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Revolutionary War
Naval Minor Engagements 1775-1783

•  1775  •  1776  •  1777  •  1778  •  1779  •  1780   •  1781  •  1782  •  1783   •

Naval Battles of 1775

August 7, 1775 at St. Augustine, West Florida - On August 7, the sloop Commerce, commanded by Capt. Clement Lempriere, headed to St. Augustine to capture the gunpowder and military stores on the island. He learned that the HMS Betsy, commanded by Capt. Alvara Lofthouse, was sailing to St. Augustine and contained a huge supply of gunpowder. The Commerce spotted the Betsy and pulled alongside it. The armed crew jumped on board the Betsy and quickly captured the sleeping crew. They were able to unload about 17,000 lbs. of gunpowder when the Commerce was spotted by the HMS St. John, coming out of the harbor. The Commerce departed the area and escaped with their stolen powder.
Conclusion: American Victory

August 9-10, 1775 at Gloucester, Massachusetts - On August 9, the HMS Falcon, commanded by Capt. John Linzee, gave chase to 2 American schooners that were returning to Salem from the West Indes. Linzee captured one of the schooners and pursued the other schooner into Gloucester Harbor. On August 10, while at the harbor, the townspeople were infuriated and from the shore, opened fire on the Falcon's boarding party. Linzee gave orders to fire back but was forced to withdraw after losing both schooners, 2 barges, and 35 men.
Conclusion: American Victory

November 11-12, 1775 at Charlestown, South Carolina - Rumors of a British naval attack caused the local commanders to make changes in the harbors defense. A plan was made to sink several old ships in the Marsh Channel and Hog Island Creek. This would close the Hog Island channel to any British incursion into the area.
On November 11, the USS Defense, commanded by Capt. Simon Tufts, proceeded with 4 ship hulks in order to sink them in the channel. At 4:30 P.M., the HMS Tamar, commanded by Capt. Edward Thornborough, spotted the Defense and fired 6 shots at it. The Defense dropped anchor and fired back. After the Tamar ceased its firing, Tufts was able to sink 3 of the hulks.
On November 12, at 4:00 A.M., the Tamar and HMS Cherokee drifted close to the Defense. Both British ships commenced to fire broadside shots at the Defense for 3 hours. The Defense managed to sink the last hulk and then withdrew from the area. The Tamar sent an armed boat to the hulk and set it on fire. It then towed the hulk away from the channel.
Conclusion: Draw

November 27, 1775 off the coast, Massachussetts - On November 27, after earlier having learned that 2 British ordnance brigantines were headed to Boston, Gen. George Washington was told that Capt. John Manley had spotted both of the British ships of the coast of Massachussetts. The HMS Nancy was soon captured and the other ship managed to escape. The Nancy was taken to Cape Ann and unloaded. The cargo consisted of 2,000 muskets, 100,000 flints, 30,000 round shots, 30 tons of musket shot, and a 13-inch brass mortar. It was stated that it would have taken the Americans about 18 months to produce all of these goods that they captured.

November 29, 1775 at Boston, Massachusetts - In Boston Harbor, the American schooner, USS Lee, commanded by Capt. John Manley, chased and captured the HMS Nancy, a 250-ton British ordnance brig. Washington was greatly pleased because the booty seized by Manley included 2,000 muskets with bayonets, scabbards, ramrods, 31-tons of musket shot, a 2,700 lb. mortar, and other valuable supplies.

December 5, 1775 at Charlestown, South Carolina - On December 5, the HMS Scorpion captured 2 ships, the Hetty and the Thomas and Stafford at the mouth of Charlestown harbor. The Hetty would be made into a British warship and renamed HMS General Clinton.
Conclusion: British Victory

Naval Battles of 1776

January 12, 1776 at Sullivan's Island, South Carolina - On January 12, Capt. ?? Smith, commander of the pilot boat Hibernia, was ordered to conduct a reconnaissance of some approaching British ships. At 7:00 A.M., the British fleet (frigate HMS Syren, sloop HMS Raven, and HMS Rittenhouse) approached the Charlestown Harbor. Capt. Tobias Furneaux, commander of the Syren, sent a small boat into the harbor to see if the HMS Tamar was still there. Not seeing the ship, the small boat headed back to the fleet when it was attacked by the Hibernia. The British boat chased the Hibernia into Sullivan's Island. There, it was fired upon by the 2nd South Carolina Regiment. The British boat was chased away.
Conclusion: Inconclusive Victory

January 23, 1776 off Sandy Hook, New Jersey (HMS Blue Mountain Valley destroyed)- On January 23, a Patriot force from Elizabethtown, commanded by William Alexander and Elias Dayton, managed to capture the Brtish ship, HMS Blue Mountain Valley, about 40 miles off the banks of Sandy Hook.

