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It is with emotions of pride, I bear testimony to the gallantry and steadiness of every officer and man I had the honor to command on this occasion, and I feel satisfied that the fact of their having beaten a force equal to themselves, in the presence, and almost under the guns of vastly a superior force, when, too, it was almost self evident, that whatever their exertions might be, they must ultimately be captured, will be taken as evidence of what they would have performed, had the force opposed to them been in any degree equal.
For 24 hours after the action it was nearly calm, and the squadron were occupied in repairing the crippled ships. Such of the crew of the President as were not badiy wound-ed, were put on board the different ships; myself and a part of my crew were put on board this ship. On the 17th we had a gale from the eastward, when this ship lost her bowsprit, fore and main-masts, and mizen top-mast, all of which were badly wounded, and was, in consequence of her disabled condition, obliged to throw overboard all her upper deck guns.
I have the honor to be, &c.
Killed 24-wounded 55.
Killed 15-wounded 28.
Capt. Boyle to Mr. George P. Stephenson. Privateer Chasseur, at sea, March 2, 1815. [Extract.] SIR-I have the honor to inform you, that on the 26th of February being about six leagues to windward of Havanna, and two leagues from the land-at 11, A. M. discovered a schooner bearing N E. of us, apparently running before the wind; made every possible sail in chase. At half past meridian I fired a gun and hoisted the American flag, to ascertain, if possible, the nation which she belonged to, but she shewed no colors. At 1, P. M. drawing up with him very fast, she fired a stern chase gun at us, and hoisted English colors, shewing at the same time only three ports in the side next to us.
Under the impression that she was a running vessel bound to Havanna, weakly armed and manned, I tried every effort to close with him as quick as possible. Saw very few men on his deck, and hastily made small preparation for action, thongh my officers, myself and men did not expect any fighting, of course we were not completely prepared for action. At 1, 26, we were within pistol shot of him when he opened a tier of ten ports on a side, and gave his broadside of round, grape and musket balls. I then opened the Chasseur's fire from the great guns and musketry, and endeavored to close with him for the purpose of boarding; we having quick way at this time, shot ahead of him under his lee; he put his helm up for the purpose of wearing across our stern and to give us a raking fire, which I prevented by timely taking notice of his intention, and putting our helm hard up also. He shot quick ahead, and I closed within ten yards of him; at this time both fires were heavy, severe, and destructive. I now found his men had been concealed under his bulwark, and that I had a heavy enemy to contend with, and at 1, 40, gave the order for boarding, which my brave officers and men cheerfully obeyed with unexampled quickness, instantly put the helm to starboard to lay him on board, and in the act of boarding her, she surrendered. She proved to he H. B. majesty's schooner St. Lawrence, commanded by Lieut. James E. Gordon, of 15 guns, 14 twelve pound carronades upon an improved construction, and a long nine; 75 men, and had on board a number of soldiers, marines, and some gentlemen of the navy passengers; having by report 15 killed and 23 wounded. I had 5 men killed and 8 wounded, myself amongst the latter, though very slightly. Thus ended the action in 15 minutes after its commencement, and about 8 minutes close quarters, with a force equal in every respect to our own.
The Chasseur mounts six 12 pounders, and eight short 9 pound carronades, (the latter taken from one of her prizes) ten of our 12 pound carronades having been thrown overboard whlie hard chased by the Barrosa frigate.
Yours with respect,
Col. Scott to Governor Early.
Great Satill river, February 28, 1815.
[Extract] SIR-I have the pleasure to inform you of a brilliant affair having taken place on the 24th inst. on the river St. Mary's, between a part of my detachment, 20 men, commanded by Capt. William Mickler, aided by about 30 of the Patriots of Florida, under Col. Dul, and 6 of the enemy's barges, containing about 250 men, which had attempted to proceed up the river to burn Mr. A. Clark's mills. The enemy were first attacked by the Patriots from the Florida shore, near Camp Pinckney, when the barges immediately tacked about to retreat, but our men being in ambush on this shore gave them a second reception, and thus the fire was kept up from both shores until they got into a greater extent of river than our riflemen could reach. The enemy lost 160 killed and wounded.We had one man severely wounded through the body, and several received balls through their clothes, but no further injury.
