THIS WEEK in the War of 1812 (Oct. 21-Oct. 27)

October 22, 2012 at 12:17 am Leave a comment

U.S. Navy Wins Again

Battle between United States and Macedonian

In mid-October the USS United States, one of the Navy’s original six frigates, is on patrol in the North Atlantic off the Azores when a sail is spotted on the horizon.

It is the British frigate HMS Macedonian heading for the West Indies. Stephen Decatur, captain of the United States and hero of the war against the Tripolitan pirates, sets a course to intercept the British ship and John Surman Carden, the Macedonian’s captain does the same.

The ships come together and Decatur orders the first broadside from his 44-gun vessel, which has bigger guns with a longer range. By noon the Macedonian’s masts have been knocked down and one third of the Macedonian’s 300-man crew have been killed or wounded.

When Decatur prepares to fire another broadside, Carden is forced to surrender.

The United States spends the next two weeks alongside the Macedonian, with Decatur’s crew seeking to repair the damaged ship. After sufficient repairs are made, Decatur sailed with his prize into New York Harbor where he and his crew are proclaimed heroes.

It is the first time in the war a British man of war is captured by a U.S. commander. The Macedonian will be renamed the USS Macedonian and spends many years in U.S. Navy service.

In 1813 a British squadron drives both ships into the harbor at New London, Connecticut for refuge. United States is kept bottled up there until the end of the war. Macedonian manages to evade the blockade and escapes to sea.


Entry filed under: National Security and Defense, Naval Warfare, THIS WEEK in the War of 1812, Traditions. Tags: , , , , , .

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