The Battle Of Block Island Essay

988 words - 4 pages

In the middle of the night, two ships approached each other and some things were said between each other. Then, a grenade was seen flung into the air from one ship and landed in the other ship causing a battle. On April 6, 1776, a fleet of seven American ships attacked one British ship, which became to be known as the Battle of Block Island. It was a naval battle. It took place in the waters near Block Island, Rhode Island, during the nighttime. The Battle of Block Island was one of the first naval engagements between the Americans and the British in the American Revolution, which ended out bad for the American Navy.
An American naval commander, Commodore Esek Hopkins, led a successful raid with a fleet of ships at Nassau in the Bahamas. There, he took supplies from a British supply base at Nassau and set on a return voyage back to the colonies. On his return voyage, he captured two British ships named the HMS Hawk and the HMS Bolton which were then manned by some of his crew. The fleet under his command sailed south of Block Island, Rhode Island as Hopkins wanted more prizes he can get a hold of before being docked at a harbor to unload his loot. Soon enough, one of the ships in the fleet spotted the HMS Glasgow, a British ship, several miles away. The HMS Glasgow under Captain Tryingham Howe, ran into Hopkins because it cruised off to Block Island before going to Virginia (which was its destination) to sail with other two ships, Hawk and Bolton, knowing they were there. Unknowing to Howe, the two ships were already captured by Hopkins. As a result, it ended up finding Hopkins’ fleet instead. Captain Howe wanted to know what ships were in company with the brig and to which Hopkins replied with “the Columbus and the Alfred, a two and twenty gun frigate.” Then, a hand grenade was thrown from the USS Cabot and into the HMS Glasgow. This action started the Battle of Block Island. Afterwards, the Glasgow shot back at the Cabot and inflicted heavy damage to the ship. Cabot had to back away as it was disabled and could no longer fight because it took the most damage from the Glasgow. As the Cabot backed down, it almost crashed into one of its own allied ships called the USS Andrew Doria and forced it to move away to avoid collision. Next, the USS Alfred took the Cabot’s earlier position next to the Glasgow and opened fire on it by raking it. It was not able to fire earlier because the Cabot was blocking fire from the Alfred to the Glasgow. This went on back and forth between the Glasgow and the Alfred for a while until the Alfred’s tiller block was shot away and it lost control in the wind. The British ship took this opportunity to rake the Alfred and forcing it took back away from the fight temporarily....

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