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and gun barges, with three light gigs, manned with upwards of one thousand men and officers. About 9 30, the Alligator (tender) which was to the southward and eastward, and endeavouring to join the division, was captured by several of the enemy's barges, when the whole flotilla came to with their grapples, a little out of reach of our shot, apparently making arrangements for the attack. At 10 39, the enemy weighed, forming a line abreast in open order, and steering direct for our line, which was unfortunately in some degree broken by the force of the current, driving numbers 156 and 163 about one hundred yards in advance. As soon as the enemy came within reach of our shot, a deliberate fire from our long guns was opened upon him, but without much ef fect, the objects being of so small a size. At 10 minutes before 11, the enemy opened a fire from the whole of his line, when the action became general and destructive on both sides. At 11 49, the advanced boats of the enemy, three in number, attempted to board No. 156, but were repulsed with the loss of nearly every officer killed or wounded, and two boats sunk. A second attempt to board was then made by four other boats, which shared almost a similar fate. At this moment I received a severe wound in my left shoulder, which compelled me to quit the deck, leaving it in charge of Mr. George Parker, master's mate, who gallantly defended the vessel until he was severely wounded, when the enemy, by his superior numbers, succeeded in gaining possession of the deck, about 10 minutes past 12 o'clock. The enemy immediately turned the guns of his prize on our other gun-boats, and fired several shot previous to striking the American colours. The action continued with unabated severity, until 40 minutes past 12 o'clock, when it terminated with the surrender of No. 23, all the other vessels having previously fallen into the hands of the enemy.
In this unequal contest, our loss in killed and wounded has been trifling, compared to that of the enemy, which amounts to nearly four hundred.
Enclosed you will receive a list of the killed and wounded, and a correct statement of the force which I had the honour to command at the commencement of the action, together with an esti mate of the force I had to contend against, as acknowledged by the enemy, which will enable you to decide how far the honour of our country's flag has been supported in this conflict.
With much respect, &c.
Capt. Daniel T. Patterson, commanding.
Statement of the effective force of a division of the United States gun-boats, under the command of lieutenant commanding Thomas Ap Catesby Jones, at the commencement of the action, with a flotilla of English boats, on the 14th of December, 1814.
Gun-boat, No. 5, 5 guns, 36 men, sailing master John D. Ferris; gun-boat, No. 156, 5 guns, 41 men, lieutenant commandant T. A. C. Jones; gun-boat, No. 162, 5 guns, 35 men, lieutenant Robert Speeden; gun-boat, No. 163, 3 guns, 31 men, sailing master George Ulrick.Total, 23 guns, 182 men.
N. B. The schooner Sea Horse had one 6 pounder and 14 men, sailing master William Johnson, commander; none killed or wounded.
The sloop Alligator (tender) had one 4 pounder and eight men, sailing master Richard S. Sheppard, commander.
THOMAS AP CATESBY JONES,
The following is a correct statement af the British forces which
Forty launches and barges, mounting one carronade each, of 12, 19, and 24 calibre.
One launch, mounting one long brass 12 pounder,
do. do. 9 do.
Three gigs, with small arms only.
Total number of boats,
The above flotilla was manned with 1200 men and officers, commanded by captain Lockyer, who received three severe wounds in the action. The enemy, as usual, will not acknowledge his loss on this occasion, in boats or men; but from the nature of the action, and the observations made by our officers while prisoners in their fleet, his loss in killed and wounded may be justly estimated to exceed three hundred, among whom are an unusual proportion of officers.
CAPTURE OF THE PENGUIN.
U. S. SLOOP HORNET, OFF TRISTAN D'ACUNHA,
I have the honour to inform you, that on the morning of the 23d instant, at half past ten, when about to anchor, off the north end of the island of Tristan d'Acunha, a sail was seen to the sonthward and eastward, steering to the westward, the wind fresh from the S. S. W. In a few minutes she had passed on to the westward, so that we could not see her for the land. I immedi
ately made sail for the westward, and shortly after getting in sight. of her again, perceived her to bear up before the wind. I hove to for him to come down to us. When she had approached near, I filled the maintopsail, and continued to yaw the ship, while she continued to come down, wearing occasionally to prevent her passing under our stern. At 1 40 P. M. being within nearly musket shot distance, she hauled her wind on the starboard tack, hoisted English colours and fired a gun. We immediately luffed to, hoisted our ensign and gave the enemy a broadside. The action being thus commenced, a quick and well directed fire was kept up from this ship, the enemy gradually driving near to us, when at 1 65 minutes he bore up apparently to run us on board. As soon as I perceived he would certainly fall on board, I called the boarders, so as to be ready to repel any attempt to board us. At the instant every officer and man repaired to the quarter deck, where the two vessels were coming in contact, and eagerly pressed me to permit them to board the enemy; but this I would not permit, as it was evident, from the commencement of the action, that our fire was greatly superior both in quickness and in effect. The enemy's bowsprit came in between our main and mizen rigging, on our starboard side, affording him an opportunity to board us, if such was his design, but no attempt was made. There was a considerable swell on, and as the sea lifted us ahead, the enemy's boom carried away our mizen shrouds, stern davits and spanker boom, and he hung upon our larboard quarter. At this moment an officer, who was afterwards recognized to be Mr. M'Donald, the first lieutenant, and the then cominanding officer, called out that they had surrendered. I directed the marines and musketry men to cease firing, and, while on the taffrail asking if they had surrendered, I