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1813 Dominica and Decatur 217

Dominique Diron. * We have no other details than those furnished by the American papers ; but we suppose that Lieutenant Barrette, the moment he discovered the privateer approaching, hauled off from the packer to meet her.

Commencing the attack from to-windward, at a distance that best suited her long 18-pounder, the Decatur gradually closed with the Dominica, and made an attempt to board, but was repulsed. A second attempt met the same fate ; but, after the contest had lasted three quarters of an hour, the Decatur ran her jib-boom through the Dominica's mainsail, when a third attempt, made by the whole of the French crew, succeeded ; that is, the privateer's men gained a footing upon the Dominica's deck. Here a sanguinary conflict ensued ; in which Lieutenant Barrette, although he had been wounded early in the action by two musket-balls in the left arm, fought in the most gallant manner, and, refusing to surrender, was killed. Emulating the example of their youthful commander (he was not 26), the remaining officers and men made a noble resistance against double their numbers. Owing to the crowded state of the Dominica's deck from the presence of the boarders, and the valour of the British crew in persisting to struggle with the latter, fire-arms became useless, and cutlasses and cold shot were the chief weapons used. At length, the Dominica's brave crew became diminished to about a dozen effective men and boys ; and the Decatur's, then six times more numerous, hauled down the British colours.

Of her 57 men and nine boys, the Dominica had her commander, master (Isaac Sacker), purser (David Brown), two midshipmen (William Archer and William Parry), and 13 seamen and boys killed and mortally wounded, and 47 severely and slightly wounded, including every other officer (her sub-lieutenant was absent) except the surgeon and one midshipman. One of her boys, not 11 years old, was wounded in two places. Poor child ! it would have suited thee better to have been throwing dumps than " cold shot ;" to be gamboling in the nursery, rather than " contending for victory " upon a man of war's deck. Out of a crew of at least 120 men, the Decatur had four killed and 15 wounded.

It appears that Captain Diron, by his masterly manúuvres, prevented the Dominica from making any effectual use of her guns, relying for success upon the arm in which he knew he was almost doubly superior. The Dominica was captured by a privateer, certainly, but under circumstances, that reflected an honour rather than a disgrace upon the British character. The following paragraph forms a part of Captain Diron's account in the Charleston papers ; nor have we been able to discover a contradiction to the serious charges it contains : " During the

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