Military Wiki

Throughout naval history during times of war the ships involved in 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 with 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 some other utility capacity for that country. As an incentive to search far and wide for enemy ships cargoes on board these vessels were often divided up and awarded to the capturing crew members. 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 the various ships that were deemed unfriendly to that country.[3]

Legend :
  • 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.



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 French.[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]

  • Mercator |  Denmark | May 1800
    A Danish schooner captured by the USS Experiment commanded by Lieutenant Maley entering the Haitian port of Jacmel during the Quasi-War. Maley suspected it to be a French vessel and ordered it to Cape Francois where it was recaptured by the British.[8]
  • Godfrey |  UKGBI | 31 May 1800
    English registered schooner commanded by H. Atkinson, captured by a French privateer and recaptured by American sloop of war USS Merrimack,[Note 2]
  • Flambeau |  France | 23 July 1800
    A French Letter of marque of 12 guns, captured by USS Enterprise, commanded by Captain John Shaw.[10]
  • Berceau |  France | 12 October 1800
    A 24-gun French corvette commanded by Capitain de frégate Senez, captured by USS Boston, commanded by Capt. George Little, unbeknown that the Quasi-War had ended several days earlier. She was towed to the United States, repaired and returned to France September 1801.[11]
  • Good Friends | United States | September 1809
    An American ship out of Baltimore, commanded by Captain Robert Thompson, captured by the Danes,[12][13]
  • Helvetius | United States | September 1809
    An American ship out of Baltimore, commanded by Captain Ezra Bowen, captured by the Danes,[12][13]

First Barbary War

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]

  • Transfer | (Ottoman Empire Ottoman Tripolitania Navy) | 21 March 1804
    Former British privateer, Transfer out of Malta, later sold to Tripoli and used in blockade running during the Barbary Wars. Captured off Tripoli, by Syren commanded by Lieutenant Charles Stewart. She was renamed the USS Scourge.[23]

French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars

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

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)

  • HMS Minerve |  Royal Navy | 3 July 1803
    A 40-gun frigate under the command of Captain Jahleel Brenton, (re)captured by the French navy after it ran aground chasing other ships. Originally a French ship, captured by British in 1792.
  • Le Formidable |  French Navy | 1805
    An 80-gun ship of the line, broken up in 1816.

Battle of Trafalgar

The Battle of Trafalgar was fought on the 21st of 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]

  • Fougueux |  French Navy | 21 October 1805
    An Téméraire class 74-gun French ship of the line. Present at the Battle of Trafalgar, commanded by Capt Louis Alexis Baudoin, fired the first shot of the battle. After its capture by British it was wrecked in the storm of 23 October that followed the battle and sunk, taking with her all hands on board.[40][41][42]
  • Bucentaure |  French Navy | 21 October 1805
    An 80-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, lead ship of her class. It was the flagship of the french fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar, commanded by Captain Jean-Jacques Magendie. Surrendered to Captain James Atcherly of the Marines from HMS Conqueror, later wrecked in storm of 23 October 1805.[45]
  • Algésiras |  French Navy | 21 October 1805
    A 74-gun French ship of the line, present at the Battle of Trafalgar, under Rear Admiral Charles Magon who was killed during the boarding attempt when engaged by HMS Tonnant. Escaped after capture making her way to Cadiz.[46]
  • Intrépide | ( French Navy) | 21 October 1805
    A 74-gun third-rate ship of the line, captured at the Battle of Trafalgar and scuttled by British.
  • Aigle |  French Navy | 21 October 1805
    A 74-gun French ship of the line. took part in the Battle of Trafalgar, captured during the battle. On the following day, her crew rose up turned against her captors and recaptured their ship, however, she was wrecked in the storm of 23 October 1805.
  • Berwick |  Royal Navy |  French Navy | 21 October 1805
    The British HMS Berwick, a 74-gun ship of the line, was captured by the French in 1795. She was recaptured by the British at the Battle of Trafalgar. While in tow her captives cut her cables, she struck a shoal and sank with approximately 200 perishing in the storm.[48][49]
  • Swiftsure |  Royal Navy |  French Navy | 21 October 1805
    A 74-gun ship of the line, originally the British HMS Swiftsure, commanded by Captain Hallowell, captured by the French fleet, commanded by Admiral Ganteaume, on 24 June 1800. Under the command of Captain l'Hôpitalier-Villemadrin she was recaptured at the Battle of Trafalgar and was one of the few captured ships to survive the storm.
  • Rayo |  Spanish Navy | 21 October 1805
    An 80-gun ship of the line of the Spanish Navy. Present at the Battle of Trafalgar, noted for being the oldest vessel present. Rayo escaped from the battle but was intercepted by HMS Donegal fresh out of Gibraltar and then was wrecked 26 October 1805 in the storm that followed.[42][50]
  • Neptuno |  Spanish Navy | 21 October 1805
    An 80-gun Montañes-class ship of the line of the Spanish Navy. Captured at the Battle of Trafalgar, later ran aground and set fire by the British.[54]
  • Monarca |  Spanish Navy | 21 October 1805
    A 74 gun ship of the line, commanded by Capt Don Teodoro de Argumosa,[57] present at Battle of Trafalgar. After its capture it was burnt on 26 October 1805.[58] [Note 9]
  • San Ildefonso |  Spanish Navy | 21 October 1805
    A 74-gun ship that saw service in French, British and American waters in the late 18th century. Present at the Battle of Trafalgar, commanded by Captain Don Jose Ramón de Vargas y Varáez; captured by the British HMS Defence and renamed HMS Ildefonso, it was one of the few captured vessels that survived the storm following the battle.[61]
See also: Order of battle at the Battle of Trafalgar

