Friday, March 27, 2015

HMS Cornwallis-- Part 2: Broken Up in 1957

After the War of 1812, the HMS Cornwallis took part in the Chinese defeat in the First Opium War and the peace treaty was negotiated aboard the Cornwallis on 29 August 1843.  Treaty of Nanking.

It was fitted for screw propulsion in 1855 and reduced to just 60 cannons.  It later participated in the Crimean War.  In 1865, it was converted into a jetty at Sheerness.

In 1916, it was renamed the HMS Wildfire and used as a base ship before being broken up in 1957 at Sheerness, 144 years after its launching.  It was 176 feet long.

I guess that teak wood really lasts a long time.


HMS Cornwallis-- Part 1: Built of Teak in India

From Wikipedia.

The USS Hornet came close to being captured in April 1815 by the HMS Cornwallis.

The HMS Cornwallis was a third rate ship-of-the line carrying 74 cannons.  Launched 12 May 1813 in Bombay, India, and built of teak.  Its construction was delayed earlier in the War of 1812 when HMS Java, which had been carrying copper sheathing from England, was captured by the USS Constitution.

On 27 April 1815, it engaged the sloop USS Hornet which had mistaken it for a merchant ship.  Heavily outgunned, the Hornet was forced to make a run for it and had to thrown its cannons and much more  overboard, but it did manage to get away.

That was a very uneven battle and bad mistake for the Hornet to make.  A sloop should never take on a ship-of-the-line.

Oops!  --Brock-Perry

Thursday, March 26, 2015

HMS Penguin: Brig-Sloop Captured by USS Hornet

From Wikipedia.

The HMS Penguin was a Cruizer-class brig-sloop launched in 1813 and captured by the USS Hornet in 1815, after the War of 1812 was over.  The Hornet then scuttled its prize as it was too heavily damaged.

The ship was 100 feet long and mounted sixteen 32-pdr. carronades, two 6-pdr. bow guns and one 12-pdr. carronade.  It was launched on 29 June 1813.

On March 23, 1815, it engaged the USS Hornet off Tristan de Cunbe and was badly battered, losing ten dead, including its captain James Dickinson and 28 wounded.  After just 22 minutes it was forced to surrender.  The Hornet had just 1 killed and 9 wounded including its captain, James Biddle.  The two ships were fairly-well matched as far as armaments and size, but the American gunnery proved to be much better.

The war had ended, but neither ship had yet received notice.


200 Years Ago: George Prevost Ordered to England

MARCH 25, 1815:  George Prevost informs the Lower Canada Assembly that he has been ordered back to England to explain the loss at the Battle of Lake Champlain.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

USS Hornet-- Part 2: Sank Off Mexico With Loss of Whole Crew in 1829

The Hornet was later able to escape to the high seas again.

On November 14, 1814, it was on a second raiding voyage to the South Atlantic.  On March 23, 1815, under the command of James Biddle, it captured the HMS Penguin in a short battle off Tristan de Cunha.  This battle came several weeks after the hostilities were over and was among several naval engagements that also took place after the war was over.

On 27 April, it engaged the HMS Cornwallis after mistaking her for a merchant vessel.  The Hornet came near being captured and just barely escaped after throwing cannons, boats and other items overboard..

After the war it was on anti-piracy patrols before foundering in a storm off Tampico, mexico on 29 September 1829 with loss of the entire crew.


USS Hornet-- Part 1: Launched 1805 in Baltimore

From Wikipedia.

Yesterday, I wrote that The USS Hornet captured the HMS Penguin on March 23, 1815, quite a few weeks after the war was over.

The USS Hornet was launched in 1805 in Baltimore and was a brig-rigged sloop-of-war that was sunk in a storm in 1829 with the loss of its entire crew.  The ship was 106 feet long and mounted eighteen 32-pdr. carronades and two 12-pdr. long guns.

It sailed under James Lawrence's command during early War of 1812 on a raiding voyage to South America.  On February 24, 1813, it engaged the HMS Peacock off Denerary (Guyana), forcing the British ship to surrender, but it was in such bad condition it sank.

Later, the Hornet joined the USS United States and USS Macedonian and was chased into the Thames River near New London, Connecticut, and was blockade for a while.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

200 Years Ago: Napoleon Enters Paris and USS Hornet Captures the HMS Penguin

MARCH 19, 1815:  British Commodore Sir Edward Campbell Rich Owens arrives at Kingston, Upper Canada, to assume command of the British Royal Navy station from Commordore Sir James Yeo.

