THIS WEEK in the War of 1812 (Nov. 11-Nov. 17)

November 12, 2012 at 12:30 am Leave a comment

The One That Got Away

HMS Royal George pursued by Commodore Chauncey’s USS Oneida
(Courtesy of Toronto Public Library)

An American flotilla heads back to U.S. waters on the Great Lakes this week after failing to seize or sink the largest British ship on Lake Ontario – the HMS Royal George, a 20-gun sloop with a crew of 200.

A day earlier, Nov. 10, the seven-ship U.S. flotilla, commanded by Commodore Isaac Chauncey nearly catches the Royal George inside Ontario’s Kingston Harbor.

Chauncey orders his flagship, the brig USS Oneida, into the harbor to board and seize the Royal George while the other, smaller ships under his command lay down a withering barrage of canon fire against British shore batteries.

But the big British ship manages to make it to the wharf and tie up within sight of a large contingent of British and Canadian troops. Chauncey decides to call off his attack, fighting his way out of the harbor and into a deeper channel.

Both sides retire to their respective ports for the winter.

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

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