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Scammel

 

Alexander Scammell, born in 1747 at what is now Milford, Mass., was commissioned a Major in the New Hampshire militia in April 1775, almost immediately after the War for American Independence began at Lexington and Concord. He served in the siege of Boston on the staff of Gen. John Sullivan and in the defense of Long Island and Manhattan. He fought at Fort Ticonderoga and at Saratoga and became Adjutant-General of the Continental Army on 5 January 1778. He resigned this office on 1 January 1781 to take command of the 1st New Hampshire Regiment. Scammell was mortally wounded and captured at Yorktown, Va., on 30 September 1781 and died while a prisoner on 6 October 1781.

 

Scammel, a misspelling of Scammell, retained her Revenue Cutter Service name during her naval service.

 

(R.C.: t. 187; l. 58' (keel); b. 20'; dph. 9'6"; cpl. 34; a. 14 6-pdrs.)

 

Scammel, a schooner built at Portsmouth, N.H., for the Revenue Cutter Service, was launched on or shortly before 17 September 1798.

 

French privateers were then preying upon American merchant shipping and seriously hurting the new na tion's growing foreign commerce. To stop this unlawful interference with its rights on the high seas, the United States reestablished its Navy which had been inactive since the close of the War of Independence. To meet the Navy's immediate need for ships, several new revenue cutters, including Scammel, were placed under orders of the Navy Department.

 

Scammel, commanded by Capt. John Adams, USRCS, departed Portsmouth early in February 1799 and, in company with frigate, Portsmouth, proceeded to the West Indies. At Prince Rupert Bay, Dominica, on the 20th, she joined a squadron commanded by Commodore John Barry. He promptly sent her to Surinam to assist several American merchantmen reported to be blockaded there by French privateers; but, en route, the cutter encountered a severe storm which sprang her bowsprit and disabled her generally. Capt. McNeill, of frigate, Portsmouth, took 20 of the cutter's hands and sent her back to Prince Rupert manned by only a skeleton crew. When her repairs were completed, Scammel sailed to St. Pierre to convoy merchant ships at that port back to Prince Rupert.

 

This mission completed by mid-March, she sailed on the 18th with Herald to learn of conditions on the northern coast of South America. After cruising along the Spanish main, Scammel sailed back through the Lesser Antilles and returned to Philadelphia in May.

 

There she was transferred to the Navy on the 20th. Rerigged as a bark and commanded by Lt. Mark Fer-nald, the ship sailed for Surinam on 12 July. She joined Portsmouth there late in the month and blockaded the French 20-gun ship, Huzzar, in the Surinam River until the privateer surrendered early in August. Soon after, a large British fleet arrived and captured the Dutch colony of Surinam.

 

In September, Scammel returned to the United States bearing dispatches but sailed back to the West Indies the next month. Frequently thereafter, the brig was used to escort merchantmen and to carry dispatches between the United States and the Caribbean. In April 1800, she captured a vessel identified only by her name, Felix.

 

On 5 June 1801, Scammel returned to Baltimore and was placed out of service. She was sold there on 20 June 1801 to Conrad Eiselen and John Stedman Harne of New Hampshire.