MARCH 20, 1815:  Napoleon enters Paris and begins his 100 Day Rule.

MARCH 23, 1815:  USS Hornet captures the HMS Penguin.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Battle of Malcolm's Mills re-enactment

From the April 16, 2014, Brantford (Ontario) "Brant makes battle of Malcolm's Mills reenactment official" by Michael Allan Marion.

The re-enactment will be held June 28, 2014, to commemorate the last battle of the War of 1812 fought on Canadian soil against an invading army.

The battle itself took place on November 6, 1814, near the present day village of Oakland.  "Last Shot Fired- The Battle of Malcolm's Mills.

The federal government of Canada is not supporting the re-enactment so they are doing it themselves.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Looking For War of 1812 Artifacts in Maryland

From the April 16, 2014, University of Delaware U daily "War Relics."

The earthen Fort Point was constructed in 1812.  Geologists at the University of Delaware's College of Earth, Ocean and Environment are examining the fort for historical value and insights in regards to erosion. They are using modern technology like drones, high definition cameras and lasers.

Their focus is on three sites in Maryland: Fort Stokes near Easton, Fort Point near Centreville and Fort Nonsense near Annapolis (interesting name for a fort).

Two drones shot photographs from 130 feet above the sites  Ground-based laser scanners are documenting the fort contours.

Funding for the work comes from a grant from Star-Spangled 200.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Round-the-Clock Work on War of 1812 Monument Back in 2014

From the April 16, 2014, Ottawa (Canada) Citizen by Don Butler.

The new War of 1812 monument will be placed at Parliament Hill in Ottawa.  The work was scheduled to begin July 28th with completion date set for October 31st.

There was  a national competition last and the accepted design was by Toronto artist Adrienne Alison, who received a  $787,000 commission.  It will consist of a circle of seven bronze figures on a central stone plinth flanked by two granite boats.

An additional $60,552 contract was awarded HGH Granite of Dundas, Ontario, for the delivery and installation of the seven bronze figures and the granite plinths.

This is to be the National War of 1812 Monument of Canada.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Battle of Caulk's Field Bicentennial Planned Back in 2014

From the April 15, 2014, Star-Democrat (Maryland).

the re-enactment will take place on August 31, 2014, on the very same battlefield  where American Kent County militiamen turned back a British night attack.  In addition, there will be activities at the county seat in Chestertown where there will be a parade August 30th.

This battle took place during the week before the burning of Washington, D.C..

The field was named for Isaac caulk, owner of the land at the time.  The 35-acre site is now owned by Tulip Forest Farm.

There will be a flag raising and wreath laying at the War of 1812 monument in Monument Plaza.  In addition, there will be a militia camp set up at the 18th century Customs House.  The Historical Society of Kent County will have a display of Caulk's Field artifacts.


Kingston, Ontario and Rear Admiral Sir Robert Barrie

From the April 17, 2014, Kingston (Canada) "200 years of history in our midst" by Mark Bergin.

Rear-Admiral Sir Robert Barrie was a commodore during the blockade of the Chesapeake in the War of 1812 as well as along the American east coast.  he later lived in Kingston, Ontario.  Barrie Street and the Village of Barriefield are named after him.  There is also the City of Barrie in southern Ontario.

In 1820, Barriefield named for him

he served as commissioner of the Royal Navy Dockyard of Kingston where he oversaw its expansion which Barriefield overlooks.

Much of Barriefield was owned by Richard Cartwright who developed the town and sold lots to people working at the dockyard during the War of 1812 when it was the scene of much construction during the Great Naval Race.  many homes from this period still stand.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

How a Prank Almost Sank the Port City

From the April 17, 2014, Alexandria (Va.) Times "My View: How a Prank Almost Sank the Port City" by Daniel Lee.

Seven British warships dropped anchor alongside Alexandria's waterfront in late August 1814.  Captain James Gordon's men "maintained a remarkable level of discipline while obsconding with large amounts of flour, tobacco and beef" while many residents claimed they were not paid for it either.

While leaving the town, British Midshipman John Went Frasier of the HMS Euryalus, was collared by American Captain David Porter (father of the Civil War's David Dixon Porter and foster father of David Glasgow Farragut) and Master Commandant John Orde Creighton.

Upon hearing this, British Captain Gordon turned his guns on the town and that "shirt collar gave way" and Frasier got back to his ship.

