List of ships captured in the 19th century

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La Pomone contre les frégates HMS Alceste et Active, painted Pierre Julien Gilbert.

Throughout naval history during times of war battles, blockades, and other patrol missions would often result in the capture of enemy ships or those of a neutral country. If a ship proved to be a valuable prize efforts would sometimes be made to capture the vessel while inflicting the least amount of damage as was practically possible. Both military and merchant ships were captured, often renamed, and then used in the service of the capturing country's navy, or in many cases sold to private individuals who would break them up for salvage, or use them as merchant vessels, whaling ships, slave ships, or the like. As an incentive to search far and wide for enemy ships, the proceeds of the sale of the vessels and their cargoes were divided up as prize money among the officers and crew of capturing crew members with the distribution governed by regulations the captor vessel's government had established. Throughout the 1800s war prize laws were established to help opposing countries settle claims amicably.[1][2] Private ships were also authorized by various countries at war through a Letter of marque, legally allowing a ship and commander to engage and capture vessels belonging to enemy countries.[3] In these cases contracts between the owners of the vessels on the one hand, and the captains and the crews on the other, established the distribution of the proceeds from captures.

Legend[edit]

  • Dates of capture are listed chronologically and appear in bold [Note 1]
  • Names of commanders are those in command when ships were captured.
  • The symbol '  ' following a commander's name denotes he was killed in action.
  • Name of ship and flag of country listed are those in use at time of ship's capture and will sometimes link to a page with name and flag used after capture.
  • This list does not include ships captured by pirates.

1800–1809[edit]

Quasi-War[edit]

The Quasi-War was an undeclared war fought mostly at sea between the United States and French Republic from 1798 to 1800. France, plagued by massive crop failures and desperately in need of grain and other supplies, commissioned numerous French privateers who both legally and illegally captured cargo from merchant vessels of every flag engaged in foreign trade with Britain. Approximately 300 American ships were captured by the French Navy and privateers under a Letter of marque issued by the government of France.[4] International law mandated that a ship captured during wartime by a belligerent was lost to the owner, and that no compensation was to be made by the country who seized a vessel unless provided for by a treaty that ended that war.[5]

First Barbary War[edit]

The First Barbary War (1801–5), was the first of the First Barbary War and the Second Barbary War fought between the United States and the North African Berber Muslim states known collectively as the Barbary States. For years the Barbary Corsairs had harassed and captured British, French and American shipping, often capturing vessels seizing cargoes and holding crews for large ransoms or enslaving them.[14] Refusing to pay tribute President Thomas Jefferson sent a fleet of ships to the Mediterranean shores of North Africa to deal with the constant threats to U.S. and other ships.[15][16]

French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars[edit]

The French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against the French Republic and Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1792 to 1815 involving many often large scale naval battles resulting in the capture of numerous ships. Among the most notable of such battles were the Battle of Trafalgar and the Battle of Copenhagen involving hundreds of ships and many thousands of seamen and officers.

Battle of Copenhagen[edit]

The Battle of Copenhagen was a naval battle involving a large British fleet under the command of Admiral Sir Hyde Parker, defeating and capturing many of the Danish-Norwegian fleet anchored just off Copenhagen on 2 April 1801. Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson led the main attack.[27][28]

See also:
List of Danish sail frigates
List of ships of the line of Denmark

Napoleonic Wars (continued i)[edit]

Battle of Trafalgar[edit]

The Battle of Trafalgar was fought on 21 October 1805 off the Spanish coast near Cape Trafalgar involving the allied fleets of Spain and France against the Royal Navy of Britain. Britain's answer to Napoleon's threat, it proved to be the turning point of the Napoleonic era and is regarded as the last great sea battle of the period. The battle involved dozens of sailing warships and vessels many of which fell to capture while many were also met with what is considered a worse fate in the storm that followed.[38][39]

Napoleonic Wars (continued ii)[edit]

See also:

1810–1819[edit]

Napoleonic Wars (continued)

War of 1812[edit]

The War of 1812 was largely a naval war fought between the United States with their young American navy and Great Britain who had the largest and most formidable navy in the world at the time. The causes of the war were regarded differently between the two countries. The United States was appalled at Britain for seizing U.S. ships and capturing and impressing American citizens into its navy, while Britain maintained that it had the right to search neutral vessels for property or persons of its foes. The ships of the two countries were involved in many engagements along the Atlantic coast, the Great Lakes, the Gulf of Mexico and the West Indies with numerous vessels being destroyed or captured on both sides.[82]


