18 DECEMBER 1814 - 16 MAY 1815


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HMS Cyane, USS Constitution,
and HMS Levant after the battle


18 Dec 1814 [Sunday] Sailed from Boston.
24 Dec 1814 0800 In chase -- 1000 prized British brig LORD NELSON -- 1200 in search of rest of St. Johns convoy of LORD NELSON -- Lat. 32-35N, Long. 58-46W.
25 Dec 1814 Took stores needed (slops, pork, gin, wine, dry goods) out of LORD NELSON -- took brig in tow -- 1500 Lieutenant Taylor sent aboard to cut away mast; misunderstood orders and scuttled -- still looking for convoy -- Lat. 33-32N, Long. 59-16W.
28 Dec 1814 Berthed 20 sick on gun deck.
29 Dec 1814 Exercised at general quarters.
31 Dec 1814 1730 Hove to a Spanish brig -- Lat. 27-20N, Long. 62W.
3 Jan 1815 Still trying to catch convoy before it reaches Barbadoes -- gave over chase at night -- Lat. 24-35N, Long. 65-6W.
4 Jan 1815 Exercised at general quarters.
7 Jan 1815 0800 In chase -- 1730 American schooner -- Lat. 24-23N, Long. 64-28W.
9 Jan 1815 Heavy sea on beam, ship very wet on gun and berth decks; housed topgallant masts.
10 Jan 1815 Seas heavy and ship uncomfortably wet -- Lat. 24-27N, Long. 57-49W.
13 Jan 1815 "The ship reeling along and very wet on her decks..."
14 Jan 1815 Good weather at last -- Lat. 24-41N, Long. 43-38W.
15 Jan 1815 Mustered the crew and read the Articles of War.
16 Jan 1815 Some guns lost tompions and shot due to heavy rolling, as inspection found.
17 Jan 1815 0700 In chase -- 1330 William Herrington fell overboard from the fore chains; gave up chase to rescue him -- Lat. 22-29N, Long. 40W.
20 Jan 1815 Exercised at general quarters -- Lat. 26-21N, Long. 36-26W.
21 Jan 1815 0830 In chase -- 1000 Portuguese -- 1430 in chase -- 2030 French brig -- Lat. 27-2N, Long. 36-9W.
22 Jan 1815 Read Articles of War again -- exercised at general quarters.
24 Jan 1815 Hove to French brig CASSIMERE -- sent LORD NELSON prisoners in her.
25 Jan 1815 Chased and boarded a Portuguese brig.
29-31 Jan 1815 Fresh gales -- turned northward on 31st.
2 Feb 1815 Exercised at general quarters.
4 Feb 1815 0715 In chase -- little wind -- 1500 Portuguese -- squally.
6 Feb 1815 At daylight headed E -- exercised at general quarters -- Lt. 41-25N, Long. ?.
8 Feb 1815 "At 7h. 30m. spoke and boarded the barque Julia under Hamburgh colours from Cork bound to Lisbon out 15 days, informed us that the news at Cork when they left was, that peace had been signed at Ghent between the British and American Commissioners..." -- 1200 in chase -- 1600 sent a boat to a Russian brig from Kinsale -- "Two American masters of vessels, passengers, came on board and brought papers which confirmed the report of peace having been concluded..." -- Lat. 42-52N, Long. 9-8W.
10 Feb 1815 0900 In chase -- a Swede -- 1200 15 miles off Cape Finisterre.
12 Feb 1815 Squally -- 1600 what appeared to be a frigate on the weather beam -- 1615 contact athwart the stern; wore in chase -- cleared for action -- 1900 beat to quarters – 2000 ranged alongside and hailed; no answer -- heavy sea, rolling guns under -- fired 1 carronade over and hailed -- Portuguese frigate AMAZON -- secured from quarters.
15 Feb 1815 1400 In chase -- lost at night.
16 Feb 1815 At daylight saw 1 sail ahead and 1 on starboard quarter; chased latter -- saw Rock of Lisbon -- 0730 chase Portuguese -- chased other one; looked like a privateer -- 0900 saw another ship, shifted chase – 1400 prized British ship SUSANNA, hides and tallow -- took out prisoners and took in tow.
17 Feb 1815 0600 Dropped tow; in chase -- 0900 identified as Portuguese -- took 2 bales of vicuna wool and 4 of "neutre" skins from SUSANNA.
