ship in her bows, the first lieutenant of the Macedonian wished that the latter should continue her course, so as to pass ahead of the United-States, in the manner represented by the strong line in the diagram. But, Captain Carden having decided to keep the weathergage, the Macedonian hauled close to the wind. At 9 a.m., when abreast of the United-States on the opposite tack, the Macedonian received her passing fire ; but it did not produce the slightest effect, the principal part of the shot falling short of, and the rest going over her.
The rubicon being now passed, the Macedonian wore in pursuit ; and, owing to her superiority of sailing already noticed, reached, at about 9 h. 20 m. n. m., a position on the larboard quarter of the American frigate. Here a broadside was exchanged : by that discharged from the Macedonian, the mizen topgallantmast of her opponent was shot away ; and, by that from the United States, the Macedonian lost her gaff halyards and mizen topmast, the latter falling into the main top. " This," as a contemporary well observes, " produced an equality in the rate of sailing, and the United-States kept her enemy in one position on the quarter in a running fight. " * The United-States steered about two points off the wind, and, by her diagonal fire, soon cut away the chock of, and dismounted, every carronade upon the starboard side of her opponent's quarterdeck and forecastle, besides shattering the Macedonian's hull, and disabling a great portion of her crew. Having by this means reduced his antagonist to the use of her maindeck battery only, and increased the disparity that previously existed to more than double, Commodore Decatur, at about 10 h. 15 m, a.m., laid his main topsail to the mast, and allowed the Macedonian, now that it was too late, to come to close action.
By a few minutes past 11 a.m. the Macedonian had had her mizenmast shot away by the board, and which had fallen over the starboard or engaged quarter, her fore and main topmast shot away by the caps, and her main yard in the slings, her lower masts badly wounded, rigging of every sort destroyed, a small portion only of the foresail left to the yard, and two guns on the main battery, and all on the upper but two, disabled. The ship had also received upwards of 100 shot in her hull, several of them between wind and water; and had all her boats, except the jollyboat towing astern, destroyed, and more than a third of her crew killed and wounded. Owing, likewise, to the heavy sea and her dismasted state, the Macedonian rolled her maindeck guns under water; while the United-States, having no sail that she could not set but her mizen topgallantsail, remained perfectly steady.
In this defenceless state, the men of the Macedonian still possessed the spirit of British seamen; and, at 11 h. 10 m., when the United-States was making sail, to get from under the
* Brenton, vol. v., p. 59. See also diagram at p. 116.
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