Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the U.S. Navy

Related Content

Continental galley Washington, 1776

The lateen-rigged, two-mast galley Washington was launched in autumn of 1776 at Skenesboro, New York.   Commanded by General Benedict Arnold's second in command, Brigadier General David Waterbury, she served during the six-hour Battle of Valcour Bay on October 11 which intercepted the British squadron's advance on Fort Ticonderoga.   Washington suffered the heaviest damage of any ship in General Arnold's fleet.  Waterbury stated, "...so torn to pieces that it was almost impossible to keep her above water."   Eventually captured by the British, the galley was taken into Royal Navy service.   Retaining the name of Washington, she was re-rigged as a brig, though her fate is unrecorded.   Despite this loss, the British advance was delayed until spring of 1777 where a stronger army awaited them, forcing a surrender at Saratoga.  

A model of the galley can be found in The American Revolution and the French Alliance section at the National Museum of the U.S. Navy.    

Image:  NH 92864:  "A Sketch of the New England Armed Vessels, in Valcure Bay on Lake Champlain as seen in the morning of October 11, 1776."  Artwork by C. Randle.  NHHC Photograph Collection.