Today in History, March 22, 1820:
Stephen Decatur, Naval hero of the first and second Barbary Pirate wars, and of the War of 1812, hero and example to many of the U.S. Navy, is killed in a senseless duel.
In 1807 Commodore James Barron refused to defend his ship, Chesapeake, against British attack and was court-marshaled; Decatur, an old friend had to sit on the court-marshal board.
Suspended from the Navy for 5 years, Barron chose to wait until after the War of 1812 to be recommissioned. His cowardice was called, and he challenged Decatur, former comrade, to a duel.
Decatur, U. S. Navy hero, was mortally wounded. Such a shame. Decatur was a swashbuckler, a fierce fighter for his country.
Only 41-years-old, Decatur had untold potential remaining in his life. Such a waste.