January 27-28, 1776 at Fort Johnson, North Carolina - On January 26, the sloop HMS Scorpion was ordered to attack the Patriots in Fort Johnson. The Scorpion managed to fire 26 rounds before retiring. The sloop HMS Cruizer tried to get close to the fort but was unsuccessful. On January 27, the Cruizer was ordered to sail up the Cape Fear River, but turned back when they saw the impressive defensive breastworks of the city. The Cruizer tried to land a raiding party but was forced to abandon it after receiving rifle fire from both sides of the river. The ship was continually fired upon until it left the river area.
Conclusion: American Victory

February 5, 1776 at North carolina coast, North Carolina (HMS Syren vs. Hawke)- On February 5, the pilot ship Hawke was captured by the HMS Syren.
Conclusion: British Victory

February 10, 1776 at Cape Fear River, North Carolina (HMS Cruzer vs. USS America) - On February 10, the HMS Cruizer, commanded by Capt. Francis Perry, captured the USS America as it was sailing up the Cape Fear River.
Conclusion: British Victory

March 12, 1776 at Savannah, Georgia (HMS Raven vs. Georgia Packet) - The British naval fleet that had left Charlestown in January had made the mouth of the Savannah River its base of operations. They had orders to capture any American ships that appeared near their fleet. On March 12, the Georgia Packet, loaded with food and drink supplies neared the area. The HMS Raven spotted and quickly captured the ship off the Savannah Bar.
Conclusion: British Victory

March 22, 1776 at Charlestown, South Carolina (USS Comet vs. HMS General Clinton) - On March 22, the USS Comet captured the sloop HMS General Clinton. This was the first time that the South Carolina Navy defeated a British warship.
Conclusion: American Victory

March 15, 1776 at Charlestown, South Carolina - On March 15, at sunrise, the frigate HMS Syren spotted an American ship that was carrying a Pennsylvania Artillery Company. The Syren chased the ship and soon fired a shot across its bow. The American ship stopped and surrendered without a fight.
Conclusion: British Victory

April 6, 1776 at Block Island, Rhode Island - Capt. Esek Hopkins' naval fleet experienced a final encounter when the HMS Glasgow sailed into their midst after midnight on April 6. The ensuing pitched battle lasted for 3 hours, with British Capt. Tryingham Howe displaying superior seamanship in a series of bold moves. Though greatly outnumbered, the Glasgow inflicted 24 American casualties while only suffering 4 of her own, and its guns knocked out the USS Alfred's wheel block and raked that ship's deck with shot. During the battle, Howe threw overboard dispatches he was carrying from Gen. William Howe in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Gen. Henry Clinton. Although badly damaged, the Glasgow escaped.
Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: Americans: 24k&w; British: 4k&w

April 17, 1776 off the Virginia Coast, Virginia (USS Lexington vs. HMS Edward) - On April 17, Capt. John Barry, in command of the USS Lexington, battled with the British sloop HMS Edward. Although barry's ship had more guns than the Edward, the British had more experience. The Lexington endured heavy battering and 4 casualties but inflicted severe damage to the Edward's sails and rigging. The Edward finally struck her colors, and Barry thus became the first American naval captain to capture a British ship in actual combat. A wealthy Philadelphia shipownwer, Barry had been master of the USS Alfred, now under Capt. Esek Hopkins's command, before the Revolutionary War.
Conclusion: American Victory. Casualties: Americans: 4k&w

May 8-9, 1776 at Wilmington, Delaware - On May 8-9, on the Delaware River off the mouth of the Christiana Creek (which was located near Wilmington), 13 Pennsylvania galleys attacked 2 British ships. After a skirmish which lasted until the next day, the American fleet forced the British to withdraw downriver.
Conclusion: American Victory

May 17, 1776 at Nantasket Roads, Massachusetts - On May 17, the USS Franklin, commanded by Capt. James Mugford, captured the HMS Hope, a british supply ship transporting entrenching tools and 1,500 barrels of powder to Boston.
Reacting furiosly, the British command in Boston Harbor sent out 13 boats with more than 200 men to board the Franklin during the night. Armed with muskets and spears, Mugford's sailors drove off the British force, but Mugford himself died in the struggle.
Conclusion: American Victory

