We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
USS Hornet vs HMS Penguin, 23 March 1815
The victory of USS Hornet over HMS Penguin (23 March 1815) was an American naval victory that came several months after the Treaty of Ghent had ended the War of 1812.
News of this diplomatic success travelled slowly. In January 1815 there was a British army threatening New Orleans, while on 20 January 1815 the American government decided to send a naval force into the Pacific. This was to consist of the Peacock and the Hornet, supported by a supply ship. The Hornet was an eighteen gun brig that had already won one victory over a British ship, sinking HMS Peacock on 24 February 1813. She was now given a chance to win a second victory.
This came about because the British believed that the American privateer Wasp was threatening the trade routes to India through the South Atlantic. The brig Penguin was ordered to patrol on a line between the Cape of Good Hope and Ascension Island, a vast area for one ship to cover. She had some excellent officers, but her crew was considered to be very poor.
The two ships clashed off the northern end of Ascension Island. The Penguin hoisted her colours and fired one gun, a signal for the other ship to raise its colours. The Hornet did so, and the two ships then passed on opposite tacks, each firing a broadside. The results were disastrous for the Penguin. A newly built ship (1814), her carronades must rarely have been fired, for many of them were dismounted by the force of their own shots. Despite this initial setback, the gunnery duel lasted for half an hour, before the British decided to try and board the Hornet.
This effort also ended disastrously. The ship's captain, Commander James Dickinson, was killed soon after giving the order. The Penguin managed to run into the Hornet, but soon after this her bowsprit and foremast came down, making it almost impossible to actually reach the deck of the Hornet. With her guns out of action and boarding not an option, the Penguin was forced to surrender.
During this short battle the Penguin lost 10 dead and 30 wounded, out of a crew of 122. The Hornet reported losing 2 dead and 11 wounded, although the actual losses might have been higher.
In the aftermath of this victory, the Hornet sailed south, having finally been joined by the Peacock and the store ship. On 28 April this small squadron ran into the 74-gun ship of the line HMS Cornwallis. The only option was to flee. The Peacock escaped to the south-east, while the Hornet headed north, with Cornwallis in pursuit. This chase lasted for three days, an impressive performance for a ship of the line, but eventually the lighter, faster American ship was able to escape, although only after throwing most of her arms overboard. She managed to return to her home port, and remained part of the US Navy until being lost at sea with all hands in 1829.
Books on the War of 1812 | Subject Index: War of 1812
This Day In Naval History: March 23
1815 - The sloop-of-war USS Hornet captures the brig sloop HMS Penguin after a 22 minute battle, with neither ship aware the War of 1812 is over.
1882 - Secretary of the Navy William H. Hunt (Jan. 7, 1881 to April 16, 1882), creates the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) with General Order No. 292.
1917 - USS New Mexico (BB 40) is launched. She is the first dreadnought with turboelectric drive.
1944 - USS Tunny (SS 282) sinks the Japanese submarine I 42 off the Palau Islands.
1945 - USS Haggard (DD 555) is damaged when she rams and sinks Japanese submarine RO 41 in the Philippine Sea. Also on this date, USS Spadefish (SS 411) attacks Japanese Sasebo-to-Ishigaki convoy SAI-05 in the East China Sea about 120 miles north-northwest of Amami O Shima and sinks transport Doryu Maru.
1953 - During the Korean War, jet aircraft from USS Oriskany (CVA 34) stage a "lights out" program by attacking a water power site below the Fusen Reservoir, resulting in four cuts in the penstocks and damaging two buildings housing generators.
1965 - Navy Lt. Cmdr. John W. Young is a pilot on Gemini III, the first 2-manned spacecraft, that completes three orbits in four hours, 53 minutes at an altitude of 224 km. He is joined by Air Force Lt. Col. Virgil Grissom, command pilot.
(Source: Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division)
Late in 1814, the United States Navy had been preparing a small squadron at New York, to attack British shipping in the Indian Ocean. The squadron consisted of the frigate USS President (Captain Stephen Decatur), the sloops of war USS Peacock (Master Commandant Lewis Warrington) and USS Hornet (Master Commandant James Biddle) and the brig-rigged tender USS Tom Bowline.
On 15 January, Decatur took advantage of a north-westerly gale to break out alone in President, but the frigate went aground on the bar at the harbour mouth and received damage which delayed it for two hours and slowed it. Decatur was unable to turn back as the gale was still blowing, and President was captured after being pursued by the four frigates of the blockading British squadron. 
The commanders of the other American vessels were not aware of Decatur's fate. When another gale blew up on 22 January, they sailed out in broad daylight under storm canvas and evaded the blockaders through their speed and weatherliness.  They made for a pre-arranged rendezvous with President off Tristan da Cunha. This island was being used by the Americans as a cruiser base.  During the voyage, Hornet lost touch with the other two vessels. Peacock and Tom Bowline reached the rendezvous first, on 18 March, but were then driven off by a gale. Hornet reached the island on 22 March.
USS Hornet vs HMS Penguin, 23 March 1815 - History
War of 1812 History T-Shirts and Souvenirs from the official merchandise of America's Best History.
ABH Travel Tip
National Park Service sites and other national historic sites are made available for your enjoyment of the history and recreation opportunities there. Please take time to keep your parks clean and respect the historic treasures there.
Photo above: Flag from Fort McHenry during the War of 1812 that inspired the Star-Spangled Banner. Courtesy Library of Congress.
Naval battle in the Battle of New Orleans lithograph by Thomas S. Sinclair, Lee and Walker, circa 1861-1865. Courtesy Library of Congress.
War of 1812 Timeline - Major Battles
It had only been twenty years since the first battle for independence had been fought and won over the British Empire with a new Constitution and the presidencies of Washington, Jefferson, and Adams in the books. But hostilities and disagreements between the fledgling nation, the United States, and Britain, had not abatted. By 1812, another war would be fought, for four more years, with the White House burned and strife from New England to Michigan, from Canada to the South. Many of these battles are not well known, even the burning of the new capital city is below the radar in american history for most, but this war, unlike the American Revolution, would solidify the nation as separate from Great Britain and capable of defending its territory. This time, the War of 1812 would hold its sovereignty. The battles listed below are considered the major battles of the War of 1812 by the staff of americasbesthistory.com, some protected by National Park Service sites, state parks, and others still to be protected.
