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round Cape Sable, the coast of East Florida presents a shore washed by the Atlantic, offering the port of Saint Augustine ; not to mention the harbour of Amelia Island, on the northern frontier of the province, one of the best in the American sea. It is generally thought that the Go: vernment of the United States confine their ambitious views to the Canadas, Hudson's Bay, and the Floridas; but I suspect that they consider the whole of the Western Hemisphere, as far as the Isthmus of Darien, to be comprehended in the limits of their natural jurisdiction. By the occupation of Galvestown they have advanced their frontier within six hundred miles of the city of Mexico; and as the whole of Upper Canada must necessarily fall when that part of the State of New York extending to the Saint Lawrence, between Lake Ontario and Lake Champlain, shall be fully settled; so the prorince of Mexico will become incorporated with the States of the Union, directly the tide of population in Louisiana acquirés sufficient condensity to sustain the operation.
It was in a bay on the coast of East Florida that the American sloop of war Peacock, Captain Warrington, lying at anchor, discovered in the morning of the 24th of A pril, three sail to windward in the offing ; and, on getting underweigh, one of them, a man of war brig, bore down with British colours flying: the other two vessels, under her convoy, kept on their course. The brig that bore down to engage the Peacock was the British sloop of war Epervier, Captain Wales, from Jamaica, bound to England with specie on board to the amount of 120,000 dollars, and an action ensued, which terminated in the riddling of thc hull of the English vessel, disabling her masts and spars, and killing and wounding 26 of her crew; while the American suffered little or no injury in her hull or spars, had not a single man killed, and only two slightly wounded. Captain Warrington's recital of this action merits notice, as it exhibits a specimen of gunnery to which nothing parallel was seen in former wars; and evinces that, want of skill in that important branch of naval science renders the utmost efforts of courage inoffensive.
Captain Warrington's Letter.
U. S. sloop Peacock, at sea, lat. 27° 47', Sir,
long. 80° 9, April 29, 1814. I have the honor to inform you, that we have this morning captured, after an action of 45 minutes, H.M. brig Epervier, rating and mounting eighteen 32-pound carronades, with 128 men, of whom eleven were killed, and 15 wounded ; (according to the best information we could obtain ;) among the latter is her first lieutenant, who has lost an arm, and received a severe splinter-wound on the hip. Not a man in the Peacock was killed, and only two wounded, neither dangerously. The fate of the Epervier would have been determined in much less time, but for the circumstance of our fore-yard being totally disabled by two round-shot in the starboard-quarter, from her first broadside, which entirely deprived us of the use of our fore and fore-top-sails, and compelled us to keep the ship large throughout the remainder of the action.
This, with a few top-mast and top-gallant back-stays, cut away, and a few shot through our sails, is the only injury the Peacock has sustained. Not a round-shot touched her hull; our masts and spars are as sound as ever. When the enemy struck, he had five feet water in his hold, his main-top-mast was over the side, his mainboom shot away, his fore-mast cut nearly in two, and tottering, his fore-rigging and stays shot away, his bowsprit badly wounded, and 45 shot-holes in his hull, 20 of which were within a foot of his water-line. By great exertion, we got her in sailing order just as dark came on: : In 15 minutes after the enemy struck, the Peacock was ready for another action, in every respect, but her foreyard; which was sent down, fished, and had the fore-sail set again, in 45 minutes : such were the spirit and activity of our gallant crew. The Epervier had under convoy an English hermaphrodite brig, a Russian and a Spanish ship, which all hauled their wind, and stood to the E.N.E. I had determined upon pursuing the former, but found that it would not answer to leave our prize in her then crippled state, and the more particularly so, as wo found she had 120,000 dollars in specie on board, which we soon transferred to this sloop.
BETWEEN THE REINDEER AND WASP.
June 28. The British sloop of war Reindeer, Captain Manners, is taken by the American sloop of war Wasp,
Captain Blakeley, in the Chops of the Channel, after a sanguinary engagement of 19 minutes, in which the two vessels fought yard arm to yard arm. The Reindeer was manned with the “pride of Plymouth ;' the Wasp with officers and sailors who had served on board the Constitution in her successful actions with the Guerriere and Java. The Wasp was hovering about the English Channel, and as the Reindeer tacked and stood towards her, the ardour of the Captain and crew was kindled to behold the American flag insulting their shores. Captain Manners with intrepid valour, laid the Reindeer's bow abreast of the weather-main-chains of the Wasp, justified in the bold act by his illustrious name, and daring spirit; and in contact with the enemy, opened the fire of his guns. His fire was answered by the Americans with a precision and effect, perhaps, unexampled; making a wreck of the Reindeer in a line with her ports, and involving in promiscuous destruction her upper-works, her spare-spars, and the boats that were stowed on them. The firmanent was without a cloud, and the sea smooth as glass ; reflecting, before the smoke from the cannon deformed the scene, the sloops and their white canvas on its unruflled mirror. While the naval gunners on the Wasp's main deck were taking aim at the Reindeer's hull as at a target, the riflemen from her tops deliberately picked off the British officers and men, so that the quarter-deck soon became covered with killed and wounded. The lieutenant, the master, the master's mate, the purser, the boatswain, the gunner, and every petty officer, were carried down to the cockpit. At this crisis Captain Manners called to his crew, “ Follow me, my
“ boys, we must board them;" and, animating their spirit of enterprize by his example, he mounted on a fore-castle gun and seized the rigging of the American to board bis deck, but two rifle balls from the enemy's tops penetrated his head, and came out beneath his chin, when placing one hand on his forehead, and convulsively brandishing his sword with the other, he exclaimed, "O God!" and fell back lifeless on his own deck. Though deprived of their chief support, the British still rushed on to board; but Blakeley and his crew stood firm, and compelled them to retrace their steps; be then pursued them at the head of his sailors, with their drawn weapons in their hands, and carried the brig in one minute, going aft him self, and hauling down the English colours with his own hand.
In this spirited conflict, which lasted only 19 minutes, the Reindeer had 25 killed, and 42 wounded ; total 67 : the Wasp 11 killed, and 15 wounded ; total 26. A breeze springing up the next day, the Reindeer's foremast went by the buard; and she was so much sbattered in her hull, that no sooner were the prisoners and wounded removed, than Captain Blakeley caused her to be set on fire, and in a short time her magazine exploded.
Captain Blakeley's Letter.
U. S. sloop Wasp, L'Orient, July 8, 1814. On Tuesday, the 28th ultimo, being then in lat. 48° 36' N. and long. 11° 15' W. we fell in with, engaged, and in 19 minutes captured the British sloop of war Reindeer, William Manners, Esq. commander,