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CHAPTER CLXVII.

MADISON'S ADMINISTRATION, CONTINUED.- The War on

the Ocean.

1. On the ocean, in the year 1813, the United States were less for

DEATH OF LAWRENCE.

tunate, especially during the first six inonths of the year, than they had been in 1812. The Chesapeake frigate and the Argus sloop of war fell into the hands of the enemy, and a portion of the navy was blockaded at New London.

2. The loss of the Chesapeake, of thirty-eight

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guns, and commanded by Captain Lawrence, was an event which excited intense interest throughout the country. He had put to sea expecting that he should be obliged to contend with the Shannon; which fact added greatly to the mortification of defeat.

3. He left the port of Boston, in pursuit of the Shannon, about noon on the 1st of June. The contest began about half-past five in the afternoon, and lasted about fifteen minutes. The battle was uncommonly bloody. Both ships, it is said, were like charnel houses.

4. Captain Lawrence was first wounded in the leg, and afterward shot through the body. Yet even then he was unwilling to yield the palm to the British, but, as he was being carried below, said sternly, "Don't give up the ship." Yet it was unavoidable. The British had already boarded the Chesapeake, and the resistance made to them was momentary.

5. In this terrible conflict, the Americans had sixty-two killed and eighty-four wounded, and the British twenty-eight killed and fifty

CHAP. CLXVII.-1. What of the United States navy in 1813? 2. Who commanded the Chesapeake? What expectation had Captain Lawrence? 8 Describe the action be tween the Chesapeake and Shannon. 4. What of Captain Lawrence? What words did

be use when carried below?

THE WAR ON THE OCEAN.

339

eight wounded. When the battle was over, both vessels sailed for Halifax, where Captain Lawrence, after suffering the most intense anguish for five or six days, expired.

6. Captain Lawrence was thirty-two years of age, and much beloved. As a proof of the attachment of his younger officers to him, the following anecdote is related. The midshipmen of one of our squadrons gave a dinner to Commodore Rodgers one day, at which it was proposed not to ask any lieutenant. "What, not Mr. Lawrence ?" said one. It was decided immediately to have Lawrence present; but no other lieutenant was there.

7. The unexpected issue of this battle may have been owing, in part, to the neglect of those whose duty it was to pay the men their prizemoney. The Chesapeake had been cruising, and had taken prizes, and the men had not been paid their share; and, though some sort of an apology had been made, many were not satisfied.

8. Among the disaffected ones was the boatswain's mate. When the British boarded the Chesapeake, this man quitted his post and ran below, leaving the gratings open, so that the men readily followed his example. When the officers attempted to rally their men to repel the enemy, they could not find them. The boatswain's mate was heard to say, as he retreated, "So much for not having paid men their prizemoney."

9. A battle was fought on the 22d of June of this year, 1813, at Craney Island, in the Chesapeake Bay, between a large British fleet, which was cruising there, under Sir Sidney Beckwith and Admiral Warren, and some American officers and sailors of the navy with a body of Virginia militia. The British were defeated, with a very heavy loss.

10. In less than two months after the capture of the Chesapeake, the American navy experienced another reverse of fortune in the loss of the Argus, of eighteen guns. She was captured by the Pelican, of twenty guns, after a hard-fought battle, in which her first officer and five men fell, and sixteen were wounded.

11. The Argus had been out to France, to carry Mr. Crawford, our minister, and was on her return. She had taken quite a number of prizes on the very coast of Great Britain, and so much annoyed the enemy that several vessels had been sent out in search of her. Among these was the successful Pelican.

5. What was the loss of the contending parties? Where did the ships go after the battle? 6. Give the anecdote of Lawrence and the dinner. 7. To what was the issue of this contest owing? 8. What was done by the boatswain's mate? 9. What battle was fought on the 22d of June? 10. What of the engagement between the Argus and th Pelican? 11. Describe the cruise of the Argus.

12. But the tide of victory at length began to turn. On the 5th of September, the Enterprise took the British brig Boxer, after a hardfought battle of half an hour, in which she lost but one man, her commander, Lieutenant Burrows; while the loss of the British was considerable, including, also, her commander, Captain Blythe. A still more important triumph of the American navy was at hand.

CHAPTER CLXVIII.

MADISON'S ADMINISTRATION, CONTINUED.-Battle on Lake

Erie.

1. A SMALL American fleet had been collected on Lake Erie during the

year 1813, consisting of nine vessels, carrying, in the whole, fiftyfive guns, and placed in the care of Commodore Oliver H. Perry. Following our example, as they had also done on Lake Ontario, the British had their little fleet to oppose it, consisting of six vessels and sixty-three guns.

