "

course,

the

faintly

with

poured

few guns.

in

The

broadside.

Deliberately the

Americans

The enemy were

broadside, which did great execution.

responded

British
let

fly

another

driven from their

guns, but doggedly refused to strike, holding out, doubtless, in the hope
that the cannonade might draw to their assistance

ships accompanying the

While the unequal combat was raging, a heavy

The

the water.

by the thunders

When

of the other

squall

came rushing over

cannonade could the other vessels

tell

that a battle

in their midst.

merchantmen were seen

the squall had passed by, the affrighted

scudding in every direction,

some rapacious shark

like a school of flying-fish into

or dolphin

intruded

has

himself.

men-of-war, with several armed West-Indiamen in

bearing

armed

driving sheets of rain shut in the combatants, and only


of the

was being fought

some

fleet.

down upon

whose midst

But the three

their wake,

were

fast

the combatants, with the obvious intention of rescuing

their comrade, and punishing the audacious Yankee,

The odds

against

adversary until

Thompson were

the last

possible

too great

and after staying by his

moment, and pouring broadside

after

broadside into her, he abandoned the fight and rejoined the "Alfred."

The two

hung on the

ships

of enticing

two

flanks of the fleet for

some

days, in the hopes

of the men-of-war out to join in battle.

But

all

was

to

no

avail,

and the Americans were forced to content themselves with the scant

glory

won

proved

to

in

the incomplete action

of

the

" Raleigh."

Her adversary

be the " Druid," twenty, which suffered severely from the

"Raleigh's" repeated broadsides, having

six killed,

and twenty-six wounded;

of the wounded, five died immediately after the battle.

BLUE-JACKETS OF

84

'76.

was during the year 1777 that occurred the first attempt to use
gunpowder in the shape of a submarine torpedo. This device, which to-day
It

threatens

overturn

to

all

established

ideas

of

organization

naval

and

mechanic named David

architecture, originated with a clever Connecticut

His invention covered not only submarine torpedoes, to be

Bushnell.

launched against a vessel, but a submarine boat in which an adventurous


navigator might undertake to go beneath the hull of a man-of-war, and affix

This boat in shape was

the torpedoes, so that failure should be impossible.

unlike a turtle.

not

system of valves, air-pumps, and ballast enabled

the operator to ascend or descend in the water at

means

afforded

will.

screw-propeller

and phosphorescent gauges and compasses

of propulsion,

enabled him to steer with some accuracy.


Preliminary

tests

made with

this

craft

were uniformly successful.

After a skilled operator had been obtained, the boat perfectly discharged
But, as

the duties required of her.


action

for

inventor

came she

tell

the story in his

who appeared

to

own

to

emergency.

the

my

an operator to

be more expert than the

rest,

and attempted to

fix

the

wooden screw

as he supposes, a bar of iron, which passes


is

spiked under the ship's quarter.

to

management

another place, he

lost

time, he

the

a few inches, which

have no doubt he would have

the screw

fixed

or,

if

it.

the ship were

But not being

attempting to move to

After seeking her in vain

rowed some distance, and rose

sent one,

from the rudder hinge, and

of the vessel, in

ship.

her bottom, but struck,

sheathed with copper, he might easily have pierced


well skilled in the

wish,

New York, to a
He went under the

Had he moved

he might have done without rowing,

found wood where he might have

her

from

fifty-gun ship, lying not far from Governor's Island.


ship,

Let

words:

find

to

when the time

so often the case,

inadequate

proved

"After various attempts

is

to the surface of

for

some

the water, but

found daylight had advanced so far that he durst not renew the attempt.

He
of

says that he could easily have fastened the magazine under the stern

the ship above water, as he rowed up to the stern and touched

before

he descended.

Had he

fastened

it

there,

the

explosion

of

it

BLUE-JACKETS OF
and

hundred

pounds

fifty

magazine) must have been

New

to

the ship.

fatal to

enemy on the

danger he feared, he cast


in the swell,

been cast
it

quantity

(the

contained

the

in

In his return from the ship

York, he passed near Governor's Island, and thought he was

discovered by the

him

powder

of

185

'76.

Being

island.

the magazine, as

off

haste to avoid the

in

he imagined

which was very considerable.

retarded

it

After the magazine had

one hour, the time the internal apparatus was set to

off

run,,

blew up with great violence.

"Afterwards there were two attempts made


the city

but they effected

mentioned person.

nothing.

ran so strong,

bottom,

that,

and sunk

So

it

it

of

human
boat,

When

her.

he at length found her, the

he descended under water, for the ship's

Soon

after

enemy went up the

the

this,

with their shot."

appears, that, so far as

Bushnell's great invention

end.

afore-

and pursued the boat which had the submarine vessel on board,

river,

first

as

swept him away.

it

them was by the

of

In going toward the ship, he lost sight of her, and

went a great distance beyond


tide

One

Hudson's River, above

in

a long line
life,

of

came

this

submarine vessel was concerned,

to naught.

And, indeed,

was but the

it

experiments which have been terribly costly

In every war there comss forward the inventor with the submarine

and he always

the floating

coffin.

finds a

few brave men ready to

Somewhere

their lives

risk

Harbor to-day

Charleston

in

lies

are

claimed to
it

is

to-day

make

doubtful

several

the port during the

types

practicable

whether any

the
of

of

civil

submarine boat,

navigation

of

them are much

And

war.

each

of

the ocean's
safer

than

in

sub-

marine boat, enclosing the skeletons of eight men, who went out in
to break the blockade of

there

in

and which as yet have not been brought to a successful

it

although

which

is

depths, yet

Bushnell's

primitive "turtle."

But Bushnell's experiments

in

torpedo warfare were not confined to

attempts to destroy hostile vessels by means of his submarine vessel.

He made

several

attacks

upon the enemy by means

pedoes, none of which met with complete success.

One

of

automatic

tor-

of these attacks.

BLUE-JACKETS OF

86

made

at

which

is

It

December,

Philadelphia in

was

time when the Delaware was

at a

upon

adrift

set

upon

contact

started on

their

voyage

under cover

of

was the wonder

of

broad bosom

the

of

of

small

The kegs were

them.

explode

reaching the

British

darkness, they arrived early in the morning.

Great

they had to travel

distance

number

tide

But Bushnell had miscalculated the

night.

at

with British shipping,

provided with percussion apparatus, so

any object would

with

filled

swift-flowing

its

kegs, filled with gunpowder, and

fleet

furnished the incident

founded the well-known ballad of the "Battle of the Kegs."

that Bushnell

that

1777,

'76.

so

the British

sentries,

river dotted with

the satirical ballad describes

it,

instead

that,

of

on ship and shore, to see the

floating

kegs.

As

the author of

" 'Twas early day, as poets say.


Just as the sun

As

the sun a-rising.

amaze he stood

in

rising;

on a log of wood

soldier stood

And saw

was

to gaze

(The truth can't be denied,

He

spied a score of kegs, or more,

Come

floating

The

d his eyes
said,

'

Some

These kegs, I'm


Packed up

And

they've

In this

curiosity of

when one

the tide,

sir.

strange appearance viewing.

Then

The

down

sailor, too, in jerkin blue.

First d

to alarm,

sir),

in great surprise,

mischief's brewing.'

told, the rebels hold,

like pickled herring

come down

new way

to attack the

town

of ferrying."

the British at this inexplicable spectacle gave place


of

the kegs, being picked

up,

blew up a boat, and

BLUE-JACKETS OF
seriously injured the
closely.

small

man whose

him

curiosity had led

Half panic-stricken, the

and

187

'76.

got

British

out

examine

to

their

too

it

and

guns, great

day every small object on the Delaware was the target

all

for a lively fusillade.

"The cannons roar from


The small arms loud

shore to shore,
did rattle.

Since wars began, I'm sure no

man

E'er saw so strange a battle.

The

fish

swam

below

and

to

fro,

Attacked from every quarter.


'

Why

sure

'Mong

But

in

the

end

ammunition stores

(thought they),

'

folk

kegs

the

'

the devil's to pay,

"
above the water.'

by the

floated

all

of the British suffered

anchor

off

only

the

from the attack.

Another attempt was made by Bushnell


" Cerberus," lying at

and

city,

to destroy the British frigate

the Connecticut coast.

torpedo, with

the usual percussion apparatus, was drawn along the side of the frigate

by a long

line,

Three men who were on board

of

fourth was thrown high

air,

in

The

but fouled with a schooner lying astern.

occurred with frightful force, and the

into

the

explosion

schooner was wholly demolished.

her were blown to pieces

and was picked out

and a

the water

of

an almost dying condition.

These experiments

of the Connecticut

mechanic

in

the Revolutionary

war were the forerunner of a movement which took almost a hundred


years to become generally accepted.

We

have been accustomed to say

that Ericsson's armor-clad monitor revolutionized

perfection of
as

the torpedo

is

forcing the

naval warfare

armor-clad

ships

they in their day thrust aside the old wooden frigates.

nation

to-day,

seeing

how

irresistible

abandoning the construction


swift cruisers, that

of

is

cumbrous

the

power

iron-clads,

of

the

but the

into

disuse,

The wise
torpedo,

and building

is

light,

by speed and easy steering can avoid the submarine

BLUE-JACKETS OF
enemy.

And

if

chivalric warfare,

the torpedo cannot be


it

may

at

with the custom of cooping

machine guns.
better

Farragut,

least

in

said

'76.

to

be the ideal weapon of

time be credited with doing away

men up in
who hated

wrought-iron boxes, to fight with


iron-clads,

but had he foreseen their effects

torpedoes

liked

upon naval

tactics,

have hailed them as the destroyers of the iron-clad ships.

>^^.

little

he might

'A

i
Si
/

CHAPTER

XII.

l^AVAL EVENTS OF 177S. RECRUITING FOR THE NAVY. THE DESCENT UPON NEW PROVIDENCE. OPERATIONS ON THE DELAWARE. CAPT. BARRY'S EXPLOITS. DESTRUCTION
OF THE AMERICAN FRIGATES. AMERICAN REVERSES. THE CAPTURE OF THE " PIGOT."
FRENCH NAVAL EXPLOITS.

HE

year

1778

American

cause.

on

and

land,

opened

The

with

success

notable

particularly

the

prospects

brightest

the

of

the

surrender

of

the

for

American arms
Burgoyne,

had

favorably disposed France toward an alliance with the United


States

and, in

evidence

of

fact,

the

this

prowess

alliance

the

of

Furthermore, the

was soon formed.

Americans

the naval authorities to vigorous action, and

it

on

shore

had

up

stirred

was determined to make

the year 1778 a notable one upon the ocean.

Much

difficulty

on the regular

for service

every port
life

small,

was found,

cruisers.

and on them the

and

United States

at the

life

very outset, in getting


Privateers were

was

the prospects for financial


men-of-war.

Accordingly,

being

easy, discipline

men
fitted

slack,

to ship

out

in

danger to

reward far greater than on the


the

seafaring

men

as

rule

BLUE-JACKETS OF

I90

At no time

preferred to ship on the privateers.

United States has the barbaric


the navy by means

that

custom

British

the history of the

in

getting

of

force.

It

advantages have been taken of their simplicity, and some-

unfair

cases

have been

ever trod the deck of a

rare.

It

in

1777

it

own

to

Then

ships' rosters.

into

called

"Protector" during the

the

the

of

and accord.

the

fill

recruiting officers was

story of his enlistment

men have

few

say that

to

free will

was sometimes hard

the ingenuity of the

who served on

safe

is

liquor

of

United States man-of-war, as members

crew, without being there of their

But

blue-

unfortunately true

is

times they have even been shipped while under the influence
but such

for

sailors

American

of the "press-gang" been followed.

have never been impressed by

jackets

'76.

play.

Revolution

thus

sailor

the

tells

"All means were resorted to which ingenuity could devise to induce

men

to

band
and a

recruiting

of

spirit

the young.

make

flag,

the

recruiting

service

and attended by a

excite

streets, to

The

military ambition.

necessary to

bearing a

officer,

martial music, paraded the

qualifications
to

enlist.

of

thirst

officer

for glory

possessed the

appear alluring, especially

He was a jovial, good-natured fellow, of ready


When he espied any large boys among

much broad humor.

crowd around him, he would attract their attention

the

singing

idle
in

doggerel,

comical manner the following


'

by

and

wit

All you that have bad masters,

And

cannot get your due.

Come, come, my brave boys,

And

"A
ranks.

shout

My

join our ship's crew.'

and a huzza would

excitable

feelings

vous, signed the ship's papers,


estimation,

made

to

already

more than

the patriotism

of

follow,

and some would

were aroused.

repaired

to

mounted a cockade, and was,


half

sailor.

every young man,

exertions on sea or land, to free

his

join- in

the

the rendezin

my own

Appeals continued to be
to

lend

country from the

his

aid,

by

his

common enemy.

Page

191.

Blue Jackets of

'76.

RECRUITING FOR THE NAVY.

BLUE-JACKETS OF
About the

February the ship was ready

last of

was hauled

into the channel, that the

off

hundred and thirty men were


all

from that

may be more

men

easily

Upward

board.

in

secure

to

and

a trig

of

no year did they

in

1778.

mounting

vessel,

little

men.

fifty

twelve

only

But she was

seaman Capt. Rathburne, and she opened the


worthy

navy,

exploit

one of

of

This was the United States sloop-of-war " Provi-

carrying a crew of but

exploit

for the

recruits

usual the year's operations were opened by an

the smaller cruisers.


dence,"

three

of

and driven on board,

imagined than described."

thus obtained did admirable service

win more glory than

As

her crew, and

might have no oppor-

in all the various stages of intoxication,

methods adopted

But, whatever the

the

on

93.

sober tipsiness to beastly drunkenness, with an uproar and

of

clamor that

to receive

carried, dragged,

and descriptions,

kinds, ages,

sailors

run away after they were got

tunity to

'76.

command

in

and

four-pounders,

year's

daring

of a

with an

hostilities

of Paul Jones.

Off the south-eastern coast of Florida, in that archipelago or collection


of

groups of

small

island

colony.
island,

The
made

of

New

it

favorite

Here

harbor, and

place

for

in

West

the

rendezvous
is

of

little

the

naval

to-day, the

1778 the

In

coast.

British

British

of

the

lies

1778 was a small

what Nassau

on the American

Indies,

the convenient location

the

bid fair to become,

it

British naval station

as

collectively

Providence.

well-protected

Indeed,

vessels.

known

islands

chief

seaport

had a population of about one thousand people.

With

his

little

vessel,

Rathburne determined

to

and her puny battery


undertake

the

of

capture

four-pounders, Capt,
of

New

Providence.

Only the highest daring, approaching even recklessness, could have conceived

power.

such a plan.

The harbor was defended by

There was always one British

armed

town were able-bodied men, able

to

vessel,

bear arms.

Rathburne

By dash and

daring."

no mean

of the people

How,

the Yankees, with their puny force, to hope for success

answered, "

of

and often more,

Two hundred

lying at anchor under the guns of the fort.


of the

a fort

.''

then, were
Thiis

query

BLUE-JACKETS OF

194

was about eleven o'clock on the night

It

.entrance

anchor

the "Providence" cast

1778, that

to

the harbor of

New

The

side.

Yankee

cove near the

sheltered

Twenty-five

her crew

of

Fort Nassau from

land-

its

dozing at their posts were easily overpowered,

sentries

and the garrison was aroused from


of the

27th of January,

the

by a few American prisoners

kept upon the island, made a descent upon

ward

of

in

Providence.

were put ashore, and being re-enforced

'76.

blue-jackets as they

its

peaceful

slumbers by the cheers

came tumbling

over the ramparts.

in

rocket sent up from the fort announced the victory to the " Providence,"

and she came

When

in

and cast anchor near the

morning broke, the

harbor, together with

lying at anchor in the


piciously like captured

fort.

Americans saw a large sixteen-gun ship


five

American merchantmen.

The

looked sus-

that

sail

proceedings of the

night had been quietly carried on, and the crew of the armed vessel had

no reason to suspect that the condition of

changed
four

in

men

any way during the

put

off

night.

affairs

But

at

on shore had been

daybreak a boat carrying

from the shore, and made for the armed ship

the same time a flag was flung out from the

flag-staff

the

of

stripes of the

The

and

at

not

unknown

the familiar scarlet flag of Great Britain, but the almost

and

fort,

stars

United States.

sleepy sailors on the armed vessel rubbed their eyes

and while

they were staring at the strange piece of bunting, there came a hail from

a boat alongside, and an American

officer

clambered over the

curtly told the captain of the privateer that the fort

the

was

rail.

in the

hands

He
of

Americans, and called upon him to surrender his vessel forthwith.

Resistance was useless

upon the

British ship,

for the

heavy guns

of Fort

and could blow her out

Nassau were trained

of the water.

The

visitor's

arguments proved to be unanswerable; and the captain of the privateer


surrendered his vessel, which was taken possession of by the Americans
while her crew of forty-five
of the fort

parties

to be

which had so

were then sent

American

craft,

men was ordered

into confinement in

lately held captive

to the other vessels

Americans.

the dungeons

Other boarding

in the harbor,

which proved

captured by the British sloop-of-war "Grayton."

BLUE-JACKETS OF
At

sleeping town

sunrise the

the

party of

demanded the keys

too gently, and


side

the

of

harbor from

demur

inclined to

to

and

in bed,

in

reviving

and a

life,

house

the

of

the news to him none

on the opposite

For a time the governor was

Fort Nassau.

but the determined attitude of the Americans


in his

own

the city, around the harbor's edge to the

fort,

soon

house, and he

Thereupon the Americans marched through the

delivered the keys.

the

profound ignorance

of a disused fortress

persuaded him that he was a prisoner, though

of

of

down

The Americans broke

of the events of the night.

95

showed signs

audacious Yankees marched

That functionary was found

governor.

'76.

streets

spiked the guns, and

carrying with them the powder and small-arms, marched back to

Fort

Nassau.

But by

The
The

this time

streets

timid

country

it

was ten

and the whole town was aroused.

were crowded with people eagerly discussing the invasion.


ones

were busily packing up their goods to

fort

held

by the Americans.

break, Capt. Rathburne sent out a flag of


all

the inhabitants of

damage

to

New

the persons

the inhabitants

truce,

or property of

Fearing an out-

the people of the

lay

it

to

surrender,

that

come

can beat you back easily," said

a gun at us, we'll turn the guns of

officer

it.

leaped

unless

But,

when

upon the

on.

"And, by the

he.

Eternal,

if

the fort on your town, and

in ruins."

This bold defiance disconcerted the enemy


tation

island

but the hotheads, to the number of about two hundred,

summoned Rathburne

fire

to

This pacified the more temperate of

parapet, and coolly told the assailants to

you

the

making proclamation

assembled before Fort Nassau, and threatened to attack

"We

into

Providence, that the Americans would do no

compelled so to do in self-defence.

they

fly

while the braver ones were hunting for weapons, and organizing

an attack upon the

for

o'clock,

among themselves, they

About noon

that

day, the

and, after

some

consul-

dispersed.
British

sloop-of-war " Grayton "

made her

appearance, and stood boldly into the harbor where lay the "Providence."

The United

States colors were quickly hauled

down from

the fort flag-

BLUE-JACKETS OF

196

and every means was taken

staff,

officers

guns
the

conceal the

to

signalling

state

of

and shouting,

at

Yankee gunners was accurate enough


damage done her

placing several pieces

The

flag

of

of five

make

the splinters

of

The

fly.

been ascertained.

unmo-

the fort

held

blue-jackets

truce

that

Americans

would be stormed, and

hundred marched

bore the

down

laid

arms without

their

put

therein

all

and

to the fort,

summoned the garrison to


summons carried also the

battery,

artillery in

of

of

threat, that, unless the

the fort

The

sea.

on the following morning the townspeople again plucked

up courage, and to the number

surrender.

to

has, however, never

daring band

All that night the

But

of

her

Nassau opened on her as she passed, and the aim

Fort

lested.

affairs

aroused the suspicion of

last

and she hastily put about, and scudded for the open

at

exact

true

But the inhabitants along the waterside, by means

from the enemy.


constant

'76.

sword without

the

to

resistance,

mercy.

For answer

the

to

summons, the Americans

the mast, and swore that while a

By

be surrendered.

this

bold

man

them

of

defiance

nailed

colors

their

lived the fort should

to

not

they so awed the enemy that

the day passed without the expected assault

and

at night the

besiegers

returned to their homes, without having fired a shot.


All

that

night

the

" Providence " all the

morning the

prizes

Americans worked

busily,

ammunition and stores

were manned, the guns

adventurous Yankees set

sail

in triumph.

in

of

transferring

the fort
the fort

to

the

and the next

spiked, and

the

For three days they had held

possession of the island, though outnumbered tenfold by the inhabitants

they had captured large quantities of ammunition and naval stores

had freed their captured countrymen


five

they had retaken from the

captured American vessels, and in the whole

not a single man.

It

was an achievement

of

affair

they

British

they had lost

which a force

of triple the

number might have been proud.


In February, 1778, the Delaware, along the water-front of Philadelphia,

was the scene

command

of

of

Capt.

some dashing work by American


John Barry.

This

officer

was

in

sailors,

under the

command

of

the

BLUE-JACKETS OF
" Effingham,"

'76.

one of the vessels which had been trapped

sore

the

of

vessels,

had

which

disappointment to Barry, who

With the

dangers of actual battle.

was madness

think

to

taking

of

taken
longed

British

the

refuge

at

the

for

force

in

Dela-

British.

The
was

excitement

and

Philadelphia,

at

down the

frigates

the

Whitehall,

ware by the unexpected occupation of Philadelphia by the


inactivity

in

97

it

But

stream.

Barry rightly thought that what could not be done with a heavy ship

might be done with a few


Philadelphia

light boats.

was then crowded with

British

The

troops.

soldiers

were well provided with money, and, finding themselves quartered


city for the winter, led a life of
to

the

population

the

of

town made

country far and near for provisions

these

and

boats,

starvation,

to

was Barry's

Accordingly four

give

necessar)'

it

the

to

merry

the

To

city.

British

intercept

officers

one

the

of

men-of-war gave

British

and the boats were soon

down

broke, Barry was far

Opposite the

little

taste

of

were manned with well-armed crews, and with

scattering shots were fired from the shore


oars,

some

plan.

jaoats

muffled oars set out on a dark night to patrol the river,

on

draw upon the

to

was reached, and the expedition was almost past the


sentries

in

accession

great

and boats were continually plying

upon the Delaware, carrying provisions


of

The

continual gayety.

the

Philadelphia

citv,

when

the

few

alarm.

but the jackies bent to their

When

lost to sight in the darkness.

day

the river.

post held by the

American army, and

called

Fort

Penn, Barry spied a large schooner, mounting ten guns, and flying the

With her were

British flag.

Though

the enemy's forces.

Barry succeeded

in

four transport ships, loaded with forage for

sun had

the

the British suspected the presence

clambering

over

resistance.

The

rushed below.

risen,

and

it

was broad day,

running his boats alongside the schooner

the

rail,

cutlass

astonished

The

of

and

and before

any enemy, the blue-jackets were


pistol

in

hand.

Englishmen threw down

victorious

There was no
their

arms,

and

Americans battened down the hatches,

ordered the four transports to surrender,

on pain of being

fired

into,

BLUE-JACKETS OF

198
and

triumphantly

carried

all

There the hatches were removed


up

in

piers

Yankee

and, the

the

to

it

American

being drawn

sailors

When

hundred

sailors.

