Wednesday, April 30, 2014

U.S. Row Galley Launched at Vergennes, Vermont

In late April 1814, the row galley Allen was launched on Otter Creek below the falls at Vergennes, Vermont.  It was one of six row galleys ordered by Macdonough.  Others were the Borer, Burrows, Centipede, Nettle and Viper.

The Allen protected Fort Cassin, a makeshift battery at the outlet into Lake Champlain.    It was manned by 40 officers and men under sailing master William Robbins.

During the spring and summer of 1814, the Allen cruised Lake Champlaon looking for smugglers and it was at the American victory over the British in Plattsburgh Bay on September 11th.

After the war, it was put into ordinary at Whitehall.  Ot was recommissioned three years later for patrol duties under the provisions of the Rush-Bagot Agreement.  The Navy department closed Whitehall Station 1825-1826 and the Allen was sold.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

200 Years Ago: USS Peacock Captures HMS Epervior

APRIL 29TH, 1814:  The USS Peacock takes the HMS Epervior off Cape Canaveral, Spanish Florida.  --Brock-Perry

Baltimore Privateer Racer (HMS Shelburne)

From the Baltimore Privateers Site.

The Racer (captured by the British in the Rappahannock River in Virginia with four other American schooners on April 2, 1813, was a Letter pf Marque schooner of 230 tons, 99.6 foot length, 24.4 foot beam and 10.7 depth.  It was built at Talbot County, Maryland in 1811, manned by thirty men and captained by Daniel Chaytor.  Its lieutenant was Thomas West. Own were George J. Brown, John G. Brown, George P. Stephenson and William Hollins.

Its armament consisted of two long 12s, four 9-pdr. carronades.

It was commissioned Letter of Marque on August 13, 1812 and commanded by Thomas West.

It was taken by the British in the Rappahannock River, Virginia, by the British on April 3, 1813, along with three pther Baltimore schooners: Arab, Dolphin and Lynx.


Monday, April 28, 2014

HMS Shelburne: American Privateer and British Warship

From Wikipedia.

On April 20, 1814, the frigate HMS Orpheus and HMS Shelburne captured the USS Frolic in the Florida Straits. This is a follow-up on the story.

The HMS Shelburne was originally the American privateer Racer, built in Baltimore in 1811 and captured by the British in 1813. During its career as the Shelburne, it capturedseveral merchant ships and most notably, participated in the capture of the USS Frolic. It was sold in 1817.

 It was commissioned as a privateer in August 1812 under Captain Danield Chayton. On April 13, 1813, it was captured at the Battle of Rappahannock River in Virginia. British Admoral Sir John Bortase Warren's squadron chased four American schooners into the river and sent 17 boats upriver to capture them.

They succeeded, and one of them was the Racer.


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Major Watson Honored: Veteran of American Revolution and War of 1812

This past week I have been writing about Major Watson receiving a plaque at the entrance to the cemetery where he is buried in Hebron, Illinois, in my Cooter's History Thing blog. He was a veteran of both wars for American independence: American Revolution and the War of 1812. //// The Sons of the American Revolution were responsible for obtaining the plaque. //// He lived most of his life in New York and then southern Wisconsin for the last three years of his life. He was captured in both wars and spent most of them as a prisoner of war. //// I'll be writing some more about his War of 1812 service next week. //// --Cooter

Friday, April 25, 2014

200 Years Ago: Plot to Destroy USS Superior Foiled

APRIL 25, 1814: A plot to destroy the nearly completed frigate USS Superior on the stocks at Sackets Harbor, New York, is foiled when the three small British boats on the mission were discovered and chased away by American guard boats. //// I'll write about the USS Superior tomorrow. //// Brock-Perry

Apollo-Class 36-gun Frigates

From Wikipedia. //// Twenty-seven frigates, one of which was the HMS Orpheus, were built to the 1798 design of Sir William Rule. Most served in the Napoleonic Wars. //// --Brock-Perry

HMS Orpheus: Captured the USS Frolic

From Wikipedia. //// One of seven Royal Navy ships to bear the name. A 36-gun Apollo=class 5th-rate frigate, 145 feet long with crew of 264. //// Ordered 1807, laid down August 1808 at Deptford Dockyard, launched 12 August 1809 and completed in September. //// Part of the British fleet blockading Long Island Sound. In May 1813, chased American privateet Holkar aground and destroyed it with cannon fire. //// Part of the British squadron that chased Stephen Decatur's fleet into New London and blockaded it. //// April 20, 1814, it and HMS Shelburne captured the USS Frolic. //// Broken up in 1819. //// --Brock-Perry

