March 25, 2019
The War of 1812
The most famous naval battle of the War of 1812 was the Battle of Boston Harbor fought on 1 June 1813. It was a duel between two frigates, which ultimately humiliated the proud and cocky U.S. navy.
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Today's Random Fact:
The bloodiest ship-to-ship action of the age of sail was fought between the American frigate USS Chesapeake and the British frigate HMS Shannon during the War of 1812. In an engagement that lasted less than 15 minutes, the British lost 23 killed and 56 wounded, while the Americans lost 48 killed and 99 wounded. Between the wounded of the ships' two companies, another 23 died of their wounds in the two weeks following the action.
During the court-martial that followed the capture of USS Chesapeake by HMS Shannon, Midshipman William Sitgreaves Cox, the junior-most officer on the Chesapeake, was charged with cowardice, disobedience of orders, desertion from quarters, neglect of duty, and unofficerlike conduct. He had taken the injured captain below-deck during the battle and could not regain the deck when the British boarded the Chesapeake.
In the end, Mr. Cox was only convicted of unofficerlike conduct, and neglect of duty for leaving the deck when he knew, or should have known, that a boarding action was imminent, since every other officer above him was either injured or out-of-action and Cox was technically in command of Chesapeake.
Cox's family tried for nearly 140 years to exonerate his name. Finally, in 1952, Cox's great grandson, succeeded in bringing the matter to the attention of the House Armed Services Committee which reviewed the historical facts of the case and recommended his reinstatement.