HORNET, The, the name of two sloops of war in the American navy during the War of 1812. The chief was a ship-rigged 18-gun sloop, and did brilliant service. Through De cember and January 1812-13, under Master Commandant James Lawrence, she blockaded the 20-gun English sloop Bonne Citoyenige in the harbor of Bahia, Brazil, till overmatched by a 74; Lawrence was surprised and was obliged to take refuge in the harbor, but instead of being blockaded, slipped out the next night under the very guns of the man-of-war. After capturing a merchantman, on 24 February, he fell in with the English sloop-of-ivar Peacock, Capt. William Peake, each at this time having 20 guns; they engaged at 525 P.M., and in 11 minutes the Peacock was a sinking wreck and surrendered. Her captors made every ef fort to keep her afloat, but in a few minutes she sank, carrying down 13 of her own crew and three of the Horwees. Peake and four men were killed and three wounded; the Hornet had one killed and two wounded, besides two more hurt by an exploding cartridge. °A ves
sel moored for the purposes of experiment could not have been sunk said an English paper of the time; ait will not do for our vessels to fight theirs single-handed.° On 22 Jan. 1815, under Capt. James Biddle, she encountered off Tristan d'Acumha, in the south Atlantic, the English brig Penguin, Capt. James Dickinson, with 19 guns of about the same metal as her own 20; in 22 minutes the Pen guin surrendered, but on Biddle going forward, two British seamen shot him in the neck (not vitally), and were immediately shot down them selves. The Penguin lost her captain and 9 others killed and 38 wounded; the Hornet, 1 killed and 11 wounded. The Penguin was shot to pieces, and could not be taken away, so she was scuttled; the Hornet was almost unin jured. On 28-29 April she had a long chase from the British ship of the line Cornwallis, the rear-admiral's flagship, and only escaped by thoroughly dismantling herself.