See also:

Second Barbary War[edit]

Chilean war of independence[edit]

The Navy of Chile website lists 26 Spanish prizes during the War of Independence. The most famous are probably:

For vessels captured by Chilean Letter of marque ships, see list of prizes

1820–1829[edit]

1830–1839[edit]

West Africa Squadron[edit]

War of the Confederation[edit]

Texas Revolution[edit]

1839[edit]

1840–1849[edit]

Mexican–American War[edit]

At the onset of the Mexican–American War on 12 May 1846, Commodore John D. Sloat was in command of the Pacific fleet. The Pacific war against Mexico lasted only eight months with few casualties. The Pacific fleet consisted mainly of ten ships: two ships of the line, two frigates, two sloops-of-war, and four sloops. As the Mexican navy was very small few vessels were ever captured.

First Schleswig War[edit]

During the First Schleswig War (1848 – 1850) the Royal Danish Navy first supported the Danish Army's advance south against the rebels in Schleswig-Holstein, and later blockaded the German ports.[152]

1850–1859[edit]

1860–1869[edit]

American Civil War[edit]

During the American Civil War the Union naval blockade at first proved to be ineffective at keeping ships from entering or leaving southern ports but towards the end of the war it played a significant role in its victory over the Confederate states. By the end of the war the Union Navy had captured many Confederate ships, moreover had also captured more than 1,100 blockade runners while destroying or running aground another 355 vessels. Using specially designed blockade runners, private business interests from Europe also supplied the Confederate Army.[162] The Confederacy came into the war with no Navy to speak of but in little time were producing the now famous ironclad vessels in response to the Union blockade, however these were being destroyed or captured as fast as they were being produced and ultimately did little to alleviate the strangle hold the Union blockade had on the Confederacy.[163]

See also:

Second Schleswig War[edit]

During the Second Schleswig War in 1864 the Royal Danish Navy blockaded the German ports. While the Danes suffered military defeat on land during the conflict, their navy succeeded in maintaining the blockade throughout the war.[213]

Chincha Islands War[edit]

The Chincha Islands War (1864 – 1866) was a mostly naval conflict between Spain and her former South American colonies Peru, Chile, Ecuador and Bolivia.

1870–1879[edit]

Ten Years' War[edit]

The Ten Years' War was fought between Cuban revolutionaries and Spain. Breaking out in 1868, the war was won by Spain by 1878.

  • Virginius | ( United States) | 30 October 1873
    The blockade runner, carrying 103 Cuban soldiers, was captured by the Spanish corvette Tornado. After initially executing 53 crew members as pirates, the Spanish authorities were pressured by the US and British governments to release the ship and the 91 surviving crew in December 1873.

War of the Pacific[edit]

The War of the Pacific (1879 – 1883) was fought between Peru and Bolivia on one side, with Chile on the other. Chile emerged victorious.

1880–1889[edit]

(Ship names / Information forthcoming)

1890–1899[edit]

First Sino-Japanese War[edit]

The 1894–95 First Sino-Japanese War was fought between Qing Dynasty China and Meiji Japan over dominance of Korea. The war ended in Japanese victory and great Chinese loss of territory and prestige.

  • Tsao-kiang | Beiyang Navy Beiyang Navy | 27 July 1894
    The gunboat was captured by the Japanese cruiser Akitsushima during the Battle of Pungdo. She served in the Japanese Navy and government service under the name Sōkō until 1924. Sold to civilian interests, she sailed as a transport until scrapped in 1964.
  • Jiyuan | Beiyang Navy Beiyang Navy | 17 February 1895
    The cruiser was captured by Japanese forces after the 17 February 1895 Battle of Weihaiwei. She served in the Japanese Navy under the name Saien until mined and sunk off Port Arthur on 30 November 1904, during the Russo-Japanese War.
  • Pingyuan | Beiyang Navy Beiyang Navy | 17 February 1895
    The armored cruiser was captured by Japanese forces after the 17 February 1895 Battle of Weihaiwei. She served in the Japanese Navy first under the name Ping Yuen Go and later as Heien until mined and sunk west of Port Arthur on 18 September 1904, during the Russo-Japanese War.
  • Zhenyuan | Beiyang Navy Beiyang Navy | 17 February 1895
    The turret ship was captured by Japanese forces after the 17 February 1895 Battle of Weihaiwei. She served in the Japanese Navy under the name Chin'en until scrapped in 1914.

