Lloyd's List
Date format: mm-dd-yyyy

12/04/1812 col 2
The Louisa, Pollock, from Greenock to Trinidad, was spoken with at sea on the 30th Oct.; parted with the Monarch, Boag, for Jamaica, two days after sailing, in a gale of wind; and with the Rachel, Dalmahoy, bound to La Guyra, on the 27th October in the Bay of Biscay.


02/26/1813 col 2
The Rachel of Greenock, was captured by an American privateer [Saratoga] of 16 guns and 130 men, in sight of La Guyra, on the 11th December.


03/12/1813 col 2
The Rachel,late Dalmahoy, from Greenock to LaGuyra, was retaken 15th December, in the Mona Passage, by the Fawn SW and sent for Jamaica.

~ ~ ~

The first intimation that the Rachel had been taken appeared in the local newspaper.
Glasgow Herald 26 February 1813
The Rachel, late Dalmahoy, from this port for La Guira, captured on the 11 December last, after half an hour's hard fighting, about two leagues from that port, by an American privateer of 16 guns and 130 men which she beat off before, with loss of Mr. Alexander, the mate who commanded (Captain Dalmahoy had died about 12 days before) the gunner and another man killed, and the boatswain wounded. The major part of the crew were sent ashore after the action, and the privateer remained on the coast.

 

The Charleston Courier on Februay 6, 1813 printed an extract from a letter from Laguira. Dated December 13, 1812.

On the 9th December the private armed schooner Saratoga, commanded by Captain Charles W. Wooster, made her appearance off this place; the same day the first lieut. came on shore, stated they were 24 days from New York , had seen nothing.

The next day Wooster went ashore and returned with the American Consul for a brief visit. Later that day a Spanish boat came alongside and ordered them out of the harbor, under threat of being fired upon by the fort. The following afternoon, according to the Lieutenant's Journal of the Saratoga:

at 1 past 3 perceived an English Jack at the foretopmast head of a schooner, at 4 Tacked. Stood in shore to endeavor to cut her off; on which.she hauled in for the land. Sent our small boat with six men armed, in order if possible to take charge of her before she could reach the shore. at 4 past 4 the boat boarded her. She hauled down her colours within half Pistol Shot of the beach; took possession of her and stood off Laguira bearing at the same time S.W. 4 Leagues dist. She proved to be the British schooner Mariah belong to St. Thomas 4 days out bound to Laguira with 40 bbls Flour & 50 boxes Trunks of dry goods. retained one prisoner on board. Sent the remainder with their baggage on shore; they being English, French and Spaniards. at request of the american consul took Capt Moncreef and 10 men on board who had been 5 or 6 months on shore at Laguira. -- Put Mr Boggs and F Bergman his mate on board with 4 men.

Wooster had spied a brig and took off after her. At 10 a.m. he gave her a shot which cut away her stern boat.

she returned our fire with her Stern chasers, At t past 10 the action commenced, distant from Each other t mile. at 11 the shot from the Enemy carried away our foretopsail yard at the same time the Axeltree of the after gun gave way which rendered it unfit for service; Torn Breechings of the principal guns in the waist parted; finding She would not Strike made sail to get in shore to windward of her in order to board. 10 minutes past 11 the fireing ceased on both Sides. all hands employed repairing damages, at meridian the Enemy a stern Standing the Same way with us.

The letter from Laquira states: "It was known on shore that the brig was well armed and manned, and was generally believed would take the schooner, or at all events beat her off. The inhabitants all left their business, from the commandant to the beggar, to see the engagement." The Journal of the Saratoga continues the story on December 12th

commences with Strong Breezes E.N.E. Heavy swell on, could not fight with our Lee guns. Sent up a new topsail Yard, f past 12 the Enemy Tacked; at 1 having repaired all damages Tacked and made sail after her. f past one came up to the wind of him Hove too, to send a flag of truce on board to inform him of the force and number of men of the Saratoga with the determination that if they did not haul down her colours Every man on board should be put to death. he heaving too for the space of five minutes then made Sail from our boat, Set our English Jack forward and made Sail after him. f past 2 came up within hail of him. Summoned him frequently to Strike otherwise abide by the consequence, which he refused to do, at the same time having his colours nailed to the Peak.

