The American brig-sloop , USS Argus, was under the command of Lt. William H. Allen. On June 18, the Argus left New York, it's destination was France. Along the way, the Americans had captured one merchant ship. On July 11, they reached France, by July 14, the Argus was sailing again. The Americans continued to find, capture and burn ship after ship.
On August 14, at 5:00 A.M., the Americans spotted the British brig-sloop, HMS Pelican. The Pelican was under the command of Capt. John F. Maples.
At 6:00 a.m. the ships had positioned themselves for battle. The Argus fired first and then the Pelican responded. The gun crews of both ships began to fire their guns rapidly. At 6:04 A.M., a shot fired from the British brig-sloop struck Lt. William Allen removing his leg. He stayed on deck until he died from the loss of blood. The first lieutenant, Mr. Watson, was wounded in the head with grapshot and carried below deck. The second lieutenant, Mr. U. H. Allen (no relation to the American commander) fought on bravely and with great skill.
British cannon fire had shot away the main braces, main-spring-stay, gaff and try-sail mast of the Argus. The British gunners continued to fire and hit the Argus, causing it to lose her spritsail-yard and a great deal of her rigging.
At 6:14 A.M., U.H. Allen made an excellent maneuver giving his gun crews the opportunity to rake the Pelican's deck. In spite of this, the Argus did very little damage, mostly due to the fact that the gunners missed their targets. Moments later, the main braces and top-sail tie of the Argus were shot away. At 6:18 A.M., the Pelican passed by the Argus and raked her deck heavily, this caused rigging and sails to come crashing down leaving the American ship unmanagable. Both ships continued the fight.
At 6:35 A.M. The Pelican passed the Argus and fired a heavy broadside. At 6:45 A.M., the 2 ships came together, the crew of the Pelican were about to board the Argus when it struck her colors ending this battle.