18 Feb 1815 SUSANNA in tow again; provisioned her for passage to US.
19 Feb 1815 At daylight dropped tow in chase -- 0800 identified Russian ship JOSEF -- in chase again -- 0930 seen as Portuguese -- 1800 sent SUSANNA to US -- Lat. 33-44N, Long. 14-39W.
20 Feb 1815 "First part moderate breezes and cloudy with a little haze. At 1 P.M. a sail in sight to the Sd & Wd. hauled [sic] up for her and gave chase, Set topsails, &c. At 1.15 made her out a large ship- 1.30 discovered another ship to the westward of her both standing close hauled towards us under a press of Sail with their starboard tacks on board. At 3 the weather ship made Signals, at 4 she bore up making signals to the ship to leeward and firing guns;- bore up after her and crowded all sail in chase, set lower, topmast, topgallant, and royal studding sails. At 4.15 the lee ship tacked to the Southward. At 4.30 carried away our Main royal mast. At 5 fired on the chase from the first gun 1st division and the chase gun on the Forecastle, our shot falling short ceased firing; the lee ship tacked to the Northd. At 5.40 they closed, passed within hail of each other, shortened sail, hauled up their courses, and appeared to be making preparations to receive us. At 5.45 they set staysails, hauled aboard their tacks and endeavoured to outwind us- 5.55 they shortened sail and formed on a line of wind at half a cables length from each other- At 6 sent up our colours they hoisting at the same time red English Ensigns- At 6.5 ranged within 300 yards upon the starboard side of the Sternmost ship and invited the action by firing a shot between the two which immediately commenced with an exchange of broadsides-- in about 15 minutes their fire became slack, ordered our batteries to cease firing until the smoke cleared away; finding ourselves abreast of the headmost ship gave her our broadside, backed the after yards, and closed with the sternmost ship under cover of the Smoke;- the action was renewed with additional vivacity on both sides and continuous until 6h. 35m. when their fire again slackened, and we discovered the headmost ship bearing up filled our after sails, shot ahead, and gave her two broadsides into her stern; the sternmost ship was then discovered to be wearing, wore short round after her, she luffed to on our starboard bow and fired her larboard broadsides, luffed to on her larboard quarter within 50 yards, when she struck her colours, hoisted a light, fired a lee gun and yielded. At 6h. 50m. took possession of His Britannic Majesty's Ship Cyane Captain Gordon Falcon, mounting 34 carriage guns and two Swivels, got out all the officers, put fifteen marines over her prisoners, and gave her in charge to Lieut. Hoffman with a small crew. At 7.45 filled away after her consort and at 8 discovered her with damages repaired and topgallant sails set standing towards us - at 8h. 40m. passed on opposite tacks within 50 yards to windward of her, exchanged broadsides, wore under her stern and raked her, she made all sail and commenced running; set the courses, Spanker & flying Jib in chase- at 9.30 opened a fire upon her from our chase guns:- At 10 finding escape impossible she fired a gun to leeward and yielded,-- took possession of His Majesty's Ship Levant, Honble George Douglass, Captain, mounting 21 carriage guns. At 11 all hands employed repairing damages, securing the prisoners &c. &c." -- CONSTITUTION had 4 (or 6) killed and 12 wounded -- Lat. 33-49N, Long. 18-4W.
21 Feb 1815 "At 1 A.M. the ship was put in good fighting condition." -- "All hands employed repairing sails, rigging &c &c received on board some of the Prisoners and their baggage. Carpenters employed fishing the Spars of the Cyane and Levant." -- "Lieutenant Ballard put in command of the Levant."
22 Feb 1815 Searched for articles reported lost by prisoners.
23 Feb 1815 0800 Took out LEVANT's mizzen mast, floated it to CONSTITUTION, cut it off at the hounds, scarphed and hooped it, fitted the trestletrees, and returned it to LEVANT.
24 Feb 1815 Again searched for missing articles without success -- prisoners' baggage locked in an empty bread room.
25 Feb 1815 "The prisoners orderly except some of the British Officers of whom this ship's ward room officers complained, that they did not conduct themselves, below, like gentlemen, being in their language indecent, vulgar, and abusive to each other."
26 Feb 1815 Read General Orders to crew and prisoners alike.
27 Feb 1815 Mr. Humphreys appointed Purser of LEVANT.
28 Feb 1815 Captain Stewart and Falcon visited CYANE -- wounded doing well, as were repairs -- heading for Cape Verde Islands.
2 Mar 1815 Another search: nothing -- "It appeared that after the ships struck their colours that their men broke into the Spirit and Slop rooms, and Officers apartments, and pillaged all they could. Found much new Slop clothing among their men which their Officers affirmed had been served out to them the day prior to the action, but when they were shown that they had no numbers on it was admitted they could not have been served out but were plundered..."
