Stephen Decatur - Command of USS United States

Command of USS United States

In May 1810 Decatur was appointed commander of the USS United States, a heavy frigate with 44 guns. This was the same vessel that he supervised the building of while employed at Gurney and Smith, and the same ship, then under the command of John Barry, on which he had commenced his naval career as midshipman in 1798. The frigate had just been commissioned and was outfitted and supplied for service at sea. After taking command of the United States, now the rallying point of the young American Navy, Decatur sailed to most of the naval ports on the eastern seaboard and was well received at each stop. On May 21, 1811, he sailed the United States from Norfolk along with the USS Hornet on assignment to patrol the coast, returning to Norfolk on November 23 of that year. In 1812 he sailed with the Argus and the Congress but were soon recalled upon receiving news about the outbreak of war with Britain. There Decatur joined Captain John Rodgers, commander of the President and his squadron. On this cruise Rodgers failed to accomplish his mission of intercepting the fleet of English West-Indiamen. On August 31, Decatur sailed the United States to Boston. On October 8, he sailed a second cruise with Rodgers' squadron.

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