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Sea Fight off New Jersey

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol II.  Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

July 10.—On Thursday last, (6th,) the brig Admiral Rodney, of sixteen carriage-guns and eighty-three men, commanded by Captain Daniel Moore, sailed from Sandy Hook on a cruise, and on Saturday, (8th,) in latitude 39° 26′, longitude 74°, fell in with a rebel brig, (supposed to be the Kolker, of Philadelphia,) of sixteen guns, two cohorns, and a tier of swivels, and full of men. At four o’clock in the afternoon, a very close and furious engagement commenced between them, and in about twenty minutes after the action began, the gallant Captain Moore was mortally wounded in the head by a swivel-shot, while issuing his orders with that coolness and composure of mind which ever characterize the brave, and, by his spirited conduct, exciting the crow to follow so good an example. The action, which lasted three glasses, was continued with great spirit by the officers who succeeded to the command, and every individual on board behaved with that intrepidity and valor which has ever distinguished British seamen. So much justice should be done the rebel crew as to say that, though in an infamous cause, they did not exhibit any symptoms of cowardice until half-past five o’clock; when, after receiving a well-directed broadside from the Rodney, they uttered a dreadful scream, made sail, and ran off.

The Rodney chased about an hour; but totally disabled in her rigging, her mainsail and boom overboard, and not a single brace standing, she was reluctantly obliged to give over a vain pursuit and make the best of her way for New York, where she arrived the following evening. Captain Moore expired at four o’clock this morning, to the inexpressible grief of his gallant crew, and deservedly lamented by all who knew him. This last and melancholy proof was not wanting to evince his zeal in the service of his King and country. He had early taken an active part towards the suppression of a rebellion which he uniformly detested, and which, while he had life, he was determined to oppose. In a few words, it may with truth be said, that he died as he had ever lived—a faithful subject, a good citizen, an honest man.

His remains were interred this evening in the family vault in Trinity church-yard, New York, attended by a numerous and respectable company—the Marine Society—together with the owners and officers of the brig; and as many of the gallant crew as could be spared ashore showed their respect to his memory by attending the funeral.1


1 Gaine’s Mercury, July 17.