Sponsor this page for $100 per year. Your banner or text ad can fill the space above.
Click here to Sponsor the page and how to reserve your ad.
January 8-18, 1815 - Battle of New Orleans, Louisiana Troops: USA 4,732, 3 ships British 14,450, 60 ships. Casualties (Killed/Wounded/Missing): USA 62 British 1,550, 484 captured. Final major battle of the War of 1812, held after the treaty to end the war, Treaty of Ghent, was negotiated, but not ratified. Most one-sided victory by the Americans in the war with General Andrew Jackson leading his troops in the defense of New Orleans Jackson had constructed three lines of defense south of the city, which held in the twenty-five minute battle with lethal consequences to the British attack.
January 9-18, 1815 - Siege of St. Port Phillip, Louisiana
Troops: USA 406 British 5 plus ships, troops.
Casualties (Killed/Wounded/Missing): USA 9 British 2 plus ships damanged.
British attempt to provide supplies and relief to their troops in the Battle of New Orleans. Failed with withdraw of landing party and ships to find alternate route, although Battle of New Orleans was over by this time and the ships withdrawn.
January 15, 1815 - USS President vs. HMS Endymion, New York
Troops: USA 1 ship, 475 sailors British 4 ship, unknown crew.
Casualties (Killed/Wounded/Missing): USA 105, 440 captured, 1 ship captured British 25, 1 ship damaged.
USS President attempts to escape the blockade of New York, but is caught by the HMS Endymion and three other warships.
February 7-12, 1815 - Second Battle of Fort Bowyer, Mobile
Troops: USA 375 British 1,400, 3 ships.
Casualties: USA 11, 374 captured British 31.
British troops landing east of the fort attack in a parallel with four batteries in several day battle that saw the American fort surrender. Mobile Bay was under British control by February 7. News of the Treaty of Ghent reached them th enext day.
February 20, 1815 - USS Constitution vs. HMS Cyane and HMS Levant, Medeira
Troops: USA 1 ship, 450 sailors British 2 ships, 320 soldiers.
Casualties (Killed/Wounded/Missing): USA 15 British 61 plus 2 ships.
British ships surrender in battle with the USS Constition in action after the Treaty of Ghent had been ratified.
March 23, 1815 - USS Hornet vs. HMS Penguin, South Atlantic Ocean
Troops: USA 1 ship, 142 sailors British 1 ship, 132 sailors.
Casualties: USA 9 British 42, 90 captured, 1 ship captured.
Short battle after end of the war ends when the British warship HMS Penguin surrenders.
June 30, 1815 - Capture of the East India Company Nautilus, Java
Troops: USA 1 ship, 140 sailors East India Company 1 ship, 80 sailors.
Casualties: USA 0 East India Company 14, 1 ship captured.
Lewis Warrington, commander of the USS Peacock, still unaware the war was over, attacks the East India Company ship despite their signal that it had ended. Once captured and providing proof, the ship and crew were released. This was the last conflict of the war.
Treaty of Ghent Ending War of 1812
Negotiations for ending the War of 1812 had begun in August 1814 with a peace treaty agreed upon on December 24, 1814. Ratification by the United Kingdom came on December 30, 1814 with the United States Senate ratifying it on February 17, 1815. It restored the borders between the two nations to those prior to the beginning of the war, and stated that both nations would work toward ending the international slave trade.
Treaty of Ghent Full Transcript (1814)
Treaty of Peace and Amity between His Britannic Majesty and the United States of America.
His Britannic Majesty and the United States of America desirous of terminating the war which has unhappily subsisted between the two Countries, and of restoring upon principles of perfect reciprocity, Peace, Friendship, and good Understanding between them, have for that purpose appointed their respective Plenipotentiaries, that is to say, His Britannic Majesty on His part has appointed the Right Honourable James Lord Gambier, late Admiral of the White now Admiral of the Red Squadron of His Majesty's Fleet Henry Goulburn Esquire, a Member of the Imperial Parliament and Under Secretary of State and William Adams Esquire, Doctor of Civil Laws: And the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof, has appointed John Quincy Adams, James A. Bayard, Henry Clay, Jonathan Russell, and Albert Gallatin, Citizens of the United States who, after a reciprocal communication of their respective Full Powers, have agreed upon the following Articles.
ARTICLE THE FIRST. - There shall be a firm and universal Peace between His Britannic Majesty and the United States, and between their respective Countries, Territories, Cities, Towns, and People of every degree without exception of places or persons. All hostilities both by sea and land shall cease as soon as this Treaty shall have been ratified by both parties as hereinafter mentioned. All territory, places, and possessions whatsoever taken by either party from the other during the war, or which may be taken after the signing of this Treaty, excepting only the Islands hereinafter mentioned, shall be restored without delay and without causing any destruction or carrying away any of the Artillery or other public property originally captured in the said forts or places, and which shall remain therein upon the Exchange of the Ratifications of this Treaty, or any Slaves or other private property And all Archives, Records, Deeds, and Papers, either of a public nature or belonging to private persons, which in the course of the war may have fallen into the hands of the Officers of either party, shall be, as far as may be practicable, forthwith restored and delivered to the proper authorities and persons to whom they respectively belong. Such of the Islands in the Bay of Passamaquoddy as are claimed by both parties shall remain in the possession of the party in whose occupation they may be at the time of the Exchange of the Ratifications of this Treaty until the decision respecting the title to the said Islands shall have been made in conformity with the fourth Article of this Treaty. No disposition made by this Treaty as to such possession of the Islands and territories claimed by both parties shall in any manner whatever be construed to affect the right of either.