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Short Career of the Sloop of War USS Frolic

From Wikipedia. //// One of a three-class group of sloops of war that also included the USS Peacock and USS Wasp, the Frolic cost $72,095 and was built at Charlestown, Massachusetts. Launched 11 September 1813, 509 tons, 119 feet long, 170 crew and carried 22 guns. //// On 18 February 1814, set out to sea under Cmdr. Joseph Bainbridge (younger brother of Commodore William Bainbridge) and cruised to the West Indies. On March 20th, it destroyed a British merchant ship and a Spanish-American privateer. On April 3rd, it sank another Nritish merchant ship. //// On April 20th, while in the Florida Strait is was spotted by the 36-gun frigate HMS Orpheus and 12-gun schooner HMS Shelburne who gave chase. The Frolic lightened ship by throwing guns and other items overboard, but was still captured after a six hour chase 15 miles from Cuba. //// The British Admiralty purchased it and it became the HMS Florida until broken up in 1819. //// One Ship, Two Navies. --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Training at Buffalo-- Part 2

Many have described this American camp as a basic training camp, but, in fact Scott was training the largesly experienced and battle hardened troops under his command to be able to meet the high standards of their opponents, the British Army. //// The accomplishments of Winfield Scott's soldiers at the battles of Chippawa and Lundy's Lane showed he was right to enforce this. //// --Brock-Perry

War of 1812 Timeline: Training At Buffalo-- Part 1

APRIL 22, 1814: A camp of instruction was established at Flint Hill near Buffalo, New York. //// For ten weeks during the spring of 1814, the Left Division of the U.S. Army trained under Brigadier General Winfield Scott at this camp. Under his direction, the soldiers trained for up to ten hours a day and strict discipline was enforced. //// Officers and nmen were both punished for infractions and four executed for desertion. //// Scott paid much attention to cleanliness and sanitation, virtually eliminating the sicknesses that had so decimated the Americans. //// --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

War of 1812 Timeline-- April 1814: USS Frolic Defeated

APRIL 20TH, 1814: The HMS Orpheus and HMS Shelburne defeat the USS Frolic in the Florida Straits. //// APRIL 22ND, 1814: A camp of instruction is established by American General Jacob Brown at Flint Hill, near Buffalo, New York. //// --Brock-Perry

War of 1812 Timeline-- April 1814: Reinforcing Fort Mackinac

APRIL 19TH, 1814: As already mentioned, on April 19th, Lt.Col. Robert McDouall and a contingent of British soldiers and sailors depart Glengarry Landing, Upper Canada, to reinforce the garrison at Fort Mackinac in Michigan territory. //// He left with two companies of the Royal Newfoundland Fencible regiment, a handful of Royal Artillerymen and agroup of Royal Navy sailors. They had been ordered from Kingston in February 1814 to reinforce and resupply the British garrison at Fort Mackinac. //// They at first traveled overland and then stopped at the forks of the Nottawasaga River in Upper Canada near Georgian Bay and spent two months constructing 29 large boats with which to carry supplies to the post on Michilimackinac Island. //// The clearing they made became known as Glengarry Landing. //// The expedition encountered ice-choked and often stormy waters in their journey over Lake Hurin to Fort Mackinac. Upon arrival on 18 May, McDouall assumed command of the post. //// --Brock-Perry

Monday, April 21, 2014

With "the Utmost Hostility"

From the Maryland in the War of 1812 Blog "Naval Orders: "the utmost Hostility against the shores of the United States..." April 1814. //// Vice Admiral Sir Alexander F.I. Cochrane wrote to Rear Admiral George Cockburn in Bermuda, April 28, 1814, //// Cochrane had replaced Admiral Sir John Warren as commander of the North American Station in Bermuda. He issued these orders to his second in command, Cockburn, who followed them with relish, becoming the most hated British naval officer in America. //// Already in 1813, he had attacked principal Maryland shore towns of Havre-de-Gracer (May 3) and Fredericktown and Georgetown on May 5th. //// --Brock-Perry

