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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing) 1 1 Browse Search
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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Argus, capture of the. (search)
y days he captured no less than twenty valuable British merchantmen, with cargoes valued at $2,000,000. Too far away from friendly ports into which he might send his prizes, he burned all the vessels. Every non-combatant captive he allowed to remove his private property, and for this generosity he was thanked by them. The British government, alarmed by the exploits of the Argus, sent out several cruisers after her. Just before the dawn of Aug. 14, 1813, the British brig Pelican, 18, Capt. J. F. Maples, appeared; and at six o'clock the Argus wore round and delivered a broadside upon her at grape-shot distance. The fire was immediately returned, and a round shot carried away Allen's leg. He refused to be taken from the deck; but soon becoming unconscious from loss of blood, he was taken to the cockpit, and died the next day. The men of the Argus, weakened by too free use of captured wine the night before, did not fight with their usual vigor, yet they handled the vessel admirably. L