Sailing master John Hurlburd to Com. Campbell. Gun Boat, No. 168, Cumberland Sound, March 18, 1815. [Extract.] SIR Proceeding with the despatch which you did me the honor to entrust to my care, I sailed from Tybee bar, at 1, P. M. on the 16th inst. wind N. E. steering south; at half past 3 descried a sail in the S. E. quarter, which we soon found to be a ship standing N. N. W. About 40 minutes after she fired a gun and hoisted her colors, the shot passing over our fore gaff; our colors were hoisted, continued our course for a few minutes, when another gun was fired; the shot passed abaft the main rigging over the lee quarter. Heaving his vessel too on the starboard tack, hailed me by saying, 'you damn'd rascal, if you don't lower your boat down and come on board iinmediately, I'll fire into you, I'll sink you, God damn you.' Seeing me in the act of taking in the square sail, why don't you heave too, God damn you, I'll sink you; I'll fire a broadside into you.' As soon as I could be heard I said, this is a U. States' vessei, from Savannah, with despatches for Admiral Cockburn. In the act of pronouncing the last words, a niusket was fired at me, the ball pass
ing near my shoulders, over the hand of the man at the helm, striking the water from 20 to 30 feet from the vessel. Putting the helm down, I agam informed him of the character of the vessel, saying, if you wish for further satisfaction you are at liberty to send your boat on board; he said, ‘I don't care a damn for the despatches, nor Admiral Cockburn either; God damn them and the United States too; I'll fire a broadside into you and sink you, if you don't lower your boat down and come on board, you rascal.' Put about and run-close under the ship's lee, saying, this is the U. States'⚫ gun vessel No. 168, with despatches for the Admiral off St. Mary's; if you doubt her being what she appears to be, you can send your boat on board. Turning to me, he says, God damn you, come on board or I'll sink youI'll fire thunder into you.' I replied, if you do, I shall return your compliments with lightning. At this time I received, if possible, a greater flood of vulgar abuse than before. I hove about, stood to windward of him, heaving too on his starboard quarter, with the larboard tacks on board; when a Lieutenant came alongside, and ordered me into the boat, saying, if you do not go on board, every one of you will be taken out and carried to Charleston.' Go on board and tell your commander that I shall not lower my boat, nor shall an officer or man leave the vessel but by force, showing him the paper for Admiral Cockburn. If you don't go on board, you'll be sunk as soon as I go on board; I advise you to go'-I want no advice, (said I) I have the orders of my government by which I am governed; tell your commander that such trifling shall not pass with impunity. On the boat leaving us, the Captain of the ship said, won't the damned rascal come? then come alongside and let me sink him; I'll fire a broadside into him. On the boat's reaching the ship's side a gun was fired; the shot passing to leeward, through the mainsail, pear the mast, cutting away one of the stays, going between the foremast and rigging; while he gave full vent to his vulgar abuse. I now saw every one of our little crew anxiously waiting the order to fire into the apparent enemy ; but I considered that several lives would in all probability be lost, and the flag struck at last. Under these considerations, I fired a gun across his bows, as the vessels were lying, sunk the signals, and hauled the colors down. A
Lieutenant came on board, to whom I made a formal surrender of the vessel; he observed that he was only a Leat. 'Send an officer on board, (I replied, the officers and men are your prisoners.' He ordered me on board the ship. On my arrival on board the ship, I was met by the Captain near the main mast, saying, this is his majesty's ship Erebus, Bartholomew, commander.' This is my sword, I replied) that is the U. States gun vessel No. 168, which I surrender as your prize, myself, officers and crew as your prisoners.' He said again, how dare you refuse to come on board his majesty's ship when ordered ?I know not nor do I acknowledge any right you have to order me on board, or to interrupt me sailing along the American coast, I shall, however, make a fair representation of this most flagrant abuse of power on your part to my government. very much regret that I have not the command of a vessel of 20 guns, which would save the trouble of demanding satisfaction at a future day, by taking it on the spot.' He said, I only wish to warn you off the coast; will you see my orders from the Admiral to warn all vessels from the coast? As I am governed by the orders of my own gov ernment, I can have nothing to do with those of Admiral Cockburn.' He said I thought you might be from the Cape of Good Hope.' You could not believe any such thing, when you see she has no quarter, has not the appearance of having been at sea any length of time; her boats not stowed as if to remain long at sea; nor could you suppose that were I from a long cruise, I should run past the port of Savannah, thereby exposing my vessel to any British cruizer that might happen to be on the coast.' He then said, upon my honor, I believe it was an accident, but I am sure the last shot would not have been fired if you had not been trying to run away from me.' You could believe no such thing; you saw both jibs to windward, and the helm a-lee.' He said, upon my honor, I don't know whether it went off by accident or was fired; uo orders were given to fire.' After walking the quarter-deck for a few minutes, returning, he said, will you see my orders to warn all vessels off the coast.' 'As I have nothing to do with them I can have no wish to see them.' If you think this will cause any dispute between the two governments, (said he) I will return with you to the Admiral and have it set