War of 1812 Haunted Mausoleum in Illinois-- Part 2

Today, just the abandoned mausoleum remains of the huge estate and riches of Stephen Miles. An inscription on the front of it reads that it was built in 1858 by Stephen W. Miles, his son, and was to be cared for by the eldest son of each succeeding generation. However, the son went into bankruptcy and the family fortune was lost. //// The vault had been built to house 56 bodies, but just 11 are interred. Those of Miles, his two wives and other descendants are there. Some say that Miles' mistress and some servants are buried in it as well. //// In the 1960s, curiosity-seekers who found it saw that vandals had already done their thing. Vaults were torn apart and broken marble, wood and bones were found scattered all over. In the late 60s, a group broke in and pulled the remaining bodies out and burned them in an attempt to raise the dead. //// So, There Is No Wonder That It Is Said To Be Haunted. --Brock-Perry

Saturday, April 19, 2014

War of 1812 Haunted Mausoleum in Illinois?-- Part 1

From "Weird Illinois" by Troy Taylor. "The Mausoleum At Eagle Cliff." Located in southwest Illinois at the edge of Eagle Cliff looking toward the distant Mississippi River, sits a mausoleum in a cemetery about eight miles from the small town of Valmeyer. //// The site was once the grand estate of an accomplished violinist Stephen Miles who was also a veteran of the War of 1812. For his service, he received land in Monroe County, Illinois. //// He arrived to settle the land in 1819 and built a home at Eagle Cliff. Prosperity was his lot and he soon owned several thousand acres of fertile farmland. Much of it he bought at the government office at Kaskaskia. //// A fair amount of that land came from other settlers who transferred their claims to him, then, as legend has it, disappeared, sometimes under mysterious circumstances. //// More Boo Coming. --Brock-Perry

Friday, April 18, 2014

HMS Princess Charlotte

From Wikipedia.

Was a 121-foot long, 42-gun 5th rate frigate manned by a crew of 280. Built at the Kingston Royal Doxkyard in Kingston, Upper Canada, and launched April 14, 1814, along with the frigate HMS Prince Regent. Originally was to have been the HMS Vittoria, but the name was changed before launch.

Served on Lake Ontario and commssioned at Oswego 5 May 1814 under Captain William Mulcaster. Took part in attacks on Fort Oswego and Sackets Harbor in New York.

Received new commander, Captain Edward Collier in November and was renamed the HMS Burlington on 9 December 1814. In June 1815, Captain Nicholas Lockyer commanded.

In June 1833, it was offered for sale, but there were no takers and towed away and scuttled.

In 1825, the HMS Princes Charlotte, a 120-gun first rate ship-of-the-line was launched in Britain.


HMS Prince Regent

From Wikipedia.

Was a 155-foot long, 56-gun 4th rate frigate built with crew of 280 at Kingston Royal Navy Dockyard at Kingston, Upper Canada. Launched April 14, 1814. Renamed HMS Kingston 9 December 1814. It was still a warship in 1830 and sold in 1832.

A 120-gun ship-of-the-line HMS Prince Regent was launched in Britain in 1823.

I was unable to find out more information on it.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

The 1814 Naval Race on the Lakes: HMS Prince Regent and Princess Charlotte

The timeline for April 1814 clearly shows that a big naval arms race was on along the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain during the early part of 1814.

Needing more heavily armed vessels to challenge American Commodore Chauncey for control of Lake Ontario, Sir James Lucas Yeo's British squadron was reinforcedby the HMS Prince Regent (56 guns) and HMS Princess Charlotte (42 guns) on April 14, 1814. This gave Yeo the advantage.

On May 6, 1814, these two and other vessels conveyed part of a 550 soldier force in an amphibious attack on Oswego, New York. Then they covered the landing and bombarded the fort.

Other ships added to the forces in the first part of April 1814: British: HMS Linnert. American: USS Jefferson, Saratoga and Jones.