Spanish–American War[edit]

The Spanish–American War lasted only ten weeks and was fought in both the Caribbean and the Pacific theaters. American naval power proved decisive, allowing U.S. expeditionary forces to disembark in Spanish controlled Cuba which was already under constant pressure from frequent insurgent attacks. It is the only American war that was prompted by the fate of a single ship, the USS Maine, then berthed in a Cuban harbor, which exploded while its crew lay asleep.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Roosevelt, 1883 pp.xxxvi, 165, 350, etc
  2. ^ Yonge, 1863 pp.239, 269, 288, 295, etc
  3. ^ Eastman, 2004 pp.1–7
  4. ^ Williams, 2009 Introduction
  5. ^ Williams, 2009 p.29
  6. ^ Leiner, Frederick C., "Anatomy of a Prize Case: Dollars, Side-Deals, and Les Deux Anges", American Journal of Legal History, vol.39, pp.215–234.
  7. ^ U.S. Navy, DANFS, USS Boston prgh.4
  8. ^ Allen, 1909, p.148
  9. ^ Williams, 2009 p.162
  10. ^ Allen, 1938 p.201
  11. ^ Canney, 2001 p.55
  12. ^ a b The Green Mountain Patriot, Peacham, VT, 16 Sep 1809
  13. ^ a b John Bach McMaster, The Life and Times of Stephen Girard, mariner and merchant, pp. 47, 85–91.
  14. ^ Allen, 1905, pp.1–13
  15. ^ Harris, 1837 pp.63–64, 251
  16. ^ Guttridge, 2005 pp.257–260
  17. ^ Peterson, 1857 p.314
  18. ^ Tucker, 2004 p.39
  19. ^ MacKenzie, 1846 pp.66–67, 75–77
  20. ^ MacKenzie, 1846 p.65
  21. ^ Lewis, 1937 p.32
  22. ^ Allen, 1905, p.160
  23. ^ Cooper, 1856 p.187
  24. ^ James, 1920 p.32
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  27. ^ Clark-M'Arthur, 1810 pp.602–610
  28. ^ Southey, 1896 pp.243–244
  29. ^ Lavery, 1983, p.180
  30. ^ a b c Brenton, 1824 p.208
  31. ^ Phillips Ambuscade page article
  32. ^ a b c d e f g Lavery, 1983 p.189
  33. ^ Brenton, 1824 pp.281
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  36. ^ Yonge, 1863 pp.211–213
  37. ^ James & Chamier, 1859 p.413
  38. ^ Fraser, 1906 p.1
  39. ^ Corbett, 1905 p.251
  40. ^ Fraser, 1906 pp.114, 211–213
  41. ^ Corbett, 1905 p.440
  42. ^ a b c Thiers, 1850 p.45
  43. ^ Fraser, 1906 p.175
  44. ^ Fraser, 1906 pp.150–152
  45. ^ Corbett, 1905 pp.435 & 440
  46. ^ Thiers, 1850 p.44
  47. ^ Yonge, 1863 pp.118–119
  48. ^ Fraser, 1906 p.310
  49. ^ Thiers, 1850 p.43
  50. ^ Fraser, 1906 pp.306–307
  51. ^ Corbett, 1905 pp.441, 429, 430
  52. ^ Fraser, 1906 pp.252–253
  53. ^ Fraser, 1906 pp.253–254
  54. ^ Fraser, 1906 p.311
  55. ^ Frasert, 1906 p.314
  56. ^ Corbett, 1905 p.421
  57. ^ Fraser, 1906 p.57
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  59. ^ Fraser, 1906 pp.289–290
  60. ^ Fraser, 1906 pp.282–284
  61. ^ Fraser, 1906 p.312
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  64. ^ a b James, 1837 pp.222
  65. ^ Yonge, 1863 pp.305–306
  66. ^ Yonge, 1863 pp.51–52
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  70. ^ Quoted in a letter from Lord Castlereagh to Henry Wellesley, 1st Baron Cowley (26 April 1821). Kew, National Archives, FO 72/244.
  71. ^ "No. 16236". The London Gazette. 11 March 1809. p. 326.
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  74. ^ James & Chamier, 1859 p.23
  75. ^ James, Chamier, 1859 pp.151–157
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  77. ^ Norie 1837 p.266
  78. ^ James, 1837, pp.139–140
  79. ^ "HMS Merope (1808)". Wikipedia.
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  81. ^ Winfield (2008), p.547.
  82. ^ Roosevelt, 1883 pp.1–3
  83. ^ Cooper, 1856 p.348
  84. ^ James, Chamier, 1859 p.369
  85. ^ Winfield (2008), p.359.
  86. ^ Vice-admiralty court, Halifax, 1911 pp.142–143
  87. ^ U.S. Navy, Nautilus, page article
  88. ^ Coggeshall, 1856 p.38