May 19, 1776 at Nantasket, Massachussetts - On May 19, the USS Franklin and the USS Lady Washington were heading toward the bay. The British saw them and sent several ships to capture the American ships. During the night, the British attacked. The Franklin was run aground with its crew getting offshore and forming up in a battle line.
About 12 British ships carrying 200 men landed and attempted to capture the Americans. The British were surprised and their attack was repulsed after a 1/2 hour fight.
Conclusion: American Victory

June 7, 1776 at Newburyport, Massachusetts (USS Yankee Hero vs. HMS Melford) - On June 7, the American privateer, USS Yankee Hero, was en route to Boston. The ship was attacked by the British frigate HMS Melford, commanded by Capt. John Burr. Outnumbered 4-to-1, the Yankee Hero's crew couragiously battled for 2 hours before they had to surrender.
Conclusion: British Victory

August 3, 1776 at Tappan Sea, New York - Lt. Col. Benjamin Tupper, commanding 5 small boats, attacked 5 British ships that had in mid-July had passed up the Hudson River from Staten Island and anchored at the Tappan Sea. The attack failed.
Conclusion: British Victory

August 7, 1776 at Portsmouth, New Hampshire - The American privateer USS Hancock, commanded by Capt. Wingate Newman, captured the British ship HMS Reward and brought it into port to unload the ship's cargo. The cargo included turtles intended for delivery to Lord North.
Conclusion: American Victory

September 6-7, 1776 at Governor's Island, New York - On September 6-7, in New York harbor, Sgt. Ezra Lee attempted the first submarine attack in the history of warfare. In David Bushnell's "American Turtle", Lee tried to destroy the British ships in the area. The copper bottoms of the ships off Governor's Island were too thick to be damaged by the powder charges that were released by the "Turtle".

November 1, 1776 at Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina (HMS Aurora captured) - On November 1, the brig HMS Aurora was bound for New York along with 18 other ships that were transporting supplies. The Aurora foundered near Ocracoke Inlet and the remainder of the fleet continued on their journey. The Independent Company of Carteret County was stationed near Cape Lookout and saw the stuck ship. They sailed over to it, seized the cargo, and captured the entire crew.
Conclusion: American Victory

Naval Battles of 1777

February 6-9, 1777 at North Carolina coast, North Carolina (HMS Solebay vs. American ships) - On February 6, the frigate HMS Solebay captured the sloop Speedwell and its cargo of rice and indigo. The Solebay sent an officer and some men aboard and sailed the Speedwell to Jamacia. On February 7, the Solebay captured the schooner Hope and the brig Fortune. Both ships were sailed to Jamacia.On February 9, the Solebay captured the schooner Little Dick. This ship ended up getting stuck on the Nassau Bar.
Conclusion: British Victory

April 2, 1777 at Delaware coast, Delaware (HMS Roebuck vs. USS Defense) - On April 2, at 6:00 A.M., the frigates HMS Roebuck and HMS Perseus, commanded by Capt. Charles Phipps, spotted the South Carolina Navy schooner USS Defense, commanded by Capt. Thomas Pickering. They immediately started to chase the Defense. The Roebuck finally caught up with the Defense at 1:00 P.M. The Roebuck came alongside the Defense and demanded to know what ship it was. Pickering tried to decieve the British by telling them that they were a cruiser from St. Augustine. The Roebuck did not take any chances and ordered them to lower their sails. When Pickering refused to do it, the 2 British ships opened fire on the Defense. The Defense quickly surrendered. The British ships sent a crew aboard the Defense and sailed it to New York Harbor.
Conclusion: British Victory

May 3, 1777 at Dunkirk, France (USS Surprise vs. HMS Prince of Orange) - Gustavus Conyngham, the "Dunkirk Pirate," was appointed by the American commissioners in Paris, France at the beginning of March 1777 as commander of the USS Surprise. He attacked and captured the British packet HMS Prince Of Orange and brought her into port at Dunkirk.
Conclusion: American Victory

May 8, 1777 at South Carolina coast, South Carolina (USS St. Louis vs. HMS Industry) - ?

