Thursday, January 07, 2010

The Chesapeake vs. The Shannon

The Chesapeake vs. The Shannon.
The British frigate "Shannon" was under the command of Captain Philip Bowes Vere Broke. The American frigate "Chesapeake" was commanded by Captain James Lawrence. The "Chesapeake" carried 50 guns, 26 broadsides, 28 long 18 pounders on the gun deck, and on the spar deck two long 12 pounders, one long 18 pounder, and eighteen 32 - pound carronades, and one 12 pound carronade. The crew of the American frigate consisted of 379 men.

On June 1st, 1813, at about noon, the "Chesapeake" left Boston Harbour. At 5:30 p.m. the American frigate was heading right for the "Shannon". The British captain feared the "Chesapeake" would pass under the "Shannon's stern and rake her deck. But for some reason Captain Lawrence overlooked his advantage. At 5:50 the "Shannon" opened fire, the "Chesapeake" replyed with a heavy broadsides. Although the American broadsides were inflicting heavy damage on the British frigate, the "Chesapeake" also suffered greatly from the British frigate's guns. Minutes later with her jib sheet and foretop sail tie shot away, the "Chesapeake" was exposed to the "Shannon's" heavy broadsides. These broadsides inflicted heavy cassualties on the American crew, but they continued to exchange cannon fire with the British frigate.

At 6:00 p.m. the two frigates came together, the British captain ordered the two ships lashed together. On board the "Chesapeake" there was mass confusion. Captain Lawrence while standing on deck giving orders to his crew was shot down, he was carried below exclaiming "Don't Give Up The Ship".

At 6:02 Captain Broke and 20 men boarded the "Chesapeake", as they did the American gun crews left their guns and ran below deck. The only man that seemed to make a stand was the chaplain, Mr. Livermore, who came toward the British captain firing his pistol. Captain Broke stopped him with a swipe of his Toledo blade which nearly severed the chaplain's arm, he died later of his wounds.
The marines continued to defend the "Chesapeake" bravely, but of the 44 men, 14 were dead and 20 were wounded.

Lieutenant George Budd tried to get the crew below to follow him up on deck to defend the ship, but only a few followed him. They repulsed the British briefly, then surrendered. Captain Broke wrote: "The enemy fought desperately, but in disorder."

At 6:05 p.m. the "Chesapeake's" colours were hauled down ending the battle, 15 minutes after the first shot was fired.
The "Chesapeake" had 61 killed and 85 wounded. The "Shannon" had 33 killed and 50 wounded. The British sailed the American frigate to Halifax, Nova Scotia where the American Captain James Lawrence and Lieutenant Ludlow were buried with military honors.

Return, of killed and wounded on board the United Stoles frigate Chesapeake, James Lawrence, Esq., Captain, in the action with the British frigate Shannon, on the 1st of June, 1813.



1. Edward I. (J. ) Ballard, Acting lieutenant.
Service; Midshipman, 24 February, 1809. Lieutenant, 2 June, 1813. Killed in action 1 June, 1813. (Commission issued before news of the action was received.)

