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War of 1812 Privateers

Best Sources:: Harrison Scott Baker II who has published two volumes on Prisoners of War held at
Halifax (Maryland Heritage Books).

Ira Dye's Research on Prisoners held at Dartmoor, Chatham, Stapleton, Plymouth and Portsmouth,
sites within the U.K. has yet to be published. SEE Information contribution by Betty Oderwald, President of the Connecticutt Society U.S. Daughters of 1812

Also SEE Click Here

LIST OF AMERICAN PRIVATEERS WAR OF 1812
List is by Vessel name and by Port

Source:
George Foster Emmons, The navy of the United States, from the commencement, 1775 to 1853; with a brief history of each vessel’s service and fate ... Comp. by Lieut. George F. Emmons ... under the authority of the Navy Dept. To which is added a list of private armed vessels, fitted out under the American flag ... also a list of the revenue and coast survey vessels, and principal ocean steamers, belonging to citizens of the United States in 1850.
( Washington: Gideon & Co., 1853.) See

SEE WAR 1812 REVENUE CUTTER AND NAVAL OPERATION
Provides a complete chronological listing engagement by engagement, names of ships and their commanders.

Paper presented to The New York Military Affairs Symposium
on October 19, 2001 at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York,
revised for web publication, © 2006-2008, by Bob Rowan entitled: AMERICAN PRIVATEERS IN THE WAR OF 1812. This interesting article examines Privateers as they existed in the War of 1812. Examines the following "historical event" and claims made:

September 26, 1814. Sundown. In the North Atlantic, in the Azores. about 1/3 of the way between Portugal and the United States in the neutral Portuguese port of Fayal (Faial). The American privateer, the GENERAL ARMSTRONG, is taking on water and supplies. Three British men-of-war unexpectedly appear, sailing into the mouth of the harbor. The British commander, Robert Lloyd, irrationally seems to delay his mission which was to join the flotilla assembling in the Caribbean for the Battle of New Orleans;

Crews from His Majesty's Ships Plantagenet, Rota and Carnation make two attempts to board the American ship.

In the first attempt, the British squadron sent boats in to reconnoiter but they were driven off by American gunfire. Then, at 8PM, four boats (were launched) from PLANTAGENET and three from ROTA, containing 180 seamen and marines, (and) about midnight began a major attack, attempting to board the schooner over the bow and the starboard quarter. The Americans opened fire with long 9-pounders and a swivel gun and the boats replied with their carronades. The British failed to cut through the netting on the quarter as pistols and muskets were fired at them at point blank range and long pikes were thrust in their faces and they retired to their boats. The attack over the bow nearly succeeded but Capt. Reid led the aft guard forward and turned the tide.

The next day British Captain Lloyd ordered HMS CARNATION to close with the schooner but was kept out of range by the American's single long 42-pounder gun.

At this point, however, Captain Reid realized that the long term position was hopeless so he scuttled his ship; he apparently took the 42-pound swivel gun, pointed it down the hatchway, and blew a hole in the bottom of the Armstrong. Two Americans had been killed in the battle and all the rest of the men escaped safely to the Island's shore.

But the British squadron was seriously depleted in manpower by (depending on the source) from 75 to 300 sailors and marines and -- was therefore said to be late in arriving at New Orleans and this might have had an effect on subsequent history. Question raised:

 

  • Why did British Captain Robert Lloyd attack the Armstrong when he had other orders and despite being in a neutral port?

  • Did the attack really delay the assembly of the British expedition against New Orleans?

  • Did the delay, as so many historians have asserted, really cause the British to lose the Battle of New Orleans?

  • Two Scotch seamen Armstrong was supposed to have been tried to remove from the Armstrong were the author's ancestor and his brother who had escaped from a British ship and taken service abroad the Armstrong, an American privateer.
  • SEE in order to read this interesting and informative article which includes also a copy of the actual British War Plan dated 14 Jun 1814.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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