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Decatur's Duel

In 1820, the great U.S. naval hero Stephen Decatur was challenged to a duel by a disgraced Navy captain named James Barren (with whose court-martial Decatur had assisted). To accommodate his extremely nearsighted opponent, Decatur, a skilled duelist, graciously agreed to exchange shots from a distance of just eight paces. Barren promptly returned the favor -- by shooting him dead.

[Decatur's last words? "I am mortally wounded, I think."]

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