ARTICLE THE SECOND. - Immediately after the ratifications of this Treaty by both parties as hereinafter mentioned, orders shall be sent to the Armies, Squadrons, Officers, Subjects, and Citizens of the two Powers to cease from all hostilities: and to prevent all causes of complaint which might arise on account of the prizes which may be taken at sea after the said Ratifications of this Treaty, it is reciprocally agreed that all vessels and effects which may be taken after the space of twelve days from the said Ratifications upon all parts of the Coast of North America from the Latitude of twenty three degrees North to the Latitude of fifty degrees North, and as far Eastward in the Atlantic Ocean as the thirty sixth degree of West Longitude from the Meridian of Greenwich, shall be restored on each side:-that the time shall be thirty days in all other parts of the Atlantic Ocean North of the Equinoctial Line or Equator:-and the same time for the British and Irish Channels, for the Gulf of Mexico, and all parts of the West Indies:-forty days for the North Seas for the Baltic, and for all parts of the Mediterranean-sixty days for the Atlantic Ocean South of the Equator as far as the Latitude of the Cape of Good Hope.- ninety days for every other part of the world South of the Equator, and one hundred and twenty days for all other parts of the world without exception.
ARTICLE THE THIRD. - All Prisoners of war taken on either side as well by land as by sea shall be restored as soon as practicable after the Ratifications of this Treaty as hereinafter mentioned on their paying the debts which they may have contracted during their captivity. The two Contracting Parties respectively engage to discharge in specie the advances which may have been made by the other for the sustenance and maintenance of such prisoners.
ARTICLE THE FOURTH. - Whereas it was stipulated by the second Article in the Treaty of Peace of one thousand seven hundred and eighty three between His Britannic Majesty and the United States of America that the boundary of the United States should comprehend "all Islands within twenty leagues of any part of the shores of the United States and lying between lines to be drawn due East from the points where the aforesaid boundaries between Nova Scotia on the one part and East Florida on the other shall respectively touch the Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic Ocean, excepting such Islands as now are or heretofore have been within the limits of Nova Scotia, and whereas the several Islands in the Bay of Passamaquoddy, which is part of the Bay of Fundy, and the Island of Grand Menan in the said Bay of Fundy, are claimed by the United States as being comprehended within their aforesaid boundaries, which said Islands are claimed as belonging to His Britannic Majesty as having been at the time of and previous to the aforesaid Treaty of one thousand seven hundred and eighty three within the limits of the Province of Nova Scotia: In order therefore finally to decide upon these claims it is agreed that they shall be referred to two Commissioners to be appointed in the following manner: viz: One Commissioner shall be appointed by His Britannic Majesty and one by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof, and the said two Commissioners so appointed shall be sworn impartially to examine and decide upon the said claims according to such evidence as shall be laid before them on the part of His Britannic Majesty and of the United States respectively. The said Commissioners shall meet at St Andrews in the Province of New Brunswick, and shall have power to adjourn to such other place or places as they shall think fit. The said Commissioners shall by a declaration or report under their hands and seals decide to which of the two Contracting parties the several Islands aforesaid do respectely belong in conformity with the true intent of the said Treaty of Peace of one thousand seven hundred and eighty three. And if the said Commissioners shall agree in their decision both parties shall consider such decision as final and conclusive. It is further agreed that in the event of the two Commissioners differing upon all or any of the matters so referred to them, or in the event of both or either of the said Commissioners refusing or declining or wilfully omitting to act as such, they shall make jointly or separately a report or reports as well to the Government of His Britannic Majesty as to that of the United States, stating in detail the points on which they differ, and the grounds upon which their respective opinions have been formed, or the grounds upon which they or either of them have so refused declined or omitted to act. And His Britannic Majesty and the Government of the United States hereby agree to refer the report or reports of the said Commissioners to some friendly Sovereign or State to be then named for that purpose, and who shall be requested to decide on the differences which may be stated in the said report or reports, or upon the report of one Commissioner together with the grounds upon which the other Commissioner shall have refused, declined or omitted to act as the case may be. And if the Commissioner so refusing, declining, or omitting to act, shall also wilfully omit to state the grounds upon which he has so done in such manner that the said statement may be referred to such friendly Sovereign or State together with the report of such other Commissioner, then such Sovereign or State shall decide ex parse upon the said report alone. And His Britannic Majesty and the Government of the United States engage to consider the decision of such friendly Sovereign or State to be final and conclusive on all the matters so referred.
ARTICLE THE FIFTH. - Whereas neither that point of the Highlands lying due North from the source of the River St Croix, and designated in the former Treaty of Peace between the two Powers as the North West Angle of Nova Scotia, nor the North Westernmost head of Connecticut River has yet been ascertained and whereas that part of the boundary line between the Dominions of the two Powers which extends from the source of the River st Croix directly North to the above mentioned North West Angle of Nova Scotia, thence along the said Highlands which divide those Rivers that empty themselves into the River St Lawrence from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean to the North Westernmost head of Connecticut River, thence down along the middle of that River to the forty fifth degree of North Latitude, thence by a line due West on said latitude until it strikes the River Iroquois or Cataraquy, has not yet been surveyed: it is agreed that for these several purposes two Commissioners shall be appointed, sworn, and authorized to act exactly in the manner directed with respect to those mentioned in the next preceding Article unless otherwise specified in the present Article. The said Commissioners shall meet at se Andrews in the Province of New Brunswick, and shall have power to adjourn to such other place or places as they shall think fit. The said Commissioners shall have power to ascertain and determine the points above mentioned in conformity with the provisions of the said Treaty of Peace of one thousand seven hundred and eighty three, and shall cause the boundary aforesaid from the source of the River St Croix to the River Iroquois or Cataraquy to be surveyed and marked according to the said provisions. The said Commissioners shall make a map of the said boundary, and annex to it a declaration under their hands and seals certifying it to be the true Map of the said boundary, and particularizing the latitude and longitude of the North West Angle of Nova Scotia, of the North Westernmost head of Connecticut River, and of such other points of the said boundary as they may deem proper. And both parties agree to consider such map and declaration as finally and conclusively fixing the said boundary. And in the event of the said two Commissioners differing, or both, or either of them refusing, declining, or wilfully omitting to act, such reports, declarations, or statements shall be made by them or either of them, and such reference to a friendly Sovereign or State shall be made in all respects as in the latter part of the fourth Article is contained, and in as full a manner as if the same was herein repeated.