received a wound in the neck. The enemy just then got clear of us, and his fore-mast and bowsprit being both gone, and perceiving us wearing to give a fresh broadside, he again called out that he had surrendered. It was with difficulty I could restrain my crew from firing into him again, as he had certainly fired into us after having surrendered. From the firing of the first gun, to the last time the enemy cried out he had surrendered, was exactly 22 minutes by the watch. She proved to be his Britannic majesty's brig Penguin, mounting six 32 pound carronades, two long 12's, a twelve pound carronade on the top-gallant fore-castle, with swivels on the capstern in the tops. She had a spare port forward, so as to fight both her long guns of a side. She sailed from England in September last. She was shorter upon deck than this ship, by two feet, but she had a greater length of keel, greater breadth of beam, thicker sides, and higher bulwarks than this ship, and was in all respects a remarkably fine vessel of her class. The enemy acknowledge a complement of 132, 12 of them supernumerary marines from the Medway 74, received on board in consequence of their being ordered to cruize for the American privateer Young Wasp. They
acknowledge, also, a loss of 14 killed and 28 wounded; but Mr. Mayo, who was in charge of the prize, assures me that the number of killed was certainly greater. Among the killed is captain Dickenson, who fell at the close of the action, and the boatswain; among the wounded, is the second lieutenant, purser, and two midshipmen. Each of the midshipmen lost a leg. We received on board, in all, 118 prisoners, four of whom have since died of their wounds. Having removed the prisoners, and taken on board such provisions and stores as would be useful to us, I scuttled the Penguin this morning, before day-light, and she went down. As she was completely riddled by our shot, her foremast and bowsprit both gone, and her main-mast so crippled as to be incapable of being secured, it seemed unadvisable, at this distance from home, to attempt sending her to the United States.
This ship did not receive a single round shot in her hull, nor any material wound in her spars; the rigging and sails were very much cut; but having bent a new suit of sails and knotted and secured our rigging, we are now completely ready, in all respects, for any service. We were eight men short of complement, and had nine upon the sick list the morning of the action.
Enclosed is a list of killed and wounded. I lament to state that lieutenant Conner is wounded dangerously. I feel great solicitude on his account, as he is an officer of much promise, and his loss would be a serious loss to the service.
It is a most pleasing part of my duty to acquaint you, that the conduct of lieutenants Conner and Newton, Mr. Mayo, acting lieutenant Brownlow, of the marines, sailing master Romney, and the other officers, seamen and marines I have the honour to command, was in the highest degree creditable to them, and calls for my warmest recommendation. I cannot, indeed, do justice to their merits. The satisfaction which was diffused throughout the ship when it was ascertained that the stranger was an enemy's sloop of war, and the alacrity with which every one repaired to quarters, fully assured me that their conduct in the action would be marked with coolness and intrepidity.
I have the honour to be, &c.
Hon. Secretary of the Navy.
CAPTURE OF THE CYANE AND LEVANT.
U. S. FRIGATE CONSTITUTION, May—, 1815.
On the 20th of February last, the island of Madeira bearing about west south-west, distant 60 leagues, we fell in with his Britannic majesty's two ships of war, the Cyane and Levant; and brought them to action about 6 o'clock in the evening, both of
which, after a spirited engagement of 40 minutes, surrendered to the ship under my command.
Considering the advantages derived by the enemy, from a divided and more active force, as also their superiority in the weight and number of guns, I deem the speedy and decisive result of this action the strongest assurance which can be given to the government, that all under my command did their duty, and gallantly supported the reputation of American seamen.
Enclosed you will receive the minutes of the action, and a list of the killed and wounded on board this ship; also enclosed you will receive for your information, a statement of the actual force of the enemy, and the number killed and wounded on board their ships, as near as could be ascertained.
Hon. Secretary of the Navy.
I have the honour to be, &c.
American loss-S killed, 12 wounded.
Minutes of the action between the United States' frigate Constitution, and his Britannic majesty's ships Cyane and Levant, on the 20th February, 1815.
Commences with light breezes from the east, and cloudy wea ther. At one, discovered a sail two points on the larboard bowhauled up and made sail in chase. At 4 past one, made the sail to be a ship; at past one, discovered another sail ahead; made them out at two P. M. to be both ships, standing close hauled, with their starboard tacks on board; at 4 P. M. the weather most ship made signals, and bore up to her consort, then about 10 miles to leeward; we bore up after her, and set lower top-mast, top-gallant, and royal studding sails in chase; at past 4, carried away our main royal mast; took in the sails and got another prepared; at 5 P. M. commenced firing on the chase from our two larboard bow guns; our shot falling short, ceased firing; at past five, finding it impossible to prevent their junction, cleared ship for action, then about four miles from the two ships; at 40 minutes after 5, they passed within hail of each other, and hauled by the wind on the starboard tack, hauled up their courses, and prepared to receive us; at forty-five minutes past five, they made all sail close hauled by the wind, in hopes of getting to the windward of us; at 55 minutes past 5, finding themselves disappointed in their object, and we were closing with them fast, they shortened sail, and formed on a line of wind, about half a cable's length from each other. At 6 P. M. having them under command of our battery, hoisted our colours, which was answered by both ships hoisting English ensigns. At 5 minutes past 6, ranged up on the starboard side of the sternmost ship, about 300 yards distant, and commenc