Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Remains of HMS General Hunter Might Become Canadian National Historic Site

From the March 29, 2015, Bayshore Broadcasting (Canada)
Ship Site may Become Historic."

The site of the wreck of the HMS General Hunter in Southampton, Ontario, could soon become a Canadian National Historic Site.  It is located between Morpeth and Palmington Streets.

Ken Cassoway has led this effort and says he now needs permission from the province which owns the crown land, the town and the Saugeen First Nation in order to proceed.

The wreck site was discovered in 2001 and since then the site was excavated before being returned to the sand in order to preserve the remains.

The General Hunter was a Royal Navy ship that ended up as a U.S. Army transport ship after the War of 1812.  It is expected that it will cost millions of dollars to remove the ship and find a suitable location to prevent further deterioration.

There is an interpretive sign at the site.

Always Like Preservation.  --Brock-Perry

Monday, March 30, 2015

Follow Up on Major Watson, Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Veteran

I wrote about Major Watson (Major was his first name, not rank) in my Cooter's History Thing Blog and this one a while back after his grave was marked in the Hebron-Linn Cemetery near Hebron, Illinois, and a short distance from where I keep my boat over winter.

Major Watson was unfortunate to be captured in both wars.

Here is mention of him in the War of 1812.

From the May 24, 1813 War of 1812 Blog.

Doctor M'Keehan on Jan. 31 was ordered by General Harrison to meet with the British under a flag of truce.  He was given gold to purchase necessities for captured Americans under British guard.  His group was attacked by Indians and one member killed.  The doctor was scalped and stripped and was then treated badly by the British and sent to Montreal.

When he was returned, he wrote , "I left fourteen American prisoners in gaol.  One was Major Watson, Ogdensburg.


HMS Shelburne-- Part 2: Former American Privateer

Continued from April 28, 2014.  Just click the label HMS Sheburne to see its American service and capture.

The British Admiraly bought the ship for 1940 pounds and renamed the ship for the town of Shelbourne, Nova Scotia.  In 1813, it captured three American merchant ships.

On 3 March 1814, the Shelbourne and HMS Epervier sailed with a convoy for Bermuda and the West Indies.  After parting ways, the Epervier was captured by the USS Peacock.

Later, the Shebourne joined the HMS Orpheus and captured the USS Frolic and then served off New Orleans.

A Busy Ship.  --Brock-Perry

Saturday, March 28, 2015

James Biddle: USS Hornet Commander, Statesman and Negotiator

From Find-A-Grave.

Born Feb. 18, 1783 in Philadelphia.  Died Oct 1, 1841 in Philadelphia.

Member of the famous Biddle family in Philadelphia.  Midshipman in 1800 and fought in the Tripolitan War and War of 1812.  Commander of the USS Hornet when it captured the HMS Penguin 23 March 1815.  Received Congressional Gold Medal for that action.

In Naval service throughout most of his life.  Also known as a statesman and negotiator.  In 1817, took possession of Oregon Territory for the United States.  In 1826 he negotiated a treaty with Turkey.

He helped support the founding of the U.S. Naval Academy.

In 1845, he negotiated a treaty with China and later landed in Japan.

He is buried at Christ Church Burial Ground in Philadelphia.


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) Expositor.ca "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) Region.com "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.


War of 1812 Re-enactments in 1814-- Part 2

The Buffalo History Museum has an exhibit "By Fire and Sword: War in the Niagara Theatre, 1812-1814" which will include Peter Porter's ceremonial sword, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's wine chest and many firearms.

There is also another exhibit "Centennial of the War of 1812" documenting the 100th anniversary of the war back in 1912.

Recently the museum has spent $65,000 conserving artifacts.


War of 1812 Re-enactments in 1814-- Part 1

From the April 2014 Buffalo (NY) News "Siege of Fort Erie to highlight War of 1812 commemoration" by Jane Kwiatkowski.

The siege of Fort Erie will be held August 9-10th, 2014, at Old Fort Erie.  This will be the 28th year it has been re-enacted.

Also, the Battle of Chippawa will be re-enacted July 5-6th at Chippawa Battlefield on Niagara Parkway in Niagara, Ontario.

The Battle of Lundy's Lane, Canada's bloodiest battle will also be re-enacted.

"The Honouring" r5e-enactment for First Nations warriors will be held June 28-29 at Old Fort Niagara, Fort Niagara State Park in Youngstown.

Sepetmber 13 will be the "Star-Spangled Banner, the 200th anniversary of the battle which gave us the National Anthem.  This will be held at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tecumseh Park in Chatham, Ontario

Tecumseh fought October 4, 1813, and was killed the next day at the Battle of the Thames.

The Fight At the Forks of the Thames was on a peninsula formed by where McGregor Creek meets the Thames River.  A log blockhouse was constructed here.

