Hero of the US Navy, Stephen Decatur, was killed by the man he succeeded in the USS Chesapeake 13 years earlier.
Please refer to last week’s account of the court of enquiry in which the seeds of this duel were sown.
The duel was evidently conducted in accordance with the code duello, as Barron evidently suffered no official repercussions from killing Decatur. It cannot have been easy, however, to have carried on after having killed such a popular figure.
One has to wonder at this snippet in his official navy record:
July 24 – In compliance with request of 18 July permitted to visit the north for the remainder of the summer.
November 5 – Appointed to command the USS Guerriere destined as flagship of the Pacific Squadron. Unable to accept on account of personal reasons.
November 12 – The circumstances inducing him to ask to be relieved from the order of 5 November regretted; relieved. Continued on duty at Gosport.