What: Capture, Capt. Henry Johnson, Lexington vs. *Alert, 26 Feb 1777
47.463173 -6.429456 Lexington-Alert
Maps: [map notes]
- 47.463173 -6.429456 Lexington-Alert
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- Confidence: 2
- NBBAS:One. Not included.
- "Lexington". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships:
Lexington, Capt. Henry Johnson in command, sailed for France 20 February 1777 and took two prizes before reaching Bordeaux 3 weeks later. In France the brigantine joined Reprisal and Dolphin for a cruise seeking the Irish linen fleet scheduled to leave Dublin early in June. The American ships, commanded by Capt. Lambert Wickes, got underway 28 May and were carried far to westward by heavy winds. Approaching Dublin from the north they entered the north channel 18 June and hove to off the Mull of Kintyre. During the next 4 days they captured nine prizes, sinking three, releasing one, and retaining five. Heading south again on the 22d, they took and scuttled a brig before arriving off Dublin Bay. The next morning they took another brig and a ship bringing sugar, rum, and cotton from Jamaica. After placing prize crews on both vessels, they resumed their voyage around Ireland. On the 24th they stopped and released a smuggler and the next day took their last prize, a snow.
When they sighted ship-of-the-line Burford near Ushant on the 26th, the American ships scattered and made their way individually to safety in France. Lexington remained at Morlaix, a Brittany fishing village, throughout the summer, hemmed in by British warships. However, France, under strong British diplomatic pressure, ordered the American ships out of French waters 12 September. Lexington got underway the next morning but made little headway because of light wind. She lay becalmed near Ushant on the morning of the 19th when British cutter Alert came into view. In the ensuing fight, Lexington’s rigging was seriously damaged precluding flight. When the American brigantine ran out of powder Captain Johnson reluctantly struck his colors.
- Map, "Naval Battles, 1776-1800". Basis for location
Submitted by: Patrick O'Kelley
Confidence level: 2