The next day a British


They were under full

frigate
sail,

and sloop-of-war appeared down the

and were apparently making

transports in charge of

should the

Capt. Middleton, with

enemy attempt

the ten-gun schooner, and

taking her into


not

frigate

to cut

made

shallow

them

Fearing

waters, whither

and she gained upon him so

his

expedition could he run his craft ashore and

fired

through the schooner's bottom.

cans pushed
position,

and

off

from her

let fly

side, just

them

fire

time, he took

hopes

the

River, in

the wind

favored the

only by the greatest

Two

escape.

of

the guns

few rounds of round-shot were

She sunk quickly; and the Amerias

the

of,

the

frigate

British

her broadside at her escaping

The schooner being thus disposed

to

the heavier British vessels

plans,

rapidly, that

were pointed down the main hatch, and

mean

Christiana

for the

Barry put the four

instructions

In the

out.

unluckily for

But,

follow.

his victory,

Fort

for

Penn, with the probable intention of recapturing Barry's prizes.


that he might be robbed of the fruits of

could

and

sailors

very respectable haul for a party of not more than thirty

bay.

of

all

was found that the Yankees had bagged one major, two

captains, three lieutenants, ten soldiers, and about a

marines, a

Penn.

Fort

of

Barry ordered the prisoners to come on deck.

line,

appeared,

prizes

five

'76.

swung

into

foes.

turned their atten-

British

tion to the four captured transports at Fort Penn.

Capt. Middleton and

McLane, who commanded the American

on shore, had taken

Capt.

advantage

The

battery and on the transports gave her so

fire,

She soon returned

to the attack, but

and might have been beaten

mortal

wound

hay near the

opened the attack, but the sharp-shooters

British sloop-of-war

tired.

militia

of the delay to build a battery of bales of

off,

warm

piers.

in the

a reception that she re-

was checked by the American

had

not

Middleton

received a

while standing on the battery anii cheering on his men.

Dismayed by the
transport and fled

fall

of

their

leader,

the

Americans

set

fire

to

to the woods, leaving the British masters of the

the
field.

Page

199.

Blue Jackets of

'76.

BOARDING FROM BOATS.

BLUE-JACKETS OF
Barry's

won for him the admiration of


William Howe, then commander-in-chief of the

conduct in this

friend and foe alike.

Sir

enterprise

British forces in America, offered the daring

command

guineas and the

20r

'76.

of

British

American twenty thousand

frigate,

he would desert the

if

service of the United States.


"

Not the value and command

Barry

of

the

whole

"can seduce me from the cause

in reply,

of

British

my

wrote

fleet,"

country."

After this adventure, Barry and his followers made their way through
the woods back to Whitehall, where his ship the " Effingham " was lying

Here he passed the winter

at anchor.

near

that

nearly

had

All

fled

Philadelphia, and

possession of

To run

were

place,

and privateers.

armed

dozen

At

inactivity.

in

thither for

ships,

sloops,

frigates,

when

safety

Whitehall, and

the

British

now found themselves caught

in

took
trap.

the blockade of British batteries and men-of-war at Philadelphia,

was impossible

and there was nothing to do but wait

should evacuate the

enemy

the

until

city.

But the British were

in

no haste to leave Philadelphia

and when

they did get ready to leave, they determined to destroy the American
flotilla

departing.

before

water-front

of

Accordingly

Quaker City was

the

on
alive

4th

the

with

May,

of

the

1778,

and

soldiers

citizens

watching the embarkation of the troops ordered against the American

On

forces at Whitehall.

the placid bosom

of

the Delaware floated the

schooners "Viper" and " Pembroke," the galleys " Hussar," " Cornwallis,"
" Ferret,"

Between

and

" Philadelphia,"

this fleet

four

the soldiers of the light infantry, seven


for the expedition.

fighting

and with

and

gunboats,

eighteen

flat-boats.

and the shore, boats were busily plying, carrying

It

was a holiday

flags flying,

stream, the cheers of

the

hundred

affair.

The

of

whom

British

off

were detailed
expected

little

and bands playing, the vessels started up

soldiers

on board mingling with those on the

shore,
Bristol, the

disembarked

landing-place

without

chosen, was soon

meeting with

reached

and the troops

Forming

any opposition.

column, the soldiers took up the march for Whitehall

but,

in

solid

when within

BLUE-JACKETS OF

,202

five miles of that place, a

had been warned

When

ruddy glare

"

frigates

Washington

Both were new

flames.

sky told that the Americans

set the torch to the shipping.

column entered Whitehall, the two new

the head of the British

American

in the

and had

of their coming,

'76.

"

and

"

Effingham

in

and neither had yet taken on board her

vessels,

Several other vessels were lying at the wharves

battery.

wrapped

were

"

and to these

the British set the torch, and continued their march, leaving the roaring

flames

behind them.

known

as

Creek,

Crosswise

up the Delaware,

farther

little

the large privateer

point

"Sturdy Beggar" was

The crews had

found, together with several smaller craft.

the

at

fled,

all

and

the deserted vessels met the fate of the other craft taken by the invaders.

Then

the British turned their steps homeward, and reached Philadelphia,

.after

having burned almost a score of vessels, and

not

fired

single

shot.

On

the high seas during 1778 occurred several notable naval

ments.
of

Of the more important

engage-

we have spoken in our accounts


and Paul Jones. The less important

of these

the exploits of Tucker, Biddle,

ones must be dismissed with a hasty word.


It

the

may be

Americans.

by a British
the

very

said, that, in general, the naval actions of

new

In

February of

frigate,

and the

" Raleigh " narrowly

frigate "Virginia," while beating out of


cruise,

first

ran

aground,

1778 went against

that year the "Alfred" was captured

and

was

escaped.

March,

In

Chesapeake Bay on her

captured

by

the

enemy.

In

September, the United States frigate " Raleigh," when a few days out

from Boston,

fell in

a ship-of-the-line.

with two British vessels,

the

fore-topmast
shot

in

command

of

we

Between these two vessels

raged with great fury for upwards of two hours, when the

and mizzen top-gallant-mast

away Barry attempted

enemy kept

and the other

the "Raleigh," and gallantly gave

the frigate, which was in the lead.

conflict

frigate,

Capt. Barry, whose daring exploits on the Delaware

have chronicled, was


T^attle to

one a

at a safe distance,

to

close

however

of

the

American having been


by boarding.

the

conflict

and

his consort soon

the Americans determined to seek safety in

flight.

coming

The enemy

The
up,

pursued.

-1!lue Jackk-TS of '76

THE LAST STAND.

BLUE-JACKETS OF
keeping up a rapid

fire

and the running

Finally Barry set

night.

his

to

fire

205

'76.

conflict

continued

until

mid-

and with the greater part

ship,

of

his crew escaped to the nearest land, an island near the mouth of the

The

Penobscot.

boarded

immediately

British

abandoned

the

ship,

extinguished the flames, and carried their prize away in triumph.

To
two

reverses

these

offset

and the exploits

won by an army
great honor

In

an

and

privateers

of

group together

shall

arms, there were one or

Americans, aside from those won by Paul Jones,

for the

victories

the American

to

The

in a later chapter.

officer,

who was

armed

colonial

first

vessels,

which we

these victories was

of

later transferred to the navy,

and won

in the naval service.

inlet

of

Narragansett

Newport,

near

Bay,

the

British

had

anchored a powerful floating battery, made of the dismasted hulk of the


schooner " Pigot," on which were mounted twelve eight-pounders and ten
swivel guns.

It

was about the time that the

the United States was expected to arrive

fleet sent

by France to aid

and the British had

placed in position this battery, to close the channel leading to

Major

Silas Talbot,

an army

officer

who had won renown

built

earlier in

war by a daring but unsuccessful attempt to destroy two British


in the Hudson River, by means of fire-ships, obtained permission
an expedition for the capture of the "Pigot."
picked men, he set
three

sail

three-pounders.

the night set

in,

of
full

sentinels

Accordingly, with sixty

few miles of the "Pigot," he

within

As

the "

Hawk," mounting

down and reconnoitred

he returned to the

sloop,

and

Hawk " drew

at

the battery.

once weighed anchor

near the " Pigot," the

challenged her, and receiving no reply, fired a volley

spread of canvas.

her bowsprit

to lead

When

which injured no one.

musketry,

frigates

in the sloop "

and made for the enemy.


British

On came

the

"Hawk," under

crashed through

the boarding-nettings of the " Pigot," and caught in the shrouds.

the

bowsprit, and

fast,

kedge-anchor had been lashed to the end of

and, before the British could reload, this

two vessels being

the

from Providence

landed, and, borrowing a horse, rode

When

and

Newport.

the

The

Americans, with ringing cheers, ran along

dropped on the deck

of

the "Pigot."

The

surprise

206

BLUE-JACKETS OF
The

was complete.
shirt

rushed on deck,

captain

British

'76.

and drawers, and strove manfully to

Americans, cutlass and pistol

surprised British lost heart, and fled to the

alone upon the deck.

tain found himself

to Providence, with his prize

arrival

American

greatest

this

fleet

naval

satisfaction

force

the most exact and admirable

Having done

Yankees were prone

the

all

one side or the other had to yield or

the

to

find

firing

But the French


dash

and, as

in

a battle.

to

gun.

The
Their

enemy, and pound away

in

their

and performing

preliminaries

never

sink.

somewhat weak

strong on tactics, and

allies

until

were

a result, there

not one actual combat in which they figured to be recorded.


It

was a noble

Americans,

fleet

twelve

France sent to the aid

that

ships-of-the-line

and three

Certain

almost passes imagination.

fleet,

wasted

little

time in formal evolutions.

Count d'Estaing, a French naval

officer of

year's cruise

be told
in the

New

in a

first

struggling

the

What dashing
command of such

that

is

it

But the

he accomplished during his

of

frigates.

Paul Jones would have done, had he ever enjoyed the


a

with

to disregard the nice points of naval tactics.

plan was to lay their ships alongside the

is

seemed

officers

away,

sail

cap-

him but

American waters

co-operate

to

reconnoitring,

manner

would

they

this,

for

left

importance was ever accom-

of

French

the

manoeuvring,

in

the

of prisoners.

in

1778

by France

sent

Not that any thing

forces.

by

plished

the

of

the

taffrail,

last

and soon Talbot was on his

and a shipful

But perhaps the greatest naval event of

was the

at

Nothing was

to surrender with the best grace possible

way back

hold, until

his

But as the

swarmed over the

hand,

in

only in

clad

crew.

his

rally

fleet

he would have

was commanded by

What

honorable reputation.
in

American waters, can

His intention was to trap Lord Howe's

few words.

Delaware, but he arrived too

late.

He

fleet

then followed the British to

York, but was baffled there by the fact that his vessels were too

Thence he went

heavy to cross the

bar.

ance

frightened

of

frigates,

his

fleet

and sinking two

plucked up courage,

the

sloops-of-war.

and, gathering

to

British

Newport, where the appearburning

into

Lord

together

four

Howe, hearing

all

his

ships,

of

their

of

this,

sailed

from

BLUE-JACKETS OF

New York

to

Newport, to give battle to the French.

were about equally matched.


in the

open

207

'76.

sea, off

Newport.

On

the loth of August

The two
the

For two days they kept out

each other, manoeuvring for the weather-gage

that

is,

fleets

enemies met
of

range of

the French

fleet,

being to windward of the British, strove to keep that position, while the
British endeavored to take

and when

it

a few harmless broadsides


battle

it

The

from them.

third

day a gale arose

subsided the ships were so crippled, that, after exchanging


at

long range, they withdrew, and the naval

was ended.

Such was the record

of

Certainly the Americans had


the power that had
of the seas.

for years

D'Estaing's
little

to

magnificent

learn

fleet

during

1778.

from the representatives of

contended with England for the mastery

LAST YEARS OF THE WAR. DISASTROUS EXPEDITION TO THE PENOBSCOT. WHOLESALE


CAPTURES ON THE NEWFOUNDLAND BANKS.
FRENCH SHIPS IN AMERICAN WATERS. TAKING OF CHARLESTON. THE " TRUMBULL'S "
VICTORY AND DEFEAT. CAPT. BARRY AND
THE "ALLIANCE." CLOSE OF THE WAR.

HE

year 1779

is

known

chiefly

in

American naval history

year in which Paul Jones did his

"Bon Homme

glory

were

there

States,

brilliant service in the

won by

the Americans was

Along the

gained in European waters.

chiefly

United

The

Richard."

most

as the

some dashing actions

coast

but

the

of

advantage

the

generally remained with the British.

Perhaps the most notable naval event of this year, aside from the

between

the

the expedition

sent

battle

post

at

Castine, on

"Bon Homme Richard" and


of

the banks

the Penobscot River.

of

military post, with

armed

vessels.

a garrison

of

had boasted,

of

At

New

England.

this

unim-

about a thousand men, together with

Here they might have been permitted

that, since the

was

had established a

British

peace, so far as any danger from their presence was

by the people

"Serapis,"

Massachusetts against the British

portant settlement in the wilds of Maine, the

four

the

by the State

But the sturdy

to

to

remain

in

be apprehended

citizens of

Massachusetts

evacuation of Boston, no British soldier had

dared to set foot on Massachusetts

caused the people of Boston to

soil

rise

and the news

as one man,

of

this

invasion

and demand that the

invaders should be expelled.

Accordingly a joint naval and military expedition was


authority granted by the
208

Legislature

of

the

State.

fitted out

under

Congress detailed

BLUE-JACKETS OF
the United States

"Warren," and the sloops-of-war

frigate

Bay State

were

hired,

men

seafaring

difficult to

take

all

the

on

sailors

The excitement among


Every man who had ever swung a cutlass or

anxious to accompany the expedition.

men

ship enough

applicants.

It

armed ship

the

cruisers

complete the armada.

ran high.

sighted a gun was

was

"

and twelve armed vessels belonging to private

to

Dihgence

"Tyrannicide" represented the regular naval

"Hazard," "Active," and

citizens

"

The Massachusetts

and "Providence," to head the expedition.

forces of the

209

'76.

merchantmen, who waived

all

is

navy

for the

now

it

even recorded that the

"Vengeance" included

Ordinarily

was impossible
list

of

thirty

considerations of rank, in

it

to

common

masters

of

order that they

might join the expedition.

To

co-operate with the

fleet,

a military force was

and accordingly orders were issued

hundred

for fifteen

the district of Maine to assemble at Townsend.

Punctually on the day appointed the white


ships

were seen by the militiamen

when

the

the

at

dropped anchor, and

ships

the

hundred

of

Capt. Saltonstall

the

of

sails

of

American
But

commodore went ashore

the militiamen had responded to the

was determined,

the militia of

appointed rendezvous.

with the officers of the land forces, he

consult

of

Brig.-Gen. Sullivan was

command of the land forces, while


"Warren" was made commodore of the fleet.

appointed to the
the

thought necessary

found

that

but

to

nine

Nevertheless,

call.

it

after a brief consultation, to proceed with the expedition,

despite the sadly diminished strength of the militia battalions.

On
It

the 23d of July, the fleet set

sail

was an extraordinary and impressive

from the harbor of Townsend.


spectacle.

The

shores of the

harbor were covered with unbroken forests, save at the lower end where
a

little

hamlet of scarce

to the wild scene.

dozen

cities

five

had centred

floated

forty-four

hoarse

shouts

of

hundred people gave a touch

of

civilization

But the water looked as though the commerce

vessels.

there.

The

On

the

tread

of

placid

men

bosom
about

command, the monotonous songs

creaking of cordage, and the flapping of

sails

little

bay

capstans,

the

the sailors,

the

of

the
of

of a

the

gave an unwonted turbu-

BLUE-JACKETS OF

2IO
the air which

lence

to

birds

or the

seldom bore a sound other than the voices of


blows of a woodman's axe.

occasional

war and twenty-five transports imparted


air of life

and bustle

'76.

which

to

it

Nineteen vessels-of-

to the harbor of

Townsend an

had been a stranger, and which

it

has

never since experienced.

The weather was clear, and the wind fair so that two days after
leaving Townsend the fleet appeared before the works of the enemy.
Standing on the quarter-deck of the "Warren," the commodore and the
;

general eagerly scanned the enemy's defences, and after a careful exam-

were forced

ination

no mean specimens

admit that the works they had to carry were

to

the

of

art

almost perpendicularly from

of

the

The

fortification.

water-side,

and

banks rose

river's

on

their

perched the enemy's batteries, while on a high and precipitous


a

built

or

fort

the

In

citadel.

river

were

crest
hill

was

were anchored the four armed

vessels.

Two
works

days were spent by the Americans in reconnoitring the enemy's

and on the 28th

began, under a heavy

and one

of

July the work of disembarking the

of

from the enemy's batteries.

troops

The "Warren"

the sloops-of-war endeavored to cover the landing party by

attacking the batteries

American

fire

flag-ship

and a spirited cannonade followed,

suffered

At

seriously.

last

in'

which the

the militia, together

all

with three hundred marines, were put on shore, and at once assaulted

They were opposed by about an

the batteries.
drilled

the

Scotch regulars, and the battle raged fiercely

river

directed

the

fiery

covering the advance of

fire.

More than once the curving

front

of

the

British

weeds, the forms of dead

line

of

men began

Here and
to

But the men

last,

well-

the men-of-war in

and

men rushed

well-

against

be seen.
rear,

of

there, in the grass

The

and

pitiable spectacle

began to make the pulse

of

Massachusetts, responsive to

the voices of their officers, re-formed their shattered ranks, and

again and again, until at

of

ramparts, and recoiled, shattered by the

wounded, painfully crawling to the

the bravest beat quicker.

number

the troops by a spirited

deadly volleys of the Scotch veterans.

of the

equal

charged

with a mighty cheer, they swept over the

BLUE-JACKETS OF
the

driving

ramparts,

more

fled

British

There came a

battle died away.

Americans had won the

first

Many

out.

on the

the fort

for shelter to

211

'76.

enemy surrendered
The smoke and din of

the

of
hill.

Only a short pause followed

bloody

brief respite in the

game

trick in the bloody

ing bastions of the fortress they might

enemy, safe behind

its

ficed

hurl

heavy parapets, could

ranks with a cool and deliberate

of war.

then the Americans moved upon the

But here they found themselves overmatched.

fort.

The

strife.

The

fire.

Was

more than a hundred men.

it

Against the tower-

The

themselves in vain.

mow down

had already

assailants

wise

now

their advancing
sacri-

order an assault

to

that might lead to the loss of twice that number.''

The hotheads

cried out for the immediate storming

cooler counsels prevailed, and a siege

dug, the guns in the outlying batteries were turned

New

the

Englanders sat down to wait

out, or until re-enforcements

So
each

for three

other

the

tops

to

feel

hostilities.

that

upon the

and

fort,

enemy should be

weeks the combatants rested on

over

but

Trenches were

starved

might be brought from Boston.

their

of

exchanging a shot or a casual


actual

until the

the fort

of

was decided upon.

volley,

but doing

Provisions were failing the

they were in a trap

their arms, glaring

breastworks,

and
little

British,

at

now and then


in the way of
and they began

from which they could only emerge

through a surrender, when suddenly the situation was changed, and the
fortunes of war went against the Americans.

One morning the "Tyrannicide," which was stationed on the


down the bay, was seen beating up the river, under a full press

lookout
of

sail.

Signals flying at her fore indicated that she had important news to

tell.

Her anchor had not touched the bottom before a boat pushed off from
her side, and made straight for the commodore's flagship. Reaching the
"Warren," a lieutenant clambered over the side, and saluted Commodore
Saltonstall

on the quarter-deck.

"Capt. Cathcari's compliments,


of-war

are

just

entering

'Rainbow,' forty-four."

the

bay.

sir,"

said he,

The

first

"and
one

five

British

appears

to

be

menthe

BLUE-JACKETS OF

212

Though

Here was news indeed.


were

superior in numbers, the Americans

weight of metal.

far inferior in

'76.

After a hasty consultation,

it

was

determined to abandon the siege, and retreat with troops and vessels to
the shallow waters of the Penobscot, whither the heavy men-of-war of the

enemy would be unable

hurried

did not continue long before

would overhaul the retreating

opened

fire

American

it

The

wooded shores

was returned

fire

the river.

became evident the enemy

crippling

one

and for several

of

the

hours

the

echoed and re-echoed the thunders of

the Penobscot

of

greatly

Soon he came within range, and

ships.

with his bow-guns, in the hopes of

ships.

was

which

began,

flight

enemy coming up

accelerated by the appearance of the

The chase

Accordingly the troops were

them.

follow

to

and

re-embarked,

hastily

the cannonade, as the warring fleets swept up the river.

At
that

last

for

the conviction forced

them there was no

to

find

a refuge.

carried the day for the

But

enemies.

this

When

British

were steadily gaining

which they had

of the shoal water in

would seem that a bold dash might have

It

Americans, so greatly did they outnumber their

plan

does

appear to have suggested

not

who had concentrated

Capt. Saltonstall,
to escape.

The

escape.

upon them, and there was no sign


hoped

on the minds of the Americans,

itself

all

itself

to

upon the attempt

his efforts

escape proved to be hopeless, his only thought was to

Accordingly his flagship, the "Warren," was run

destroy his vessels.


ashore, and set on

fire.

The

action of the

commodore was imitated by

the rest of the officers, and soon the banks of the river were lined with

The

blazing vessels.
into the

hands

"

Hunter," the " Hampden," and one transport

of the British.

of-war, privateers,

and transports

The

rest of the forty-nine vessels

that

made up

fell

men-

the fleet were destroyed

by flames.
It

must indeed have been a

stirring

spectacle.

Penobscot River were then a trackless wilderness


the river itself had seldom

The
the

placid

been traversed by a heavier

slender birch-bark canoe of the red

man

with shipping, the dark forests along

its

shores

craft

of

bosom

the
of

than the

yet here was this river crowded

banks lighted up by the glare

Pace

zij.

Blue

Jackets of

'7

DESTRUCTION OF THE PENOBSCOT EXPEDITION.

BLUE-JACKETS OF
of

twoscore angry

Through the thickets and underbrush

fires.

men broke

excited

their way, seeking

for a

out of range of the cannon of the enemy.


to

striving

extinguish

the day ended,

the

flames,

remained

little

215,

'76.

but

with

little

success

Massachusetts

of the great

parties of

common point of meeting,,


The British, meantime, were
and before

flotilla,

except the

three captured ships and sundry heaps of smouldering timber.

The hardships

of the soldiers

and marines who had escaped capture,

only to find themselves lost in the desolate forest, were of the severest

Separating into parties they plodded along, half-starved, with tora

kind.

and rain-soaked clothing,

and almost perishing, they

until finally, footsore

reached the border settlements, and were aided on their way to Boston.

The

was complete, and

disaster

months

for

depressing effect upon

its

American naval enterprise was observable.


In observing the course of naval events in 1779,

most effective work was done by the

the

individual States, or

by privateers.

it

cruisers

The United

is

noticeable that

sent

by the

out

States navy, proper, did

except what was done in European waters by Paul Jones.

Indeed,

along the American coast, a few cruises in which no actions of

moment

little

make up

although several prizes were taken,

occurred,

the

record of

naval activity for the year.

The
"

of

first

"

Warren,"

these

Queen

and were

Boston,

cruises

out

but

privateer of fourteen guns.

learned that a large fleet

from

New

was that made

France,"

of

a few

and

days when

From one
of

set out in pursuit,

and

off

prey,

hours.

of ten sail.