The Skirmist at the Forks on October 4, 1813, was a delaying action against the American advance.  Two Americans were killed and Tecumseh was wounded in the arm.


Casualties of the Skirmish:    Many warriors but names not known.

Two Americans from Kentucky of Col. Johnson's Mounted Infantry.

Private Foster Bartlett of Captain William Reck's Company who enlisted August 15, 1813.

Private William (or Wilham) Hardwick of Captain Samuel Comb's Company.  Enlisted May 20, 1813.


Colonel William Whitley: Charge of the Forlorn Hope

From Find-a-Grave.

Died at age 64.  At the Battle of the Thames, he led the Charge of the Charge of the Forlorn Hope.  twenty daring men, all volunteers, charged the British and Indian force who numbered some 500.  The main force of Americans followed them into battle and were able to engage the Indians while they were reloading.

Whitley's home is the first American brick house built west of the Appalachians.  He also built the first circular horse-racing track in Kentucky, a forerunner of Churchill Downs.

Famed Indian fighter who was in more than twenty battles with them.

It is believed that Whitley and Tecumseh exchanged shots and killed each other.


Monday, March 9, 2015

Battle of Fort Peter-- Part 5

In 1953, Georgia placed a historical marker at Point Peter Battlefield.  In 2002, a planned housing development caused problems.  A study was conducted and thousands of artifacts were found.

Fort St. Tammany in St. Marys was located where the Howard Gilman Memorial Waterfront Park is today.

A semi-permanent exhibit, "The Forgotten Invasion" is at the Cumberland Island National Seashore Museum in St. Marys.

The British fleet in the area consisted of one third rate, one fourth rate, 4 fifty rates, 2 bomb vessels and 2 schooners.  British losses were 3 killed and 5 wounded.  American: 1 killed, 4 wounded and 9 missing.


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Battle of Fort Peter-- Part 4

At the end of February, Cockburn learned of the Treaty of Ghent through newspapers but refused to stop shipping slave refugees from Florida and Georgia.  Some 1485 slaves were freed.  He finally departed from Cumberland Island March 15th, but the HMS Albion ran aground and wasn't able to get off until March 18th.

In 1818, the federal government purchased the land at Point Peter and in 1819, the Adams-Onis Treaty was  signed and Florida became a part of the United States.  By the Civil War, Fort Peter was a ruin.


Battle of Fort Peter-- Part 3

In the fall of 1812, the Camden County Battalion was raised at Point Peter.

The Battle of Fort Point Peter, 1815

On January 10, 1815, British forces under Admiral Sir George Cockburn landed at Cumberland Island off the Georgia coast.  On Jan. 13th they bombarded Fort Peter and then landed and took the fort without casualties before heading for the town of St. Marys where they drove off  American defenders and captured it on Jan. 15th.

They captured two American gunboats and twelve merchant ships.  Fort St. Tammany was not a factor in these actions.  They ended their occupation of St. Marys and Fort St. Tammany after a week.  Then they burned Fort Peter and withdrew to Cumberland Island.

British officers lived in Dungeness, former mansion of deceased Revolutionary War American hero General Nathaniel Greene.


The Battle of Fort Peter, Georgia-- Part 2: Patriot War of East Florida

The first fort in the area was probably Fort St. Tammany built in 1794.  It may have been called Fort Gunn.

The military at Point Peter were responsible for enforcing tariffs and protecting the southern border of the United States with Spanish Florida.  In 1809, a new fort was approved which became Fort peter.

The importance of this post is exemplified by the fact that in 1811, eleven of the Navy's 165 gunboats were stationed there.

In 1811, Fort Point Peter (as it was also called) was commanded by Lt.Col. Thomas Adam Smith.  he was ordered to assist an American takeover of Spanish Florida if a rebellion or invasion took place.  However, the garrison did not get involved in the Patriot War of East Florida.

(I've never heard of this war.)

--More to Come.  --Brock-Perry

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Battle of Fort Peter, Georgia-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

I found out that I hadn't done much writing about this battle that took place even after the Battle of New Orleans, which was after the Treaty of Ghent.  In a few months, we will be in Savannah for a wedding and we will go to Florida afterwards, so planning on spending some time along the St. Marys River along the Georgia/Florida border.

The attacks of Fort Peter and Fort St. Tammany took place in January 1815, after the Treaty of Ghent was signed, ending the War of 1812, but before it was ratified by the United States which officially ended it.  Even then, the war could continue as long as the participants were not aware of its ratification as in the case of the USS Constitution and HMS Cyane and Levant.

This battle took place at the same time as the Siege of Fort St. Philip in Louisiana and the British occupation of St. Marys and Cumberland Island in Georgia.

