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to palliate defeat, their writers seize upon every incident with avidity, which can possibly admit of a construction in their favour. Thus it happened that Captain Young, of the army, was on board the vessel of Captain M.Donough, and made a report of the action to his commanding officer. This has been interpreted into so large a reinforcement of soldiers, as to give to the ariny a portion of the credit of the victory. That is doubtless as it should be, but in a way the English writer is not perhaps aware of :-There were no marines in our squadron,-by looking at the returns, he will see no marines hurt-no officer's name mentioned belonging to them ;-there being none,-10 supply their places a company of soldiers was put on board the vessels—Its commander was amenable to his own officer, and very properly reported the battle and its effects on his command, to his proper chiel.-It is excessively weak, at this time of day, for the British to pretend their inferiority to the squadron of M.Donough ;-they were the assailants-had thousands of men within a mile of their ships--and whose wbole movements were suspended until Captain Downie declared bimself ready for the undertaking. To undervalue an enemy, who had so often overcome them, is a greater folly than we can believe them to have been guilty of. We believe, but without knowing it, that in both engagemeuts on the Lakes, the enemy was, to say the least, our equals in force; and there are many things to confirm this belief, besides the assertions of the honourable men who led our arms on those memorable days.
Neither have we touched upon the loss of the President and Essex, both vessels having been captured by more than one sbip. But, leaving the oficers of the Pomone and Endymion to quarrel about the honour of taking the former vessel, and the officers of the Majestic and Tenedos, while they finger their prize money, to laugh at both, we will write a few lines concerning the affair of the Essex. It appears by the official letter of Captain Porter, that both the Essex and Phæbe mounted more guns, than properly belonged to their respective rates. He describes the Phæbe to have had 46 gups in regular broadside, and 30 of them to have beeu long eighteens. To carry this number, we presume she had guns in her bridle-ports and gang-ways. But the inportant point to be remembered in this engagement is, that the Essex fought chiefly with 6 twelve pounders, opposed, in one ship alone, to 30 eighteens, -her carronades being useless, from the distance at which the enemy chose to keep his ships. The Essex, in running off the coast, had lost her main-top-mast in a squall, and consequently was at the mercy of Captain Hillyar, who was in full chase at the time. We do not say, we think it was the duty of the English oflicer to run bis vessel close along side of the Essex, kuowing her to be a ship of inferior force and armed chietly with carronades; on the contrary, we
think he was right-his method was the best one to ensure success, and that is always the primary object to be considered by an offieer. But we do say, that whenever an. Englishman boasts, in the extremely offensive manner so peculiar to his countrymen, that uncalculating and headlong gallantry are the characteristics of his Dation—and that every British officer remembers the standing order of Nelson, that “no captain can go wrong who lays his ship yard-arm and yard-arm with his enemy”—he should be reminded, that Captain Hillyar is an exception. Captain Porter has not gained great reputation as an author; and, perhaps, when we take into view the lax morals deducible from his work, the opinion of his countrymen on his merits with the pen, is a just one ;--but cer- tainly he is more expert with the sword. No one has been found hardy enough to say, that his defence was not bravely continued ; —but some have called it desperate. •Nil Desperandumi’ is a good motto for the commander of a ship, under any ordinary circumstances of disadvantage, and although we view the condition of the Essex as peculiarly unfortunate, there does not seem a period at which there was not some hope of saving the crew, if not the vessel, from capture. The first object of a commander is victory, —when this is denied him, he should turn his thoughts to the best escape. The resistance of the Essex appears to us, to have been persevered in to the last moment, we admit, but not a moment too long. The contents of that officer's book have disposed one portion of the community, to quarrel with every thing he does; and there is another portion, always ready to quarrel with any thing that endangers the life or honour of an Englishman. Thanks to the European critics, and our own right arms, these sticklers for the fame of Old Albion have become very rare. We beg Captain Porier to be consoled, as, if the accusation be admitted, fighting too much, . is a more pardonable offence than fighting too little.
We will close this glance at our naval conflicts, by turning the attention of the community to an occurrence, but little noticed at the time, yet fraught with consequences of vastly more importance than any that resulted from the most brilliant of the preceding actions, -and conspicuous for a gallantry and self-devotion which should place the name of Thomas Ap Catesby Jones on the fairest scroll of our paval records. This officer, then a young lieutenant, (now a master commandant,) was in command of a division of five gun boats off New-Orleans, at the time the enemy made his descent upon Louisiana. The defenceless situation and hair-breadth escape of that State are well known at the present hour, but it is not known, that the man@uvres of this little flotilla retarded the operations of the British, for two days; and that when compelled to fight, its defence was so obstinate and so fatal to the assailants as to inake a strong impression with regard to the kind of foe they
were to contend with. In carrying these little gun boats by boarding, in which they were much aided by accident—the enemy acknowledged a loss of about one hundred, and it is believed that the truth would have more than doubled this number. We all know, that a day gained, at that eventful period, enabled the military Commander to save the city.
We think it clearly evident, from this succinct, though cursory view of the principal naval actions, that, although the physical, and perhaps moral superiority, upon which some among us are so fond of dwelling-are not to be found so strikingly exemplified by the results, as such patriotic faith would determine; yet we met the enemy fairly-conquered him frequently with equal and inferior vessels,—and where the physical strength was in our favour, were always successfuland, generally so, with an effect far exceeding the difference which existed against our opponent. To what was this superiority owing? we will not enter upon any subtle deductions which involve national character, or national enterprise and aptitude for sea-service: we leave such nice distinctions for greater ingenuity than we can pretend to; but will, in a very few words, give our reasons for the superiority we did, most evidently evince. On what then did this difference depend ? and will it continue? Our navy was small—its officers few and select-and our ships admirably equipped and well found :-we had been taunted and sneered at by our enemy, as a people deficient in every quality necessary to form fighting men or officers.-Contempt is a dangerous weapon, to him who uses it, and a powerful incentive to him who is hurt by it.
