20 January 2013

Naval Heroes' KIA In Tripoli

[An ode was composed] commemorative of the deaths of Lieutenant Somers of the American navy, and his brave companions, before Tripoli, in the summer of 1805 [sic 1804].

Commodore Preble, with a view as much as possible to harass the enemy, ordered the ketch Intrepid to be filled with materials for a destructive explosion, and gave the conduct of her to Lieutenants Somers, Wadsworth, Israel, and a few others. Their orders were, to approach, under cover of the night, as near as they could to the town and batteries, and, after firing a train provided for that purpose, to make their escape to the fleet in boats.

A premature discovery of them by the enemy, rendered it impossible for them either to reach the station which they contemplated, or to make their escape; and these brave men, with an intrepidity almost beyond parallel, preferring death to an ignominious servitude, set fire to the train, and were blown, with their enemies, into the air. This catastrophe is made the subject of the following ode.  From Songs, Odes, and Other Poems On National Subjects: Naval (click to see the ode)


The author of Remember The Intrepid advocated repatriating the remains of these Tripoli heroes.   There's a haunting post of murdered Ambassador Christopher Stevens at the gravesite of Lieutenant Somers and crew.

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