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THE WAR OF 1812   169

guns were for the most part dismantled, whole gun crews slain, and decks slippery with blood. Her cockpit was above water, and the wounded sheltered there were in some instances struck again, while the surgeon and even some of the wounded had to go on deck on several occasions to help work the ship. Lieutenant Yarnall, the second in command, was struck three times, and every other officer save Perry was either dead or wounded. The Detroit was not in much better condition. The masts were shattered, the braces cut, and the side towards the foe had scarcely an inch left that was not splintered; but she bore up heroically, and the few skilled seamen and gunners Barclay had, gave him the most loyal support. The only skulkers on board were a few Indians who were terrified by this new and strange warfare. Garland, her first lieutenant, was killed; Barclay was"wounded, but there was no thought of yielding. Like Sir Richard Grenville of old, Barclay set his teeth and cried, "Fight on!"

About two o'clock the plight of the Lawrence became desperate. More than half of the crew were dead or seriously wounded, all the guns on the engaged side were dismounted, and the vessel so racked as to be unmanageable. Perry meditated surrender, but a daring thought occurred to him, and without a moment's hesitation he put it into action. The Niagara was still practically unharmed, and he decided to leave Lieutenant Yarnall in charge of the Lawrence and make an effort to transfer his flag to the Niagara. He had a skiff lowered, and, with a crew of seven, among them his young brother, was rapidly rowed through water that was churned and lashed into foam by the unceasing cannonade of the rival fleets. It was a heroic deed that gave the Americans the ultimate victory. Through Perry's headlong attack on the British line his van had been smashed to pieces, and his only hope now lay in bringing the Niagara into action. As he gained that vessel's deck, the fight, which had been going decidedly in favour of the British, took a


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