HMS Confiance-- Part 2

At the Battle of Plattsburgh, the Confiance battled the Saratoga for two and a half hours and was at a major disadvantage because the crew was largely untrained (and only on the ship a few weeks. It was forced to surrender and taken to Whitehall for repairs. During the winter of 1814-1815, it was Macdonough's headquarters ship. //// With the wra over, it was stripped of cannons and anything useful and housed over to prevent deterioration. It was moved to a site below Whitehall. //// Rot quickly spread because of te greenness of the wood. Later, it was towed to the mouth of the Poultney River, known as East Bay, and allowed to sink. In 1825, the Whitehall naval station was closed and all remaining War of 1812 hulks were sold. /// In 1839 map of the area shows a spot with the "wreck of the Confiance." Then, in 1873, dredging work to the channel caused the Confiance's wreck to slip into it and block it. Local contractor, J.J. Holden, known as "Nitroglycerine Jack" was hired and some mighty explosions erased the Confiance. //// Goodbye Confiance. --Brock-Perry

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

HMS Confiance: Lake Champlain's Largest-Ever Warship-- Part 1

From Wikipedia. //// Was the largest wraship ever to sail Lake Champlain. It was 147-feet long, 831 tons and mounted thirty 24-pdrs, six 32-pdr. carronades and one 24-pdr. on pivot. Built very quickly, using green wood which proved to be a weakness. //// Launched at Ile aux Noix on August 25, 1814, and gave the British Navy superiority on Lake Champlain. Served as Captain George Downie's flagship at the Battle of Plattsburgh on September 11, 1814. (As you cabn see, the Confiance did not have but a three-week trial period.) //// The Confiance was built in response to Master Commandant Macdonough's high-powered shipbuilding program and was part of the naval race on the Great Lakes between Britain and the U.S.. . //// More tio Come. --Brock-Perry

The USS Saratoga Was a Corvette

From Wikipedia. //// On Saturday I mentioned the USS Saratoga was classified as a corvette warship. I was not too familiar with corvettes in the War of 1812, so lookied into it. //// Corvettes were small, highly-maneuverable and light-armed warships. Essentially, the next step under a frigate as far as firepower and most closely related to sloops-of-war. //// During the Age of Sail, they were used principally for coastal patrol, minor wars and battles, supporting large fleets and ship-to-shore operations. //// Now You Know. --Brock-Perry

USS Linnert, USS Saratoga and USS Confiance Sold in 1825

While looking up information on these three War of 1812 ships involved in the Battle of Lake Champlain (PLattsburgh) in New York, I noticed that all three were sold in 1825. //// I thought that to be too coincidental until I read that the United States government closed the naval station at Whitehall, New York, in that year. All three ships were in ordinary or just hulks there at the time.//// The Linnert and Confiance were formerly British ships. I wasn't able to find out what happened to the Saratoga or Linnert after they were sold, but most likely they were broken up. There was information on the Confiance after 1825, which I will write about when I do the thumbnail sletch on it beginning today. //// --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

War of 1812 Timeline: April 1814

APRIL 15TH, 1814: Captain Arthur Sinclair receives orders to take command of the American squadron on Lake Erie, replacing Master Commandant Jesse Elliott who is given command of a warship on Lake Ontario. ///// APRIL 19TH, 1814: Lt.Col. Robert McDouall and a contingent of British soldiers and sailors depart Glengarry Landing, Upper Canada, to reinforce Fort Mackinac, Michigan Territory. //// --Brock-Perry

USS Saratoga and Battle of Plattsburgh-- Part 2

Thomas Macdonough sailed back south and anchored his fleet in a strategically superior position causing British ships to have a slow approach against the wind in such a fashion that they couldn't bring many of their guns to bear. //// He also dropped kedge anchors and arranged spring lines so he could turn his ships so alternately, his starboard and then port guns could be brought to bear. //// When the British assault began down Lake Champlain, crack British troops were rushed from Europe and were able to force American sokldiers southward on the west shore of Lake Champlain. //// The Saratoga primarily battled the Confiance and when her starboard huns were lost, swung around with its port guuns and forced the also battered Confiance to surrender. Next to surrender was the HMS Linnert. By then, the battle was over and an American victory. The British troops retreated and the U.S. was left in control of Lake Champlain. //// --Brock-Perry

Monday, April 14, 2014

Master Commandant: In Case You're Wondering

From Wikipedia. //// Everytime I see Thomas Macdonough's name, I also see him as a master commandant, a naval rank I am not very familiar with. Looked it up. //// A Master Commandant was a rank in the early U.S. Navy that was much higher that that of lieutenant and usually given command of warships much smaller than those for a full captain to command. In 1838, it was shortened to commander. (I had thought master comandant referred to the commander of a naval base.) //// The early U.S. Navy had tbree "grades" of officers in charge of warships: lieutenants, master commandants and captains. A master commandant was roughly the equivalent of a master or commander in the Royal Navy. //// So, Now You Know. --Brock-Perry