Napoleonic Wars (continued ii)

  • Le Duguay-Trouin |  French Navy | 4 Nov 1805
    74-gun Le Téméraire class. Captured by British, renamed HMS Implacable; training ship 1805, scuttled 1949[32]
  • Le Mont Blanc |  French Navy | 4 November 1805
    A French Ship of the line, 74 guns, she was used by the British at the Battle of Trafalgar after her capture at the Battle of Cape Ortegal.
  • Le Formidable |  French Navy | 1805
    80-gun ship of Le Tonnant class, broken up 1816.
  • L'Alexandre |  French Navy | 1806
    80-gun ship of Le Tonnant class, sold 1822.
  • Brave |  French Navy | 6 Feb 1806
    74 gun, captured by British, foundered 1806.[32]
  • Maida |  French Navy | 74 (1795) 6 Feb 1806
    – ex-French Le Jupiter, captured by British, sold 1814.[32]
  • Ann Alexander |  US | 1807
    A whaler, she was first captured by a Spanish privateer, then by a British warship, then by another Spanish privateer. Brought to Algiers, then released.
  • HMS Tickler |  Royal Navy | 4 June 1808
    A 14-gun Archer class brig built in 1804. Captured by Danish gunboats in the Great Belt. Operated under the same name by the Royal Dano-Norwegian Navy until sold off in 1815.[67]
  • HMS Tigress |  Royal Navy | 2 August 1808
    A 14-gun Archer class brig launched in 1804. Captured by Danish gunboats in the Great Belt. Operated under the same name by the Royal Dano-Norwegian Navy until sold off in 1815.[67]
  • Felicite |  French Navy | 17 June 1809
    French 36-gun class frigate, 900 tons, Captured by HMS Latona, a 38-gun frigate commanded by Captain Hugh Pigot.[71]
  • HMS Minx |  Royal Navy | 2 September 1809
    A 13-gun Archer class brig launched in 1801. Captured by Danish gunboats off Skagen. Operated under the same name by the Royal Dano-Norwegian Navy until sold off in 1811.[67]

See also:


Napoleonic Wars (continued)

  • HMS Alban |  Royal Navy | 12 September 1810 | 11 May 1811
    A schooner launched in 1806. Captured by Danish gunboats off Skagen. Operated by the Dano-Norwegian Navy under the same name until recaptured by the British in 1811.[67]
  • HMS Safeguard |  Royal Navy | 29 June 1811
    A 13-gun Archer class brig launched in 1804. Captured by Danish gunboats off Jutland. Operated under the same name by the Royal Dano-Norwegian Navy until sold off in 1813.[67]
  • Le Brillant |  French Navy | 1814
    74 gun, captured by British, renamed Genoa, broken up 1838.

