USS Rattlesnake (1813)

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Name: Rattlesnake
Namesake: Rattlesnake
Acquired: 1813
Captured: 22 June 1814
General characteristics
Displacement: 278 tons
Armament: 14 guns

USS Rattlesnake was a brig built in Medford, Massachusetts as a privateer and purchased by the United States Navy in 1813. She sailed from Portsmouth, New Hampshire 10 January 1814, under the command of Master Commandant John O. Creighton, and sailed with Enterprise cruising the Caribbean. The two ships took three prizes prior to their separation which was forced by a more heavily gunned British ship on 25 February.

Rattlesnake, fleeing back to more friendly waters, put into Wilmington, North Carolina on 9 March, but was soon back at sea. Operations in northern waters followed, but were terminated on 22 June when the brig, under the command of Lt. James Renshaw, was captured by the 50 gun, British frigate HMS Leander. The brig had jettisoned all but two of her guns during the long pursuit which preceded her capture off Cape Sable, the southern point of the island of the same name which lies off Nova Scotia. Poor weather, however, negated that possible slight gain in speed and gave the advantage to the heavier frigate.


This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.