ARTICLE THE SIXTH. - Whereas by the former Treaty of Peace that portion of the boundary of the United States from the point where the fortyfifth degree of North Latitude strikes the River Iroquois or Cataraquy to the Lake Superior was declared to be "along the middle of said River into Lake Ontario, through the middle of said Lake until it strikes the communication by water between that Lake and Lake Erie, thence along the middle of said communication into Lake Erie, through the middle of said Lake until it arrives at the water communication into the Lake Huron thence through the middle of said Lake to the water communication between that Lake and Lake Superior:" and whereas doubts have arisen what was the middle of the said River, Lakes, and water communications, and whether certain Islands lying in the same were within the Dominions of His Britannic Majesty or of the United States: In order therefore finally to decide these doubts, they shall be referred to two Commissioners to be appointed, sworn, and authorized to act exactly in the manner directed with respect to those mentioned in the next preceding Article unless otherwise specified in this present Article. The said Commissioners shall meet in the first instance at Albany in the State of New York, and shall have power to adjourn to such other place or places as they shall think fit. The said Commissioners shall by a Report or Declaration under their hands and seals, designate the boundary through the said River, Lakes, and water communications, and decide to which of the two Contracting parties the several Islands lying within the said Rivers, Lakes, and water communications, do respectively belong in conformity with the true intent of the said Treaty of one thousand seven hundred and eighty three. And both parties agree to consider such designation and decision as final and conclusive. And in the event of the said two Commissioners differing or both or either of them refusing, declining, or wilfully omitting to act, such reports, declarations, or statements shall be made by them or either of them, and such reference to a friendly Sovereign or State shall be made in all respects as in the latter part of the fourth Article is contained, and in as full a manner as if the same was herein repeated.
ARTICLE THE SEVENTH. - It is further agreed that the said two last mentioned Commissioners after they shall have executed the duties assigned to them in the preceding Article, shall be, and they are hereby, authorized upon their oaths impartially to fix and determine according to the true intent of the said Treaty of Peace of one thousand seven hundred and eighty three, that part of the boundary between the dominions of the two Powers, which extends from the water communication between Lake Huron and Lake Superior to the most North Western point of the Lake of the Woods-to decide to which of the two Parties the several Islands lying in the Lakes, water communications, and Rivers forming the said boundary do respectively belong in conformity with the true intent of the said Treaty of Peace of one thousand seven hundred and eighty three, and to cause such parts of the said boundary as require it to be surveyed and marked. The said Commissioners shall by a Report or declaration under their hands and seals, designate the boundary aforesaid, state their decision on the points thus referred to them, and particularize the Latitude and Longitude of the most North Western point of the Lake of the Woods, and of such other parts of the said boundary as they may deem proper. And both parties agree to consider such designation and decision as final and conclusive. And in the event of the said two Commissioners differing, or both or either of them refusing, declining, or wilfully omitting to act, such reports, declarations or statements shall be made by them or either of them, and such reference to a friendly Sovereign or State shall be made in all respects as in the latter part of the fourth Article is contained, and in as full a manner as if the same was herein revealed.
ARTICLE THE EIGHTH. - The several Boards of two Commissioners mentioned in the four preceding Articles shall respectively have power to appoint a Secretary, and to employ such Surveyors or other persons as they shall judge necessary. Duplicates of all their respective reports, declarations, statements, and decisions, and of their accounts, and of the Journal of their proceedings shall be delivered by them to the Agents of His Britannic Majesty and to the Agents of the United States, who may be respectively appointed and authorized to manage the business on behalf of their respective Governments. The said Commissioners shall be respectively paid in such manner as shall be agreed between the two contracting parties, such agreement being to be settled at the time of the Exchange of the Ratifications of this Treaty. And all other expenses attending the said Commissions shall be defrayed equally by the two parties. And in the case of death, sickness, resignation, or necessary absence, the place of every such Commissioner respectively shall be supplied in the same manner as such Commissioner was first appointed and the new Commissioner shall take the same oath or affirmation and do the same duties. It is further agreed between the two contracting parties that in case any of the Islands mentioned in any of the preceding Articles, which were in the possession of one of the parties prior to the commencement of the present war between the two Countries, should by the decision of any of the Boards of Commissioners aforesaid, or of the Sovereign or State so referred to, as in the four next preceding Articles contained, fall within the dominions of the other party, all grants of land made previous to the commencement of the war by the party having had such possession, shall be as valid as if such Island or Islands had by such decision or decisions been adjudged to be within the dominions of the party having had such possession.
ARTICLE THE NINTH. - The United States of America engage to put an end immediately after the Ratification of the present Treaty to hostilities with all the Tribes or Nations of Indians with whom they may be at war at the time of such Ratification, and forthwith to restore to such Tribes or Nations respectively all the possessions, rights, and privileges which they may have enjoyed or been entitled to in one thousand eight hundred and eleven previous to such hostilities. Provided always that such Tribes or Nations shall agree to desist from all hostilities against the United States of America, their Citizens, and Subjects upon the Ratification of the present Treaty being notified to such Tribes or Nations, and shall so desist accordingly. And His Britannic Majesty engages on his part to put an end immediately after the Ratification of the present Treaty to hostilities with all the Tribes or Nations of Indians with whom He may be at war at the time of such Ratification, and forthwith to restore to such Tribes or Nations respectively all the possessions, rights, and privileges, which they may have enjoyed or been entitled to in one thousand eight hundred and eleven previous to such hostilities. Provided always that such Tribes or Nations shall agree to desist from all hostilities against His Britannic Majesty and His Subjects upon the Ratification of the present Treaty being notified to such Tribes or Nations, and shall so desist accordingly.
ARTICLE THE TENTH. - Whereas the Traffic in Slaves is irreconcilable with the principles of humanity and Justice, and whereas both His Majesty and the United States are desirous of continuing their efforts to promote its entire abolition, it is hereby agreed that both the contracting parties shall use their best endeavours to accomplish so desirable an object.
ARTICLE THE ELEVENTH. - This Treaty when the same shall have been ratified on both sides without alteration by either of the contracting parties, and the Ratifications mutually exchanged, shall be binding on both parties, and the Ratifications shall be exchanged at Washington in the space of four months from this day or sooner if practicable. In faith whereof, We the respective Plenipotentiaries have signed this Treaty, and have hereunto affixed our Seals.
Done in triplicate at Ghent the twenty fourth day of December one thousand eight hundred and fourteen.
