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Decatur At Tripoli

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Feb. lo, 1804, was the date of Deoatur's gallant act in the harbor of Tripoli, the tion cf the American naval frigate Philadelphia, at that time a prize of war in the hands of the euemy. The captive was lying, fnlly rnanned and arnaed by the Tripolitans, under the guns of the pasha's castle, the neighboring forts aud a flotilla of galloys. Decaturvolunteered to board her from the decks of the Intrepid, a ship modeled after the Tripolitan vessols. Lawrence, McDonough and Charles Morris, a boy of 19, were of the party. Sailing up in the afternoon, with her men, disguised as Maltese, showing themselves on deck, the Intrepid reached the outer batteries about dark without alarming the enemv. Decatur stood beside the Maltese pilot, and the uien lay in the shadow of the bulwavks. The first battery was passed in silence, but a little farther on carne a hail demanding the name and purpose of the strauger. The pilot auswered in the language of the country that the ship had lost her anchors iu a gale, and her captain wished to run a hawser to the frigato Philadelphia aud lie by her for the night. The captain of the Philadelphia cousented and sent off a boat with a hawser. Decatur quickly did the same, and the boats met midway between the vessels, joined the endsof their hawsers and separated. Then the crew of the Intrepid noiselessly drew their vessel close up to the captive. As she grated alongside the watchman on the Philadelphia cried out, "Amerioanosl" Decatur was ready and sang out, "Board!" With Morris he sprang to the hostile deck, followed by his crew. The Tripolitans fled in a panic to the forward deck, aud Decatur formeel his men to charge. With oue dash the encmy was scatti iv.d, some cut down while resisting, some oaptnred and others drivon over the rail. Details iroin tho ranka of the cuprors then passed aronnd tho sbiii. and signáis from Decatur sl;o was set on fire fore and aft.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News