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he had struck; then hauled down the courses to shoot ahead to repair our rigging, which was extremely cut; leaving the enemy a complete wreck; soon after discov ered that the enemy's flag was still flying, Hove too to repair some of our damage.
At 20 minutes past 4, the enemy's mainmast went nearly by the board.
At 50 minutes past 4, wore ship and stood for the enemy.
At 25 minutes past 5, got close to the enemy, in a very effectual raking position, thwart his bows, and was at the instance of raking him, when he most prudently struck his flag for had he suffered the broadside to have raked him, his additional loss must have been extremely great-as he laid an unmanageable wreck upon the water. After the enemy had struck, wore ship and reefed the topsails-then hoisted out one of the only two remaining boats we had left out of eight, and sent Lieut. Parker, 1st of the Constitution, to take possession of the enemy, which proved to be his Britannic majesty's frigate Java, rated 38, but carried 49 guns, and manned with upwards of 400 men, commanded by Capt. Lambert, a very distinguished officer, who was mortally wounded. The action continued from commencement to the end of the fire, one hour and 55 minutes. The Java had her own complement of men complete, and upwards of one hundred supernumeraries, going to British ships of war to the East Indies-also several officers, passengers, going out on promotion. The force of the enemy in number of men at the commencement of the action was no doubt considerably greater than we have been able to ascertain, which is upwards of 400 men. The officers were extremely cautious in disovering the number. By her quarter bill; she had one more man stationed to each gun than we had.
The Constitution was very much cut in her sails, and rigging, and many of her spars injured.
At 7, P. M. the boat returned with Lieut. Chads the first Lieut. of the enemy's frigate, and Lieut. Gen. Hislop, (appointed Governor of Bombay) Maj. Walker, and Capt. Wood.
'Capt. Lambert was too dangerously wounded to be removed immediately. The cutter returned on board the
prize for the prisoners, and brought Capt. Marshall, master and commandant in the British navy, who was a passenger oir board, also, several other naval officers.
'The Java was an important ship, fitted out in the completest manner, to carry Lieut. Gen. Hislop and staff to Bombay.
Letter above alluded to, from an officer of the Java.
Constitution, St. Sulvador, Brazils, Jan. 1, 1813. My dear sir-I am sorry to inform you of the unpleasant news of Mr. Gascoine's death. Mr. Gascoine and myself were shipmates in the Marlborough, and first came to sea together. He was shot early in the action by a round shot in his right thigh, and died in a few minutes afterwards. Four others of his messmates shared the same fate, together with 60 men killed and 170 wounded. The official account you will no doubt have read before this reaches you. I beg you will let all his friends and relations know of his untimely fate.
We were on board the Java for a passage to India when we fell in with this frigate.-Two parcels I have sent you under good care, and I hope this will reach you safely. Yours truly,
H. D. CORNECK.
Lieut. P. V. Wood, 22d reg. Isle of France.
Capt. Lawrence to the Secretary of the Navy. U. S. S. Hornet, Holmes' Hole, March 19, 1813. SIR-I have the honor to inform you of the arrival at this port, of the U. S. ship Hornet, under my command, from a cruise of 145 days, and to state to you, that after Com. Bainbridge left the coast of Brazils, (on the 6th of January last) the Hornet continued off the harbor of St. Salvador, blockading the Bonne Citoyenne, of 21 guns, until the 24th, when the Montagu, 74, hove in sight and chased me into the harbor; but night coming on I wore and stood to the southward. Knowing that she had left Rio Janeiro for the express purpose of relieving the Bonne Citoyenne, and the Packet, of 14 guns (which I had also blockaded for fourteen days, and obliged her to send her mail to Rio, in a Portuguese smack) I judged it most pru
dent to change our cruising ground, and stood to the eastward, with the view of cruising off Pernambuco-and on the 4th day of February, captured the English brig Resolution, from Rio Janeiro, bound to Moranham, with coffee, jerked beef, flour, fustic, and butter, and about 25,000. dollars in specie. As the brig sailed dull, and could ill spare hands to man her, I took out the money and set her on fire. I then run down the coast for Moraubam, and cruised there a short time; from thence ran off Surrinam. After cruising off that coast from the 5th to the 22d of February, without meeting a vessel, I stood for Demarara, with an intention should I not be fortunate on that station, to run through the West Indies, on my way to the U. States. But on the morning of the 24th, I discovered a brig to leeward, to which I gave chase; ran into quarter less four, and not having a pilot, was obliged to haul off-the fort at the entrance of Demarara river at this time bearing S. W. distance about 2 1-2 leagues. Previously to giving up the chase, I discovered a vessel at anchor without the bar with English colors flying, apparently a brig of war. In beating round Corrobano bank, in order to get