Point Peter is the first landing spot on the Georgia side of the St. Marys River.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

200 Years Ago: Sir George Provost Relieved of Office

MARCH 2ND, 1815:  Sir George provost is relieved of his office as Governor-in-Chief of British North America; replaced by Gordon Drummond.  he had served in that position since July 15, 1815.  because of the debacle at the Battle of Lake Champlain, he will be asked to explain his actions at a court martial in England, but dies before he is due to appear.


USS Cyane-- Part 6: Uriah Levy, First Jewish Commodore

Another important person in U.S. navy history who served aboard the USS Cyane was Uriah P. Levy, the first Jewish person to attain the rank of commodore in the U.S. Navy.  During the War of 1812, while on the Argus, the ship seized more than 20 vessels in the English Channel before it was captured August 14, 1814.  he spent 16 months imprisoned in England.

The Cyane was laid up at the Philadelphia Navy Yard where it sank in 1835 and was broken up in 1836.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

USS Cyane-- Part 5: U.S. Navy Midshipman Commands a Slaver

On 5 April 1820, off the coast of Africa, the USS Cyane captured six vessels believed to be involved in the slave trade.  The Esperanza and Endymion were of American registry and became prizes for carrying slaves in violation of U.S. law.  The Esperanza was out of Charleston, S.C..  The Endymion was out of Baltimore and under the command of master Alexander M'Kim Andrews, a midshipman in the U.S. Navy.

I looked up this man, but couldn't find any more information.  This would have to be an interesting story.  I'm sure he must have lost his commission.

Notables who served on the Cyane:

In 1819, Matthew Calbraith Perry, brother of War of 1812 hero Oliver Hazard Perry.  He was also at the Battle of Lake Erie with his brother and later became famous for opening Japan.

Also Jesse Duncan Elliott who commanded the USS Niagara at the Battle of Lake Erie until Perry transferred his flag from the battered USS Lawrence.  Elliott later came under fire for keeping his ship out of the battle as long as he did, enabling the British to concentrate their fire on the Lawrence.


HMS Cyane/USS Cyane-- Part 4: Cyane Gets Away, Levant Doesn't

The HMS Leander and a British squadron caught sight of the American ships on March 11th and recaptured the Levant, but the Cyane escaped.  It arrived at the North River on 10 April and anchored by the USS Constitution.  It was later adjudicated as a prize of war (despite the peace treaty having been already ratified) by a prize court and purchased by the U.S. Navy and commissioned at the USS Cyane.

It served off the West Coast of Africa 1819-1820 and the West Indies 1820-1821.  It protected the newly established Liberian colony (where American slaves were sent) and suppressed piracy and the slave trade.The Cyane then  served in the Mediterranean 1825-1826 and then was at the Brazil Station 1826-1827.


Monday, March 2, 2015

200 Years Ago: Napoleon Escapes and Canada Learns of Treaty of Ghent

MARCH 1ST, 1815:  General Sir George Provost is officially notified of the Treaty of Ghent in Quebec.

MARCH 1ST, 1815:  Lower Canada militia disbanded.

MARCH 1ST, 1815:  Napoleon escapes from the Elba Islands, triggering the Hundred Days.


HMS Cyane/USS Cyane-- Part 3

Captain Stewart of the USS Constitution had learned Feb. 8, 1815, that the Treaty of Ghent had been signed, but knew that until it was ratified a state of war between the two countries continued.  (It was ratified by the U.S. on Feb. 16th and proclaimed Feb. 18th)

The HMS Levant and Cyane attacked but were outgunned and within 30 minutes the Levant withdrew, whereupon the Constitution concentrated her firepower on the Cyane which lost 6 killed and 13 wounded.  With five feet of water in the hull and major damage to its masts and rigging, the Cyane was forced to surrender.

A prize crew was put aboard and the Constitution set off in pursuit of the Levant which was also captured.

The Constitution suffered but little damage, but in an after battle report, found that there were 12 British 32-pdr. carronade shells embedded in her hull.

Temporary repairs were made to all three ships.

The prisoners were taken to St. Jago in the Cape Verde Islands and landed there.  The three American ships left quickly when British ships were reported on their way.


HMS Cyane/USS Cyane-- Part 2

In 1810, the HMS Cyane guarded a convoy going to South America and in 1812 was at the Jamaica Station. From 1812-1814, it was under the command of Captain Thomas Forrest.  On July 11, 1812, it captured the French privateer Serene, bound for New Orleans.In September, the Cyane captured six American ships.  Her crew received lots of prize money.

In January 1814, the Cyane accompanied the 74-gun, 3rd rate ship-of-the-line Venerable and her prize, the Jason, when they spotted two French 44-gun frigates and captured one of them.  The Cyane and Jason gave chase to the other one and caught up but were outgunned and drew off.  The Venerable came up and captured it as well.

Again doing convoy duty, the Cyane and the HMS Levant were 100 miles east of Madeira on 20 February 1815, when they encountered the USS Constitution.