Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Scorpion II (Sch)

(Sch.: t. 86; l. 62'; b. 17'; dr. 5'; cpl. 35; a. 1 long 32-pdr., 1 32-pdr. car.)

An order of arachnids having an elongated body and a narrow segmented tail bearing a venomous sting at the tip.

II

The second Scorpion was launched in the spring of 1813, at Presque Isle, (now Erie), Pa., probably by Noah Brown of New York, for service on the upper Great Lakes during the War of 1812.

Scorpion, commanded by Sailing Master Stephen Champlin, first cousin to Oliver H. Perry, operated with Commodore Perry's squadron on Lake Erie during the summer and fall of 1813.

On 10 September 1813, she participated in the battle off Put-in-Bay, Lake Erie, which resulted in the defeat and capture of the British fleet. The Scorpion had the distinction of firing the first and last shot in the battle in which she lost two men. At the close of the action, she and Trippe pursued and captured the fleeing British schooner, Chippeway, and the sloop, Little Belt.

After Perry's historic victory, the schooner assisted General William Henry Harrison's forces operating in the Thames River area, by transporting troops as well as stores and ammunition captured from the enemy.

During the winter of 1813 and 1814, she was laid up at Erie, Pa. From May 1814 to September 1814, the schooner cruised on Lakes Erie and Huron, cooperating with the army in the Detroit area by transporting troops, staking out the flats through the St. Clair River, and blockading the enemy at the Nottawasaga River and Lake Simcoe.

On 6 September 1814, while on blockade duty on Lake Huron, Scorpion, under command of Midshipman Henry E. Turner, was surprised and captured by the former American schooner, Tigress, which also had been taken by the British a few days earlier. Both vessels and prisoners were taken to Mackinac.

Scorpion was subsequently taken into the British Navy as the 4-gun schooner, Confiance, which along with Tigress, according to local legend, was later sunk in Georgian Bay, Lake Huron, off Penetanguishene, Ontario.

Published: Tue Sep 08 07:38:38 EDT 2015