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Online Library of Selected Images -- Picture Data

Photo #: NH 42073 (extended caption)

Action between USS Hornet and HMS Peacock, 24 February 1813

Artwork depicting Peacock's mainmast collapsing at the close of the engagement.
The text under the image is reproduced below.

Courtesy of Mr. Beverly R. Robinson, March 1937.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 138KB; 740 x 615 pixels


The following text is provided on the original artwork:

"Hornet and Peacock"
"February 24 1813"

"At 3.30 p.m. while beating round Caroband bank, the Hornet discovered a sail on her weather quarter bearing down for her. This was the British brig-sloop Peacock of 16 24 pdr. carronades and 2 sixes, Captain William Peake, who had only sailed from Demerara at 10 a.m. At 4.20 Peacock hoisted her colours and 5.10 having kept close to the wind to weather the Peacock, the Hornet tacked for that purpose and hoisted her colours. At 5.25 pm the ship and brig exchanged broadsides, within half pistol shot. The Peacock then wore to renew the action on the other tack, the Hornet quickly bearing up, received Peacock's starboard broadside, then ran the latter close aboard on the starboard quarter. The Hornet then poured in so heavy and well directed fire, that at 5.50, having had her commander killed, and being with six feet of water in the hold, and cut to pieces in hull and masts, the Peacock hoisted from her fore-rigging an ensign, union down as a signal of distress. Shortly afterwards her mainmast went by the board. Both Hornet and Peacock were immediately anchored, and every attempt made to save the latter, by throwing her guns overboard, by pumping and bailing her, and stopping such shot holes as could be got at; but all would not do, and in a very few minutes after she had anchored, Peacock went down in 5½ fathoms, with 13 of her men, four of whom afterwards got to the foretop and escaped, as well as 3 men belonging to the Hornet. An American lieutenant and midshipman, and the remainder of the Hornet's men on board the Peacock, with difficulty saved themselves by jumping, as the brig went down, into a boat which was lying on her booms. Four of the Peacock's men had just before taken to her stern boat, in which notwithstanding it was much damaged by shot, they arrived safely at Demerara."

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4 April 2003