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1812]

ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE AMERICAN NAVY.

349

struck her colors. Fifteen of her men were killed and sixtythree wounded. She had received such injuries that it was impossible to bring her into port, and the next day she was blown up. The Constitution had but seven men killed and seven wounded.

473. Capt. Porter, of the Essex, soon afterwards separated a British brig from her convoy, and found on board $14,000 in specie and 150 soldiers. He next captured the Alert, after an action of eight minutes. The frigate President had the good fortune to overhaul an English packet with $200,000 on board; and the Argus took several valuable prizes, which she brought safely into the port of New York, Lieutenant Elliott (afterwards Commodore) made an important capture on Lake Erie in October, taking the Caledonia as she lay in fancied security under the guns of a British fort, and bringing her off with a cargo of furs worth $200,000. Commodore Chauncey also operated with success on the same lake, having got together a few vessels mounting in all 32 guns, with which he kept in check a British fleet bearing six times that number.

474. Capt. Jacob Jones, in the sloop Wasp, also sustained the honor of the American arms. On the 13th of October, he met the British brig Frolic, convoying a fleet of merchantmen, and an action ensued. The Frolic fired as she rose on the waves, and only injured the rigging of her antagonist. The Wasp poured in her broadside as she descended, and nearly every shot told on the hull of the enemy. Having approached the Frolic so near that his rammers while he was loading touched her side, Capt. Jones ordered his men to board. A melancholy scene of destruction lay before them. The decks were covered with dead and dying. The colors were left flying, only because there was no one to haul them down. But three officers and a private at the helm were left alive on deck. Unfortunately, the Americans

loss on each side ? What became of the Guerriere? 473. What achievements were performed by Captain Porter? What was done by the President and the Argus ? What capture was made on Lake Erie ? Describe Commodore Chauncey's operations on the same lake. 474. Who commanded the Wasp ? What brig did he encounter? Give an account of the engagement. On boarding the

could not secure their prize. The British seventy-four, Poictiers (poi-teerz'], coming along before the Wasp could make sail, captured both vessels and took them into Bermuda.

475. The frigate United States was commanded by Capt. Decatur, one of the heroes of the Tripolitan War. On the 25th of October, 1812, he encountered the British frigate Macedonian off the Azores. After an action of an hour and a half, the Macedonian surrendered. Decatur was as distinguished for courtesy as courage. When Capt. Carden tendered his sword to him, he replied that he could not think of taking the sword of an officer who had defended himself so gallantly, but would be happy to grasp his hand.

476. Commodore Bainbridge, in the Constitution, on the 29th of December, added another to the brilliant triumphs of the American navy. Running along the coast of Brazil, he descried a British frigate, and gave chase. After a spirited action, which lasted an hour, the enemy struck. The captured vessel was found to be the Java. She carried fewer guns than the Constitution, but a larger force; having, besides her regular crew, 100 men designed for the East India service.

The news of these achievements raised the national enthusiasm to the highest pitch. Those hearts of oak who had thus won glory for America on a field where it was least expected, received the grateful homage of the nation. Congress rewarded them with complimentary resolutions, as well as something more substantial. Fifty thousand dollars was appropriated as prize money to the Constitution for the capture of the Guerriere, and a like amount for the Java. The crew of the Wasp received $25,000; and $100,000 went to the captors of the Macedonian. Besides those mentioned, a number of minor actions took place from time to time, in which the Americans were for the most part victorious. PriFrolic, what did Captain Jones find ? What happened before the Wasp could make sail ? 475. By whom was the United States commanded ? What vessel did she encounter ? When and where! What was the result? What passed between Capt. Carden and Decatur? 476. What engagement took place off the coast of Brazil? When? How did the vessels compare in force? What was the result of the engagement? How was the news of these achievements received ? How were their heroes rewarded ?

