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Thrilling Incidents In American History

• Title
• Preface

Revolutionary War
• Opening Of The Revolution
• The Boston Massacre
• Affair of the Sloop Liberty
• Affair of the Gaspee
• The Tea Riot
• The Boston Port Bill
• The First Continental Congress-Consequent Parliamentary proceedings
• Organization of the Minute-Men
• Patrick Henry-Second Provincial Congress-First Military Enterprise
• Battles of Lexington and Concord
• Battle of Bunker's Hill
• Capture of Ticonderoga
• Second Continental Congress-Washington's Appointment
• Siege of Boston
• Incidents at the Evacuation of Boston
• Burning of Falmouth
• Arnold's Expedition to Quebec
• Siege of Quebec, and Death of Montgomery
• Scenes at Quebec during the Siege
• Expedition against Charleston
• The Declaration of Independence
• The Battle of Long Island
• Washington's Retreat through New Jersey-Capture of General Lee
• Battle of Trenton
• Battle of Princeton
• Capture of General Prescott
• Battle of Brandywine
• Battle of Germantown
• Battle of Red-Bank
• Attack on Fort Mifflin-Retirement of the Army to Valley Forge
• Battle of Bennington
• Murder of Miss M'Crea
• Battle of Stillwater
• Battle of Bemis' Heights, and Retreat of Burgoyne
• Capture of Forts Clinton and Montgomery
• Surrender of Burgoyne
• The Treaty with France
• Attack on Savannah, and Death of Pulaski
• Storming of Stony Point
• General Sullivan's Campaign against the Mohawks
• Tarleton's Quarters
• Battle of Camden, and Death of De Kalb
• Arnold's Treason
• The Loss of the Randolph
• The British Prison-Ships
• Capture of the Serapis
• Putnam's Feat at Horseneck
• Battle of Eutaw Springs
• Wayne's Charge at Green Spring
• Capture of the General Monk
• The Mutinies
• Battle of the Cowpens
• Capture of New London
• Massacre of Wyoming
• Surrender of Cornwallis

War With France
• Capture of L'Insurgente
• The Constellation and Vengeance

War With Tripoli
• Burning of the Philadelphia
• Bombardment of Tripoli
• Loss of the Intrepid
• Expedition of General Eaton

Second War With England
• Battle of Tippecanoe
• Capture of the Guerriere
• Tragical Affair of an Indian Chief
• Battle and Massacre at the River Raisin
• Captain Holmes's Expedition
• Capture of the Caledonia and Detroit
• The Wasp and Frolic
• Gallant Conduct of Lieutenant Allen at the Capture of the Macedonian
• Capture and Destruction of the Java
• Siege of Fort Meigs
• Capture of York, and Death of General Pike
• Defence of Sackett's Harbour
• Defence of Fort Stephenson
• Battle of Lake Erie
• Battle of the Thames
• Gallant Action of Commodore Chauncey under the guns of Kingston Citadel
• The Sacking of Hampton
• Capture of the Peacock
• Massacre at Fort Mimms
• Surrender of Weatherford
• Battle of Niagara
• BattIe of New Orleans

War With Mexico
• Battle of Palo Alto
• Battle of Resaca de la Palma
• Capture of Monterey
• Battle in the Streets of Monterey
• Thrilling Scenes in the Battle of Buena Vista
• Bombardment of Vera Cruz
• Battle of Cerro Gordo
• Battles of Contreras and Churubusco
• Storming of Chapultepec


THE batt1e between the Constellation and Vengeance (February 2d, 1800), is one of the most indubitable proofs in history of the American naval superiority, both in manœuvring and action. The French frigate had been descried on the previous day, when Commodore Truxtun hoisted English colours. These, however, were disregarded, and a chase commenced, which continued all night, and through the following day. At eight in the evening, Truxtun was about speaking his opponent, when the latter suddenly commenced firing. Flight and pursuit were now abandoned, and each commander prepared for a violent struggle. The night was dark; and the sullen dashings of the waters seemed in unison with the terrible storm that was soon to hurry man into conflict with his fellow man.

At a few minutes past eight, the Constellation poured a heavy broadside into her antagonist, which was answered by a wide sheet of flame, followed by another and another, until the pitchy gloom was lighted up by the incessant volcanic glare. Side by side those two ships sat upon the waters, flinging out their crashing hail, and rolling with terrific violence upon the heaving ocean. Minutes and hours rolled on; the night grew deeper and blacker, and the wind howled and shrieked along the heavens. But man heeded not the elements. Far over the ocean was that red dismal glare beheld; and the distant mariner started from his dreaming berth, and bent forward to catch the faint lingering of that wild revel. At intervals each crew heard the shouts of opposing officers and the cheers of battle. The same voice that had rung out against the Insurgente was driving the Americans to battle; while, as though in stern mockery, the French commander poured his thrilling appeals to his sailors. That night battle was a scene terrible and sublime.

At one o'clock, the French vessel drew from the combat, and spread sail. Sure of victory, Truxtun ordered a chase, but at that moment received the disheartening intelligence, that every shroud had been shot from the mainmast, which was supported only by its wood. But, anxious to risk everything in order to secure the prize, he ordered his men to secure it long enough to come up with the enemy. But no exertion could obviate the calamity, and the mast went by the board, in a few minutes after the enemy had retired.

In this long-disputed action the Constellation lost fourteen men killed, and twenty-five wounded, eleven of whom subsequently died. Her whole crew was three hundred and ten souls. The armament of the Vengeance was twenty-eight eighteens, sixteen twelves, and eight forty-two pound carronades. Her crew was between four and five hundred men, and her loss fifty killed and one hundred and ten wounded. When arriving in Curacoa, she was in a sinking condition; and there can be little doubt, that had the action recommenced, her capture would have been inevitable.