May 21, 1777 at St. Augustine, West Florida (USS Comet vs. HMS Apalachicola) - On May 21, the South Carolina Navy brig USS Comet spotted the HMS Apalachicpla. The Apalachicola was bound from London to St. Augustine carrying a load of dry goods. The Comet tried to outrun it. Both ships fired on one another during the chase. The chase lasted all night.
The Comet finally forced the Apalachicola to surrender after destroying its sails and riggings.
Conclusion: American Victory

May 22, 1777 at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina (HMS Daphne vs. Fanny) - On May 22, the frigate HMS Daphne, commanded by Capt. St. John Chinnery, was on its way to St. Augustine. With the Daphne was the frigate, HMS Union, commanded by Capt. ?? Wallace. The British ships spotted the Fanny, commanded by Thomas Tucker, on their journey. They quickly captured the ship.
Conclusion: British Victory

May 25, 1777 at St. Augustine, West Florida (USS Comet vs. Rebecca) - On May 25, the South Carolina Navy frigate, USS Comet, commanded by Capt. Edward Allen, was sailing the waters off the Georgia coast when it spotted two sails near the shoreline. One of the ships were anchored and the other one was the privateer sloop Rebecca, commanded by Capt. John Mowbray. Mowbray did not know that the Comet was armed and began to pursue it. The Comet prepared for combat. When mowbray discovered that the Comet was armed, both British ships began to flee the area towards the St. Augustine Bar. The Comet immediately gave chase. The Comet chased the British for 3 hours and finally caught up with the Rebecca. Allen fired 3 broadsides at the Rebecca then sailed towards the coast. Rebecca caught up with the Comet and fired 4 broadsides at it, tearing apart its rigging and sails. The Comet fired back at close range. This battle continued for another 1/2 hour. Both sides firing as quick as they could at each other. The Rebecca suffered torn rigging and sails, then pulled back, repaired the damage, and returned to the fight. The Comet fled the area, with the British right behind it. Around midnight, the fight stopped because the British ships were falling behind.
Conclusion: Draw

June 5, 1777 at South Carolina coast, South Carolina (Privateer Union Captured) - On June 5, the privateer brig Union was on its way to Ireland when it was spotted by the Philadelphia privateer Lively, commanded by Capt. Woolman Sutton, off the South Carolina coast. The Lively captured the Union, put a crew aboard it, and sailed the Union to Charlestown.
Conclusion: American Victory

June 8-9, 1777 at St. Johns River, West Florida - On June 8, the privateer Cotesworth Pinckney, commanded by Capt. William Ranking, captured the sloop Mary. On June 9, the Cotesworth Pinckney spotted 3 ships on the horizen. The ships were the frigate HMS Daphne, and its 2 prize ships Fanny and Polly. Ranking ordered the Mary to the coastline until he found out information about the 3 ships. The Mary sailed close to the shore. At the mouth of the St. Johns River, it was discovered by the Rebecca, commanded by Capt. John Mowbray. The Mary sailed as fast as it could to the east, but was soon captured by the Daphne. The Daphne then chased after the Cotesworth Pinckney for 6 hours until it escaped.
Conclusion: British Victory

June 14, 1777 at Stono Inlet, South Carolina - On June 14, as the captured British privateer brig Union was approaching the mouth of the Charlestown Harbor, the frigates HMS Galatea and HMS Perseus spotted it. The Union was chased by the British ships when it suddenly ran aground at Stono Inlet. The crew abandoned the ship. A British tender sent out a few boats to capture the Union. They boarded the ship and then set it on fire.
Conclusion: British Victory

June 17 , 1777 at South Carolina coast, South Carolina (St. Louis vs. HMS Industry) - On June 17, the privateer St. Louis, commanded by Capt. Samuel Spencer, captured the HMS Industry. The Industry was then sent to Charlestown.
Conclusion: American Victory

June 27, 1777 at Off the Coast, France (USS Reprisal vs. HMS Burford) - After a successful foray against British merchantmen in the Irish Channel (they captured 18 ships, destroyed 10, and kept 8 ships as prizes), Capt. Lambert Wickes and his 2 accompanying raiders encountered the British warship HMS Burford when they had almost returned back to France.
Wickes ordered the other ships to scatter while he tried to make good the USS Reprisal's escape. He stayed out of range of the British at first, but the Burford's caught up and turned to fire a broadside at the Reprisal. Wickes turned to prevent his sides from being exposed, had some beams sawed from the Reprisal to increase the ship's bouyancy, and sped to safety.
Conclusion: American Victory