War of 1812

The War of 1812 was largely a naval war fought between the United States with its 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.[77]

  • Alexander (brig) |  US | Unknown date
    A civilian brig. Taken as a prize by the British
  • USS Nautilus |  United States Navy | 16 July 1812
    Built in 1799 as a merchant vessel it was purchased by the U.S. Navy in 1803 and converted into a 42-gun brig. Commanded by Lieutenant W. Crane, it was captured off the coast of New Jersey by a blockading British fleet: Shannon, Belvidera, Africa, Eolus and Guerriere. Taken into possession for use in the Royal Navy and renamed HMS Emulous.[82][83]
  • USS Caledonia | United States Navy | '8 October 1812
    Caledonia was a brig, formerly HMS Caledonia, captured by the U.S. Navy, during the War of 1812 and taken into American service. Commanded by Lieutenant D. Turner the Brig played an important role with the American squadron on Lake Erie; sold at the end of the war.[85]
  • HMS Landrail |  Royal Navy | 12 July 1814
    A 4-gun Cuckoo-class schooner, commanded by Lieutenant Robert Daniel Lancaster. Captured near Gibraltar by an American privateer Syren, a schooner sporting one heavy long gun, under Captain J.D. Daniels.[119]
  • USS President (sloop) |  United States Navy | 11 September 1814
    A 12-gun sloop and the second US Navy ship to carry the name. Captured by British and renamed Icicle.

See also:

Second Barbary War

  • Eugene' |  Mexico | 17 January 1817
    An armed Mexican schooner attempting to smuggle slaves into the United States.[132]
  • General Ramirez |  Venezuela | 1819
    Venezuelan privateer, captured with 280 slaves by United States ship.[133]

Chilean war of independence

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


  • La Jeune Eugene |  France | 1821
  • La Daphnee |  France | 1821
  • La Mathilde |  France | 1821
  • L'Elize |  France | 1821
    Above four ships captured together by USS Alligator. All except the La Jeune Eugene escaped while being escorted to Boston. France protests.[133][134]

  • Teresa |  Spain | 9 April 1824
    A Spanish brig outfitted as a slaver, captured at Monrovia by El Vincendor, commanded by Captain Cottrell.[135][136]


West Africa Squadron

  • St Helena (1814) |  UKGBI | 6 April 1830
    a British East India packet schooner captured by pirates but retaken by her crew.
  • Daspegado – Spanish pirate vessel, captor of St Helena, captured by HMS Primrose.

War of the Confederation

  • Monteagudo|Flag of the Peru-Bolivian Confederation.svgConfederation|4 August 1836
    Crew handed the ship over to the Chilean government

Texas Revolution

  • Correo de Mejico |  Mexican Navy | 1 September 1835
    A Mexican Navy warship captured by the merchant ships San Felipe and Laura after a bloody exchange of cannon fire off the coast of Texas known as the San Felipe Incident. On board the San Felipe was Stephen F. Austin.
  • Pelican |  Mexican Navy | 3 March 1836
    A Mexican merchantman captured by Captain W. Brown in the Liberty, later ran aground on a sandbar and was wrecked.
  • Independence | Texas Naval Ensign.svg | 17 April 1837
    Former cutter USRC Ingham, captured by the Mexican navy in the Battle of the Brazos River. In service under Mexican flag as La Independencia.


  • La Amistad |  Spain | 1839
    A two-masted schooner built in Spain and owned by a Spaniard living in Cuba. Was used to transport Africans into slavery, who took control of the ship in 1839. Ship was captured off the coast of Long Island by the USS Washington.[137]

  • SS Eagle |  Spain |  USA | November 1839
  • SS Clara |  Spain |  USA | November 1839
  • SS Wyoming |  Spain |  USA | November 1839
  • SS Mary Anne Cassard |  Spain |  USA | November 1839
    Above four slaver ships seized together off the coast of Africa using American and Spanish flags to suit the occasion along with fraudulent papers. Captured by British cruiser and brought to United States.[137][138]

  • SS Butterfly |  US | 23 September 1839
    Fitted as a slaver, and captured by a British cruiser on the coast of Africa.[139]
  • SS Catharine |  US | October 1839
    Captured on the African coast by a British cruiser, and brought by her to New York.[139]
  • SS Euphrates |  Spain | 1839
    With American papers, seized by British cruisers as Spanish property. Before this she had been boarded fifteen times.[139]
  • SS My Boy |  US | September 1839
    Seized by a British cruiser, and condemned at Sierra Leone.[139]