HENRY GOULBURN [Seal]
WILLIAM ADAMS [Seal]
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS [Seal]
J. A. BAYARD [Seal]
H. CLAY. [Seal]
JON. RUSSELL [Seal]
ALBERT GALLATIN [Seal]
Service [ edit | edit source ]
Penguin was commissioned in November 1813 under Commander Thomas R. Toker. Ώ] The next month Commander George A. Byron took over command. In June 1814 command transferred to Commander James Dickinson. Ώ]
On 23 March 1815 Penguin encountered the USS Hornet off Tristan da Cunha. In the ensuing single ship action, Penguin lost 10 men killed, including Dickinson, and had 28 wounded she struck her colours after 22 minutes of combat. Ώ] By contrast, the Americans only suffered one man killed and nine wounded, including Hornet's captain, James Biddle. ΐ] The Americans then scuttled Penguin the next day as she was too damaged to keep. ΐ]
The two vessels had been relatively evenly matched. Hornet had a slightly heavier armament as she had 20 cannon, two 12-pounder guns as bow chasers and eighteen 32-pounder carronades. ΐ] She also had a crew of 146 officers and men, including 20 US Marines, less a prize crew that she had despatched. ΐ] Penguin's crew numbered 132 and included 12 extra Royal Marines. ΐ]
However, what had proved decisive was the Americans' better gunnery. ΐ] Penguin's gunnery was abysmal as no cannon shots had hit Hornet ΐ] most of Hornet's casualties were due to musketry fire from Penguin, i.e., from the Royal Marines.
A Petition for Postage Stamps
Issue date: 8th April 2015
Mint Souvenir Sheet (10 x 50p stamps)
First Day Cover
with 5 x 50p stamps
First Day Cover
with 5 x 50p stamps
This sheetlet shows nine stamp designs, with face values in pence and potatoes, submitted by Allan Crawford with his 1946 petition to the UK Postmaster General for Tristan da Cunha to have its own postage stamps. Also featured is Tristan's first official stamp, the overprinted St Helena definitive. The issue is to be launched at the Europhilex Stamp Exhibition London 2015, which marks the 175th Anniversary of the Penny Black.
1894 - Coca-Cola is first sold (including a doggy ingredient).
1930 - Mahatma Gandhi starts the 200 mile Salt march.
1968 - Mauritius gains independence.
1994 - Church of England ordains first woman priest.
Mar 14, 2018 #1003 2018-03-14T12:53
1988 - China defeats Vietnam in the Johnson South Reef Skirmish.
Mar 15, 2018 #1004 2018-03-15T03:02
1919 – The American Legion is founded in Paris by 1000 veterans of the American Expeditionary Force who met to discuss transition to civilian life and what veterans could do to help each other adjust and to work together to further the rights of veterans.
1955 – The U.S. Air Force unveiled a self-guided missile. (Was this the Sidewinder?)
Mar 17, 2018 #1005 2018-03-17T04:08
1897 – USS Holland (SS-1) launched.
1947 – First flight of the B-45 Tornado.
1959 – The USS Skate (SSN-578) became the 1st submarine to surface at the North Pole. The ships crew held a funeral service and scattered the ashes of explorer Hubert Wilkins (d.1958), who had attempted the feat in 1931.
1962 – The Soviet Union asked the U.S. to pull out of South Vietnam
1973 – First POWs were released from the “Hanoi Hilton” in Hanoi, North Vietnam.
Mar 18, 2018 #1006 2018-03-18T21:22
1944 - Mount Vesuvius erupts and is seen by my grand-father who was based in Naples at the time.
1965 - Alexey Leonov becomes the first man to walk in space.
Mar 23, 2018 #1007 2018-03-23T21:52
1775 – During a speech before the second Virginia Convention, Patrick Henry responds to the increasingly oppressive British rule over the American colonies by declaring, “I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
1806 – After passing a wet and tedious winter near the Pacific Coast, Lewis and Clark happily leave behind Fort Clatsop and head east for home.
1810 – In France, Napoleon Bonaparte signs the Rambouillet Decree which mandates the seizure, confiscation and sale of any US ship in French ports. The Decree is published 14 May and is to be retroactive to 20 May 1809.
1815 – USS Hornet captures HMS Penguin in battle lasting 22 minutes.
1839 – 1st recorded use of “OK” [oll korrect] was in Boston’s Morning Post.
1882 – SECNAV Hunt issues General Order No. 292 creating Office of Naval Intelligence.
1942 – During World War II, the U.S. government began moving Japanese-Americans from their West Coast homes to detention centers.
1957 – US army sold its last homing pigeons.
1983 – In an address to the nation, President Ronald Reagan proposes that the United States embark on a program to develop antimissile technology that would make the country nearly impervious to attack by nuclear missiles.
2003 – A British Royal Air Force Tornado jet was shot down by a U.S. Patriot missile in the first reported incident of “friendly” fire in Iraq.
Mar 25, 2018 #1008 2018-03-25T04:05
1813 – The first U.S. flag flown in battle was on the frigate Essex in the Pacific.
1863 – The first Army Medal of Honor is presented to PVT Jacob Parrott of the 33rd Ohio Infantry.
1898 – Assist. SECNAV Theodore Roosevelt proposes Navy investigate military application of Samuel Langley’s flying machine, beginning naval aviation.
1905 – Rebel battle flags that were captured during the war were returned to the South.
1915 – The Navy’s first underwater disaster occurred when the submarine F-4 exploded and sank off Honolulu Harbor.
1942 – Rear Admiral John Wilcox commanding Task Force 39 with the battleship Washington, two cruiser and six destroyers sail for Scapa Flow to protect British home waters for the duration of Operation Ironclad — the British invasion of Vichy French controlled Madagascar.
1953 – The USS Missouri (BB-63) fired on targets at Kojo, North Korea, the last time her guns fire until the Persian Gulf War of 1992.
1960 – A guided missile, a Regulus I, was launched from a nuclear powered submarine, the USS Halibut (SSGN-587), for the first time. Halibut is also the first submarine to be designed and built from the keel up to launch guided missiles.
2003 – The US Navy brought in 2 specially trained bottle-nosed Atlantic dolphins to help ferret out mines in the approaches of the port of Umm Qasr.