4 Mar 1815 Put ships in broad scouting line for early warning.
6 Mar 1815 Thick fog -- ships together – LEVANT reported land at 1600 -- poor wind.
8 Mar 1815 1700 Arrived at Maio Island.
9 Mar 1815 1500 Sailed in heavy fog.
10 Mar 1815 1100 Arrived at Porto Praya -- 1600 landing prisoners -- Captains Douglas and Falcon sent ashore to arrange cartel; returned with most details arranged -- 2 British officers and 12 men sent to insure British brig in harbor stayed for them.
11 Mar 1815 0800 Douglas and Falcon ashore again -- 1200 returned -- 1205 saw large ship in fog -- 1208 saw 2 more: British! -- 1212 sailed -- Portuguese forts opened fire -- enemy in chase -- looked like 2 liners and a frigate -- 1230 cut away boats towing astern (1st cutter and gig) -- 1310 CYANE ordered away -- 1512 LEVANT ordered away and chased by all of enemy -- "This sacrifice of the Levant became necessary for the preservation of the Constitution..." -- Sailing Master Hixon, Midshipman Varnum, and 13 sailors had been left in Porto Praya -- Surgeon's Mate Johnson and the Sailmaker were lost in LEVANT with others -- Lat. 12-46N, Long. 21-41W.
12 Mar 1815 Heading W to gain track of British coming from S; looking for HMS INCONSTANT, which, according to a letter found in SUSANNA, was bringing bullion from Rio de la Plata -- Lat. 11-41N, Long. 24-41W.
15 Mar 1815 Purser Pottinger mentioned -- exercised at general quarters -- Lat. 10-22N, Long. 29-7W.
16 Mar 1815 Allowed more exercise to prisoners: 1/3 on spar deck in AM, 1/3 in PM, 1/3 on berth deck until 1800; rotated at 1200 -- all in hold at night.
17 Mar 1815 Exercised at general quarters -- Lat. 9-9N, Long. 33-31W.
18 Mar 1815 All prisoners bathed in channel tubs.
19 Mar 1815 Exercised at general quarters.
21 Mar 1815 1700 In chase -- gave over at nightfall -- Lat. 1-9N, Long. 36-44W.
23 Mar 1845 Crossed the Equator in the afternoon.
24 Mar 1815 "Much bathing and washing throughout the ship. The Prisoners kept above decks as much as possible" -- Lat. 1-26S, Long. 37-13W.
25 Mar 1815 Exercised at general quarters -- "North of the line."
26 Mar 1815 0700 Sighted Cape San Roque.
30 Mar 1815 0600 Only 9000 gallons of water remaining -- heading for Maranham.
2 Apr 1815 1500 Arrived at Maranham -- Lieutenant Hunter mentioned -- no certain peace news -- British merchant would not trade.
4 Apr 1815 0800 Began offloading prisoners -- "...ordered them to be taken out of irons..." -- Lieutenant Shubrick mentioned -- another search for prisoner possessions; British officers included in search parties: nothing.
9 Apr 1815 Doctor Kearney mentioned.
13 Apr 1815 0900 Sailed, then reanchored due to adverse wind and tide.
15 Apr 1815 0600 Sailed -- exercised at general quarters.
16 Apr 1815 Exercised at general quarters.
17 Apr 1815 Exercised at general quarters.
21 Apr 1815 Exercised at general quarters.
23 Apr 1815 Studdingsails out.
24 Apr 1815 Exercised at general quarters.
25 Apr 1815 Studdingsails in and out -- 0500 in chase -- 0830 when 4 miles on contact's weather beam, saw she was 2-decker -- 0930 found foretopmast badly sprung -- two sides stayed apart -- got up new foretopmast.
27 Apr 1815 Saw St. John's and Portola Islands between SE and SSW -- 0800 Saw St. Thomas.
28 Apr 1815 0900 Sent Lieutenant Hunter in to San Juan, Puerto Rico, " make inquiries and obtain information relative to our national affairs..." -- 1700 Hunter back with confirmation of peace ratification.
29 Apr 1815 1100 Filled away.
1 May 1815 Exercised at general quarters.
4 May 1815 Painting sides.
11 May 1815 Saw land N of Cape Hatteras.
14 May 1815 1900 Anchored off Sandy Hook.
15 May 1815 Stewart sent off his reports.
16 May 1815 Arrived off the Battery, New York City -- fired 15-gun salute.

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