Porter went on to command the new USS Essex, formerly the frigate USS Columbia.  Creighton went on to command the new corvette USS Argus.

Both men are buried in Washington, D.C..


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Poem to Wilmington's "Battle of Greenfield"-- Part 2

To slumber in darkness should not be its fate,
But to shine on the pages of story.

For true were the patriots engaged in that strife,
To valor, to freedom, their country--
Though they drew not a sword nor a glittering knife,
They were crowned with the laurels of victory.

Long, long has it been since the dark cloud of war,
Insultingly threatened our town,
Yet the renowned plain of Greenfield still beams from afar,
With lustre of its glorious renown.

A Bit, As You Say, Tongue-In-Cheek.  --Brock-Perry

Monday, March 16, 2015

A Poem to Wilmington's "Battle of Greenfield"-- Part 1

As in Wilmington, North Carolina.

This poem appeared in the June 12, 1852 Tri-Weekly Commercial newspaper in Wilmington.  Of course, this was essentially tongue-in-cheek as the battle that almost took placed involved Americans on both sides and a big factor in it had to do with mosquitoes.  Check out the Wilmington NC  labels to find out about this "battle."

We've sung of the heroes of red Waterloo.
Of the deeds that were done on that field.

While we've tuned not a note to the true and the brave,
Who contested the plain of Greenfield.

Shame for the historians of our brave State,
To have left unrecorded its glory,

More to Come.  --Brock-Perry

Saturday, March 14, 2015

USS Trippe-- Part 3: Battle of Lake Erie and Aftermath

When Commodore Barclay's British fleet left the Detroit River to deliver supplies to British soldiers, the American fleet came out and offered battle.

The American fleet outnumbered the British 9 ships to 6, but were outgunned 63-54.

With battle engaged, the British concentrated their fire on the lead American ships: the Lawrence, Caledonia and Niagara.  The Trippe was at the end of the American line and fought a long range duel with the HMS Lady Prevost and Little Belt and put the Prevost out of action.

The USS Lawrence was also battered by British fire, forcing Perry to leave it and continue the fight from the Niagara.  The Trippe charged into the fray.  The British ships were forced to surrender one by one.  When the Cheppeway and Little Belt attempted to flee, the USS Trippe and Scorpion chased them down for a complete sweep as Perry so happily reported.

The Battle of Lake Erie was the Trippe's only engagement in the war.  For the rest of its career it carried supplies to support General William Harrison's land operations.

In October the British attacked Buffalo and captured the city.  They found the Trippe aground near Buffalo Creek and set fire to her, burning the ship completely.


USS Trippe-- Part 2: Blockade and Break Out

After the USS Trippe became a warship, it and others were bottled up by the British guns at Fort George until they joined troops under U.S. Colonel Winfield Scott and the fort was captured 27 May 1813.  The fall of Fort George also caused the British to evacuate Fort Erie.

With the river open, Isaac Chaucey's ships began passage of the Niagara Rapids on 6 June 1813 and one the 19th joined Oliver Hazard Perry's fleet at Erie, Pennsylvania.  In August they sailed to the western part of Lake Erie and made a base of operations at Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island

Next, the Battle of Lake Erie and the USS Trippe's Role.  --Brock-Perry

Friday, March 13, 2015

USS Trippe at Battle of Lake Erie-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

The USS Trippe was a sloop purchased by The U.S. Navy in 1812, formerly named the Contractor.  It was renamed for Naval officer John Trippe and carried a 35-man crew and mounted one 32-pdr. long gun.  Purchased on the Niagara River, New York, it converted into a man-of-war by noted naval architect Henry Eckford.

Its first commander was Lt. Thomas Stevens.

Money Received to Continue Construction of USS Trippe

From the April 16, 2014, Buffalo News.

The Niagara 1812 Bicentennial Legacy Counsel has received $35,000 to continue construction on the Battle of Lake Erie replica sloop USS Trippe at the Buffalo Maritime Center on Arthur Street.

It was the smallest ship in Perry's fleet.

Most of the hull has been completed but the deck needs to be installed along with rigging, sails, and a ballast keel.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

200 Years Ago: USS Levant Recaptured

MARCH 11TH, 1815:  The HMS Leander captured the USS Levant near the Cape Verdes Islands,  It had been captured by the USS Constitution on February 20th.

The USS Constitution and USS Cyane (which had also been captured on the 20th) escaped.