Crowding on

The pursuers chose

of the ships

guns respectively, and

all

on

all

Cape Henry overhauled the

and by sharp work succeeded

Two

They

in

the

prizes

this craft

it

was

sail,

sail,

the Americans

chase.

Two

fleets-

and one to leeward

the fleet to windward for their

capturing seven vessels in eight

were armed cruisers

ammunition, and cavalry accoutrements.

from

sailed

they captured a British

and storeships had just sailed

were sighted, one to windward numbering nine

made up

by the ships

April

of the sailors

transports

York, bound for Georgia.

in

" Ranger."

of twenty-nine

and sixteen

were heavy laden with provisions,


All were safely taken into port.

"

"

BLUE-JACKETS OF

2l6

'76.

In June, ai^other fleet of United States vessels

Boston

left

search

in

The "Queen of France" and the "Ranger" were


of
again employed; but the "Warren" remained in port, fitting out for her
Her place was taken by the
expedition to the Penobscot.
ill-fated
game.

British

" Providence," thirty-two.


of

For a time the cruisers

But one day about the middle

importance.

fell

of

as

July,

the banks of Newfoundland,

vessels lay hove to off

From

side.

gun sounded, then another

the two reports had not

heard telling the

that

But again the

in.

still

another

alike told that

Then

a bell was

then a whole chorus of

Clearly a large fleet was shut in the fog.

About eleven

o'clock

crew

morning the fog

in

the

of

the "

Queen

alongside of a large merchant-ship.

completely, ships

appeared on every side

found themselves in the midst of a

under convoy of a British

sail

them

shut

and tone and direction

come from the same cannon.

hour, another,

intense surprise the


close

Nothing was

the quarter-deck, and from the cross-trees

trate the dense curtain of gray fog

bells.

three

region of

eager eyes of the ofiQcers and seamen strove in vain to pene-

alike, the

signal

the

the

in

perpetual fog, the dull booming of a signal gun was heard.


to be seen on any

nothing

in with

sloops-of-war.

their

to

As

the fog cleared away more

fleet of

States

and

France " found themselves

and the astonished Yankees


about one hundred and

ship-of-the-line,

Luckily the United

lifted,

of

fifty

and several frigates and

vessels

had no colors

and nothing about them to betray their nationality

so Capt.

Queen " determined to try a little masquerading.


Bearing down upon the nearest merchantman, he hailed her

flying,

Rathburn

of the "

following conversation

"What
" British

you

and the

fleet is this.?"

merchantmen from Jamaica, bound

for

London.

Who

are

"His Majesty's ship 'Arethusa,'


Halifax on cruise.

"Ay,
the

ensued,

ay, sir,"

fleet."

"

answered Rathburn

Have you seen any Yankee


was the response.

privateers

boldly,

"from

.-'

"Several have been driven out of

BLUE-JACKETS OF

"Come

aboard the 'Arethusa,' then.

Soon a boat put oE from the


sea-captain

British

side

of

confidently clambered

217

'76.

wish to consult with you."

the merchantman, and a jolly

deck of the " Queen."

the

to

Great was his astonishment to be told that he was a prisoner, and to


see his boat's crew brought aboard, and their places taken by American

Back went the boat

jackies.

cans were in control of the

craft,

within

that lay almost

vessels,

to the British ship

and soon the Ameri-

without in the least alarming the other

The

hail.

"

Queen

"

then made up to

another ship, and captured her in the same manner.

But
the "

at this juncture

Commodore Whipple,

in the

"Providence," hailed

Queen," and directed Rathburn to edge out of the


men-of-war should

British

vigorously,

tested

discover

pointing out the

true

his

in the

same manner.

before the
pro-

two vessels he had captured, and

many

urging Whipple to follow his example, and capture as

he could

fleet

Rathburn

character.

vessels

as

Finally Whipple overcame his fears, and

adopted Rathburn's methods, with such success that shortly after nightfall

Americans

the

left

the

fleet,

taking with them eleven rich prizes.

Eight of these they succeeded in taking

were

sold for

more than a

safe

to

million dollars.

In May, 1779, occurred two unimportant engagements,

Hook,

in

where they

Boston,

which the United States

one

sloop " Providence,"

ten

off

Sandy

guns,

cap-

tured the British sloop "Diligent," after a brief but spirited engagement;

the second action occurred

off

St,

Kitt's,

where the United States brig

" Retaliation " successfully resisted a vigorous attack

and a

brig.

The record

the cruise of the


set sail

of

by a British cutter

the regular navy for the year closed with

United States frigates " Deane " and "Boston," that

from the Delaware

nearly three months, but

late in the

made only

summer.

They kept

the seas for

a few bloodless captures.

The next year opened with a great disaster to the American


The Count d'Estaing, after aimlessly wandering up and down the

cause.

coast

of the United States with the fleet ostensibly sent to aid the Americans,

suddenly took himself and his


Clinton soon learned

of

fleet off

to the

the departure of the

West

Indies.

Sir

Henry

French, and gathered an

BLUE-JACKETS OF

2l8
expedition

capture

the

for

Ch'nton with

five

'76.

On

Charleston.

of

the

thousand troops, and a British

Arbuthnot, appeared

off

loth

February,

of

under Admiral

fleet

Edisto Inlet, about thirty miles from Charleston,

Had he

and began leisurely preparations for an attack upon the

city.

pushed ahead and made

have met but

resistance

little

but his

assault

his

delay of

he would

once,

at

month gave the people

over a

of

Charleston time to prepare for a spirited resistance.

The approach

of

"Providence,"

"Queen

and "Notre Dame."


"

British

penned up

fleet

of France,"

"Boston," "Ranger," "Gen. Moultrie,"

These vessels took an active part


Arbuthnot's

harbor against

the

but were

fleet,

Queen," the " Gen. Moultrie," and the " Notre

in the

Charleston harbor

in

United States men-of-war and armed vessels, among them the

several

of

the

in

the defence

beaten

Dame " were

channel to obstruct the progress of the enemy

their

taken ashore, and mounted in the batteries on the sea-wall.

The

back.

then sunk

guns being

Then followed
enemy turned

days of terror for Charleston.

The

siege guns on

city,

and a constant bombardment was kept

Fort

Sumter, the batteries along the water

the

unhappy

up from the hostile

fleet.

and the ships remaining

front,

the defence was hopeless.

The

hot-shot

of

the

lasted, the

to

the Americans

city

all

parts

of

of the frigate "

consent to a surrender.

Boston

"

sent her
"

commander

in

the streets, and

While the defence

town.
it

But

and, indeed, the

sailors

So noticeable was the activity

in particular, that,

Americans could hold out but a

the

in

boldly.

by an iron cordon.

in

falling

the

men-of-war took an active part

last to

the

of

answered

was hemmed

enemy's batteries were

flames were breaking out in

were the

The

land forces

when

it

longer,

little

became evident that


Admiral Arbuthnot

a special order to surrender.

do not think much of striking

my

flag

to

your present force,"

responded bluff Samuel Tucker, who commanded the

"

Boston

"

" for I

have struck more of your flags than are now flying in this harbor."
But, despite this bold defiance, the inevitable capitulation soon followed.

Charleston

fell

into the hands of the British

and with the

three men-of-war, "Providence," "Boston," and "Ranger."

city

went the

BLUE-JACKETS OF
It

be

will

noticed

that

was the

disaster

this

219

'76.

disappearance of Count d'Estaing and the French

who calmly

of history

direct

result

To

fleet.

the

of

the

student

considers the record of our French naval allies in

the Revolution, there appears good reason to believe that their presence

Under De Grasse, the French

did us more harm than good.

good service
campaign

in

any material
States

navy,

of

suffered

many

the

to

it

on account

of

in the

The

number and

The

the enemy,

it

The United

French

alliance

France to care

result of this policy

of the

war

for

America's
falling-off

one

and though she

of
of

the exploits of which


service

active

finally fell

into

spirited

resistance.

It

British

a strange

hull

of Capt.

merchantmen bound

the hands of

was on the 2d

down

windward.

to

furled,

in

the "Trumbull."
is

The

"

West

of

order that
It is,

the lookout, Nicholson

the

stranger might

of course, obvious

a far less conspicuous object upon the

be

June,

Ocean

was then

officer.

catch

in

Immeall

sight

the
of

under bare poles

that a ship

ocean, than

"

ordered

not

to

of

Indies, sighted

Trumbull

James Nicholson, an able and plucky

diately on hearing the report

canvas

for the

we

during the

1780, that the "Trumbull," while cruising far out in the Atlantic
in the path of

command

for

was a notable

was only because the odds against her were not

overcome by the most

sail

spirit of naval actions.

ship " Trumbull," twenty-eight,

two years

be cited of

vessels in 1779 and 1780, Congress refused to

have already chronicled, saw a good deal


last

the

did

Yorktown

the

in

instance can

the American cause.

increase the navy in any way, trusting to


interests on the seas.

armies

allied

exception, no

single

rendered by

aid

indeed,

despite the loss

with

co-operation

but, with this

fleet

is

with her yards hung with vast clouds of snowy canvas.

the

same ship

But apparently

the stranger sighted the "Trumbull," and had no desire to avoid her;
for she bore
desire

to

down upon

avoid a meeting.

soon close to the stranger.

American

the

Seeing

As

this,

ship

rapidly,

and

Nicholson made

showed
sail,

no

and was

the two ships drew closer together, the

stranger showed her character by firing three guns, and hoisting the British
colors.

BLUE-JACKETS OF

2 20

an

Seeing

Nicholson

impending,

action

'76.

called

crew

his

harangued them, as was the custom before going into

manned

largely

and

It

was

battle.

She was but recently

not a promising outlook for the American ship.


out of port, and was

aft

The

by "green hands."

privateers

had so thoroughly stripped the decks of able seamen, that the "Trumbull "

had to ship men who knew not one rope from another

when the drums beat

even

said,

many

of the sailors

that,

were suffering from the landsman's

But what they lacked

With the

it,

let fly

peak,

He

set a private signal, and, as the

a broadside at one hundred yards


spirit,

terror, seasickness.

Americans did not answer

Then

the thunder of battle con-

The wind was

half.

the vessels rode on an even keel nearly abreast

yards apart.

At times

heavy broadsides rang

their yard-arms

blood.

light,

and

each other, and but

of

interlocked

and

still

the

and the flying shot crashed through beam

out,

and stanchion, striking down the men


with

The "Trumbull"

distance.

and the stars and stripes went fluttering to the

in the place of the British ensign.

decks

battle,

made up in enthusiasm.
the "Trumbull" bore down upon

tinued undiminished for two hours and a

fifty

is

in experience, they

British flag at the

responded with

peak

day of the

it

But the stranger was not to be deceived by so hackneyed

the enemy.
a device.

to quarters the

and

Twice the

enemy's guns set the " Trumbull

at

" afire,

and covering the

their guns,

wads

flying

heavy paper from

of

the

and once the British ship was

endangered by the same cause.

At

last

the

fire

of

the

enemy

slackened, and

the Americans, seeing

victory within their grasp, redoubled

their

moment one

came running

of

the gun-deck officers

efforts

but at this

to

critical

Nicholson, with

the report that the main-mast had been repeatedly hit by the enemy's
shot,

and was now

fate of

tottering.

If

the main-mast went

the "Trumbull" was sealed.

the "Trumbull" shot ahead, and was

enemy being apparently


molest her.

too

Crowding

sail

by the board, the

on the other masts,

soon out of the line of

much occupied with

Hardly had she gone the distance

her main and mizzen top-masts went by the board

of
;

his

own

fire,

injuries

musket-shot,

the
to

when

and before the nimble

BLUE-JACKETS OF

away the wreck the other spars

jackies could cut

was

left

When

but the fore-mast.

the "Trumbull"

22

'76.

followed, until nothing

the crashing and confusion was over,

and an easy prey for her

lay a pitiable wreck,

foe.

But the Briton showed a strange disinclination to take advantage

The Yankee

the opportunity.
the wreck

hopeless, resistance in case

Without

worked

sailors

mad in
make a

like

then rushed to their guns, ready to

of

even a parting shot

away

cutting

desperate,

if

But the attack never came.

an attack.

enemy

the

of

w'ent

on her course

off

before she was out of sight her main top-mast was seen to

and

showing

fall,

that she too had suffered in the action.

Not

name

months

for

of

after

crew

the

did

of

At

the vessel they had fought.

last

was a hea\y letter-of-marque, the "Watt."

"Trumbull"

the

exact weight

has never been ascertained, though Capt. Nicholson estimated

The "Trumbull" mounted

four or thirty-six guns.

captain of the

nine,
in

"Watt"

and wounded; the

killed

though two

As

of

"

the

Trumbull

"

fought

later,

his

the

"Trumbull" amounted

among the

to

thirty-

This action,

slain.

her

drawing to a

is

last

battle

under the

and as our consideration


close,

left

we may abandon
the

"Bon

scarcity of

naturally, as they

they were

There were

fifty of

Again her crew


of shipping British

these renegades in

ready for treacher}' to

There were many instances


ships

chronological

of their career.

the

crew

were ready to traitorously abandon their own

equally

being

manned

the

good seamen, and this time Nicholson

had adopted the dangerous and indefensible expedient


prisoners-of-war.

of

events of

Delaware, convoying twenty-

eight merchantmen, and accompanied by one privateer.

was weakened by the

flag

the

of

and follow Nicholson and his good ship to the end

In August, 1781, the "Trumbull"

States

The

ninety-two in

Richard" and the "Serapis."

the Revolution

sailed.

of metal
at thirty-

thirty-six guns.

have been

loss

her lieutenants were

of

United States a vear

order,

loss

it

ranked next to the famous naval duel between the

severitv,

Homme

reported

to

the

was learned that she

it

Her

learn

largely

the

flag

and

countr)',

under which

they

during the Revolution of United

by British prisoners.

Usually the

BLUE-JACKETS OF

222

'76.

Even

-crews thus obtained were treacherous and insubordinate.

been otherwise, the custom was a bad one, and repugnant

to

if

had

it

honorable

men.

So with a crew half-trained and


out

convoy a

to

cruisers

were made out astern.

and

the

darkness

but

charges,

that

"Trumbull"

set

frequented

by-

Hardly had she passed the capes when three British

British men-of-war.

in

half-disaffected, the

merchantmen through waters

of

fleet

One, a

frigate,

"Trumbull" might

the

a violent

and by ten o'clock the British

have

escaped

struck her, carrying

squall

top-mast and main-top-gallant-mast.

gave chase.

Her convoy

Night

fell,

with

her

away her

scattered in

all

fore-

directions,

had caught up with the disabled

frigate

American.

The

night was

lightning,

shattered

The storm had

left

rain

of

of the

castle,

work necessary

lights of

to clear

fitful

American ship

top hamper had fallen forward,

was jammed and torn by the

and

flashes

of

as she tossed

her in a sadly disabled condition.

cumbering up the

and so tangling the bow tackle that the

foresail

day's

squally, with bursts

which lighted up the decks

on the waves.

The

still

jibs

were

away the wreck, and the

The

useless.

There was

fore-topsail-yard.

fore-

half a

steadily advancing

the British ship told that not half an hour could be had

to

prepare for the battle.

There was no hope that resistance could be

successful, but the brave

hearts of Nicholson and his officers recoiled from the thought


striking the flag without
to beat the

the

captains

The

roll-call

that

most

officers

firing a shot.

crew to quarters
of

So the drummers were ordered

and soon, by the

light of the battle-lanterns,

the guns were calling over the names of

had proceeded but a short time when

of the British

the

renegades were absent from their stations.

and marines went below

had tainted with their mutinous

plottings,

fire.

At

put

this

The

While they were absent,

to find them.

and hid themselves deep in the hold.


and opened

sailors.

became evident

it

others of the renegades, together with about half of the crew

.up,

tamely

of

out

the

moment

whom

they

battle-lanterns,

the

enemy came

Page

223.

Blue Jacket,

THE 'TRUMBULL" AND THE

BRITISH CRUISERS.

BLUE-JACKETS OF
Determined

to

make some

defence, Nicholson

worked

jackies to the guns, and the officers

The few guns

and the " Trumbull

up,

had more than forty

due the small

The

"

merly the

Hancock

She was one


bull "

"

this

fact

is

"

Trumbull

"

was the "

Iris," for-

captured from the Americans by the " Rainbow."

of the largest of the

was one

To

and eleven wounded.

had engaged the

that

frigate

At no time

though the ship was terribly cut up, only

for,

killed,

man-of-

British

strike.

her people been at the guns.

of

loss of life

her crew were

five of

to

sailors.

and the unequal

a second

was forced

"

the few faithful

sent

by side with the

splendidly,

when

contest was maintained for over an hour,

war came

side

manned were served

that were

225

'76.

unequal, even had not so

American

The

of the smallest.

frigates, while

many elements

of

"Trum-

the

would have been

contest, therefore,

weakness contributed

to the

"Trumbull's" discomfiture.

Taking up again the thread

we

find that for three

months

of

our narrative of the events of 1780,

between the "Trumbull"

after the action

and the "Watt" there were no naval actions

moment.

of

Not

until

October did a United States vessel again knock the tompions from her

and give battle to an

guns,

"Saratoga"

that followed

One

in

fell

was

During that month the cruiser

brief,

and the triumph

broadside was fired by the " Saratoga

she threw

victory

men

fifty

aboard,

who drove

Americans were not destined

gallant
;

for, as

Saratoga

"

to

"

action

complete.

then, closing with her foe,

the
profit

enemy

But

below.

by the

intercepted them,

and recaptured

results

of

it

is

the prizes.

all

escaped capture, only to meet a sadder fate

returned to port,

for, as

supposed that she foundered with

The autumn and winter passed without any


part of the navy.
The number of the regular

cruisers

diminished, and several were kept blockaded in

home

American coast the


for the few

The

the Americans

of

the
their

they were making for the Delaware, the British seventy-

four " Intrepid "


^'

enemy.

with a hostile armed ship and two brigs.

Yankee

British cruisers fairly

ships afloat

was

to

she never

on board.

further exploits

swarmed

keep

all

The

on the

had been sadly

ports.

Along the

and the only chance

at sea as

much

as possible.

BLUE-JACKETS OF

2 26

and try to intercept

the-

'76.

enemy's privateers, transports, and merchantmen,

on their way across the ocean.


States frigate, and that one a favorite ship in the navy,

One United

was ordered abroad


brave work

February,

in

1781,

and on her voyage did some

This vessel was the " AlHance," once under

for her country.

command of the eccentric Landais, and since his dismissal commanded by Capt. John Barry, of whose plucky fight in the
"Raleigh" we have already spoken. The "Alliance" sailed from Boston,
She made the voyage
carrying an army officer on a mission to France.

the treacherous

Having landed her passenger, she

without sighting an enemy.

from rOrient, with the " Lafayette,"


together for
parted,

On

three

the

May

the 28th of

American

altered

frigate.

At dawn
two

of the-

It

heavy

privateers.

was

late

in

sail

in sight

and soon

and bore down directly upon the

course,

and darkness

the afternoon,

near enough

for their character to

in

set

be made

eyes on the "Alliance" scanned the ocean in search

all

vessels,

Over each

a bfig.

The two cruised


They then

company.

the lookout reported two

their

before the strangers were


out.

two

capturing

days,

out

" Alliance " continued her cruise alone.

and the

strangers

forty, in

set

which were then easily seen to be a sloop-of-war and


floated the British colors.

Canvas was spread on

dead calm rested upon the waters.

ships, but flapped idly against the yards.

Not the

slightest

for before the

the

The enemy had

be discerned, and none of the ships had steerage-way.


evidently determined to fight

all

motion could

sun rose red and glowing

from beneath the horizon, sweeps were seen protruding from the sides
of the

two

ships,

and they gradually began to lessen the distance between

them and the American


conflict

though

in

frigate.

calm, the

sweeps, had greatly the advantage


like

a log upon

the water.

Capt. Barry had no desire to avoid the


lighter vessels, being
of the " Alliance,"

Six hours

of

The

which could only

lie

weary work with the sweeps

passed before the enemy came near enough to

and answers were followed by the roar

manageable with

hail.

of the cannon,

The

usual questions

and the action began.

prospects for the " Alliance " were dreary indeed

for

the

enemy

BLUE-JACKETS OF
took positions on the quarters

pour in broadsides, while she


But, though

aftermost guns.

of

the helpless

ship,

and were able to

respond only with

could

the

227

'76.

few of her

looked hopeless, the Americans

case

fought on, hoping that a wind might spring up, that would give the good
ship " Alliance " at least a fighting chance.

As

Barry strode the quarter-deck, watching the progress of the

fight,

encouraging his men, and looking out anxiously for indications of a wind,
struck him

a grape-shot

He was
pain,

and the rapid flow

shoulder, and

the

in

on his feet again

an instant

in

of blood

felled

him

the

to

deck,.

and though weakened by

the.

from the wound, he remained on deck.

At
At

last,

however, he became too weak to stand, and was carried below.

this

moment

the

fire

of the

away the American

a flying shot carried

colors

"Alliance" was stopped a moment for the loading

guns, the enemy thought the victory won, and cheered

triumph was of short duration


the vanished one, and the

fire

The "Alliance" was now


enemy had told heavily upon

As

for a
of the

getting
her,

and, as
of the

But their

lustily.

new ensign soon took the place of


"Alliance" commenced again.
The fire of the
into sore straits.

and her

fire

in

had done but

return

Capt. Barry lay on his berth, enfeebled by the

little visible

damage.

pain

wound, and waiting for the surgeon's attention, a lieutenant

his

of

entered.
"

The

ship remains

unmanageable,

badly cut up, and there


board.

two

The enemy's

leaks.

wounded.

"No,

fire

is

said

sir,"

danger that the fore-top-mast

is

telling

on the

hull,

Eight or ten of the people are

Have we your consent


sir,"

"

he.

and the carpenter reports

killed,

will

and several

to striking the colors

roared out Barry, sitting bolt upright.

can't be fought without me,

The rigging is
may go by the

"And,

if

and,

when the

their dauntless

story

ay, that

we

will!

became

commander.

"We'll stand by the old man, lads," said one of the petty

"Ay,

this ship

be carried on deck."

The lieutenant returned with his report


known to the crew, the jackies cheered for

hearty response.

officers

"

officers.

We'll stick to him right manfully," was the

BLUE-JACKETS OF

28
But now

began

affairs

'76.

more hopeful

to look

Far

for the "Alliance."

away a gentle rippling of the water rapidly approaching the ship gave

The quick eye

promise of wind.

"A

breeze, a breeze!" he cried;

sprang to their stations

coming

at

the helmsman

the

of

arrived, the idly flapping sails

felt

ripple

ship

the

blue-jackets,

of

crashing into the

was

in

side

the nearest

of

were

they

match

no

on deck, with

his

first

British

wound

broadside went

effective

After

vessel.

that,

the

nearly beaten the "Alliance"

when
but when

her

for

Their resistance was plucky

manoeuvre.

swung

keeled over to leeward, then

Though the enemy had

short.

calm,

the

out,

filled

the water alongside gladdened the

around responsive to her helm, and the

conflict

advantage of the

the responsive pressure of the water as he leaned

upon the wheel, the gentle


ears

it.

and the jackies took up the shout, and

the ropes, ready to take

Soon the breeze

gust.

an old boatswain caught sight of

of

was

she

able

to

Barry came

Capt.

dressed, he was just in time to see the flags of

both vessels come fluttering to the deck.

The two

proved

prizes

" Trepassy " fourteen.

a loss of forty-one

to

be

"Atlanta"

the

men

in killed

and wounded.