  89. ^ a b Butler, James (1816). American bravery displayed, in the capture of fourteen hundred vessels of war and commerce, since the declaration of war by the president. Printed by George Phillips (for the author). ISBN 066547881X. OCLC 1083487993.
  90. ^ a b Coggeshall, George (1861). History of the American privateers, and letters-of-marque, during our war with England in the years 1812, '13, and '14. Interspersed with several naval battles between American and British ships-of-war.
  91. ^ Maclay, Edgar Stanton, "PRIVATEERS AGAINST PRIVATEERS", A History of American Privateers, Cambridge University Press, p. 342, ISBN 9780511793707, retrieved 25 April 2019
  92. ^ U.S. Navy, DANFS, Ships Histories, USS Caledonia
  93. ^ Peterson, 1857 p.37
  94. ^ Harrison, 1858 p.194
  95. ^ a b Roosevelt, 1883 p.283
  96. ^ U.S. Navy, DANFS, Wasp prgh.3
  97. ^ Latimer, 2007 p.103
  98. ^ Griffis, 1972 pp.43–44
  99. ^ Hill, 1905 pp.202–203
  100. ^ Peterson, 1857 p.363
  101. ^ Harrison, 1858 pp.192–193
  102. ^ Middlebrook, Louis F. (1927). Essex Institute historical collections. Essex Institute. pp. Vol. LXIII. OCLC 6140167.
  103. ^ Harris, 1837 pp.196–197
  104. ^ Roosevelt, 1883 pp.119–121
  105. ^ Clowes, Markham, Mahan, Wilson, Roosevelt, Laughton, 1901 p.113
  106. ^ James, Chamier, 1859 p.243
  107. ^ Roosevelt, 1883 pp.188–189
  108. ^ Leiner, 2007 p.30
  109. ^ The European magazine, and London review, Volumes 63–64, Great Britain Philological Society, p.252
  110. ^ Roosevelt, 1883 p.206
  111. ^ Roosevelt, 1883 pp.214–216
  112. ^ Roosevelt, 1883 pp.394–397
  113. ^ Roosevelt, 1883 p.287
  114. ^ James, Chamier, 1859 p.503
  115. ^ Malcomson, 2006 pp.116, 423
  116. ^ Malcomson, 2006 p.423
  117. ^ a b c d Roosevelt, 1883 p.346-349
  118. ^ James, 1920 pp.154–155
  119. ^ Vice-admiralty court, Halifax, 1911 p.96
  120. ^ Roosevelt, 1883 pp.314, 350
  121. ^ Roosevelt, 1883 pp.316, 350
  122. ^ James, Chamier, 1859 p.504
  123. ^ Roosevelt, 1883 pp.293–304
  124. ^ a b Peterson, 1857 p.40
  125. ^ Lewis, 1937 p.43
  126. ^ Roosevelt, 1883 pp.327, 350
  127. ^ Winfield, 2008, p.294.
  128. ^ Peterson, 1857 pp.454–455
  129. ^ Heidler, 2004 p.288
  130. ^ "The Battle of Lake Borgne". Louisiana Naval War Memorial Commission. Archived from the original on 31 March 2012. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  131. ^ Thomson, 1817 p.347
  132. ^ Roosevelt, 1883 pp.403–404
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  134. ^ a b Hill, 1905 pp.171–172
  135. ^ a b Phillips HMS Cyane page article
  136. ^ Coggeshall, George (1861). History of the American privateers, and letters-of-marque during our war with England in the years 1812, '13 and '14 interspersed with several naval battles between American and British ships of war. G. Coggeshall. ISBN 0665443757. OCLC 1084236819.
  137. ^ Mackay, Margaret (1963). Angry Island: The Story of Tristan da Cunha, 1506–1963. London: Arthur Barker. p. 30.
  138. ^ MacKenzie, 1846 pp.5, 252
  139. ^ Tucker, 2004 p.157
  140. ^ Whipple, 2001 p.278
  141. ^ Du Bois, 1904 p.290
  142. ^ a b Du Bois, 1904 p.291
  143. ^ Friends' View of the African Slave Trade (1824), pp.35–41
  144. ^ Foote, 1854 p.134
  145. ^ Great Britain. Foreign Office, ed. (1843). British and foreign state papers, Volume 11.
    James Ridgway and Sons, London. p. 928.
    , p.526
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  147. ^ Great Britain. Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 1904 p.502
  148. ^ a b c d e f g Du Bois, 1904 p.294
  149. ^ a b c Du Bois, 1904 p.295
  150. ^ a b c d e Du Bois, 1904 p.296
  151. ^ The California State Military Museum
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  154. ^ Foote, 1854 pp.285–292
  155. ^ Foote, 1854 p.295
