US Wasp Captures 10 British Ships

In June, 1814, the USS "Wasp" engages British ships off the coast of England. In the course of June, the "Wasp" captures ten ships. The cruise ends when the "Wasp" defeats the HMS "Reindeer" in a devastating fight.


The USS Was captured her first vessel, the 207-ton bark Neptune, on 2 June 1814. Eleven days later, she took William, a 91-ton brig, and burned her. Wasp encountered the 131-ton, armed brig, Pallas, on the 18th and captured her—apparently without resistance—and scuttled her. Her fourth victim— which she took on the 23d—-the 171-ton galiot Henrietta, was given up to the prisoners she had thus far taken. Three days later, she captured and scuttled the 325-ton ship Orange Boven.


On 28 June, she came upon the 21-gun sloop-of-war Reindeer some 225 miles west of Plymouth and brought her to battle. The fight lasted only 19 minutes; but, during that brief span of time, the two ships traded a murderous fire of grape and solid shot. Several times, Reindeer's crew tried to board Wasp; but the American crew repulsed them on each occasion. In the end, Wasp's own ship's company boarded Reindeer and carried the day. Wasp suffered six hits in her hull, and some of her rigging was shot away, but she remained sailable. After taking prisoners on board, setting fire to Reindeer, and watching her explode, Wasp set course for L'Orient, France. En route, she took two more prizes, the 112-ton brig Regulator on Independence Day and the 151-ton schooner Jenny two days later.