War of 1812 Naval Engagements 1811-1815

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Naval Battles of 1811

? in ? USS President vs HMS LittleBelt - ?
Conclusion: ? Victory. Casualties: Americans: ?; British: ?

Naval Battles of 1812

July 31, 1812 near Ogdensburg, New York (USS Julia vs. 2 British ships) - The duel between British Lt. Hugh Earle and Lt. Melancthon Woolsey was not over. Woolsey defeated Earle's fleet at Sackett's Harbor just 2 days earlier. Earle sent 2 of his heaviest ships down the St. Lawrence River to the village of Ogdensburg to destroy 6 American schooners that was moored there. Woolsey had available a ship that was just recently acquired and fitted with some guns. The ship was the USS Julia, a schooner which carried one 32-lb. cannonade and two 6-lb guns. Woolsey sent the Julia in pursuit of the 2 British ships. Julia overtook the British ships before they could reach Ogdensburg. The British ships and Julia shot at each other for 3 hours on July 31. Since Julia had inflicted more damage than she recieved, in spite of her inferior armament, the British ships withdrew on the following day. They unslung their guns to be mounted in some shore batteries at Brockville. The Julia and the 6 American schooners that she had protected were shut in the river until the armistice in September enabled them to reach the lake.
Conclusion: American Victory.

August 13, 1812 in ? USS Essex vs. HMS Alert - On August 13, the USS Essex, commanded by Capt. David Porter, was in the North Atlantic Ocean. The Essex sighted a Royal navy sloop, the HMS Alert, commanded by Capt. T.L.O. Laugharne. Porter pretended to be a merchantman endeavoring to escape. As the Alert came up, Laugharne discovered his mistake too late. The Alert ran down the Essex's weather quarter, gave 3 cheers, and began to fire her broadside guns. The Essex returned fire and, after about 8 minutes, the Alert struck it's colors. It had water in its hull, the mast was cut to pieces, and had 3 sailors wounded. Porter ordered the Alert to disarm, which they did by throwing its guns overboard. Porter then sent his British prisoners that he already had on board the Essex over onto the Alert, and sent them to Halifax with Laugharne's signed agreement to the parole of an equal number of American prisoners. The Essex returned to new York on September 7.
Conclusion: ? Victory. Casualties: Americans: ?; British: ?

October 9, 1812, near Fort Erie, Ohio HMS Caledonia and HMS Detroit captured - There were 5 English warships on Lake Erie and 1 warship on Lake Huron in the fall of 1812. The ships were: HMS Queen Charlotte with 20 32lb. guns, HMS Hunter with 10 12lb. guns, HMS Prevost with 14 9lb. guns, HMS Nancy with 8 6lb. guns, HMS Caledonia with 8 6lb. guns, and HMS Detroit with 14 guns. Against these, the United States had nothing except hopes. The first erosion of British superiority occured on November 9. Lt. Jesse D. Elliot, the American commander on Lake Erie, embarked at 1:00 A.M. from Buffalo with 100 men in 2 boats. They began to row silently across the Niagra River towards Fort Erie. Being undetected, his party boarded the Caledonia and the Detroit at 3:00 A.M. They overpowered the British crews on both ships and cut the ship's cables. When the British crews were secured, the Americans fired a signal volley from onboard. This caused the shore on the American side of Lake Erie to become illuminated. Now, british shore artillery began to fire on them and forced the Detroit to be beached on the Canadian side. There was not anything that the American crews could do except to destroy the ship by burning it. The Caledonia was able to be saved and later became the nucleus of the American flotilla on Lake Erie.
Conclusion: American Victory.

October 18, 1812 USS Wasp captured - After the USS Wasp's victory over the HMS Frolic earlier in the morning, the Wasp was overpowered and captured by a British warship later on in the same day.
Conclusion: British Victory. Casualties: Americans: 130c; British: ?

November 22, 1812, area close to Jamaica USS Vixen vs. HMS Southampton - On November 22, the HMS Southampton, commanded by Capt. Sir James L. Yeo, defeated the USS Vixen. After the victory, both ships were traveling to Jamaica when they struck a shallow reef on november 27. Both ships sank because of this and luckily, no one was hurt. Later, a court of inquiry absolved Yeo of blame for the loss of the ships. Since that time, Yeo had cruised up and down the American coast seeking combat with the American frigates.
Conclusion: British Victory.

