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The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History - Bainbridge (Page 1)

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The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History - Bainbridge
William Bainbridge
s.l., 29 December 1812.
Manuscript, 4 pages.

Extracts from Commodore W
Bainbridge's Journal
Tuesday 29
1812. At Meridian was in Lat
13.06 South, and Long
38 West, at 10
Leagues from the Coast of Brazils. At 1.26 PM, discovered the strange sail to be an English
Frigate, took in the Mainsail and Royals. Tacked ship and stood for her ­ At 1.50 PM, the
Enemy bore down with an intention of Raking us, which we avoided by Wearing. ­ At 2 PM,
Enemy being within half a mile of us and to Windward and having hauled down his Colours
except an Union Jack at the Mizen Mast head, induced me to give orders to the officer of the 3
Division to fire one Gun ahead of the Enemy to make him shew his Colours, which being done
brought on a Fire from us of the Whole Broadside, on which the Enemy hoisted his Colours and
immediately returned our fire ­ A General Action with Round & Grape them commenced, the
Enemy Keeping at a much greater distance then I wished, but could not bring him to closer
Action without exposing ourselves to several Rakes. Considerable Maneuvers were made by
both Vessels to Rake and avoid being Raked. ­ The following minutes were taken during the
At 2.10 P.M. ­ Commenced the Action within good Grape & Cannister distance, the Enemy to
Windward (but much further than I wished.)
" 2.30 "
Our Wheel was shot entirely away
" 2.40 "
Determined to close with the Enemy, notwithstanding his Raking, set the
Fore & Mainsail, and Luff'd up close to him. ­
" 2.50 "
The Enemies Jib Boom got foul our Mizen Rigging ­
" 3.00 "
The head of the Enemies Bowsprit & Jib Boom shot away by us. ­
" 3.05 "
Shot away the Enemies Foremast by the Board.
" 3.15 "
Shot away his Main Topmast just above the Cap.
" 3.40 "
Shot away Gaffs and Spanker Boom ­
" 3.55 "
Shot away his Mizen Mast nearly by the Board. ­

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