What is said of the minor actions that took

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Beaver few regulars had gathered at Lewiston, on the Niagara River, under Gen. Van Rensselaer. The troops were impatient for action, and their commander determined to cross the Niagara and make an attack on Queenstown. With some difficulty boats were procured; and, on the 13th of October, the van of the invading army crossed under Colonels Van Rensselaer and Christie, who were joined by Lieutenant-colonel (afterwards Lieutenantgeneral) Scott as a volunteer. The British were driven from their batteries, and the heights were speedily carried. Rallying under Gen. Brock, they attempted to regain their ground, but were repulsed with loss, their commander himself, falling with a mortal wound. The Americans now desired to fortify their position, but no implements had been brought

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place? How many British vessels and sailors were captured in 1812? 477. Where were important events meanwhile transpiring? Where had some American militia assembled ? Under whom? [See Map.-How is Lewiston situated ? What place is opposite to it, on the Canada side ? In what direction does the Niagara River flow? What lakes does it connect? Is Queenstown above or below the Falls ? What islands in the Niagara ?] What did Van Rensselaer determine to do? When did the van of the invading army cross ? Under what leaders ? Give an account of their movements. After carrying the heights, what did the Americans desire to do? What prevented them from so doing? How many

and, as there was immediate necessity for reënforcements to meet the fresh columns of British and Indians, advancing under Gen. Sheaffe [shefe], Van Rensselaer returned to Lewiston to hasten the embarkation of his remaining troops. The men stood ready on the shore; but the sight of their wounded comrades brought back to camp had suddenly dampened their ardor. They denied the constitutional right of the general to lead them out of their own state, and refused to embark. Meanwhile those on the Canada side, thus basely abandoned to the enemy, after maintaining for a while an unequal struggle, at length had to surrender. Sixty were killed, 100 wounded, and the rest were taken prisoners. Van Rensselaer resigned his command in disgust, and was succeeded by Gen. Smyth, who was a good tactician, but bad seen little service. After projecting two invasions of Canada, both of which were unsuccessful, Smyth also resigned.

478. Thus far the reverses of the Americans on land had been as decided as their triumphs on the ocean. Twice they repulsed the enemy at Ogdensburg, and these successes, with the defeat of a party of British and Indians by Col. Pike during a rapid incursion into Canada, were the only victories of which they could boast. Nothing more was attempted during the remainder of the season. The presidential election engrossed the attention of the people during the fall, Madison being warmly opposed by those who condemned the war.

He was chosen, however, for another term, and the vice-presidency was conferred on Elbridge Gerry, of Massachusetts.

479. The ressembling of Congress in November was the signal for violent discussion between the advocates and opponents of the war. The latter pointed to the successive defeats of the campaign, and complained in strong terms of the inefficient measures of government. Still Congress pre

Americans had crossed ? What rendered it necessary to have immediate reënforcements? Where did Van Rensselaer go? What position did his men take? What was the consequence of this cowardly conduct ? What was the American loss ? What did Van Rensselaer do? By whom was he succeeded ? What is said of Gen. Smyth ? 478. What had thus far been the fortune of the Americans on land ? What were the only victories of which they could boast? 479. What

1813]

COMMENCEMENT OF HIS SECOND TERM.

353

pared to prosecute hostilities with vigor. Provision was made for the increase of the army, and the construction of four ships-of-the-line, six frigates, and six sloops-of-war.

CHAPTER VI.

MADISON'S ADMINISTRATION (CONTINUED), 1813.

480. EARLY in 1813, in deference to public sentiment, Madison made some changes in his cabinet; appointing William Jones, of Pennsylvania, head of the navy department, and Gen. Armstrong secretary of war. James Monroe, who had been secretary of state ever since the commencement of the war, continued at the head of the cabinet. The thirteenth Congress commenced an extra session on the 24th of May. Daniel Webster took his seat for the first time in the house of representatives, and Henry Clay was reëlected speaker. The federalists, as a body, constantly voted against the measures proposed by government. Some of them, however, including Rufus King, senator from New York, supported the president on the ground, that, though unwisely commenced, the war should be vigorously prosecuted.

481. The only force in the field for the protection of the western frontier, after the fall of Detroit, was a body of Kentucky volunteers, who had promptly responded to the call of the executive, before the news of Hull's surrender was received. In accordance with the universal wish, the governor of Kentucky had appointed Gen. Harrison to the command of this force, though he was not a resident of the state. Hardly had Harrison joined his men, and inspired them with ensued on the reässembling of Congress ? Of what did the opponents of the war complain? What measures were taken by Congress ?

480. Early in 1813, what changes were made in the cabinet? Who remained secretary of state ? When did Congress meet? Who appeared in the lower house for the first time? Who was elected speaker? What was the course of most of the federalists? What position was taken by a portion of that party? 481. What was the only force now in the field for the defence of the western frontier ? Who was appointed to their command by the governor of Kentucky!

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