2. William A. White, Sailing master.
Service: Sailing Master, 15 July, 1812. Killed In action 1 June, 1813.

3. Pollard Hopewell, Midshipman.
Service: Midshipman, 4 June, 1812. Killed in action 1 June, 1813.

4. John Evans, Jr., Midshipman.
Service: Midshipman, 1 January, 1811. Killed in action 1 June, 1813.

5. Courtland Livingston, Midshipman.
Service: Midshipman, 15 November, 1809. Killed in action 1 June, 1813.

6. Abraham Cox, Ordinary seaman.

7. George Craton, Boy.

8. Sterling Clark, Seaman.

9. Daniel Burnham, Quartermaster.

10. Alexander Marhio, Ordinary seaman.

11. Thomas Evans, Ordinary seaman.

12. John Miller, Seaman.

13. Daniel Martin, Seaman.

14. Robert Bates, Seaman.

15. James Woodbury, Quartermaster.

16. William Russell, Seaman.

17. Harris Ball, Ordinary seaman.

18. Andrew Williams, Seaman.

19. Joseph Simonds, Seaman.

20. John W. Duggin, Ordinary seaman.

21. David Bias, Seaman.

22. Henry Munroe, Seaman.

23. Josiah Shatfield, Seaman.

24. John Philips, Seaman.

25. Benjamin Esday, Ordinary seaman.

26. John Reed, 2d., Seaman.

27. Michael Kelley, Quarter gunner.

28. Samuel Mullen, Ordinary seaman.

29. Michael Sawyer, Ordinary seaman.

30. James Betton, Seaman.

31. John Carter, Boatswain’s mate.

32. John Crabb, Seaman.

33. Samuel M. Perkins, Ordinary seaman.

34. Joseph Judith, Seaman.

35. John. Jones, Seaman.

36. Christopher Houston, Seaman.

Marines Killed,


1. James Broom, First lieutenant.
Service: Second Lieutenant, 21 April, 1810. First Lieutenant, 14 April, 1812. Killed in action, 1 June, 1813

2. Thomas Wheaton, Private.

3. Benjamin Morrison, Private.

4. John Mulligan, Private.

5. John German, Private.

6. John Huntress, Private.

7. James Traenor, Private.

8. Jacob Preston, Private.

9. Philip Bryant, Private.

10. Redmond Berry, Private.

11. Robert Standley, Private.

12. Delaney Ward, Private.



1. James Lawrence, Captain, Since dead.
Service: Midshipman, 4 September, 1798. Lieutenant, 6 April, 1802. Master Commandant, 3 November, 1810. Captain, 4 March, 1813. Died 5 June, 1813, of wounds received in action.

2. Augustus C. Ludlow, Lieutenant, Since dead.
Service: Midshipman, 2 April, 1804. Lieutenant, 3 June, 1810. Died of wounds received in action, 1 June, 1813.

3. George Budd, Lieutenant, Severely.
Midshipman, 22 November, 1805. Lieutenant, 23 May, 1812. Master Commandant, 28 March, 1820. Died 3 September, 1837.

4. William Cox, Acting Lieutenant, Slightly.

5. Samuel Livermore, Acting chaplain, Severely.

6. Francis Nichol or Nichols, Midshipman, Severely.
Service: Midshipman, 18 June, 1812. Resigned 29 November, 1813.

7. Walter Abbott, Midshipman ?
Service: Midshipman, 1 January 1812. Lieutenant, 5 March, 1817. Died 12 July, 1825.

8. William A. Weaver, Midshipman, Severely.
Service: Midshipman, 4 February, 1811. Lieutenant, 27 April, 1816. Cashiered 27 November, 1824.

9. Edmund K Russell, Midshipman, Slightly.
Service: Midshipman, 18 June, 1812. Lieutenant, 17 May, 1828. Died 21 July, 1838.

10. William Berry, Midshipman, Slightly.
Service: Midshipman, 17 December, 1810. Lieutenant, 27 April, 1816. Died 17 July, 1824.