We stood ready for Boarding. the Enemy shot ahead, we recommenced with round and grape. at 3/4 past 2 Bore up athwart his stern and raked him, rounded too, to board him fired several values of musketry into him which drove all his men below who were able to get there. we ceased fireing she fell off along side of us we-grapld to her the grapling Lanyards parted, one officer Mr Dexter and 2 men Richd Pemberton and Charles Rowland got on board by the Jib guys. found only one man on deck alive who was trying to haul down the colours. at 3 his Colours were hauled down by Mr Dexter one of our own officers. on our part 2 men were wounded (not mortally) the capt. and 2 men of the Enemys ship lay dead and two wounded, one of which died soon after Notwithstanding the careful and humane attendence of our Surgeon. She proved to be the Brig Rachel from Greenock commanded by Capt N. Dalmarhoy mounting 14 Guns with 36 men out 57 days-the damages done the Saratoga were of no great consequence.

Wooster stood off to Repair some minor damages, and took the greatest part of the prisoners on board the Saratoga. He soon after sent 27 of them to Laguira in the long boat, being very short of water on the Saratoga. The next day he sent Capt. Moncreif and Mr. Lewis with all 11 men an 4 prisoners on board the Rachel and ordered them to New York.

source: John A. McManemin Privateers of the War of 1812 (New Jersey: Ho-Ho-Kus publishing company, 1992)

The action is reported in more detail:
Coggeshall, G. History of American privateers and letters of marque during our war with England in the years 1812, 13 and 14. Pub. (1865) New York
During the War of 1812 George Coggeshall commanded the David Porter and Leo American privateers.

On the 9th December 1812 the private armed schooner Saratoga, commanded by Charles W. Wooster, made her appearance off this place, La Guira. The same day the first Lieutenant came ashore. He said they were twenty-four days from new York, and had seen nothing.
On the 10th. Captain Wooster ran down and anchored in the roads, but in a few minutes was advised in a note from the American consul, to weigh and keep out of reach of the batteries, as the commandant had said he would sink her if she came to. He immediately complied with this advice, and stood off.
He soon discovered a schooner standing down the coast, some miles windward of La Guira. He boarded and captured her. She was a schooner, with dry goods on board to the value of $20,000

The next day [11 December 1812] at nine a.m. after the fog cleared we saw the Saratoga some mile to leeward, in-shore of a brig, but neither near enough to fetch in. At eleven a.m. the brig tacked off shore, and soon after, the schooner did the same. It was known on shore the brig was well armed and manned, and it was generally believed she would take the Saratoga, or at all events beat her off.
All the inhabitants, from the Commandant to the beggar, left their business to see the engagement. The brig being so far from the schooner, it was some time be fore he came up with her. Both vessels were so far off, we could but just discern them from the house tops, and just as we had given up all hope ofd seeing battle, we discovered they had both tacked inshore again. They continued standing in until within two leagues of the town, when the Saratoga commenced the action from her starboard bow guns, which was returned from the brig's larboard quarter. The action now became furious, so that both vessels were hid from us in columns of fire and smoke. In a few minutes however fighting ceased. When the smoke cleared off, we could see no colours flying except the American on board the Saratoga, which was victorious.


Saratoga engages Rachel of Greenock

On the 13th the second mate and twenty five seamen arrived at La Guira in the brig's long boat, which Captain Wooster had given them, together with every article belonging to them. The second mate was the only officer alive after the action, there being great slaughter onboard the brig. On board the Saratoga they had but one man slightly wounded. The brig was the Rachel, from Greenock, mounting twelve long nine pounders, and carrying sixty men. She had on board a cargo of dry goods, etc. invoiced at 15,000.