Macdonough's Flagship: the USS Saratoga-- Part 1

From Wikipedia. //// I mentioned that the USS Saratoga was launched April 11, 1814, at vergennes, Vermont, to be added to Master Commandant Thomas Macdonough's Lake Champlain fleet. //// A follow-up on the ship. //// The USS Saratoga was classified as a 143-foot corvette, mounting 26 guns with a crew of 212 and 734 tons. It didn't take long to build as it was just laid down March 7th. The addition of this ship put the American's ahead in the naval construction race on Lake Champlain. //// Macdonough took it to blockade Richilieu. //// The British fleet was upriver at Ile aux Noix where the 36-gun frigate HMS Confiance was rapidly built. This was the largest warship ever to sail on Lake Champlain. //// --Brock-Perry

Saturday, April 12, 2014

War of 1812 Timeline: April 1814: Ships Launched on Both Sides

Warship Race

APRIL 13TH, 1814: Americans launch the brig USS Jones at Sackets Harbor, New York, adding to Commodore Isaac Chauncey's Lake Ontario squadron.

APRIL 14TH, 1814: HMS Prince Regent and HMS Charlotte are launched at Kingston, Upper Canada. These two frigates help Commodore Sir James Lucas Yeo gain control of Lake Ontario for a period during the 1814 navigation center.


USS Jefferson

Wikipedia. //// In the last post, I mentioned the USS Jefferson being launched at Sackets Harbor, NY, on April 7, 1814. Some more information on it. //// It was a brig with 160 crew, 117 feet long and 20 cannons. Its crew had formerly been on the USS Erie, which was blockaded in Baltimore, and captained by Cmdr. Charles G. Ridgely. //// After completion, it sailed with Isaac Chauncey and blockaded off Niagara and Kingston. While sailing to Kingston, a big storm on September 12th almost swamped the ship, forcing them to throw ten of its guns overboard. It remained off Kingston to November and then returned to Sackets Harbor and placed in ordinary where it remained because of the end of the war. It was sold in 1825. //// --Brock-Perry

Friday, April 11, 2014

War of 1812 Timeline for April 1814 Launch of the USS Jefferson and Saratoga

APRIL 7, 1814: Americans launch the brig USS Jefferson at Sackets Harbor, New York, adding to Commodore Isaac Chauncey's Lake Ontario squadron. //// APRIL 9, 1814: The remaining 98 men and officers of 2nd Battalion 8th (or king's) Regiment sail from New Brunswick to Quebec. //// APRIL 11TH, 1814: The American ship Saratoga (26 guns) is launched at Vergennes, Vermont, increasing Master Commandant Thomas Macdonough's Lake Champlain fleet. //// --Brock-Perry

War of 1812 Timeline for April, 1814: Napoleon's Abdication Really Bad News for Americans

APRIL 1, 1814: Vice-Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane was appointed to command the Royal Navy's North American Station. //// APRIL 4TH: French emperor Napoleon abdicates, enabling the British to send more men and ships to North America. This was a really bad thing for the United States. //// After Napolean's defeat, Britain picked up its pace on all North American fronts. With more ships available, Cochrane increased pressure on the Chesapeake and extended the blockade northward to include all of the New England states. This extension stiffled the licensed trade and Halifax merchants loudly protested. Meanwhile, New Brunswick counteroparts were deeply involved in smuggling with Americans. //// Cochrane ignored the protests, but, even with more ships, was unable to effectively seal the increased blockaded areas, especially in New England where smuggling was rampant. //// --Brock-Perry

Whitehall, New York: Birthplaceof the U.S. Navy

From Wikipedia. //// In the last post, I mentioned that after its capture, the HMS Linnert was taken to Whitehall, New York, repaired and taken into the U,S, Navy. Later, it was placed inordinary there before being sold. I have, on occasion, come across the name of this place in the War of 1812. //// It is located just south of the point where the Vermont border connects to the south end of Lake Champlain and founded in 1759. //// In 1776, American General Philip Schuyler built a small fleet of ships here which were used by General Benedict Arnold at the Battle of Valcour Island in October. Ever since then, Whitehall has claimed the title of Birthplace of the U.S. Navy. //// The vessels that survived the battle were destroyed here to prevent capture. Later, British General John Burgoyne led his forces through the area during his Saratoga Campaign. //// During the War of 1812, the American ships which fought at the famous Battle of Lake Champlain were built here. //// --Brock-Perry

