U.S. Frigate Constitution
Syracuse Harbor Feby 16th 1804

I have the pleasure to announce to
you intelligence of the Capture and destruction
of the Tripoline Frigate of 40 Guns late the United
States frigate Philadelphia by the U.S. Ketch Intrepid
of 4 guns and 70 men commanded by Lieut Decatur
of the Enterprize who volunteered his services on the
occasion. It is to be regretted that she was so situated
that it was impossible to have brought her out.

On the 3 Inst the Brig Syren Lt Stewart
and Ketch Intrepid of 4 Guns commanded by Lieut
Decatur with 70 volunteers from the Squadron and
fitted for the purpose sailed for Tripoly with orders
to burn the Frigate in that harbor : They this day
returned having executed my orders much to my

On the 16th Inst Lt Decatur entered the
Harbor of Tripoly with the Ketch, laid her alongside

the frigate, and in a gallant and officer like manner
boarded and carried her against all opposition. After
gaining complete possession, he proceeded to fire her
with success, and left her in a blaze in which she
continued untile she was totally consumed : He had
none killed and only one wounded : The Tripolitans
lost about 20 men killed and we took one Prisoner. A
Boat load made there escape : some ran below and
perished in the flames, and some jumped overboard
She was moored close under the Batteries with a strong
guard on board, and all her guns loaded : Two of their
Corsairs full of men lay within half musket shot of
her : A fire was kept up on the ketch by the Batteries
Bashaws castle and Corsairs : not a musket or pistol
was fired by our men : Everything was settled by the
sword --

The Syren anchored without the Harbor to
cover the retreat of the Ketch, and sent her boats
to assist, but unfortunately they did not arrive in
season as the business was accomplished and the

Ketch on her way out before the Boats met her : Had
they got in sooner, it is probable some of the Tripolitan
Cruizes would have shared the fate of the Frigate --

The Officers and seamen concerned in the
execution of this Enterprize deserve the highest encomiums
for their conduct.

E. P.