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The Caledonia and the Detroit

December 8th 1812 the Caledonia and the Detroit were anchored near and protected by the guns of Fort Erie. Lieutenant Jesse D. Elliot decided to capture the two British vessels and add them to the American squadron. After putting together a force of approximately 100 men. Some sailors, some drafts from the army. Lieutenant Elliot's force left the American side of the Niagara River about 1:00 a.m. December 9th in two large boats.

When they arrived by the two vessels the British opened fire with their muskets. The Americans began boarding the ships and after a great deal of fighting the ships were taken. The British kept up a heavy fire as the two ships tried to reach Black Rock, and the strong current in the Niagara River made this task even more difficult. The Caledonia finally reached the safety of the American shore. The Detroit was not so lucky, hit several times by British artillery as well as American fire it became uncontrolable and ran aground on Squaw Island. The Americans set the Detroit on fire and destroyed her so the ship would not fall back into British hands.

The Caledonia became part of the American squadron on Lake Erie and took part in the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813.