French frigate Harmonie (1796)
|Laid down:||May 1794 |
|Launched:||early 1796 |
|Completed:||May 1796 |
|Fate:||Beached and burnt to avoid capture by the British Navy in April 1797|
|Class and type:||Virginie class frigate|
|Displacement:||720 tons (French)|
|Length:||47.4 m (156 ft)|
|Beam:||11.9 m (39 ft)|
|Draught:||5.5 m (18 ft)|
On 7 June 1796, Harmonie departed Rochefort to ferry weapons and ammunition to Cap-Français, under Captain Joshua Barney.[Note 1] She then cruised in the Caribbean between Havana and Chesapeake Bay, returning to Cap-Français on 17 October. Lieutenant Simon Billiette took command of Harmonie on 19 August 1796; he was promoted to Commander on 22 September.[Note 2]
In April 1797, Harmonie was ordered to escort a convoy of merchantmen waiting in Jean-Rabel. She departed Cap Français but on 16 April the ships of the line HMS Thunderer and HMS Valiant intercepted her. In the ensuing Battle of Jean-Rabel, Harmonie sought refugee in the shallow waters off le Marigot, and the ships of the line departed after firing on her with little effect for several hours. The next day, however, the ships returned, and the crew of Harmonie, seeing her hopelessly cornered, scuttled her by fire. Billiette sustained two wounds at the left leg.
On 20 April, the British ships captured most of the convoy that Harmonie had been tasked to escort. Billiette was court-martialled for the destruction of his frigate, and on 26 April 1798 found innocent of the loss of the ship.
Notes, citations, and references
- Barney was an American naval officer in both the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Between 1796 and 1802 he served in the French Navy.
- Billiette was also called "Billiet" (Quintin, p.69)
- Roche, p.237
- Demerliac, p.69, no 373
- Fonds Marine, p.153
- Fonds Marine, p.178.
- Quintin, p.70
- Troude, p.64
- Troude, p.65
- Fonds Marine, p.192
- Demerliac, Alain (2004). La Marine de la Révolution: Nomenclature des Navires Français de 1792 A 1799 (in French). Éditions Ancre. ISBN 2-906381-24-1.
- "Fonds Marine. Campagnes (opérations ; divisions et stations navales ; missions diverses). Inventaire de la sous-série Marine BB4. Tome premier : BB4 1 à 482 (1790-1826)" (PDF). http://www.servicehistorique.sga.defense.gouv.fr. Service historique du Ministère de la Défense. Retrieved 6 May 2013. External link in
|website=(help)[permanent dead link]
- Quintin, Danielle; Quintin, Bernard (2003). Dictionnaire des capitaines de Vaisseau de Napoléon (in French). S.P.M. ISBN 2-901952-42-9.
- Roche, Jean-Michel (2005). Dictionnaire des bâtiments de la flotte de guerre française de Colbert à nos jours. 1. Group Retozel-Maury Millau. ISBN 978-2-9525917-0-6. OCLC 165892922. (1671-1870)
- Troude, Onésime-Joachim (1867). Batailles navales de la France (in French). 3. Challamel ainé.