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THE LOSS OF SOMERS AND HIS MEN.
it had reached the point that was de squadron; and Preble, now relieved termined, the frightful explosion was from his harassing position, returned, beheld; but though signals were made, early in 1805, to the United States, and boat parties sent out, no sign of where he and the gallant officers and the retreating crew was perceived; nor men under him, received the thanks of was one seen when daylight broke. Congress and of the country, for their Not only had the scheme failed in its noble efforts to sustain the reputation direct object, it had wrought most la- and establish the rights of Americans. mentable harm for the projectors of The squadron under Barron consisted it. It was afterwards found that the of two forty-fours, two thirty-eights, scorched and mangled corpses of Som- one thirty-two, two sixteens, and three ers, Wadsworth, Israel, and their cour- twelves. And with these vessels the ageous followers had every one been blockade was continued, although it picked up ; Bainbridge (who was a could not be said that any hope was prisoner all this time, and had once entertained of forcing an accommodabeen wounded by the rebound of a tion by that means; for new uneasiness shot from the Americans in their bom- had been showed by the other despots bardments) was allowed to see, but of Barbary, and it was necessary to decould not identify any of them. How tach part of the squadron, to look out the explosion occurred no one could near Gibraltar for cruisers from certainly tell, but it seemed probable Morocco. Nor would peace
that the magazines were fired have been secured so early, had not a
by the shot of the enemy, who movement by land been carried forseeing the strange vessel drifting along ward which materially aided the course in silence and darkness, and suspecting of operations on the sea. every movement of the Americans, dis- It will be remembered, that Yussuf charged their guns with both grape and Caramalli had obtained the throne by round shot, in every direction that they deposing his brother Hamet. “The latthought it possible an attack might be ter," as Mr. Cooper states, “had escaped made upon
them. No dead Turks were from the regency, and after passing a seen, and therefore the ketch had not wandering life, had taken refuge among been boarded; and it was not likely the Mamelukes of Egypt. It had that any of her crew, through terror often been suggested by the American or rashness, had applied the match.* agents, that the deposed prince might
On the 10th of September, Commo- be made useful in carrying on the war dore Barron arrived, in the President, against the usurper, and, at different to take command of the Mediterranean times, several projects to that effect had
been entertained, though never with
any results. At length Mr. Eaton, the * See Sabine's “Life of Edward Preble," pp. 99–103.
consul at Tunis, who had been a captain Mr. Cooper also enters fully into the question respecting the fate of Somers and his companions. See his in the army, interested himself in the en“ Naval History," vol. i., pp. 252–59.
terprise; and coming to America, so far Vol. III.-8
prevailed on the government to lend communications with the Argus, the itself to his views, as to obtain a species Hornet, and the Nautilus, which had of indirect support. And Commodore appeared on the coast, and obtained a Barron was directed to co-operate with field-piece, some stores and muskets, and Mr. Eaton, as far as he might deem it the assistance of a few marines, the atdiscreet."
tack began,—the vessels standing close Returning with Barron's squadron, in and assisting. in 1804, Eaton ascertained where the The governor of Derne replied to expelled pasha was to be found; and Hamet's summons to surrender, in the proceeded, in November, to Egypt, in terse but expressive oriental phrase, the Argus, where the viceroy received “ Your head or mine!" He had a batthem with favor, and gave permission tery of eight or nine guns fronting the to the prince of Tripoli to leave the sea; and some eight hundred regular country unmolested, although he had soldiers; with breastworks hastily run been fighting with the discontented up, and loops cut for musketry in the Mamelukes against the government. houses, on the side he expected the at
Early in 1805, Hamet "separated tack. But more than one quarter of himself from the Mamelukes, and, at
the town was in favor of the besiegers; tended by about forty followers, re
and he had to repress mutiny within, paired to a point about twelve leagues as well as to resist assaults from withto the westward of the old port of Al- out. . exandria. Here he was soon joined by It did not require a very long time Mr. Eaton, at the head of a small host to silence the battery, so well did the of adventurers, whom he had obtained vessels station themselves; and as soon in Egypt. This party was composed as that was accomplished, Eaton's force of all nations, though Mr. Eaton ex- stormed it, and for the first time the pressed his belief, at the time, that had star-spangled banner waved over a forthe possessed the means of subsistence, ress in the old world, captured by the he might have marched a body of thirty bravery of the sons of the new world. thousand men against Tripoli, the reign- This was on the 27th of April, 1805. ing pasha having forced so many of his As for the enemy, they had fled with subjects into banishment. Soon after so much precipitation, that they left the junction agreed upon, Mr. Eaton, their guns loaded and even primed; who now assumed the title of general, and they were immediately turned marched in the direction of Derne, against the town. On the opposite taking the route across the desert of side, Hamet, with a small cavalry force, Barca."
had effected a lodgment; and so, being With unflinching courage and dogged put between two fires, after this sharp perseverance, Eaton and his allies encounter of two hours, the place subpressed forward, and at the beginning mitted. “In this affair, only fourof April, 1805, reached the coast in the teen of the assailants were killvicinity of Derne. Having opened | ed and wounded, General Eaton being