HMS Caledonia (1807)

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Career Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Caledonia
Builder: Amherstburg Royal Naval Dockyard
Launched: 1807
Fate: Captured, 9 October 1812
General characteristics
Type: Brig
Propulsion: Sail
Notes: Provincial Marine vessel

HMS Caledonia was a British brig which saw service on the Great Lakes during the War of 1812. The Caledonia was built in Malden in Upper Canada for the North West Company, and launched in 1807. During the early part of the War, the vessel was commandeered by the British Army, and played an important part in the Siege of Fort Mackinac, carrying troops and guns to the island.

On 9 October, 1812, the Caledonia and the Detroit (formerly the American armed brig Adams, which had been captured after the Siege of Detroit) were anchored near Fort Erie in the upper reaches of the Niagara River. Both had been transporting troops and materials eastwards, but Caledonia also carried a valuable cargo of furs. An American boat expedition commanded by Lieutenant Jesse Elliott captured the two ships. The Caledonia was taken to the navy yard at Black Rock, but Detroit was swept away by the current and forced to drop anchor within range of British cannons. After an artillery duel, the cable was cut and Detroit drifted down the river, grounding on Squaw Island where she was abandoned, and eventually set on fire and destroyed.

The Caledonia was taken into American service as the USS Caledonia.


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