Epervier vs Peacock

29th April 1814
Part of : The War of 1812 (1812 - 1814)
Previous action : Hornet vs Penguin 23.3.1814
Next action : Wasp vs Reindeer 28.6.1814


United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Epervier (16) Richard Wales8 killed, 13 Wounded Captured

United States of America

Ship NameCommanderNotes
Peacock (22) Lewis Warrington (1782-1851)2 wounded

Notes on Action


The Peacock, 22, Captain Lewis Warrington, sailed from New York on March 12th, 1814. On April 29th, in latitude 27 47' N., longitude' 80 7' W., he encountered a small convoy of merchantmen under the protection of the British 18-gun brig-sloop Epervier, Commander Richard Walter Wales. The Peacock had one hundred and sixty-six men in crew, and carried two long 12's and twenty 32-pr. carronades, like the rest of her class. The Epervier had one hundred and eighteen in crew, and carried sixteen 32-pr. and two 18-pr. carronades. In broadside force the difference was about five to four. However, Wales hauled up to engage, while the convoy made all sail away.

The Peacock came down with the wind nearly aft, while the Epervier stood toward her close hauled. At 10.20 A.M. they exchanged broadsides, each using the starboard battery. The Epervier then eased away, and the two vessels ran off side by side, the Englishman firing his port guns, while Warrington still used the starboard battery, aiming at the brig's hull. The Epervier did practically no damage whatsoever, while she was heavily punished by her adversary. Commander Wales's crew, moreover, showed a lack of courage such as was very unusual in the service, muttering sullenly that the American was too heavy for them. Half an hour after close action had begun most of the guns on the engaged side of the Epervier had been dismounted by the Peacock's shot, or owing to defective breeching-bolts, or carelessness in the handling; her hull had been struck forty-five times; her masts were badly wounded; there were five feet of water in her hold; twenty-three of her men were killed or wounded and she struck her colours. The Peacock had lost but two men, both slightly wounded; and there had been some trifling damage aloft; but her hull was not touched. In other words, the Epervier was cut to pieces, and the Peacock hardly scratched.

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