USS Notre Dame vs. HMS Judith , July 14, 1777 at Florida coast, West Florida - On July 14, the USS Notre Dame, commanded by Capt. Stephen Seymour, spotted and captured the brig HMS Judith while off the Florida coast. The Judith was sent to Georgetown and arrived there on July 20.
Conclusion: American Victory

September 26, 1777 at North Carolina coast, North Carolina (Nancy vs. British ships) - On September 26, the privateer Nancy, commanded by Capt. ?? Palmer, captured 2 British ships off the North Carolina coast that contained 100 slaves. Palmer sent the ships to Georgia.
Conclusion: American Victory

December 22, 1777 at ??, Cuba (HMS Daphne vs. USS Comet) - On December 22, the brig USS Comet, commanded by Capt. James Pyne, encountered and fought the HMS Daphne. The Comet was captured, its crew were sworn into the British Navy, and Pyne was sent to new York and imprisoned.
Conclusion: British Victory

Naval Battles of 1778

March 7, 1778 at the West Indies (USS Randolph vs. HMS Yarmouth) - On the afternoon of 7 March, Randolph's lookouts spotted sail on the horizon which proved to be the British, 64-gun ship of the line, Yarmouth. That evening, as Randolph engaged the British warship, the American frigate seemed to be on the verge of victory when some unknown cause, perhaps a chance spark in the chaos of battle, ignited her magazine and Biddle's plucky ship disintegrated in one blinding flash. Flaming debris from Randolph showered down on Yarmouth preventing her from pursuing the South Carolina ships which slipped away in the darkness.
Conclusion: British Victory. Casualties: American: 306 k (only 4 survived); British: 5k, 11w

April 27-28, 1778 at Whitehaven, England - On April 27-28, John Paul Jones leads a detachment from the U.S.S. Ranger, setting 3 ships on fire while also spiking the guns of two forts protecting the port. Later in the day, Sailing across the bay to St. Mary's Isle, Scotland, the American captain planned to seize the Earl of Selkirk and hold him as a hostage to obtain better treatment for American prisoners of war. However, since the Earl was absent, the plan failed.
Conclusion: American Victory

April 28, 1778 at Belfast, Ireland (USS Ranger vs. HMS Drake) - On April 28, Several cruisers were searching for Ranger, and Captain Jones sailed across the North Channel to Carrickfergus, Ireland, to induce HMS Drake of 20 guns, to come out and fight. Drake came out slowly against the wind and tide, and, after an hour's battle, the battered Drake struck her colors, with two Americans and 40 British killed in the combat.
Conclusion: American Victory

June 19, 1778 at Charlestown, South Carolina - On June 19, the Connecticut brig Defence, commanded by Capt. Samuel Smedley, and the South Carolina sloop Volant, commanded by Capt. Oliver Daniel, sailed out from Charlestown Harbor to find the privateers in the area. By nightfall, they discovered a group of 3 St. Augustine privateers. Two of the privateer ships were captured, the Governor Tonyn's Revenge and the Ranger. The third privateer, the Active, managed to escape.
Conclusion: American Victory

July 27, 1778 at Ushant Island, England - The first Battle of Ushant was a naval battle, fought between the French and British navies 100 miles west of the isle of Ile dOuessant, a French island at the mouth of the English Channel off the north-westernmost point of France.
The British had 30 ships of the line commanded by Admiral the Honourable Augustus Keppel in HMS Victory. The French had 29 ships commanded by Admiral Louis Guillouet, comte d'Orvilliers.
Keppel put to sea from Spithead on July 9, 1778, with a force of 30 ships of the line and sighted a French fleet of 29 sail west of Ushant on July 23. Comte d'Orvilliers, who had orders to avoid battle, was cut off from Brest but retained the weather gauge. Two of his ships to windward escaped into port leaving him with 27.
The two fleets manoeuvered during shifting winds and a heavy rain squall until a battle became inevitable with the British more or less in column and the French in some confusion. However, the French managed to pass along the British line to windward with their most advanced ships. At around noon, HMS Victory opened fire on Bretagne, 110, followed by Ville de Paris, 90. The British van escaped with little loss but Sir Hugh Palliser's rear division suffered considerably. Keppel made the signal to wear and follow the French, but Palliser did not conform and the action was not resumed.
A violent quarrel exacerbated by political differences broke out among the British commands, which led to two courts-martial and to the resignation of Keppel, and did great injury to the discipline of the navy. Keppel was court-martialled but cleared of dereliction of duty charges, and Palliser criticised by an enquiry before the affair turned into a squabble of party politics.
European waters Campaign, 1778–1782