To whom should the contempt belong now ? Not to us. Policy -self-preservation—and a better courtesy, forbid it. But the excitement should never sleep. We must have a navy-powerful, in some measure, as our nation. Nature--our interests our safety seem to require it: And whatever may be the checks its advancement may receive, from the contracted policy of time-serving politicians,—the navy of the United States must and will, at no distant period, become our chief defence against foreign wrongs, as it can never become dangerous to our domestic rights. It rests much with those, who guide its destinies at the present hour, to confirm its character, or to let that stimulus sleep, which has given it its nobly accomplished renown. For ourselves, we are warmly, though not blindly attached to its interests : and beg leave to close our remarks with saying to those young men, who constitute its present pride and future hope, that the connexion, between private virtue and public benefit, is close–That the discipline, subordination, and confidence in each other, which gave them the laurel, can only preserve it to them; and though we are no strenuous advocates for high sounding mottos at the mast head, or
pompous displays on the fore-topsail, we would recommend to them never to lose sight of the words of the departed Lawrence, “ Don't give up the ship.”
ART. IV. Letters, to James Monroe, President of the United
States, from William King, late a Colonel in the army of the United States. 1820.
These letters, make no pretensions to literary merit: 'Wri'ting,' says the author, is not my trade, and nothing but the most dire necessity, could have induced me to undertake a task,
for which, neither education, habits nor pursuits have fitted me.' Still, in other and more interesting points of view, their publication is important: they let us into the secret of the existing state of our military discipline; they present an exposition of the principles, practices and character of our military courts; and lastly, they offer the defence of a soldier, whose past services and standing, entitle him, at least, to a patient and impartial hearing. With this brief introduction, we hasten to the story.
Colonel King having funds in one place and necessities for money in another, proposed, in January, 1819, to sell to the sutlers of his regiment (Nelson and Randolph) upon his
agent in Maryland for $1000. Fearing, however, that these Banquiers Ambulans might not be in condition to furnish cash to the full amount of the bill, he applied to one Hogan, to make good, what they might not be able to raise, and in reply, received from him a promise—that he would let them have" a few hundred dollars.”
Now this money-lender had, it seems, no less than four different characters—either of which would warrant an application of this kind : 1st. he was a cotton-planter on the Alabama; 2d. he was head of the principal commercial-house at Mobile ; 3d. he was a holder of bank stock in that city, to a large amount; and 4th. he was paymaster of the regiment, and of course the handler of public money. In which of these characters, he was to give the assistance, requested by Colonel King, is not stated, and need not be inquired, as Nelson's answer—that he could not take the bill—put a full stop to the negotiation. A few weeks, however, wrought a change in the circumstances of the sutlers they now wanted funds in Baltimore, and King, having his bill yet to sell, the bargain was promptly made and satisfactorily executed.
That real festival, (the pay-day of the regiment,) had now arrived: the sixpenny beroes were all on tip-toe for their wagesand Mr. Hogan was called upon to perform his duty--but, accord
ing to the Colonel's statement, could render only “ a pitiful account of empty boxes.” This state of things could not fail to prodnce explanations,-in the course of which, the secret caine out, that $1,500 of the public money, had, by a short cut, got into the hands of Messieurs the sutlers, without passing as usual, through those of the soldiers ; and, what was still worse, that they could not now be got back again. In this dilemma the paymaster's ingenuity did not forsake bim ;-he boldly presented himself to the Colonel, and whispered in his ear, that of the $1,500 that were deficient, $1,000 had been loaned on the authority of his (the Colonel's) letter, of the 13th of January, 1819, requesting him, to enable Nelson and Randolph to make good their purchase of the bill as already mentioned. This very unexpected communication induced the Colonel to pause ; he thought it very improbable that Mr. Hogan, with all his readiness to oblige, would have loaned money, to any amount, on a mere suggestion, made so long beforehand and without renewal, on the part of the maker,-he thought it still more improbable, that he would have loaned $1,000, when but “ a few hundreds” were solicited and promised; he thought it quite incredible, that doing either, he would bave permitted a month to pass by, without saying a syllable about it, or that Nelson, when he paid the money, should not have intimated, that Hogan was the lender. These considerations satisfied King, that the paymaster's story was a falsehood, from beginning to end; but that he might leave no room for any other person to doubt on that bead, he sought and found Nelson, and ascertained from him, that—when Hogan gave him the money-he had remarked, “ that now he could "buy the Colonel's bill,” io which he (Nelson) had replied—“no,
I will not buy, for I do not want it.” Thus fortified, the Colonel went on to his object, and arrested Hogan, on several charges; one of which was, “the lending $1,500 of the public money to “Nelson and Randolph.”
Of the official issue of this measure, we know nothing; but of its effects on the temper of the paymaster, we have abundant proofs. Shrewd, vindictive, and persevering, he set himself seriously to work, to retaliate the annoyance, the vexation and disgrace inflicted, or intended to be inflicted, upon him; and as all things, having the colour of guilt, (even those in which he had himself an agency,) suited his purposes equally well, he was not long in mustering and marching to Washington a formidable column of charges against his Colonel and Cominander. Nor did his labours or adroitness stop here. He well knew that government, in the abstract, is a sly, slow thing, with circumspective eyes'--that its decisions are those rather of policy than of justice, and that from causes, both incidevtal and inherent, our own government is particularly i...wle to this infirmity. To meet, therefore, these sigus