(Brig: tonnage 278; armament 14 guns)
Rattlesnake, built as a privateer in Medford, Mass., was purchased by the Navy, at Medford, in 1813. She sailed from Portsmouth, N.H., 10 January 1814, under the command of Master Commandant John O. Creighton, and, leagued with Enterprise, cruised the Caribbean. The two ships took three prizes prior to their separation - forced by a more heavily gunned British ship - on 25 February.
Rattlesnake, fleeing back to more friendly waters, put into Wilmington, N.C., 9 March, but was soon back at sea. Operations in northern waters followed, but were terminated on 22 June when the brig, under the command of Lt. James Renshaw, was captured by the 50 gun, British frigate Leander. The brig had jettisoned all but two of her guns during the long pursuit which preceded her capture off Cape Sable, the southern point of the island of the same name which lies off Nova Scotia. Poor weather, however, negated that possible slight gain in speed and gave the advantage to the heavier frigate.
23 September 2005