December 8, 1812, near Fort Erie, Upper Canada Capture of HMS Caledonia - On December 8, the HMS Caledonia and the HMS Detroit were anchored near and protected by the guns of Fort Erie. Lt. Jesse D. Elliot decided to capture the 2 British vessels and add them to the American squadron. After putting together a force of approximately 100 men. Some sailors, some drafts from the army. Lieutenant Elliot's force left the American side of the Niagara River about 1:00 A.M. December 9 in 2 large boats. When they arrived by the 2 ships, the British opened fire with their muskets. The Americans began boarding the ships and after a great deal of fighting the ships were taken. The British kept up a heavy fire as the 2 ships tried to reach Black Rock, and the strong current in the Niagara River made this task even more difficult. The Caledonia finally reached the safety of the American shore. The Detroit was not so lucky, hit several times by British artillery as well as American fire, it became uncontrolable and ran aground on Squaw Island. The Americans set the Detroit on fire and destroyed her so the ship would not fall back into British hands.
Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties:

Naval Battles of 1813

February 8, 1813 in Chesapeake Bay HMS Belvadire & HMS Statira vs. Lottery - On February 8, the HMS Belvidera and HMS Statira sent out 9 boats to confront the schooner, USS Lottery, that was coming down the Chesapeake Bay. The Lottery turned around when it spotted the British boats and tried to flee the area. Despite the fleeing attempt, the 9 British boats overtook the Lottery. Under heavy fire from the Lottery, the British advanced and then boarded the Lottery. The American crew put up a strong fight, but in the end, they had to surrender to the British. The British took the privateer schooner Lottery, which had six 12-lb. guns. This was the first prize that the British captured in the Chesapeake Bay.
Conclusion: British Victory. Casualties: Americans: 19k&w, 9c; British: 13k&w

February 14, 1813 HMS Belvadie & HMS Statira vs. USS Cora - On February 14, the HMS Belvadire and HMS Statira captured the American schooner USS Cora, with 8 guns and 40 men of her crew. The Cora was said to be the fastest schooner to come out of Baltimore.
Conclusion: British Victory. Casualties: Americans: 40c

April 1, 1813, in Potomac River, Maryland British capture USS Dolphin, USS Racer, USS Arab, & USS Lynx - As Adm. Sir George Cockburn and Adm. Sir John B. Warren saw it, the fingers of the Chesapeake Bay and the Delaware Bay, laid open 3 states to naval attack. Therefore, 1 month after his arrival, Cockburn detached Capt. George Burnett, with 3 ships, to enter the York River, Rappahannock River, and the Potomac River and to destroy American shipping there. On April 1, Lt. James Polkinghorne led 5 boats and rowed all night up the Rappahannock River in pursuit of 4 American schooners. The captain of the USS Arab ran his ship aground and escaped. The British captured the USS Dolphin, USS Racer, and the USS Lynx, these included a total of 31 guns and 219 prisoners. Later, the Arab was refloated, and all 4 American ships were put to use in the British naval squadron. Carrying the American colors, the British had infiltrated a flotilla of American ships and captured them.
Conclusion: British Victory. Casualties: Americans: ?; British: 2k, 11w

June 12, 1813 USS Surveyor vs. HMS Narcissus - On June 12, crewmen of the HMS Narcissus, which had 32 guns, boarded the American revenue schooner, USS Surveyor, which had 6 guns and 25 crewmen. The American crew fought so bravely that when their captain tendered his sword in surrender to the British, the British commander returned it.
Conclusion: British Victory. Casualties: Americans: 5w; British: 5k, 5-7w

June 20, 1813 near Hampton Roads, Virginia (USS Constellation vs. HMS Barossa & HMS Junon) - On June 20, the USS Constellation launched 15 boats to attack the HMS Junon, HMS Baroosa, and a British razee. A razee was a ship whose upper deck had been cut away. The British ships were becalmed in the Hampton Roads area, about 3 miles away from the other blockading ships. The Hampton roads would later become famous during the American Civil War, when the Moniter vs. Merimac naval battle occured. At dawn, the American boats opened a sharp fire and seemed for a time about to overpower the Barossa, but the wind shifted and took their advantage away. This attack probably convinced the British commanders that they must try to capture Norfolk, the center of American maritime resistance in the Chesapeake area.
Conclusion: Inconclusive.

