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to the East Indies. In running down the coast of Brazil, on the 29th December, he discovered a strange ship, and immediately made sail to meet her. On approaching her, it proved to be the British frigate Java. Commodore Bainbridge immediately closed with the enemy, and in less than one hour and fifty minutes he compelled her to surrender. The decayed state of the Constitution, and other circumstances, combining to interfere with the original plan of the cruise, he afterwards returned to the United States. The arrangement, however, of the differences of the United States with Great Britain, did not let him remain long in the inaction of peace. Having superintended the building of the Independence, a ship of seventy-four guns, he had the honour of waving his flag on board the first line-of-battle ship belonging to the United States that ever floated. He was now ordered to form a junction with Commodore Decatur, to cruise against the Barbary powers, who had shown a disposition to plunder
In company with his own squadron, he arrived before the harbour of Carthagena, where he learned that Commodore Decatur had concluded a peace with the regency of Algiers. He now, according to his instructions presented himself before Tripoli, where he also had the mortification to learn that Commodore Decatur had shorn him of his expected laurels, by a previous visit. He now effected a junction with Commodore Decatur's squadron, and sailed for the United Staies, and arrived at Newport, Rhode Island, on the 15th November, 1815.
Commodore Bainbridge, after the war, sailed twice to the Mediterranean with squadrons for the protection of our commerce in that sea. He was the first to recommend the establishment of a board of navy commissioners; and he was for three years president of this board. He died July 28th, 1833, in the sixtieth year of his age.
STEPHEN Decatur, commodore in the navy of the United States, was born on the 5th January, 1779, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, whither his parents had retired, whilst the British were in possession of Philadelphia.
In March, 1798, he received a midshipman's warrant, and shortly after was promoted to a lieutenancy.
He then sailed with Commodore Dale's squadron to the Mediterranean. On his return to the United States, he was promoted to the command of the Argus, and was ordered to join Commodore Preble's squadron, then in the Mediterranean. On his arrival there, he was transferred to the schooner Enterprise, and proceeded to Syracuse, where he learned the fate of the frigate Philadelphia. He immediately proposed to Commodore Preble, to recapture, or destroy her. The consent of the commodore having been obtained, he sailed from Syracuse in the ketch Intrepid, manned with seventy men; accompanied by the Syren, lieutenant Stewart, who was to aid with his boats, and to receive the ketch, in case it should be found expedient to use her as a fire-ship. On the 8th February, he are rived before Tripoli, but the Syren in consequence of a change of wind, was thrown six miles off from the Intrepid. Notwithstanding this misfortune, Lieutenant Decatur, determined not to await a junction, lest a delay might be fatal to the enterprise, and entered the harbour of Tripoli within a half gunshot of the bashaw's castle, and of the principal batteries, beside the enemy's cruisers, who lay around the frigatesuch were the imminent perils which his daring courage so nobly surmounted. About 11 o'clock at night, he boarded the frigate Philadelphia, and in a few minutes gained entire possession. The enemy had by this time opened his batteries upon him, and a number of launches were seen rowing towards him.
He then ordered the ship to be set on fire, and such was the rapidity of the flames, that it was with the atmost difficulty they preserved the ketch. At this critical moment a breeze sprung up, blowing directly out of the harbour, which in a few minutes carried him beyond the reach of the enemy's guns, and they made good their retreat without the loss of a single man, and with but four wounded.
For this gallant and romantic achievement he was made post-captain, with the consent of the officers over whose heads he was raised.
In the ensuing spring Commodore Preble made an attack upon Tripoli, when one of the divisions were commanded by Captain Decatur. In this action, he acted with undaunted bravery. He took two of the enemy's vessels, the commander of one of which had treacherously shot his brother, and while making for the harbour, Captain Decatur pursued him and avenged the death of his brother so basely murdered ; and afterwards succeeded in getting with both of his prizes to the squadron.
