Oliver Cromwell vs Beaver

19th May 1777
Fought at : Saint Lucia - Windward Islands
Part of : The American War of Independence (1775/04/19 - 1784/01/14)
Previous action : Occupation of Rhode Island 6.12.1776 - 8.12.1776
Next action : Action of 7th June 1777 7.6.1777

 

United States of America

 
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Oliver Cromwell (24) Harman Courter Captured 15 killed, 20 wounded
 

Great Britain

 
Ship NameCommanderNotes
Beaver (14) James Jones (d.1780) 0 killed, 3 wounded
 

Notes on Action


Description of the actionW027
The American was to windward, northwest of the island. When Beaver fired a shot to bring her to, Courter turned Oliver Cromwell and bore directly down toward Beaver. When within range Courter hoisted American colors and fired a broadside into the British. The two vessels then ranged side by side, running down toward St. Lucia, and waged a hot but short fight, using great guns and musketry. Jones had a narrow escape, taking a musket ball through his coat which grazed the skin. After forty-five minutes the Oliver Cromwell struck, only two miles off St. Lucia. Her marksmanship had been terrible, and that of the British had been superb: Beaver had three men wounded; Oliver Cromwell had thirteen29 or fifteen killed and twenty wounded, out of a crew of 125. Courter later stated he lost thirty-one killed and more than twenty wounded. By noon the British had sent over a prize crew, put a lieutenant and a mate aboard, received the American officers aboard the Beaver, repaired the damage to Oliver Cromwell’s rigging, and made sail. Courter’s sickly crew and the action of the men from the prizes was blamed for the loss. The men from the prizes had reportedly urged Courter to fight, then ran below when the Beaver got alongside.

Sources


IDNameAuthorType
W027American War of Independence at SeaKen Kellow, Web Site

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