July 5, 1813 (US ship vs. HMS Eagle) - The British tender, HMS Eagle, was active in the area of Sandy Hook, forcibly gathering supplies. Certain local American seafarers assembled 40 well-armed men, secreted them below deck on a fishing boat, and left from shore on July 5. The Eagle drew alongside the the fishing boat, and seeing only 3 men on board, the British crew confiscated the load of livestock on board. Someone on the American boat yelled "Lawrence," whereupon the 40 gunmen rushed into the open and commenced a destructive fire. Within a few minutes, the British crew was swept from the deck, and then surrendered the Eagle.
Conclusion: American Victory.

September 11, 1813, Duck Islands, Upper Canada (Battle of Duck Islands) - On September 11, a small skirmish occured admist the Duck Islands which might have turned into a decisive action had either commander acted differently. With the wind in his favor, Capt. Sir James Yeo ran swiftly toward the Americans, commanded by Capt. Issac Chauncey, in order to exert the superior power of his cannonades before the American long-guns could cut him up. Then the wind turned about, and he scrambled to escape Amherst Bay. Yeo had already lost 4 men killed and 7 wounded to the long-guns without having been able to place a single telling round. Perhaps he could have successfully continued the battle had he shifted all his own long-guns to one side and thus temporarily equaled Chauncey's guns. He pursued Yeo but persisted in towing schooners. By Chauncey towing additional weight, yeo was able to safely reach his sanctuary.
Conclusion: ? Victory. Casualties: Americans: ?; British: 4k, 7w

Naval Battles of 1814

April 29, 1814 (USS Peacock vs. HMS Epervier) - On April 29, the sloop-of-war USS Peacock attacked the HMS Epervier, commanded by Capt. Richard H. Wales, as she conveyed a small fleet of merchant vessels. The 2 ships battered each other from 9:40 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. Epervier's fire was weak because her guns overturned with every recoil. Wales tried to board the Peacock, but his crew would not follow him. he surrendered at 11:05 A.M. The Peacock made a handsome haul, for her prize had on board $118,000 in specie. All of this money and the ship itself became legitimate booty for the captors, without the United States subtracting any share for itself, since the 2 ships were of equal strength.
Conclusion: American Victory.

June 22, 1814 (USS Rattlesnake captured) - On June 22, the American schooner USS Rattlesnake, having 14 guns, was captured by the British Royal Navy. The Rattlesnake was teamed with the schooner USS Enterprise at the time. When the Rattlesnake was being captured, the Enterprise had escaped.
Conclusion: British Victory.

June 28, 1814 (USS Wasp vs. HMS Reindeer) - No American ship had a better service record than the sloop-of-war USS Wasp, commanded by Capt. Johnston Blakely. On June 28, the Wasp captured the HMS Reindeer, of about half the Wasp's force.
Conclusion: American Victory.

August 14, 1814 on the Nottawasaga River, Upper Canada (HMS Nancy destroyed) - After the battle of Fort Mackinac, Maj. George Croghan could not do anything but leave the fort in British hands. On his way south, however, he paused to attack the British blockhouse at the mouth of the Nottawasaga River. The garrison of the place, being hopelessly outnumbered by the American force, blew up their stronghold and with it, the British schooner, HMS Nancy. What hurt was that the Nancy had 6 months worth of supplies aboard for Fort Mackinac. The British could not afford to replace these supplies. Despite the earlier victory at Fort Mackinac, British control of Lake Huron was now endangered.
Conclusion: American Victory.

September 1, 1814 (USS Wasp vs. HMS Avon) - On september 1, the USS Wasp found found herself near a flotilla of British cargo ships beig sheilded by some British warships. The Wasp cut out a brig, overpowered and burned it. Next, the Wasp then forced the surrender of another brig, the HMS Avon. At that point, 2 large British warships approached the Wasp and forced her to retreat.
Conclusion: American Victory.

September 3, 1814 on Lake Huron (USS Tigress and USS Scorpion captured) - Despite the British victory at Fort Mackinac, British control of Lake Huron was now endangered, for Croghan left the USS Tigress and the USS Scorpion to cut the communications between Fort Mackinac and the rest of Canada. Less than 2 weeks after the destruction of the British blockhouse and HMS Nancy, Lt. Andrew H. Bulger led a detachment out of Mackinac in 2 boats. On the night of September 3, Bulger worked his way undetected to within 100 yards of the Tigress. Then, his men rushed and overpowered the American 30-man crew. Now, he used the Tigress to approach the Scorpion, which was anchored 15 miles away. Once more, the British overpowered the unsuspecting American crew. In this manner, the American power was altogether eliminated from Lake Huron.
Conclusion: British Victory.

