Skip to main content

USS Constitution vs HMS Guerriere

The British ship is nearly demasted and burning as the US ship continues to fire its cannons
Description: Painting, Oil on Canvas; By Anton Otto Fischer; C.1960; Unframed Dimensions 24H X 34W
Accession #: 60-362-C
Related Content

Shortly after the War of 1812 broke out, USS Constitution did battle with HMS Guerriere off the coast of the United States.  Guerriere opened fire upon Constitution upon entering range, but Constitution held back until the ship was within a range of 25 yards.  Over the course of the battle, the ships collided and became entangled.  When the two ships pulled apart, the force of the extracting bowsprit sent shockwaves through Guerriere's rigging. Her foremast soon collapsed and brought the mainmast down as well.  After losing the masts and being badly damaged, the British ship surrendered.  Guerriere was too badly damaged to salvage and was burned the following day.  This is the battle that earned Constitution the nickname “Old Ironsides”.  Several shots from the British seemed to bounce off the hull of Constitution and a sailor reported exclaimed “Huzzah! Her sides are made of iron!” 

Document Type
  • Art
Wars & Conflicts
  • War of 1812 1812-1815
File Formats
  • Image (gif, jpg, tiff)
Location of Archival Materials
  • NHHC