11. Peter Adams, Boatswain, Since dead.
Service: Boatswain, 25 August, 1809. Killed in action 1 June, 1813.

12. James Sprout, Ordinary seaman, Severely.

13. John Appleton, Ordinary seaman, Severely.

14. Peter Quantin, Ordinary seaman, Dangerously.

15. James Butler, Ordinary seaman, Severely.

16. John. Johnson, Ordinary seaman, Dangerously Since dead.

17. John Peterson, Ordinary seaman, Severely.

18. Thomas Sterling, Ordinary seaman, Slightly.

19. Jefferson Griffith, Quartermaster, Slightly.

20. Peter John, Seaman, Slightly.

21. James A. Lewis, Quartermaster, Severely.

22. John Smith, Seaman, Severely.

23. Joseph Weylaud, Ordinary seaman, Slightly.

24. Francis Symonds, Seaman, since dead.

25. Forbes Dela, Quarter gunner, Since dead.

26. Eliphalet Carr, Seaman, Severely.

27. Thomas Flanagan, Seaman, Severely.

28. John Hodgman, Seaman, since dead.

29. Francis Franklin, Ordinary seaman, Slightly.

30. Henry Hyde, Ordinary seaman, Severely.

31. Alexander Grant, Ordinary seaman, Slightly.

32. Enoch Hacket, Ordinary seaman, Severely.

33. Andrew Mercer, seaman, Slightly

34. John Talman, seaman, Severely.

35. James Parker, seaman, Severely.

36. Ebenezer Day, Ordinary seaman, Severely.

37. Giles Cone, Ordinary seaman, Dangerously.

38. Andrew Vandemear, Seaman, Slightly.

39. Samuel Hatton, Sailmakers mate, Slightly.

40. Darby Lee, Seaman, Since dead.

41. John Hunt, , Ordinary seaman, Since dead.

42. Rola Peters, Seaman, Slightly.

43. Robert May, Seaman, Severely.

44. Thomas Finnegan, Gunner’s yeoman, Slightly.

45. Joseph Vaughan, Ordinary seaman, Severely.

46. John Devo, Seaman, Since dead.

47. Noah Dearborn, Seaman, Severely.

48. John Rollins, Seaman, Slightly.

49. Charles Sargent, Seaman, Slightly.

50. William Metcalf, Seaman, Slightly.

51. Charles Thompson, Seaman, Severely.

52. Abraham Richards, Seaman, Severely.

53. James Durfee, Seaman, Slightly.

54. Thomas Smith, 2d., Quarter gunner, Dangerously.

55. John Veazy, Quarter gunner, Severely.

56. Lewis Hanscom, Ordinary seaman, Since dead.

57. William Hubar, Seaman, Severely.

58. John Giles, Quarter gunner, Slightly.

59. Benjamin Sumner, Seaman, Dangerously.

60. William McAfferty, Seaman, Slightly.

61. Thomas Kouse, Quarter gunner, Severely.

62. Marcus Mansel, seaman, Since dead.

63. John Dezink, Seaman, Severely.

64. John Peterswing, Seaman, Slightly.

65. William Peterson, Seaman, Slightly.

66. William Stewart, Seaman, Severely.

67. Asa Newball, Seaman, Severely.

67. Alexander Brown, Seaman, Severely.

68. Mathias Douglass, Ordinary seaman, Dangerously.

69. John McNiel, Seaman, Since dead.

70. John Orutchett, Seaman, Severely.

71. Thomas Jones, 2d., Seaman, Slightly.

72. John Caldwell, Seaman, Severely.

73. William Gardiner, Seaman, Severely.

74. Thomas Jackson, 2d., Quartermaster, Severely.

75. John Kegan, Seaman, Severely.

76. Michael Twee, Ordinary seaman, Slightly.

Marines Wounded.


1. John Twiss, Sergeant, Slightly.

2. William Harris, Sergeant, Slightly.

3. William Dixon., Corporal, Since dead.

4. Richard Hoffman, Private, Slightly.

5. James Brown, Private, Severely.

6. Joseph Twiss, Private, Slightly.

7. George Upham, Private, Slightly.

8. John Crippen, Private, Slightly.

9. Samuel Jackson, Private, Slightly.

10. John Johnson, Private, Slightly.

11. John Wright, Private, Dangerously.

12. Miles Morris, Private, Severely.

13. Matthias Wolberry, Private, Severely.

14. Warren Fogg, Private, Shghtly.

15. Thomas Johnson, Private, Shghtly.

16. George Clyne, Private, Severely.

17. Joseph Crane, Private, Shghtly.

18. William Lewis, Private, Severely.

19. John Livre, Private, Severely.

20. John Brady, Private, Severely.

Master roll of the officers and men belonging to the late United States frigate Chesapeake, who were carried to Halifax as prisoners of war.

Here are the links to this information you may have to use the enlarging box to view this information.


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