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Nettle

 

Any species of genus Urtica, annual or perennial plants, commonly weedy and with inconspicuous flowers and small stinging hairs containing formic acid, capable of producing a burn.

 

I

 

(GY: t. 70; l. 75’; b. 15’; dph. 4’; cpl. 41; a. 1 24–pdr., 1 18–pdr.)

 

The first Nettle, a two-gun galley built by Adam and Noah Brown, Vergennes, Vermont, was launched in June 1814.

 

Placed in service the same month, Midshipman Samuel L. Breese in command, she joined Commodore Thomas Macdonough’s squadron, built in response to accelerated British naval growth on Lake Champlain. On guard against British activity on the Lake throughout the summer, Nettle was at Plattsburgh, New York when the English squadron under Captain George Downie, R.N., attacked that place, 11 September 1814. Macdonough’s squadron anchored in the bay and fought a fierce battle with the British ships. Nettle and the other nine row gunboats got underway with their sweeps and harried the British ships. The American squadron won a decisive victory in the two and one-half hour engagement, capturing four large prizes, including frigate Confiance, and forcing the British to abandon plans for an overland march, thrusting into the United States from Canada.

 

Following the battle, Nettle, with her sister galleys and Lake Champlain prizes was dismantled and laid up at Whitehall, New York. She was sold in 1825.