Argus resumed her blockade duties on 7 July. At that point, Preble began preparations for a shore bombardment. Heavy weather, however, postponed the action until early August. On 3 August, the squadron moved in to provide long-range support for the gunboats and mortar boats actually engaged in the bombardment. The bombardment was considerably less damaging to the defensive works protecting Tripoli than hoped for, though the American gunboat crews boarded and carried several of the Tripolitan vessels sent out to engage them. The squadron conducted another ineffectual bombardment of Tripoli on the 7th; and, two days later, Commodore Preble embarked in Argus to reconnoiter Tripoli harbor. During that mission, shore batteries fired upon the brig, and she was struck below the waterline by a single shot. Fortunately, the shot did not pass all the way through her hull; and she remained on station off Tripoli following the attack. On the 28th of August, the squadron conducted a third bombardment of the defenses of Tripoli in which its guns inflicted severe damage. A week later, on the night of 4 September, Argus was among the ships that escorted the ill-fated fire ship to the entrance of Tripoli harbor. When Intrepid blew up prematurely, Argus remained there to pick up survivors, but none had appeared by sunrise when she mournfully returned to her blockade station.
The "American" force launched its attack on 27 April. Argus and anchored about half a mile (800 m) to the eastward of the fortifications. The Tripolitans opened fire almost immediately upon Argus and upon , anchored quite a bit nearer than her two consorts. By 2:45 that afternoon, gunfire from the ships silenced all of the guns in the city. A desperate charge led by Lt. Presley O'Bannon, USMC, managed to carry the gun batteries by storm and breathed new life into the assault. After hoisting the American flag over the battlements, he ordered the already loaded captured guns to be turned on the town. By 4:00 that afternoon, the entire town had fallen to Eaton's army, and the enemy fled to the hinterland. The capture of Derna has been immortalized in the words of the Marines' Hymn, "... to the shores of Tripoli."
Eaton's mixed force held the town until almost the middle of June. However, after Eaton's and O'Bannon's victory, a Tripolitan army, which had been sent to reinforce the town, arrived and began preparations to retake Derna. There, Argus remained offshore to provide gunfire support in the defense of the town throughout the occupation of Derna. When the Tripolitans finally assaulted the town on 13 May, Argus joined in the fray and enabled the defensive forces narrowly to beat back the charging enemy troops. Argus guns wreaked havoc among the enemy forces during their headlong retreat. Between that time and early June, the Tripolitans made a few more half-hearted approaches during which Argus long 12-pounders (5 kg) came into play. However, things remained relatively quiet, for negotiations with the pasha in power were already underway. On 11 June, orders arrived to evacuate Derna as negotiations had been concluded. The troops and the deposed pasha were embarked in Constellation that evening, and the American ships quit the area.
Argus continued to cruise the Mediterranean until the summer of 1806. She returned to the United States at the Washington Navy Yard on 13 July and was laid up there in ordinary until 1807. At that time, she was fitted out at the Washington Navy Yard and began a series of cruises along the Atlantic coast of the United States.
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