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2. These fleets, after some skirmishing, came at length to close action. It was the 10th of September, 1813. The battle was severe, and it was for a long time difficult to guess at the result. At length the British seemed to have the advantage. The Lawrence, the American commodore's own vessel, became so crippled as to be almost unmanageable.

COMMODORE PERRY.

3. At this critical moment, Commodore Perry abandoned his own vessel, and went, in a boat, on board the Niagara, his second ship, commanded by Captain Elliot. Before this, the firing had almost ceased, and the British commander, Captain Barclay, counting on certain victory, though he was himself wounded, would not have given, as he said afterward, a sixpence for the whole American fleet.

4. But the scene now changed. The battle waxed hot again, and,

12. What of the action between the brig Boxer and the Enterprise?

CHAP. CLXVIII.-1. What fleet was under the command of Commodore Perry? What fleet had the British on Lake Erie? 2. What of the skirmishing and the battle? 8. What was done by Commodore Perry? What did the British Captain Barclay suppose?

BATTLE AT THE MORAVIAN TOWNS.

341 in about four hours after its first commencement, the British fleet sur. rendered to the American. The loss of the Americans was twentyseven killed and ninety-six wounded; that of the British was somewhat greater, besides the prisoners.

5. Commodore Perry wrote to General Harrison immediately after the battle, and also to the war department. In both instances he was as modest as he was laconic. To General Harrison he only said, "We have met the enemy, and they are ours. Two ships, two brigs, one schooner, and one sloop." To the secretary of war he said little more, except to refer to the good providence of God.

6. The commodore has been much censured for hazarding his life, in going from the Lawrence to the Niagara, in a small boat, in the midst of shot thick as hail. But we must remember that the Lawrence was useless; that there was danger everywhere; and that it was thought better to act, than to stand still and be shot down without an effort.

7. Had he been killed in the attempt, and had the battle been lost, he would, no doubt, have been as much blamed by the world as he has been commended. Honors are not always apportioned to true desert. The fortunate are very apt to be regarded as the truly brave, and the unfortunate, whatever may be their real merit, are often overlooked or forgotten.

CHAPTER CLXIX.

MADISON'S ADMINISTRATION, CONTINUED.-Battle at the Moravian Towns.

1. THOUGH the Americans had now the command of Lake Erie, and the whole British coast below, as far down as Fort George, yet General Proctor was in possession of most of the forts and places above, which had been relinquished by Hull. But he was at length growing fearful of his opponents, and, as the result seems to have shown, not without good reason.

2. Governor Shelby, of Kentucky, with four thousand militia, having joined the army under General Harrison, it was thought best to make an attack on Detroit and the other posts in that neighborhood. With this view, the troops, on the 27th of September, went on board the American fleet, and the same day were landed at Malden.

4. Result of the battle? Number of killed and wounded? 5. What account did Commodore Perry give of the engagement? 6. For what has he been censured? 7. What can you say of honors?

CHAP. CLXIX.-1. What positions were by held the Americans and British? 2. Who had joined the army under Harrison? What attack was meditated?

3. This place was on the British side, opposite Detroit, but rather

TECUMSEH.

below. Here they expected to find troops and store-houses. To their surprise, however, the British had burned the fort and all their stores, and made good their retreat into the interior, before their arrival.

4. The next day, the army crossed the river, and, on the 29th, took possession of Detroit without opposition. On the 2d of October, Harrison and Shelby, with three thousand five hundred picked men, recrossed the river and pursued General Proctor. They found him encamped at the Moravian Towns, as they were called, on the river Thames, eighty-six miles north-eastward of Detroit.

5. Here, on the 5th of October, was fought a most severe battle. But the Brit

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ish force, though large, was not equal to ours, and the Indians did not persevere. Their chief, the celebrated Te-cum'-seh, having fallen, they fled. They were soon followed by General Proctor and about two hundred men; and the rest of the army, with all their cannon, fell into the hands of the Americans.

6. The British army lost, in killed, wounded and prisoners, about seven hundred men. About one hundred and twenty Indians were slain. The American loss, in killed and wounded, was fifty. Our army took six brass cannon which Hull had surrendered, on two of which were inscribed the following words: "Surrendered by Burgoyne, at Saratoga."

7. Tecumseh, the chief who fell, was of the Shawanese tribe, and was a remarkable man. In early life, it is said, he was not distinguished as a warrior, but was rather cowardly. At the age of twenty

8. What had the British done? 4. What was accomplished by the Americans without opposition? Where had General Proctor encamped? 5. Describe the battle of the 5th of October. What celebrated Indian chief was killed? 6. What was the loss on both sides? Describe the six cannon. 7. What was the charaeter of Tecumseh ?

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