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""Constellation" vs "La Vengeance"" Topic

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233 hits since 12 Nov 2020
©1994-2021 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2020 8:28 p.m. PST

"On the 30th ult. I left St. Christopher's with the Constellation in excellent trim, and stood to windward, in order to gain the station for myself before the Road of Guadaloupe; and at half past seven A.M. of the day following I discovered a sail to the S.E. to which I gave chase; and for the further particulars of that chase, and for the action after it, I must beg to refer to the extracts from my Journal herewith, as being the best mode of exhibiting a just and candid account of all our transactions in the late business, which has ended in the almost entire dismantlement of the Constellation; though, I trust, to the high reputation of the American flag. I have the honour to be, &c.

Throughout these twenty-four hours, very unsettled weather: kept on our tacks, beating up under Guadaloupe; and at half past seven A.M. the road of Basseterre bearing E. five leagues distance saw a sail in the S.E. standing to the S.W. which from her situation I at first took for a large ship from Martinique, and hoisted English colours on giving chase, by way of inducement for her to come down and speak me, which would have saved us a long chase to leeward off my intended cruising ground; but finding she did not alter her course, I examined her more minutely as we approached her, and discovered that she was a heavy French frigate, mounting at least 54 guns [La Vengeance]. I immediately gave orders for the yards, &c. to be slung with chains, top sail sheets, &c. stoppered, and the ship cleared, and every thing prepared for action, and hauled down the English colours. At noon the wind became light, and I observed the chase, that we had before been gaining fast on, held way with us; but I was determined to continue the pursuit, though the running to leeward I was convinced would be attended with many serious disadvantages, especially if the objects of my wishes were not gratified…"
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