December 15, 1814 (USS President captured) - The American brigate, USS President, remained at liberty until the end of 1814. Capt. Stephen Decatur, commander of the President, bored with inactivity, issued a series of challenges to single-ship duels with the British Royal Navy. When the challenges did not produce any action, he took advantage of a hard westerly wind and rough weather in December to make a dash for the ocean. The USS Macedonian, captured from the British in 1812 and laid up during most 1814, accompanied him. In the darkness and heavy seas, the President ran aground and was twisted and battered for 1 1/2 hours. Although she was badly strained, when the President was finally freed, Decatur chose to continue his dash for the ocean. The British blockade commander had calculated about what would happen and where Decatur would emerge, and when the President and Macedonian reached the ocean. On the morning of December 15, Decatur found 4 British warships waiting for the 2 American ships. He spread full sail and wet it to increase his speed. The President had lost her swiftness due to the strain on the sail. Nevertheless, there was a running fight for 18 hours before the Prersident struck her colors. Meanwhile, the Macedonian, which was sailing beautifully, had outdistanced herself from the preoccupied British blockade and escaped.
Conclusion: British Victory.

December 27, 1814 on the Villere Canal, Louisiana (USS Carolina destroyed) - Lt. Col. Sir Alexander Dickson concentrated on getting rid of the American schooner USS Carolina. By December 26, a furnace for hot-shot was built, and gunfire could be opened. The Carolina had been crippled in the night of December 23, during the Battle of Villere Canal. It had been immobilized by contrary winds since that night. On December 27, the hot-shot from Dickson's guns fell heavily on the Carolina, and blew it up at 9:00 A.M. This action cost 1/3 of the British supply of ammunition, but it was well worth the price because the Carolina carried 4 times the artillery force the British had to oppose it. The USS Louisiana, which had been harassing the British flank with her 22 guns, had also became a target. Her crew of 170 men succeeded in warping the ship out of range of the British guns.
Conclusion: British Victory.

Naval Battles of 1815

February 20, 1815 (USS Constitution vs. HMS Levant and HMS Cyane) - Besides the USS Enterprise and USS Macedonian, 5 other American warships of different classes remained at sea and eluded the destruction or capture by the British Royal Navy until the war's end. On February 20, the USS Constitution, with 44 guns, had the satisfaction of capturing 2 British naval vessels, the HMS Cyane and the HMS Levant. Right after they surrendered to the Constitution, she had to abandom them and run for her life from a British naval squadron had caught sight of the 3 ships.
Conclusion: American Victory.

March 20, 1815, near Tritan da Cunha (USS Hornet vs. HMS Penguin) - On March 23, the 20-gun ship-sloop, USS Hornet, captured the HMS Penguin after a battle in roaring westerly weather near Tristan da Cunha. Later, the Hornet rounded the Cape of Good Hope and was chased by a British warship. The Hornet outran the British warship only by jettisoning her guns and nearly everything else. Thus, shorn of power, she could not do anything other than to return to her home port. When the Hornet came into port, her crew found out that the war was over.
Conclusion: American Victory.

June 30, 1815, near Sunda Strait off Java (USS Peacock vs East India Company cruiser Nautilus) - On 1 December 1814, Secretary of the Navy William Jones had directed Commodore Stephen Decatur to lead a four-ship squadron comprising the frigate President, sloops of war Peacock and Hornet, and the store ship Tom Bowline on a commerce raiding cruise in the East Indies. By the end of April 1815, only Peacock remained to fulfill the mission. Still unaware that the war had ended, Peacock captured three English merchantmen during June off Java. On the morning of 30 June, the Americans encountered the East India Company brig Nautilus in Java�s Anjier Roads. Peacock�s captain, Lewis Warrington, disregarding Nautilus�s protestations about the peace treaty, ordered his crew to open fire. Nautilus struck after a scant, fifteen-minute battle, having sustained considerable damage and casualties. The next day Java officials sent proof of the peace; Peacock sailed for America, the war finally over for its crew.
Conclusion: American Victory.

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