Naval Battle of June 1813

On the morning of June 3rd, 1813, the Canadians who had  built a fort on Ile aux Noix, a small island in the Richelieu about twelve miles above Lake Champlain, saw two American sloops – Growler and Eagle - come around the turn in the river just below the island.

Each sloop carried 11 guns and had a crew of 112 men, including infantrymen. The Canadians promptly sent out their own three gunboats. The enemies started the fighting, which took place for tow hou

rs. Lt. Sidney Smith commanded the Growler, and Sailing Master Jarius Loomis commanded the Eagle. The Americans were overwhelmed by artillery and musket fire of the English and Canadians under the command of Major George Taylor of the 100th regiment. In the end, the American sloops were captured and towed in triumph to the small dock on the island. In the engagement, the British suffered three men wounded (one of them severely).

The American forces lost one killed and eight severely wounded. The British officers applauded the Americans’ gallant struggle but said Smith was imprudent to hazard the lake by risking an engagement in the narrows just in face of the ile aux Noix’s batteries.

The captured vessels were repaired and used lately in attacks on Plattsburg and other places on Lake Champlain. Furthermore, the action opened the way for a counter attack on US lake bases and merchant ships, in late July and early August, 1813.

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