Thursday, April 10, 2014

HMS Linnert

From Wikipedia. //// As mewntioned in the previous post, the HMS Linnert was launched this month in 1814. It was a 16-gun brig launched at Ile aux Noir, Lower Canada under the command of Cmdr. Daniel Pring, RN. It was originally to have been named the HMS Niagara and served in Lake Champlain. //// At the September 1814 Battle of Lake Champlain where it engaged and heavily damaged the American 18-gun brig USS Eagle before Macdonough's flagship, USS Saratoga raked her and forced a surrender with 10 killed and 15 wounded. //// It was repaired and taken into American service as the USS Linnert, but by then the war had ended and it was placed in ordinary in Whitehall, New York, and later sold in 1825. //// --Brock-Perry

War of 1812 Timeline-- April 1814: Launch of HMS Linnet

OTHER APRIL 1814 EVENTS. //// Major General James Wilkinson's army retreats to Plattsburg, New York. ///// The HMS Linnet is launched at the navy yard at Ile aux Noix, Lower Canada. //// --Brock-Perry

War of 1812 Timeline, April 1814-- Part 3: Construction of Fort Mississauga

In April 1814, the British commenced construction on Fort Mississauga in Niagara, Upper Canada. //// After capturing American Fort Niagara, the British built a new fort across the Niagara River on Mississauga Point. Together, these two forts commanded the mouth of the river. //// Fort Mississauga was a small star-shaped earthwork surrounded by a dry ditch and a log palisade. It was armed with four 24-pounder cannons and equipped with a hot-shot furnace and it was stronger than the badly damaged Fort George. //// Stone and brick rubble from the destroyed town of Niagara was used to begin construction of a central brick tower inside Fort Mississauga. //// Also, the first lighthouse built on the Great Lakes before the war on Mississauga Point was demolsihed. //// By July, the fort was deemed defensible, just in time as an American invading army once again crossed the Niagara River. //// --Brock-Perry

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

War of 1812: Spring Timeline-- Part 2

After the American victory at the Battle of the Chippawa, Major General Phineas Riall retreated to Twelve Mile Creek, Upper Canada, and abandoned Fort Drummond 10 July 1814. Fort Drummond was then occupied by American forces for two weeks before the Battle of Lundy's Lane. //// --Brock-Perry

War of 1812 Spring Timeline

From //// This is by far the best timeline I have found for the War of 1812. //// Some events going on during the spring of the third year of the war. //// Fortifications at Lacolle, Lower Canada, are repaired and strengthened. //// British commence construction of Fort Drummond at Queenston Heights, Upper Canada. It was named after Lt. Governor Sir George Drummond. They were earthworks surrounding a blockhouse built for 100 men. It also had a u-shaped advance battery facing the Niagara River and a redan battery overlooking the village of Queenston and Portage Road. //// --Brock-Perry

Monday, April 7, 2014

Discovery Harbour, Ontario: "The Blood Boat"

Now located at the site of the Penetanguishene Navy Yard on Lake Huron has several replicas of War of 1812-era warships to explore.

HMS BEE is a full-scale replica 79-foot supply schooner that was stationed at the navy base from 1817-1830.

The HMS TECUMSETH is also a full-scale replica. The 124-foot ship was built at Chippewa in 1815 and transferred to Penetanguishene Navy Yard in 1817. The original Tecumseth rotted and sank by 1828. Its remains were raised in 1953 and are on display.

They also have a 19-foot JOLLY BOAT called "The Blood Boat." It is a general purpose boat used by the Royal Navy during the era. These boats were often used to procure fresh meat and that is how they earned the name "Blood Boat."


