Daily Event for February 20

On Feb. 20, 1815 the last two ships captured by USS Constitution in the War of 1812 were taken in the
Atlantic off Medaria Island. HMS Cyane and HMS Levant came under fire from Old Ironsides and forty minuets
later they were in the hands of the Americans. Some days later Levant was recaptured by the British, but Cyane was brought into New York on April 10. Her prize crew were then informed that the war had ended on Dec. 24, 1814.

The Constitution's crew was not so informed until May 15, 1815, after which she returned to Boston. Because
communications were very slow and unreliable in those days news of the peace did not reach General Andrew Jackson until sometime after Jan. 8, 1815. For Jackson no news was good news because if he had known
the war was over the greatest victory of his career might never have been, that's right, the most famous
battle of the War of 1812 was fought after the war was over,. The battle that made Jackson a household name and propelled him to the Presidency, the battle that Johnny Horton sang about in 1971, The Battle of New Orleans.
© 2008 Michael W. Pocock
MaritimeQuest.com




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