  • SS Sarah Ann |  US | March 1840
    Captured with fraudulent papers.[139]
  • SS Tigris |  US | 1840
    Captured by British cruisers and sent to Boston for kidnapping.[139]
  • SS Jones |  US | 1840
    Seized by the British.[139]
  • SS Shakespeare |  US | 7 November 1842
    Shakespeare, of Baltimore, with 430 slaves, captured by British cruisers.[140]
  • SS Cyrus |  US | 1844
    Cyrus, of New Orleans, suspected slaver, captured by the British cruiser Alert.[140]
  • SS Spitfire |  US | 14 May 1845
    Spitfire, of New Orleans, captured on the coast of Africa, under American flag and the captain indicted in Boston.[140]
  • SS Casco |  US | 1849
    Slaver, with no papers; searched, and captured with 420 slaves, by a British cruiser.[141]

Mexican–American War

At the onset of the 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.

  • Alerta |  Mexican Navy | 10 November 1847
    A sloop captured by the chartered Libertad with its crew of eleven in the Gulf of California, about twenty-five miles north of Mulegé.

First Schleswig War

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.[143]

  • Christian der achte |  Schleswig-Holstein Private ship | 31 March 1848
    A civilian steamship, captured by the Danish naval steamer Hekla and the brig St. Thomas at Aabenraa. Used as a transport by the Royal Danish Navy.[143]


  • SS Martha |  US |  Empire of Brazil | 7 June 1850
    Martha, of New York, captured by USS Perry when about to embark from southern coast of Africa with 1800 slaves. The captain was admitted to bail, and escaped.[144][145]
  • Volusia |  Empire of Brazil | 2 July 1850
    A Brazilian brig outfitted as a slaver with a Brazilian crew, carrying false papers under the American flag, captured near Kabinda off the Congo River by British steam-sloop HMS Rattler, commanded by Arthur Cumming.[146]
  • SS Lucy Ann |  US | 1850
    Lucy Ann, of Boston, captured with 547 slaves by the British.[141]
  • SS Navarre | Country of origin unknown | 1850
    Slaver, trading to Brazil, boarded, searched and seized by the commander of H. M. steam-sloop HMS Firefly.[141][147]
  • SS Glamorgan |  US | 1853
    Glamorgan, of New York, captured when about to depart with approximately 700 slaves.[141]
  • SS Grey Eagle |  US | 1854
    Grey Eagle, of Philadelphia, captured off Cuba by British.[141]
  • SS William Clark |  US | 1857
    Ship from New Orleans, seized after prolonged survellience by HMS Firefly.[148][149]
  • SS Jupiter |  US | 1857
    Fitted out at New Orleans, captured by HMS Antelope with 70 slaves aboard.[148][149]
  • SS Eliza Jane |  US | 22 August 1857
    Fitted out at New York, captured by HMS Alecto without papers or colors.[148][149]
  • SS Jos. H. Record |  US |  Spain |1857
    A schooner from Newport, Rhode Island, captured by HMS Antelope with 191 slaves aboard. Crew members from Spain and USA.[148][149]
  • SS Onward |  US | 1857
    Slaver vessel out of Boston, suspected of several smuggling attempts under American colors. Captured by HMS Alecto.[148][149]
  • SS Echo |  US |  Empire of Brazil | 21 August 1858
    The Echo was commanded by Captain Edward Townsend and financed by foreign nationals from Brazil and was captured by USS Dolphin off the northern coast of Cuba near the Santaren Channel with 306 slaves.[149][150]


  • SS Erie |  US | 1860
    Erie, transporting 897 Africans from African coast, captured by a United States ship.[149]

American Civil War

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, the majority of them being British vessels, as the British had extensive interests throughout the plantations in the south, foremost of which was cotton. Using their specially designed blockade runners the British also provided arms and other needed supplies to the Confederate Army.[153] 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.[154]

