Monday, December 27, 2004


"USS Carolina" burned and sunked in battle, December 27, 1814


Ship from The War of 1812.

The USS Carolina was built in Charleston, South Carolina in 1812 at a cost of $8,743.

She displaced 230 tons and was rated at 14 guns. She was 89 feet, 6 inches long on the deck, a beam of 24 feet, 4 inches, and a hold of 11 feet, 4 inches in depth.

Her original armament was twelve 12-pounder carronades and three long nine-pounders. However, other sources indicate that at New Orleans the Carolina mounted ten 6-pounders and two 12-pounders mounted on swivel bases, one each on the bow and stern.

Or, she may have had twelve 12-pounder carronades and two long 12-pounders. Her compliment was 70, all regular navy and mainly from New England.

The Carolina under the command of John D. Henley set sail for New Orleans, and while making making her passage, captured the British schooner Shark.

Arriving at New Orleans 23 August 1813, she began an active career of patrol directed against possible British action as well as the pirates which infested the Caribbean.

On 10 September 1814, Carolina attacked and destroyed the stronghold of the notorious Jean Lafitte on the island of Barataria.

Carolina, with the others of the small naval force in the area, carried out the series of operations which gave General Andrew Jackson time to prepare the defense of New Orleans when the British threatened the city in December 1814.

On 23 December, she dropped down the river to the British bivouac which she bombarded with so telling an effect as to make a material contribution to the eventual victory.

As the British stiffened their efforts to destroy the naval force and to take the city, Carolina came under heavy fire from enemy artillery on 27 December. The heated shot set her afire, and her crew was forced to abandon her.

Shortly after, she exploded. After loss of craft, the naval guns were mounted on shore to continue the fight.

More info here and here.

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