August 6, 1778 at Bull Island Bay, South Carolina (Revenge vs. Charlotte) - On August 6, the British privateer Revenge chased the schooner Charlotte into Bull Island Bay near Charlestown. The Charlotte ran aground and was quickly captured.
Conclusion: British Victory

September 25, 1778 at Currituck Inlet, North Carolina (USS Raliegh Captured) - On September 25, Raleigh sailed for Portsmouth, Va., with a brig and a sloop under convoy. Six hours later two strange sails were sighted. After identification of the ships as British the merchant vessels were ordered back to port. Raleigh drew off the enemy. Through that day and the next the enemy ships HMS Unicorn and HMS Experiment, pursued Raleigh. In late afternoon on the 27th, the leading British ship closed with her. A 7-hour running battle followed, much of the time in close action. About midnight, the enemy hauled off and Barry prepared to conceal his ship among the islands of Penobscot Bay.
The enemy, however, again pressed the battle. As Raleigh opened fire, Barry ordered a course toward the land. Raleigh soon grounded on Wooden Ball Island. The British hauled off but continued the fight for a while, then anchored. Barry ordered the crew ashore to continue the fight and to burn Raleigh.
A large party, including Barry, made it to shore. One boat was ordered back to Raleigh to take off the remainder of the crew, and destroy her, however the British again fired on the ship, striking the Continental colors. The battle was over. All three ships had been damaged, Unicorn particularly so. Of the Americans ashore, a few were captured on the island, but the remainder, including Barry, made it back to Boston, Massachusetts, arriving on October 7.
Conclusion: British Victory

November 28, 1778 at South Carolina coast, South Carolina (USS General Moultrie vs. privateer) - On November 28, the USS General Moultrie, commanded by Capt. Downham Newtown, engaged a Jamacian privateer, commanded by Capt. ?? Smith, off the South Carolina coast. Although Smith was hit 7 times during the battle, he refused to surrender. The battle ended when the General Moultrie's crew boarded the privateer and defeated the Loyalist crew.
Conclusion: American Victory

December 16, 1778 at Port Royal, South Carolina - On December 16, the sloop Sally, commanded by Capt. Benjamin Stone, spotted a large transport ship at the mouth of the Port Royal Harbor. He sailed to within 25 yards of the transport to investigate. When the Sally pulled alongside the transport, its hidden crew emerged and opened fire on the Sally with muskets. Stone ordered the Sally to withdraw from the area.
Conclusion: British Victory. Casualties: Americans: 6k, 12w

December 28, 1778 at St. Lucia, Bahamas - The Battle of St. Lucia was a naval battle fought off the island of St. Lucia in the West Indies during the American War of Independence on December 15, 1778, between 7 ships of the line of the British Royal Navy and 12 ships of the line of the French Navy.
On the 4th of November d'Estaing sailed for the West Indies, on the very day that Commodore William Hotham was despatched from New York to reinforce the British fleet in those waters. On the 7th of September the French governor of Martinique, the Marquis de Bouille, had surprised the British island of Dominica. Admiral Samuel Barrington, the British admiral in the Leeward Islands, had retaliated by seizing St. Lucia on the 13th and 14th of December after the arrival of Hotham from North America. D'Estaing, who followed Hotham closely, was beaten off in two feeble attacks on Barrington at the Cul-de-Sac of St. Lucia on the 15th of December.
Conclusion: British Victory
West Indies Campaign

Naval Battles of 1779

March 20, 1779 at Abercorn Creek, Georgia - On March 20, the armed sloop HMS Greenwich and a British galley was sighted a little above Abercorn Creek, near Purysburgh. The South Carolina galleys Congress and Lee, and a sloop, were sent from Purysburgh to investigate the sighting of the British ships. The South Carolina galleys left after midnight, under the command of Capt. Robert Campbell. The British saw the Patriots coming and reinforced themselves with an armed flatboat, and had erected a battery on the south side of the Savannah River. At 10:00 A.M., the naval battle begand and lasted for 3 hours, until 1:00 P.M. After Campbell was killed, the Patriots decided to abandon the attack against the British.
Conclusion: British Victory

June 26, 1779 at Stono River, South Carolina - On June 26, the brigs USS Notre Dame, USS Bellona, brigatine USS Beaufort, and 4 South Carolina Navy armed ships attacked 7 British ships that were bringing supplies to Gibbe's Plantation. Of the British fleet, 2 ships were captured, 1 was blown up, and the remainder of them fled the area.
Conclusion: American Victory

