The Info List - Capture Of HMS Epervier

--- Advertisement ---

East Coast

Chesapeake Bay Alexandria Baltimore Hampden Fort Peter

Great Lakes
Great Lakes
/ Saint Lawrence River

Lake Ontario 1st Sacket's Harbor York Fort George 2nd Sacket's Harbor Lake Erie Fort Oswego Lake Huron Lake Champlain

West Indies / Gulf Coast

La Guaira 1st Fort Bowyer Action of 13 December 1814 Lake Borgne New Orleans Fort St. Philip 2nd Fort Bowyer

Pacific Ocean

James Island Charles Island Nuku Hiva Downes Expedition Porter Expedition Typee Valley Valparaíso (capture of USS Essex) Seringapatam Mutiny Action of 9 May 1814

The capture of HMS Epervier was a naval action fought off the coast of Florida
near Cape Canaveral
Cape Canaveral
on 28 April 1814, between the United States ship-rigged sloop-of-war USS Peacock, commanded by Master Commandant Lewis Warrington, and the British Cruizer-class brig-sloop Epervier under Commander Richard Wales. The Americans captured the British vessel after a one-sided cannonade, but the British merchant convoy escaped.


1 Prelude 2 Battle 3 Aftermath 4 Results 5 Notes and references 6 External links

Prelude[edit] USS Peacock was one of a class of three heavy sloops-of-war designed by William Doughty,[1] and was named after the victory the previous year over the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
brig HMS Peacock. Peacock sortied from New York on 12 March 1814 and, having eluded the British blockade, delivered some stores to St. Marys, Georgia. Peacock was then supposed to rendezvous with the frigate USS President, but President had been unable to break out of New York. While waiting for President to appear, Warrington cruised around the Bahamas, hoping to intercept British merchant ships sailing from Jamaica. Early on the morning of 28 April, several sail were sighted to windward. They belonged to a small convoy that had sailed from Havana on 23 April, escorted by Epervier. When the convoy sighted Peacock the merchant ships made all sail to escape, while Epervier prepared to engage. The British vessel was more lightly armed than the American. Epervier carried sixteen 32-pounder carronades and two 18-pounder carronades as bow chasers. Peacock carried twenty 32-pounder carronades and two 12-pounder guns. The ratio of the vessels' broadsides was 256 pounds to 320. Battle[edit] As the two vessels made toward each other, the wind shifted to the southward, giving neither Peacock nor Epervier the advantage of the windward position.[2] At about 10:20 in the morning, both ships fired their starboard broadsides on opposite tacks, aiming high to disable their opponent's rigging. Both vessels received damage aloft, after which Epervier turned downwind and engaged Peacock on a parallel course. Peacock directed her fire against Epervier's hull with great effect. The British fire fell away rapidly, and Epervier probably scored no hits after the first broadside from the port battery. After 40 minutes, Epervier was badly damaged, with 45 shot holes in the hull, and 5 feet (1.5 m) of water in the hold.[2] Commander Wales summoned boarding parties to muster, intending to board and capture Peacock, but his crew refused.[3] At 11:05, Epervier struck her colours. Epervier had eight men killed and 15 wounded (about 20 percent of the crew.) Aftermath[edit] The Americans repaired the damage to Peacock's rigging within an hour. Peacock's first lieutenant took charge of the prize and succeeded in preventing it from sinking; the prize crew had the brig ready to sail by nightfall. Epervier was found to be carrying $118,000 in specie, which was private rather than Government property.[4] The next day, The Americans sighted two British frigates. Peacock successfully decoyed them away from Epervier and also herself escaped, with the result that both vessels reached Savannah, Georgia, a few days later. The Americans repaired Epervier and took her into the United States
United States
Navy as USS Epervier. Warrington set out again in Peacock and made a successful raiding cruise in British waters, capturing 14 merchant vessels. Results[edit] The victory of Peacock over Epervier was one of the most one-sided of the War of 1812, even though the two opposing vessels were not grossly disparate in strength. It was stated that although Peacock's fire had dismounted some of Epervier's carronades, more of them fell from their mounts when they were fired. Wales had carried out little of the gunnery practice that would have revealed defects in the guns or carriages before it was too late to remedy them.[5] Wales had also reported disaffection and unrest among his crew and, unusually for the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
in the War of 1812, they failed in their duty to fight to their utmost. The court martial (on 20 January 1815) revealed that Epervier had the worst crew of any vessel on her station. In particular, her crew consisted mostly of invalids from the hospital.[6] Notes and references[edit]

^ Forester, pp.168-169 ^ a b Roosevelt, p.173 ^ Forester, p.172 ^ Forester, p.170 ^ Forester, p.172 ^ Gossett (1986), p.93.