As

with

cartel

all

the

of

"

On

prisoners.
;

was already crowded with


" Trepassy,"

the

and sent to Boston

the

the "Alliance" were

the capture of the two vessels

threw about two hundred prisoners into the hands

made

and

Both were badly cut up, and together had suffered

eleven dead, and twenty-one wounded.

and as the " Alliance

sixteen,

of

the Americans,

captives, Capt. Barry

and sent her into an English port

The "Atlanta" he manned with

but she

unluckily

fell

in

prize

crew,

with a British cruiser in

Massachusetts Bay, and was retaken.

Once more

before

the

cessation of hostilities between Great Britain

and the United States threw her out

of

commission, did the "Alliance"

exchange shots with a hostile man-of-war.


noble

frigate

was

engaged

in

She had under convoy a vessel loaded with


hardly

left

Havana when some

them, and gave chase.

It

was

in

of

supplies,

the enemy's

While the chase was

when the
West Indies.

1782,

bringing specie from the

and the two had

ships

caught sight of

in progress, a fifty-gun ship

BLUE-JACKETS OF

and was soon made out to be a French

hove

in sight,

that

he had an

ally

leading vessel, and

now wore

hand, Barry

at

action

spirited

made no

Irritated

by the

Barry

bore

consorts,

the enemy, finding

and Barry, seeing that

sign of coming to his aid, drew

failure

the French frigate to

of

down upon her and

hailed.

FeeHng

frigate.

and attacked the

ship,

followed, until

himself hard pressed, signalled for his

the French ship

ance,

229

'76.

off.

come

The

to his assist-

French

captain

declared that the manoeuvres of the " Alliance " and her antagonist had

made him suspect


into the

power

that

the engagement was

of the British fleet.

He

only a trick to draw him

had feared that the "Alliance"

had been captured, and was being used as a decoy

but

now

matter was made clear to him, he would join the "Alliance"


of the

enemy.

slow a

sailer,

This he did

but Barry soon found that the

that the "Alliance" might catch

that

in

fifty

the

pursuit

was so

up with the British

fleet,

and be knocked to pieces by their guns, before the Frenchman could


get within range.

renewed

man

Accordingly he abandoned the chase

homeward

his

travelling in

course.

Some

Europe met the

disgust,

and

years later, an American gentle-

British

the frigate which Barry had engaged.

declared that

in

naval

This

ofificer

officer,

who commanded

then a vice-admiral,

he had never before seen a ship so ably fought as was

the "Alliance," and acknowledged that the presence of his consorts alone

saved him a drubbing.

This engagement was the


Revolution, and with
of the regular

cause

alone

we

it

last

navy during that war.


remains

to

fought by the "Alliance" during the

practically complete our narrative of the

be

One

mentioned.

slight disaster to the

The

" Confederacy,"

American
a

thirty-

two-gun frigate built in 1778, was captured by the enemy in 1781.

was an unlucky

ship,

having been totally dismasted on her

work

first

She

cruise,

and captured by an overwhelming force on her second.

Though

this

chapter completes the story of the regular navy during

many important naval events to be described


The work of the ships fitted out by Congress

the Revolution, there remain


in

an ensuing chapter.

was aided greatly by the armed cruisers furnished by individual

States,

BLUE-JACKETS OF

230

Some of the
maritime hostilities we shall

and

privateers.

'76.

of

1812 and

trivial as

86 1,

And

describe in the next chapter.

story of the United States navy, as told in these

a record of events

some desultory

exploits of these crafts and

the

if

few chapters, seems

compared with the gigantic naval struggles

must be remembered that not only were naval

it

architecture and ordnance in their infancy in 1776, but that the country

was young, and

young

try,

as

its

it

sailors

unused

to the

ways

was, produced Paul Jones

But that coun-

of war.

and

it

to

is

be questioned

whether any naval war since has brought forth a braver or nobler naval
officer,

The
nation

or one
result

more
of

skilled in the handling of a single ship-of-war.

the war of the

was created by

it.

These pages

readers that to the navy was due

And
to

if

to-day, in its

throw

Paul

off

Jones

the

and

is

will

known

to

perhaps

somewhat the creation

all.

convince
of that

new
their

nation.

power and might, the United States seems inclined

navy and
his

Revolution

belittle

colleagues

enthusiasm over the triumphs

be

its

importance,

conjured

of the stars

and

up,

let

to

stripes

the

memory

awaken

the

of

old

upon the waves.

^r^

CHAPTER

-'

ff

XIV.

PRIVATEERS. THE "GEN. HANCOCK" AND THE " LEVANT." EXPLOITS OF


THE "PICKERING." THE " REVENGE." THE "HOLKAR," THE "CONGRESS" AND THE
"SAVAGE." THE " HYDER ALI " AND THE "GEN. MONK." THE WHALE-BOAT HOSTILITIES. THE OLD JERSEY PRISON-SHIP.

WORK OF THE

CHRONICLE

myriad exploits and experiences of the

in full the

privateers and

armed

cruisers in the service of individual states

during the Revolution, would require a volume thrice the size of

Moreover,

this.

it

is

difficult

and well-nigh impossible

authentic information regarding the movements of this


craft.
An immense number of anecdotes
some few such narratives will be repeated

of their

class

prowess

in this chapter

is
;

to obtain
of

armed

current, and

but, as a rule,

they are based only upon tradition, or the imperfect and often incorrect
reports in the newspapers of the day.

The

loss

inflicted

privateers was

upon Great Britain by the

colossal.

For the

first

activity of

year of the war the

American

Continental

Congress was unwilling to take so belligerent a step as to encourage


privateering; but, in the

and

reprisal

privateering.

summer

was begun, and

The ocean

of 1776, the issuing of letters of

in a short

fairly

time

all

New

marque

England had gone

to

swarmed with trim Yankee schooners and

BLUE-JACKETS OF

232
brigs,

and

in the

'76.

two years that followed nearly eight hundred merchantmen

were taken.
Discipline on the privateers was lax, and the profits of a successful

were enormous.

cruise

on her

construction

Often a new speedy craft paid her whole cost of

first

cruise.

the close of such a cruise

soon as they got ashore.

fly as

squander

the

all

The

sailors fairly revelled in

made

and, like true jack-tars, they

few days would generally

earnings of a two-months'

cruise

money at
money

their

suffice

and, penniless

to

but

happy. Jack would ship for another bout with fortune.

volume could be written dealing with the exploits

but for our purpose a few instances of their dash and

Though

of the privateers,

spirit wall

be enough.

the purpose of the privateers was purely mercenary, their chief

end and aim being to capture defenceless merchantmen, yet they were
always ready to fight

when

fighting

was necessary, and more than once

made a good showing against stronger and better disciplined naval forces.
In many cases audacity and dash more than made up for the lack of
strength.

In 1777 two American privateers


captures, and sending their prizes into

hung about the


French

Jones were equalled by these irregular cruisers.

need
at

of

provisions, put into the

little

Irish

British Isles,

The

ports.

port

One
of

of

making

exploits of Paul

them, being in

Beerhaven, and lay

anchor for ten hours, while her crew scoured the town in search of

needed

the

stores.

Island of Guernsey.

upon

her,

A second privateer boldly entered a harbor on


A castle at the entrance of the harbor opened

whereupon she came about, and, keeping out

castle guns, captured a large brig that

night

fell,

the

was making

of

for the

the
fire

range of the
port.

When

privateer sent a boat's crew ashore, and took captive two

officers of the local militia.

In 1778 occurred an action between a private


frigate,

in

September

which the privateer was signally


of

that

year, the " Gen.

and manned privateer,


two guns.

The

"

fell in

Hancock

armed ship and

successful.

Hancock," a

On

a British

the 19th of

stout-built, well

armed

with the "Levant," a British frigate of thirty"

made no attempt

to

avoid a conflict, and

BLUE-JACKETS OF

'76.

23;

opened with a broadside without answering the enemy's

was stubbornly contested upon both


the captain of the

Have you

" No.

Two

cannon.

struck

Fire away,"

"

ship.

he shouted.

came the response

ball struck Capt.

few minutes

later

Stifling

lieutenant took

first

Where

men on

command

human

flesh

began to

fall

upon the decks.


for

their

two before, was now a

The

the waves.

surface

around was strewn with wreckage, and here and there

could be seen struggling for


it,

the

and pieces of timber, cordage,

shattered, blackened hulk fast sinking beneath

been to destroy

neck,
of

the American ship to the deck.

she had floated a minute or

of the sea for yards

men

" in the

Hancock

smoke cleared away, the Americans looked eagerly

the

enemy.

bits of

of the "

Hardy

smoke darkened the atmosphere

and even horribly torn

When

through the roar of the

faintly

there arose a deafening roar and blinding

a terrific shock threw the

fighting,,

through the smoke, saw that the

his adversary.

and he was carried below, while the

flash

action

hours longer the combat raged, with the ships lying yard-arm

to yard-arm.

After an hour of

sides.

ship, peering

waved above

colors no longer

"

Yankee

The

hail.

As

life.

ready to save

as they had

life

the Americans lowered their boats and pulled about,

picking up the survivors of the explosion.

The boatswain

of the ill-fated

ship and seventeen of the crew were thus saved, but more than fourscore

brave fellows went down with her.

damaged not

The American

war met defeat

at the

guns

sloop-of-war fourteen; the

stars

and

was

all

of a

Yankee

in

privateer.

which a British man-of-

The

" Hinchinbrooke,"

"York," tender twelve; and the "Enterprise,"

struck their colors to

private

armed

vessels

flying

the

stripes.

By 1778
number.

herself

a little by the violence of the explosion.

This was not the only case during this year

ten guns,

vessel

the privateers under the British flag were afloat in no small

America had no commerce on which they might

they looked forward only to recapturing those British vessels

been taken by Yankee privateers and sent homeward.


British vessels should

prey,

and

that

had

That so many

have found profitable employment in

this pursuit,

234

BLUE-JACKETS OF

in

is

itself

armed

a speaking tribute to

'76.

the activity of the American private

navy.

During the Revolution, as during the second war with Great Britain
1812, Salem, Mass.,

which privateers

hailed.

In

the early wars of the United States, the

all

term " Salem privateer " carried with

manned with

armed with

trade,

it

picture

of

a fleet

commanded by

a picked crew of able seamen,

who knew

skipper

in

and Baltimore, Md., were the principal points from

schooner,

a lanky

Yankee

the byways of old ocean as well as the highways


eight, four, or six pounders,

and a heavy " Long

Tom

of
"

Scores of such craft sailed from Salem during the Revolution

amidships.

and hardly a week passed without two or three returning privateers entering
the

little

port and discharging their crews, to keep the

turmoil until their prize


until

"no

One
a

shot was

of the

money was

left in

village in a

the locker."

most successful

of the

Salem privateers was the

craft carrying a battery of sixteen guns,

On

little

spent, or, to use the sailors' phrase,

and a crew

" Pickering,"

of forty-seven

men.

one cruise she fought an engagement of an hour and a half with a

British cutter of twenty guns

that he

was glad

hauled the "

fiag.

off.

and so roughly did she handle the enemy,

day or two

later,

the "Pickering" over-

Golden Eagle," a large schooner of twenty-two guns and

The

seven men.
her

to sheer

fifty-

action which followed was ended by the schooner striking

prize crew

was then put aboard the " Golden Eagle," and

she was ordered to follow

in

the

wake

of

her captor.

Three days

later

the British sloop-of-war " Achilles " hove in sight, and gave chase to the
privateer and her prize.

hauled

After a fifteen hours' chase the prize was over-

and the sloop-of-war, after taking possession

of her, continued in

pursuit of the privateer.

But while the privateersmen had preferred

to fighting while nothing

was

prize be taken from

against

them.

at stake,

them without a

they did not propose to

resistance,

Accordingly they permitted

them, and a sharp action followed.

The

let

flight

their

however great the odds

the " Achilles "

to

British tried to force the

overhaul

combat by

boarding; but the Americans, with pikes and cutlasses, drove them back to
their

own

ship.

Then

the two vessels separated, and during the rest of

Page

235.

Blub Jackets uk

'70.

WHALE BOAT

HOSTILITIES.

BLUE-JACKETS OF

237

'76.

the conflict came no nearer each other than the length of a pistol-shot.

At

they carried on a spirited cannonade for upwards of three

this distance

hours,

when

the " Achilles," concluding that she had had enough, sheered

Thereupon, the "Pickering" coolly ran back to her

off.

possession

captured

her,

of

"Achilles" had put

good

the

of

of

engaged by a large number

in with a fleet of British vessels,

fell

While

several privateers and

was

safe

felt

made

but,

to

the

that

In 1780 this vessel

there, the

sea with

to

her charges

when

was strengthened by

fleet

so that

it,

it

Accordingly the attempt was

to get to sea.

though the captains of the

fleet

and was forced to retreat up the

American

armed merchant-vessels which joined

try again

She was

of the regular navy.

Baltimore merchants to convoy a

of

merchantmen, but had hardly started

Patuxent River.

men.

fifty

was commanded by Capt. Alexander Murray

she

took

late prize,

crew

Baltimore privateers was the " Revenge,"

mounting eighteen guns, with a crew

of

and prize

lieutenant

charge of her, and continued her cruise.

in

example

the

had signed a solemn compact

fleet

to stand together in case of the danger, the sudden appearance of a fleet


of hostile

armed vessels sent

The

one brig and a schooner.


guns,

a brig

of

sixteen,

all

scurrying up the Patuxent again, except

British fleet consisted of a ship of eighteen

and three privateer schooners.

schooners to his two faithful consorts,

the two larger vessels and the flying merchantmen.


thus balked of their prey, the

Leaving the

Murray threw himself between

enemy turned

fiercely

Seeing themselves

upon the

"

but were met with so spirited a resistance, that they hauled


hour's

fighting.

The other American

vessels

Revenge,"

off after

behaved equally

well,

an

and

the discomfiture of the British was complete.


Philadelphia,
activity,

though not looked upon

furnished one privateer that

the " Holkar," sixteen


schooner of ten guns

guns.

and

in

In

May

made

April,
of the

action with a British privateer brig, the


ascertained.

Twice the Briton sheered

American; but the

"

as

a notable

she

1780,

of

privateering

record.

This was

captured

a British

same year she fought a desperate

name

off to

Holkar" pressed him

centre

of

which has never been

escape the telling

closely,

fire of

the

and only the appearance

BLUE-JACKETS OF

238
of

armed

a second British

'76.

vessel at the scene

saved the

the action

of

This battle was one of the most sanguinary

Englishman from capture.

"
ever fought by private armed vessels; for of the crew of the " Holkar

were

six

and sixteen wounded, including the

killed

enemy

lieutenant, while of the

number

there were about the same

Three months

and twenty wounded.

later this

and

captain

same privateer

first

killed

fell in

with

the British sixteen-gun cutter "Hypocrite," and captured her after a sharp
conflict.

Perhaps the most


privateers
of

audacious

privateering

"Hero," "Hope," and "Swallow,"

was

exploit

in July,

that

The

1782.

of

the

captains

these craft, meeting after an unprofitable season upon the high seas,

conceived the idea of making a descent upon the

Lunenberg, some
in discussion.

thirty-five miles

from Halifax.

not

hampered by

Privateers are

happened that early

in the

month the three

Nova Scotian town

Little time
official

privateers

of

was wasted
So

red tape.

appeared

off

it

the

harbor of the threatened town, having landed a shore party of ninety men.
Before the invaders the inhabitants retreated rapidly, making some slight
resistance.

the town.

Two
One

by British

garrisoned

block-houses,

of these fortresses the

regulars,

guarded

Americans burned, whereupon the

themselves in the second, and prepared to stand a

British

established

siege.

Luckily for the Americans, the block-house was within range of

the harbor; so that the three privateers took advantageous positions, and
fired a

few rounds of

besieged then
selves

solid shot

made haste

prisoners-of-war.

into

the enemy's wooden citadel.

to raise the white flag,

When

the

Yankee

ships

The

and surrendered themleft

the

harbor,

they

took with them a large quantity of merchandise and provisions, and a

thousand pounds sterling by way

One more
States
subject

conflict, in

ransom.

which the irregular naval forces

of

the

United

did credit to themselves, must be described before dismissing the


of

privateering.

" Savage "

was cruising

Her

of

officers

In
off

and men were

September,
the

1781,

the

southern coast of

in a particularly

British

the

United States.

good humor, and

sense of self-satisfaction; for they had just

sloop-of-war

felt

a lively

ascended the Potomac, and

BLUE-JACKETS OF
plundered Gen. Washington's estate,

an

'76.

239

exploit

which would make them

heroes in the eyes of their admiring countrymen.


Off

"

Charleston the

Savage

"

"Congress," of about the same strength as

hundred and
for her

crew was composed largely

company

of militia,

Nevertheless, the

herself,

twenty guns

and one

In one respect the "Congress" was the weaker;

men.

fifty

American privateer

encountered the

most

Yankee

whom

of

of

landsmen, and her marines were a

were

sadly afflicted with

seasickness.

rushed boldly into action, opening

craft

her bow-chasers as soon as she came within range.

fire

with

Like two savage

bull-

dogs, the two ships rushed at each other, disdaining

all

manoeuvring, and

seemingly intent only upon locking in a deadly struggle, yard-arm to yardarm.

the

At first the "Savage" won a slight advantage. Swinging across


bow of the " Congress," she raked her enemy twice. But soon the

two ships

by

lay side

and the thunder

side,

militia-marines on the " Congress " did

The

good

the ship, they poured

The

down upon

enemy

the deck of the

murderous

fire.

jackies at the great guns poured in broadsides so well directed

soon the "Savage" had not a rope

left

quarter-deck was cleared, and not a

mark

for the

that the

fire

American gunners.

with which to manage the

man was

to

the "Congress."

could no longer

action.

to

each other,

from the guns scorched the gunners on the opposite


;

showed any

that
sails.

be seen to serve as a

So near lay the two vessels

The antagonists were inextricably entangled for


"Savage" had been shot away, and had fallen
There was no
for both

Accordingly,

surrender; and the

flight for the

the mizzen-mast

the

of

weaker

When

vessel.

she

Neither vessel

ensigns had been shot away early in the

when the boatswain

fire

ship.

into the after-rigging of

surrender was her only recourse.

fight,

colors,

upon the forecastle wildly waving

his arms,

of

it

the

"

Savage

"

was

seen

was taken as an evidence

of

slackened until his voice could be heard.

"Give us quarter," he
our

Stationed in the

service.

on the forecastle, the quarter-deck, and every elevated place on

tops,

Her

cannon was constant.

of the

cried

hoarsely;

"we

are

a wreck, and

strike

flag."

The

firing

then ceased

but,

when

"
the lieutenant of the " Congress


BLUE-JACKETS OF

240

'76.

ordered a boat lowered in which to board the prize, the old boatswain came

back with the report,

"Boats

knocked to

all

pieces,

Couldn't

sir.

one

find

would

that

float."

Accordingly the two vessels had to be slowly drawn together, and the
boarding party reached the deck of the prize by clambering over a spar

When

which served as a bridge.

they reached the prize, they found her

The

decks covered with dead and wounded men.

Twenty-three

terrible.

men were

lying with

One

Throughout

this

my

my

legs,

and crying,

hands and heart are

still

whole."

sanguinary action both parties showed the

Two

courage and determination.

of the

back braced against the

his

foot of the bowsprit, cheering for the victory,

"If they have broken

On

and thirty-one wounded.

killed,

the "Congress" were thirty, killed and wounded together.

wounded Americans was found

had been

slaughter

ized regular navies in the world could not have

greatest

most perfectly organ-

vessels of the two

been better handled, nor

could they have more stubbornly contested for the victory.

armed vessels outside the

class of

very active and


forces of

in the service of the

efficient

the individual states.

fitted

out

cruisers

of

assumed the

title

providing for the

of

states,

common

own.

their

developed into a war of the

country, was the maritime

Before Congress had seen the necessity

for a naval force, several of the colonies

and

limits of the regular navy, but

first

and

had been

Even

alive to the

after

the

situation,

Revolution had

magnitude, and after the colonies had


delegated

defence, they

still

to

Congress

continued to

fit

duty

the

of

own

out their

men-of-war to protect their ports and act as convoys for their merchant
fleets.

of their

Though vessels in
home colony, yet

this service

seldom cruised far from the coast

occasionally they

met the vessels

of the

enemy,

and many sharp actions were fought by them.

Of

all

the

actions

fought

by the State

cruisers,

contested was that between the Pennsylvania cruiser "


the British sloop-of-war " Gen.

Monk."

the

most

Hyder

The "Hyder Ali" was

hotly

Ali,"

and

a merchant-

man, bought by the state just as she was about departing on a voyage to

Page

287.

Blue Jackets of

'76.

DECATUR BOARDING

TRIPOLITAN CORSAIR.

BLUE-JACKETS OF
West

the

She was

Indies.

no way calculated for a man-of-war; but the

in

need was pressing, and she was pierced


provided with a

battery

for eight

on a

ports

The command

six-pounders.

of

241

'76.

of

and

side,

vessel

this

was given to Joshua Barney, a young officer with an extensive experience


of

Yankee

privateers and British prisons, and

whose

later exploits in the

United States navy are familiar to readers of "Blue-Jackets

of

1812."

Barney's instructions were, not to go to sea, but to patrol the Delaware

River and Bay, and see that no privateer lay in wait for the merchantvessels that cleared from the port of
"

Hyder Ali

" stood

outward-bound merchantmen.

fleet

sea.

head

at the

When Cape May

winds sprang up, and the whole


weather before putting out to

In April,

Philadelphia.

down Delaware Bay

1782, the

a large fleet of

of

was reached, strong head-

anchored to await more favorable

While they

lay at anchor, the "

Hyder

Ali " sighted a trio of British vessels, two ships and a brig, rounding the
Instantly Barney signalled his convoy to trip anchor and

cape.

a signal

which was promptly obeyed by

tried to slip

the

whole

the rear, fled up the bay.

At

fleet,

The

with

save one too daring craft, that

all

round the cape, and get to

Soon

enemy.

retreat,

sea,

the

but
"

fell

into the

Hyder Ali

"

hands of the
bringing

up'

British followed in hot pursuit.

a point half-way up the bay the pursuers parted

one of the ships,

a frigate, cutting through a side channel in the hope of intercepting the


fugitives.

The

other two pursuers, a privateer brig and a sloop-of-war,

continued in the wake of the


a clipper, and soon

The

offered battle.

"Hyder

The

Ali."

came up with the American

herself

which promptly

challenge was declined by the privateer, which

a harmless broadside, and continued on up the bay.


for

brig proved

vessel,

Barney

let

fired

her pass,

he had determined to risk the dangers of an unequal combat with the

sloop-of-war.
luffed

This vessel came up rapidly

up suddenly, and

let

fly

a broadside.

and as she drew near Barney


This somewhat staggered the

enemy, who had expected only a tame surrender

and came boldly


said,

on.

"Now, when

At

this juncture

but she quickly recovered,

Barney turned to

give the word, pay no attention to

his

my

helmsman, and

order, but

put

"

BLUE-JACKETS OF

242
the helm

Pay no heed

hard-a-starboard.

'76.

command

to the actual

may

give you."

The

British vessel v^as

then within half pistol-shot, and her forward

From

guns were beginning to bear.

Barney shouted

to his

"Port your helm.

