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valuable services of Lieutenant M'Ghee, who from having his cables, bowsprit, and main boom shot away, drifted within the enemy's line, and was obliged to surrender.
*“ From the light airs and smoothness of the water, the fire on each side proved very destructive from the commencement of the engagement, and with the exception of the brig, that of the enemy appeared, united against the Confiance. After two hours severe conflict with our opponent, she cut her cable, ran down, and took shelter between the ship and schooner, which enabled us to direct our fire against the division of the enemy's gun-boats and ship which had so long annoyed us during our close engageinent with the brig, 'without any return on our part; at this time the fire of the enemy's ship slackened considerably, having several of her guns dismounted, when she cut her cable and winded her larboard broadside to bear on the Confiance, who in, vain endeavoured to effect the same operation; at thirty-three minutes after ten, I was much distressed to observe the Confiance had struck her colours. The whole attention of the enemy's force then became directed towards the Linnet; the shattered and disabled state of the masts, rigging, and yards, precluded the most distant hope of being able to effect an escape by cutting the cable; the result of doing so, must in a few minutes have been, her drifting alongside the enemy's vessels, close under our lee; but in the hope that the flotilla of gun-boats, who had abandoned the object assigned them, would perceive our wants and come to our assistance, which would afford a reasonable prospect of being towed clear, I determined to resist the then destructive cannonading of the whole of the enemy's fleet, and at the same time dispatched Lieutenant H. Drew, to ascertain the state of the Confiance, At forty-five minutes after ten, I was apprized of the irreparable loss she had sustained by the death of her brave commander
(whose merits it would be presumption in me to extol) as well as the great slaughter which had taken place on board; and observing from the manoeuvres of the flotilla, that I could enjoy no further expectations of relief, the situation of my gallant comrades who had so nobly fought, and even now fast falling by my side, demanded the surrender of His Majesty's brig entrusted to my command, to prevent a useless waste of valuable lives, and at the request of the surviving officers and men, I gave the painful orders for the colours to be struck.
“ Lieutenant Hicks, of the Finch, had the mortification to strike on a reef of rocks, to the eastward of Crab Island, about the middle of the engagement, which prevented his rendering that assistance to the squadron, that might, from an officer of such ability, have been expected.
“ The misfortune which this day befel us by capture will, Sir, I trust, apologize for the lengthy detail which, in justice to the sufferers, I have deemed necessary to give of the particulars which led to it; and when it is taken into consideration that the Confiance was sixteen days before on the stocks, with an unorganized crew, composed of several drafts of men who had recently arrived from different ships at Quebec, many of whom only joined the day before, and were totally unknown either to the officers or to each other, with the want of gun-locks, as well as other necessary appointments not to be procured in this country, I trust you will feel satisfied of the decided advantage the enemy possessed, exclusive of their great superiority in point of force, a comparative statement (the account of the British force has not been transmitted) of which I have the honour to annex. It now becomes the most pleasing part of my present duty to notice to you the determined skill and bravery of the officers and men in this unequal contest; but it grieves me to state that the loss sustained in maintaining it has been so great;
that of the enemy, I understand, amounts to something more than the same number.
“ The fine stile in which Captain Downie conducted the squadron into action, amidst a tremendous fire, without returning a shot, until secured, reflects the greatest credit to his memory, for his judgment and coolness, as also on Lieutenant M'Ghee and Hicks for so strictly attending to his example and instructions : their own accounts of the capture of their respective vessels, as well as that of Lieutenant Robertson, who succeeded to the command of the Confiance, will, I feel assured, do ample justice to the merits of the officers and men serving under their iminediate command; but I cannot omit noticing the individual conduct of Lieutenants Robertson, Creswick, and Hornby, and Mr. Bryden, master, for their particular exertion in endeavouring to bring the Confiance's starboard side to bear on the enemy, after most of their guns were dismounted on the other.
“ It is impossible for me to express to you my admiration of the officers and crew serving under my personal orders; their coolness and steadiness, the effect of which was proved by their irresistible fire directed towards the brig opposed to us, claims my warmest acknowledgments, but more particularly for preserving the same so long after the whole strength of the enemy had been directed against the Linnet alone. My first lieutenant, Mr. Wm. Drew, whose merits I have before had the honour to report to you, behaved on this occasion in the most exemplary manner.
“ By the death of Mr. Paul, acting second lieutenant, the service has been deprived of a most valuable and brave officer; he fell early in the action. Great credit is due to Mr. Giles, purser, for volunteering his services on deck; to Mr. Mitchell, surgeon, for the skill he evinced in performing some amputations required at the moment, as well as his great attention to the wounded during the
action, at the close of which the water was nearly a foot above the lower deck, from the number of shot which struck her between wind and water. I have to regret the loss of the boatswain, Mr. Jackson, who was killed a few minutes before the action terminated. The assistance I received from Mr. Muckle, the gunner, and also from Mr.' Clark, master's mate, Messrs. Towke and Sinclair, midshipmen, the latter of whom was wounded in the head, and Mr. Guy, my clerk, will I hope recommend them, as well as the whole of my gallant little crew, to 'your notice. I have much satisfaction in making you acquainted with the humane treatment the wounded have received from Commodore M‘Donnongh; they were immediately removed to his own hospital on Crab Island, and were furnished with every requisite. His generous and polite attention to myself, the officers, and men, will ever here. after be gratefully rememberad.
“ Enclosed I beg leave to transmit you the return of killed and wounded, and have
u The honour to be, &c.
66 DANIEL PRING, “ Captain, late of His Majesty's
In other parts of America we were more successful. In July an expedition was sent from Halifax to Passamaquoddy Bay, near the mouth of the Bay of Fundy, which took possession of Morse Island.
In the beginning of August, Vice-Admiral Sir Alex. Cochrane having been informed by Rear-Admiral Cockburne that the American Commodore Barney, with the Baltimore flotilla, had taken shelter at the head of the Patuxent, resolved to attack him, and at the same time make an attempt upon the city of Washington, which lies not far distant from a port on the Patuxent. The troops, with a considerable body of seamen; were landed, and
after repulsing the Americans, reached Washington. The public buildings were destroyed, as well as the arsenal, rope walk, and a great bridge across the Potowmac, a frigate ready to be launched, and a sloop of war, were burnt in the dock yard. Private property was respected, and the strictest discipline observed. On the following night the retreat commenced, and the men were safely re-embarked.
Fort Washington, on the river below the city, was also destroyed by Captain Gordon, of the Sea Horse, accompanied by other vessels. By the fall of this fort the town of Alexandria was left at the mercy of the victors, and was obliged to surrender; but Captain Gordon being informed that preparations were making to oppose his return, quitted Alexandria, without waiting to destroy the stores, which he could not carry away, but succeded in bringing back all his own squadron, and twenty-one ships laden with stores, &c.
The next attempt was against Baltimore, planned by Admiral Cochrane and General Ross: in this attempt the latter was killed ; and the admiral having ascertained that the harbour could not be attacked by the ships, on account of the sunken vessels, which were defended by batteries, a retreat was ordered, and effected without loss.
In the mean time the negociations for peace between Britain and America were going on, and at length were brought to a favourable conclusion. On the 24th of December a treaty of pcace was signed. The articles of this treaty chiefly related to the disputes respecting boundaries; no notice was taken of maritime rights, of the impressment of American seamen, or of any of the causes which had occasioned the war.
The year 1815 was remarkable for the return of Buonaparte from Elba; for his rapid and unmolested march to Paris; for the glorious battle of Waterloo, which in