June 29, 1779 at Outer Banks, North Carolina (USS Impertinent vs. HMS Harlem) - On June 29, the Impertinent spotted the sloop HMS Harlem and gave chase. As the Impertinent was about to pull up along side the harlem, the captain and crew tried to escape by launching a boat. The boat was soon overturned, drowning all of the people in it.
Conclusion: American Victory

September 6, 1779 at Savannah, Georgia - On September 6, the sloop HMS Polly was captured by the French ship-of-the-line Magnifique, commanded by Brigadier de Brach. A prize crew sailed the ship up the Georgia coast, not knowing where they were. Once the ship was anchored at the mouth of the Savannah River, the local British forces was able to recapture the Polly.

September 11, 1779 at Charlestown Bar, State (l'Amazone vs. HMS Ariel) - On September 11, the frigate HMS Ariel was captured by the French frigate l'Amazone, commanded by Lt. Count de La Perouse. The naval battle lasted for about an hour.
Conclusion: French Victory

September 23, 1779 at Flamborough Head, England (USS Bonhomme Richard vs. HMS Serapis) - On September 23, 1779, they encountered the Baltic Fleet of 41 sail under convoy of HMS Serapis (44) and Countess of Scarborough (22) near Flamborough Head. After 18:00 Bonhomme Richard engaged Serapis and a bitter engagement, the Battle of Flamborough Head, ensued during the next four hours that cost the lives of nearly half the American and British crews. At first, a British victory seemed inevitable as the more heavily armed Serapis used its superior firepower to rake Bonhomme Richard with devastating effect, killing Americans by the score. However, Jones eventually succeeded in lashing the two ships together, nullifying his opponent's greater manoeuverability. An attempt by the Americans to board Serapis was repulsed, as was an attempt by the British to board Bonhomme Richard. Finally, after another of Jones's squadron joined in the fight (uncaringly causing serious collateral damage aboard the Richard) the British captain surrendered at about 10.30pm. Bonhomme Richard, shattered, on fire, and leaking badly defied all efforts to save her and sank at 11:00 on September 25, 1779. John Paul Jones sailed the captured Serapis to the United Provinces for repairs.
Conclusion: American Victory

September 24, 1779 at Hilton Head, South Carolina - The Man of War HMS Experiment, commanded by Capt. Sir James Wallace, lost its masts and bowspirit in a gale and became stranded. In the same area, the French frigate Lively learned that the British ships had seperated from the Experiment during the storm. Three French ships were dispatched to find the Experiment. On September 24, the Experiment was near Hilton Head where she met up with the store ship HMS Cartel Champion and a victualer HMS Myrtle. At 3:45 P.M., the Experiment spotted the 3 French ships and tried to put as much distance between them. At 4:30 P.M., 2 more French ships were spotted by the Experiment. At 8:00 P.M., the 2 ships hoisted French colors and closed with the Experiment. The French ship Sagittair, commanded by Capt. d'Albert de Rions, fired two broadsides at the Experiment. The Experiment managed to put some distance between the ships. At 8:30 P.M., Wallace decided to fight back and re-entered the combat area. After firing a few shots at the French, the mast of the Experiment was shot off. This forced the Experiment to surrender.
Conclusion: French Victory

October 26, 1779 at Georgoa coast, Georgia (Betsy Captured) - On October 26, the frigate HMS Guadeloupe and the HMS Roebuck captured the privateer Betsy.
Conclusion: British Victory

Naval Battles of 1780

January 16, 1780 at Trafalgar (The Moonlight Battle) - British Admiral George Rodney, with 21 ships of the line, engages an inferior Spanish squadron of 11 ships that departs Cadiz. Rodney, on his way to the Americas, gleans information about the Spanish squadron from a captured merchantman and reverses his course. The Spanish, being outnumbered, try to flee back to port. Only one Spanish ship manages to return to the safety of the port of Cadiz. Although the victory has no major strategic significance, Rodney’s order of “general chase” and fighting by moonlight make this a legendary engagement.

