Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Enemies at Sea, Together in Death

The Brig HMS Boxer
Photo: Maine Historical Society via www.mainememory.net
  On September 5, 1813 the USS Enterprise was patrolling the east coast; they were looking for the brig HMS Boxer which had been harassing and firing on coastal Maine towns.  They found her.  The two ships readied for fighting in Muscongus Bay
  The ensuing battle lasted 45 minutes.  In the first minute Captain Samuel Blythe, age 29, in command of the Boxer died of wounds.  Captain William Burrows, age 28, in command of the USS Enterprise was wounded in the first minutes but kept up command from his place on the deck.  He died of his injuries later but after he accepted the sword of Capt. Blythe.
  Both ships crept in to the port of Portland, Maine where American doctors treated the wounded of both Navies.  The flag draped bodies of Capt. Burrows and Capt. Blythe were loaded on a barge and brought in to Portland.  The procession for the funeral included two infantry companies, the Enterprise crew, and numerous local officials.
  The bodies were buried side-by-side in the Eastern Cemetery; enemies at sea, companions in death.
An illustration of the graves.
Photo: Maine Historical Society via www.mainememory.net

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