Friday, April 28

Acasta vs Lydia & Rhoda


17 January 1813: ship Lydia, from Rhode Island sailing to Norfolk taken by the Poictiers in company with Acasta and Maidstone; and, also in January: schooner Rhoda taken by the Poictiers and Acasta.

from: Bulletins of the campaign [compiled from the London gazette]. page 138

Thursday, April 27

Acasta & Poictiers take the Highflyer

His Majesty's Ship Poictiers, at Sea, 
January 9, 1813. 

SIR,

I BEG leave to acquaint you, that His Majesty's ship under my command, in company with the Acasta, captured this day the American schooner privateer Highflyer, mounting five guns, and having on board a complement of seventy-two men : she was on her return from the West Indies, where she had made several captures, is a particularly fine vessel, coppered and copper fastened, and sails remarkably fast.

I have the honour to be, &c.
(Signed) J.P. BERESFORD, Captain
Admiral Sir J. B. Warren, Bart and K.B.
&c. &c. &c.

Taken from: "Bulletins of the campaign [compiled from the London gazette]." page 129 

U.S. Privateer- High Flyer
Class- Schooner
Guns-6
Men-85
Commanded by- Capt. Jeremiah Grant
Out of- Baltimore
Enemy's-
Ships- 2
Brigs- 4
Schrs- 1
Sloops &c.- 1
Cargo, and estimated value- Nails, R, S, &c.

During the War with Great Britain, from 1812 to 1815.
3 armed, and one a packet, See Table of Actions. Was captured by the Poictiers, 74, February, 1813.

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.) pages 180, 181

Wednesday, April 26

Acasta & Poictiers take the Herald

'Acasta and the Herald 1812', click on image to visit the original painting
It was to be a Happy Christmas indeed when, on this very day (in 1812), the Acasta in the company of HMS Poictiers overtook and captured the American Privateer Herald as she and her prizes were bound for Baltimore. She had two other vessels with her, the Friendship and the Little Catharine.

The Herald, being a ship of only 10 guns and barely 50 men, was no match for the combined might of the Poictiers and the Acasta. According to the reports I've heard from the Acastas that have been aboard the Friendship, she has a fortune in cargo aboard her, a fine Christmas present for every man in the crew (in terms of prize money that is).

U.S. Privateer- Herald
Class- Brig.
Guns-10
Men-50
Commanded by- .............
Out of- New York
Enemy's
Ships- 1
Brigs- 1
Schrs- 1
Sloops &c.- 0
Cargo, and estimated value- =$400,000

During the War with Great Britain, from 1812 to 1815.
The Cargo of the ship Friendship alone was estimated as per table; the brig was the packet Little Catharine of 6 guns. This cruiser was subsequently captured by the Acasta and Poictiers at sea, December 25, 1812.

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.) page 180, 181

Tuesday, April 25

Acasta 'versus' Essex

David Porter
As Captain Porter was a great favourite at the city of Washington, Mr. Clark, who was patronised by all the great men there, could do no less than insert in his book any little tale which the former might wish to see recorded in the naval history of his country. 

"On the 30th of August," says one of those tales, "the Essex being in latitude 36° north, longitude 62° west, a British frigate was discovered standing towards her, under a press of sail. Porter stood for her under easy sail, with his ship prepared for action; and, apprehensive that she might not find the Essex during the night, he hoisted a light. At 9, the British vessel made a signal: it consisted of two flashes and a blue light. She was then, apparently, about four miles distant. Porter stood for the point where she was seen until midnight, when, perceiving nothing of her, he concluded it would be best to heave to for her until morning, concluding she had done the same; but, to his great surprise, and the mortification of his officers and crew, she was no longer in sight. Captain Porter thought it to be not unlikely, that this vessel was the Acasta, of 50 guns, sent out, accompanied by the Ringdove, of 22, to cruise for the Essex." *

It did not perhaps occur to Mr. Clark, that ships usually carry log-books, in which are entered every day's proceedings, with the latitude, longitude, &c.; and that these can be referred to, in case the false assertions of any historian, or paragraph-writer, or American captain, may be worth the trouble of disproving. Considering what a formidable man Captain Porter was, nothing less than the Acasta "of 50 guns," and Ringdove, "of 22," could be sent out to cruise for the Essex.  

