War of 1812: Letter from Edward McCall of USS Enterprise reporting capture of HMS Boxer
U.S. National Archives
Courtsey of Mr Charles Wetherbee and Mrs Dianne Dorn
In consequence of the unfortunate death of Lieutenant Commandant William
Burrows, late commander of this vessel, it devolves on me to acquaint you with
the result of our cruize, after sailing from Portsmouth on the 1st instant.
We turned to the eastward and on the morning of the 3rd off Wood Island,
discovered a schooner which we chased into this harbour where we anchored.
I have the honour to be with great
the morning of the 4th weighed anchor and swept out and continued our course
to the eastward. Having received information of several privateers being off
Monhegan we stood for that place and on the following morning in the bay near
Pemaquid Point discovered a brig getting under way which appeared to be a
vessel of war, and to which we immediately gave chase.
She fired several guns
and stood for us, having four ensigns hoisted. After reconnoitering and
discovering her force and the nation to which she belonged, we hauled upon a
course to stand out of the bay, and at 3 o'clock shortened sail, tacked and
ran down with an intention to bring her to close action.
At twenty minutes
after 3 P.M. when within half pistol shot, the firing commenced from both and
after being warmly kept up and with some manoeuvering, the enemy hailed and
said they had surrendered about 4 P.M, their colours being nailed to the mast
could not be hauled down.
She proved to be his B. Majesty's late Brig Boxer
of fourteen guns. Samuel Blythe Esquire Commander, who fell in the early part
of the engagement having received a cannon shot to the body. And I am sorry
to add that Lieutenant Burrows who has gallantly led us to action fell also
about the same time by a musket ball which terminated his existence in eight
The Enterprise suffered much in spars and rigging and the Boxer both in spars,
rigging and hull, having many shots between sound and water.
It would be doing injustice to the merit of Mr. Tillinghast ,Second
Lieutenant, were I not to mention the able assist I received from him during
the remainder of the engagment by his strict attention to his own division and
other departments. And the officers and Crew generally, I am happy to add,
from their cool and determined condition, have my warmest approbation and
As no muster roll that can be fully relied on has come into my possession, I
cannot exactly note the number killed about the Boxer, but from information
received from the officers of that vessel, it appears there were between
twenty and twenty five, and fourteen wounded.
Enclosed is a list of the
killed and wounded about the Enterprise.
Your most obed.serv.
Edward R. McCall,
List of the killed and wounded
aboard the U.S.Brig Enterprise in the engagement
with the British Brig Boxer the 5th Sept. 1813
|Wm. Burrows, Esq.Comm. since dead |
|Kervin Waters, midsh. mortally
|Elisha Blossom, Carp'ts. Mate since dead |
|David Horton, Q .Master|
|Rupel Coats, Q. Master |
|Thomas Owings, Q. Master |
|Benj. Garmon, Boat's. Mate |
|Scuiler Bradley, seaman |
|James Snow, seaman |
|Snow Jones, seaman |
|Peter Barnard, o. seaman |
|Wm. Thomas, 2nd, seaman|
|John Fitzmire, marine|
Edward R. McCall