at her, at half past 3, P. M. I discovered another sail on my weather quarter, edging down for us. At 4, 20, she hoisted English colors, at which time we discovered her to be a large man of war brig-beat to quarters, and cleared ship for action-kept close by the wind, in order if possible to get the weather guage. At 5, 10, finding I could weather the enemy, I hoisted American colors, and tacked. At 5, 20, in passing each other, exchanged broadsides within half pistol shot. Observing the enemy in the act of wearing, I bore up, received his starboard broadside, ran him close on board on the starboard quarter, and kept up such a heavy and well directed fire, that in less than 15 minutes he surrendered, being literally cut to pieces, and hoisted an ensign, union down, from his fore rigging, as a signal of distress. Shortly after his mainmast went by the board. Despatched Lieut. Shubrick on board, who soon returned with her first Lieut. who reported her to be his Britannic majesty's late brig Peacock, commanded by Capt. William Peake, who fell in the latter part of the action—that a number of her crew were killed and wounded, and that she was sinking fast, having then six feet of water in her
hold. Despatched the boats immediately for the wounded, and brought both vessels to anchor. Such shot holes as could be got at, were then plugged; her guns thrown overboard, and every possible exertion used to keep her afloat, until the prisoners could be removed, by pumping and bailing, but without effect; and she unfortunately sunk in five and a half fathoms water, carrying down 13 of her crew, and three of my brave fellows. Lieut. Conner, midshipman Cooper, and the remainder of the Hornet's crew, employed in removing the prisoners, with difficulty saved themselves by jumping in a boat that was lying on her bows as she went down. Four men, of the 13 mentioned, were so fortunate as to gain the fore-top, and were afterwards taken off by the boats. Previous to her going down, four of her men took to her stern boat, which had been much damaged during the action, who, I hope, reached the shore in safety; but from the heavy sea running at the time, the shattered state of the boat, and the difficulty of landing on the coast, I much fear they were lost. I have not been able to ascertain from her officers the exact number killed. Capt. Peake and four men were found dead on board. The master, one midshipman, carpenter, and Ca tai's clerk, and 29 seamen were wounded, most of them very severely, three of whom died of their wounds after being removed, and 9 drowned. Our loss was triAng in comparison, being only 2 killed and 3 wounded. Our rigging and sails were very much cut; one shot through the foremast, and the bowsprit slightly injured. Our buli received little or no damage. At the time the Peacock was brought to action, the L'Espeigle, (the brig mentioned above as being at anchor) mounting 16 two and thirty pound carronades and two long nines, lay about six miles in shore, and could plainly see the whole of the action. Apprehensive that she would beat out to the assistance of her consort, such exertions were made by my officers and crew in repairing damages, &c. that by 9 o'clock the boats were stowed, a new set of sails bent, and the ship completely ready for action. At 2, A. M. got under way, and stood by the wind to the northward and westward, under easy sail.
On must ring next morning, found we had 277 souls on board, including the crew of the American brig Hunter,
of Portland, taken a few days before by the Peacock. And, as we had been on two thirds allowance of provisions for some time, and had but 3,400 gallons of water on board, I reduced the allowance to three pints a man, and determined to make the best of my way to the U. States.
The Peacock was deservedly styled one of the finest vessels of her class in the British navy, probably about the tonage of the Hornet. Her beam was greater by five inches; but her extreme length not so great by four feet. She mounted 16 twenty four pound carronades, two long nines, one twelve pound carronade on her top-gallant forecastle, as a shifting gun, and one 4 or 6 pounder, and 2 swivels mounted aft. I find by her quarter bill that her crew consisted of 134 men, four of whom were absent in a prize. With the greatest respect, &c.
P. S. At the commencement of the action my sailing master and seven men were absent in a prize, and Lieut. Stewart, and six men on the sick list.
CAPTURE OF LITTLE YORK.
H. Q. York, Upper Canada, April 28, 1813. SIR-After a detention of some days by adverse winds, we arrived at this place yesterday morning, and at 8 o'clock commenced landing the troops about 3 miles westward from the town, and one and a half from the enemy's works. The wind was high and in an unfavorable direction for the boats, which prevented the landing of the troops at a clear field, the scite of the ancient French fort Tarento. It prevented also many of the armed vessels from taking positions, which would have most effectually covered our landing-but every thing that could be done was effected.
The riflemen under Major Forsyth first landed, under a heavy fire from Indians and other troops. Gen. Sheaffe commanded in person. He had collected his whole force in the woods near the point where the wind compelled our