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Three Privateers Affect Sir George Collier’s Pocketbook





Three Privateers Capture the British Privateer Revenge
[5] June 1779



Massachusetts Privateer Ship Cadwallader was a large vessel under Commander Henry Johnson  of Boston, Massachusetts. She carried fourteen guns and a crew of sixty men.1 Cadwallader probably sailed about mid-May 1779, perhaps in company with New Hampshire Privateer Ship Minerva (Commander John Grimes) and Massachusetts Privateer Ship Charming Sally (Commander Alexander Holmes).2 Charming Sally was a 300 ton ship with eighteen guns and a crew of seventy men;3 Minerva mounted twenty guns and had a crew of fifty men.4


About early June 1779 these three fell in with the British Privateer Ship Revenge (Sheppard), mounting twenty-four (or twenty-six) guns, along with assorted swivels and cohorns. Her principal owner was Sir George Collier, the British naval commander there. Revenge had sailed from Halifax twelve days before and had already captured one small American privateer brig. Revenge was the former Rhode Island Privateer Ship Blaze Castle.5 The Americans out-gunned the British privateer fifty-two to twenty-four.


The three American privateers ganged up on the Revenge, which put up a very stout resistance. A two hour fight followed before Sheppard surrendered, with his ship “much shattered” and five men killed and several wounded. The Charming Sally was in the principal action and had one man killed and three wounded, including Holmes. The prize was sent into Boston, where she arrived on 10 June.6


Summary Table

Vessel

Tons

Guns

Broadside

Men

Killed

%

Wounded

%

Total

%

Charming Sally

300

18

70

1

3

4

Minerva

20

50

Cadwallader

14

60

Revenge

360

24

5

[5]

[10]

Time: 2 hours



1 Allen, Massachusetts Privateers of the Revolution, 90

2 The Pennsylvania Packet or the General Advertiser [Philadelphia], Tuesday, June 29, 1779, datelined Boston, June 14; The Norwich Packet and the Weekly Advertiser, Tuesday, June 22, 1779,  datelined Boston, June 17; The Massachusetts Spy: Or, American Oracle of Liberty [Boston], Thursday, June 17, 1779; The Independent Ledger, and the American Advertiser [Boston], Monday, June 14, 1779

3 Allen, Massachusetts Privateers of the Revolution, 98

4 Claghorn, Naval Officers of the American Revolution, 130

5 The Pennsylvania Packet or the General Advertiser [Philadelphia], Tuesday, June 29, 1779, datelined Boston, June 14; The Norwich Packet and the Weekly Advertiser, Tuesday, June 22, 1779,  datelined Boston, June 17; The Massachusetts Spy: Or, American Oracle of Liberty [Boston], Thursday, June 17, 1779; The Independent Ledger, and the American Advertiser [Boston], Monday, June 14, 1779

6 The Pennsylvania Packet or the General Advertiser [Philadelphia], Tuesday, June 29, 1779, datelined Boston, June 14; The Norwich Packet and the Weekly Advertiser, Tuesday, June 22, 1779,  datelined Boston, June 17; The Massachusetts Spy: Or, American Oracle of Liberty [Boston], Thursday, June 17, 1779; The Independent Ledger, and the American Advertiser [Boston], Monday, June 14, 1779


Posted 30 January 2009 © awiatsea.com