The Battle of Trafalgar
The Battle of Trafalgar was perhaps the most famous sea battle ever fought. England’s greatest naval hero, Admiral Nelson, commanded England’s most famous warship, HMS Victory. Nelson’s victory foiled Napoleon’s plan to invade England. During this moment of his greatest glory, Nelson was shot down by a French musket ball. His body was returned home in a cask of brandy to a hero’s funeral.
The Enterprise in the Mediterranean
The Enterprise was a U.S. Navy topsail-schooner built in Baltimore in 1799. She is shown here in 1801 during her service in the First Barbary War. Since this ship was decommissioned, there have been six other Naval vessels with the name Enterprise.
The USS Constitution vs HMS Java
winner of The Schaefer Maritime Heritage Award
at the 36th Annual Mystic International Marine Art Exhibition
Built in Boston in 1797, the Constitution won several important victories over the British ruring the War of 1812,, demonstrating that the new American Navy could stand up to the greatest sea power in the world, and earning the nickname “Old Ironsides.”
The Battle of the Chesapeake
The Battle of the Chesapeake Bay was one of the decisive turning points in American history. The British navy’s loss of this battle allowed General George Washington to defeat the British at Yorktown, thereby ending the American Revolution. The battle took place just outside the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay on September of 1781, between a British and French fleet. For two and a half hours the fleets traded broadsides. Neither fleet was decisively defeated, but the French won the day by denying the British entrance into the Bay, and thus forcing the British to surrender to General Washington.
The Battle of Lake Erie
During the War of 1812, Captain Oliver Hazard Perry's decisive victory over the British fleet on Lake Erie ensured American control of the Great Lakes. During the battle, Perry flew his famous flag which read "Don’t Give Up the Ship." After the battle, Perry sent his famous message "We have met the enemy and they are ours." The painting depicts the Niagara charging into battle, with the British ships Detroit and Queen Charlotte behind her.
USS Constellation vs L'Insurgente
The USS Constellation was one of the first ships to be built for the newly formed U.S. Navy. She was a 38-gun frigate, carrying about 340 men. The painting depicts her in her famous battle during the Quasi-War with France in 1799. Constellation defeated the French L’Insurgente, a 36-gun frigate. This was the first victory over an enemy warship for the United States Navy.
John Paul Jones: Ranger vs Drake
The Ranger was one of John Paul Jones favorite ships. Built in Portsmouth, NH in 1777, she was a corvette, which meant she carried all her cannon on one deck. She was adorned with a figurehead of a rifleman (a ranger.) In 1778, John Paul Jones brought the American Revolution to England’s shores by sailing Ranger in British waters. He defeated the British frigate Drake in an action that Jones described “warm, close and obstinate.”
Black Bart Roberts Attacks
Bartholomew Roberts was one of the most feared pirates of the golden age of piracy. He raided ships in the Atlantic from 1719 until he was hunted down and killed in 1722. His two vessels, Royal Fortune and the Ranger, are shown attacking a British frigate.
John Paul Jones' Glory
This painting depicts John Paul Jones’ most famous battle. It took place during the American Revolution off the coast of England. John Paul Jones’ Bonhomme Richard battled furiously with the British Serapis. Both ships were severely damaged. When the British captain called out to ask if the Americans would surrender, John Paul Jones is said to have shouted, “I have not yet begun to fight!”