It's stated in the Declaration [ 20th November 1812 HCA25/204], given in when applying for a letter of marque, that the Rachel was armed with 12 nine pound carronades rather than long nines as given by Coggeshall and had a crew of 36 rather than the sixty as reported. However at this date the Rachel was already at sea being reported in the bay of Biscay on the 27th October [ Lloyd's List 4th December 1812] so it's possible that those making out the declaration weren't in possession of the latest information -the Rachel was and armed trading vessel rather than a true privateer so the crew is more likely to have been thirty six rather than sixty.

The Rachel didn't reach an American port for she was retaken by HMS Fawn a sixth rate of 26 guns captain Thomas Fellows - She was captured of the south western shore of Dominica: the log of HMS Fawn describes the incident -
[ADM51/2305]
18 December 1812
Bearings & Distance at noon point B? E.B. 5 or 6 leagues standing along shore
Light breezes and clear W[eather]
A strange sail SE tacked and made all sail in chase - fired a gun at the chase. In studdingsails - hailed her -she proved to be the Rachel from Greenock bound to La Guira captured by the American privateer schooner Saratoga on the 18th inst.
Sent W.E. Gilling and five men on board - prize parted company for Jamaica.

The muster of HMS Fawn ADM37/4570 December 1812 included the Americans taken in the re-capture

Name Quality
James Moncrieff Prize-master
James Hanna asst. surgeon
John Walton seaman
Thomas Sanwick (?)seaman
Jacob L. Chapman seaman
Fra.s Neil seaman
Sam Befay seaman
Silas Squibb seaman
Co? Wilson seaman
Thomas Cleburn seaman
Jos White seaman
Jacob Coustaff seaman

The Rachel was taken to Jamacia and condemned in the Vic-Admiralty court on the 16th January 1813 [Register of shipping Greenock October 1813]
It would seem that the troubles of the Rachel's crew were not over as I have a note from the Muster of HMS Fawn taken between 2 May and 13 June 1813 and it seems HMS Fawn picked up the crew of the Rachel from La Guira and invited them to join - not all thought this a good way of life.
All are listed as the crew of the Rachel from La Guira:

Age Name Quality Notes
36 James Boyde AB discharged 22 June 1813 Jamaica Hospital
39 James Dick AB
22 Robert Gentles AB Ran 2 May 1813 St. Thomas's [Virgin Islands]
20 Matt Marshall AB discharged 26 May 1813
20 James Fraser AB discharged 26 May 1813
20 George Reynolds LM Ran 1 May 1813 St.Thomas's
23 John Johns Ord
28 Garret Lewis Ord.

A further action of the Saratoga appears in:
A History of American Privateers. Edgar S. Maclay New York 1899
One of the most obstinately contested actions between an American privateer and a British Government Packet occurred in 1813.
The English 400 ton packet Morgiana, Captain Cunningham, mounting eighteen guns 9 pounders and manned by fifty men was attacked in September of this year by the privateer Saratoga, Captain Charles W. Wooster. The latter had left port with sixteen guns but shortly before meeting the packet she had been chased by a frigate, and had been compelled to throw overboard twelve of her guns. The Morgiana did not surrender until she had two of her men killed and five wounded, among the latter being her commander who was badly hurt. The Americans had three men killed and seven wounded.
Coggeshall adds - The prize has arrived at Newport Rhode Island where her late captain has publicly offered his thanks to the prize-master, for his humanity and kindness.
A source for further information is held by the US Navy Department Library who hold the journal of John Backus, 2d Lieutenant on the Saratoga which covers the period 16 November 1812 through 2 March 1813. Includes first person accounts of taking the British brig Rachel on 12 December 1812, the British ship Nelson on 31 January 1813, and a "King's Cutter" after a bloody battle on 9 February 1813.


courtesy of US Naval Historical Center