United States in the War of 1812
The War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain began on June 18, 1812. It involved about 60,000 U.S. Army forces and 470,000 militia and volunteer troops.The War of 1812 has been referred to as the Second War for Independence
The war was conducted in three theatres
- At sea, principally the Atlantic Ocean and the east coast of North America
- The Great Lakes and the Canadian frontier
- The Southern states and southwestern territories
The War lasted 2 years and 8 months
Henry Dearborn United States Secretary of War
Henry Dearborn was the United States Secretary of War in the War of 1812. He prepared the plans for attacks on Montreal, Kingston, Fort Niagara, and Amherstburg, but it is thought he did not move quickly enough to provide enough troops in the defense of Detroit. He had successes at the capture of York on April 27, 1813, and for the capture of Fort George on May 27, 1813. He was recalled from the frontier on July 6, 1813 and was honorably discharged from the Army on June 15, 1815.
United States Army Commanders and leaders
|RANK AND |
|He is best remembered for surrendering Fort Detroit |
to the British,he surrendered Fort Detroit to
General Isaac Brock on August 16, 1812
| Major General |
|Along with his 5,000 soldiers he won a decisive victory |
against 7,500 British,in the Battle of New Orleans on
January 8,1815. He became a national hero for his actions,
he received the Congressional Gold Medal
|Major General |
|He won victories in Indiana and Ohio and recaptured |
Detroit.He defeated the British at the Battle
of the Thames, in which Tecumseh was killed
he received the Congressional Gold Medal
|Major General |
|He was the the Maryland Militia's state commander and |
devised the extensive dug-in fortifications
on the east side of Balitmore in the Battle of Baltimore
| Brigadier General|
|He was in the Battle of Sackett's Harbor on 29 May 1813. |
the captured Fort Erie in Ontario,and defeated the British
the Battle of Chippawa and the Siege of Fort Erie in 1814,
For which he received the Congressional Gold Medal.
| Brigadier General |
|He commanded the American forces at the Battle of |
Frenchtown, which led to the Massacre of the River Raisin.
| Brigadier General|
|He commanded troops in the successful attack on York, |
on April 27, 1813.He was killed by flying rocks and other
debris when the withdrawing British garrison blew up its
ammunition magazine as he approached Fort York
|He was at the Battle of Fort Stephenson, Ohio |
after which he was promoted to the rank of
colonel. He later led a troop that was defeated
in the Battle of Mackinac Island.He received the Congressional Gold Medal.
|He was in command of an American landing party during |
the Battle of Queenston Heights on October 13, 1812.He
was taken POW,he was paroled and released in a prisoner exchange
Betsy Doyle married Andrew Doyle, a private in the First United States Artillery Regiment. Private Doyle was with the U.S. forces when they invaded Upper Canada. He was captured in the Battle of Queenston and became a prisoner of war. He was recognized by his captors as a native of Upper Canada.He was sent to Dartmoor Prison for treason for the rest of the war,Betsy was left alone with her four children at Fort Niagara.On November 21, 1812 the British opened fire on Fort Niagara.During the exchange, Betsy carried red-hot cannonballs from a fire to the 6-pound cannon . But loading hot shot was difficult and dangerous. The hot iron could cause gunpowder to explode prematurely in the cannon, wounding or killing anyone nearby.Although one man was killed and five others wounded while loading hot shot, Betsy survived , and her bravery was mentioned in official reports.
The story of her actions spread quickly among officers stationed in the region. Fort Niagara’s Commandant, Col. George McFeely described a woman named Betsy Doyle attending a six pounder with “red hot shot” during “the most tremendous cannonading I have ever seen. McFeely further related that Betsy Doyle acted with the fortitude of the Maid of Orleans, a reference to the 15th-century heroine, Joan of Arc.In December 1813, Betsy fled when the British invaded and captured Fort Niagara.In a four month journey Betsy and her children walked over 300 miles to the East Greenbush Cantonment near Albany, New York.
|Betsy Doyle loading hot shots at Fort Niagara|
|Map of American States and Territories in 1812|
United States Navy Ships in the War of 1812
|Niagara, Detroit and Queen Charlotte at right|
The war on the water was a very important aspect of the War of 1812.When the United States declared war on Great Britain in June 1812, the U.S. Navy was an eighteen-year-old institution with a dozen ships. The Royal Navy was had around 140,000 seamen, 31,000 of whom were well trained marines. The U.S. Navy had about 5000 seamen and 1000 marines. But the U.S Navy was commanded by a corps of well trained and experienced officers. Many had seen action in the Quasi-War with France and against Tripoli.
United States Navy Commanders and leaders
|Commodore Oliver Perry's battle flag|
|RANK AND |
|He fought in the Battle of Lake Erie.Which |
was a decisive naval victory for the Americans.
His battle flag, was "DON'T GIVE UP THE SHIP
|He patrolled the waters off the American upper |
east coast. He commanded the USS President for
most of the war, capturing 23 prizes, one of the
most successful records in the conflict.
|He was appointed to command the USS |
Constitution, On 29 December 1812 the USS
Constitution encountered the Java , the Java was
surrendered to the Constitution. He received the Congressional Gold Medal
|He was on the USS United States in the battle against |
HMS Macedonian. And on the The USS President
when the HMS Endymion crippled her on 15 January
1815,which led to the President's final capture
|He was in command of Argus and, between |
12 October and 17 December 1812, cruised
in Argus with the North Atlantic Squadron and took a number of prizes.
|In March 1813 he was given command of |
the frigate USS Macedonian.He was sent to Lake
Ontario, where he commanded the frigate USS Mohawk.
|He commanded, Argus, Hornet, and Constellation. |
When the Constellation was closely blockaded in
Norfolk by the British, he took command of Constitution at Boston in 1813
|Was commander of American naval forces in |
Lake Erie during the War of 1812, noted for
his controversial actions during the Battle of Lake Erie.
|He was Captain of the USS Chesapeake against the |
HMS Shannon. He is best known for his last words
"Don't give up the ship!", which is still a naval battle cry
|He was Captain of the USS Chesapeake against the |
HMS Leopard. He is best known for his court martial
for his actions in 1807, which led to the surrender of his ship to the British
|Commodore Perry’s Victory on Lake Erie|
In the war of 1812, USS Hornet was the first U.S. Navy ship to capture a British vessel,the Dolphin was captured by the Hornet on 9 July 1812 .On 14 November 1814, the Hornet sailed on a second raiding voyage to the South Atlantic. On 23 March 1815, she captured HMS Penguin in a short battle off Tristan da Cunha.
