Database:   Madeira Islands, off

Madeira Islands, off

What: Naval action, off Madeira Islands, 21 Oct 1781, *Com. Gillon, South Carolina vs. Venus

Other names:

Where: 32.666670 -16.749999 (NAD83/WGS84), off Madeira Islands, 21 Oct 1781

Maps: [map notes]

  • 32.666670 -16.749999, off Madeira Islands, 21 Oct 1781
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    Madeiras Isl

  • NBBAS:Vol. Three p.379-380.
    Madeira Islands, near the Coast of West Africa
    21 October 1781

    After the frigate South Carolina sailed to Carunna, Spain she had several problems with her crew. There were a series of desertions, including one that involved the French sailors stealing a jolly boat and rowing to shore under a hail of musket fire. In Carunna Commodore Alexander Gillon had to put down a mutiny of his French sailors and Luxembourg marines, with some of his men being seriously wounded. After rebuilding the crew with Irish deserters from the Spanish Army Gillon sailed from Spain on October 17th. On the 21st of October she captured the Venus near the Madeira Islands off the coast of Africa. The Venus had been bound from Newfoundland for Lisbon with 1,600 quintals of saltfish. The Venus was slower than the South Carolina so Commodore Gillon ordered her towed behind the frigate. He also placed the French crew that had mutinied in Carunna on board the Venus. Afterwards the South Carolina sailed to St. Croix in the West Indies and in December she sailed toward Charlestown. Commodore Gillon did not know if the city was still in British hands or not and decided to risk taking a look.

    On December 31st the South Carolina sailed past Sullivanís Island and entered the harbor. When she saw three British men-of-war begin to approach her she left by way of the south channel. This was the closest that the frigate South Carolina would ever come to her home port. Gillon headed south toward a Spanish port of call.

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  • RevWar75 RevWar75   listing. 10/21/1781 off the Madeira Islands. Insufficient data.

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Submitted by: Patrick O'Kelley

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