Forester, C.S. The Age of Fighting Sail. New English Library. ISBN 0-939218-06-2.  Gossett, William Patrick (1986). The lost ships of the Royal Navy, 1793-1900. London: Mansell. ISBN 0-7201-1816-6.  Roosevelt, Theodore. The Naval War of 1812. New York: Modern Library. ISBN 0-375-75419-9. 

External links[edit]

v t e

Conflicts of the War of 1812

Battles of the War of 1812

United States

Washington, D.C.

Burning of Washington


Battle of Fort Peter


Battle of New Orleans Siege of Fort St. Philip


Battle of Baltimore Battle of Bladensburg Battle of Caulk's Field Battle of North Point Battle of St. Michaels Raid on Havre de Grace


Battle of Hampden

New York

Battle of Big Sandy Creek Battle of Buffalo Battle of Ogdensburg Battle of Plattsburgh Capture of Fort Niagara Raid on Black Rock Second Battle of Sacket's Harbor


Battle of Fort Stephenson Copus massacre Siege of Fort Meigs


Battle of Craney Island Raid on Alexandria Skirmish at Farnham Church Battle of Rappahannock River

U.S. territories


Battles of Fort Bowyer


Battle of Fort Dearborn Battle of Rock Island Rapids Siege of Prairie du Chien


Battle of the Mississinewa Battle of Tippecanoe Battle of Wild Cat Creek Siege of Fort Harrison Siege of Fort Wayne


Battle of Brownstown Battle of Frenchtown Battle of Mackinac Island Battle of Maguaga Siege of Detroit Siege of Fort Mackinac


Battle of Burnt Corn Battle of Callabee Creek Canoe Fight Battle of Holy Ground Battle of Horseshoe Bend Battle of Talladega Battle of Tallushatchee Battles of Emuckfaw and Enotachopo Creek Fort Mims massacre Kimbell–James Massacre


Battle of Credit Island Battle of the Sink Hole

British North America

Lower Canada

Battle of the Chateauguay First Battle of Lacolle Mills Second Battle of Lacolle Mills

Upper Canada

Battle of Beaver Dams Battle of Chippawa Battle of Cook's Mills Battle of Crysler's Farm Battle of Fort George Battle of Frenchman's Creek Battle of Longwoods Battle of Lundy's Lane Battle of Malcolm's Mills Battle of Queenston Heights Battle of Stoney Creek Battle of the Thames Battle of York Capture of Fort Erie Raid on Elizabethtown Raid on Port Dover Raid on Gananoque Siege of Fort Erie

Spanish Empire

Spanish Florida

Battle of Pensacola

Naval battles

Atlantic Ocean

Capture of HMS Boxer Capture of HMS Cyane Capture of HMS Epervier Capture of HMS Frolic Capture of HMS Penguin Capture of HMS Dominica Capture of USS Argus Capture of USS Chesapeake Capture of USS President Chesapeake Bay Flotilla USS Constitution vs HMS Java Sinking of HMS Avon Battle of Fayal Sinking of HMS Peacock Sinking of HMS Reindeer USS Constitution vs HMS Guerriere USS United States
United States
vs HMS Macedonian

Caribbean Sea

Battle of La Guaira

Great Lakes

Battle of Lake Erie Battle of Fort Oswego Engagements on Lake Huron Engagements on Lake Ontario First Battle of Sacket's Harbor

Gulf Coast

Action of 13 December 1814 Battle of Lake Borgne

Pacific Ocean

Action off James Island Action off Charles Island Nuku Hiva Campaign Battle of Valparaiso (Capture of USS Essex)

See also: American Indian Wars, Creek War, Napoleonic Wars, and Tecumseh's War

Category Portal

 definition  textbooks  quotes  source texts  media