On 19 August 1812, the USS Constitution encountered and fired upon the Guerriere. After the battle fifteen men had been killed, six were mortally wounded, 39 severely and eighteen slightly.The Guerriere was too badly damaged to take in, so as soon as the wounded had been taken off, she was set on fire. On the 29th December 1812 the USS Constitution encountered the Java ,after a long battle the Java was surrendered to the Constitution.The Java was not worth taking as a prize. Instead her helm was removed and installed it on Constitution, replacing the one that had been shot away. Two days after the battle,the order was given to set fire to the Java she subsequently blew up.
On 25 October 1812 the USS United States met the HMS Macedonian,there was long battle after which ,the Macedonian was a dismasted hulk and was forced to surrender.She had suffered 104 casualties against 12 in the USS United States. The Macedonian was bought back to the United States. It was the first British warship to ever be brought into an American harbor.
On 17 October 1812,the President captured the British ship the Swallow, which carried a large amount of currency on board.In that time USS Congress captured the merchant ship Argo. The Congress and President remained together, but did not find any ships to capture during November. Returning to the United States, they arrived in Boston on 31 December, having taken nine prizes.The President and Congress were both blockaded there by the Royal Navy until April 1813. The HMS Endymion crippled the USS President on 15 January 1815, which led to the President's final capture.
In January 1813, the Constellation was effectively blockaded by a British squadron of line of battle ships and frigates.After moving toward Norfolk, twice a force of British estimated to number 2,000 men, tried to take the Constellation by surprise in the night but on each occasion they were discovered and closely watched by her guard boats, the British never made the attack on the USS Constellation.
While in Boston the Congress and the President were blockaded by the Royal Navy, they slipped through the blockade on 30 April 1813 and put to sea for their third cruise of the war. On 2 May they pursued HMS Curlew but she out ran them and escaped. Congress parted company with President on the 8th May and patrolled off the Cape Verde Islands and the coast of Brazil. She captured four small British merchant ships during this period and returned to the Portsmouth Navy Yard for repairs in late 1813.
Hornet cruised the Atlantic coast until 29 March 1806 when she sailed to join the squadron protecting American commerce from threats of piracy in the Mediterranean. She returned to Charleston, South Carolina on 29 November 1807 and was decommissioned. 
Hornet was recommissioned on 26 December 1808. She transported General James Wilkinson to New Orleans, Louisiana, cruised in home waters to enforce the Embargo Act, and carried dispatches to Holland, France, and England. From November 1810 to September 1811, based on the success of Wasp, Hornet was ship-rigged in the Washington Navy Yard.  She also had additional gun ports fitted, increasing her capacity to 20 guns. Instead of the original 9-pounder conventional guns, Hornet now had eighteen 32-pounder carronades and two 12-pounder long guns.   :83
The Capture of the USS President 15 January 1815
The United Kingdom and United States of America agreed terms to end the War of 1812 on 24 December 1814. They were ratified by the UK government three days later, but the slow speed of communications from Europe to America meant that fighting continued until well into February.
The American frigate USS President (44 guns), the sloops USS Hornet and Peacock and the schooner USS Tom Bowline were in New York at the start of 1815. Commodore Stephen Decatur, captain of the President, intended to break out in order to raid British shipping. The harbour was large, but difficult to enter and leave in bad weather because of the many sand banks between Coney Island and Sandy Hook.
On 13 January the port was blockaded by the razee (a 74 gun ship of the line cut down to be a heavy frigate), HMS Majestic (58) and the frigates HMS Endymion (40), Pomone (38) and Tenedos (38). Note that ships often carried more guns carried than their official rating. Captain Henry Hope’s Endymion, which had recently suffered heavy casualties in an unsuccessful attempt to capture the American privateer Prince de Neufchatel, had just arrived to replace her sister HMS Forth.
USS President: 32 x 24 pound long guns, 22 x 42 pound carronades (very powerful but short ranged guns), one 18 pound long gun.
USS Hornet: 18 x 32 pound carronades, two 12 pound long guns.
USS Peacock: 20 x 32 pound carronades, two 12 pound long guns
USS Tom Bowline: 12 guns. Size unknown.
HMS Majestic: 28 x 32 pound long guns, 28 x 42 pound carronades, two 12 pound long guns.
HMS Endymion: 26 x 24 pound long guns, 20 x 32 pound carronades, two 9 pound long guns.
HMS Pomone: 28 x 18 pound long guns, 16 x 32 pound carronades, two 9 pound long guns.
HMS Tenedos: 28 x 18 pound long guns, eight 32 pound carronades, 10 x 9 pound long guns.
The British squadron was clearly superior, whilst in a single ship action Majestic outgunned President, which was stronger than any of the British frigates, which were far superior to the three smaller US ships.
The British commander, Commodore John Hayes of Majestic, was expecting a break out, as the British had intelligence that the President ‘was victualled and stored for a very long voyage, even…seven or eight months…with…charts of the East Indies.’
There was a snow storm on 14 January, which split up the British squadron for a period. Decatur decided to take advantage of this to slip out that night. The President was accompanied by the Macedonian, a supply ship owned by the first John Jacob Astor. She was a merchantman, not the frigate of the same name that then served in the United States Navy after being captured by Decatur’s USS United States from the Royal Navy in 1812. The Tom Bowline should also have gone with them, but she ran aground on 13 January, so was ordered to sail with the Peacock and Hornet later.
The night was dark and windy, which made it easier to evade the blockade force, but hard to safely navigate the difficult waters. This was compounded by the fact that, although Decatur and his crew were very experienced seamen, this was the first time that they had taken her to sea they had been transferred to her from the United States in May 1814, as there was no prospect of the latter breaking out from New London.