The order was

on

station

the

quarter-deck

steersman in stentorian tones,

Hard-a-port."

on board the enemy, and he prepared to

clearly heard

manoeuvre his ship accordingly.

remembered

his

his instructions

of the "

But the steersman

Hyder Ali

and before the enemy discovered the

ruse,

the American ship lay athwart the other's bow, and the bowsprit of the

enemy was caught

Hyder

All's " rigging, giving the latter a raking

Quickly the Yankee gunners seized the opportunity.

position.

away was a

miles

in the "

No

be done with expedition.

to

five

British frigate ready to rush to the assistance of her

consort, and whatever was to be done by the bold

had

Not

lads

Pennsylvania

of

cheer rose from their ranks

but

with grim determination they worked at the great guns, pouring in rapid

The

and effective broadsides.

explosions of the two batteries were

some mountain-

the deafening peals of thunder echoed and re-echoed in

Smoke

gorge.

hid the vessels from sight, and the riflemen in the

could only occasionally catch sight

enemy had twenty guns


at

the start,

and

this

of

the

to Barney's sixteen

figures
;

of

for

ceremony.

The

frigate

battle, his flag

had seen the

was bearing down upon the two antagonists.


the

name

of the captured vessel,

Barney

The

was

Half an hour
struck,

conflict

and the

There was

prize.

from

afar,

and

So without even asking

hastily threw a prize

ordered her to proceed to Philadelphia, and

tops

but he was outmanoeuvred

Americans, with lusty cheers, took possession of their

no time

the enemy.

disadvantage he never overcame.

from the time of the opening of the

like

crew aboard,

himself remained

behind to

cover the retreat.

Sone hours
sailed

healed

up
:

later,

having escaped the British

to a Philadelphia wharf.

the tattered

sails,

The

frigate, the

two vessels

scars of battle had been in no

way

the shattered hulls and bulwarks, the cordage

hanging loosely from the masts, told the story

of

battle.

The crowd

BLUE-JACKETS OF

243

'76.

that rushed to the wharf, and peered curiously about the decks of the two

saw a ghastly and horrible sight. For the battle had been as
sanguinary as it was spirited, and the dead still lay where they fell. On
vessels,

the British vessel, the " Gen. Monk," lay the

lifeless

bodies of twenty

men

while twenty-six wounded, whose blood stained the deck, lay groaning in

the cockpit below.

On

the "

Hyder Ali

were four

"

killed

and eleven

wounded.
This action, for steadiness and brilliancy, was not surpassed by any naval
duel of the war of the Revolution.

put upon a plane with those of the

navy
3.

the

it

and had not the war speedily terminated, he would have been granted

commission and a ship by the United States.

While the

chief naval events of the

heen recounted, there


.closely
of

name of Joshua Barney was


most eminent commanders in the regular
By

still

war

for*

independence have now

remain certain incidents connected more or

One

with the war on the water, which deserve a passing mention.

these

is

the curious desultory warfare carried on in and about

Harbor by fishermen and longshoremen

less

New York

in whale-boats, dories, sharpies,

and

.similar small craft.

From 1776

until the close of the war.

New York

City and the region

bordering upon the harbor were occupied by the British.

Provisions were

from Connecticut and

needed for their support, and were brought

These boats the

Jersey in small sailing craft, chiefly whale-boats.

New

patriots

often intercepted, and desperate encounters upon the water were frequent.

Nor

did the

alone.

Yankee boatmen

In the

summer

of

confine their attacks to the provision boats

1775

the

British

transport

"Blue Mountain

Valley" was captured by a band of hardy Jerseymen, who


themselves

enemy's

in the holds of four small

vessel,

when they swarmed

sail-boats

concealed

until fairly alongside the

out and drove the British from the deck

of their vessel.

Two New

Jersey fishermen,

Adam

Hyler and William Marriner, were

particularly active in this class of warfare.

Twice the

forces to capture them, and, failing in that,

burned their boats.

British sent

armed

But the

sturdy patriots were undaunted, and building new boats, waged a relentless

244

BLUE-JACKETS OF

war against the followers

of

King George.

bay was forced to pay them tribute


Yankees, were

to the

to

cause.

When

Every Tory that

of these gentry, so

homes

dead of night, and solemnly

at

the occasion offered, the two Jerseymen

Two

British corvettes

lamented when he learned of

No

narrative

without

the

of

some description

American

armed

gathered

a prey to their midnight

With one

was destroyed,

Coney Island

in

the

of

blazing vessels

Hyler

fact that

bitterly

it.

events of
of

fell

were captured by them

Bay, and burned to the water's edge.


forty thousand dollars in specie

obnoxious

their disapproval of the

in

bands, and more than one small British vessel


activity.

fished in the

and many

visited in their

show more moderation

warned

'76.

the

Revolution would

the

floating

prison-houses

complete

be

which

in

the

who fell into their hands.


"
Of these the chief one was a dismasted hulk known as the " Old Jersey
No pen
prison-ship, and moored in Wallabout Bay near New York City.
British

immured the hapless

and

soldiers

sailors

can adequately describe the horrors of this prison

from the published recollections of

but

men once imprisoned

some

extracts

her noisome

in

hold will give some idea of the miserable fate of those condemned to be

imprisoned on her.

Thomas Andros,

a sailor taken by the British with the privateer " Fair

American," writes of the "Old Jersey:" "This was an old sixty-four-gun


ship,

through age, had become unfit for further actual service.

which,

She was stripped


a French

No

fleet,

of every spar

and

her rigging.

all

her lion figure-head was taken away to repair another ship.

appearance of ornament was

and nothing remained but an old

left,

unsightly rotten hulk; and doubtless

no other ship

ever proved the means of the destruction of so

computed that no
her.

When

After a battle with

less

first

in the British

many human

beings.

became an inmate

of

amounted

this

to twelve hundred.

hundred or more sick and dying lodged


deck, where

all

It is

than eleven thousand American seamen perished in

abode

of suffering, despair,

and death, there were about four hundred prisoners on board


short time they

navy

In a short time

in the forepart of the

the prisoners were confined at night.

but in a

we had two
lower gun-

Utter derangement

Page 245. Blue Jackets of

'7"-

OLD JERSEY" PRISON

SHIP.

BLUE-JACKETS OF
was a common symptom

of yellow-fever

darkness that surrounded us

madman

down

on the upper deck

between decks),

light

There

to yourselves.
in

his

hand.'

morning, by whose side

in the

laid

In the morning the hatchways were thrown open;;

at night.

and we were allowed

through the ship with a knife

stalking

sometimes found the man a corpse


myself

to increase the horror of the

we were allowed no
Take heed

(for

the voice of warning would be heard,


is

and

247

'76.

to

ascend on the upper deck

But the

day.

all

morning -was an appalling spectacle,

at once,

all

and remain

met our view

first

object that

boat loaded with

the

in

dead bodies,

conveying them to the Long Island shore, where they were very slightly
covered."

Ebenezer Fox, another privateersman, has


dreadful

His description

prison.

prisoners were forced to subsist


"

Our

of fare

bill

the food

of

interesting:

is

was as follows

one pint

pound
a

of

and two pounds

biscuit,

pounds

half

repetition

oatmeal, and

of

of

Sunday's

of

and

flour,

fare

two

upon which the unhappy

on Sunday, one pound of

one pound of pork, and half a pint of pease


biscuit,

his recollections of this

left

Monday, one pound

two ounces
of

Friday,

of

beef

salt

ounces

butter

and

Thursday was

and

of

Tuesday, one

Wednesday, one

suet

of

Monday's

of

biscuit,

Saturday,

a
of

Tuesday's.
" If

this

had been of good quality and properly cooked, as we

food

had no labor to perform,


suffering

As

for the pork,

when

it

it

would have kept us comfortable,

but this was not the case.

we were cheated

All our food appeared to be damaged.

out of

was obtained, one would have

it

more than

half the time

judged from

its

exhibiting the consistence and appearance of variegated


it

was the

flesh

of the porpoise

as

indigestible

was the

real

and

motley hues,

fancy soap, that

or sea-hog, and had been an inhabitant

of the ocean rather than of the stye.

and, from the

from

at least

The pease were

generally damaged,

imperfect manner in which they were cooked, were about


as

grape-shot.

Goshen

'

The

and had

it

butter the

reader will not

not been for

its

to hold together the particles of the biscuit, that had

suppose

adhesive properties.

been so riddled by

BLUE-JACKETS OF

248

worms

the

considered

But

to

as

all

their attraction

we should have

cohesion,

unnecessary to prolong the painful description of the horrors

of this floating charnel house.

Its

name and record must

dark stain upon the name of England.


to

of

no desirable addition to our viands."

it

it is

lose

'76.

It

ever rest as a

seldom possible

is

in

war-time

house and care for the immense hordes of prisoners-of-war with the

same regard

War

is

for their comfort

brutal

it

is

which

such sufferings as those of the "

But

shown

is

unfeeling, and the

Old Jersey

There was no need

upon no ground.

ordinarily to convicted felons.

weaker party must always

not be part of a great nation's policy.

crowd hundreds

to

space hardly large enough for a few score.

" captives

suffer.

can be excused
of

men

into

To starve her prisoners, should


The one plea which England can

urge in extenuation of the " Old Jersey "

is

when

now

those broad principles of humanity,

that

it

had

its

day

at a

time

so generally accepted, had

not yet been applied to the rules of war.

With

this chapter

Revolution.

It

ends the narrative of the naval events of the war of the

was not a great naval war,

for the belligerent nations

But

not sufficiently well matched in naval strength.

it

were

brought forth Paul

Jones and more than one other brave and able commander.

It

established

a new flag upon the seas, a flag that has ever since held an honorable
position

among

the insignia of the foremost nations of the earth.

the war of the Revolution, as in every war in which the

And

in

United States

has taken part since, there was manifested the wonderful ability of the

American people

to

rush into a conflict half prepared, and gain daily in

strength until the cause for which they fight

was

liberty,

and

in its behalf

wore the blue jackets

of the

is

won.

In 1776 that cause

none fought more bravely than the lads who

American navy.

"^^

TTCJIT).

n2!7ElI2777S,

CHAPTER

XV.

THE NAVY DISBANDED. AGGRESSIONS OF BARBARY


CORSAIRS. A DISGRACEFUL TRIBUTE. BAINBRIDGE AND THE DEY. GEN. EATON AT TUNIS,
A SQUADRON SENT TO THE MEDITERRANEAN.
DECATUR AND THE SPANIARDS. THE "ENTERPRISE " AND THE " TRIPOLI." AMERICAN
SLAVES IN ALGIERS.

EACE
of a

having been signed with Great Britain

navy then

in existence

Partly this was due

to the disinclination of the sturdy Republicans to

establishment, either naval or military, in

same tendency

of the

American mind

peace, prepare for war,"


dissolution of the

for its maintenance.

The

states

its

The navy being

the general government.

general government, was therefore


1785 the

last-

remaining

was not enough money

funds to pay

had formed themselves into a confederacy,

but so jealously had each state guarded


to

The

But the chief reason for the

in the impossibility of collecting

was

left

keep a standing

time of peace.

to disregard the adage, " In time of

observable to-day.

is

navy lay

nucleus

in 1783, the

was disbanded.

left

frigate, the

a creation of the

without means of support

"Alliance," was

in the treasury to

power

individual rights, that no

sold

and

pay for her needed

repairs.

For eight years thereafter the nation remained without a navy.


gradually there sprung up a very considerable maritime

the flag of the

United States.

familiar sight in sea-ports as far


it

The
away

as

stars

and

might have been a meaningless

began

China and Japan.


it

But

commerce under

stripes

afforded any protection to the vessel above which

in

because there

But

to

be a

as far as

waved, that banner

bit of striped bunting.

In 1785 the

Dey

of Algiers, looking to piracy for his income, sent his piratical cruisers out

into the Atlantic to seize

upon the merchantmen

of the

new
249

nation that

BLUE-JACKETS OF

250
had no navy

'76.

Two

to enforce its authority.

vessels were captured, and

their crews sold into disgraceful slavery in Algiers.

When

the

first

Congress of

United States under the present

the

Constitution assembled, President Washington called the attention of the

law-makers to the crying need for a navy.


Portugal and Algiers

But war had

set

between

in

the Algerian corsairs were blockaded in their ports,

and American vessels were enjoying a temporary immunity from


attack.

But

Therefore Congress hesitated.


in

1793

peace was

suddenly arranged

Immediately the corsairs swarmed out

Algiers.

Sea,

piratical

between
the

of

Portugal

Mediterranean

and swooped down upon the American merchantmen.

weeks four ships were

in

and the gangs

their hands,

of

and

In a few

white slaves in

Tunis and Tripoli were re-enforced by nearly two hundred luckless Yankee

Then Congress awoke, and ordered the immediate building of


frigates.
The ships were laid down, the work was well under way,

sailors.

six

naval officers had been appointed, and every thing seemed to point to the
revival of the

and

all

American navy, when a treaty was negotiated with

Algiers,

work was stopped.

And what

a treaty

it

was

By

the

it

United States relinquished

every claim to the rights of a sovereign nation.

It

agreed to pay an

annual tribute to the piratical Dey, in consideration of his granting to

American

vessels the right of travel on the high seas.

slight delay occurred in

making the

first

payment

government presented the Barbary corsair with a

We
was

must pass

in force.

more than a

hastily over the time during

Suffice

it

to say, that

million dollars.

might have been scattered


In May, 1800,

it fell

by

it

And when some

of tribute, the

obsequious

frigate, to allay his wrath.

which

this iniquitous treaty

the United States paid the

For the same sum

Dey

his piratical establishment

like the sands of the desert.

to the lot of Capt. William Bainbridge,

commanding

the frigate "George Washington," to carry the annual tribute to Algiers.

On

arriving there he was treated with contempt by the Dey,

that

he put the "Washington"

ambassador to Constantinople.

at

"

the

who demanded

service of Algiers, to carry her

You pay me

tribute,

by which

you

BLUE-JACKETS OF

my

become
you

as

slaves," said

may

the

Dey

" I

have therefore a right to order

think proper."

Bainbridge protested, but to no

under the guns

Dey's

of the

He

avail.

had anchored his frigate

and to disobey meant capture and

castle,

Accordingly he complied, but despatched a letter to the authori-

slavery.

home, saying, "

ties at

251

'76.

tribute, unless

When

am

hope

may never

authorized to deliver

it

again be sent to Algiers with

from the mouth

our cannon."

of

Bainbridge reached the United States, after faithfully discharging

the errand of the Dey, he found that

it

was unlikely that either he or any

other officer would be forced to carry any further tribute to the Barbary
For, while the tribute paid to Algiers had

pirates.

merely changed the

attitude of that country from open hostility to contemptuous forbearance,


it

brought the other Barbary states clamoring to the United States

ha,d

Tunis and Tripoli demanded blood-money

for tribute.
its

demand by capturing

a few

and each emphasized

Yankee merchantmen, and

their

selling

crews into slavery.

The agents

or ambassadors sent by the United States to these powers

were treated with the utmost contempt


in

danger,

their

and while their

property was always considered the

politician,

Some

experiences in the land of the Bey.

Thus under the date

very pithy.
"

Some good

of

Aug.

friend had informed the

my

wanted

for the cabin of his pleasure-boat,

it

it

If

is.

house.

prey of

fair

who has

left

a record of his

11, 1799,

that

^^ wrote,

had an elegant Grecian

To-day he sent a request for

it,

now about

pretending that he

to be launched.

they have no alternative but to give

it.

They have

suffered this to

it

and

become

also.

"I2th.

So

the consuls have a good piece of furniture, or any other good

thing which strikes the Bey's fancy, he never hesitates to ask for

usance

the
sent

of the entries in his journal are

Bey

mirror in

were often

To Tunis was

Barbarian ruler to whose domain they were sent.

Gen. William Eaton, an American

lives

letter

Sent the Bey the mirror."

from Gen. Eaton to the Secretary

the capacity of the Bey.

fire in

of State,

in

the regal palace destroyed

1801, tells of
fifty

thousand

BLUE-JACKETS OF

252

The next day

stand of small-arms.

'76.

the monarch ordered Eaton to procure

from the United States ten thousand stand to help make up the

"The Bey

Eaton demurred.

loss.

did not send for you to ask your advice," said

the prime minister, " but to order you to communicate his demands to your

Government."

Eaton

protested, pointed out the fact that the United States had

still

already paid the

demands were

Bey heavy

and asked when these extortionate

tribute,

to end.

"Never," was the cool response; and the interview ended.

But by

this

time the United States authorities had perceived the error

They had

they had committed in temporizing with the Barbary powers.

quieted Algiers by the payment of a heavy tribute, and the gift of a frigate.

But this had only excited the cupidity of the other petty

demanded

of the spoils, cut

sent out

The Bashaw

like tribute.

down

cruisers

his

Tunis

states.

of Tripoli, discontented with his share

the flag-staff before the American consulate, and

to

prey upon American commerce.

Accordingly,

on the 20th of May, 1801, the Secretary of the Navy ordered a squadron
prepared to proceed to the Mediterranean, and bring the rapacious Arabs
to terms.

The

" Philadelphia," Capt. Barron

and the schooner " Enterprise,"


the fleet
timid

Commodore

vessels chosen for this service were the "President,"

Richard Dale

in

and

actually

itself

The

Lieut. -Commandant

Though

Sterrett.

was powerful, the commodore was hampered by the

vacillating

declared,

hostility.

" Essex," Capt. Bainbridge

instructions

and

he was

Congress.

of

therefore

to

War

commit

had
no

not

overt

been
act

of

vessels of the fleet were to be employed simply to convoy

American merchantmen

in

be in readiness to ward

off

and out

of

the

Mediterranean Sea, and to

any hostile action on the part of any of the

Barbary powers.

On
in the

July

shadow

the fleet entered the roadstead at Gibraltar, and anchored


of

the famous rock.

Here the Americans found two

the most rapacious of the Tripolitan corsairs lying at anchor


of twenty-six

guns under the command

of the Tripolitan

of

one a ship

admiral, and the

Page

253.

Blue

Jackets of

'

THE SQUADRON LEAVING THE MEDITERRANEAN.

BLUE-JACKETS OF

To keep an

other a brig of sixteen guns.


" Philadelphia "

the

"

Essex

"

and convoying them to

him

impolitic for

The

and the " Enterprise" made

war against the United States

to declare

desired effect was produced

for the sight of

down the harshness

more

to tone

most

extortionate tribute.

The

the American merchantmen,,


"

convince the ruler of that country that

for Algiers, to

cruise of the

of the

"Essex" was

other

to cruise along the northern

all

The "President

sea.

at Gibraltar, while the

was ordered

shore of the Mediterranean, gathering up

sail

eye on these piratical worthies,

was ordered to remain

The

vessels scattered.

255

'76.

would be

it

that

at

time.

an American frigate did

Dey's utterances, than could the

uneventful, save for a dispute between

the officers of the American man-of-war and a Spanish xebec in the roads

The

of Barcelona.

trouble arose in this wise:

" Essex,"

The

though

was perfectly appointed,

small vessel,

handsome model and appearance, and her crew was


state

possible

of

discipline

and

drilled to the highest

When

efficiency.

of

she

cast

anchor at

Barcelona, she straightway became the talk of the town, and her officers

became the
the

xebec

lions of

lying

the hour, vastly to the disgust of the Spaniards on

in

the

same

port.

Accordingly

they

took

opportunity to annoy the Americans, challenging the boats of the


as

they passed the xebec,

to Capt. Bainbridge himself.

and not scrupling to use abusive

One

night a boat, under

command

every

"Essex"
language
of Lieut.

Stephen Decatur, was brought under the guns of the xebec, and held
there while the Spaniards shouted insults from the deck above.
called for the officer in

no

command, and remonstrated with him, but receiving

satisfaction, ordered his

in the

Decatur

men

to

shove

off,

declaring he would call again

morning.

Accordingly, in the forenoon of the following day, a boat from the

"Essex," with Decatur in the stern-sheets, made for the Spanish vessel.

Coming

alongside, Decatur

had been

in

command

went on board, and asked

the night previous.

He was

who
man he

for the officer

told that the

sought had gone ashore.

"Well, then," thundered Decatur, in tones that could be heard

all

'

BLUE-JACKETS OF

256
" tell

over the vessel,

pronounces him

him that Lieut. Decatur

a cowardly scoundrel, and

And

will cut his ears off."

the frigate

'

Essex

when they meet on shore he

ship.

duel was never fought, for the

civil

authorities bestirred them-

But the matter was taken up by the United States

selves to prevent

it.

minister to Spain,

who never permitted

was made by Spain

of

having thrown this bombshell into the enemy's

camp, Decatur returned to his

The

'76.

to rest until the fullest apology

it

for the indignities to

which the American naval

officers

had been subjected.


After having collected a large number of merchantmen, and taken

them

safely out of the reach of Tripolitan cruisers, the

"Essex" showed

her colors in the chief Barbary ports, and rejoined the flagship

in

time

to return to the United States in December.

While

"Essex"

the

had

been

schooner "Enterprise" had carried

and only pitched battle

thus

This

of the year.

pacificly

employed,

little craft, after

fell

little
first

accompanying

While on the way

the "President" to Algiers, was ordered to Malta.


thither she

the

honors by fighting the

the

off

in with a polacre-rigged ship flying the Tripolitan

Closer inspection showed her to be a notorious corsair, well

known

colors.

for the

constant and merciless warfare she waged upon American merchantmen.

The

stars

and

" Enterprise "


pistol-shot.

of

peak

stripes, floating at the

alarmed the Moors, and they opened

fire

of

the American man-of-war,

without waiting for a

hail.

took up a position alongside, and at a distance of less than a

The aim

Broadside succeeded broadside in rapid succession.

the Americans was better than that of the enemy, and the

their

fire

smoke
was

The

effect

of

was observable whenever the breeze cleared away the dense

that hid the vessels from each other.

light, so that

But the ordnance of both

the combat was greatly prolonged.

The

vessels

were

almost equally matched; for the "Enterprise" carried twelve guns and
ninety men, while the Tripolitan mounted fourteen guns, and had a crew
of eighty-five

men.

For two hours the


rattle of small-arms

battle continued,

were incessant.

and the roar

of the

cannon and the

The day was calm and

clear,

with

BLUE-JACKETS OF
the

warm

still,

air prevalent in the

'76.

257

Mediterranean.

Hardly was the breeze

strong enough to carry away the sulphurous cloud of smoke that formed
the one blot on the fair surface of the fairest of

Americans noticed that the

fire

all

enemy had

of the

seas.

ceased.

At

last

the

Eagerly they

peered through the smoke, and when the outline of their adversary could

be made out, three ringing cheers told that the Tripolitan


longer in

flag

waved no

Leaving their guns, the Americans were preparing to

its place.

board the prize, when they were astonished to receive another broadside,

and see the colors

With

of their adversary again hoisted.

cries of rage the

they had fought boldly


take the prize

little to

corsairs that

manned

Yankee seamen again went

The

her, to the bottom.

exerted every energy to

to quarters

fought viciously.

and,

They

if

cared

end was to send her, and the treacherous

their chief

now

before, they

Bringing

conquer.

Tripolitans in their turn

their vessel

alongside

the

"Enterprise," they strove repeatedly to board, only to be beaten back


again and again.

Finally, after receiving

" Enterprise," she again struck her

two raking broadsides from the

flag.

This time Capt. Sterrett was in no haste to consider the combat ended.

Keeping

his

men

he ordered the Tripolitan to come under

at the guns,

But no sooner had the enemy done so

the quarter of the "Enterprise."

renewed the

she

than

conflict

the

for

third

time,

by attempting

to

board.
"

No

quarter for the treacherous

American

The

"Fight

vessel.

rest of the battle

on,

dogs,"

was then the

between wind and water

Tripolitan, that she

and by

in favor of the "Enterprise."

skilful sailing

treachery.

the cannon.

shots took

and the cry arose on the decks

of

the

The " Enterprise " kept at a safe distance,


chose her own position, so that she could pour in a
fire.

