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Providence vs Diligent

7th May 1779
Part of : The American War of Independence (1775/04/19 - 1784/01/14)
Previous action : Action of March 7 1779 7.3.1779
Next action : Action in Cancale Bay 13.5.1779

 

United States of America

 
Unknown Division
Ship NameCommanderNotes
 
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Providence (12) 1775-1779
American 12 Gun
Unrated Sloop
Hoysteed HackerAmerican
Naval Sailor
Service 1745-1845
4 Killed, 10 wounded
 

Great Britain

 
Unknown Division
Ship NameCommanderNotes
 
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Diligent (12) 1777-1779
British 12 Gun
Unrated Sloop
Thomas WalbeoffBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1776-1783
11 killed, 19 wounded Captured
 

Notes on Action


Description of the ActionB037

Early in April the Providence was ordered to make a short cruise in Massachusetts Bay and along the coast of Maine in company with the frigate Boston. Later she was sent south of Cape Cod. May 7, at nine
o clock in the morning, while cruising off Sandy Hook, the Providence, now commanded by Captain Hacker, was seen from the British brig Diligent, whose captain, testifying at his court martial, says that about noon, " as soon as I had taken measures for fighting him on the Larboard side, the side his Boom was of, he Gibed & luffed across." The Diligent luffed and received two broadsides and two volleys of musketry before returning the fire of the Providence. " Not an officer except myself unhurt, being deserted by the remains of my Crew except seven, five of them wounded, . . . Masts, Rigging & Hull cut all to pieces," was forced to surrender to the Providence. The Diligent carried twelve three-pounders and fifty-four men; the Providence, according to this English captain, six six-pounders, six fours, two twos, and eighty-three men. The Americans lost four killed and ten wounded; the British, eleven killed and nineteen wounded.


The Diligent was taken into the Continental naval service


Description of the ActionTRN4
On May 7th the British brig Diligent, 12, Lieut. Thomas Walbeoff, fought a most desperate action with the United States' brig Providence, 14, Captain Hacker. The contest was a very unequal one, as the Diligent's guns were all 3-prs., whilst the Providence carried six 6-prs., six 4-prs., and two 2-prs. The British crew was only fifty-three; the American, eighty-three. The Diligent cleared for action only on her larboard side and was attacked by her enemy on her starboard side; her timbers were so thin that musket shot came through; she lay very low in the water, and the seas washed on to her deck. When they realised the heavy odds against them, thirteen or fourteen of her crew skulked and went below. None the less the heroic Walbeoff held out for three hours, when, with every officer but himself disabled, and with eleven dead and nineteen wounded, he struck. The Providence's sides were proof to grape, yet she lost fourteen, of whom eleven were killed or died of their wounds.


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