  • USMS Nashville |  United States | 13 April 1861
    A brig-rigged, side-paddle-wheel passenger steamer originally built as a United States Mail Service ship. Captured 13 April 1861 at Charleston harbor after the fall of Fort Sumter and renamed CSS Nashville.[155]
  • Enchantress |  United States Private ship| 6 July 1861 |  Confederate States Navy | 20 July 1861
    A civilian schooner, captured by the Confederate privateer Jefferson Davis, later recaptured by USS Albatross off Hatteras Inlet, North Carolina, on 20 July 1861.[157]
  • SS Arizona |  United States Private ship| 15 January 1862 |  Confederate States Navy | 28 October 1862
    A civilian side-wheel steamer, captured by Confederate forces at New Orleans. Pressed into Confederate naval service, she was recaptured by USS Montgomery off Mobile, Alabama, on 28 October 1862.
  • CSS Calhoun |  Confederate States Navy | 23 January 1862
    A 508-ton side-wheel steamer and gunboat, built in 1851 at New York City as the civilian steamer Calhoun. Served as a Confederate privateer and used as a blockade runner in May 1861.[159]
  • Bermuda |  UKGBI ~  CSA | 27 April 1862
    A large iron-hulled screw steamer of 1,238 tons built in 1861 at Stockton-on-Tees, England as a blockade runner for transporting military supplies to the Confederacy, commanded by Charles W. Westendorff. Captured by USS Mercedita, commanded by Henry S. Stellwagen.[166][167]
  • CSS De Soto |  United States Navy Private ship |  Confederate States Navy | 30 September 1862
    A sidewheel steamer, taken over by the Confederate forces for use on the Mississippi River. Carrying Confederate officers, she was surrendered to Union forces and taken into the Union Army as transport, then transferred to the Navy as USS De Soto and later renamed USS General Lyon.[174]
  • SS Britannia |  United Kingdom Private ship | 25 June 1863
    A iron-hulled, side-wheel steamer built in 1862 by British interests to run through the Union Navy's blockade. Captured by USS Santiago de Cuba.
  • SS Emma |  United Kingdom Private ship | 24 July 1863
    A Baltimore, Maryland-built vessel which was operating out of Nassau, Bahamas, under a British colonial register, captured by USS Adirondack while trying to evade Union blockade.
  • USS Water Witch |  United States Navy | 3 June 1864
    A wooden-hulled, sidewheel gunboat used in Gulf blockading squadron, captured by CSN gunboat fleet in Ossabaw Sound, 1st Lt. Thomas P. Pelot in command.
  • Charter Oak |  US | 5 November 1864
    A schooner and cargo ship out of Boston, commanded by Samuel J. Gilman, used in the American Civil War, captured by CSS Shenandoah, commanded by Captain James Iredell Waddell and burned in 1864.[195]
  • SS Syren |  CSA | 18 February 1865
    The Syren [Note 21] was a sidewheel steamer built at Greenwich, Kent, England in 1863 and designed for outrunning and evading the vessels on Union blockade patrol. Owned by the Charleston Importing and Exporting Company, the Syren made her first run on 5 November 1863, running supplies from Nassau to Wilmington. The Syren completed a record 33 runs through the blockade, the most of any blockade runner. Abandoned and set fire the Union Army captured her in Charleston harbor where she had successfully run in through the blockade the night before.[200][201]
    See also: Wilmington, North Carolina in the American Civil War

See also:

Second Schleswig War

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.[204]

  • Neptunus |  Germany Private ship | 8 March 1864
    A civilian ship, captured by the Danish frigate Jylland off Helsingør.[204]
  • Eudora |  Hamburg Private ship | 2 April 1864
    A civilian barque, captured by the Danish corvette Dagmar off Hamburg.[204]

Chincha Islands War

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

  • Paquete de Maule |  Chilean Navy | 6 March 1866
    The sidewheel steamer was captured by Spanish frigates. She was burned and destroyed by the Spanish on 10 May 1866.


Ten Years' War

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 cruiser 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

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

  • Rimac |  Chilean Navy | 23 July 1879
    The troopship was captured by the Peruvian ironclad Huáscar and the Peruvian corvette Union off Antofagasta. The ship was taken into service with the Peruvian Navy.[205]
  • Alay |  Peruvian Navy | 22 December 1879
    captured by Chilean transporter Amazonas between Panama and El Callao.[206]


(Ship names / Information forthcoming)


First Sino-Japanese War

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.
  • 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.

Spanish–American War

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, blown up while its crew lay asleep.

