1813 - Pelican and Argus

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1813 Pelican and Argus 223

inadequate amount. The fact is that, after her action with the Pelican, the Argus had more powder left than was supplied to the Pelican at her first outfit ; and the American brig's round, grape, and canister shot, exclusive of bars of iron, old iron, rusty nails, bayonets lashed together with rope-yarn, and other species of American langridge, weighed 22 cwt. With respect, also, to muskets, pistols, swords, and pikes, nearly twice as many were found on board the Argus, as were allowed to a British brig-sloop of the Pelican's class.

The Argus was built at Boston in the year 1799 or 1800 she measured 298 tons American, or 316 English ; and her qualifications as a cruiser called forth the following encomium from the editor of the National Intelligencer : " She is admitted to be one of the finest vessels in the service of her class, and the model of such a vessel is certainly inestimable. " But the Argus at that time had not been captured by the British. In point of length, the two brig's were the same, within about four feet in favour of the Pelican ; who had also three feet more beam, and consequently was of greater measurement by nearly 70 tons, But, while the main yard of the Pelican was 54 feet 7 inches in length, that of the Argus was 55 feet 2 inches. In point of scantling the Argus had also the advantage in a slight degree.

COMPARATIVE FORCE OF THE COMBATANTS.

    PELICAN ARGUS

Broadside-guns

No.

9

10

lbs.

262

228

Crew (men only)

No.

101

122

Size

tons  

385

316

We will set the Americans a good example by freely admitting, that there was here a superiority against them ; but then, even after she had captured the Argus, the Pelican was in a condition to engage and make prize of another American brig just like her. The slight loss incurred on one side in this action is worth attending to, not only by the boasters in the United States, but by the croakers in Great Britain.

Despatching his prize, with half her crew, including the wounded, and a full third of his own, in charge of the Pelican's first and only lieutenant, Thomas Welsh, to Plymouth, Captain Maples himself, with the remaining half of the prisoners, proceeded to Cork, to report his proceedings to Admiral Thornborough. On the 16th the Argus arrived at Plymouth ; and soon afterwards, for the promptitude, skill, and gallantry which he had displayed Captain Maples was most deservedly posted. Captain Allen had his left thigh amputated by his own surgeon ; and, notwithstanding every attention, died on the 18th of August, at Mill-Prison hospital. On the 21st he was buried with high military honours, and attended to his grave by all the navy, marine, and army officers in the port.

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