April 1, 1780 at South Carolina coast, South Carolina (Fair American vs. Elphinstone and Arbuthnot) - On April 1, the South Carolina State Navy ship Fair American, commanded by Capt. Charles Morgan, teamed up with the Privateer Argo and was able to capture the two Privateer brigs, Elphinstone and Arbuthnot. The Loyalist ships were from New York and had been bound for St. Kitts.
Conclusion: American Victory

October 7, 1780 at Charlestown, South Carolina (Fair American vs. HMS Rodney) - On October 7, the South Carolina ship Fair American joined with the Privateer Holker. Together, they captured the brig HMS Rodney. The Rodney was bound for Charlestown.
Conclusion: American Victory

October 14, 1780 at Charlestown, South Carolina (Fair American vs. HMS Richard) - On October 14, the South Carolina ship Fair American joined with the Privateer Holker. Together, they captured the brig HMS Richard.
Conclusion: American Victory

November ??, 1780 at Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina (Battle of Ocracoke Inlet) - In November, the North Carolina privateer General Nash struck again, capturing the brigs HMS Aggie, HMS Prince of Wales, and the HMS Kattie near the Ocracoke Inlet.
Conclusion: American Victory

? (?) - ?
Conclusion: ? Victory

Naval Battles of 1781

March 16, 1781 at Chesapeake Bay, Virginia (First Battle of the Virginia Capes, also Cape Henry, Chesapeake Bay) - On March 8, Adm. Charles-Rene-Dominique Gochet Destouches led the French naval squadron from Newport, Rhode Island during the evening and sailed for the Chesapeake Bay. He was to bring naval support for Gen. Marquis Lafayette's expedition against Gen. Benedict Arnold. Adm. Marriot Arbuthnot discovered the movement of the French squadron while at Gardiner's Bay. The bay was located at the eastern end of Long Island. On March 10, Arbuthnot left Gardiner's Bay and started a pursuit after Destouches' fleet in the morning. The British fleet was 36 hours behind the French fleet but because of superior ships, the British caught up with the French by the time they both had reached Chesapeake Bay. On March 16, the battle began. Both sides had 8 ships apiece. The British had the overall advantage in that they had better weapons The British and French engaged in a naval battle that lasted for over an hour, leaving both fleets badly damaged. Destouches withdrew from the engagement and headed back to Newport. Arbuthnot moved his fleet into Chesapeake Bay and established contact with Gen. Benedict Arnold. By Destouches losing the battle and fleeing the area, he made a huge strategic failure. First of all, he abandoned Lafayette and left him without any naval protection in his expedition against Arnold. Secondly, Destouches left the sea open for the British to send Gen. Schuyler Phillips with sizable reinforcements to ravage Virginia. Destouches afterwards returned to Rhode Island. Ships Engaged:

BRITISH:
Vice Admiral Marriot Arbuthnot (all coppered)
FRENCH:
Admiral Charles Chevalier Destouches
  • London, 98 guns
  • Royal Oak, 74 guns
  • Bedford, 74 guns
  • Robust, 74 guns
  • America, 64 guns
  • Prudent, 64 guns
  • Europe, 64 guns
  • Adamant, 50 guns
  • Europe, 64 guns
  • Duc de Bourgogne, coppered, 84 guns
  • Le Neptune, coppered, 74 guns
  • Conquerant, 74 guns
  • Provence, 64 guns
  • Ardent, 64 guns
  • Jason, 64 guns
  • Eveillé, coppered, 64 guns
  • Romulus, 44 guns

April 14, 1781 at the Great Ogeechee River, South Carolina (Britannia captured ) - On April 14, the British ship Britannia was anchored in the mouth of the Great Ogeechee River. During the night, Capt. John Howell and Capt. John McCleur towed their privateers alongside the Britannia. Springing upon deck, they demanded and received a quick surrender of the ship.

June 1781 - at Edenton Harbor, South Carolina (HMS General Arnold captured ) - In June, the row galley HMS General Arnold, commanded by Capt. Michael Quinn, had been burning ships up the Chowan River. When it entered the Edenton Harbor, the ship ran aground. The local militia managed to capture it afetr it was not able to free itself.
Conclusion: American Victory

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Conclusion: ? Victory

Naval Battles of 1782

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Conclusion: ? Victory

August ??, 1782 at Halifax, North Carolina (HMS Packhorse Captured) - In June, the prison ship HMS Packhorse was headed northfor a prisoner exchange. Lt. Edward Barnell and 35 other prisoners took over the ship and into a North Carolina harbor.
Conclusion: American Victory

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Conclusion: ? Victory

Naval Battles of 1783

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Conclusion: ? Victory

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Conclusion: ? Victory

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