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Online Library of Selected Images -- Picture Data

Photo #: NH 42074 (extended caption)

USS Hornet pursued by HMS Cornwallis, 28 April 1815

Artwork depicting the British 74 gun ship Cornwallis (at left) chasing the U.S. sloop of war Hornet in the South Atlantic, as the latter's crew throws overboard spare spars, guns and other items in an effort to increase her speed.
The text under the image is reproduced below.

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

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 120KB; 740 x 595 pixels


The following text is provided on the original artwork:

"Cornwallis ... Hornet"
"April 28 1815"

"At daylight in latitude 30 (degrees) South, longitude 34 (degrees) West, the United States ship-sloops Peacock and Hornet, cruising in company, bore down upon, in order to capture as an Indiaman, the British 74 gun-ship Cornwallis, Captain John Bayley, bearing the flag of Rear Admiral Sir George Burltan K.C.B. The mistake was soon discovered and a chase commenced, during which the Peacock separated to the Eastward. In the afternoon the Cornwallis, when gaining fast upon the Hornet, had to heave and lower a boat for a marine that had fallen overboard. This delay aided by the unskillful firing of the Cornwallis on the following day saved the Hornet but the chase continued until 9 a.m. on the 30th when the 74 finding further pursuit useless, shortened sail. The chase however rendered the Hornet useless as a cruiser. She hove overboard guns, muskets, cutlasses, forge, bell, anchors, cables, shot, boats, spar spars and a considerable portion of her ballast, and was of course obliged to steer straight for the United States."

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4 April 2003