  • Saranac | ( United States) | 26 February 1898
    The bark Saranac—under Captain Bartaby—was captured in the Philippines by the Spanish gunboat Elcano carrying 1,640 short tons (1,490 t) of coal from Newcastle, New South Wales, to Iloilo, for Admiral Dewey's fleet.
  • Elcano |  Spanish Navy | 1 May 1898
    The gunboad was captured by US naval forces during the Battle of Manila Bay on 1 May 1898. She was officially turned over to the US Navy on 9 November 1898.
  • Reina Mercedes |  Spanish Navy | 17 July 1898
    The scuttled cruiser was captured by US naval forces at Santiago de Cuba. The ship was raised in 1899 and taken into service with the US Navy.

See also


  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. 12.0 12.1 The Green Mountain Patriot, Peacham, VT, 16 Sep 1809
  13. 13.0 13.1 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
  25. "Seine vs Vengeance". Three Decks, Simon Harrison. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 Brenton, 1824 p.82
  27. Clark-M'Arthur, 1810 pp.602–610
  28. Southey, 1896 pp.243–244
  29. Lavery, 1983, p.180
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 Brenton, 1824 p.208
  31. Phillips Ambuscade page article
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 32.4 32.5 32.6 Lavery, 1983 p.189
  33. Brenton, 1824 pp.281
  34. "Le Duquesne (1788)". Three Decks, Simon Harrison. Retrieved 22 November 2011. 
  35. Roosevelt, 1883 p.117
  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. 42.0 42.1 42.2 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
  58. 58.0 58.1 Thiers, 1850 pp.43–45
  59. Fraser, 1906 pp.289–290
  60. Fraser, 1906 pp.282–284
  61. Fraser, 1906 p.312
  62. 62.0 62.1 62.2 Norie, 1827, pp.65
  63. Yonge, 1863 p.139
  64. 64.0 64.1 James, 1837 pp.222
  65. Yonge, 1863 pp.305–306
  66. Yonge, 1863 pp.51–52
  67. 67.00 67.01 67.02 67.03 67.04 67.05 67.06 67.07 67.08 67.09 67.10 Eric Nielsen. "British Warship Losses in Danish-Norwegian Waters". In Gert Laursen. Danish Military History. Retrieved 14 February 2012. 
  68. Roosevelt, 1883 p.211
  69. James, Chamier, 1859 p.70
  70. James, Chamier, 1859 pp.48, 441
  71. James & Chamier, 1859 p.23
  72. Lavery, 1983, p190, The Volume I
  73. James, Chamier, 1859 pp.151–157
  74. Yonge, 1863 pp.238–242
  75. Norie 1837 p.266
  76. James, 1837, pp.139–140
  77. Roosevelt, 1883 pp.1–3
  78. Cooper, 1856 p.348
  79. Maclay, 1894 p.47
  80. James, Chamier, 1859 p.369
  81. Winfield (2008), p.359.
  82. Vice-admiralty court, Halifax, 1911 pp.142–143
  83. U.S.Navy, Nautilus, page article
  84. Coggeshall, 1856 p.38
  85. U.S.Navy, DANFS, Ships Histories, USS Caledonia
  86. Peterson, 1857 p.37
  87. Harrison, 1858 p.194
  88. 88.0 88.1 Roosevelt, 1883 p.283
  89. U.S.Navy, DANFS, Wasp prgh.3
  90. Latimer, 2007 p.103
  91. Griffis, 1972 pp.43–44
  92. Hill, 1905 pp.202–203
  93. Peterson, 1857 p.363
  94. Harrison, 1858 pp.192–193
  95. Harris, 1837 pp.196–197
  96. Roosevelt, 1883 pp.119–121
  97. Clowes, Markham, Mahan, Wilson, Roosevelt, Laughton, 1901 p.113
  98. James, Chamier, 1859 p.243
  99. Roosevelt, 1883 pp.188–189
  100. Leiner, 2007 p.30
  101. The European magazine, and London review, Volumes 63–64, Great Britain Philological Society, p.252
  102. Roosevelt, 1883 pp.394–397
  103. Roosevelt, 1883 p.206
  104. Roosevelt, 1883 pp.214–216
  105. Roosevelt, 1883 p.287
  106. James, Chamier, 1859 p.503
  107. Malcomson, 2006 pp.116, 423
  108. Malcomson, 2006 p.423
  109. 109.0 109.1 109.2 109.3 Roosevelt, 1883 p.346-349
  110. James, 1920 pp.154–155
  111. Roosevelt, 1883 pp.314, 350
  112. Roosevelt, 1883 pp.316, 350
  113. James, Chamier, 1859 p.504
  114. Roosevelt, 1883 pp.315, 350
  115. 115.0 115.1 Vice-admiralty court, Halifax, 1911 p.96
  116. Roosevelt, 1883 pp.293–304
  117. 117.0 117.1 Peterson, 1857 p.40
  118. Lewis, 1937 p.43
  119. Roosevelt, 1883 pp.327, 350
  120. Winfield, 2008, p.294.
  121. Peterson, 1857 pp.454–455