Bitterly

were the Tripolitans punished

Their decks ran red with blood, half of

were shot down, the


of

Many

Several

was sinking.

deliberate and murderous


their

the

and send them to the bottom."

was wholly

times she raked her antagonist, doing great execution.


effect

cry on

Her

cries of their
flag

wounded

was struck, but

for

their officers

rose shrill above the thunder

to

this the

American gunners

BLUE-JACKETS OF

258

The repeated

paid no heed.

minds

Yankee

the

of

'76.

treachery of the corsairs had

sailors

but one thought,

to

the bottom, and rid the ocean of so pestiferous a


But, enraged though

the)''

the

in

left

send the ship

to

craft.

were, the Americans could not wholly cast

Though they had been twice

aside their feelings of humanity.

deceived,

they could not keep up their attack upon a vessel so sorely stricken as to

be unable to respond to their

And when at last the commander


man with a flowing beard, appeared in

fire.

of the Tripolitan, a venerable old

the waist of the ship, sorely wounded, and, bowing submissively, cast the
colors

of

his

vessel

the sea,

into

ceased, although the usages of

then the

war would have

"Enterprise"

the

of

fire

justified

the Americans

in exterminating their treacherous foe.

Having captured
what

as to

to do with

him no authority

enemy, Capt. Sterrett was

his

it.

for

whose

officer of

18 1 2,"

exploits

on board the

carried

out

of her

power

David

daring

naval

we have

throw overboard

their sails to pieces

throw

all

nautical expression, " strip the

small

sail

alone was

her.

With immense satisfaction the


Tripolitans to cut away their masts,

ammunition
ship to a

into

and other arms

One

left.

the corsairs not less than

"Go," said he sternly

may

cut

jury-mast and

Porter then pointed out to the crestfallen Tripolitan captain,

of Tripoli,

the sea, and, to use a

girtline."

Sons, that the " Enterprise " had not lost a

Bashaw

Porter

admirably.

their cannon, cutlasses, pistols,

all

the

already spoken in the " Blue-Jackets of

him forced the

jackies he took with

Porter,

with instructions to dismantle

prize,

instructions

his

gave

sailed

which proved to be the " Tripoli,"

Accordingly he sent Lieut.

evil.

some uncertainty

After some deliberation, he concluded

to take prizes.

to rob the captured vessel,

in

The instructions under which he

fifty

to

were either
the

and the people

Mahomet

in the action, while

killed or

cowering
of

man

of

wounded.

Mussulman, "go

tell

the

your country, that in future they

expect only a tribute of powder and ball from the sailors of the

United States."

Amid

the

jeers

and execrations

of

the

Yankee

tars,

the crippled

Page

259.

Blue Jackeis of

AMERICANS ENSLAVED

IN

TRIPOLI.

BLUE-JACKETS OF

26

'76.

When
Bashaw was unappeasable. He

Tripolitan hulk, with her dead and dying, drifted slowly away.

she

reached Tripoli, the anger of

had

the

expected his cruiser to return freighted deep with plunder, and crowded
with American slaves.

commander showed
of

wounds

In vain her

hulk.

and told of the

to his wrathful master,

The rage of
Mahomet Sons was

demanded a
streets

sacrifice,

of

and the luckless

This

Tripoli tied to a jackass.

size

the Bashaw

enemy, and the vigor of his resistance.

his

the

his

She had returned a dismantled

led through

was the deepest

in itself

degradation possible for a Mussulman, but the Bashaw supplemented


with five hundred bastinadoes well laid on.

it

punishment,

This severe

together with the repeated assertions of the sailors of the defeated ship,
the

that

dogs of Christians had

seafaring people of Tripoli that

enchanted shot, so

fired

it

was almost impossible

terrified

the

Bashaw

for the

to muster a ship's crew for a year after.

The
the

first

between the " Enterprise

battle

"

and the " Tripoli

year of the war from being entirely puerile.

distinguished naval officers

who accompanied the

were so hedged about with


to take a step in

empowered

to

red

political

Certain

ship that

is

that the

they were powerless

defence of the honor of their country.

rescue any American

it

alone saved

the Mediterranean

fleet to

tape, that

"

While they were

might be discovered

in

the grasp of a corsair, they were powerless to attempt the rescue of the

hundreds

of

Americans held by Bashaw, Bey, and Dey

Commo-

as slaves.

dore Dale, indeed, through diplomacy, managed to free a few of the enslaved

Americans.
*'

President,"

Having blockaded the harbor

of

Tripoli

he captured a Greek vessel having

Tripolitan soldiers aboard.

He

or

more

of

then sent word to the Bashaw that he

would exchange these prisoners


the monarch apparently cared

with the frigate

score

for

an equal number

little

of

Americans

for his subjects, for he

he would not give one American slave for the whole

lot.

but

rephed that
After much

argument, an exchange was made upon the basis of three Tripolitans to

one Yankee.
It

is

hard, even

at

this

late

day, to regard the policy of the

United

States towards the Barbary powers with feelings other than of mortification.

BLUE-JACKETS OF

262

'76.

Tunis, Tripoli, Algiers, and Morocco constantly preyed on our commerce,

and enslaved our

In the streets of Algiers worked American

sailors.

slaves, chained together, and wearing iron collars


lives

were the property

privations and tortures.

consul

in

Algiers,

of

at

this very time

and maintained

Indeed, a historian writing in 1795


for the care

it

took of

its

Their

their necks.

owners, and they suffered unheard of

their

Yet

upon

friendly

the

United States kept

relations

with

the

Dey.

applauds the American Government

citizens enslaved in Algiers,

by providing each

with a suit of clothing yearly

But the continued aggressions and extortionate demands


powers became

at last unbearable.

The

of the

Barbary

expedition to the Mediterranean,

under Commodore Dale, was but the premonitory muttering before the
storm.

Dale returned to the United States

report led to the organization of

in

December, 1801, and

his

the naval expedition that was to finally

crush the piratical powers of Barbary.

CHAPTER

XVI.

POLICY. COMMODORE MORRIS SENT TO THE MEDITERRANEAN. PORTER'S


CUTTING-OUT EXPEDITION. COMMODORE PREBLE SENT TO THE MEDITERRANEAN.
HIS ENCOUNTER WITH A BRITISH MAN-OF-WAR. THE LOSS OF THE "PHILADELPHIA."
DECATUR'S DARING ADVENTURE.

MORE VIGOROUS

HE

return of

reports

Commodore Dale from

which

insolence of

brought

he

of

the

the Mediterranean, and the

continued aggressions and

the Barbary powers, made

marked change

a very

Early

the temper of the people of the United States.

in

in

1802

Congress passed laws, which, though not in form a formal declaration of


war, yet permitted the vigorous prosecution of hostilities against Tripoli^
Algiers, or any other of the Barbary powers.

squadron was immediately

ordered into commission for the purpose of chastising the corsairs, and

was put under the command


for

this

service

thirty-eight;

were the

"New

of

Commodore

" Chesapeake,"

York,"

thirty-six;

Morris.

thirty-eight

"John

"Adams," twenty-eight; and "Enterprise,"

The
;

vessels detailed
" Constellation,"

Adams,"

twelve.

twenty-eight;

Some months were

occupied in getting the vessels into condition for sea; and while the
263

BLUE-JACKETS OF

264
" Enterprise "
until

started

February for the

in

September that the

'76.

Mediterranean,

was

it

the squadron followed her.

last ship of

not

It will

be remembered that the "Philadelphia" and "Essex," of Dale's squadron,

had been

left

in the

Mediterranean; and as the "Boston," twenty-eight,

had been ordered to cruise

in those

waters after carrying United States

Minister Livingstone to France, the power of the Western Republic was


well supported before the coast-line of Barbary.

The "Enterprise" and

were the

"Constellation"

the

the

of

first

squadron to reach the Mediterranean, and they straightway proceeded


Tripoli

to

begin the blockade of

to

" Constellation "

was lying

reported that a

number

and evidently trying

was
a

raised,

number

while the

day,

were stealing along, close

and

for a time
frigate.

in shore,

Immediately the anchor

The

set out in pursuit.

by the swift-sailing

"Constellation"

One

port.

sneak into the harbor.

of Tripolitan gun-boats,
off

that

anchor some miles from the town, the lookout

of small craft

and the frigate

would be cut
the

to

at

it

As

strangers proved to be

seemed

though they

as

they came within range,

opened a rapid and well-directed

fire,

which soon

The

drove the gun-boats to protected coves and inlets in the shore.

Americans then lowered their boats with the intention

enemy

moment

but at this

alongshore,

to their ship, and, after firing a

a large

few broadsides

Thereafter, for nearly a year, the record


in the Mediterranean was uneventful.
disposition to push matters to an
sailing

from port to

port,

body

The Yankees,

galloping out from town to the rescue.

of
of

engaging the

came

cavalry

therefore, returned

at the cavalry, sailed away.

of

the

American squadron

Commodore Morris showed

issue,

little

but confined his operations to

and instituting brief and imperfect blockades.

In April, 1803, the squadron narrowly escaped being seriously weakened

by the

loss of the

"New

York."

It

was when

this vessel

on her way to Tripoli in company with the "John


"Enterprise."
in hand,

The drums had

were standing

the grog-tub.

in a line

just beat to

was

off

Malta,

Adams" and

grog; and the

sailors, tin

the

cup

on the main deck waiting their turns at

Suddenly a loud explosion was heard, and the lower part

of the ship was filled with smoke.

BLUE-JACKETS OF
"

The magazine

is

on

fire,"

confusion reigned everywhere.

hour the

sailors are left to their

and there seemed

was the appalling cry


All

knew

own

and

command,

to

for a

explosion

the

that

There was no one

-been near the magazine.

265

'76.

moment

must have
grog

for at the

So the confusion spread,

occupations.

to be grave danger of a panic,

when

Capt. Chauncey

came on deck. A drummer passed hurriedly by him.


" Drummer, beat to quarters " was the quick, sharp command of the
The drummer stopped short, and in a moment the resonant roll
captain.
!

drum

of the

well-known

went

above the shouts and the tramping

rose

rose on the

call

air,

men

the

quietly to their stations at the guns,

As

feet.

the

though preparing

as

to give

an enemy.

battle to

When

commanded

order had been restored, Capt. Chauncey

to be lowered

spritsail-yard,

the boats

The

but the effect of this was to arouse the panic again.

people rushed from the guns, and crowded out

Some

and the knightheads.

nearest vessel.

for the

of

regained their self-control, and

All

strove

get

to

upon the bowsprit, the

swam

leaped into the sea, and


as

far

from the magazine as

This poltroonery disgusted Chauncey.

possible.

"Remember,

"Volunteers, follow me," he cried.

lads, it's just as well

to be blown through three decks as one."

So saying he plunged down the smoky hatchway, followed by Lieut,


David Porter and some other

Blinded and almost

officers.

the smoke, they groped their way to the seat of the danger.
blankets, and buckets of water, they began to fight the flames.

began

efforts

-Succeeded

in

meet with success, one

to

rallying the

of the officers

men, and forming two

stifled

by

With wet

As

their

went on deck, and

lines

of water-carriers.

After two hours' hard work, the ship was saved.

The

fourteen died.

when
signal,

many of
and men

explosion was a serious one,

blown down, and nineteen

the

"A

announced,

It

flames
fire

"A

officers

came near leading

to a

the bulkheads having been


seriously injured, of

still

whom

more serious blunder

for,

broke out, the quartermaster was ordered to hoist the

on board."

In his trepidation he mistook the signal, and

mutiny on board."

Seeing

this,

Capt.

Rodgers

of

the

BLUE-JACKETS OF

266
"

Adams "

John

beat

crew

his

'76.

and

quarters,

to

with

For a month

making repairs;
"

New

afternoon

the ships were

incident,

but, near the

end

of

detained at

Malta

May, the "John Adams," "Adams,"

of

" Enterprise " took

number

York,"

life.

after this

York," and

New

Luckily he discovered his error

ready to quell the supposed mutiny.


without causing loss of

guns

shotted

and open ports took up a raking position astern of the "

merchant

up the blockade

of

succeeded

vessels

One

Tripoli.

in

evading

the

blockaders, and though cut off from the chief harbor of the town, yet took

refuge in the port of Old Tripoli.


of light

draught

They were

small lanteen-rigged feluccas

and they threaded the narrow channels, and skimmed

over shoals whither the heavy men-of-war could not hope to follow them.
Scarcely had
their

they reached the shore when preparations were made for

defence against any cutting-out party the Americans might send

for their capture.

On

spot where

the shore near the

the feluccas were

beached, stood a heavy stone building, which was taken possession of

by a party

of troops hastily

despatched from the

laden with wheat, packed in sacks

The

city.

feluccas were

and these sacks were taken ashore

in

great numbers, and piled up on either side of the great building so

as

to

form breastworks.

So well were the works planned, that they

formed an almost impregnable

fortress.

Behind

its

walls the Tripolitans

stood ready to defend their stranded vessels.

That night Lieut. Porter took a


the position of the enemy.

heavy

fire

of

the feluccas

go

in

light boat,

He was

and carefully reconnoitred

discovered, and

driven

away by a

musketry, but not before he had taken the bearings of

The next morning he volunteered

and their defences.

and destroy the boats, and, having obtained permission,

accompanied by Lieut. James Lawrence and a strong party

There was

no attempt at concealment or surprise.

boldly forward, in

the teeth

of

attempt was made to return the

behind his ramparts.


press forward with

all

heavy

fire,

fire

for the

The Yankees

could

possible speed.

At

of

set

to

out,

sailors.

The Americans pushed

from the Tripolitans.

enemy was

No

securely posted

only bend to their oars, and

last

the beach was reached, and

BLUE-JACKETS OF
boats-prows grated upon the pebbly sand.

from their places

the tarred

and while some engaged the Tripolitans, others, torch

When

cordage.

confident

no sooner had the

down

to

their

ships.

the

persevered,

The

cries

Porter and

men had been

seen to

enemy was never

fall

gallantry was

than

the
for

during the

shown

its

regained

but

their

in the thigh,

they
ships,,

wounded

and twelve

so that the failure of

purpose was bitterly lamented.

On

;.

rushed

the preservation of

upon them

definitely ascertained,

conflict.

of the barbarians

Tripolitans

gave notice the flames were

wounded

killed or

squadron again,

nothing to arrest the

followers

his

the Tripolitans

of

the expedition to fully accomplish


the

off,

Porter had been severely

or fifteen of his

of

do

men-of-war rained grape-shot

and before

extinguished.

loss

for the

and strained every muscle

shore,

triumphant

the

made

could

pushed

boats

woodwork and

had gained some headway, the

flames

the Tripolitans

that

to the

fire

But they had underestimated the courage

conflagration.
for

the

returned to their boats, and

incendiaries
feeling

Quickly the jackies leaped

clambered upon the feluccas, and set

in hand,

267

'76.

The

though several were

both sides the most conspicuous

the fighting was at times almost hand to hand, and

once, embarrassed by the lack of ammunition, the Tripolitans seized heavy


stones,

and hurled them down upon their

For some weeks


the

Commodore

belligerents.

assailants.

after this occurrence,

no

conflict took place

Morris, after vainly trying to

peace with Tripoli, sailed away to Malta, leaving the " John
the

"Adams"

to

blockade

the

harbor.

To them

between

negotiate a

Adams " and

soon returned the

and the three vessels soon after robbed the Bey of his

"Enterprise,"
largest corsair.

On

the night of the 21st

harbor led the Americans to


to run the blockade.

strict

of

June, an unusual commotion about the

suspect that an attempt was being

watch was kept

made

and, before morning, the

" Enterprise " discovered a large cruiser sneaking along the coast toward

the

harbor's mouth.

The

the

Yankee schooner

out of the water

retreated

to

a small

cove,

Tripolitan was
;

heavy enough

but, instead of

to

have blown

engaging her, she

and took up a favorable position

for action.

BLUE-JACKETS OF

268

" Enterprise "

Signals from the


vessels to the spot

'76.

soon brought the other United

down

the corsair, a large body of Tripolitan cavalry came galloping


beach, and a detachment

the beleaguered

No

came

nine gunboats

of

the

to

the

assistance

of

craft.

Taking up a position within point-

time was lost in manoeuvring.

Adams" and

blank range, the "John

who

the enemy,

States

while in response to rockets and signal guns from

returned

it

the "Enterprise" opened

with no less

The

the cannonade was unabated.

shot

spirit.

For

fire

on

minutes

forty-five

the American gunners were

of

seen to hull the enemy repeatedly, and at last the Tripolitans began to
desert

made

Over the

their ship.

rail

and through the open ports the panic-

The

corsairs dropped into the water.

stricken

the

deck too hot a spot

ship's

with great

When

alacrity.

for the

the last had

left

boat-load

of

Five minutes
she blew up.
burst of

later,

while the boat's-crew was

The watchers heard

smoke

saw

began

rallying,

rising

corsair

again

still

their

at

this

and the

cannonade.

on the Tripolitan

a sudden deafening roar

fled

Adams "

But

prize.

returned to the

Tripolitans

Americans, thinking they were

and they

Tripolitans,

the ship, the " John

prepared to send boats to take possession of the

moment

Yankees had

shot of the

ship,

saw a volcanic

high above the smoke the main and mizzen

masts of the shattered vessel, with the yards, rigging, and hamper attached.

When

the

smoke

where

the

proud

explosion, cannot

cleared away, only a shapeless hulk occupied the place


corsair

be

told.

had

What

recently floated.

so

Were

not

it

Tripolitans were blown up with the ship,

for
it

the fact that

caused

many

of

the
the

might be thought that she had

been destroyed by her own people.


After this encounter, the three

United States vessels proceeded to

Here Commodore Morris found orders

Malta.

returned to the United States in the "Adams."


Preble had been chosen to

with

the

" Constitution,"

September, 1802.
of

his squadron,

command
forty-four,

for

his

the naval forces


arrived

recall,

In his place

in

the

and

he

Commodore

and that

officer,

Mediterranean

in

Following him at brief intervals came the other vessels

the

"Vixen"

twelve,

"Siren"

sixteen,

and "Argus"

BLUE-JACKETS OF
sixteen

" Philadelphia "

the

and

thirty-eight,

269

'76.

the

" Nautilus "

twelve,

having reached the Mediterranean before the commodore. Three of these


vessels were commanded by young officers, destined to win enduring fame
in the

ensuing war,

Stephen

Decatur, William Bainbridge, and Richard

Somers.
Before the last vessel

this

of

disaster had befallen one of

reached

fleet

the foremost vessels, which cost the United

States a good man-of-war, and forced a ship's crew of

Yankee seamen

a Tripolitan

their lives in the cells of

pass two years of

Mediterranean,

the

to

This

fortress.

was the "Philadelphia," Capt. Bainbridge. She had reached the


Mediterranean in the latter part of August, and signalled her arrival

vessel

by overhauling and capturing the cruiser " Meshboha," belonging to the


emperor of Morocco. With the cruiser was a small brig, which proved
to be an

American merchantman

and seven men, tied hand and


friendly terms with the United

captain of

To

and

foot.

in

her hold were found the captain

Morocco was then ostensibly on


and Bainbridge demanded

States,

the cruiser by what right he had captured an American

this the

of

the

vessel.

returned, that he had done so, anticipating a war which

Moor

had not yet been declared.

"Then,
pirate,

and

minutes.

shall

treat

when

If,

Bainbridge

said

sir,"

you as such.
return,

left

am

must consider you as a

going on deck

you can show

depredations upon American commerce,

So saying, Bainbridge

"I

sternly,

shall

me no

authority

hang you

heels.

In

his

hand he held

a look of stern inquiry.

the dread import

of

your

at the yard-arm."

file

of marines at

and he cast upon the Moor

his watch,

Not a word was


that glance.

fifteen

for

In fifteen minutes he returned,

the cabin.

and, throwing the cabin doors open, stepped in with a


his

for

said,

but the prisoner understood

Nervously he began to unbutton the

voluminous waistcoats which encircled his body, and from an inner pocket
of

the

fifth

drew forth a folded paper.

It

was a commission directing

make prizes of all American craft that might come in his path.
No more complete evidence of the treachery of Morocco could be desired.

him

to

Bainbridge sent the paper to

Commodore

Preble, and, after stopping

at

BLUE-JACKETS OF

270

'76.

Gibraltar a day or two, proceeded to his assigned position off the harbor
of Tripoli.

In the latter part of October, the lookout on the "Philadelphia" spied

a vessel running into the harbor, and the frigate straightway set out

The

chase.

fugitive

showed a clean

pair of heels

in

and as the shots from

the bow-chasers failed to take effect, and the water was continually shoaling
before the frigate's bow, the helm was put

began to come about.


rock,

and

in

But

The Americans were then


sound
of

and they were

fast

Every possible expedient was

At

avail.

swarm

of

The

predicament.

gun-boats out of the harbor

bearing down upon the helpless frigate.

tried for the release of the ship, but to

no

the gunboats, discovering her helpless condition, crowded

last

so thick about her that there


after flooding the magazine,

knocking

ran upon a shelving

fast aground.

a most dangerous

in

the firing had drawn a

of

Tripoli,

moment she

just at that

an instant was hard and

hard down, and the frigate

was no course open but


throwing overboard

in

the

bottom

the

flag

touched

holes

of

the

ship,

all

And

to strike.

the

so,

small-arms, and

Bainbridge

reluctantly

surrendered.

Hardly had
alongside.

If

mistaken,

for

the deck,

when

the gun-boats were

the Americans expected civilized treatment, they were sadly

an undisciplined rabble came swarming over the

Lockers and chests were broken open, store-rooms ransacked,

men

stripped of

all

taffrail.

officers

the articles of finery they were wearing.

It

and

was a

scene of unbridled pillage, in which the Tripolitan officers were as active


as

men.

their

Tripolitans,

An

officer

a third

being held fast

until

one

his

of

him

of

of the pilferers tried to tear

wife.

No

resistance was

made,

from Bainbridge an ivory miniature

Wresting himself

free,

the captain

knocked down the vandal, and made so determined a resistance that


despoilers allowed

him

to

any

and they even ripped the epaulets

the officers' uniforms.

young and beautiful

strip

Swords, watches, jewels, and money were

promptly confiscated by the captors

of

the grasp of two of the

would ransack his pockets, and

property they might covet.

from the shoulders

in

keep the

picture.

his

y.^i^^-"
Page

271.

Blue Jackets of

'76-

CAPTURED BY THE ALGERINES,

BLUE-JACKETS OF

When

the portable property was in the

all

Americans were loaded


night

into boats,

273

'76.

hands

and taken ashore.

the victors, the

of
It

was then

but the captives were marched through the streets to the palace

of the Bashaw,

and exhibited to that functionary.

satisfaction at the capture, the

prison, while the ofificers

them with an

After expressing great

Bashaw ordered the

remained that night as

excellent supper, but the next

sailors

of the war.

While

Of

their life there

this disaster

Commodore

He

his guests.

