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1815 Light Squadrons and Single Ships 362

the brig-sloop the Syren, then fitting for sea in the port. The American government being still determined upon an expedition to the East Indies, a squadron consisting of the President, Peacock, and Hornet, with the Macedonian and Tom-Bowline brigs, laden with stores for their use, was ordered to proceed to the bay of Bengal. On the night of the 18th of November the Hornet, which had been left at New London as a guard-ship, succeeded in eluding the blockading force, and reached New York.

The British squadron which, towards the close of the year 1814, cruised off the port of New York, was commanded by Captain John Hayes, of the 56-gun ship Majestic, who had under his orders the 40-gun frigate Endymion, Captain Henry Hope, and the 38-gun frigate Pomone, Captain John Richard Lumley. Between the time of her quitting Halifax and her junction with Captain Hayes, the Endymion had experienced a serious misfortune. On the 9th of October, when off the shoals of Nantucket, she fell in with the American privateer brig Prince-de-Neufchatel, of 18 guns and 120 or 130 men. It being calm, Captain Hope detached his boats, under the orders, of Lieutenant Abel Hawkins, first of the Endymion, to capture the privateer. The boats were repulsed, after sustaining the loss of Lieutenant Hawkins, one midshipman, and 26 seamen and marines killed, the second lieutenant, one master's mate, and 35 seamen and marines wounded : besides which the launch was captured, and the crew made prisoners. So determined and effective a resistance did great credit to the American captain and his crew. On the 31st the Endymion fell in with the 56-gun ship Saturn, Captain James Nash, bound to Halifax ; and, sending on board, with her surgeon and his servant, 28 wounded officers and men, received from the Saturn, to replace the severe loss she had sustained, one lieutenant, four midshipmen, and 33 seamen and marines.

On the 13th of January, 1815, Captain Hayes was joined by the 38-gun frigate Tenedos, Captain Hyde Parker. Although at this time close off the Hook and in sight of the American squadron at anchor near Staten island, the British ships were the same evening blown off the coast by a violent snow-storm. On the next day, the 14th, the weather became more moderate ; but, the wind blowing fresh from the west-north-west, the squadron could not get in with the Hook. Having no doubt that Commodore Decatur would take advantage as well of the favourable state of the wind as of the absence of the British squadron, Captain Hayes, in preference to closing the land to the southward, stood away to the northward and eastward, with the view of taking a station in the supposed track of the American squadron on its way out ; and, singular enough, at the very instant of arriving at that point, about an hour before daylight

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