  122. Heidler, 2004 p.288
  123. "The Battle of Lake Borgne". Louisiana Naval War Memorial Commission. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  124. Thomson, 1817 p.347
  125. Roosevelt, 1883 pp.403–404
  126. 126.0 126.1 Toll, 2006 pp.472–474
  127. 127.0 127.1 Hill, 1905 pp.171–172
  128. 128.0 128.1 Phillips HMS Cyane page article
  129. MacKenzie, 1846 pp.5, 252
  130. Tucker, 2004 p.157
  131. Whipple, 2001 p.278
  132. Du Bois, 1904 p.290
  133. 133.0 133.1 Du Bois, 1904 p.291
  134. Friends' View of the African Slave Trade (1824), pp.35–41
  135. Foote, 1854 p.134
  136. Great Britain. Foreign Office, ed (1843). British and foreign state papers, Volume 11. pp. 928
    James Ridgway and Sons, London.
     , p.526
  137. 137.0 137.1 Du Bois, 1904 p.293
  138. Great Britain. Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 1904 p.502
  139. 139.0 139.1 139.2 139.3 139.4 139.5 139.6 Du Bois, 1904 p.294
  140. 140.0 140.1 140.2 Du Bois, 1904 p.295
  141. 141.0 141.1 141.2 141.3 141.4 Du Bois, 1904 p.296
  142. The California State Military Museum
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  144. Du Bois, 1904 pp.164, 296
  145. Foote, 1854 pp.285–292
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  147. Foote, 1854 p.331
  148. 148.0 148.1 148.2 148.3 148.4 U.S.Congress, 1858 p.13
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  150. "Voyage of the Echo". Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World (CLAW), College of Charleston. Retrieved 7 November 2011. 
  151. "Nightingale". The Maritime History Virtual Archives. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  152. Dow, 1854 p.275
  153. "Blockade essays" (PDF). Retrieved June 8, 2010. 
  154. Hill, 1905 p.419
  155. U.S.Navy, DANFS, USMS Nashville, page article
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  157. Wyllie, 2007 p.35
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  167. U.S.Navy, DANFS, Bermuda, page article
  168. U.S.Navy, DANFS, Abraham, page article
  169. U.S.Navy, DANFS, General Bragg, page article
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  172. Navy Chronology, 1862 July – December, page article
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  177. Scharf, 1894 p.450
  178. Coulter, 1950 p.290
  179. Wyllie, 2007 pp.664–667
  180. U.S.Navy, DANFS, Archer, page article
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  182. Wyllie, 2007 p.352
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  184. Wilkinson, 1877 p.65
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  188. U.S.Navy, DANFS, CSS Bombshell, page article
  189. U.S.Navy, DANFS, Tristram Shandy, page article
  190. Office of Naval Records, 1921 p.225
  191. Hill, 1905 p.428
  192. U.S.Navy, DANFS, Advance, Blockade Running Steamer, page article
  193. Stempel, 2011, p.122
  194. U.S.Navy, DANFS, (USS) Hornet, page article
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  199. U.S.Navy, DANFS, CSS Florida, page article
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  203. U.S.Navy, DANFS, CSS Texas (1865), page article
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  205. Sater, William F. (2007
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  206. Chilean Navy website, Guacolda (1879)


  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 flag ship 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.[108]
  15. Epervier captured a number of ships before her capture: American privateers, Portsmouth Packet, Alfred, Lively, Active[115]
  16. Peterson (1857) claims 'Captain Manners' was in command at time of capture.[117]
  17. Some sources spell the name as 'Siren' .[118]
  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.[172]
  20. John Rodgers was the grandson of the famous Commodore John Rodgers born in 1772.
  21. also spelled as Siren


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