Preble in the

home

to

until the

have more to say hereafter.

shall

flag-ship " Constitution,"

he was to relieve, with the

Hardly had the commodore

arrived,

accompanied by the

There he found Commodore Rodgers,

"New York"
when

to Tangier to request the emperor to define his

Though the time

and the "John Adams."

the case of the captured Morocco

ship " Meshboha " was brought to his attention

the United States.

entertained

had befallen the American cause before Tripoli,

" Nautilus," had reached Gibraltar.

whom

we

thrown into

morning they were shown

the gloomy prison apartments that were destined to be their

end

late at

and he straightway went


position with

regard to

Commodore Rodgers on

of

the

Mediterranean station had expired, he consented to accompany Preble to

Tangier; and the combined squadrons


great

the

of

Commodore Rodgers then

sailed for the

United States, and Preble began

his preparations for an active prosecution of the


It

hands

two commodores had so

an effect upon the emperor, that he speedily concluded a treaty.

was on the 31st


of

of

the Tripolitans, but

the disaster reached


squadron.

war with

Tripoli.

October that the "Philadelphia"


it

was not

Commodore

until

fell

into the

Nov. 27 that the news of

Preble and the other

Shortly after the receipt of the news, the

ofificers

of

the

commodore proceeded

with his flag-ship, accompanied by the " Enterprise," to Tripoli, to renew


the blockade which had been broken by the loss of the " Philadelphia."
It

was indeed high time that some

with Tripoli.
instructions

life

Commodore Dale had been


that

tied

him hand and

should be infused into the war


sent to the Mediterranean with

foot.

Morris,

who

followed

him,

was granted more discretion by Congress, but had not been given the
proper force.

Now

that Preble had arrived with a sufficient fleet, warlike

BLUE-JACKETS OF

74

and a reputation

instructions,

for

'76.

dash unexcelled by that of any officer

looked for some active service.

in the navy, the blue-jackets

Foreign

nations were beginning to speak scornfully of the harmless antics of the

United

States

had fought more than one duel with foreigners to uphold the

officers

They now looked

honor of the American service.


a

little

An

active service.

them

American

Gibraltar convinced the

commodore had plenty

officers that their

to Preble to give

incident which occurred shortly after the arrival

the " Constitution " in the Bay of

of

and the younger American

Mediterranean,

the

in

fleet

of fire

and determination

in his

character.

One

night the lookouts reported a large vessel alongside, and the hail

from the " Constitution

brought only a counter-hail from the stranger.

"

Both vessels continued to


Preble came on deck.
master, he shouted,
"

now

hail

hail

without any answer being returned, when

Taking the trumpet from the hand

of the quarter-

you

for the last time.

If

you do not answer,

I'll

fire

shot into you."

"If you

fire, I'll

return a broadside," was the reply.

"I'd like to see you do


is

it.

now

hail

you

What

for an answer.

ship

that.?"

"This

H. B. M. ship 'Donegal,' eighty-four; Sir Richard Strachan,

is

an English commodore.
" This

is

in

be d

I'll

boys

the United States ship

high dudgeon

Preble,

and

Send a boat aboard."

if

"

Edward

'

Constitution,' forty-four,"
Preble,

an American

send a boat on board of any

ship.

answered

commodore

Blow your matches,

"
!

The Englishman saw


profuse apologies.

a conflict coming, and sent a boat aboard with

She was

really the frigate " Maidstone," but being in

no condition for immediate battle had prolonged the hailing

make needed

On

in

order to

preparations.

"
the 23d of December, while the " Constitution " and " Enterprise

were blockading

Tripoli,

the

latter vessel

overhauled and captured the

ketch " Mastico," freighted with female slaves that were being sent by

BLUE-JACKETS OF
the Bashaw of Tripoli to the Porte, as a

unimportant, save for the use

The

made

275

'76.

The

gift.

capture in

was

itself

of the ketch later.

vessels of the blockading squadron, from their station outside the

bar, could see the captured " Philadelphia " riding lightly at her

under the guns

of

the

Tripolitan

Her

batteries.

moorings

had carefully

captors

repaired the injuries the Americans had inflicted upon the vessel before
surrendering.

Her foremast was again

in place, the holes in her

were plugged, the scars of battle were effaced, and

bottom

she rode at anchor

as pretty a frigate as ever delighted the eye of a tar.

From

his

Preble, with

the sheet

of

captivity

command

of

letters

lemon-juice, and

in

paper was exposed to the heat.

urged the destruction of the


in

had written

Bainbridge

postscripts written

In

"Philadelphia."

to

illegible

these

Lieut.

Commodore
save when

postscripts

he

Stephen Decatur,

the " Enterprise," eagerly seconded these proposals, and

proposed to cut into

the

port with

" Enterprise,"

the

and

undertake

Lieut.-Commander Stewart

the destruction of the captured ship.

the

of

"Nautilus" made the same proposition; but Preble rejected both, not
wishing to imperil a man-of-war on so hazardous an adventure.

The commodore,
communicated
joined.

man

however,

to Decatur,

and

had

project

of

his

own which he

which that adventurous

in

sailor heartily

This plan was to convert the captured ketch into a man-of-war,

her with volunteers,

and with her attempt the perilous adventure

The

of the destruction of the "Philadelphia."

project once broached

was

The ketch was taken into the service, and


News of the expedition spread throughout the

quickly carried into effect.

named the "Intrepid."

squadron, and many officers eagerly volunteered their services.


When
"
the time was near at hand, Decatur called the crew of the " Enterprise
together, told
its

them

of

the plan of the proposed expedition, pointed out

dangers, and called for volunteers.

stepped
picked

forward,

and

begged

be

to

men, and was about to leave

arrested by a

"Why

Every man and boy on the vessel


taken.

the

young boy who begged hard

do you want to go. Jack

"

Decatur chose sixty-two

deck,
to

when

be taken.

asked the commodore.

his

steps

were

276

BLUE-JACKETS OF

"Well,

The

sir," said

Jack,

oddity of the

1804, the

3,

company with the

The voyage was stormy and


cooped up in the

The

little

"Intrepid," accompanied by the

rest of the fleet,

fatiguing.

and made

for Tripoli.

More than seventy men were

ketch, which had quarters scarcely for a score.

provisions which had been put aboard were in bad condition, so that

.after

the second day they had only bread and water upon which to

When

they had reached the entrance

were driven back by the fury


in

kinder like to see the country."

rest.

the night of Feb.

" Siren," parted

see, I'd

reason struck Decatur's fancy, and he told

boy's

Jack to report with the

On

"you

'76.

a neighboring cove.

to

harbor of

the

the gale, and

of

There they remained

damages, and completing their preparations

The weather having moderated,

the

forced

until

his

forces

careful

instructions

as

two vessels

to

the

Americans were divided into several boarding


ofificer

One

and work.

take shelter

to

the

live.

they

15th, repairing

for the attack.

concealment, and shaped their course for Tripoli.

gave

Tripoli,

the way, Decatur

method

parties,

place of

their

left

On

of

attack.

each with

its

The
own

party was to keep possession of the upper deck,

another was to carry the gun-deck, a third should drive the enemy from
the steerage, and so on.
fighting,

as

far

as possible,

noise might alarm the

One

All were to carry pistols in their belts

enemy

was

to be

Tripolitans

The watchword

who might

for the night

About noon, the

and the vessels

in the port.

"Philadelphia" in a light boat, and

try to escape

to the shore

by swimming.

was "Philadelphia."

" Intrepid "

Both the ketch and the

but the

done with cutlasses, so that no

in the batteries,

party was to hover near the

kill all

came

" Siren "

in sight of

the towers of Tripoli.

had been so disguised that the enemy

could not recognize them, and they therefore stood boldly for the harbor.

As

the wind was fresh, Decatur saw that

before night
astern to
of the

and he therefore dragged a cable and a number

lessen

his

speed, fearing to

enemy should be

When

he was likely to make port

take in

sail,

lest

of buckets

the suspicions

aroused.

within about five miles of the town, the "Philadelphia" became

BLUE-JACKETS OF
She

visible.

heavy

near by was a

gunboats.

of

fleet

which the Yankee

About ten

her anchorage

at

It

fallen so that the

with

new moon hung

crew,

in the sky.

From

In the fleet

was

all

Her course was


foul.

When

"Philadelphia."

In

within

steered

for

response,

offing,

while the
frigate.

the city arose the soft low

murmur

straight

for

of the

bow

the

short

the

men were

but twelve

of

which

the frigate,

of

the

she

hail

came from

the

ketch

answered,

that

distance,

pilot

The

visible.

bulwarks or weather-boards.

the ketch was a coaster from Malta, that she had


late gale,

the

in

the

shadow

straight

laid

The

mouth.

still.

the decks of the " Intrepid "

to

into

a position

her devoted

rest lay flat on the deck, in the

was

was a powerful stronghold

ketch was wafted slowly along over an almost

" Intrepid,"

On

and

o'clock, the adventurers reached the harbor's

The "Siren" took up

two

cruisers,

blue-jackets were about to carry the torch.

glassy sea.

of the night.

under the guns of

Behind her lay moored two Tripolitan

batteries.

wind had

lightly

floated

277

'76.

her anchors in the

lost

and had been nearly wrecked, and that she now asked permission

The people on

to ride by the frigate during the night.

the frigate were

wholly deceived, and sent out ropes to the ketch, allowing one of the
boats of the " Intrepid " to
of the ropes on the

make

a line fast to the frigate.

ketch were passed to the hidden men,

upon them, thus bringing the

lustily

But, as she

aroused

came

little

alongside the frigate.

craft

into clearer view, the suspicions of the Tripolitans

and when

at

last

hanging in their places

at

the anchors

of

" Intrepid "

the

same moment the

Americanos

Americanos

this

time the ketch was fast to the

Decatur,

frigate.

and sprang for the chain-plates

Clinging there, he renewed his order to board


their feet,
first

were seen

"

off.

At the

rang through the

and the alarm was given.

By
cried

cry,

"

were

the cat-heads, the Tripolitans cried out that

they had been deceived, and warned the strangers to keep

ship,

The ends
who pulled

of

of

the "Philadelphia,"

the

" Philadelphia."

and the men sprang to

and were soon clambering on board the

trod the deck

" Follow me, lads,"

frigate.

Lieut. Morris

Decatur followed close

after,

BLUE-JACKETS OF

278

and then the stream of men over the

Complete as was the

was constant.

hands, and those

who had

make

had complete possession


at that

surprise, the entire absence

Turks had weapons

the

of

any

of

their

in

On

the advancing Americans.

fled before

that way.

their escape

Doubtless

and through the open ports

rail

all

water told that the affrighted Turks were trying

sides the splashing of


to

Few

was astonishing.

resistance

'76.

In

minutes Decatur and his men

ten

of the ship.

moment

the successful adventurers bitterly regretted

that they could not take out of the harbor the noble frigate they had so

But the orders

nobly recaptured.
their

own

to set

situation,

to the frigate,

iire

commodore, and the dangers of

of the

them no

left

Nothing was

choice.

and retreat with

to be

done but

The

possible expedition.

all

combustibles were brought from the ketch, and piled about the frigate,

So quickly was the work done, and so rapidly did the flames

and lighted.

spread, that the people

had scarce time


flames.

who

to get on

the fires

lit

Before the ketch could be cast

came pouring out

the flames

storerooms and

the

in

deck before their retreat was cut

the

of

off

from the sides

port-holes,

cockpit

off

by the

of the frigate,

and flaming sparks

fell

aboard the smaller vessel, so that the ammunition which lay piled amidships was

grave danger of being exploded.

in

swung with

will

together were cut, and the ketch was pushed

bent to their sweeps, and soon the " Intrepid

"Now,

And

lads," cried Decatur,

cutlasses were

off.

"

two vessels

Then the

blue-jackets

was under good headway.

"give them three cheers."

the jackies responded with ringing cheers, that mingled with the

roar of the flames that


control.

Axes and

and soon the bonds which held the

now had

Then they grasped

away through

the frame of the " Philadelphia " in their

their

sweeps again, and the

little

vessel glided

a hail of grape and round shot from the Tripolitan batteries

and men-of-war.

Though

the whistle of the

missiles

was incessant, and

the splash of round-shot striking the water could be heard on every side,

no one

in

the boat was hurt

and the only shot that touched the

went harmlessly through her mainsail.

As

ketcl^i

they pulled away, they saw

the flames catch the rigging of the "Philadelphia," and run high up the

Page

279.

Blue Jackets of

'76.

BURNING OF THE "PHILADELPHIA"

BLUE-JACKETS OF
Then the hatchways were
The shotted guns of
leaped out.
masts.

succession

one battery sending

28

'76.

burst open, and great

gusts

flame

of

the frigate were discharged in quick

messengers into the streets

iron

its

the guns on the other side bore upon Fort English.

Tripoli, while

of

The

angry glare of the flames, and the flash of the cannon, lighted up the bay
while the thunders of the cannonade, and the cries of the
told of the storm that

The ruddy

was raging.
the burning ship bore good news to two anxious

whom

imprisoned

the Tripolitans had captured with the "Philadelphia" were

The

a tower looking out upon the bay.

in

the cannonade on this eventful night


to

the other American

Capt. Bainbridge and

Decatur's friends.

parties of
offlcers

light of

Tripolitans,

awakened them

rapid thunder of

and they rushed

their windows, to see the " Philadelphia," the Bashaw's boasted prize,

Right

in flames.

lustily

they added their cheers to the general tumult,

nor ceased their demonstrations of joy until a surly guard came and
ordered them from the windows.

Far out

sea another band

to

watchers hailed the light

The "Siren" had gone

with joy.

conflagration

of

the

into

of

offlng

the

when

the " Intrepid " entered the harbor, and there awaited with intense anxiety

After an hour's suspense, a rocket was

the outcome of the adventure.

seen to mount
of

into the sky,

success agreed upon.

mouth

harbor's

Hardly had they


told

that

to
left

the " Philadelphia "

been perfect

became the
it,

the news

made

talk of all

when

was burning

taffrail,

it

Europe.

whole

was the signal

of

the

was perfect

returning party.

the red light in the sky

and an hour

affair.

As

later

Decatur

his victory.

the expedition had

in execution.

The adventure

Lord Nelson, England's greatest admiral,

was the most bold and daring

reached the United States,

a captain.

It

and proudly announced

lost in the

in conception, so

" It

retreat

the side of the ship,

Not a man had been

Tripoli.

Boats were quickly lowered, and sent to the

meet and cover the

himself sprang over the

said of

and burst over

act of the ages."

Decatur,

despite

his

And when
youth,

was

CHAPTER

XVII.

A STIRRING YEAR. THE BOMBARDMENT OF TRIPOLI. DECATUR'S HAND-TO-HAND FIGHT.


LIEUT. TRIPPE'S BRAVERY. LIEUT. SPENCE'S BOLD DEED. - SOMERS'S NARROW ESCAPE.
THE FLOATING MINE. THE FATAL EXPLOSION. CLOSE OF THE WAR. THE END.

ECATUR'S

brilliant exploit

and, for the remainder of

set the key-note for the year

that year, the

the war with no less spirit and dash.

had been infused into the

men by

1804;

Americans carried on
high degree of daring

so notable an

example

and

long before the year was out, the blue-jackets began to consider themselves
invincible,

and were ready to undertake any exploit for which their services

might be required.

The

lesser

events of

the year,

maintenance of the blockade


and an occasional capture

of

of

little

"Siren" captured the "Transfer,"


the

blockade.

supplies,

was

month

we must

two

consequence.
privateer,

two

Thus,

slight actions,
in

coasting felucca,

chased ashore near Tripoli,

and two boats'

sent

to

take

body

of

cavalry to

possession of her.
protect

later,

The

March, the

which was trying

or

Tripolitans,

The

over hastily.

pass

Tripoli led to one or

as

usual,

to

run

loaded with

crews
sent

were
out

the felucca, and the Americans were driven

Thereupon the American blockading squadron took up a position


within range, and threw solid shot into the felucca until she was a
off.

282

BLUE-JACKETS OF
Nor

complete wreck.

283;

'76.

did the Tripolitan cavalry escape without

shot

or two.

But while the smaller vessels of the Mediterranean squadron were


enforcing
flag-ship

and the larger

upon the

attack

before

Tripoli,

Commodore

vessels,

was

Malta preparing

blockade

the

city of

at

Bashaw

the

He

itself.

with

Preble,

the

for a vigorous

had added to the

fleet

he had brought with him from the United States two bomb-vessels and
six

He

gunboats.

" Constitution,"

had also added somewhat to the armament of the

and now proposed to try the

By

vigorous bombardment.
leave Malta with his

effect

commodore was

the 21st of July, the

fleet, fully

prepared for active

upon Tripoli

of

able

a
to-

hostilities.

was then defended by heavy batteries mounting a hundred and

Tripoli

moored nineteen gunboats, two

In the harbor were

fifteen guns.

two schooners, and a

The

brig.

galleys,.

under the command

force

available

the Bashaw numbered not less than twenty-five thousand men.

It

of

was.

no pygmy undertaking upon which the Americans had embarked.

On

the 31st of August,

was made; and though

1804, the first attack

only a bombardment of the town had been contemplated, there followed

one

of the
It

most desperate hand-to-hand naval battles recorded

was a

sultry

Tripoli

glared

stirred

the

midsummer

under the

surface

of

fierce

day,

and the white walls

rays

the water, and

of

made

Americans

drew

near the

shore,

suspected the attack, and had

The
vessels

for a spirited

in

the

rear,

and as the

Tripolitans

had

it.

and the gunboats and bomb-vessels

the van were

to bear the brunt of

manned by picked crews from the


most daring

two the

the

attacking forces formed into two lines, with the regular naval

the vessels in

the

for

light breeze

down towards the town.

bombardment

they saw that

made ready

city of

on the ships bearable.

life

Before this breeze the American squadron ran


All preparations had been

the

of

a tropical sun.

made

in history.

firing

line shells

spirits

of

the

in

front.

As-

the battle,

they were

larger vessels, and had for their officers

Mediterranean

squadron.

commenced, and soon from every vessel

and shot were being thrown into the

At

in the

city of the

half-past

American

Bashaw.

The:

BLUE-JACKETS OF

.284

Tripolitan

returned

batteries

the

fire

'76.

and

with vigor,

At

pressed forward to drive the assailants back.

gunboats

their

approach of the

the

Tripolitan gunboats, the Americans diverted their aim from the city, and,

loading with grape and canister, turned upon their foes a murderous

Upon

the eastern division

of

the

enemy's gunboats, nine

enemy was checked


the

smoke

but

Americans outnumbered.

no help from their friends

for

They were hemmed

in

on

all

sides

gunboat No.

for

had drawn out of the

3,

fight in

his desperate courage.

and

They were outnumbered

obedience to a signal for

divided

Taken by

down the

surprise,

the

Turks

displayed

close with

their

gunboat

The gunboat was

retreated.

centre by a long, narrow hatchway

This gave Decatur time to

.a

which had

laid his vessel alongside the nearest

and as the Yankees

came tumbling over the bulwarks, the Turks retreated


parties,

division,

every American of the crew was swarming over the enemy's

in a trice

bulwarks.

recall,

Then Decatur

Signalling to his companions to

and board, he

men-of-war in

which had belonged to Decatur's

been displayed by mistake on the "Constitution."

.adversaries

the

in

by hostile gunboats, more

strongly manned, and heavier in metal, than they.


three to one

in position

gunners poured grape and

Fearfully were the

enemy.

the

canister into

the rear.

Here the boats were held

sailors at the sweeps, while the

They could hope

the

of

the Americans pressed on, until fairly within

still

of the Tripolitans' guns.

by the brawny

number,

in

The advance

Decatur led the four boats under his command.

fire.

rally his

men

to the farther side.

and, dividing

them

two

into

he sent one party around by the stern of the boat, while he led

party around

the

The Turks were dazed by

bow.

the suddenness of

the attack, and cowed by the fearful effect of the Americans' last volley

before

boarding.

body.

Many

penned

into

of

Their captain lay dead, with fourteen


the

officers

were wounded, and

all

narrow space by the two parties

contest was short.

Hampered by

lack

of

room

in

of

the

gunwale into the sea

many were thrown

in

his

the survivors

were

blue-jackets.

The

which to wield their

weapons, the Turks were shot down or bayoneted.

and the remnant, throwing down

bullets

Many

into the

leaped over

open hatchway

their arms, pleaded piteously for quarter.

BLUE-JACKETS OF
Decatur had no time

his prize fast to his

upon the Tripolitan next

While shaping

Hastily securing his prisoners

to exult in his victory.

below decks, and making

285

'76.

own

his course for this vessel,

told that his brother

gunboat,

but that,

He

had gallantly engaged and captured a Tripolitan

on going aboard of her after her

his

rallied

hail

his brother James.

flag

he had been shot down by the cowardly Turk who was

murderer then

he bore down

Decatur was arrested by a

from the gunboat which had been commanded by

was

vessel,

to leeward.

had been struck,

in

The

command.

men, drove the Americans away, and carried

his craft out of the battle.

Decatur's grief for the death of his brother gave way, for the time, to
his anger on account of the base treachery

by which the victim met

his

Casting prudence to the winds, he turned his boat's prow towards

death.

the gunboat of the murderer, and, urging on his rowers, soon laid the

enemy

Cutlass in hand, Decatur was

aboard.

first

on the deck of the

enemy.

Behind him followed close Lieut. Macdonough and nine blue-

jackets.

Nearly forty Turks were ready to receive the boarders.

boarders came over the

sprang down, cutlass


but the Americans

At

last,

rail,

The Turks outnumbered them

in hand.

the

one

five to

bunch, and dealt lusty blows right and

rallied in a

whom he felt sure


He was a man of

Decatur singled out a man

and the murderer

As

they fired their pistols at the enemy, and then

of his brother.

left.

was the commander,


gigantic frame

his

head covered with a scarlet cap, his face half hidden by a bristly black beard.

He

was armed with a heavy boarding-pike, with which he made a

The American

lunge at Decatur.

the pike, hoping to cut


Tripolitan's

at

the

his

weapon not a

With

hilt.

threw up

his arm,

breast,

but

Decatur tore
lunge

at him,

it

a yell

and

parried the blow, and

off its point.

whit, while

cutlass

Decatur's

partially avoided the thrust

inflicted

only a slight

from the wound, wrested

which he avoided.

to the deck, fiercely struggling

a stroke at

But the force of the blow injured the

triumph the Turk lunged

of

make

fierce

wound.
it

broke short
again.

off

Decatur

so that the pike pierced

Grappling the weapon,

from the Turk, and made a

The combatants then clinched and fell


About them fought
for life and death.

BLUE-JACKETS OF

286
their followers,

who

a Tripolitan officer,

the two

strove to aid their respective commanders.

who had fought

aimed a blow

officers,

him wounds

in

this last

the

to a place

sailor only

both arms, so that he could not

and

his

life.

greatest sacrifice,

And

Suddenly

above the heads of

His victim was

head of Decatur.

at the

young man whose desperate

to lay before his captain,

of

way

But, though thus desperately wounded,

mander.

make

his

One American

powerless to guard himself.

was Reuben James,

'76.

was

This

at hand.

fighting had already cost

lift

a hand to save his com-

James had yet one offering

he showed himself willing to

by thrusting

his

head into the path

descending scimetar, and taking upon his own skull the blow

The hero

intended for Decatur.

fell

bleeding to the deck; a pistol-shot

from an American ended the career of the Turk, and Decatur was

left to

struggle with his adversary upon the deck.


this time the great strength of the

But by

to tell in the death-struggle.

Turkish captain was beginning

His right arm was clasped

around the American captain, while with his


belt

an iron band

hand he drew from

his

a short yataghan, which he was about to plunge into the throat of

Decatur lay on

his foe.

