Named for: The name Boxer comes from His Majesty’s Brig Boxer (Captain Samuel Blyth), 14 guns, encountered and captured by the U.S. brig Enterprise (Lieutenant William Burrows), 12 guns, off Portland, Maine, on 5 September 1813.
Enterprise, patrolling the New England coast to “protect the coasting trade to the eastward which has been so much interrupted by small cruisers of the enemy,” was searching the bay around Pemaquid Point when she discovered a brig getting underway that appeared to be a vessel of war, and immediately gave chase. Boxer, however, fired several rounds, and stood for the fight. Lieutenant Burrows, having identified the stranger’s strength and enemy character, ordered Enterprise to stand out to allow room to maneuver. Boxer gave chase, following Enterprise into open waters. At 3:00 that afternoon, Enterprise shortened sail and ran down, intending to draw in her enemy. At twenty minutes past three o’clock that afternoon with the ships within half pistol shot, both ships opened their batteries. The first broadside proved costly to both vessels: Captain Blyth fell almost immediately when a shot struck nearby. Not long after, Lieutenant Burrows fell mortally wounded by a cannon shot to the chest. The fighting raged for over an hour, with both ships exchanging volleys and suffering great damage. By 4:00 p.m., Boxer was a complete wreck, all of her braces and rigging shot away, her main topmast and topgallant mast hanging over the side, fore and main masts virtually gone, three feet of water in her hold, and no surgeon to tend to her wounded. As Enterprise maneuvered for a raking position, Lieutenant McCrery, having assumed command, conferred with his officers and decided to hail Enterprise and concede the battle. The ensigns, having been nailed to the masts by Captain Blyth, could not be hauled down.
The U.S. Navy never put Boxer into service. Sold in Portland, Maine, she sailed from that port for many years as a merchantman.
(Sch: t. 194; l. 88' (gundeck); b. 23'6"; dr. 10'11"; a. 2 9-pdrs., 8 24-pdr. car.)
The second Boxer, a 10-gun schooner, was launched on 22 November 1831 by the Boston Navy Yard and commissioned sometime in 1832, Lt. Benjamin Payne in command.
In 1832 and 1833, she cruised the Brazil Station and, in 1834, moved north to the West Indies Station. In 1835, she began a two-year tour of duty on the Pacific Station. After a period laid up or undergoing repairs at some unspecified yard, she resumed duty on the Pacific Station from 1838 to 1840. Following two years apparently spent laid up, the schooner went to sea with the Home Squadron between 1842 and 1844. In 1846, the schooner was posted to the African Squadron, the primary mission of which was the suppression of the slave trade. That assignment lasted until the summer of 1848 when she returned to the United States. Boxer was sold at Philadelphia, Pa., on 7 August 1848.
Raymond A. Mann
15 December 2005