USS Eagle (1812)

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United States
Name: USS Eagle
Builder: A & N Brown, Vergennes, Vermont[1]
Laid down: 29 July 1814[1]
Launched: 11 August 1814[1]
Acquired: Purchased
Fate: Captured by the British, 3 June 1813
RN EnsignUnited Kingdom
  • HMS Broke
  • HMS Finch
Acquired: Captured, 3 June 1813
Fate: Lost at the Battle of Lake Champlain, 11 September 1814
United States
Name: USS Eagle
Acquired: Captured, 11 September 1814
Fate: Sold, July 1815
General characteristics
Type: Sloop or Brig
Tons burthen: 110 (bm)
Length: 64 ft (20 m)
Beam: 20 ft 4 in (6.20 m)
Draft: 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Propulsion: Sail
Complement: 50 officers and enlisted
Armament: 11 guns

USS Eagle, a sloop, was a merchant ship purchased at Vergennes, Vermont on Lake Champlain in 1812 and fitted for naval service. The British captured her in 1813 and renamed her HMS Finch, only to lose her to the Americans at the Battle of Lake Champlain in 1814.[Note 1] She was sold in 1815.

American service and capture[edit]

She cruised on the lake under the command of Sailing Master J. Loomis as a member of Commodore Thomas Macdonough's squadron blockading the British advance from Canada. Major George Taylor of the 100th Regiment captured Eagle on 3 June 1813 on the Sorrell River near Ile aux Noix on the Canadian side of the lake, after a fight of three-and-a-half hours; British casualties were three men wounded and American casualties were one man killed and eight severely wounded.[4] (Both vessels were taken into Royal Navy service, but the Americans recaptured them the next year.)[Note 2] The British took her into the Royal Navy as HMS Shannon but later renamed her HMS Chubb.[6]

British service and recapture[edit]

Finch accompanied the expedition that burned the arsenal and storehouses at Plattsburg, New York. She was under the command of Lieutenant William Hicks on 11 September 1814 at the Battle of Lake Champlain.[7] She was bringing up the rear of the British line together with some gunboats. She was ordered to sail towards and engage the USS Preble, a sloop of seven guns. As she did so, the schooner USS Ticonderoga fired on Finch shooting away her rigging. Finch ran aground near Crab Island where a small American shore battery commenced firing on her. Unable to free herself, and with two men wounded, Hicks struck the colors.[2]


After the Americans recaptured Finch they took her back into the U.S. Navy under her original name. After the war, she was sold in July 1815 at Whitehall, New York.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ This is the history per DANFS and the NMM. Hepper has the USS Growler becoming Finch, and Eagle becoming Chub.[2] Winfield has no mention of Finch, and agrees with Hepper re Eagle/Chubb.[3]
  2. ^ Prize money in the amount of £5 7s 10d currency per share was awarded, with a private being allocated one share and a major 30 shares, though an officer commanding independently, such as Taylor, received a double allocation.[5]
  1. ^ a b c Silverstone (2001), p.79.
  2. ^ a b Hepper (1994), p.151.
  3. ^ Winfield (2008), p.371.
  4. ^ Anon. (1908), pp.252-3.
  5. ^ Anon. (1908), p.257.
  6. ^ "NMM, vessel ID 366774" (PDF). Warship Histories, vol i. National Maritime Museum. Retrieved 30 July 2011. 
  7. ^ "No. 16960". The London Gazette. 26 November 1814. pp. 2335–2337. 


This article includes data released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported UK: England & Wales Licence, by the National Maritime Museum, as part of the Warship Histories project