1813 - Pelican and Argus


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1813 Light Squadrons and Single Ships 222

astern of and raked the Argus, and then ranged up on her starboard quarter, pouring in her fire with destructive effect. In a short time, having by this vigorous attack had her wheelropes and running rigging of every description shot away, the Argus became entirely unmanageable, and again exposed her stern to the broadside of the Pelican ; who, shortly afterwards, passing the broadside of the Argus, placed herself on the latter's starboard bow. In this position the British brig, at 6 h. 45 m. a.m., boarded the American brig, and instantly carried her, although the master's mate of the Pelican, Mr. William Young, who led the party, received his death-wound from the fore top of the Argus, just as he had stepped upon her gunwale. Even this did not encourage the American crew to rally ; and two or three, among those who had not run below, hauled down the colours.

On board the Pelican, one shot had passed through the boatswain's and another through the carpenter's cabin. Her sides were filled with grape-shot, and her rigging and sails much injured : her foremast and main topmast were slightly wounded, and so were her royal-masts ; but no spar was seriously hurt. Two of her carronades were dismounted. Out of her 101 men and 12 boys, the Pelican lost, besides the master's mate, Mr. Young, slain in the moment of victory, one seaman killed, and five slightly wounded, chiefly by the American musketry and langridge ; the latter to the torture of the wounded. Captain Maples had a narrow escape : a spent canister-shot struck, with some degree of force, one of his waistcoat buttons, and then fell on the deck.

The Argus was tolerably cut up in her hull. Both her lower masts were wounded, although not badly, and her fore shrouds on one side were nearly all destroyed ; but, like the Chesapeake, the Argus had no spar shot away. Several of her carronades were disabled. Out of her 122 men and three boys, to appearance a remarkably fine ship's company, the Argus had six seamen killed, her commander, two midshipmen, the carpenter, and three seamen mortally, her first lieutenant and five seamen severely, and eight others slightly, wounded ; total, six killed and 18 wounded.

We shall not, of course, reckon as a part of the Pelican's broadside force the two 6-pounders in her stern-ports, nor, for the reason formerly stated, the 12-pounder boat-carronade. Although a trifle shorter on deck than the Pelican, the Argus carried her 10 guns of a side with ease ; first, because, being of a smaller caliber, they took up rather less room, and next, because her tiller worked on the 'tween decks, and admitted her aftermost port to be carried nearer to her stern by several feet. The American writers dwelt upon the number of prizes which the Argus had previously made, partly with the view of raising an inference, that she had reduced her ammunition to an

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