The President, deeply laden with stores because she had been ordered to undertake a lengthy cruise, ran aground at 8:00 pm. She managed to free herself after over an hour and resumed her course. Her damage reduced her speed Alfred Mahan and Theodore Roosevelt both state that she would have returned to port for repairs if the westerly gale had permitted this, but Andrew Lambert thinks it ‘more likely’ that Decatur did not want to rather than could not return to port.
At 5:00 am the President encountered Majestic, Pomone and Endymion, which had been separated by the storm, but were now together again. A chase developed, with Tenedos re-joining by 8:00 am. The winds lightened around mid-day, and the heavy Majestic fell back. Decatur tried to lighten ship, jettisoning stores, but his and his crew’s lack of knowledge of their ship made it hard to optimise her trim.
Endymion, the fastest of the ships involved, gained on the President, which opened fire on her at 2:00 pm. The British quickly replied.
Both captains intended to slow the enemy down by damaging her rigging. The British had won many actions against brave but poorly trained and led French and Spanish crews by quickly closing to close range, firing at the enemy’s hull and boarding if required. These tactics had failed against the Americans, who were better seamen and tacticians than Britain’s other opponents of this era. The US ships carried 20 per cent more anti-rigging ammunition than British ones, using it to cripple the British ship’s sails and masts before they could close the range. The Americans could then out manoeuvre the British.
By 5:00 pm Endymion was just over 100 yards off the President’s starboard quarter, ‘a near perfect position’ from which few American guns could reply. Decatur’s problem was that if he turned his ship to try and bring her superior broadside to bear she would no longer be heading away from the other British ships. However, in the current position she would soon be slowed by damage to her masts and rigging, so at 5:30 pm he turned her in an attempt to cross Endymion’s bow and rake her.
Hope could not allow his ship to be raked, so reacted to this move, resulting in the ships exchanging broadsides. The President fired at Endymion’s rigging, hoping to disable her in order to allow herself to escape. The British ship fired into the American one’s hull, aiming to inflict casualties and destroy guns. The effect of the American gunfire was reduced by poor quality powder.
By around 8:00 pm Endymion’s rigging was mostly shot away. Lambert says that the President showed a light in her rigging at 7:58 pm, the night signal of surrender. Hope prioritised repairing his ship’s rigging and did not have any intact boats to send to take the surrender, so the President was able to sail away. A ship that had struck her colours could not fire on the enemy, but was not obliged to heave to and wait to be boarded.
Roosevelt, however, makes no mention of the President striking her colours, writing that ‘Decatur did not board [Endymion] merely because her consorts were too close astern.’ Mahan argues that ‘[t]here is…no ground whatever for the assumption that the Endymion did, or singly would, have beaten the President.’
Pomone, followed by Tenedos, caught up with the President by 11:00 pm. The American ship surrendered after Pomone had fired two broadsides at her. Lambert contends that Decatur’s failure to resist proves that he had struck his colours to Endymion.
Mahan quotes Decatur as saying that the damage and casualties suffered by his ship and the strength of the enemy meant that ‘without a chance of escape, I deemed it my duty to surrender.’ However, he goes on to suggest that Decatur ought to have engaged Pomone unless his ship was as badly damaged as the British claimed, since putting a second British frigate out of action would have significantly weakened the blockade of New York. Roosevelt argues that Decatur had beaten Endymion, but then acted ‘rather tamely’ in surrendering.
The most likely explanation is that, whether Decatur did or did not strike his colours to Endymion, his ship was too badly damaged to resist two British frigates even if they were both weaker than his ship. The British were able to examine the President after they captured her, so could see how bad the damage was. They took her into service under the same name, but broke her up only three years later. Another and very similar HMS President was then built. The actions of Decatur, whose personal courage has never ben doubted, at the time, and the RN three years later suggest that his ship was very badly damaged in its action with Endymion.
Casualties were 24 killed and 55 wounded out of 450 men on the President according to Roosevelt, but Lambert says 35 were killed and 70, including Decatur, wounded. Both give 11 killed and 14 wounded out of 346 on Endymion. Roosevelt says that many of the US casualties were inflicted by Pomone’s two broadsides. Lambert notes that Decatur claimed this, but quote the President’s chaplain, Mr Bowie, as saying that Endymion caused all her casualties.
Endymion had inflicted most, if not all, of the damage, but the RN’s rules were quite clear the victory, and thus the prize money, was shared between the whole squadron since all were in sight of the enemy.
The other three American ships managed to get out of New York on 20 January, heading for a rendezvous at Tristan da Cunha. The Hornet arrived first, on 23 March. She met a British sloop, HMS Penguin, which was slightly inferior to herself: 16 x 32 pound carronades, and three 12 pound long guns, one of which could fire on either broadside.
Lambert says that the British knew that the war was over and told the Americans, but a fight still took place. Penguin was forced to surrender, being so badly damaged that she had to be scuttled. Hornet suffered little damage. The British lost 14 killed and 28 wounded, the Americans one killed and 10 wounded. This was one of the more evenly matched battles in a war in which the naval actions were normally won by the side that ought to have won on paper.
The Peacock, Tom Bowline and Macedonian arrived at Tristan da Cunha the next day. Peacock captured the East India Company sloop Nautilus on 30 June, but the prize had to be returned to its owners as the war had then been over for four and a half months.
 A. D. Lambert, The Challenge: Britain against America in the Naval War of 1812 (London: Faber, 2012). Kindle edition location 6896 of 12307
 Quoted in Ibid. location 6934.
 A. T. Mahan, Sea Power in Its Relations to the War of 1812, 2 vols. (London: Samson Low, Marston, 1905). vol. ii, p. 397.
 Lambert, The Challenge. location 7005 Mahan, Sea Power 1812. vol. ii, p. 398 T. Roosevelt, The Naval War of 1812, 2 vols. (New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1900-2). vol. ii, p. 146.
 Lambert, The Challenge. location 7043.
 Roosevelt, Naval War. vol. ii, p. 150.
 Lambert, The Challenge. locations 7175-87.
 Roosevelt, Naval War. vol. ii, p. 148.
 Mahan, Sea Power 1812. vol. ii, p. 401.
 Quoted in Ibid. vol. ii, p. 402.
 Roosevelt, Naval War. vol. ii, p. 153.
 Lambert, The Challenge. location 7230 Roosevelt, Naval War. vol. ii. pp. 149-50.