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Penetaguishene Bay Naval Shipyard

From Discovery Hatbour Site. //// In 1812, the British command in Canada decided that it was imporatnt to build and outpost and shipyard at Penetanguishene Bay on Lake Huron. //// It was established late in the war in 1814. On November 12th, Lt. Newdigate Poyntz, Royal Navy, surveyed the harbour and decided to build a 36-gun frigate with equipment shipped from Kingston. //// In December, the Canadian Fencibles and militia began work on a road to it. But, after news of peace arrived March 10, 1815, work on the frigate ended. //// Britain still needed naval a presence on Lake Huron, though, and two 124-foot transport ships, the HMS Tecumseth and HMS Newash were built. After the Rush-Bagot Agreement was signed, limiting the size and armament of warships on the Great Lakes, these two ships were decommissioned and placed in ordinary. In 1820, it had over 70 perseonnel and its captain, Samuel Roberts had fought Americans in Virginia, Baltimore and New Orleans. The assistant surgeon of the base, Clement Todd had received a wound at the Battle of Lake Champlain. //// Never Heard of It. --Brock-Perry

Friday, April 4, 2014

Naval Action: War of 1812-- Part 3: Comparing the Two Battles

Perry's victory at Lake Erie is best remembered though, even though it didn't have as big an impact. The reason was timing. The war was going badly for the Americans at the time. //// Then there was his famous after-action report: "We have met the enemy and they are our; two ships, two brigs, one schooner and one sloop." //// Perry received the Congressional Gold Medal and both received the thanks of Congress and promotion to the rank of captain. //// Sadly, both died of disease with ten years, depriving the Navy of two of its most aggressive and brilliant commanders. //// --Brock-Perry

Naval Action: War of 1812-- Part 2: Battle of Lake Champlain

The Battle of Lake Champlain, fought a year later, September 10, 1814, was fought for a body of water that historically had been a path of invasion. It was a joint operation for the British whose success depended upon keeping Lake Champlain open for supplies. //// The British had a slight firepower advantage and had moored in a position so as to protect General Alexander Macomb's army. //// American commander, Master Commandant Thomas Macdonough, in his USS Saratoga, was able to bring both his port and starboard guns to bear on the British ships who tried in vain to compensate. //// As a result of the American victory, Britain was forced to reconsider their military and diplomatic objectives which led to the Dec. 24, 1814 Treaty of Ghent, ending the war. //// -- Brock-Perry

Naval Action: War of 1812-- Part 1: Battle of Lake Erie

From the February 2013 U.S. Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island "War of 1812 Discussed. //// At the February 14th meeting, Professor David Skaggs gave a comparison of the two defining American naval victories: the Battle of Lake Erie and the Battle of Lake Champlain. //// At the September 10, 1813, Battle of Lake Erie, American commander Oliver Hazard Perry had superior fire power and more experiences sailors. //// The British were fighting at the extreme limits of their logistical support and suffering from a lack of resources. Many of the British sailors were soldiers drafted into the Navy and lacked the necessary training. //// The victory gave the United States control of lower Michigan and superiority on Lakes Erie and Ontario.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

War of 1812 Privateers

From the April 2014 Naval History Magazine.

O bought this at Books-A-Million in Goldsboro, NC, a couple days ago and found that it had three articles on privateers.  "Yes, Privateers Mattered" by Frederick C. Leiner; "Obstinate and Audacious" by Kevin D. McCrane and "A Daring Defense in the Azores" by Lt. Cmdr. Benjamin Armstrong.

The first article mentioned that the role of privateers in the War of 1812 has been largely overlooked.  It has.  I'd always heard of the victories of our Navy (USS Constitution), but never heard much about privateers.  But as I continue with this blog, I find that the privateers really mattered and that these ships were not just American, but a lot of Canadian ones operated as well.

It is kind of strange that less than fifty years later, the U.S. government had such huge problems with Confederate privateers, even after it had issued so many letters of marque during the War of 1812.


Building a War of 1812 Warship

From the April  2014 Smithsonian Magazine.

A replica of a British warship captured by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry (One of the "We have met the enemy, and they are ours" ships) at the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813, is nearing its launch date. It will be named the USS Perry (the article did not mention the name of the British ship it was modeled after).

It was started by a Canadian group that ran out of money and then bought by enthusiasts from Rhode Island (Perry was a state native).  After six years and $10 million, the 138-foot steel-hulled, three-masted, 20 sailed tall ship will be launched sometime this summer from Newport Shipyard.

It will be the first of the type launched in the United States since 1903, but the ship is fitted with the latest 21st century technology and has back-up engines.

Looking Forward to Seeing It.  --Brock-Perry