|Naval history of Great Britain
||Leopard and Chesapeake
ships of war, the above four men were all that were taken out of her. With these, at 7 h. 30 m. P.M., the Leopard's boat returned to the ship ; bringing also Lieutenant William Henry Allen, of the Chesapeake, with a letter from Commodore Barron, again offering to deliver up the frigate as a prize. To this Captain Humphreys replied, that, having fulfilled his instructions, he had nothing more to desire, but must proceed to rejoin his squadron. He then tendered assistance, and deplored the extremity to which he had been compelled to resort. At 8 P.M. the Leopard made sail towards Lynnhaven bay ; and shortly afterwards the Chesapeake did the same towards Hampton roads.
Unfortunately this encounter, although bloodless to the Leopard, was not so to the Chesapeake ; the latter having had three seamen killed, the commodore, one midshipman (James Broom), and eight seamen and marines slightly, and eight severely, wounded. It was afterwards reported, that two of the four remaining deserters from the Halifax were among the three men killed ; but, as all the deserters, except perhaps Hill, he being a native American, appear to have been accommodated by their new masters with " second names, " there is no getting at the fact from the returns, in which the names of the killed are, John Lawrence, James Arnold, and John Sheckley.
According to the items in the numerous " surveys " held upon : the occasion, the three broadsides of the Leopard lodged 22 round shot in the Chesapeake's hull, irreparably injured her fore and main masts, badly wounded her mizenmast, cut away 13 lower shrouds and stays, shattered the foresail, mainsail, main topsail, and foretopmast staysail, injured and rendered unfit for service a spare fore topmast, and another spare spar, and damaged two boats. In addition, as appears by her log minutes, the Chesapeake had three feet and a half water in the hold. Three more such broadsides would have sunk her. And yet, a writer in the " Naval Monument, " an American publication, jeers the British for having done so little injury to the Chesapeake.
Although more than 60 years have elapsed since the British 50-gun ship has been excluded from the line of battle, Commodore Barron found it convenient to make " a line-of-battle ship " of the Leopard. Her real force will show how little she was entitled to that appellation. The Leopard's armament, upon the first and second decks, was precisely the same as mounted by other ships of her class ; namely, 22 long 24, and the same number of long 12 pounders. Upon her quarterdeck and forecastle, she mounted six carronades, 24-pounders, and two long 9-pounders, total 52 guns, besides an 18-pounder launch carronade. The Leopard had her full complement on board, consisting of 318 men and 25 boys : she had also on board, as passengers, 10 artillery-men, and three midshipmen belonging to some of the ships on the coast.
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