He

foe.

his side, with his eyes fixed

Mustering

blow was

it

Turk

was drawn from

its

of his

he saw
sheath.

his strength, he writhed in the grasp of his burly foe.

all

wrested his

pistol.

upon the face

saw the look of triumph flash in the eyes of the

the gleaming steel of the yataghan as

arm

left

falling

clear,

and caught the Turk's wrist just as the

He
fatal

then with his right hand he drew fron his pocket a small

Pressing this tightly against the back of his enemy, he

The

fired.

passed through the body of the Turk, and lodged in Decatur's clothing.

ball

left

like

moment

later

the Tripolitan's hold relaxed, and he

fell

back dead

own blood and that of his foe, rose to his


of dead and wounded men that had gathered

while Decatur, covered with his


feet,

and stood amidst the

pile

during the struggle around the battling chiefs.

The

fall

of

their

captain

disheartened

The

speedily threw

down

line of battle

and, as by this time the

off,

their arms.

prize

the

Tripolitans,

and

was then towed out

of

they
the

American gunboats were drawing

Decatur took his prizes into the shelter

of the flag-ship.

BLUE-JACKETS OF
While

command had
fought

been

had

Decatur

not been

thus

289

'76.

engaged,

command

Lieut. Trippe, in

idle.

hand-to-hand battle that

equalled

gunboats

the

that

Decatur.

of

plan of attack had been the same as that of his leader.

enemy, he had

a round

fly

let

smoke and

the

such force as to recoil

had

Trippe's

Dashing

at

the

grape and canister, then boarded in

of

But

confusion.

under his

of No. 6,

his boat

struck that of the

enemy with

and Trippe, who had sprung into the enemy's

rigging, found himself left with but nine of his people, to confront nearly

two-score Tripolitans.

held

their

other out,

The Americans formed


Again

ground bravely.
and a

head.

At last the
The American

moment a second
checked and

The Turk was armed with a


short boarding-pike.
They fought

who

fell,

half

had received several

stunned, upon

his

knees

and

this

at

by an American marine.

Rallying

all

his strength,

This time the sharp pike

fierce thrust at his adversary.

to the deck.

His men, seeing him

fall,

abandoned the contest,


But

in triumph.

excitement of victory no one thought to haul down the Tripolitan

in the

which

when the

flaunted defiant at the end of the long lateen mast.

still

mast and

" Vixen,"

came near the

prize

mistaking her for an


flag,

him from behind, but was

and the Americans were soon bearing away their prize

flag,

slight

struck Trippe a crushing blow on the

mark, and passed through the body of the Tripolitan captain,

its

fell

Tripolitan

Tripolitan aimed a blow at

killed

Trippe made a
found

commanders singled each

the two

with caution, sparring and fencing, until each

wounds.

phalanx, and;

solid

combat ensued.

fierce

Trippe fought with a

cutlass, while

in

enemy,

let

fly

the

American

broadside,

down

brought

that

So,

man-of-war,

Luckily no one was hurt, and the broadside was not

all.

repeated.

But by
quarter,

schooners

fire

time the wind had veered round into


flag-ship

showed

The gunboats and

action.

While

this

and the

this

and

brigs,

their

and towed

an

unfavorable
of

the

tow by

the

a signal for the discontinuance


prizes

out

of

were

taken

range

of

in

the

enemy's

shot.

operation was going on, the "Constitution" kept up a rapid

upon the shore

batteries,

and not

until the

last of

the

smaller craft

290

BLUE-JACKETS OF

was out

'76.

she turn to leave the

of range, did

As

fray.

she came about,

a shot came in one of her stern-ports, struck a gun near which

Commodore

Preble was standing, broke to pieces, and scattered death and wounds about.

When

made an

the squadron had

Preble hoisted a signal for

offing,

the commanders to come aboard the flag-ship, and

He was
inclined

shown by

recognize the

his

had

roused his naturally irascible

officer

still

morose

the

of

set

their reports.

and

fray,

individual

little

gallantry

heart upon capturing the entire

his

gunboats, and the escape of six of them had

Tripolitan

quarter-deck,

outcome

the

in

conspicuous instances of

He

officers.

nine

of

fleet

disappointed

sorely
to

make

and

disposition

to

came

Decatur

silent,

As he

fury.

in

his

The young

aboard.

wore the bloody, smoke-begrimed uniform

stalked

which he had

grappled with the Turk, his face was begrimed with powder, his hands

As he walked

and breast covered with blood.


was the centre

commodore, he

of observation of all

said quietly,

"Well, commodore,

"

and shaking him

Ay,

sir,

why

But

side,

Stepping up to the

him with both hands by the

seized

fiercely,

of the gunboats."

like a schoolboy, snarled out,


"

to

me more

Decatur's face.

Turning on

and called

reminding him

his

The

heel, the

his

boat,

crowded

the officers

insult

about

him,

of the notoriously quick

wishes to see Capt. Decatur below."

officers

Some

time

passed,

became anxious, and

commodore's cabin.
friendly, but

accepted.

was more than he

both

left

outraged officer walked to

determined to leave the ship

begging

temper

him

of the

they talked, there came a cabin steward with a message.

obeyed.

His hand sought his dagger, but the commodore had

the quarter-deck.
the

the quarter-deck, he

have brought you out three

did you not bring

The blood rushed


could bear.

to

flagship.

upon him

Preble turned
collar,

on the

to

be

commodore.
"

once.

at

calm,

and

While

The commodore

Decatur hesitated a moment, then

but he did not

upon some

re-appear on

deck.

The

pretext,

one sought the

There he found Preble and Decatur,

sitting together,

silent,

and

at

last,

in tears.

The apology had been made and

BLUE-JACKETS OF
There

is

one humble actor in the

cannot abandon without a word.

young

him

called

own head

He

the old
full of

commander's

One day Decatur

life.

The

heroism.

sailor

was embarrassed and nonplussed.

mouth, and scratched his head, without


"

Double pay, Jack

man will refuse you nothing;" "a boatswain's berth


money and shore leave," were among the suggestions.

"If you please,

He

"

"a pocketBut James

had decided.

sir," said he,

men when they

to the

whom we

Reuben James. That heroic


wound he received when he

His shipmates were eager with advice.

put them aside.

to save his

rolled his quid of tobacco in his

replying.

attack upon Tripoli,

and publicly asked him what could be done to reward him

aft,

unselfish

for his

is

recovered from the bad

sailor quickly

interposed his

first

This

291

'76.

"let

somebody

else

hand out the hammocks

is

a sort of business that

That

are piped down.

don't exactly like."

The boon was granted


to

and ever afterwards, when the crew was piped

stow away hammocks, Reuben James sauntered about the decks with

his

hands

in his pockets, the

For modesty, the request


by that
Richard

of the sailor
"

and

very personification of elegant

Decatur

of the preserver of

who decided

the battle between the "

He

the " Serapis."

is

leisure.

only equalled

Bonne

Homme

had stationed himself on the yard-arm,

and was dropping hand-grenades upon the deck of the "Serapis."


last

a well-aimed grenade set

and virtually decided the day

fire to

some powder on the enemy's

favor of the

in

Americans.

by Paul Jones what he would have as a reward for

this

When
great

At
ship,

asked

service,

he suggested double rations of grog for the next week as the proper
recompense.

But
spent

This he got, and no more.

to return to the
in

American

repairing damages, and on the 7th of

was made upon the town.

much

before Tripoli.

fleet

the same as on

The

the

August a second attack

disposition of the

occasion

of

the

Four days were

first

American
attack,

Americans were re-enforced by the three captured gunboats.


was confined

to long-range

a lesson, and was afraid

cannonading
to

try

for the

conclusions

forces

was

although

the

The

fighting

enemy had been taught

hand

to

hand with

the

BLUE-JACKETS OF

292

About three

Americans.

drew the gaze

At

anchored.
it

o'clock in the afternoon, a tremendous explosion

every one to the spot where gunboat No, 8 had been

of

first

only a dense mass of smoke, with the water surrounding

alone remained above water, and there a handful of plucky

twenty-six-pound

loading the great

Now,

we

before

Every ship

just as

lively,"

he

cried.

Turks

squadron was cheering the devoted crew of No.

in the

vessel anxious eyes watched the

The water was rushing

one shot.

men who

Spence,

while his

who

men

8.

thus risked their

into the shattered hulk

Spence pulled the lanyard, and sent a cast-iron shot into

in the water.
oar,

on.

" Let's get one shot at the

the wreck gave a lurch, and went down.

an

men were

sink."

From every
lives for

be

lads,

Her

up.

cannon that formed her armament.

Spence commanded the gunners, and urged them

Lieut.

"

the smoke cleared away,

The gunboat had blown

the extent of the disaster was evident.

bow

When

wreckage, was to be seen.

littered with

'76.

Her crew was

and

Tripoli,

struggling

left

could not swim, saved himself by clinging to

struck out for the nearer vessels, and were soon

receiving the congratulations of their comrades.

In this attack, Richard Somers, a most courageous and capable

who
was

a few weeks later


in

command

of

leaning against her

away the

flagstaff

i,

end, narrowly escaped

head, and the

his

just

above
pole,

officer,

He

death.

and while directing the attack stood

He saw

flagstaff.

Somers stood by the

Lieut.

tragic

gunboat No.

Involuntarily he ducked

cut

met a

him.

shot

flying

next

in

instant

When

his

direction.

the flying shot

the action

was

over,

and found that the shot had cut

it

at

the exact height of his chin.

After firing for about three hours, the American squadron drew
Little

had been accomplished, for the stone walls and fortresses

were not to be damaged very greatly by marine


themselves had suffered seriously.
to eighteen

vessels

men.

They had

lost

artillery.

off.

of Tripoli

The Americans

Their killed and wounded amounted

one gunboat by an explosion, and

had suffered somewhat from the Tripolitan

all

the

fire.

That night the Americans were gladdened by the

arrival of the frigate

BLUE-JACKETS OF

293

'76.

**John Adams," bringing letters and news from home.

She brought

also

the information that re-enforcements were coming.

Accordingly Preble

determined to defer any further attack upon Tripoli

until the arrival of

the expected vessels.

Bashaw upon the

mean time he had

In the

subject of peace

hundred dollars ransom

his claim of five

several interviews with the

Turk would not

but, as the

relinquish

for each captive in his hands,

no

settlement was reached.

While waiting

for the re-enforcements, Preble continued his preparations

The

for another attack.

made.

was while on the

It

coming about before one

just

raked her bottom,

the enemy's works

when

On

town.

but did

brig.
;

and, without

squadron, he began an attack upon the

Four days

damage.

which every vessel

enemy's gunboats were sunk

in

later,

more determined attack was

the squadron took part.

but with this exception

little

Two

material

was done, though the Americans chose the most advantageous


and

fired

no match

and

fast

well.

engagement, the American

this

his suite to
of

the

a bomb-proof dungeon.

cell in

the wall, brought


so that

fleet

by

it.

down

him

to

the

keep up

came within range

One heavy

shot flew in at the

confined,

and striking

stones and mortar upon him as he lay in

next

But the American captain was

day wrote

in

sympathetic

his fire, for the Tripolitans

of

drove that dignitary

shell

which Capt. Bainbridge was

he was seriously bruised.

way daunted, and


telling

positions,

It was becoming evident that men-of-war were

the Bashaw's palace, and the flying shot and

window

the

of

damage

for stone walls.

During
and

the shot

the night of the 24th, a few shells were thrown into Tripoli,

little

in

a heavy shot

Had

planks half through.

the 24th of August, Preble's patience was exhausted

waiting longer for the expected

made,

the batteries,

would have sunk the

it

of

the brig " Argus " narrowly

board, she stood into the harbor, and


of

cutting several

been an inch higher,

By

latter duty, that

With Preble on

escaped destruction.

was

ships were put into fighting trim, munition hauled

and repeated and thorough reconnoissances

over,

ink

to

bed,
in

no

Preble,

were greatly harassed

BLUE-JACKETS OF

294

On

Sept.

As

made.

3,

in

yet

another attack upon

and

fortress

was

Capt. Bainbridge, in a

shell.

the shells he had seen falling

that of

secret letter to Preble, reported,

very

town

the

the foregoing instances, nothing was accomplished except

the throwing of a vast quantity of shot and

in the city

'76.

very few exploded, and the damage done by them was therefore

light.

many of
The
enter.
of

Preble investigated the matter, and found that the fuse-holes


the shells had been stopped with lead, so that no

had been bought

shells

in Sicily,

where they had been made

by the French.

to resist a threatened invasion

could

fire

It

supposed that they

is

had been thus ruined by French secret agents.


But, before this

Commodore

time.

Preble,

and the

command, had about reached the conclusion that


reduced by bombardment.

method

of attack.

The

futile

throughout

not be

could

Accordingly they cast about for some new

plan that was finally adopted proved unfortunate

in this instance, just as similar

prove

under his

officers

Tripoli

all

schemes

for the reduction of fortresses

Briefly stated, the plan

history.

was

to

have
send

a fire-ship, or rather a floating mine, into the harbor, to explode before the
walls of the fortress, and in the midst of the enemy's cruisers.

The ketch

" Intrepid,"

which

had

carried

Decatur and

his

daring

followers out of the harbor of Tripoli, leaving the "Philadelphia" burning

behind them, was


all

possible speed

still

with the

was converted

This vessel was chosen, and with

fleet.

into

an "infernal," or floating mine.

"A

small room, or magazine, had been planked up in the hold of the ketch,

Fenimore Cooper.

just forward of her principal mast," writes

"Communi-

cating with this magazine was a trunk, or tube, that led aft to another room
filled

with combustibles.

In the planked room, or magazine, were placed

one hundred barrels of gunpowder in bulk

and on the deck, immediately

above the powder, were

laid fifty thirteen-and-a-half-inch

hundred nine-inch

with a large quantity of shot, pieces of kentledge,

shells,

and fragments of iron of different

sorts.

train

was

tube, and fuses were attached in the proper manner.

arrangement, the other small room mentioned was


light

wood, which, besides

firing the train,

shells,

and one

laid in the trunk, or

In addition to this

filled

with splinters and

were to keep the enemy from

Page 295. Llue Jackets of

'76.

BOMBARDMENT OF

TRIPOLI.

BLUE-JACKETS OF

297

'76.

them

boarding, as the flames would be apt to induce

apprehend an

to

immediate explosion."

Such was the engine

The

of death prepared.

plan of operations was

simply to put a picked crew on this floating volcano, choose a dark night,
take the "infernal" into the heart of the enemy's squadron,

fire

it,

and

let

the crew escape in boats as best they might.

The

Richard Somers.
him, for a

Indeed,

commanding

a generous rivalry.

it

is

officer

would be

Each strove

exploit with the " Philadelphia,"

win equal

intrusted

probable that the idea


little likely

itself

to

Lieut.

originated with

to assign a subordinate

Moreover, there existed between Decatur and Somers

a duty so hazardous.

to

enterprise was

leadership of this desperate

distinction.

It

is

the idea of the "infernal," he

to surpass the other

and since Decatur's

Somers had been seeking an opportunity


generally believed, that, having conceived

suggested

to

it

Preble,

and claimed for

himself the right of leadership.

But ten men and one


perilous

officer

were

to

accompany Mr. Somers on his

Yet volunteers were numerous, and only by the most

trip.

inflexible decision could the

The officer
and the men were

importunate ones be kept back.

chosen was Lieut. Wadsworth of the " Constitution,"


chosen from that ship and from the " Nautilus."

As

the time for carrying out the desperate enterprise drew near, Preble

pointed out to the young

commander the

who

at that

powder

in the

fall

into the

asked Somers

port-fire,

or

minutes

it

can, sir,"

Something

in

"

its

time,

of the shells

was the quiet response.

speaker's

tone aroused Preble's interest, and he

said,

Would you

day, while talking with

slow-match, and, noting

was burning.

"I think we

the

and

of the Tripolitans^

he thought the boats could get out of reach

if

"

bands

One

time were short of ammunition.

Somers, Preble burned a

in the 'few

ketch to

affair,

Particularly was he enjoined not

the responsibility that rested upon him.


to permit the

great danger of the

like the port-fire shorter still

ask no port-fire at

all,"

was the quiet

"
?

reply.

BLUE-JACKETS OF

298

At

day

last the

'76.

adventure was at hand.

of the

It

was Sept.

4,

the day-

following the last attack upon Tripoli.

The sky was

and gave promise of a dark night.

Fully convinced that the time for

overcast and lowering,

action was at hand, Somers called together the handful of brave fellows

who were

to follow him,

wished no

man

He

briefly addressed them.

them he

told

go with him who did not prefer being blown up to

to

For

being captured.

and

his part,

he would much prefer such a

wished his followers to agree with him.

and he

fate,

For answer the brave fellows

gave three cheers, and crowded round him, each asking to be selected

Somers then passed among the

to apply the match.


of

" Nautilus,"

the

and crew

shaking hands, and bidding each farewell.

were few dry eyes in the ship that afternoon

commander, and

officers

knew how desperate was

all

There

for all loved their

young

the enterprise in which he

had embarked.
It

was

after

dusk when the devoted adventurers boarded the powder-

laden ketch, as she lay tossing at her anchorage.

Shortly after they had

taken possession, a boat came alongside with Decatur and Lieut. Stewart
in

the

The

stern-sheets.

emotion.

They were

all

of his daring.

to part, the leave-taking was

comrades with

and breaking

it

When

Decatur and Stewart

their friends.

the ketch was one

man who had

With

aboard.

Somers took from

"

for success,

not been accepted as a volunteer.

of the " Constitution,"

who had smuggled


Somers ordered

this addition to his original force,

and the " Intrepid

profession,

into four pieces, gave one to each of his

left

This was Lieut. Israel

some

the time came for them

but tranquil.

serious,

Then with hearty handshakings, and good wishes

friends.

On

their

about of an age, followed one loved

and each had given proofs

his finger a ring,

greeted

officers

himself

sail

made,

turned her prow in the direction of the Tripolitan

batteries.

As

far as the harbor's

mouth, she was accompanied by the " Argus,"

the "Vixen," and the "Nautilus."

her way alone.

It

There they

was a calm, foggy

glimmering through the haze, and a

night.

light

left

her,

and she pursued

few stars could be seen

breeze ruffled the water, and

BLUE-JACKETS OF

'76.

299

From

wafted the sloop gently along her course.

the three vessels

that

waited outside the harbor's mouth, eager watchers with night-glasses kept
their gaze

upon the spectral form

riveted

receded from their sight.


sails,

they were

until at last

from the enemy's

of

the ketch, as

she slowly-

Fainter and fainter grew the outline of her

Then

lost to sight altogether.

and the harsh thunder

batteries,

of

the

fitful

flashes

cannon, told

The anxious watchers paced their


decks with bated breath. Though no enemy was near to hear them, they
spoke in whispers. The shadow of a great awe, the weight of some great
that she had been sighted

by the

foe.

seemed crushing them.

calamity,

"What was

that.?"

Through the haze a glimmering

All started at the abrupt exclamation.


light

had been seen to move rapidly along the surface of the water, as

though a lantern were being carried along a deck.


as though dropped

down

that seemed like hours.


of

fire,

a hatchway.

Then

seen to

The concussion

rise

straight

the mast of the ketch, with

into

the

fuses flew in every direction.

it

disappeared,

seconds
threw

The
men

sail blazing,

was

huge volcano shook earth and

roar like that of a

Then

Suddenly

few seconds passed,

there shot up into the sky a dazzling jet

vessels trembled at their moorings.

upon the decks.

air,

The

and

fall

its

sea.

Bombs with burning

back.

distant sound of heavy bodies falling

Then

was heard.

into the water and on the rocks

of the air

was

all

still.

Even

the Tripolitan batteries were silent.

For a moment a great sorrow


the

thought

that

Somers and

ketch before the explosion.

lengthened into hours, and

fell

his

upon the Americans.


brave

men

might

Then came

have

All listened for approaching oars.


still

no sound was heard.

the

left

Minutes

Men hung

from

the sides of the vessels, with their ears to the water, in the hopes of

catching the sound of the coming boats.

But

all

was

in vain.

Day broke

the shattered wreck of the " Intrepid " could be seen within the harbor,

and near

it

two injured Tripolitan gunboats.

But

of

Somers and

his

brave followers no trace could be seen, nor were they ever again beheld

by

their companions.

BLUE-JACKETS OF

JOO

To
days

came a Tripolitan

Capt. Bainbridge in his prison-cell

Thither Bainbridge went, and was shown

thrown there by the waves.


bodies

not be

and

shockingly mutilated

the remains

doubtless

several

officer,

asking him to go to a point of rocks, and view some bodies

later,

several

'76.

some

of

Though they were

burned.

the gallant adventurers, they could

of

identified.

The

exact reason for this disaster can never be known.

Many have

thought that Somers saw capture inevitable, and with his own hand
the fatal

charge

others

while the last and most plausible theory


batteries penetrated the magazine,

of the explosion, there has

became a

of

all

are

battle-cry,

is,

that a shot from the enemy's

and ended the career

"
of the " Intrepid

But however vexed the controversy over the cause

and her gallant crew.

The names

fired

believed the explosion to be purely accidental

been no denial

honored

in

of the gallantry of its victims.

naval annals,

Somers

while that of

and has been borne by some

of

the most dashing

vessels of the United States navy.


It

may be

Thereafter

it

said

that

was but a

Commodore Barron

series

of

United States
the hands

no

of

that

paid

until

all

blockades and diplomatic negotiations.

and maintained the blockade, without

peace was signed in June,

peace cannot be too


sixty

thousand

harshly criticised.

dollars

for

moment have

The

1805.

By

it

American prisoners

the Bashaw, thus yielding to demands for

civilized nation should for a

was

of

relieved Preble,

any offensive operations,


conditions

episode terminated the war with Tripoli.

this

considered.

the
in

ransom which

The concession

the more unnecessary, because a native force of insurrectionists,

re-enforced by a few Americans, was marching upon Tripoli from the rear,

and would have soon brought the Bashaw to terms.


part of the navy to negotiate the treaty.

The duty

of the blue-jackets

had been

and that they had discharged

this

But

it

was not the

That rested with the civilians.

to fight for their country's

honor

duty well, no reader of these pages

can deny.

We
navy.

have now finished our story of the early days of the United States

Of

its

later exploits in

18 12 and 1861,

we have spoken

in other

BLUE-JACKETS OF
Of the work

volumes.

did while a

it

the readers of this book can judge.

say that

and

it

in every

Decatur

Perry.

They

gave
in

way

way

their

Porter the younger.

fulfilled

young and struggling organization,

Of

the promise of

turn yielded the

And

later work,

its

Lawrence, Hull,

to

301

'76.

David
to

field

can any doubt

its

exist

is

it

Porter,

the

mind

understanding the American character, that, should the need


successors

to

these

great

commanders

seamen are to-day unknown.


them.

will

appear.?

America looks

to

Our

sen.,

and

Farragut
in

enough

to

Paul Jones

youth,

and

David
of

one

arise,

other

future

great

her youth

to

supply

RR D

?'J

1^-

80

->^='^"

.^^"-^.

o^^'^^if.

\^<4^Z^-^,^

.f^

-.

^ o

c'.yii:."o

w**.-^4-.\

c'.C^->

y,-a;t\

t-'-J.L^
-^

'
<if^

. .

'

"

'

^"-^'^'

.s^r

OCT

79
0"

ESTER
INDIANA 46962'

o.

.1'.'^.^^^^

CONGRESS

011800 479

dmtm

\
'

afv^

fc

'ft,

irW-'Ji

Похожие интересы