  156. ^ Foote, 1854 p.331
  157. ^ a b c d e U.S. Congress, 1858 p.13
  158. ^ a b c d e f g Du Bois, 1904 p.297
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  165. ^ U.S. Navy, DANFS, USMS Merrimack II, page article
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  167. ^ Wyllie, 2007, p.477
  168. ^ Wyllie, 2007, p.115
  169. ^ Wyllie, 2007, p.175
  170. ^ Wyllie, 2007 p.126
  171. ^ Wyllie, 2007 pp.338, 580
  172. ^ Ammen, David 1883 pp.51, 70
  173. ^ Wyllie, 2007 p.38
  174. ^ Wyllie, 2007 p.166
  175. ^ Tucker, 2006 pp.93, 104
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  177. ^ U.S. Navy, DANFS, Abraham, page article
  178. ^ U.S. Navy, DANFS, General Bragg, page article
  179. ^ U.S. Navy, DANFS, CSS General Sumter page article
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  181. ^ Navy Chronology, 1862 July – December, page article
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  183. ^ Wyllie, 2007 p.211
  184. ^ a b Wyllie, 2007 pp.141, 165
  185. ^ Wyllie, 2007 p.610
  186. ^ Scharf, 1894 p.450
  187. ^ Coulter, 1950 p.290
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  190. ^ Wagner, Gallagher, McPherson, 2006 p.564
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  192. ^ Wyllie, 2007 p.196
  193. ^ Wilkinson, 1877 p.65
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  205. ^ Bush, 1896, p.802
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  215. ^ Chilean Navy website, Guacolda (1879) Archived 13 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 1800 is usually considered part of the 18th century; ships captured that year which are listed here have histories and surrounding histories that extend into the 19th century and are included in this list for continuity and context.
  2. ^ Not to be confused with USS Merrimack (1855) commanded by Moses Brown.[9]
  3. ^ Some sources spell it as L'Ambuscade [30]
  4. ^ HMS Victory was Admiral Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar
  5. ^ Not to be confused with James Wallace (Royal Navy officer) who died in 1803.
  6. ^ After his release from capture Captain Lucas was personally awarded the 'Gold Cross of the Legion of Honor' by Napoleon for his courageous effort during the battle.[43]
  7. ^ Redoutable lost more than 80% of her crew: 300 killed, 222 wounded.
  8. ^ Some sources spell name as Santa Anna[51][52]
  9. ^ Accounts vary: 'J.Thiers' claims Monacra was smashed to pieces on the rocks during the storm that followed the battle.[58]
  10. ^ Ship was renamed several times: Viala, Voltaire, Constitution, Jupiter
  11. ^ Néréide was captured three different times: 1st capture by British on 20 December 1797; 2nd capture by French on 23 August 1810; 3rd capture by British 3 December 1810.
  12. ^ Not to be confused with USS Frolic (1813) or USS Frolic (1862)
  13. ^ Mortally wounded and died seven days after the battle.
  14. ^ Not to be confused with a second Pictou brought into the Royal Navy at Halifax after its capture as the French Bonne Foi on 30 July 1814.[116]
  15. ^ Epervier captured a number of ships before her capture: American privateers, Portsmouth Packet, Alfred, Lively, Active[119]
  16. ^ Peterson (1857) claims 'Captain Manners' was in command at time of capture.[124]
  17. ^ Some sources spell the name as 'Siren' .[125]
  18. ^ Many (most?) sources spell the name as Merrimac without the 'k'.
  19. ^ Accounts of capturing ship differ: The Naval History Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations claim it was USS Mount Vernon and USS Mystic that captured the Napier.[181]
  20. ^ John Rodgers was the grandson of the famous Commodore John Rodgers born in 1772.
  21. ^ also spelled as Siren

Bibliography[edit]