The next day, he received the highest commendation, in a general order, from Commodore Preble.
Captain Decatur was now transferred to the command of the frigate Congress, and returned home in her when peace was concluded with Tripoli.
When the frigate United States was put in commission, Captain Decatur took command of her, previous to which, he had the command of the southern squadron.
The late war with Great Britain gave him another opportunity of adding to the laurels he had won. On the 25th October, 1812, in latitude 29, N., longitude 29, 30, W., he fell in with his majesty's ship Macedoniar, mounting forty-nine guns. After an action of one hour and a half, the enemy surrendered, with a loss of thirty-six killed, and sixty-eight woundedwhile the loss of the Americans was only four killed, and seven wounded. He now carried his prize into
Newport, Rhode Island, from thence she afterwards proceeded to New York, and was refitted.
In May, 1813, after an ineffectual attempt to pass the enemy, to go to sea, Commodore Decatur was obliged to make New London harbour, where he was pursued by the enemy's blockading squadron, and was closely invested by them.
In January, 1815, Commodore Decatur was appointed to the command of the ship President. On the 14th, he embraced the only possible opportunity to escape the enemy's squadron, and go to sea. the morning of the 15th, he discovered the enemy nearly ahead, one of which, the Endymion frigate, as it afterwards appeared, commenced a fire on the President, which was so spiritedly returned, that in less than two hours she was so crippled, and favoured by a breeze, the President with all sail set went out of the action, and had every probability of escaping, had thick weather set in, of which there was every appear
On the contrary it continued fine, and enabled three other of the enemy's ships in less than two hours afterwards to approach within half gunshot:being now assailed by so superior a force, without any probability of escape, Commodore Decatur being influenced by motives of humanity, ordered a signal of surrender to be made. He was immediately taken possession of by the Pomone and Tenedos, each of thirty-eight guns, and Majestic razee of sixty-two guns, and carried into Bermuda.
On the 22d February, he arrived at New London, Connecticut.
In the summer of 1815, Commodore Decatur was despatched with a squadron to the Mediterranean, to protect the American commerce, and to reduce the regency of Algiers to a pacific disposition. He arrived off Cape de Gatt on the 17th June, where he had the good fortune to fall in with the Algerine admiral, and after an action of twenty-five minutes captured his ship, mounting forty-nine guns. On the 19th, after a chase of three hours, he captured an Algerine brig of twenty-two guns. On the 29th June, he arrived before Algiers, and concluded a treaty of peace on advantageous terms. After having visited the other Barbary ports of Tunis and Tripoli, he returned to the United States in November following. President Madison soon after appointed him a member of the board of coinmissioners at Washington, for the navy of the United States. It was .while in the discharge of the duties of this board, that he was challenged to single combat, with pistols, by Commodore James Barron, and was mortally wounded at the first fire. He expired on the night of the 22d March, 1820.
Before he expired, he openly opposed the principle of duelling, and threw himself upon the mercy of that God whose laws he had violated. Commodore Decatur was pleasing in his person, of an intelligent and interesting countenance. His manners were unassuming and engaging, uniting the polish of the gentleman with the frank simplicity of a sailor.
As a naval officer, he has never been surpassed. The most minute branches of naval science never escaped his attention, and the most abstruse never exceeded his comprehension. The various maneuvrings of a ship or squadron, were as familiar with him, as the evolutions of an army to the scientific military officer. Whether encountering the enemy in the humble galley, or breasting the shock of battle in the majestic ship, he bore into action, as if the genius of victory hovered over him, and gave him conquest in anticipation. When in the midst of an engagement, his own personal safety never occupied a thought. His fearless soul was engrossed with the safety of his crew and his ship, and the destruction of the enemy. But the moment the battle-fray, was ended, he was changed into a ministering spirit of mercy. Over his slain enemy, he dropped a tear-to a wounded one, he imparted consolation-he mingled his sighs with the groans of the dying, and rendered every honour to the gallant dead.