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rhe Code Duelfo

for his command appointment,

Lemuel Taylor, a Baltimore merchant and old enemy of the captain, sent a letter to Jones accusing Barney of being “a most abandoned rascal both as to politics and morals …. If Barney is appointed to any comm and most of the useful men will be obliged to retire.”

This public insult led the headsrron g Barney to challenge Taylor under rhe Code D uelfo.

The two mer at pistol point on the nearby Virginia shore, where Barney shot Taylor in rhe chest.

The challenger escaped unhurt and, remarkably, Taylor recovered and wo uld later fi ght in the defense of Baltimore.

Barney’s letter outlining his defense plan to Secretary Jones produced the following reply dared 20 August 1813: Sir,

The nature of the fo rce, necessary for the defense of the extensive Bays and Rivers of the U.

Stares, and rhe means of ma nning a nd employing that fo rce, requiring an organization,

in some degree different from that of rhe general Naval Establishment, the President of the U.

States, .. . has determined to select, fo r special command of the Flotilla, on the upper part of [t]he Chesapeake, a Citizen, in whose fidelity, skill, local knowledge, and commanding influence with the Mariners of the District, reliance may be placed , in case of emergency.

I have, therefore, the pleasure to offer to you rhar Special Command, subject only to orders of this D epartment.

… It is not intended, because it would be incompatible with the rights of others, to appoint you, by Commission, to a ny regular and permanent rank in the Navy of the U.

 States: but, for the purpose and direction of your command ,

you willbe considered as acting Commandant,

in the Navy of the U. States, respected a nd obeyed as such [as] Master Commandant.

4 The secretary’s defense plan fo r a shallow-d raft fl otilla and the barge design was almost identi ca l to Barney’s.

The nascent flotill a and its commander h ad a unique ch arge in th e navy; they were placed under the direct command of the secretary of the navy rather than the fo rmal naval seniority system that Barney had challenged in the past.

5 Barney quickly went about his task of recruiti ng officers and men .

On 15 September Solomon Rutter of Baltimore and a second Solomon, Maryland State Senator Solomon Frazier,

became li eutenants in the special fl otilla unit.

As incentive fo r men to join the Chesapeake Flotilla, recruits would receive two months’ pay in adva nce and their wives or parents would receive half pay monthly.

In addition they had the advantage of serving near home, largely with seafaring neighbors,

and they would nor be vulnerable for d raft into The construction of the initi al eight naval barges began even before Barney offi cially received his appointment.

The 5-gun nava l cutter Scorpion and the 2-gun naval schooner Asp were to augment his fo rce, along with three gunboats.

The shipwrights and ca rpenters labored at building the rest of his boats throughout rhe winter and early spring.

On 17 April 1814 Barney embarked into the Chesapeake with rhe ten vessels that were completed.

During the shakedown cruise to Annapolis, he sent three of the smaller barges back to Baltimore for repa irs.

On 26 April 1814 Secretary Jones offi cially notified Barney that he had been appointed to the rank of captain in the Flotilla Service of the United Scares Navy.

In that same letter Frazier and Rutter were fo rmally appointed lieutenants in rhe navy.

These commissions were special ranks in a special unit, “the Flotilla Service,” and did not apply to the regul ar deep-water navy.

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