Coast Guard Barque Eagle commemorates War of 1812 battle in Long Island Sound

Coast Guard Academy NewsNEW LONDON, Conn. – U.S. Coast Guard Barque Eagle crewmembers and Coast Guard Academy officer candidates held a formal ceremony aboard the Eagle in Long Island Sound, N.Y., Sunday to commemorate a battle involving crewmembers from the Revenue Cutter Eagle nearly two centuries ago in the same location.

The ceremony included a description of the battle that occurred on the beach at Friar’s Head in what is now Riverhead, N.Y., in October 1814; the presentation of the Coast Guard’s march, “Semper Paratus;” and a 21-gun salute.

During the War of 1812, the Revenue Cutter Eagle was tasked with convoying American ships through Long Island Sound, where British warships were known to pursue American merchant vessels.

During October 1814, the crew of the Eagle intervened after learning that the British captured an American vessel transiting to New Haven, Conn., with a valuable cargo of flour, gunpowder and dry goods.

The intervention resulted in an intense battle during which the Eagle’s captain intentionally beached the vessel at Friar’s Head and the crew dragged its cannons to shore to continue ighting. The cutter’s crew managed to fend off the British for two days before the British warship departed. The warship returned later, bringing a second vessel with it, and delivered an overwhelming barrage, eventually capturing the Eagle as a war prize.

Sunday’s ceremony served to commemorate and honor the efforts of those who fought in the same waters nearly 200 years ago.

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