View Full Version : On This Day 31 July

07-30-2012, 23:28
On 31 July 1804 the 32-gun frigate HMS Tartar, under the command of Captain Keith Maxwell, sighted a schooner. Maxwell set off to prevent the schooner from entering the narrow and intricate channel between the island of Saona and San Domingo where it would be difficult for him to pursue. As Tartar got closer he saw that the schooner was using her sweeps to aid her. Her behaviour made Maxwell suspect that his quarry was a privateer so he pursued her until neither vessel could progress farther. At that point, Maxwell was unable to get Tartar into a position from which she could use her broadside. Instead, he sent in a cutting out party in three boats. As the boats set out, their quarry fired a gun, hoisted French colours, and then opened fire on the boats. The schooner was not able to deter the attack and the British captured her with no more casualties than two men wounded. The French lost nine killed and six wounded, as well as three missing, presumed drowned when they tried to swim to shore. Maxwell sent the wounded to San Domingo under flag of truce, but kept the other Frenchmen prisoners, there being no English prisoners available for exchange. The privateer was the Hirondelle, under the command of Captain La Place. She was armed with ten 4-pounder guns and had been out of San Domingo for two days. She had been active during the French Revolutionary Wars and for the past two years also, having frequently escaped pursuit due to her speed.

07-31-2012, 16:03
1815 - Commodore Stephen Decatur concludes agreement with Bey of Tunis to compensate U.S. for seizure of merchant ships during the War of 1812.