Unfortunately for the fame of the captain of the Essex, on the 30th of August, 1812, the day mentioned, the Acasta was cruising in the latitude of 43° north; longitude 65' 16' west; and the Ringdove, whose force, by-the-by, was only 18 guns, was lying at an anchor in a harbour of the island of St:-Thomas. It was certainly very modest of Captain Porter, to "think it not unlikely," that one of the finest 18-pounder frigates in the British navy, accompanied too by a sloop of war, would be sent out to "cruise for the Essex." 

The fact is, the ship, which Captain Porter fell in with, was the 18-gun sloop Rattler, Captain Alexander Gordon; and who, we believe, not considering himself a match for the American frigate, rather avoided than sought an engagement with her.

* Clark's Naval history of the United States, vol. i. p. 180.

from: "The naval history of Great Britain, from the declaration of war by France in 1793, to the accession of George IV. Volume VI."

Monday, April 24

A Letter to Henry

William Marshall Craig’s Itinerant Traders
of London in their Ordinary Costume…
1804. Chairs to Mend
22 April 1804

Dear Henry,

I haven’t heard from you in months and now you claim you’s been pressed by the Navy.   I tol you not to trust sailors, they always look for good fer nuthins like you with not a penny, booze em up and take em to sea.  Thank God that it was just the Navy and not one of them slave ships. His Majesty’s will have quite the job straightening you out, crooked as you are.  It’ll do ya more good than the cooper’s, that Mr. Wills always gave ya more liquor than coin, or so you says.

Lizzy outgrown most a her dresses, Tommy wore through the soles of his shoes, an we ain’t got enough old gowns for the twins... Mama’s helpin but her eyes are goin an can’t sew no more.  All I’s sayin is, just remember yer dear wife an dear children (& the one on the way) when you get them wages an prizes an all that they talk about down at the docks. We ain’t got no meat on the table neither, the little uns always beg for rabbit or tongue but we can barely get porridge. I reckon the Navy will give ya all the liquor ya should drink, so there’s nuthin to do but send those wages for your dear hungry children who ain’t got no clothes or shoes to wear.  Remember your wife too, who gave you children an a home an good meals even though you never did nuthin to deserve it.  Think of us at sea, you might be of use to us there.

Your dear wife,
Bessy Lumex

Acasta takes the Snapper - 200th

 Admiralty-Office, March 23, 1813.

Enclosed herewith, I beg leave to transmit a list of vessels captured and destroyed between the 16th September last and this date.
___________
A List of Ships and Vessels captured and detained by the Squadron under the Orders of Admiral Sir john Borlase Warren, Bart. and K. B. Commander in Chief of His Majesty's Ships and Vessels on the American and West India Station, between the 16th of September 1812 and the 26th February 1813,

Schooner Snapper, from Philadelphia, bound on a cruize, captured by the Acasta, Maidstone, ├ćolus, and Childers, 3 Nov. 1812.

Source: Bulletins of the Campaign [compiled from the London Gazette]. pages 133 & 135
U.S. Privateer- Snapper
Class- Schr.
Guns- 11
Men-90
Commanded by- J. Green
Out of- Philadelphia
Enemy's
Ships- 0
Brigs- 0
Schrs- 0
Sloops &c.- 0
Cargo, and estimated value- 172 tons

During the War with Great Britain, from 1812 to 1815.
Captured by three British Frigates, Dec. 12, 1812, after being completely riddled by their shot.

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.) page 180, 181

Friday, April 21

Acasta takes the Two Brothers - 200th

26 Oct 1812 The Two Brothers, Hayte, from Bristol to Baltimore, is detained by the Acasta frigate, and sent for Halifax.
U.S. Privateer- Two Brothers
Class- Schr.
Guns- 3
Men- 60
Commanded by- Capt. H. Ferlat, &c.
Out of- New Orleans
Enemy's
Ships- 0
Brigs- 0
Schrs- 0
Sloops &c.- 1
Cargo, and estimated value- R., S., &c.

During the War with Great Britain, from 1812 to 1815.
Burnt -- the Sloop Venus, of Jamaica.

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.) page 194, 195